Pat Wictor’s Vision of Phil Ochs

One of the most remarkable recordings that crossed my threshold in recent months is Pat Wictor’s This Is Absolutely Real: Visions and Versions of Phil Ochs. Keeping himself busy as a member of Brother Sun, it has been eight years since Pat last released a solo recording. As the trio prepares for their final tour in 2017, each member has been busy planning for the future. Greg Greenway released a solo CD in 2016, Joe Jencks just debuted his, and now we have this master work from Pat Wictor.

It would have been easy to select from the well-known setlist of Phil Ochs classics. The words of the legendary protest singer have become “standards” of the contemporary folk community since Ochs took his own life back in 1976. With the struggles we face in 2017, re-listening to the topical songs of a different era might have been welcome to some ears, but Pat took a different – and ultimately a more relevant approach.


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