Books: Give Us Your PoorWhy I am recommending this book:
Well it's actually a CD but such an awesome CD that I am recommending it this week instead of a book. For anyone who has a pulse, let alone a heart and a genuine concern for the real struggles of other people, this beautiful compilation is one not to miss.
This compilation that spans genres and generations shines its spotlight on homelessness, showing that the problem remains as pervasive as ever, though it has been supplanted by other crises as the issue du jour. In collaboration with the Give Us Your Poor organization at the University of Massachusetts Boston, the Appleseed folk label has paired artists like Jon Bon Jovi with the down-home soul of Mighty Sam McClain, Bruce Springsteen with Pete Seeger (the seminal influence on Springsteen's recent Seeger Sessions) and Michelle Shocked with Michael Sullivan, her longtime friend and a formerly homeless Vietnam vet. Natalie Merchant, Bonnie Raitt, and Dan Zanes are among the other artists who team with singers who are or have been homeless, while actors Danny Glover and Tim Robbins provide spoken-word testimony. The songs of Randy Newman inspire very different treatments, with Madeleine Peyroux investing "I Think It's Going to Rain Today" with a piano-ballad intimacy, and Mario Frangoulis giving "Feels Like Home" an operatic grandeur. With the essays and extensive annotation accompanying these recordings, almost all of them previously unreleased, no one who encounters this package is likely to remain unmoved.