Pete Seeger, American Favorite Ballads, Vol 5: Tunes and Songs as Sung by Pete Seeger

Amelia Raitt

By Amelia Raitt

on 04.22.11 in Reviews

While it's hard to claim that Pete Seeger speaks to modern audiences (anyone who sings about their "T B Blues" will), it's equally as tough to say that his work — and the work he chose to perform — isn't some of the most universal around. Few can point to tuberculosis as an ailment these days, but anyone can identify with the raging fight that Seeger puts up against it. And who hasn't had a woman (or man) lie to them, as his significant other does in the same song? The power doesn't lie in Seeger's specifics: this is, as the title suggests, America's favorite ballads because they're timeless and age-old narratives. So go ahead and listen with an open heart (and mind and ears) to the feeling that Seeger brings to bear on these compositions. You may never hear another singer be so happy to be a bum again.