Dick Gaughan

Live in Edinburgh

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There are those who say politics and music shouldn't mix, but Live in Edinburgh provides a compelling argument to the contrary. Recorded in 1985 during the British miners' strike, it Gaughan at his most political, and the songs and performance have an undeniable and compelling power. He shows his hand immediately, kicking off with a song called "Revolution," setting the tone for the evening. Even Robert Burns' "Now Westlin Winds," an elegiac view of Scotland, takes on the colors of devolution in this setting, while his rewrite of Florence Reece's "Which Side Are You On?" directly addresses the situation on the colliery picket lines. The starkest piece, however, has to be "Victor Jara of Chile," addressing the fate of the poet and musician head on, pulling no punches in its accusations. In all this, however, there is hope, in "Your Daughters and Your Sons" and the traditional ballad "Glenogie," but "World Turned Upside Down" reminds listeners that for now real power still rests with the few. It's raw, unvarnished stuff -- one man and his guitar singing from the heart, not for the charts. But when that man is Dick Gaughan, there's a power to it all that makes music into a potent weapon.

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