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Jim & Jean

Jim Glover: Outsider

Jim and Jean Index

Bill Adams

Listening to Jim Glover's 2004 CD "Outsider" was quite an experience for me today. I am almost 60, and Jim's around the same age. I was a fan of his "Jim and Jean" records from the '60's, especially "Changes." I was a fan of Phil Ochs, Jim's old roomie from college. I was not a musician, but shared their political sentiments (at least as expressed in their songs) back in the days. These Jim and Jean pages, as well as our other project dedicated to the late, great Cisco Houston, have proven that the country hides thousands of people in my generation and the one just younger who remember Jim and Jean with great affection. A new release of their old work on the Collector's Choice label confirms that Jim Glover made a mark, if not a profit, in his earlier career.

Well, Jim is still performing, still writing songs, and "Outsider" shows that he is still promoting the politics of peace. Given the results of the recent election, that effort is less successful than it was in the Vietnam era, and only time will show us if that's something to be sad or glad about. If you are not a liberal/radical/lefty/peacenik, perhaps the content of Jim's new CD won't please you.

What impressed me more than the content, although I am still a bit of a liberal, is the musicianship. Jim's voice is still sweet, his playing vigorous, his sense of humor intact, his songwriting clever and passionate. He shows on this disc that he still has a career, if he wants one, at least on the coffeehouse and house party circuit, and not just in front of other nostalgic fans in their fifties.

New songs such as "Viva the Revolution" and "Old Voting Machine" and "Let's Make Peace" and "Press On" and "Why Not Peace?" are all worthy, and while "Send Bush Back to Texas" is now moot, the folk/protest songwriting process is demonstrated in Jim's performance. Jim must get tired, sometimes, in his current life, of being so strongly connected to Phil Ochs and to the Jim and Jean times, but those shadows are an inescapable fact for him, and on this CD he does Ochs' "I Ain't Marching Anymore" with a different tone than Phil gave it in his own performances... after all, the singer on this CD now qualifies as one of the "It's always the old, who lead us to the wars" rather than "It's always the young who fall". He also combines Jackson Browne's "These Days" and Phil's "The Power and the Glory" in a concluding medley. The tracks on this CD were recorded live, so several of them are not polished, not taken to the fullness of seriousness that might occur in a studio version, but are interesting anyway. When Jim sings "Power and the Glory" I thought not of Phil Ochs, but of the way Pete Seeger used to sing it in concert. Again, an older voice, wiser but wearier than Ochs in its attitude, and sadly ironic since we know Jim and Pete live on, while Phil chose an untimely self-inflicted end.

If reader is interested in hearing "Outsider" for him or herself, CD Baby has it available. I'm happy to have to listened to this. It made me want to go to the Sarasota area and sit in on a Glover show myself.

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