Radio Free America
The English think they are free. They are free only during the election of members of parliament. Jean Jacques Rousseau Thoughts on Radio Free America Who is Andy Wilkinson? That was my thought in 1983 when I saw Andy's name listed along with mine among the finalists accepted to 'New Folk,' an annual songwriting competition at the Kerrville Folk Festival. Since that time, Andy and I have become great friends. We have shared the stage at folk festivals, songwriter showcases, worthy causes and worthless causes too numerous to count. Over the past 21 years, I have watched Andy grow and develop as one of West Texas' finest artists. Ok, now you know I'm biased. Having said that, I have to tell you that Andy's new CD, Radio Free America, is incredibly good. It is, in my opinion, his best work yet (better than Charlie Goodnight). The songs are some of his best, the arrangements brilliant, and Andy's vocals have never been better. The recording includes an incredible, almost implausible, cast of West Texas artists (below), and a book that holds an out of the ordinary surprise. ....but it's the message of Radio Free America that blew me away. Radio Free America speaks directly to a generation that once transformed it's idealism into humanitarian triumphs but now falters in hopeless despair. Driven by righteous indignation, the children of the sixties once believed they could build a new world. However, now they seem fearful as they mourn expired dreams and despair over a world where justice is subordinate to power and greed. Andy's anthology pushes the envelope as it challenges us to deal with the unfinished business of our generation. It's safe to assume that you will never hear Radio Free America on Clear Channel Radio, but I'm betting that once you really listen to this CD, a spirit within you will awaken to say. 'Oh!' Social issues? They're everywhere--the homeless, the hopeless, war and peace, day-to-day struggles--but Andy's overriding message is one of hope, as expressed in, My Brother's Harmony and Rock Me Away. For me, Radio Free America is a Rousseauian plea for the children of the sixties to return to that optimistic spirit that would dare to be--- and by extension make others--- free. I'm honored that Andy invited me to play a small role in the creation of this inspiring work. I hope that you will enjoy Radio Free America as much as I have and that you will share it with others along your journey. Namaste! Brad Carter Yellowhouse Music.