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It Ain't Easy

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Album Review

Veteran folk-pop singer Tom Paxton was still delivering excellent albums in the early 1990s, one fine example being It Ain't Easy. Paxton was always a thoughtful lyricist and a masterful storyteller, and as usual, he gives us a lot to think about. "Billy Got Some Bad News Today" describes a man who has just learned he has a serious illness, while "Living the Street Life" examines the horrors of homelessness without preaching. "Something Going On" finds Paxton portraying a parent whose son is using crack cocaine, and on "Mister Can't-Go-On," he tries to dissuade a man from committing suicide. True to form, Paxton really makes us feel for his characters — from the man calling a suicide prevention hotline to the homeless man, the singer-songwriter brings these individuals to life in a most insightful, moving fashion.


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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It Ain't Easy, Tom Paxton
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