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Looking for the Moon

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Album Review

The great folk revival gave birth to a multitude of politically committed singers, but few maintain a high profile 40 years later. Tom Paxton, however, is different. Whether singing children's songs or protesting against social ills, he remains committed to a vision of a better world. While Looking for the Moon finds Paxton plowing the same fertile soil, he's become a subtler songwriter over the years, relying on natural imagery instead of the headlines. He also enjoys writing about the simple pleasures of life — a special someone, a quiet morning, and a sad memory — and doesn't fall into the same platitudes as a number of singer/songwriters. "Homebound Train" tells the story of a ten-year-old boy who travels to see his ailing father. As the train moves toward home, the boy has a vision of his father waving goodbye and telling him, "It's alright, son, I'm still here." When he arrives home, his father has already died. "Early Snow" is filled with simple, though elegant, descriptions. The darkening skies, westerly winds, and bitter cold also offer apt symbols of yet another small farming town that's seen better days. The album's arrangements are straightforward: acoustic guitar, joined by an occasional harmonica, mandolin, fiddle, and piano, provides spare, tasteful support to Paxton's vocals. While it's tempting to call Looking for the Moon "a mature effort," such a phrase sounds a bit sterile. Nonetheless, Looking for the Moon is a mature effort, a singer/songwriter album for those who have moved beyond broken relationships and identity issues. Fans will embrace it warmly. ~ Ronnie D. Lankford Jr., Rovi


Born: 31 October 1937 in Chicago, IL

Genre: Singer/Songwriter

Years Active: '60s, '70s, '80s, '90s, '00s, '10s

Tom Paxton proved to be one of the most durable of the singer/songwriters to emerge from the Greenwich Village folk revival scene of the early '60s. In some ways, he had more in common with the late-'50s generation of folksingers such as Dave Van Ronk (who was 16 months his senior) and even older performers than with the new crop of singer/songwriters with whom he tended to be associated, such as Bob Dylan and Phil Ochs (both of whom were several years his junior). But like Dylan and Ochs, and unlike...
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Looking for the Moon, Tom Paxton
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