Songs of Now & Then
Songs of Now and Then DAVID CANTOR Food of Love Music - FOL-001 "I wanted to record something quiet enough to hear, varied and engaging enough to want to hear, and interesting enough to be worth hearing." That's lifelong folksinger David Cantor about his first CD, Songs of Now and Then. "Did I do that? Time will tell." The album's 14 tracks evenly mix traditional ballads, songs Cantor wrote, and tunes by four outstanding writers of his lifetime: Eric Andersen, Bob Dylan, Joni Mitchell, and Phil Ochs. Cantor does all of the guitar-playing and singing, occasionally adding harmonica. A peppy "Shady Grove" opens the disc. Next comes Cantor's "Dreams," an interesting take on individual people's unique ideal lives, touching on justice, the theme that most defines the album. Andersen's "Eyes of the Immigrant" then describes the experience of late-19th-/early-20th-century immigrants to the U.S., with a brilliant weave of images. Additional tunes include the traditional "Lady Diamond," "Geordie," and "The Lily of the West"; Dylan's "License To Kill," Mitchell's "Urge for Going," Ochs' witty and still-timely "A.M.A. Song"; and Cantor's two distinctive love songs "Honest Heart" and "Your Green Eyes," his update of the slave song "Worried Man," and his animal-rights tune "When I Was Young." Born in Philadelphia four years before The Kingston Trio's 1958 release of "Tom Dooley" - the start of the folk revival, some say - Cantor first performed live at 7, singing "The Ballad of Jesse James" and strumming his baritone ukulele (he was too small for guitar) when his family accompanied him to Philadelphia's Gilded Cage coffeehouse. Moving to guitar at 9, Cantor spent countless hours memorizing folk recordings and songs learned from friends and teachers, later delving into a wide range of material by folksingers, singer-songwriters, and rock artists and performing at Philadelphia coffeehouses, school, his college radio station in Iowa, and later on the Washington, D.C., coffeehouse circuit. He has taught guitar since age 16. Living in Glenside, Pennsylvania, since 1996, he continues to perform, teach, and increase his play-list of many hundreds of songs. Holding a graduate degree in literature, which he taught for many years, Cantor says, "Words have always determined songs I've learned and how I craft my own."