Hello, friends. Thanks for stopping by. As you read this, we are working on a bunch of new songs and looking for ways to use our music for good in these strange times. In that vein, we will be playing in support of the ACLU at their Bill of Rights Celebration in Milwaukee on November 8. You can get tickets for that event through their website. We are also collaborating with Refugees International on a project that stems from our songs about refugees and immigrants, You Are Welcome Here. More information about that will be on the way soon. In the meantime, you can download the song for free and share it with you friends.

 You Are Welcome Here.mp3

We have also decided to donate 100% of sales from our website from now through Christmas to hurricane relief in Puerto Rico. In addition, all CDs are now Buy One, Get One Free. So there's never been a better time to pick up a t-shirt or that new record. If you haven't listened to Songs of Resistance yet, here are some excerpts from reviews that will give you a sense of it:

 

The Whiskey Farm follow up their fine 2015 release Book of Matches (read a review here) with a seven-song collection integrating topical political subject matter. It’s almost surreal to think that these songs needed to be written in the first place but such is the state of things in the USA, where the light of enlightenment is willingly being extinguished day by day.

Songs of Resistance sounds like what might happen if Neil Young and Pete Seeger joined Wilco; with just enough electric guitar to keep the rock in folk/rock. Though the themes could come off as heavy, the Whiskey Farm achieve listenability through their use of sarcasm and their by-now-familiar whimsical style. Nothing that they say in these songs is surprising, nor are they things you probably haven’t already thought, they just needed to be said in song.

The sarcasm really hits its stride in “Flag Pin,” a bluesy, mocking takedown of phony patriotism aimed at the politician, the lobbyists and the gun-crazed populace. “Taking money from the left, taking money from the right / You’ve got a team of lawyers working every day and night / You’ve called every lobbyist that works up on the hill / and the NRA want you on the twenty dollar bill / Curlin’ up to sleep in the belly of the beast / If you don’t wake up tomorrow everyone can say at least you had a flag pin / You’ve got a really shiny flag pin / You won’t do nothing ‘bout this mess we’re in / But at least you’ve got a flag pin.” You can practically hear the sneer of singer/guitarist and chief songwriter Jason Horowitz as he delivers these songs, employing his knack for crafty wordplay. The verses are broken up by some gutsy lead guitar from Brett Wilfrid.

“Follow the Money” is similarly acerbic, although delivered with a bouncy, bluegrass feel. “Follow the money / And make the world go round / If the politics seems funny / or the logic is unsound / There’s just one thing to figure out / That’s whose pocket’s getting lined / Follow the money / You’ll be amazed at what you’ll find.” The bridge is especially worth quoting: “If you want to run for office / You’ll need cash to throw around / But don’t worry ‘cause the lobbyists come through / And if you’re really lucky you’ll get voted out of town / Then you can be a lobbyist too.” It would be really funny if it weren’t so goddamn frightening, and you can dance to it.

The album kicks off with “You Are Welcome Here,” and some nice gospel-like harmonies. In the style of some of their previous popular songs, it’s a bouncy piece of folk aimed at immigrants and others currently being demoted to misfit status while quoting “America the Beautiful.”

Songs of Resistance closes with “The Future is a Long Time,” somewhat of a paradox of the rest of the album in its weary mournfulness: “We’ll be alright / We will get by / I can’t tell you how just yet / But I can tell you why / We’re not alone / We are strong / The future is a long time / And the fight has just begun.” It’s a nice vocal performance from Horowitz and a strong sentiment on which to end the recording.

 

 

Few genres have a richer tradition of sticking it to the man than folk music. Even before Woody Guthrie first inked “This Machine Kills Fascists” onto his guitar, artists have been using the sparse, traditional instrumentation and dense lyricism of folk to draw attention to society’s ills. Now that Donald Trump occupies the Oval Office, there’s a lot to rail against.

Songs of Resistance, the fourth LP from the Madison folk-based quintet The Whiskey Farm, has a lot to say about the current state of affairs. Beginning with the heartfelt opener, “You Are Welcome Here,” the album is a relentless takedown of Trump’s brand of politics.

When Songs of Resistance is on, it’s really on. Two examples that work are “Flag Pin,” a cheeky deconstruction of corporate politics, and “Keep Me Down,” a hopeful rocker that calls to mind Tom Petty. These songs demonstrate that the band knows how to write political material without beating the listener over the head. Much of that can be credited to bandleader Jason Horowitz, whose boyishly earnest vocals anchor the subject matter in sincerity.

This is not music for cynics. The infectious positive vibe that surges through Songs of Resistance is admirable; there really aren’t a whole lot of songwriters with their finger on the political pulse who can find the bright side. And Horowitz does that time and time again on Songs of Resistance, mining the darkness of real life for songs that both uplift and inform. 

In Inside Llewyn Davis, the Coen Brothers’ sprawling ode to folk in the sixties, the title character says at one point, “If it was never new, and it never gets old, then it’s a folk song.” The Whiskey Farm’s Songs of Resistance are very much new, taking on a political nightmare that we’re all still living. And like Woody Guthrie, Billy Bragg or anyone else who’s ever used folk music as a pulpit, Songs of Resistance will serve as a time capsule for a dark time in U.S. history.