Singin' Out

Martin Swinger

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Singin' Out Review

by Will Grega

Swinger combines a Pete Seeger-style blues with a singing-around-the-campfire unpretentiousness on Singin' Out. The delightful "Waltzing With Bears" couples the beautiful innocence of a child's singalong song with the deeper needs of a man who needs to dance with other men, especially those with lots of fur. The fact that it was written by Dr. Seuss makes the song's double-entendre even more entertaining. "Gay Pride Fair" is a takeoff on Bill Stains' traditional (sounding) "Roseville Fair" (recently covered by Nanci Griffith). "Heteros Don't Know" sounds reminiscent of "Rocky Mountain High"-period John Denver. "I Want a Man" is theatrical and hysterical. This is a one-man production with all vocals and instruments performed by Swinger. It is low-budget, but the thing about these queer campfire songs is that they are all great, and that Swinger is so damned affable. He's a seasoned performer, funny, moving, intelligent, with a gift for putting a gay twist on contemporary songs. He's gay and happy -- that's nice to find. And he gets a political message across in the context of children's songs. That's just plain brilliant.