Sing Out!

March 02, 2004

Sing Out
Few in the folk community are unaware of the renegade, radical folk poet Chris Chandler.

Since he is not a musician himself he traditionally popped up spewing poetry with a variety of musician accompanists or having their performance provide counterpoint. He finally met his match with the powerful, radical singer-songwriter Anne Feeney.

Feeney traditionally focused on political music. To accent Chandler's poetry readings on this recording she frequently entwines pop and folk songs with his raves and rants. Together they fuse like sodium and chlorine into salty substance, and the recording goes down like a strong, salt-encrusted Margarita. It teases you piquantly, hits you hard, and leaves your head spinning.

Chandler, who coauthored several of the poems with Phil Rockstroh, uses current events, advertising slogans and wonderful twists of pop phrases as the gist for his rhythmic revolution. As a duo, Chandler and Feeney are highly entertaining. If you agree with, or at least can swallow their politics, this CD is a blast.

My favorite is "I Dreamed I Saw St. Augustine (Florida) / Swimming to the Other Side" in which Feeney interweaves one line quotes from Pat Humphries' inspiring song and others with Chandler's and co-author Lisa Stolarski's poetry. Chandler possesses a remarkably fertile, inventive mind, even if he does frequently lack judgment or discretion. Feeney's understanding of Chandler's psyche and skills contributes mightily to this recording. Since the entire CD was recorded live at various venues, sometimes it sounds studio-quality and sometimes it's off-mic. Chandler and Feeney provide a deliciously cynical skewed look at our American Empire

by Rich Warren, Sing Out!

updated: 16 years ago