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No Easy Walk to Freedom

Peter, Paul & Mary

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Album Review

This collection of lesser-known songs by '60s folk greats Peter, Paul & Mary will probably best appeal to die-hard fans. It is a fun album that delivers everything one would expect from the trio: simple acoustic guitar melodies, great harmonies, and memorable songs. However, none of these songs — with the possible exception of the title track — could be classified as one of PP&M's greatest hits. Some of them (e.g., "Right Field," which is about a softball game) are quirky little tunes; others ("State of the Heart") are soft, pretty love songs with Casio-sounding keyboards in the background. There can be no doubt that the band remembers its role as a political mouthpiece — "El Salvador" and "Greenland Whale Fisheries" make it abundantly clear that they haven't forgotten their responsibilities. "Light One Candle," a rousing song backed by the New York Choral Society, has gone on to become a favorite of Jewish summer camps and synagogues. Overall, their zeal seems somewhat diminished, however. Instead of a call to arms or an ode to changing times, the songs often seem more introspective, more wistful — possibly, one could say, less idealistic. This is one of the trio's later releases and, if their fire is a bit dimmed, one can't blame them. However, if you want a CD that brings you back to the dawn of the flower-child generation, this probably isn't the one. ~ L. Katz, Rovi

Biography

Formed: 1961 in New York, NY

Genre: Singer/Songwriter

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

The most popular folk group of the 1960s, Peter, Paul and Mary in later decades have also proved themselves to be among the most durable music acts in history. Their longevity dwarfs that of the Weavers, while the fact that the trio continues to be associated with a major record label (Warner Bros.) after decades in the business sets them apart from rivals like the Kingston Trio and the Brothers Four. Then again, perhaps it isn't so surprising — Peter, Paul and Mary's roots...
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No Easy Walk to Freedom, Peter, Paul & Mary
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