Steven Keene & Woody Guthrie - This World Is Your World

Steven Keene grew up in Brooklyn, New York, and began playing folk clubs and cafés in Greenwich Village in the early 1990s, among contemporaries Beck, Susanne Vega, Shawn Colvin, and other musicians. "This World Is Your World" is Keene's first single to be released this year, following the 2023 release of his most recent album Woke, which pays homage to some of the artist's major creative influences.

Originally written in 1940 by legendary American folk singer Woody Guthrie, "This Land is Your Land" has been performed by many notable singers over the years and altered for political significance in dozens of different nations. However, in Keene's hands, the song feels eerily pertinent and at home amid the current turbulent times. Expressed through the unique, spectral lens of a post-Covid society on the verge of global conflict, the original song's call for unity, empathy, and a renewed recognition of our common humanity across traditional lines of division is brought to universal bloom in the context of an unprecedentedly globalised world.

Keene says: “As one of the first, if not the first true Americana protest song, “This Land Is Your Land” has really become not just a landmark folk song for America, but a folk song for the world. It’s a song that has significance everywhere, in every country, on every continent. Woody wrote one of those perfect songs that just will resonate forever. But the world is more of a powder keg now than it's ever been. Very scary times. So that kind of music is super important in this global moment for facilitating inspiring people towards a unified movement against war.”

The song is amazingly performed and I love the sound and the general atmosphere, mellow but lively at the same time, with a spot on arrangement too. A very enjoyable track from start to finish. Give it a go by clicking on the Spotify player below and remember to follow Steven Keene on social media as well.

Giovanni Gagliano

Passionate about music I wrote my first article for "Given To Rock" in 2012, reaching now 30K global followers. I am also a musician, gigging around London.

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