Heavy Duty: Ballads of the Unfree
NOW AVAILABLE: 1st February 2018
Please order through SHOP (menu above) £8.50 inc Postage. (Paypal)
Downloads available shortly. (Spotify, Amazon etc)
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Preview sample track here: (unmastered) Privateer by Dave Gibb.
These are dark songs about the land of the free. For over 200 years, the USA has struggled to realise the ‘self-evident truths’ set out in the Declaration of Independence – the constitutional rights to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness, equality under the law and respect for diversity. These rights become all the more relevant the more they are threatened. On both sides of the Atlantic progressive ideals now appear to be challenged by powerful forces: fundamentalism of many shades, global corporations, press ,TV, and other media, and even the state itself, all of which once helped to guarantee those hard-won freedoms. ‘Self-evident’ truth has been an early casualty,and we are bombarded with fabrications and lies from all sides. These songs, mostly written by Americans, show another side of the American Dream – compassionate but gritty, unflinching but sympathetic, provocative but informative, idealistic but grounded, and with the clear ring of truth.
These are heavy duty ballads, often in minor keys, telling of war, grief, slavery, piracy, rape, murder, addiction, poverty, prison, execution, regret, resistance and revolution. Some are bright, some dark. Some are hopeful, some offer little hope, and some offer no hope at all. In difficult times, most people want entertainment – up-tempo, optimistic, good time music, – and there are few opportunities to sing the tough, dark songs, but this album is intended to serve as a reminder of the ideals which made America great.
These are tragic songs of pity and terror which, by highlighting injustice, become songs of anger and of hope. Every season has an ending. Hope dies last.