Songs of protest

For 35 years, the name Marc Ribot has been featured on album covers by the likes of Tom Waits, Alain Bashung, Diana Krall, John Zorn, Robert Plant, Caetano Veloso and about 9,758 others. And whenever he isn’t lending his atypical guitar to these great artists, he enjoys – under his own name – breaking apart rock, jazz, funk, Cuban music, and everything he gets his fingers on.

By Marc Zisman | Video of the Day | September 21, 2018

The 64-year-old New Yorker is relied on for his sounds, his touch, this battered atmosphere that he has crafted over the years and sounds like no other. Like an anti-guitar hero, arty Ribot is an alien who comes first and foremost from jazz. But his avant-garde DNA is also made up of rock’n’roll, soul, and even classical music…

Marc Ribot’s musical activism, even extremism, is also social and political, as shown by these Songs Of Resistance 1942 – 2018. A generous album, purposefully released in the era of Donald Trump, that features partisan anti-fascist Italian chants from World War II, songs from the Civil Rights movement in the United States, as well as Mexican protest ballads. Ribot leads the way on these eclectic tracks, alternating between percussive rock, libertarian jazz, brassed-up soul and classical folk. And to give his initiative even more visibility and power, he entrusted the microphone to a colourful selection of stars: Tom Waits, Steve Earle, Meshell Ndegeocello, Tift Merritt, Syd Straw, Justin Vivian Bond, Fay Victor, Sam Amidon, and Ohene Cornelius. A powerful album that is most definitely needed right now.


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