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Haymarket Orphans Review

by Gary Schwind

The rear cover of this album gives a pretty good idea of what this CD is all about. It is as much a manifesto as a bio of the artists. Perhaps most telling are the two opening sentences. "Positive social change happens slowly. It's not just an ideal of the 1960's."

That certainly is true. Charles and Jenna Haymarket certainly carry the ideals of the 1960's with them.

This is a CD of protest music. I mean old-fashioned, say-exactly-what's-on-your-mind protest music. The Haymarket Orphans don't hold back anything with their intense lyrics. Check out these lyrics from "Flag Song."

The flag's been ripped down and shredded, and used as a filthy, bloody rag, by those who do evil in its name, and want your freedoms banned.

See what I mean? And the whole CD is filled with lyrics like that.

The instrumentation on this CD is pretty simple: just acoustic guitar and percussion. Charles Haymarket plays with a lot of energy. His style reminds me of Ani DiFranco. It may be simple, but it's also frenetic and powerful.

I'd be lying if I said this album is for everyone. But then, the Haymarket Orphans clearly didn't set out to make an album for everyone. This one is for people who like: folk music in the tradition of Woody Guthrie, strong but simple instrumentation, and unabashed exercise of the freedom of speech.

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Haymarket Orphans


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