The Mudcat Café TM
Thread #169962   Message #4109386
Posted By: Joe Offer
08-Jun-21 - 05:55 PM
Thread Name: Pre-Review: Again With One Voice (Dick Holdstock)
Subject: Pre-Review: Again With One Voice (Dick Holdstock)
Again With One Voice: British Songs of Political Reform, 1768 to 1868, by Dick Holdstock, Loomis House Press, 2021.

If Faith Petric was the matriarch of the San Francisco Folk Music Club, many might agree with me that Dick Holdstock is the patriarch. I met them both in about 1995. Faith is gone now, but I've had a lot of contact with Dick and his wife Carol through the years. Dick has lived in Northern California forever, but he's from Kent and never lost his accent.

I knew a lot about Peter, Paul, and Mary when I joined the Club in the 1990s, but that was about it. Through the years, Dick encouraged and challenged me and others to learn the tradition, and we did learn. And all the time I've known him, Dick has been writing a book. He was almost done with the book back in the 1990s, a collection of songs from seamen of the British Merchant Marine, since British military sailors didn't sing. Then it took a turn toward including labor songs, and now the book has arrived with the title, Again With One Voice: British Songs of Political Reform, 1768 to 1868. I feel like I've grown up with this book, and I'm so happy to see it come to fruition after all these years. And all through these years, I've heard Dick sing these songs he collected, experimenting with various melodies when he couldn't find the "real" melody.

And it has been so much fun - especially in recent years, when Dick has called me and asked ME for advice about one thing or another. I think I'm the one who convinced him to get the book published at Loomis House Press, and the results are excellent.

I haven't read the book yet, but I think I've heard most of the songs and narratives over the years. The book feels like a chronicle of my friendship with Dick over 25 years, because this book is an adventure that Dick shared enthusiastically with all of us. And now it's finished. The narratives and songs are fascinating, the illustrations are vivid and interesting, and the book is laid out beautifully. I suppose it's strange to post a book review before actually reading the book, but I think I can say I've lived this book with Dick for 25 years, and I know it well. I'm proud of my friend Dick, and I feel privileged to have been able to travel with him on at least part of his adventure of producing this wonderful book.

The Chapters:
  1. Liberty: 1768-1781
  2. Revolution: 1780-1789
  3. Paine: 1789-1795
  4. Insurrection: 1796-1799
  5. War: 1800-1815
  6. Suppression: 1815-1819
  7. Gagged: 1819-1830
  8. Union: 1830-1836
  9. Charter: 1837-1851
  10. Reform: 1851-1868

The Songs:
Patience Young did the editing, June Nishimoto the musical notation, and Steve Roud wrote the foreward.