The poet Shelley once said that poets were the true legislators of the world. As I listened for the first time to Linda Allen's latest album, Where I Stand, I found myself remembering these words and longing for them to be true. Where I stand is nothing less than a pure celebration of hope and beauty. For those of you not yet familiar with her work, Linda Allen is one of those rare people who understands what she was brought into this world to do. For over thirty years she has been writing and producing songs that are truly bread and roses for the soul. Where I Stand is a musical celebration of ordinary people in extraordinary circumstances: of Julia "Butterfly" Hill who spent two years in a giant Redwood tree; of Rachel Corrie who died beneath the wheels of an Israeli bulldozer; of sweatshop workers on American Saipan; of a young Ethiopian girl rescued by lions; of the sweet and poignant peace of long time lovers who have been through the fire. The stories are all told with a straightforward beauty and proud elegance that will sweep you off your feet.
Linda is accompanied on the album by an illustrious cast of musicians that place these marvelous songs in a setting that lets them shine like the jewels they are: Cary Black, David Lange, David Ander, Greg Scott, Phil Heaven, Mike Schway, Julian Smedley, Carol McComb, Dean Evenson, Laura Smith and Jason Darling. Vocal support is provided by Tracy Spring, Karen Reitz, and Lydia McCauley. Linda's daughter, Jen and Kristin Allen-Zito also accompany her. To hear the generational bridges spanned by the Linda and her daughters singing on "I Believe" is nothing short of a miracle that will send chills down your spine.
Where I Stand is truly a piece for our time. With roots that go deep in the folk tradition, these are songs that will wash over your spirit like a cool rain. When things appear as despairing as they so often do these days, like bees to the flower we are drawn inexorably to images of beauty and hope. Listen to Where I Stand long enough and sooner or later you will begin to believe once again. Perhaps like you used to believe, long ago. . .
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1. Where I Stand 4:12
2. I Believe 2:30 + MP3 $0.99
3. God of All Beyond the Sea 3:19
4. Partera 4:46 + MP3 $0.99
5. Wake Up Song 3:11
6. Many Generations 3:13
7. Lions 4:03 + MP3 $0.99
8. Mama Cleans Out Her Purse 3:20
9. Old Love 3:41
10. Heroes 3:13
11. Song for Rachel 3:44
12. Helga Estby 5:11
13. Saipan 3:36
14. Ashes & Smoke 3:55
15. Compassionate Eyes 0:59
16. Round for the Black Madonna 1:07
17. It's Alright 1:04
18. Winter Round 1:21
19. You Are Born of the Stars 1:17
20. Ashes & Smoke 0:59
21. The Great Wheel is Turning 2:00