Immigrants & Other Americans
A LOVE STORY. Avraham came to these shores from Odessa. He begat Calman. Calman was a fruit peddler, like Avraham. Calman begat Steven. Steven wrote a love song. You hold that love song in your hand. It might bring tears to your eyes. Or it may boil your blood. In this love song, you won't encounter scenes of moonlit walks, of hands held together, of misty eyes meeting. This love song doesn't mention Avraham or Calman or Odessa. But it is about them. It is about their descendants, psychic descendants, fellow pilgrims 'in search of salvation.' They came to these shores, too, from Ecuador, from Peru, from Africa, to 'the Tejas country north of the Rio Grande.' This is a song about all of us. This is a true love song, a song full of wistfulness and anger born of devotion to a nation of reinvention and an ideal under attack from homegrown militia hordes who 'say they want their country back.' 'Well,' Avraham's grandson declares, 'it's my country too.' Mednick has an anthemic answer for the lynch mobs. 'Stand up and take them on...It makes no difference if they have the guns...They wave their flags and call us names. It's time to stand up...And take them on'. Love takes a side. "Say shit 'bout immigrants. Their names end in vowels too.' Steve Mednick is a true believer in love. He sees a fate for 'the liars and the anglers [who] are flooding the airwaves. Their fall will come. Just wait and see.' Love music is the best protest music -- and it is music, not just words. Ushered in by the ominous electrified E minor chord that opens this collection, through the hard-driving arrangements and the quieter piano-anchored moments of reflection, bridged by Bill Beckett's lyrical fills, an assembly of souls descends. Not just Emma Lazarus' beckoned masses. But Cropper, Petty, Dylan of course, Rivera, Wood, Knopfler ... this love music, these 'mystic chords of memory,' stay with you long past the final fadeout. Steve Mednick has invited America to a reckoning. Not to tea. Paul Bass, The New Haven Independent.