I'd like to thank Paxton for making it to 70. Many didn't. Understandably, some of them who didn't are on his mind and subsequently in the music of this latest release, his firs studio recording since the Grammy nominated 'Looking For The Moon' in 2002.
Paxton long ago gave up using the headlines for his songs, and with the greater part of his songwriting legacy behind him, he can relish, as he so obviously does on these fifteen tracks, in the pure joy of writing, playing, and above all, living. All of which, I'm very happy to say, find fruition here.
The first of those fruits is the celebratory opener How Beautiful Upon The Mountain. Quoting Isaiah for its hard not-to singalong-chorus, it harkens back to many of his best songs by easily bringing us into his thoughts—here recalling the activists he stood alongside in the 60's; the marches to Selma and the White House.
Love in all its guises is the theme of Comedians & Angels and three beauts, the bluegrass waltz Dance In The Kitchen; from 1994's comeback Wearing The Time is the down home simplicity of The First Song Is For You ("Every time I start it's still the same / When I move my pen it writes your name"); and the bluesy I Like The Way You Look are the kind of songs that bring a smile to your face. And If It's Not True a third person revelry filled with Mediterranean breezes and sunshine, is laced with the humor Paxton has given us over 40 years running. From 1986, Bad Old Days and the new title track, return us to the memories we all turn back to, either to pull us from our doldrums, or to share with friends. Consider Comedians & Angels as a letter from an old friend, reminding us, that no matter the ups and downs, the gripes and gaffes, life is good.
Edited by: David N. Pyles
Copyright 2008, Peterborough Folk Music Society.
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