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Peggy Quotes

Undervalued as a songwriter - especially in the shadow of MacColl, Heading for Home is but one of scores of valuable songs that Seeger has written, many grafted onto or from the living tradition. Her themes are love and betrayal, human solitude and need for affection, as well as the broad sweeps of socialist, feminist values and ideas. I looked across the amber light of the stone, timber and whitewash Market House, heard the incessant, sleety rain on the roof and witnessed an audience enthralled, left to sing on their own and all heading for home with thoughts and emotions drawn from deep, deep wells. Great gig, Peggy! - Francis Devine, Irish Times

Peggy Quotes 2

On the exceptional Odd Collection, Peggy offers up 18 original songs - and one spoken word performance - that reveal her to be a perspicacious commentator on both personal and political issues and a gifted composer, lyricist and singer.
- Mike Regenstreif

 

Bring Me Home Reviews

BMHOME: DIRTY LINEN REVIEW


#141 May-June 2009

Having celebrated her 70th birthday with an all-star concert at London's Queen Elizabeth Hall in 2005, which was recorded and released as Three Score & Ten, Peggy Seeger Shows that she is not slowing down.  With the release of Bring Me Home, Seeger completes a three-CD trilogy that includes Heading for Home (2003) and Love Calls Me Home (2005) with a dozen traditional songs, nine previously unreleased, that give voice to the poor, , the homeless, women seeking sexual identity and death row prisoners. Mostly accompanying herself on five-string banjo, guitar and English concertina, Seeger is strengthened on several tunes by her sons, Calum MacColl (guitar,  harmonium and background vocals) and Neill MacColl (guitar, autoharp, mandolin, and background vocals).  The family theme is carried over by the title track, which pays tribute to Seeger's half-brother, Pete, brother, Mike;late husband Ewan MacColl; and current partner Irene Pyper-Scott.
Craig Harris

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BMH review Rock 'n' Reel

(May/June 2008) edition of the UK's "Rock 'n' Reel" magazine:

"Bring Me Home is an object lesson in how to engage an audience. These days it's maybe an audience of the mostly already enthralled, but for anyone new to her work, this CD is a good place to start. It's an album on which Peggy provides a master class in vocal delivery, nuance and musical setting.

An accomplished guitarist and banjo player, Seeger is accompanied by a small bunch of fine musicians who deliver some stunning results, with "Napoleon" and "Newlyn Town" both being contenders for "definitive version" status. And whilst much of that is because the arrangements are both elegant and restrained, how she sings them is the key. She can fly solo, too -- the unaccompanied "Peacock Street" showing that ability is undimmed by the passing of time.

The CD booklet provides Peggy's brief take on the songs. Towards the end of her notes she discloses that she is taking a break to teach song writing. It's a way of passing the torch along, which is what Seeger has always done. Even in her seventies she still has plenty of gas in the tank."

-Jim Gillan

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Bring Me Home (Appleseed)


The third in a trilogy of traditional folk songs recorded in England with the children of her late husband, Ewan MacColl, Bring Me Home features Peggy Seeger's expressive, unadorned vocals in stark arrangements that compliment the power of old tunes like Peacock Street, Hang Me and Molly Bond.

She sings those without accompaniment, but tunes backed by Seeger's banjo, guitar and concertina are equally compelling and dramatic.

Her son Neill's contributions on autoharp, guitar, and mandolin add some lovely touches, as does his brother Calum's guitar and backing vocals.

It's hard to pick out highlights from such a rich collection of performances, but I've got a soft spot for her version of Dink's Tune.

By the time Peggy Seeger completes this 13-song cycle with her original title track, you've experienced a revelatory canon of American folk music.

Times Colonist, Canada, April 20 2008

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Bring Me Home

By Eric Thom
Toronto's "Exclaim" music magazine


It’s hardly a stretch to realise that Pete Seeger’s half-sister, and the former wife of the late Ewan MacColl, would sing the same traditional music held high by her revivalist bloodline. What is surprising is that, at 72 years of age, the New York-born songstress remains every bit the powerhouse performer she was in her heyday in the ’50s and ’60s. Her clear, crisp vocals are commanding and her prowess on the five-string banjo and guitar is nimble and equally spellbinding; she’s accompanied by autoharp, harmonium and hints of slide guitar across various tracks. Representing the third volume of her Home trilogy (trad songs learned in her childhood), these 13 time-polished gems remain integral to her outlook on life, and the strength and friendship they have provided her over the years translate like bedtime stories for another generation. From the rollicking, banjo-driven “Roving Gambler” to the uplifting “Little Birdie,” Peggy Seeger quickly distinguishes herself from the current barrage of olde-timey revivalists. She’s the real deal and she owns these songs. Her passion and confident delivery are downright inspirational and calming. (Appleseed)

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Peggy Seeger, Bring Me Home, Appleseed

ERIC ALPER Review

Linking the legendary folk family of America - Pete and Mike Seeger are her brothers - with the British MacColls - she's the widow of folk revivalist Ewan and mother of Neill and Calum, both featured on this release - Peggy Seeger has long captured the darkness and betrayal of life's tragedies in song.

Seldom have I heard her do so as eloquently as on Bring Me Home, the final component of a trilogy of recordings made with her sons.

Like Jean Ritchie, Seeger removes all adornment from timeless Anglo-American folk songs.
With minimal accompaniment, Seeger interprets The Wagoner's Lad, Molly Bond, O The Wind and Rain and 10 other songs that have journeyed across the ocean.

People have been singing some of these songs for hundreds of years; because of people like Peggy Seeger, they will be sung for hundreds more.

This is what folk music is all about. I know I'll keep an eye open for the previous two volumes in this series.

Eric Alper
Director of Media Relations and Label Acquisitions
KOCH Entertainment Distribution

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KIDMAN REVIEW


This is the final installment in Peggy's "home trilogy" of recent recordings for Appleseed, following 2003's Heading For Home and 2005's Love Call Me Home. It consists for the most part of newly-recorded versions of some of Peggy's favourite traditional (or near-traditional) folksongs from the US and UK, to which 12-track sequence is appended the beautiful, poignant, reflective self-penned title track, which forms the most fitting conclusion to (and consummation of) the trilogy that one could imagine. It's a deeply personal composition (how could it be otherwise, with lines like "The first time ever I saw his face, his heart became my own"?), and yet its sentiments and experiences also can be seen to have an embracingly universal import; this aspect, together with its very simplicity of expression, renders it profoundly moving.

As for the traditional material, well these new renditions are uniformly superlative and often intriguing; not only do we get here the voice of a master interpreter of these songs of many years' standing, one who loves and knows the songs in depth and clearly truly understands them, but Peggy's also a lady who has immense experience of actually thinking about these songs and carefully choosing the ideal versions for her to perform. Not least with regard to the tunes she uses: a case in point is Molly Bond, which Peggy sings unaccompanied here, to a tune which conveys the intrinsic eeriness of the ballad and is commendably far removed from the significantly sweeter "usual" melody, while conversely her chosen tune for Newlyn Town is sweeter and more plaintive than the "usual" one for this broadside.

In fact, some of the tunes Peggy calls into service here were new to me, and these prove especially intensely rewarding and refreshing. Peggy's choice of songs is an interesting one by any standards, containing as it does variants of the fairly well-known (Home Dearie Home, Hang Me, Roving Gambler, Little Birdie) alongside other material which, though not exactly obscure, can be regarded more as the province of the hardened folksong buff (the Texas holler Dink's Song and the industrial complaint Let Them Wear Their Watches Fine, for instance). Aside from Peggy's own excellent performances, the songs are also blessed with beautifully considered yet spontaneous-sounding down-home-style backings courtesy of Cary Findley, Calum and Neill MacColl, John Herrmann, Rosemary Lackey and Vollie McKenzie (in varying permutations), and a further contributing factor in the success of the whole enterprise must surely be the sympathetic yet upfront production by Calum himself. Not to mention the ingenuity of the at times uncannily simple instrumental arrangements (special mention for the ghostly drone-enhanced concertina-and-harmonium backing for O The Wind And The Rain and the unusual use of slide-guitar on the Napoleon ballad). This is an exceptionally lovely release; in fact, the whole trilogy has proved eminently treasurable - thanks, Peggy, for everything.

It's really unfortunate that Peggy Seeger never got the same attention as her half brother. I know people will call this blasphemy, but I think they are fairly on par: both genius songwriters, genius players, and, well, essentially play the same songs. Younger than Pete by 16 years, and Mike by a few less, Peggy was born into music: musical parents, musical brothers, and a legacy to hold up. She did well, let me tell you. Bring Me Home is the third in the "Home" trilogy: three albums worth of songs she learned when she was young, and re-imagined. She doesn't rely on fancy technology to make her music sound good. Most of the tracks star only her and her 5 string banjo or acoustic guitar, just how folk should be. "Hang Me" holds banjo playing that is a step up from phenomenal, and "Molly Bond" is strictly acapella, showcasing Seeger's slightly shaking voice which only adds more color to these recordings. I honestly cannot get enough of this!

The John Shelton Ivey List # 313
Shelton's Single of the Week: "Peacock Street"


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All Music Guide

Review by Ronnie D. Lankford, Jr.

While Peggy Seeger was active as an artist as early as the 1950s, and while she played a vital role within the traditional faction of the folk revival, she seems to have recorded infrequently until recent years. Beginning in 2000, however, she has released a steady stream of albums on Appleseed, a folk label aptly suited for her bare-bones, traditional style. Many of Bring Me Home's songs, "Dink's Song," "Wagoner's Lad," and "O the Wind and Rain," will be familiar to fans of traditional music. As to why she has remained committed to these golden folk oldies, she comments in the liner notes: "These old songs...I wouldn't know how to live without them. I don't choose the songs for these albums - they choose me." In fact, Seeger's style and choice of material has changed very little since the 1950s (and she has always clung tighter to strict tradition than her half-brother Pete Seeger). The arrangements are very simple on Bring Me Home, acoustic guitars, banjos, and harmonium, allowing Seeger's vocals to hold the center. What makes Bring Me Home more fascinating than the average traditional album is that Seeger and a few other musicians proceed with relaxed confidence: they easily fall into the moment, allowing each song to unfold naturally. This easy-flowing confidence makes Bring Me Home easy to like. (4-1/2 stars out of 5)

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01/30/08

Reviewed by - Bob Olsen

Bring Me Home represents the conclusion of Peggy Seeger’s “Home Trilogy” of CDs (see Heading for Home and Love Call Me Home…both available from Appleseed).

Seeger has long been a staple of American and British Folk Music. Her first recording was released by Folkways Records in 1955! “Bring Me Home” is a haunting collection of songs that feature minimal instrumentation (mostly banjo, guitar, and concertina), and a couple of a cappella cuts. Seeger’s voice is a bit rough around the edges, but I think this serves to make the songs seem more real and immediate.

The dozen songs on the CD are mostly traditional versions of timeless situations…deserving chaps headed for the gallows (“Hang Me” and Newlyn Town”)…wandering lovers (“Dink’s Song”, “Roving Gambler”)…lost love (“Molly Bond” where the young girl is mistaken for a swan and slain by a bowshot from her lover (used to happen all the time in days of old). You have to check out Seeger’s liner notes for the old chestnut “O the Wind and the Rain”…”Sister drowning sister, brother stabbing brother, fathers burning their daughters at the stake, mothers strangling their babies…ah, family life!”

The CD closes with the lovely and very personal title track…a gentle tribute to her extended family including her parents, half-brother Pete Seeger, brother Mike Seeger, husband Ewan MacColl, and her current partner, Irish vocalist Irene Piper-Scott. Backing musicians include her sons Callum and Neill. “Bring Me Home” is a solid effort from one of the most respected folk musicians. At 73, she is still going strong with plans for a couple of CD releases in 2008, a concert tour, and academia (she’s a visiting professor of songwriting at Northeastern U in Boston.)

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Midwest Record

from Chris Spector

 

PEGGY SEEGER/ Bring Me Home: Back to tying up her home trilogy after a detour with her great birthday concert recording last year, the grande dame for the first family of folk music does not disappoint. Once you pass 70, you might not be as concerned with being an engineer as you once were, but you are concerned with comfort in your surroundings. The view of Seeger's vision of home rounds out the trilogy nicely. When taken with the two preceding sets, this is a pretty grand contemporary folk statement. With a gentle message and touch, Seeger knows that love can take you home again, even when some of the songs here make you want to run as far and as fast as you can from there.

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First comment on Bring Me Home from Mike Harding on BBC Folk On 2: "I love Bring Me Home - it is so so good - like old friends, good music, a warm fire and a cold night outside. More power to your elbow!"

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