Produced by Robert Neustadt and Chuck Cheesman on behalf of No More Deaths / No Más Muertes, the Border Songs CD brought together a diverse group of artists in support of human rights for Mexican migrants. Contributors included Sweet Honey in the Rock, Michael Franti and Spearhead, Amos Lee, Eliza Gilkyson, Tom Russell, Joel Rafael, Calacas Blues, folk music legend Pete Seeger, and many more. The CD was officially released October 12th 2012 at the Coconino Center for the Arts in Flagstaff, Arizona. Now sold out, Border Songs raised almost $100,000 that went directly to humanitarian efforts that helped save lives and ease suffering for people who have crossed the border.
I took a drive south of Yuma today to present my children's music program. A few miles before I reached the town of San Luis, I caught a glimpse of the border wall. It followed the road almost all the way into town. White pickup trucks drove the frontage along it. I imagine they were border patrol.
“Papa, why don’t we go to church anymore?”
“Well, that’s a pretty good question. To be honest, I thought I was the only one who wanted go. Besides, we’ve been so busy that most Sunday mornings we're pretty tired and just want to enjoy having some quiet time together as a family.”
There is a newspaper that is sold on the streets all over Chicago. It’s called Streetwise. Essentially, it was created to assist homeless people. Streetwise vendors are trained and required to carry badges. The idea is that the job is a stepping-stone to other gainful employment. Sometimes vendors are also contributors to the paper. It is literally a “man on the street” operation, and it gives its readers a perspective that is simply unavailable from either of Chicago’s major newspapers.
My good friend Jim McCarthy put together a film about the air noise problem at Grand Canyon National Park. Jim is an impressive guy - long a defender of the canyon's wild beauty - and I am very proud to have been asked to provide some of the music (along with friends Tony Norris and Bill Burke) for Jim's first film. A short version is available on Youtube, and I prefer to let Jim's work speak for itself.