Sunday, January 28, 2007

In praise of Phil Ochs

Who? The chances are that you won’t know the name. Why would you? After all, his heyday (such as it was) was way back in the folk scene of the 60’s. But, for me, Phil Ochs is ripe for rediscovery and long overdue some serious respect. I’m no biographer (no shit Sherlock) so I’ll direct you to Wikipedia for the lowdown. But, in brief, he was once expected to be bigger than Dylan, he released some of the most powerful protests songs of his era, he recorded with African musicians at least 10 years before Paul Simon’s Gracelands and once bought his entire audience milk and cookies (I’m talking hundreds of people here) after a show...

After his 'one man and guitar' protest days he went off on a completely different tangent and created rich orchestral pieces as a backdrop for some pretty dark lyrics. Check out 'Rehearsals for Retirement' in the context of what was going on in his real life and you'll see what I mean. Listen to the music (why not start off with The War is Over - as appropriate today as it was back in the 60's - and see how we go from there). Read the bio. Spread the word. The man deserves it.

1 comment:

The People's Press said...

More info on Ochs also available here.