29th Annual Phil Ochs Song Night [no label, 2CD]
Live at the Old Town School of Folk Music, Chicago, IL; October 27, 2012. Very good FM broadcast.
For some, a tribute concert is a form of recognition. But for Phil Ochs fans, the Annual Phil Ochs Song Night is more than a tribute performance. It is also a way of passing on the torch. These performances are hosted by Sonny, Phil’s sister. (Phil Ochs died in 1976.)
Folk rocker Greg Greenway, who is an active tribute concert performer for 20 years, told Lianna Albrizio of northjersey.com: “This will help introduce Phil’s music to people who have never heard it [or are] too young to have heard it.”
“He (Phil) wrote songs about how the world creates and destroys heroes,” he explained referencing the line, ‘beneath the greatest love is a hurricane of hate.’ “It applies to the election now. Presidential candidates have to deal with a million different groups with own self-interests [and] play [the] game to get to the top. The hurricane you have to go through to get any positive projection is astounding.”
A journalism major, Phil Ochs dropped out of Ohio State University after being appalled at the college newspaper for not publishing an article he wrote. He looked up to John Wayne and Audie Murphy, who had what Sonny called the “good guys always win” persona, something captured in Ken Bowser’s documentary “There But for Fortune,” that Rolling Stone dubbed one of the seven best music documentaries of the year. A self-professed patriot, Ochs called himself a “singing journalist.”
Michigan singer/songwriter Jen Cass wrote “Standing in Your Shadow” after walking the streets Ochs once walked to feel closer to him. “When you hear Phil’s songs today, it’s prophetic,” Greenway said. “It sends shivers down your spine. It’s like Phil’s standing right there.”
Thanks to mdshrk1 who recorded and shared the tracks at The Traders’ Den.