Making music for a good cause. Earthjustice Legal Defense Fund's campaign has sent out this record to help benefit saving wild salmon, ancient forests and freeflowing waterways. Wondering what exactly Earthjustice defense is about? The album is also CD-ROM enhanced giving a short overview of the needs and goals of this organization.
Containing five unreleased songs, some were written specially for this album. J. J. Cale's "Stone River" being one of those. From Little Plastics Castles is "Fuel" by Ani Difranco. "Fuel" is actually a poem that was recorded over the band's jam session. It's about creating a fuel for change - and how everything we do is fuel for the big fire in the end. She has been noted as the lyrical genius of the nineties. She even started her own recording label, Righteous Babe Records. It seems everyone is ready to point fingers when it comes to the shape Mother Nature is in, but Keb' Mo' states it very clearly that we are the only ones to blame in "Victims of Comfort. "The Road You Choose" brings together two great instrumentalists, the jazz saxophonist Branford Marsalis and blues guitarist Joe Louis Walker. Together they bring a great message about living your life for yourself, not worrying about the other guy or what he's got, reading the fine print, playing your own hand and being nobody's fool. John Lee Hooker learned to play guitar sitting in Mississippi forests so it would make sense for him to get involved with this organization. Hooker teams up with John Hammond for "Highway 13." Hammond has been an active supporter of environmental issues for many years now. Nearly 30 years ago Tracy Nelson recorded "Mother Earth" but still to this day the meaning is as clear as can be, "I don't care how rich you are, I don't care what you're worth, when it comes down, you've got to get back to Mother Earth." Roomful of Blues with a new lineup pulls out "Blue Blue World" which was written by guitarist Chris Vachon. Another song recorded for this album and unreleased on any other would be Mavis Staples version of the traditional gospel song "I'll fly Away" with Melvin Seals on Hammond B-3 organ. Alvin Youngblood Hart also has an exclusive version if "Rollin' River" along with The Robert Cray Band delivering a live rendition of "The Forecast (Calls For Pain)." Loudon
Wainwrigth III asks the question of how much is our progress really worth? On "Hard Day on the Planet." Ruth Brown covers Johnny Otis' "Ice Water in Your Veins." The live recording of The Eagles' "Take it to the Limit" is transformed by Etta James into a song that celebrates the perseverance of life and giving life all you can. Charlie Musselwhite joins RatDog on Al Green's "Take Me to the River." Musselwhite grew up along the Mississippi and states that clean water and healthy forests are the natural state of things and should be preserved for posterity.
Great Artists from many different genres coming together for a good cause and making great music, is what this album is about. Just how important is our natural state of earth? Just ask anyone of these artist. Soulful songs for Mother Nature's soul.
You can visit Earthjustice Legal Defense Fund's Web page at:
This review is copyright © 1999 by Eve Morris, and Blues On Stage, all rights reserved.