Various Artists

These Times We're Living In: A Red House Anthology

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Fiercely independent contemporary folk label Red House presents These Times We're Living In, a 16-track collection of roots music, bluegrass and singer/songwriter observations on living amidst the ebb and flow of our tumultuous 21st century, with an emphasis on the changes brought about by the attacks on September 11, 2001. For the most part it's a somber affair, with John Gorka's sparse "Riverside," Lucy Kaplansky's poignant "Land of the Living" and the Wailin' Jennys powerful "Arlington" rising to the top of the heap, but it's balanced by light-hearted offerings from Suzzy & Maggie Roche ("Who Cares") and Guy Davis, whose jamboree style "We All Need More Kindness in This World" ends the anthology on a positive note. Add to that mix two stellar instrumentals from Martin Simpson ("Horn Island") and Peter Ostroushko ("Hymn: Page 9/11") and you've got yourself a solid little package of introspective acoustic nuggets for an overcast Sunday afternoon.

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