BY STEVE PARKS | email@example.com; JUDY RAIA
October 31, 2008
Caroline Doctorow, who usually sings her own rhymes, this week
released "Another Country," a collection of songs by Richard Fariña.
When first recorded, the songs also featured Fariña's wife, Mimi, who
was Joan Baez's kid sister. Richard's promising career as a
songwriter and novelist came to a sudden end in a 1966 motorcycle
smashup. He was 29. At the time, his admirers considered him Bob
Dylan's equal in the '60s protest genre. Mimi died of cancer in 2001.
Doctorow, accompanied by Pete Kennedy, who produced the CD at her
Bridgehampton home, will be in concert Sunday at Stony Brook's
University Café, opening for song poet Terence Martin.
We spoke to Doctorow, daughter of novelist E.L. Doctorow, about the
following songs by Richard and Mimi Fariña, all of which are on her new CD:
'BOLD MARAUDER.' "There's never been an audio catalog of his work,
though many artists - Johnny Cash, Judy Collins, Joan Baez, Tom
Paxton - have covered his songs. They're almost more relevant today.
Which brings up 'Bold Marauder.' Basically, it's an anti-war song
dressed in different clothes. Like the best protest songs, it comes
at you from another angle."
'RAVEN GIRL.' "Mimi was a raven-haired beauty. She really only had
Richard in her life briefly. They were married about three years and
he was killed on her 21st birthday. She went on to such a productive
life, starting Bread & Roses, which brings music to prisons and
institutions. Richard and Mimi were of one voice together."
'ANOTHER COUNTRY.' "It works on different levels. One is a couple
traveling to a foreign country when the romance is ending. It also
can be taken as feeling estranged from one's country."
'THE QUIET JOYS OF BROTHERHOOD.' "We recorded in August. Pete would
lay down these extraordinary tracks overnight and the Bridgehampton
crickets were so loud he just stuck the microphone out the window.
They provided a natural orchestration, blending with the key of 'Quiet Joys.'"
'MAINLINE PROSPERITY BLUES.' The lyrics use a lot of hipster slang,
and it's a tribute to Richard that it doesn't sound dated. It's a
song about finding an alternative way to live."
'BIRMINGHAM SUNDAY.' "A beautiful song about the 1963 16th Street
Birmingham church bombing that killed four little girls, Their church
was trying to register African-Americans to vote. I find it so
extraordinarily encouraging that today we may be on the verge of
electing an African-American president of the United States."
WHAT Caroline Doctorow, with Pete Kennedy, opens for Terence Martin,
with Dan Bonis
2 p.m. Sunday at the University Café,
INFO $20, university cafe.org, 631-632-1093; link to "Another
Country" CD, http://cdbaby .com/cd/doctorow7