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Papa Dish
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All photographs: Phyllis Wrynn (Mama Dish)

Brooklyn Blues/Québec Muse

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Brooklyn Blues / Québec Muse

The Ballad of the Brothers Krongard

Impeachment Is Too Good For Them

The Joe Wilson Rag

They Can't Keep Their Eyes Off Chavez

The Joe Hynes Blues

The Ballad of John Kennedy O'Hara

Doctor Bruce Comes to Town

No More Years

Livin' in a Red State with the Blue State Blues

The September 11th Song

That Howard Dean

I'll Never Use a Dollar with Reagan's Face

Come to NYC

Hey, George, It's Time to Pack

Double Bush Blues

The Last Voyage of the Condoleezza Rice

Riding Around in My Hummer

The Ballad of John Ashcroft

Connect the Dots

The Indictment of Ken Starr

Some Kind of a Game

Who's Gonna Pay the Bill?

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This album represents recordings which were done between 2002 and 2010. Some elements of the music were conceived as early as 1968. One was actually written in 1978, while traveling over the Tappan Zee Bridge in the back of a van. I was on the way to open a show for my friends Sonny Terry and Brownie McGhee at a club in Woodstock, New York.

Most of this music, though, was written in Brooklyn and Québec, my geographical muses, close to the time they were recorded.

I am not sure what inspires me so much almost exclusively in those two locations, but it must be the proximity to the sea. Having grown up in the mountains, I have always been drawn to the sea. If the Midwest is America's Heartland, New York harbor is its greatest valve, and still carries all the inspiring power and energy that Walt Whitman wrote about so eloquently. And the Saint-Laurent, the great estuary that drains the Great Lakes and opens up to its majestic gulf, holds a power over me that can best be described by the music I have written in its valley.

The synchronicity of my son Pete Tridish giving me one of a new generation of recording devices in 2000, and the "Stolen Election" followed by the tragedy of September 11th, opened up the most productive time of my life as an artist. It was political protest that was always my greatest motivator. As a political songwriter, no period called for action as much as the last decade. With the constant collaboration and support of my beloved Mama Dish, the musical drive was so strong, the issues so imperative, that music spilled out of me and into recording devices, even beyond the political songs. This collection is from that musical overflow.

There is a certain unevenness about this album. Since it was recorded in two different countries, at different locations, with different recording devices and different instruments it is unlike the studio recordings of today. Even with my modern digital recorders, it is more like the field recordings of early folk music collections. I am perfectly happy about that because my identity as an artist has always been as a folk musician.

Papa Dish