1. This Land Is Your Land
Background vocals: Josh Ritter
2. I Won't Back Down
Background vocals: Michaela Anne
3. On The Banks Of The River Where I Died
Background vocals, guitar, fiddle: The Mastersons
4. One Love
Background vocals: Lizzie No
5. Holy War
Background vocals: Sean Watkins
7. Won't You Be My Neighbor?
Background vocals: Miwi La Lupa
All music and vocals performed by Anthony D'Amato except where otherwise noted. All songs recorded, produced, and mixed by Anthony D'Amato. Mastered by Alan Silverman at Arf Productions.
ABOUT THE PROJECT
It all started in The Hague. I was backstage getting ready for the first night of a European tour when the Dutch venue crew turned on a live broadcast of the inauguration. The rest of the trip was spent responding to questions about American current events that had no good answers. Dressing room conversations often centered around feelings of frustration and helplessness at being so far away from home during such a tumultuous time. These songs are my attempt at channeling that anxiety and energy into something productive and positive.
I wanted to bring together a group of artists I admired and create a collection of political music for a cause I believe in, but I also wanted to push on the idea of what exactly makes a song political. The tracks here are a mix of covers and originals reimagined for a year in which kindness and empathy have become their own form of political statements. I'm not sure "Won't You Be My Neighbor?" has ever served as a protest anthem, but in these days of refugee bans, ICE raids, and border walls, I can't hear it as anything else.
The collection opens with "This Land Is Your Land," but perhaps not the version you're used to hearing. I used Woody Guthrie's full 1940 lyrics, in which he denounces walls and bears witness to the struggle of the poor. "As they stood hungry, I stood there wondering if this land was made for you and me," he pondered. We don't teach those verses in school, but I think they're important. Being patriotic means holding the country you love accountable to its own ideals and asking those tough questions.
All profits from sales of this collection will be donated to the IRC (International Rescue Committee) to help fund their efforts aiding refugees around the world. Everything was recorded at no cost in bedrooms and home studios around the country, the art and packaging was done by hand at home with recycled cardboard sleeves, and all the guests contributed their time and talent out of the goodness of their hearts. I want to thank them and thank you for picking up a copy of this CD and contributing to the cause. It may seem like a small gesture in the grand scheme of things, but every little bit counts in the fight for what's right.
See you around the neighborhood,