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Sep 28 2006

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Peace Songs For A Better World Reviewed by Diane Wells

peacesongsimp1-150x150.jpgSept 26, 2006 

This 15-track collection of songs from both female and male North American artists (with Australian and Norwegian representation) is a life-affirming musical project humbly shadowing its more famous and forceful predecessor, “Woodstock”. Check out the Bob Dylan-inspired ‘Gift (One Iraqi Child)’ and ‘No One Can Stop Me When I’m Out to be Good’, from Josh White Jr., a latter-day Richie Havens. One of the many things I like about this CD is that it offers a wide exposure to lesser-known female musicians, who, unless they are willing to expose more than their musical talent, are very often overlooked in the higher echelons of the industry. West Coast ladies Christa Couture, Quincy, Elaine Dempsey, Blair Hansen, Adrienne Jones, Margo Hennebach and Toronto’s Laura Fernandez all deserve recognition for their demurely sweet, lilting vocals as well as their thought-provoking lyrics on a peaceful world. Among the renowned Ontario male performers appearing here are Guelph’s James Gordon, Whitby’s Roger Ellis, and the winner of the 2004 Colleen Peterson Songwriting Award, David Gillis, of Vineland – all wonderful musical ambassadors for Canada! The most memorable “hit” track, among these otherwise beautiful ballads, would certainly be the riotously poetic ’60s-pop-rocker ‘Change My World’ (by NY’s Sean Altman and Billy Straus). My other favourite was Norway’s Finn Coren, who offers ‘Riverboatman’, a well-enunciated, musically dramatic piano-and-strings opus that speaks to homesick refugees. It would have been great if Belgium’s Yanah had been included here, particularly for her ‘Girl in the Picture’ tribute to Kim Phuc, a Vietnamese victim of a napalm attack, but there are only so many songs that can fit on one CD. This is a very admirable initiative by humanitarian Brian Gladstone, who also organizes several other socially conscious music endeavours such as Earthday, Winterfolk Festival and the Outrageous Summer Open

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