Stick it to the man!
It’s painful to say it but the younger generation are lazy and good for nothing. In the wake of 9/11, it took Bruce Springsteen to chronicle the events and the impact it had on America whereas no one has come close to capturing the war in Iraq, the war on terror and every other war that is going on in the way that Neil Young managed. And to that list you can add Buffy Sainte-Marie, who seems to be as relevant and topical today as she was back in her 1960s heyday. If you haven’t heard of her before the thought of a heyday may seem far fetched but whereas commercial pop history may not rank Ms Sainte-Marie at the top of the hit parade, her talent still shines through.
What immediately strikes you about ‘No, No, Keshagesh’ is that it’s a fresh and modern sound, no doubt a youthful hand has been applied in the production of her first record but it works. There have obviously been a number of artists from a prior era working with more cutting edge producers in an attempt to present a more youthful appearance but it doesn’t always work, see Jones, Tom. In that sense, it is certainly not unusual for old and new to collide but it tends to feel slightly forces. This version is more like a remix, leaving Sainte-Marie performing at a comfortable level as she picks holes at the greed of corporations and big business.
Okay, in this current climate, that’s an easy target to aim for but the lyrics pull together the threads of American history that this artist has always been close to whilst bringing it up to date resulting in a track that is a winner. The crowd effects unsubtly added into the background will age the song quite a bit and their absence would not have diminished this track but as it stands, it’s a great release from someone who probably hasn’t had the respect she deserves.