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Celebrating Phil Ochs: We’re Going To Sing It Now!
This CD is a project of the Facebook group Celebrating Phil Ochs’ 75th Birthday. Along with a website and various song nights across the country, it is our way of repaying Phil for all he has given to us, not only his songs but his example of what it means to be an artist who lives by their principles. He believed in a better world, and he convinced many of us, even those who were too young to ever have seen him while he was alive, to join him in creating that better tomorrow. As long as people still believe that a song can help make change, people will continue to listen to Phil. This is just our small part of keeping that legacy alive.
- Draft Dodger Rag — Noah Goldstein (Spring Lake, NJ) Thanks, Phil, for undermining hypocrisy, one song at a time.
- The World Began in Eden and Ended in Los Angeles — Huw and Elaine (Liverpool, England) Huw loves Phil Ochs and sings in Liverpool based Indiepop band The Swapsies. Elaine has a dog called Fruitcake and runs the Ukulele Club Liverpool.
- I’m Tired — Patrick Clark (Fort Wayne, IN) I’d like to dedicate my efforts here to my old pal, Danny Stafford. We discovered Phil at the same time and it was one of the many things that deepened our friendship. When I listen to Phil I always think of my rambling friend.
- The Bells — Steve Vitoff (Huntington, NY) Thanks to Shannon Hammock for his hard work in assembling this tribute. Phil Ochs would often open shows with ‘The Bells.’ I’ve revered him for almost 50 years. Despite his sad decline, Ochs’ primary legacy is one of hope and commitment. I invite you to listen to my Ochs covers on YouTube. Thanks also to my musician son, Ochs fan Eric Vitoff, for sound engineering.
- There but for Fortune — Tammy Metz (Reston, VA) My dad introduced me to Phil Ochs when I was in college, and I was hooked forever. Phil’s music opened the door to the wide world of folk music for me, but he will always be my first folk love. Recorded at GreenJeans Studios in Wellington, KS.
- United Fruit — Vic Sadot (Berkeley, CA) Vic Sadot is a singer-songwriter in Berkeley, CA who at the age of 25 met and interviewed Phil Ochs for a student radio station in Washington, DC in May of 1973. In August 2015 Vic made a 30 minute video to bring the old reel-to-reel soundtrack alive on Vimeo and YouTube. Vic blogs at Broadside Balladeer, Berkeley Calling, and Truth Troubadour. In 1982 Vic was asked by Gordon Friesen and Sis Cunningham to review over 400 pages of highly redacted FBI Files on Phil Ochs to break the story on the cover of Broadside Magazine. Vic’s home site is http://www.vicsadot.com and he can be reached at BroadsideBalladeer@gmail.com
- I Ain’t Marching Anymore — mage?! (Tempe, AZ) Dedication: For John Train, and Neil Hamburger mage?! is a multi-instrumentalist singer/songwriter born in America in the 20th Century. Phil Ochs has been an influence on my music from day one.
- Rehearsals for Retirement — Tim McMullen (Rowland Heights, CA) Phil Ochs was my first musical idol, and I had the great good fortune to see him perform dozens of times. I sang two of his anti-war songs at our High School Graduation Breakfast (Baccalaureate) in ’66. Two years later I performed his “When I’m Gone” at a memorial for Martin Luther King as well as at my Great Aunt’s funeral in 2007. I am very proud to participate in this tribute to his legacy.
- Jim Dean of Indiana — Tickled to Death f/ Tara Sheppard (New York City, NY) Harmonica/other voices Steve Carter. Special thanks to Thomas Ciganko. It was supposed to sound sort of Leone, like a movie. We know our dear Phil Ochs was a movie fan.-Tickled to Death.
- Spanish Civil War Song — Noriega (Madrid, Spain) Recorded in Tagomago Studio by Javier Bergia Noriega are: José Manuel Noriega: Lead Vocal. Tupi Lendez: Classic Guitar & Chorus. Pedro Garrido: Flute, Percussion & Chorus. Javier Bergia: Chorus.
- The Highwayman — Paul Middleton (Warrington, England) Without Phil as the inspiration, I probably never would have learned to play the guitar. Between Phil and Billy Bragg, they turned me from an angry young man into an angry – but musical – middle-aged man. At least that’s who I blame.
- Half a Century High — Tori Nelson (Ankeny, IA) I’ve been listening to Phil Ochs my whole life, but I’ve only recently fallen in love with his music. As a young person, I feel like his music still resonates with young people today, which is incredible. We need someone like him now more than ever.
- Flower Lady — David Lenander w/ Greg Bohen (St. Paul, MN) Thanks to Steve Janega, the sound engineer and studio proprietor in St. Paul, naturalsoundstudio.com, who mixed my live take with Greg Bohen’s second guitar. I fell in love with Phil Ochs’s songs through Jim & Jean’s recordings, especially of this song. I always thought that the language was beautiful and poetic, and the flower lady image sad, but singing it I realize how bitterly the song indicts our blindness to that beauty and poetry and even actual flower ladies. In fact its bitterness is only bearable through Phil’s beautiful words and melody.
- No More Songs — Steven Gellman (Germantown, MD) Additional musicians: Doug Poplin-Cello and Cletus Kennelly harmony vocals. Honest, sincere, and often humorous, Steven Gellman has been performing his slice-of-life lyrics & music to audiences across the United States since the mid-90s. Described by Billboard Magazine as “intensely sensitive and impressively intelligent at the same time” Gellman’s songwriting captures the simple moments of everyday life and wraps them in notes that will have you humming along – long after the song is over. Steven is a long time Phil Ochs fan and he is thrilled to be part of this compilation.
- When I’m Gone — David Rovics (Portland, OR) Recorded at Big Red Studio in Corbett, Oregon.
Bonus track: I’m Going to Say It Now —Erin Saoirse Adair (Ottawa, Canada) Erin has an album of Phil songs coming out on December 19, 2015. She writes about social justice issues, particularly on the topic of gender violence. Track was recorded at the Gallery Studios with Dean Watson. Organ is by Don Cummings, sax by Richard Page, drums by Michel Delage. Her website is: http://www.erinsadair.com
Executive Producer: Shannon Hammock
Cover designed by José Manuel Noriega Fernández