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Leading U.S. Anti-War Singer-Songwriter to Visit Ireland

category national | anti-war / imperialism | news report author Friday February 09, 2007 22:59author by blogman - awi Report this post to the editors

David Rovics to play benefit gigs for Anti-War Ireland

Not since Bob Dylan went electric and Phil Ochs succumbed to his demons has America had a “protest singer” and songwriter as compelling as David Rovics.

Now Rovics, the favoured musical voice of the newly revived US anti-war movement, is doing a short tour of Ireland from February 18th to 26th – and splitting the proceeds with peace activists here.

“David Rovics is a guy George W. Bush would probably like to clamp in chains at Guantanamo Bay,” says BBC DJ Andy Kershaw. (Rovics has a song about Bush called “Moron”.) Cindy Sheehan calls Rovics “the peace poet and troubadour for our times”.

Rovics is visiting Ireland later this month and will play benefit gigs for Anti-War Ireland in Cork and Dublin.

Rovics is so important, and dangerous, because he doesn’t produce dour agit-prop, but witty, passionate and tuneful songs that are ripped straight from the headlines (real and imagined), from “Halliburton Boardroom Massacre” and “Who Would Jesus Bomb?” to “Falluja”. The last, told from the point of view of an Iraqi insurgent, features a powerful rap by Professor D of the Dope Poet Society – showing that Rovics is prepared to transcend comfortable, guitar-strumming clichés.

He is also prepared to mock his left-wing listeners, with songs like “I’m a Better Anarchist than You” and “Vanguard”, which skewers Trotskyist pretensions. Irish audiences will love the affectionate “Saint Patrick Battalion”, about the Irishmen who fought for Mexican freedom in the 1840s.

Rovics, at 38, has released a brilliant collection of CDs on indie labels over the last decade. True to his collectivist principles, however, he makes his songs freely available in high-quality MP3 format via his website.

“Feel free to download these songs,” Rovics writes on his Soundclick.com page. “Use them for whatever purpose. Send them to friends, burn them, copy them, play them on the radio, on the internet, wherever.

“Music is the Commons. Ignore the corporate music industry shills who tell you otherwise. Downloading music is not theft, you’re not hurting anyone, I promise.”

Rovics happily accepts donations online and tours nine months a year, performing a wildly entertaining and inspiring show. He plays at Crane Lane in Cork on Tuesday, February 20th; the Bull & Castle in Dublin’s Lord Edward Street on Wednesday, February 21st; and in Lurgan, Sligo, Belfast and Limerick over subsequent nights. (See davidrovics.com for details.) Tickets for the Dublin gig, a part-benefit for Anti-War Ireland, are priced at an extraordinary €10, or €5 for unwaged fans.

Despite his grueling schedule, Rovics has had time for a fascinating personal story of his own, including the terrible death of a close friend who tried to intervene in a gang shootout in 1993 – a trauma which inspired Rovics to pursue his musical career with greater dedication. He is available for interview prior to and during his Irish tour.

Pete Seeger himself puts it simply: “Listen to David Rovics.”

author by AWI (Dublin branch)publication date Sat Feb 10, 2007 22:12author email info at antiwarireland dot orgauthor address author phone Report this post to the editors

Anybody who wants to download and listen to Rovics music can do so by visiting his site at www.davidrovics.com. He encourages people to download free, though, if you feel like putting a few quid towards the bread on his table, you can also buy CDs via the website.

And having listened to his tunes, if you want to hear the man live, charge into the Dublin gig will be 10 euros (waged), 5 euros (unwaged). The gig in Cork is, I think, 10 euros at the door.

Paul O'Toole is doing support in Dublin - a stalwart of the anti-war movement in Ireland and a guy with a few tunes of his own about Shannon!

Related Link: http://www.antiwarireland.org
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