Pete Seeger, Gazette, Vol. 2

Dave Marsh

By Dave Marsh

on 04.22.11 in Reviews

The Gazette albums (there was a first volume in 1958) seemed intended to gather together Pete's versions of currently important topical songs. This edition, issued way before Dylan, picked up on the burgeoning civil rights song movement with the "Literacy Test Song," about one of the more fantastical methods of denying black people the vote, and "Fayette County" (about an important early campaign) plus anti-war militancy and various accounts of other recent radical activities. In 1961, with the nation yet to shake off the shackles of the Red Scare, this was crucial work. Perhaps that makes it a period piece — but with hope for social justice once again flickering, perhaps not, too. Records like this — and most of Pete Seeger's are in one way or another like this — are meant to give you ideas that you, not just he, may bring to life.