Pin It

CD Review: Tao Seeger Band 

Tao Seeger Band Rise & Bloom
(2010, Independent)

Tao Rodriguez-Seeger has the roots. Heck, he’s Pete Seeger’s grandson. But thankfully, the Hudson Valley-to-New Orleans transplant isn’t precious about it. Too many new, younger old-time acts handle their songs like they’re Christmas ornaments, shiny and fragile. What’s worse, they apply the Berklee chops and replace all the mystery with antiseptic mastery. Not so on the debut release by the Tao Seeger Band.

Rise & Bloom (co-produced by Jono Manson and featuring fellow travelers Laura Cortese, Jacob Silver, Robin MacMillan, and Jason Crosby, along with special guests such as John Popper and Jim Weider) is built on bedrock stuff like “Wild Bill Jones” and “Twelve Gates to the City,” but Rodriguez-Seeger folk-processes the snot out of such chestnuts. If his cussing on “Reuben’s Train” seems gratuitous, his good humor on “Train on the Island” is beyond winning. What’s more, this record rocks, and not euphemistically. The guitars are plugged in and loud, making the opening salvo of “Sail Away Ladies” roar instead of romp.

The 38-year-old erstwhile Mammal does justice to his lineage with Pete’s “Bring ‘Em Home” and “Well May the World Go” (in Spanish and English), but the heart of this fine, gritty effort is the gentle, too-true take on the then-and-current economy, Jim Garland’s “I Don’t Want Your Millions, Mister.” The hushed aspects of the song contrast with the big thunder elsewhere and make the message—I want my job, not a handout—even clearer.
Tao Rodriguez-Seeger will perform on Saturday, January 8 at Club Helsinki in Hudson in a star-studded musical revue including George Kilby Jr, Railroad Earth veterans Andy Goessling and Johnny Grubb, and Hot Tuna mandolinist Barry Mitterhoff.

click to enlarge cd-tao-seeger-band.jpg

Speaking of...

  • Review of Tao Seeger Band's "¡Rise and Bloom!".


Subscribe to this thread:

Add a comment

Readers also liked…

Hudson Valley Events

submit event

Latest in Music

Related to Music

  • Opera in Phoenicia Park
  • Opera in Phoenicia Park

    With its open-air format, where attendees picnic in the parks and watch the stars emerge during performances, and its $5 youth tickets, the Phoenicia International Festival of the Voice is the perfect place to share with children a love of music and theater, in a variety of styles.
    • Jul 25, 2016
  • More »

More by Michael Eck

Hudson Valley Tweets