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MP3 Ken Waldman - As the World Burns

old-time fiddle/banjo + political poems: as the subtitle says--9 tunes, 26 sonnets, mischief

15 MP3 Songs
FOLK: Political, SPOKEN WORD: With Music

October 2006, in time for the midterm elections, Ken Waldman has released a sixth CD, As the World Burns. Its subtitle: 9 tunes, 26 sonnets, mischief. The CD is meant as a companion to the full-length poetry collection that is released by Michigan''s Ridgeway Press (also named As the World Burns, it''s likewise available through CD Baby).

Waldman, a 21-year Alaska resident, has lived in Fairbanks, Juneau, Sitka, Nome, and Anchorage. A former college professor, he has traveled widely through the state. A grant-winning, much published writer with six full-length poetry collections, he is also an accomplished old-time fiddler, who plays both archaic Appalachian tunes, and also originals he has composed in that style.

This sixth CD expands on Waldman''s unique mix of poetry and fiddling, and shows why he''s one of the most compelling artists touring today. Totaling a little more that 35 minutes--as opposed to the huge 135 minutes of his previous double-CD--this one packs a punch. With the exception of a single Waldman original, Chena, which is a fiddle/banjo instrumental only, the work is not just political, but provocatively far-ranging--weighing in, it seems, on virtually everything topical.

Also, the CD marks another change for Waldman. To more accurately reflect his live shows, where he''s accompanied by whoever''s available (and, most likely local) from a long list of terrific string band musicians, he''s given a single name for all these rotating groups: The Secret Visitors. On this disk, Waldman is accompanied by a favorite Secret Visitor, Jordan Wankoff, a multi-instrumentalist from Chicago, who plays on the two most recent CDs, and occasionally joins Waldman on the road.

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