Two years in the making, this fund-raising CD created by Appleseed Recordings and the national Give US Your Poor organization at UMass Boston’s McCormack Graduate School brings together established musicians, socially committed actors and currently or previously homeless musicians in a collection of mostly exclusive new recordings that address the ongoing crisis of homelessness in America. There are frequent collaborations between the stars, who donated their time and music, and their formerly or currently homeless brethren on songs that often reflect on existence without guaranteed lodging, food, and the simple necessities of human existence.
There is a broad spectrum of artists, genres and styles represented on "Give US Your Poor" that makes the CD a moving, engrossing, and enjoyable, as well as educational, experience. Among the high-profile performers:
• Bruce Springsteen and Pete Seeger join together for a second time (they also share a track on Appleseed’s new "Sowing the Seeds" label compilation) to perform the folk classic, “Hobo’s Lullaby.”
• Jon Bon Jovi represents the “arena rock” camp, pairing up with the formerly indigent Mighty Sam McClain on the rousing, gospel-inflected “Show Me the Way” (not the Peter Frampton song).
• For the AAA/Starbucks crowd, there are new tracks from the latest sophisticated, jazz-influenced and popular female singer-songwriters – Madeleine Peyroux and Sonya Kitchell – and from their more established musical sisters, including Bonnie Raitt (performing a rowdy version of “Walking the Dog” with bluesman Weepin’ Willie Robinson), Natalie Merchant (surrounded by six veterans of homelessness), Michelle Shocked, and Jewel.
• Other contributors include bluesman Keb’ Mo’, the famed political/gospel a cappella group Sweet Honey in the Rock, acclaimed “kid’s music” rocker Dan Zanes, newly revived indie band Buffalo Tom, opera singer Mario Frangoulis (performing Randy Newman’s “Feels Like Home”), and actor/activists Tim Robbins [PARENTAL/AIRPLAY ADVISORY – Tim’s track contains a profanity) and Danny Glover.
• You will also hear music by and read about those whom society has tried to ignore, such as teenager Nichole Cooper and 11-year-old Kyla Middleton, formerly homeless military veterans Michael Sullivan and Weepin’ Willie, and outspoken poet/advocate Julia K. Dinsmore, whose two contributions are read by Danny Glover.
The 28-page booklet accompanying Give US You Poor not only contains “the story behind the stories” of these songs and performers, but also presents an array of heartbreaking and infuriating statistics:
• In the course of any given year, 3.5 million Americans are homeless.
• Homeless shelters in 27 major cities turn down 37% of individuals and 52% of families due to overcrowding.
• 41% of all homeless are families
• One out of four homeless is a child under the age of 10.
• 43% of the homeless work.
About APPLESEED RECORDINGS:
The independent, internationally distributed Appleseed Recordings was founded in 1997 for the purpose of keeping traditional folk music alive, giving voice to significant new musicians, and providing an outlet for worthy projects such as "Give US Your Poor." Almost all of the profits raised by this release will be donated to organizations benefiting the homeless; Appleseed donates a portion of its profits from many of its CDs to environmental, human rights, and other progressive organizations.
About Give US Your Poor:
The Give US Your Poor mission is to create a revolution in public awareness, dispel myths and inspire action towards ending epidemic homelessness in the United States. It works to affect change at the policy level, engage volunteerism and contributions at the individual and corporate levels through media and education, and to funnel support to partner homeless organizations. Give US Your Poor, established in 1999, is part of the University of Massachusetts Boston’s McCormack Graduate School of Policy Studies. Most of the profits from this CD will go to the Give US Your Poor Campaign to End Homelessness, a not-for-profit organization. CDs are available to homeless organizations at cost for use as fundraising tools.