Various Artists (from the album Appleseed’s 21st Anniversary: Roots and Branches available on Appleseed Recordings)
Resistance is not a new reaction. When authority granted to a leader turns its back on the population they were elected to serve, voices are raised. For twenty-one years, Appleseed Music has led an audio charge against the barricades, giving the protest a song and the marchers a singer to lead them. The label gathers tracks from previous releases as well as offering new material with Appleseed 21st Anniversary: Roots and Branches. The collection plays host to Appleseed Music headliners such as Pete Seeger, Donovan, Jesse Winchester, Sweet Honey in the Rock, Tom Rush, Al Stewart, David Bromberg, Jonathan Edwards, and Tom Paxton. As in any celebration, guests stopped by to add voices to the Appleseed family production. Label friends line up on the tracks with recordings from Bruce Springsteen, Tom Morello (solo, Rage Against the Machine), Tom Russell, and John Wesley Harding.
Setting a course of integrity for the label to sail, Appleseed Music devoted itself to three philosophies; truth-telling, preserving our wisdom keepers both past and present, and keeping the legacy of roots music alive for future generations. The power of three stays in place as Appleseed’s 21st Anniversary: Roots and Branches delivers separate messages as themes for each disc of the triple set. Disc one faces off at politics, addressing injustices like racism, immigration, and homelessness as it speaks on gun control, the opioid epidemic, poverty, greed, and political corruption. Bruce Springsteen offers a performance with “If I Had a Hammer” (his sixth exclusive cut for the label) while Tom Russell takes a trip in a Springsteen tune with “Across the Border”, Anne Hills watches life pale in “Needle of Death”, Joan Baez shares her dream in “I Wish the Wars Were All Over”, and Tom Morello changes the words as he shouts the same chorus in AC/DC’s “Dirty Deeds Done Dirt Cheap”. Songman Jesse Winchester opens Disc two with “Get It Right Some Day”, using his tune as a template for the following tracks containing songwriter personal experiences and observations. Lizzie West and the White Buffalo paint “Portrait of an Artist as a Young Woman”, Jackson Browne and Bonnie Raitt pour “Kisses Sweeter Than Wine”, Eric Anderson makes a decision in “Gonna Go Crazy”, and John Stewart tenderly makes a gift of “There is Love (The Wedding Song)”. Appleseed Music launches Disc three as the label continue its mission to explore the Roots and Branches of acoustic and world music. A front porch rattle makes a beautiful ruckus on David Bromberg’s “Bring It with You When You Come” featuring Levon Helm as Roger McGuinn and Judy Collins recall “John Riley”, and an Irish tone to the music takes the album out with closing track “Where Have All the Flowers Gone” performed by Tommy Sands, Dolores Keane, and Vedran Smailovic.
Listen and buy the music of Appleseed’s 21 Anniversary: Roots and Branches from AMAZON