Audiobook Reviews: The Storm King: Stories, Narratives, Poems: Spoken Word Set to a World of Music AND Pete Seeger: Storm King – Volume 2

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The Storm King: Stories, Narratives, Poems: Spoken Word Set to a World of Music
Written and Performed by Pete Seeger
Edited by Jeff Haynes
Ⓟ 2013, Hachette Audio
2 Hours, 20 Minutes
NON-FICTION | SPOKEN WORD | MUSIC | FOLK MUSIC

Pete Seeger: Storm King – Volume 2
Written and Performed by Pete Seeger and Others
Edited by Jeff Haynes
Ⓟ 2016, Hachette Audio
2 Hours, 18 Minutes
NON-FICTION | SPOKEN WORD | MUSIC | FOLK MUSIC

 

Pete Seeger was an iconic American folk musician whose work was at its zenith during the Civil Rights Movement. His signature song, “We Shall Overcome” was a reworking of the gospel song, “”I’ll Overcome Some Day”” (Charles Albert Tindley, 1900); but there is more to Pete Seeger than that one song at that one period in U.S. history. This pair of offerings from Hachette Audio gives listeners a glimpse into the man, his influences, his causes, and his legacy in a format that highlights his contributions. Pete Seeger himself narrates anecdotes set against background music; and interstitial pieces (a poem, a song, an interview with a notable person) are cut between the stories. There are guest performers, and the whole is edited into a sort of highlight reel of Pete Seeger’s life by Jeff Haynes.

For those who do not know or remember Pete Seeger, the Storm King set is a pleasant introduction to the musical folklorist; and may encourage a deeper look into his biography, his catalogue of works, and the Clearwater Festival. For those who do know/remember him, it’s a nice nostalgia piece. The whole of the works have a slow, evenly paced rhythm that reflects the late singer’s aesthetic. It doesn’t seek to dazzle, but to gently inform and entertain the listener. It has a “hippy” or New Age feel to it, a contrast to the violence of the Civil Rights Movement and the turmoil of modern politics. Those who groove on NPR will probably like this a lot.

The two audio offerings seem to actually be one work arbitrarily split into two titles. The first volume is the stronger of the two; by virtue of setting the tone, and introducing all the performers other than Seeger himself. The second volume feels like a continuation, and while not less well produced, feels unsupported without the first volume.




OTHER:
I listened to a digital download copy of The Storm King: Stories, Narratives, Poems: Spoken Word Set to a World of Music AND Pete Seeger: Storm King – Volume 2 (Written and Performed by Pete Seeger; edited by Jeff Haynes) which I purchased from Audible.com. I receive no monies, goods, or services in exchange for reviewing the product and/or mentioning any of the persons or companies that are or may be implied in this post.

Pete Seeger: Storm King – Volume 2 (Written and Performed by Pete Seeger; edited by Jeff Haynes) is a finalist in the 2017 APA Audie Awards in the Original Works category.

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