|In solidarity and liberation
by Paula de Angelis
TN154 Feb 23
Portland, USA based singer-songwriter, David Rovics, has been a professional performer since the 1990s.
He combines the empathic ear of a storyteller with a deep sense of where we are located in history to tell the stories of ordinary people and our social movements, and his songs reflect our aspirations on a global as well as a deeply personal level.
Like our very own John Schumann, he has a natural talent for oral history, and a deeply affecting ability to render the voice of his subject, whether it is individual, social, or historical.
As a performer, David deploys these skills and talents to create a unique community spirit and human connection between and within his audience, an experience we all need in this alienating age.
In a society that works hard to convince us of our atomisation, attending a David Rovics concert reminds us that we are all part of a collective called humanity, and gifts us with the inspiration and strength to act on this connection.
David’s musical and personal connections with Australia go back a long way.
He toured extensively across four countries with the late Scottish-Australian songwriter, Alistair Hulett, with whom he was close friends.
In Australia, that tour braved the heat of a Queensland summer for the Woodford Folk Festival, and travelled all the way to the Wheatsheaf Hotel in Adelaide.
The concerts at Adelaide’s highly respected acoustic venue have been added to youtube for posterity.
He has shared a stage with Mick Thomas and Andy Irvine, in the UK and Ireland respectively.
Over repeated tours of the country he has written many songs that tell our stories.
Topics include a history of the Eureka Stockade, the plight of our refugees, and heroic examples of direct action and resistance.
Whenever he visits, you can be sure that songs and stories he has absorbed or experienced will show up in song form on the next album.
David is deeply committed to the campaign to free Australian political prisoner Julian Assange, and has written several songs to this end.
He is acquainted with a wide range of change makers and artists all over the country, and has listened to and told a great many of their stories.
The story of the Eureka Stockade was based on the version he heard from long standing Melbourne based radical unionist and founder of the Earthworker Co-operative, Dave Kerin.
Australian activist and musician, Kamala Emmanuel, regularly appears on stage with him, and contributes to studio recordings, such as the one currently taking place in Hawai’i, produced by none other than the legendary Chet Gardiner.
David’s last visit was, of course, cut short by the ‘rona.
He has overcome the increasing difficulties of travelling here from the United States, especially for an indie performer on a shoestring budget, and will be touring Queensland and New South Wales in late March and early April, accompanied by a beautiful, borrowed guitar hand made by Australian instrument maker Scott Wise.
As well as his concert at Addison Road, Marrickville on March 26, he is also playing at the historic Albion Peace Centre in Brisbane, amongst other venues, and houses across both states.
He is still taking bookings, so if you want David to contribute his particular form of inspiration and imagination to your community and/or cause, contact him!
Come and see David Rovics on the road and in the streets.
It will replenish your spirit and refresh your communion with humanity.