Pete Seeger | Think Globally, Act Locally
I was remarkably lucky to have become friendly with Pete Seeger toward the end of his life, spending many hours talking with him on the phone and in person—even performing with him—while researching a long, multi-part story on his legendary long neck banjo. Hearing his well-burnished tales, told privately, in that reedy, ragged, and beautifully human voice was a gift in every moment that it happened. Whether they realized it or not at the time, the Dobbs Ferry South Presbyterian Church children singing with Seeger on Think Globally, Act Locally, were receiving that same gift. And so was Seeger, who was never more alive than when he was leading a group of willing voices in the power of song.
As a listening experience, as an album, Think Globally is not compelling in the way, say Mingus Ah Um or London Calling is. What it is, is a document, a treatise, one that says, "This is who we can be as a people. This is what we can do if we simply allow ourselves to truly communicate with one another." You can see Seeger's smile as these songs unfold; picture his arms in the air as he leads his sweet choir through a hopeful "Somewhere Over the Rainbow," bridging Yip Harburg and Woody Guthrie; imagine that bobbing Adam's apple as he cuts up like a comedian in "English is Cuh-Ray-Zee." And you can feel a pure American spirit the absolute antithesis of the current administration. Make America Pete again!