John’s new CD, “Side Effects,” Released on August 5th

John’s new CD entitled “Side Effects,” was released on August 5, 2008. The CD was recorded on Fraternity Records, with assistance from the same outstanding back-up musicians and vocalists who accompanied John on the two tracks included on last year’s “Fraternity Records’ 50th Anniversary CD.” The album includes eleven newly written and recorded songs, plus, from the “50th Anniversary CD,” is an updated version of the 9/11 song, “Remember Me,” and “The Glory of Their Times.” (“Glory” is a tribute to the veterans of World War II, which was introduced on Oscar Brand’s “Folksong Festival,” and which John performed at the televised 2007 Memorial Day tribute for the Intrepid Air, Sea, and Space Museum in New York City.) All in all, thirteen songs–a bakers dozen!
The album contains an eclectic mix of songs inspired by the folk process, including an original urban blues (“Understand the Blues”), a Broadway parody (“No Time for a Song”), a nostalgic remembrance of the many late folksingers who live on in our memories (“The Folksingers’ Sweet Bye-and-Bye”), and “See Alice,” a humorous tribute to the men’s product which (to paraphrase the old deodorant ad) truly “takes the worry out of being close.” Other songs address issues both topical and timeless, ranging from the war in Iraq (“Joshua”) to unrequited love (“Shorthand for Good-Bye”). “The Gift” is an elegy to the many challenges that enable us to reap the benefits of reaching beyond ourselves, and “All Counts for Twenty” is a rueful smile to the benefits of taking the long view. “Social Insecurity” is a humorous analysis of the late (but not) lamented plan to privatize Social Security, and “The Second World War Home Front Movie Blues” salutes those “heroes” of the silver screen whose celluloid bravery inspired us all as kids. On a somber note, “The Ghosts of Columbine” looks at one family’s tragic descent from teen-age sweethearts in the days of “doo-wop” into the personal hell of their adulthood.
As with his last CD, “Side Effects” will be available through CDbaby, and may soon be sampled here as well on the CDbaby website.
As discussed more fully in the “Hear John on the radio” post, Walt Graham, host of WSHU-FM’s “Acoustic Connections,” played the following three songs from Side Effects” on his September 13, 2008 show: “The Gift,” “Social Insecurity” and “Remember Me.” (Walt’s most recent three shows are available for downstreaming by going to the WSHU website.) Please watch this space for updates.

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