CD Review: Paula Boggs Band “Songs of Protest & Hope”

Posted: April 12, 2017 in Music
Tags: , , , , , ,

Paula Boggs Band | Songs of Protest and Hope (Live)By day, Washington State-based singer-songwriter Paula Boggs has spent many years working inside of the corporate world. But no matter how impressive Paula Boggs’ personal and corporate achievements have been, she still finds time to allow for her artistic side to shine through.

As a singer-songwriter, Paula Boggs has released three albums: 2010’s A Buddha State of Mind, 2015’s Carnival of Miracles and 2016’s Songs of Protest & Hope. It is with that newest release that Boggs and her band are currently touring.

Paul Boggs’ newest release of Songs of Protest & Hope features not only Boggs on guitar, ukulele and vocals, it also features Mark Chinen on guitar, banjo; Tim Conroy on keyboards, accordion, melodica, trumpet, vocals; Tor Dietrichson on percussion, vocals; Jarrett Mason on bass, vocals; and Sandy Greenbaum on drums. Together, the members of The Paula Boggs Band create Folk Rock that lives up to the spirit of the songs that had been created back in the sixties during an earlier time when the nation was experiencing the same type of political unrest that seems to be happening right now.

For her new release, Paula Boggs created her new EP with her band live in the studio at Empty Sea Studios. The inclusion of the audience responses throughout the EP gives the songs a feeling of real urgency as Boggs sings about issues that are sure to resonate on a very personal level with today’s audiences.

Songs of Protest & Hope from The Paula Boggs Band begins with one of the most notable tracks from back in the sixties. It was during that era leading up to the U.S. involvement in Vietnam that the tune “Get Together” from The Youngbloods had become an anthem for the youth of America. Paula Boggs and her band took “Come Together,” added a little more folk influence to the Folk-Rock song and slowed the pace down just a little. This created a slower, easier version of the tune. This keeps the spirit of the track alive while still making the song feel fresh for a new generation to discover.

The next track on the Songs of Protest & Hope release keeps the Paula Boggs Band in the same time period as they cover the song “Woodstock” from Joni Mitchell. The major difference that the listener will find when listening to Boggs’ version of the tune is that her version is guitar-based while Mitchell’s version was piano-based. The slightly more upbeat version from Boggs gives the track a new life and it gives the track more energy, as well. Just like “Get Together” before it, “Woodstock” finds the Paula Boggs Band creating a track that keeps the spirit of the original song alive. And because of the fact that Boggs has a vocal style that contains a very unique quality to it just like Mitchell’s voice is rather unique, Boggs’ vocal delivery on “Woodstock” is a rather good match of Joni Mitchell. Together, “Woodstock” and Get Together” take the listener back in time to another era where some of the music is just as relevant today as it was back then.

With the remaining three tracks on the Songs of Protest & Hope release from the Paula Boggs Band, Boggs and Company focus on some of her original material. The first of these original songs is “Edith’s Coming Home,” a track that contains lyrics about a woman whose final days are made more difficult because of the Alzheimer’s that is afflicting her. “Edith’s Coming Home” brings Paula Boggs’ jazz influences more to the forefront than the previous tracks. The band creates music that contains a much stronger groove that is reminiscent of the music that would have been found backing up beatnik poets. But with Paula Boggs’ vocal delivery, the song would feel right at home with a band like the Manhattan Transfer.

The next track of “Look Straight Ahead” finds Paula Boggs revisiting material from her earlier release of A Buddha State of Mind. While the track about trying to avoid seeing the bad things that are happening all around was relevant back in 2010, the track feels even more relevant today. Together, the entire ensemble helps to bring the song to life while staying true to the original studio version of the track.

The new release from the Paula Boggs Band comes to a close with the track “Get Along Song”. Like several other tracks included in the Songs of Protest & Hope release, the track “Get Along Song” makes a strong plea for people to find a way to live together. Although set in modern times, the track’s sound and message once again sends the listener back into the sixties when civil unrest was tearing the country apart.

Songs of Protest & Hope from the Paula Boggs Band is one current release that feels both fresh and dated at the same time because of the overall messages that are contained within it. But because of the political climate of the world today, it’s great to see someone from today creating the same type of messages that would have been welcome fifty years ago.

With this release, Paula Boggs proves herself to be a strong singer-songwriter as well as an individual that cares about very strong issues that haunt today’s youth. Songs of Protest & Hope from the Paula Boggs Band makes good use of two sides of Paula Boggs’ personality as the singer-songwriter side and the activist side come through in this release.

For more information, check out Paula Boggs’s website.

To check out a little bit of Paula Boggs’s sound, watch this live performance of “Get Along Song“.

 

 

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Comments
  1. Paula Boggs says:

    Thanks for reviewing us and we can’t wait to share our tunes with Cleveland, Detroit and St. Louis this month! 🎶🎵

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