Classic Labor Songs
(Smithsonian Folkways)
Paul Robeson starts with “Joe Hill,” both the ultimate appetizer and a chance to check your bass component. “We Shall Not Be Moved,” “Bread and Roses” and “Solidarity Forever” are among the songs people are more likely to have heard in person than on record. They all have a story and, as usual, Smithsonian Folkways encloses a detailed booklet. A force behind this collection is Joe Glazer, performing a few of the newer entries. “Talking Union,” performed by Pete Seeger and the Almanac Singers in 1955, adapts a witty blues style from the ’20s. The resolve in these voices should remind today’s unions why they exist.
—Doug Taylor

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