Rod MacDonald

Live at the Main St. Cafe: Homestead, FL 9/11/03

  • AllMusic Rating
    8
  • User Ratings (0)
  • Your Rating

AllMusic Review by

Laurie Oudin, in her introduction of Rod MacDonald at the Main St. Cafe in Homestead, FL, says that no better songwriter could have been chosen to perform on this particular date: September 11, 2003, two years to the day after the 2001 terrorist attacks. MacDonald, a former resident of New York City since moved to Florida, justifies this specific praise by including in his set several topical songs that touch on the state of the U.S. in the wake of the attacks. The calm but devastating "My Neighbors in Delray," a close-to-home reflection for his listeners, discusses the suicide bombers who trained nearby before heading north to destroy the World Trade Center and damage the Pentagon. But MacDonald is just as worried about the U.S. government's use of the crisis as an excuse to abridge individual liberties, concerns he expresses in the newly written and previously unrecorded "Terror," also providing a historical perspective on what he sees as the deceptions of the George W. Bush administration and its predecessors in "For the Good of America" from his 2002 album Recognition. He notes that September 11, 2003, is not only a two-year anniversary, but also a 30-year anniversary of the CIA-aided military coup that overthrew the freely elected Communist government of Chile in 1973, and marks that date by singing "Victor Jara," his tribute to the Chilean singer/songwriter brutally murdered in the coup. It isn't all politics in this performance, however. MacDonald also sings touching songs about his wife ("You Who Sleep Beside Me") and tells the story of his parents' meeting ("On Any Old Sunday"), while poking fun at both himself and the cult of celebrity in "I Am Bob Dylan." That song, not yet recorded at the time of the show, is an audience request, which is some measure of the crowd's enthusiasm and knowledge of the performer. They clearly went away well satisfied with the show. [This recording is one of MacDonald's privately issued CD-Rs, available only at his website, www.rodmacdonald.net.]

blue highlight denotes track pick