Tom Morello (aka The Nightwatchman) – Union Town
Everyone knows and (I assume) loves Tom Morello’s work with Rage Against the Machine, some may even be fans of his work with the “super” group Audioslave. Then there are those die-hard fans that followed him to the, often times acoustic, side project The Nightwatchman. Morello has never been soft-spoken about which side of the political line he stands on and fights for. During the recent protests in Madison, WI surrounding union rights, Morello threw his full support behind the local union works and traveled to Madison to march and protest with the local union workers. During his visit, he took the podium at one rally and performed a new song titled “Union Song”. This track is included on a the new benefit EP. Morello prefaces the song with a rousing speech where he details his union history – he is a member of the LA Local 47 Musician Union, and his mother was a union teacher. Prior to bursting into the song he tells the story of a person at the airport asking him why he is going to Madison, WI, to which he replied ‘They’re making history in Madison!”.
The rest of the EP is comprised of a mix original Morello songs and classic covers, most notably the cover of Woody Guthrie’s “This Land is Your Land”. The opening track “Union Town” is a Morello original that hits you with a catchy chorus and short bursts of classic Morello guitar solos. For the most part the album is acoustic tracks lyrically dealing with unions.
If you don’t know which side of the line you stand on, give this album a chance. Aside from the politically charged lyrics, Morello presents some great music. For those on the opposite side of the line, heed the messages delivered in the songs. For those unfamiliar with the topics, listen to the album, and do some brief research on the real life characters mentioned in the songs: the steelworker in Ohio, the miner in West Virginia, the teacher in Wisconsin, and Joe Hill. If you already agree with Morello’s stance, you can be sure you’ll enjoy this benefit CD.
For those who check out the album and enjoy the music, be sure to check out the other Nightwatchmen albums!
After the jump, check out Morello’s performance in front of thousands of Union workers in Madison, WI earlier this year.