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Fan Recaps and Comments:
Quick, energetic set (70 minutes) during the Clearwater Festival... one thing of note, They played an unrehearsed version of "All Time What" with Linnell playing piano instead of contra-alto.
The Clearwater Festival is a fantastic annual celebration of the Hudson River that was founded in 1966 by Toshi Seeger and her husband Pete, and has been held every year since. It was started as a fundraiser for the Sloop Clearwater, to raise awareness in the plight of the Hudson. It has been spectacularly successful. Formerly polluted by PCB contamination, high mercury levels and sewage contamination, the Clearwater Foundation has educated thousands regarding the environmental impact of the degradation of the Hudson River watershed, the restoration of the river ecosystem, the regulation of industrial polluters, and, most importantly, successfully lobbied Congress for the passage of the Clean Water Act, one of the most successful environmental laws in our nation's history.
Foremost in this cause has been the voice and efforts of Pete Seeger, the great folksinger, who appeared at the Clearwater Festival annually until his death in 2014.. Seeger has many entries in the American songbook, including the introduction of the song "Wimoweh" to American ears. It was adapted by The Tokens as the pop song "The Lion Sleeps Tonight," and subsequently adapted by TMBG in their song The Guitar. It was a real treat for long time festival goers to see They Might Be Giants perform, and I was delighted to hear TMBG play The Guitar on Seeger's home stage. Seeger was a big advocate of the folk process and undoubtedly would have loved this adaptation. I was saddened, however, that amid all the stage banter TMBG didn't take the time to recognize Seeger's contribution to the set.