Revisiting Phil Ochs in the age of wrong Presidents

Live In Montreal is a two-disc recording of Phil Ochs in concert at Salle Claude Champagne, during what was his most prolific and inspired period of creativity, as he was transitioning away from topical songs and outright protest to songs of a different nature, often written with a cinematic vision. Ochs never really wrote directly personal songs, he was too much the analyzing journalist for that. He wrote from the outside looking in, but partly through his voice, partly through his melodies, and definitely through his words let you know what he was feeling. And while Ochs may have stopped writing overt topical songs, he never left the struggle. If a cause he believed in needed a singer he was there. I remember my brother, one of the students involved in the Columbia University strike of 1968 telling me how Ochs came and sang for the strikers, and a few months later he took part in the Chicago demonstrations at the Democratic Convention. It was in him, it was who he was.

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