Tom Pacheco in the Press:
Tom Pacheco Rebel Spring Album Review
Sing Out Magazine Vol. 49 #3
Frog’s Claw 002
Rebel Spring, veteran singer-songwriter Tom Pacheco’s latest album is a compelling set of mostly-topical songs presented in acoustic-oriented folk-rock settings. Pacheco leads off with the title song which sets the scene for what’s to follow as he observes that much is wrong in the century and looks to his fellow artists - not just songwriters, but painters, poets, even web site pamphleteers - to bring forth the important issues being missed by the mainstream media. In “North Dakota,” Pacheco tells the bleak story of a missing girl who he’s almost come to know via the reports and ‘missing’ posters that he’s seen, and then in “God and Flag and Country,” he sings about John McCall, a soldier killed in the war in Iraq. Then, in “Not in My Name,” he sings directly to George W. Bush and condemns his war policies as an attack on the true spirit of America. In songs like ”Six Bucks an Hour” and “The Last Drop,” Pacheco sings movingly about the working poor and the environmental devastation wrought by greedy corporations in partnerships with uncaring customers.
Perhaps the most interesting song on the album is “Woody and Jack,” in which Pacheco tells the stories of Woody Gutherie’s final cross-country trip in the company of a young Ramblin’ Jack Elliott and then his long hospitalization as his body succumbs to Huntington’s disease. Pacheco based the song on conversations that he’d had with Elliott and Pete Seeger as well as a reading of Joe Klein’s biography of Guthrie.
Many of the songs on Rebel Spring are dark. Their darkness, though, is a reflection of our times, helping us understand the contemporary human condition. Perhaps, also, these songs provide a glimmer of light in the darkness. - MR