JUST EARTH: Singing for Justice, Peace, and Sustainability on our one and only planet!
Singers like Pete Seeger, Joan Baez, Holly Near and so many other great performers who sing about what they believe in and about what's going on in the world have always inspired me. In the 1970's, when enough people helped me realize that I had a good voice and could sing, I began using it to sing out in the same tradition as these beloved movement singers. With the help of friends along the way, I've enjoyed singing and leading songs at hundreds of gatherings since then, from labor picket lines to rallies for the homeless, from Occupy movement demonstrations to anti-war protests. Through it all, I've witnessed the important role that singing has in the long struggle for social justice. My most recent outlet for providing "music with a message" was with the group "Just Earth." Jamie Fota, Len Webb, Diana Porter and I made up the group, with other musician friends stepping in now and then. Jamie, a fellow Quaker, is also a lead singer, songwriter and guitarist, who's resonant voice and energetic rhythms enliven audiences. She has recorded several albums, including "Out of the Silence" (https://www.amazon.com/Jamie-Fota/e/B000APN9C6) and "Willow Morning." (https://www.reverbnation.com/willowmorning) Len is a a former music teacher who plays trumpet, keyboards, harmonica and percussion, while also providing vocals ranging from bass to tenor(!), and Diana is an all around accomplished singer and musician, known in Cincinnati as a founding mother and influential leader of the MUSE, Cincinnati's Women's Choir, who frequently provides arrangements for our songs. Our CD, Just Earth: One Planet, One People, One Future, was released in Jan. 2017, featuring mostly original songs by myself and Jamie, but with a few great cover songs that also speak to compelling issues, including climate change, the need for a local food economy, and the struggles of poor and working people. Please listen to the samples below and consider downloading or purchasing a copy!
Songs on Just Earth CD 1. World Turned Upside Down . 2. Why Do We / Power 3. Litany 4. Rediscovery 5. Take Time 6. Dance, Dance, Take a Chance 7. I Want to Know 8. The Farmer is the One 9. Song of the Spirochetes 10. Sing for the Climate (Do it Now) 11.Hawk and Owl 12. Teach Peace 13.Born to Love 14. It's the Race to the Bottom 15. Put the Old Ways on the Run
Just Earth's recording of Paulette Meier's original song, "The Race to the Bottom," provided the soundtrack for this video montage. The song was written to protest the privatization of public sector jobs and the current attack on public employee unions in statehouses around the country. The video, produced by documentary filmmaker/activist Barbara Wolf, includes photos of public employees on the job and photos of protest rallies in Wisconsin and Ohio in 2011, when thousands gathered to oppose Republican legislation cutting unions' rights to bargain collectively for public workers.