There are few working musicians who have worn the title of rabble-rouser more convincingly and energetically than Anne Feeney.
The folk singer-songwriter from Pittsburgh spent decades touring the country (42 states in all) and the world singing songs of social and political justice at union rallies, protests and in clubs. Since 2010, she’s been battling lung cancer, which is in remission.
Along the way, she’s shared stages with Pete Seeger, Billy Bragg and Loretta Lynn, and made many friends and admirers, some of whom have assembled for the new benefit tribute album “War on the Workers.” Curated by her daughter, Amy Sue Berlin, it features Peter Yarrow (of Peter, Paul and Mary), Holly Near, Dan Bern, Anti-Flag, Emma’s Revolution and more doing political/protest songs.
“I had seen artists include politics in their show before,” says Anti-Flag frontman Justin Sane, “but Anne Feeney was the first artist I encountered whose set was unapologetically and ferociously political. That set had a major impact on me as an artist. I remember thinking to myself, ‘This is the kind of musician I want to be. This woman is punk as hell!’ And she still is!”
The titles alone tell a big part of the tale: “Have You Been to Jail for Justice,” “National Healthcare Now!,” “How Much for the Life of a Miner,” “The Corporate Welfare Song” and “For Gene Debs.”
Mr. Yarrow states in the liner notes, “For decades, I’ve held Anne in great esteem: for her determined heart, her passionate commitment to justice and the way she’s lived the messages of the folk tradition (just as Peter, Paul, and Mary did) putting her life and her presence out there to speak about and sing about what needs to be shared.”
Rounding out the album are Trout Fishing in America, Evan Greer, Rebel Voices, Connie & Anna Cohen, John Elliot, The Hot Nut Riveters, Chris Chandler, Peter Wilde & Nancy Silvers, Brian Cutean, Collean Kattau, and Eric Schwartz. Proceeds from the album will benefit Ms. Feeney.
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