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There Was a Time

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Album Review

Tom Pacheco is an artist with something to say. Somewhere between a singer/songwriter and a protest singer, he concerns himself with issues ranging from the brevity of life to the environment. When the album opens with, "Under a plain smothered by shopping malls," many listeners will feel comfortable pegging Pacheco as another left-leaning folksinger with good — though unrealistic — intentions. The remainder of the song, however, reads more like a poem, offering a prosaic rendering of the streams, grass, and sun of the plains, combining lyricism with politics. In "If I Could Come Back," the singer wishes for no more than to return as a "summer night," while "What We Left Behind" longs for a simpler way of living, one more connected to community and less connected to the television. Even when Pacheco wears his heart on his liberal sleeve, he adds a poetic touch to his compositions. "Butterfly" immortalizes Julia Hill's two-year struggle to save old-growth redwoods, while "Heroes" speaks more generally about the need for contemporary champions. Most of these tracks are simply arranged with pianos and guitars offering a gentle underpinning to Pacheco's poignant lyrics. When a track utilizes a noisy drum kit as on "What About Us," it's to emphasize the angry lyric. While political progressives will no doubt be attracted to Pacheco's committed vision, anyone who enjoys good music and expressive lyrics will also want to pick up a copy. ~ Ronnie D. Lankford, Jr., Rovi


Born: 04 November 1946 in New Bedford, MA

Genre: Singer/Songwriter

Years Active: '70s, '80s, '90s, '00s

Although he has had success in Europe, songwriter Tom Pacheco is virtually unknown in America, which is somewhat of a mystery, since his songs are frequently brilliant and have been covered by countless folk and country artists. Pacheco was born November 4, 1946, in New Bedford, Massachusetts, the son of jazz guitarist Tony Pacheco, and he had taken up his father's instrument by the time he was ten years old; by 19, he had released a solo album of original material, Turn Away from the Storm. He...
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There Was a Time, Tom Pacheco
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