Music Review: A red delicious CD

Just a Few Bad Apples, George Mann and Julius Margolin, 2003, Running Scared Productions

Folk music is the foundation of any people’s culture. For political activists, it is the food that is needed to keep the struggle alive. It is in this spirit that we welcome the fourth CD by George Mann and Julius Margolin: Just A Few Bad Apples.

George and Julius’s first two solo CDs, Young and Younger (1999) and Miles to Go Before We Sleep (2000), were welcomed by folk music admirers and audiences who have heard Mann and Margolin perform at protest rallies and elsewhere. A third CD, Hail to the Thief: Songs for the Bush Years (2001), is a compilation of like-minded artists who understand the dangers the Bush-Cheney administration pose to working people everywhere.

A little history on these two: George Mann is a youngish folk song writer and singer who exhibits the great musical talent that exists within the working class. His fellow academic and professional music friends often talk about this talent, but Mann has given it substance. Julius Margolin is a veteran of merchant marine struggles who also worked within the entertainment industry as a union activist. While Margolin had often wanted to commit his many political and cultural thoughts to print, and to even make recordings, he never thought such dreams would ever become a reality.

The marriage of Mann and Margolin has created a musical wonderment that can only happen in the creative, political movements of the left, labor, and progressive struggles.

The title of the new CD, Just a Few Bad Apples, comes from the comments of the illegitimate president himself when he referred to those who are not in agreement with his program as a “few bad apples.” The CD cover makes it clear that, in the view of Mann and Margolin, it’s the other way around: it’s Bush, Cheney and Rumsfeld who are the bad apples.

The 12 songs on the album are dedicated to “struggle, peace and triumph,” in the words of the singers. It is clearly stated that the CD was “recorded under union contract.”

New songs on the album include “Your Money and Your Power,” “A Union Man,” “This Beautiful Child,” “Portadown,” “Great White Father,” “Enron, Worldcom, Bush Corporate Thieves,” and the cover song. Other selections include “Come and Go with Me to That Land,” “Hard Times Come Again No More,” and “Dark as a Dungeon.”

This new CD and the previous ones are available on-line. The artists make one request: “Support Independent Music. Don’t Copy This Album.” We agree!

– Eric Green (pww@pww.org)