Appleseed has built its reputation as a label unafraid of politics, a place where an artist can speak his or her mind without fear of censorship. More than that, however, the label has now made it to the ten-year mark, proving that doing the right thing doesn't have to be financially foolish. Sowing the Seeds: The Tenth Anniversary, then, is a celebration, highlighted by the fruits of Appleseed's labors, brightened by a handful of new tracks and spread out over two discs. The names, from Pete Seeger to Ani DiFranco, reveal a label deeply connected to tradition like Smithsonian Folkways, but also one with an ear to the ground for new voices. Some folk and rock fans will no doubt be interested in the new recording of the "Ghost of Tom Joad" with a gritty Bruce Springsteen vocal and narration by Seeger. There are also exclusive tracks by Donovan ("Universal Soldier") and DiFranco ("Waste Deep in the Big Muddy"). The bulk of the collection, however, includes previously recorded tracks by Eric Andersen, Judy Collins, Kim & Reggie Harris, David Bromberg, Bruce Cockburn, Lizzie West, and the White Buffalo, Tom Paxton, and many others. Sowing the Seeds: The Tenth Anniversary makes a solid argument that folk and folk-derived music is alive and well in the 21st century, and more than that, the music makes for a fine celebration.
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AllMusic Review by Ronnie D. Lankford, Jr.
Track Listing - Disc 1
Track Listing - Disc 2