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