Fred Gillen Jr.

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Review of BIG GREEN HOPE MACHINE CD, by Michael Ruby, from Chronogram, 10/09

Review of BIG GREEN HOPE MACHINE CD, by Michael Ruby, from Chronogram, 10/09
Damn, folk music is a beautiful thing. Hudson Valley guitar slingers Steve Kirkman and Fred Gillen Jr. grasp this fact in a fundamental way; they wrap their arms around it in a big bear hug. Hope Machine began as a “friendly tribute” to Woody Guthrie, but somewhere along the way it became something more. It became an extension of Woody’s ideas and attitudes—with Kirkman and Gillen taking the wiry little wonder’s spirit forward into the now. Sure, they cover “Pastures of Plenty” and “Deportees” here, and they rock up “I’ve Got To Know,” but, with the aid of pickers like Abby Gardner, Matt Turk, and Lisa Gutkin, they create new songs, too.


Gillen’s “Sing Sing Sing” embodies a sentiment Pete Seeger, who is given more than one shout-out on the album, would second; Kirkman’s “Folk Singer” is wise enough to poke fun at itself and every other shlub with a six-string and a dream; and “Martyrs of the Native Nations” turns “Will the Circle Be Unbroken” into a newfangled anthem for old heroes. Gillen and Kirkman have perfect voices for this kind of stuff—tuneful without being too flavorful, plainspoken without being bland. The backing is sweet, tasteful, and tangy enough to bear repeated listenings—especially Gutkin’s whispering fiddle on Scott Urgola’s “My God.” It’s good to know that, with Woody gone and Pete recently turning 90, there’s someone ready to carry it on. Hope Machine is a beautiful thing. www.hopemachine.com.

Tuesday, October 20th 2009

  01/3/2017     Decades
  10/27/2015     radio
  10/22/2015     radio
  08/17/2015     radio
  07/12/2015     radio
  02/16/2015     radio
  02/16/2015     radio
  02/15/2015     radio
  02/13/2015     radio
  05/27/2014     Hot Rod Pacer CD
  04/21/2014     Hot Rod Pacer CD
  04/21/2014     Hot Rod Pacer CD
  02/26/2014     Teaching at a Songwriting Workshop
  05/20/2013     Wage Love T-shirts
  05/20/2013     Wage Love T-shirts
  11/21/2012     Pete Remembers Woody
  11/10/2012     Silence Of The Night Video by Michael Patrei
  10/6/2012     Pete Remembers Woody
  08/17/2012     August 2012
  08/16/2012     New CD
  07/17/2012     FULL BAND CD RELEASE SHOW!
  04/25/2012     Silence of the Night
  03/30/2012     Car Talk
  02/8/2012     "Has shared The Stage With"
  10/25/2011     Free Songs
  09/19/2011     Grand Slambovians!
  09/13/2011     Wolf Benefit
  08/8/2011     Movie Score
  05/11/2011     Live In The Heartland Of America, With Catherine Miles
  05/11/2011     Truth
  04/13/2011     Live In The Heartland Of America, With Catherine Miles
  04/7/2011     Live In The Heartland Of America
  03/8/2011     Live In The Heartland Of America
  02/2/2011     Live CD Coming Soon
  11/5/2010     Match Against A New Moon
  03/23/2010     Review of Match Against A New Moon by Catherine Michaels of WHUD 100.7FM
  02/6/2010     Hope Machine Song Of The Year
  11/30/2009     Blog
  11/15/2009     Phil Ochs
==> 10/20/2009     Review of BIG GREEN HOPE MACHINE CD, by Michael Ruby, from Chronogram, 10/09
  06/17/2009     Coney Island Review by Skott Freedman at Indie-music.com
  06/10/2009     Clearwater
  02/5/2009     BIG GREEN HOPE MACHINE
  10/28/2008     Busy November
  08/12/2008     Coney Island Review
  07/13/2008     Coney Island Review By Skott Freedman at Indie-Music.com
  01/11/2008     Lakota Declaration Of Independence
  08/13/2007     Pete, Matt, Tom
  05/19/2007     Clearwater Festival June 16 & 17
  04/26/2007     Spring
  01/22/2007     Cost Of Freedom
  10/23/2006     new e.p.
  04/17/2006     Gone Gone Gone
  12/15/2005     Studio News
  11/22/2005     Thank YOU!!!
  11/13/2005     NERFA
  09/26/2005     September
  08/22/2005     Downloading Fred Gillen Jr. Songs
  07/14/2005     Peace
  05/28/2005     Anthony daCosta, Alan Bigelow
  03/29/2005     the studio
  12/3/2004     Booking
  11/15/2004     Some great music in the Catskills!
  10/13/2004     getting music
  06/20/2004     September 11
  03/1/2004     Tribes Hill
  12/5/2003     Happy Holidays!!!
  06/8/2003     Tribes Hill
  05/27/2003     Recording to start soon
  05/5/2003     Ireland
  02/11/2003     New Residency
  01/13/2003     No News
  12/30/2002     Spring Tour
  11/25/2002     Hope
  11/16/2002     Tour of Germany
  10/30/2002     Free Live Music coming soon!
  10/14/2002     The Man
  08/12/2002     Review of Grace
  05/31/2002     Johnny Miles
  05/21/2002     Utica Rocks
  04/21/2002     Pierre
  03/22/2002     Brooklyn show
  03/14/2002     March 11, 2002
  03/11/2002     Music
  02/25/2002     German Tour
  02/13/2002     GRACE!
  01/8/2002     Songwriting
  09/19/2001     Sept. 13, 2001
  08/6/2001     Grace
  06/4/2001     Half Moon Sober Festival
  05/14/2001     Message to the kids in Utica


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