Woody Guthrie once said "A folk song is what's wrong, and how to fix it." One big wrong is that there's a lot of preventable suffering in this world, and one way to fix it is for the folks at the top to stop taking all the money.
The last time wealth was as unequal as it was just before our latest financial crisis--what some call the "Lesser Depression" or the "Great Recession"-- was just before the Great Depression of the 1930's. We're right back to it now, and for far too many people the pain of unemployment, desperation, or injustice continues.
Back in the day, photographers in the employ of Federal programs like the Farm Security Administration brilliantly and poignantly documented life in those hard times, now digitized and archived online by the U.S. Library of Congress.
All my adult life I've aspired to create songs that tell stories and lyrics about love and fear, resignation and resurgence, in the tradition of Leonard Cohen and Bruce Springsteen. Guthrie himself left a legacy of over 3,000 songs, many of which powerfully testify against injustice or bear witness to the needless infliction of pain on working people.
With "Hard Times Hundred & One" I decided to marry up my admiration for that musical tradition with the need I saw to bear witness to the continued preventable suffering of these hard times (and to call out a whole lot of self-serving happy bullshit from those pulling the strings).
The goal: 101 original Americana songs inspired by photos from the Great Depression that do justice to the images, the stories, and the urgency that justice be done, then and now.