Marc Silber, "Goin' To a Better Land"


Cover photograph: ©2005 Thea Bellos
  1. Nobody's Business
  2. Corrina
  3. Black Gypsy Blues
  4. Pearlee Blues
  5. Great Change
  6. Frankie and Albert
  7. How Can a Poor Man Stand Such Times and Live?
  8. The Imbecile Daughter of King John the Simp
  9. Cried Last Nite Blues
  10. Matchbox Blues
  11. Turn Your Money Green
  12. I Feel Just Like Going' On
  13. The Dyin' Hobo
  14. Fishin' Blues (with David Grisman)

Guitar Nation.com CD Review

"Going To A Better Land", Marc Silber, Berkeley, CA. Review by Norman L. Beberman, GuitarNation.com Staff Writer

The 20th Century/1900's in America ushered in an era of social currents that alternated between wild-eyed optimism, &, at times, dark-eyed pessimism. As the US turned the corner from the 1800's into the 1900's, we left behind stodgy Victorian notions in favor of non-conformist, playful things, like ragtime music, for instance.

The Industrial Revolution brought factories and mass-production, the invention of the automobile, light bulb, radio and phonograph instantly changed the lives of almost every American. Other significant periods and events did likewise - World War I, Roaring 20's, Great Depression of the 30's, World War II in the 40's, Baby Boom years of the 50's, manned space flight, lunar landing, Civil Rights Movement, Viet Nam War & social unrest in the 1960's, Arab oil-embargo in the 70's, Ronald Reagan in the 80's, and Bill Clinton, Internet-Tech Revolution and the dotcom era of the 90's.

Musically, the most significant period was probably from the 1920's-1950's. The birth of jazz, spread of the blues, the beginning of American roots music borne of the Great Depression and the early rock 'n roll of the 50's are the foundations of modern American musical history.

In the "Baby Boom Years" following WWII and the rise of consumerism, notions of disposability and planned obsolescence crept into American society. Music was "commoditized"; the music industry constantly looked out for new "talent" to sell to an unsuspecting public while, at the same time, discarding music and artists that were not commercially successful.

The problem was the sheer greatness of some of this music that was not commercially successful reflected genuinely unique periods in America life, such as the songs of desperation of the Great Depression of the 1930's.Fortunately, a handful of musicians recognized that this music was the foundation of what came to be known as "Americana" or "Roots Music". While Ry Cooder's name and first album are the first things that most music fans think of in terms of saving and reintroducing American Roots and blues music, there is one name that has been known to an inner circle of musicians since the 1960's as someone who has dedicated his life and his music to preserving and keeping our great musical traditions alive & his name is Marc Silber.

Marc's second CD, "Going To A Better Land" is, like his first CD "Test Tracks I", a must-have CD of musical pleasures and musical treasures. Whether evoking the legendary Leadbelly, masterfully singing and playing Blind Alfred Reid's "How Can A Poor Man Stand Such Times and Live?" or in his original instrumental composition "The Imbecile Daughter of King John the Simp", Marc puts on a musical showcase of epic proportions. His fingerstyle guitar work, already legendary, seems to have taken a subtle turn so that it is hard to believe the number of parts being played at once. His blues-voice has never sounded better.

What unmistakably comes through is that you can tell Marc means every word and feels every note. Even the title conveys the pain that gave rise to the blues and music that came from the Great Depression while expressing American die-hard optimism of the Okies leaving the dustbowl of Oklahoma for a better life in the West. Like a large boulder being thrown into a very small pond, Marc's new CD, "Going To A Better Land" is destined to send waves well beyond the San Francisco Bay Area.