Hard Hard Times
This record is a collection of hard-hitting, yet lyrically and musically elegant social and political songs, written by Connecticut songwriter Rob Raroux. The topics of the songs include war, curtailment of civil liberties, workers' rights, the hypocrisy of right-wing radio talk shows and the so-called 'Religious Right', and the shameless abandonment of the victims of Hurricane Katrina. The musical styles range widely from folk to blues to bluegrass to jazz, and include up-tempo foot-stompers as well as touching, elegant ballads. A sonic sampling of the sound bytes is instructive to get an idea of the breadth and depth of this collection of 13 original songs which tackle the political issues of the day, in the style and tradition of such folksingers as Pete Seeger, Woody Guthrie, and Bob Dylan. Speaking of all this, Rob has recorded with no less than three master guitarists who have recorded with the legendary Bob Dylan. Included on this particular record is the great steel guitarist Buddy Cage, who recorded on the classic Dylan masterpiece, 'Blood on the Tracks', and who is famous as a member of the New Riders of the Purple Sage, who regularly opened for The Grateful Dead during the 70s. Buddy appears on 'Sago Mining Disaster', rendering a masterful performance. The rest of the album is similarly chock-full of many gifted artists from the Northeast folk circuit and beyond. If you're a fan of political folk music who is also troubled by current developments in the country and the world, you owe it to yourself to check out this record!