Wednesday, October 01, 2008

Wednesday Coffeehouse: Holly Near & Ronnie Gilbert

I do not separate my music from my heart nor do I separate my ideas from my daily life. I open my self up to learning as much as I can about humanity and this mysterious life experience, but I do not relate to political work as a series of "causes." Moment by moment, I integrate what I learn into my personal life, personalizing my politics. It is from this personal place that I write my songs. ~ Holly Near

Song writer, singer, peace and civil and human rights activist, teacher, author, feminist, producer, actress, philosopher—if you’ve not encountered Holly Near you have missed very unique and dynamic human being. You can listen to just a bit of her music at this coffeehouse. To really meet her, may I suggest that you go HERE and HERE and maybe even HERE.

A singer since she was 12-years-old, in 1947 Ronnie Gilbert joined Pete Seeger, Lee Hays and Fred Hellerman to form The Weavers. When the group was blacklisted during the McCarthy era, she expanded her solo career into acting and singing. You can learn more about her HERE.

In the early 1980s, Holly Near coaxed Ronnie Gilbert out of musical retirement, The result is the grand performance we experience at today’s Wednesday Coffeehouse:

Stormy Medley

Started Out Fine

Harriet Tubman

Two Good Arms (Sacco and Vanzetti)

The Kid’s Song

No More Genocide

Singing with You (Singing for our Lives)

In case anyone is interested, all of the audios I post are from my own CDs.

Stick around. Listen to more music. Have another cup of coffee. You’ll not find a coffeehouse as cheap as this anywhere else.

Previous Coffeehouses featured:

Leonard Cohen

Bob Gibson & Bob Camp

The Kingston Trio

Carmen McRae, Jack Kerouac, Allen Ginsberg, Steve Allen, Dave Brubeck, Del Close & John Brent

Judy Collins & Arlo Guthrie

Paul Simon & Art Garfunkel

Theolonious Monk & Lenny Bruce

Carly Simon

Summer of Love (1967)


  1. Thanks for this, Nick!

    I hadn't heard of Ronnie before, but I had the pleasure of seeing Holly Near in concert during the build-up to the Iraq war/occupation. I love the song, Singing With You. Holly is the real thing, through and through.

  2. I have heard of neither before, but I enjoy their music. Thank you, Saintly Nick.

  3. I had not heard of them but I love how well you have introduced to them. Wonderfully interesting post Nick, many thanks.

  4. Very nice post! A most enjoyable time was had sittin' in your lil coffeehouse and listening to some new tunes. THANKS! =)

  5. "The Kid's Song" is adorable! The kid could have been me when I was 10!

  6. I had no idea you were doing "coffeehouse" posts like this. Where have I been? (she shamefully said). I love it!