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No Commercial Traffic

Rod MacDonald

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Reseña de álbum

After several years of performing in and around New York City, singer/songwriter Rod MacDonald finally issued his debut album, No Commercial Traffic, in 1983. The title, referring to a ubiquitous city street sign (pictured above the artist on the back cover), slyly commented on the position of a thoughtful, thirtysomething, folk-based performer with a social conscience at a time when record labels were pursuing vapid synth pop acts. Listening to MacDonald's catchy folk-rock arrangements of his melodic songs, with their literate lyrics sung in his clear high tenor, it might have been hard to understand how any A&R person could fail to appreciate his music's commercial appeal, but that's the way the music business was in the early 1980s. Maybe it was just as well. That same A&R person probably would have balked at letting MacDonald open his first disc with the haunting flute of John Kruth on the environmental ballad "The Unearthly Fire"; might have demanded that the witty and riveting "On the Road (In New York Town)" be cut down from its eight-minute running time; or even suggested that the moving "A Sailor's Prayer" not be sung a cappella. Any such "feedback" would have hurt a collection that, as is often the case with a debut album, seems intended to showcase the range of the performer's talents. MacDonald mixes lighthearted romantic material such as the jazzy ballad "It's Goin' to Take Some Time" and the infectious, Beatlesque "What I Wanted" with more serious efforts such as "American Jerusalem," his metaphor for the business establishment of New York (and Western capitalism in general) and the idealistic anthem "Every Living Thing," which closes the album hopefully. As a debut album should be, No Commercial Traffic is a statement of purpose from a major performer who had been developing for many years to reach this point.


Nacido/a: 1949

Género: Cantautores

Años de actividad: '80s, '90s, '00s

Singer/songwriter Rod MacDonald was a big part of the 1980s folk revival in Greenwich Village clubs. After graduating from Columbia Law School and joining the staff of Newsweek, MacDonald elected to become a folksinger in the 1970s. Via the Fast Folk Music Cooperative, MacDonald and others like Richard Meyer, Christine Lavin, and Michael Jerling were an important part of the rebirth of the folk scene in New York in the 1980s. While MacDonald wasn't exactly a new face to New...
Biografía completa
No Commercial Traffic, Rod MacDonald
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