This Train Still Runs!
(4 out of 5 stars)
"What a treat! After ten years this new joint Holly Near and Ronnie Gilbert (the former Weaver) album had been long awaited! "This Train Still Runs" is a marvellous collcetion of nineteen songs, all recorded live! The stirring title track, composed by Janis Ian and Jess Leary, fittingly opens this diverse celebration of Ronnie's seventieth year, and one know immediately that one's in for a a fine hour of vocal and lyrical brilliance.Some of the songs are just so beautifully sung and so beautifully harmonized, such as the touching "Music In My Mother's House" and the poignant "Home Is Where The Heart Is", which won't fail to move the listener (and which was earlier recorded by Holly with Mary Travers of Peter, Paul and Mary and which was chosen by Warner Brothers as the single to promote the trio's "Lifelines" album). The latter song ("Home Is Where the Heart Is"), "Marie", Mimi Farina's "In The Quiet Morning" and Janis Ian's "Through The Years" are perhaps the most moving in this eclectic collection.Also, as one can expect from this much-loved duo, there are here a number of humourous and not to mention catchy songs such as Near's "It's About Time" (it's about love) and Gilbert's "Agitator". And, of course, Harburg and Laine's "When I'm Not Near The Girl I Love", with its amusing and clever lyric and Holly's and Ronnie's inimitable vocal delivery, will doubtless succeed in bringing a warm glow and comic smile to the listener.The closing medley of "When The Stars Begin To Fall", Woody Guthrie's "Pastures of Plenty" (a firm favourite of mine ever since their 1983 rendition on "Lifeline") and Phil Ochs' uplifting "Power And Glory" is quite something, a suitable and subtle questioning of patriotism andwhat it means, both good and bad.Of course, if you're already a fan of Holly Near and Ronnie Gilbert you won't need to read any reviews, but, if you're new to them you've found sometihng that really will surprise and delight."
(4 out of 5 stars)
"I bought this CD when Near and Ronnie Gilbert performed at a local church a while back. Little did I know that it pretty much preserved the magic of the evening.Each song is a gem with Near and Gilbert weaving (pun intended) their vocal magic. The real treat, though, is the closing three-song medley featuring Wood Guthrie's "Pastures of Plenty" and Phil Och's patriotic "Power and the Glory." What a way to close a show! And what a pleasure to hear "Power and the Glory" sung by two such beautiful voices.I realize that as she gets older, Ronnie Gilbert won't be touring much anymore. You'd be prudent to grab this gem now and enjoy her live performance while she's still around. This is timeless music for everybody. And if you get a chance to see them perform live, take the whole family (no violence or profanity). You won't be sorry."