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And Still We Sing: The Outspoken Collection

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Album Review

Holly Near has made a career out of speaking out, so calling her collection And Still We Sing: The Outspoken Collection seems an apt one. In the tradition of the '60s protest singer, Near has never been shy about wearing her liberal beliefs on her shirt sleeve. Although some of the material dates back to the '70s, most of it has been recorded within the last 20 years or so. The first disc is made up of studio tracks from earlier Near albums, including 2000's Edge, 1989's Sky Dances, and 1981's Fire in the Rain; the second disc consists mostly of live tracks featuring a number of guests like Mercedes Sosa and Ronnie Gilbert. Near's songs and lyrics read like a list of left-leaning political causes from the past 20 years, covering everything from nuclear fallout ("Ain't No Where You Can Run") to war ("Foolish Notion") to workers without work ("I Got Trouble"). Although one can never doubt Near's commitment, the arrangements on many of these songs sound dated and occasionally bombastic. The political causes, likewise, sometimes seem like yesterday's news. Nonetheless, longtime fans, aware of Near's politics and style, will be glad to have all of these tracks gathered on And Still We Sing. ~ Ronnie D. Lankford, Jr., Rovi


Born: June 6, 1949 in Ukiah, CA

Genre: Singer/Songwriter

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

Entering the field of topical songwriting after the activism of the 1960s, Holly Near promoted a variety of left-wing political causes with music that touched on folk, rock, and the musical theater, starting in the early 1970s. Beginning with her work against the Vietnam War, she turned to radical lesbian feminism before again expanding her concerns to include international issues. A red-diaper baby of leftist parents, Near grew up on a ranch in the small Northern California town of Potter Valley....
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And Still We Sing: The Outspoken Collection, Holly Near
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