Goodbye Free Love
Well, the mystery of 'Deep Throat' has been resolved. The questions that appear in the glass, through the shock and awe of smoke and mirrors, simply: where are they now? The Peacemakers Band latest CD asks this question in a brave understandably, jaded voice. Tim Otto the lead singer / songwriter of the band takes us through a 47 minute tour of fallen heroes and principles, casting an eye on current affairs as seen through the lens of the past. In turn equally iconographer and iconoclast, 'Goodbye Free Love' gives voice to a generation born into the turbulent sixties, coming of age in the morally dissipating seventies, finally crashing and burning head on into 1980, and the great wall of Reagan! ('Welcome To The Future'). Though initially released in 2003, 'Goodbye Free Love' is a piece of work that becomes more relevant each moment, every minute as our deeply divided country is plunged further into the depths of desperation and depravity of a rogue administration run amok. The production values on 'Goodbye Free Love' are lush and exquisite, with Byrds like ringing guitars on 'Sad Eyed Beautiful Girl', folksy mandolins and piano stool percussions on 'Let The Wild Horse Run', the very jaded doo-wop song 'That Girl You'll Never Love', the sparse and uncluttered 'The Van Gogh Blues', and the closing two anthems 'Welcome To The Future' and 'Goodbye Free Love.' Otto and his coconspirators, bassist Chris Charles, drummer Brad 'The Beat' Pharis and the bold lead guitarist Tony Floreno make use of all the idioms from the musical movements of the innocent Kennedy 60's through the callous Nixon seventies. Otto the Iconographer gives us the Kennedy paean, 'Where's The Sniper Now', 'Vietnam Foreign Correspondent' which throws a light on the fringe existence of a photojournalist in the days before our journalists were imbedded. 'The Return Of The Honky-tonk Hero' is an unbashed tribute to hard drinking, hard fighting Texas songwriter Billy Joe Shaver. The spaghetti western influenced 'The Man With No Name' pre-sages the post Arnold, post Rambo mentality. Otto holds his subjects as if they were precious museum pieces, somehow vandalized by the changing times and shifting political pendulum. In 'One Way Ticket To Amsterdam' a returned Viet Nam hero opts for the life in the hash houses of Amsterdam instead of the America that he no longer recognizes and fails to recognize him. Through this vast tapestry of dreams, nightmares, hopes and loss, The Peacemakers Band draws a vivid picture of a history. The artistry, sincerity and driven creativity make 'Goodbye Free Love' a fresh listening experience time and time again. -Chas Pike.