TCF Label Boss Eugenie Arrowsmith reflects on Bob Hillary’s new release the scratch shaman protest song ‘Take The Power Back”
Sometimes a song captures the smouldering power the moment. Take The Power Back is reminiscent of the music I heard around me on the sides of Welsh Mountains. I grew up in a community near Sid The King of The Hippies. Listening to The Band, Bob Dylan, Jesse Winchester, Country Joe and The Fish, Jefferson Starship, you get my drift. These were records I played a lot as a kid and joyfully abandoned as a teen punk (all on heavy vinyl) on a mono record player.
I love that Bob is just Bob, there’s no side to him. He just does what he does without aiming at being ‘marketable’ and ‘commercial’ in that self aware way that artists can get into. With things being the way they are I don’t believe commerce is the only measure of success. Honesty is a quality I really love in an artist, which I guess is why after years of trials and tribulations we continue to work with each other.
I also struggle with people being dismissive of the alternative culture that I grew up in. Let’s face it the hippies were right about so much, bread heads destroying the planet particularly. Being taken to the Welsh mountains to live without gas and electricity was something I resented so much when I was growing up. I view very differently now. I wanted white bread and bright orange cordial like ‘normal people’ not lentils and brown rice. Living without electricity and running water was actually a privilege, I was just too bratty to appreciate. Over the years I have learnt to value my background and my relationship to nature, which has proved so powerful particularly in times of crisis.
I must confess, I am looking to work with musicians in whatever genre (and I have been very electronically focussed for most of my career) that value the planet we walk on and the air we breathe. I have been too concerned with not wanting to look like a Hippy. But guess what, Hippy is my heritage and I have got over myself. In the context of the current crisis that humanity faces that level of vanity does seem ridiculous. So folks let’s do what the poet, protest songwriter says and take our own power back from what ever is holding us back. Thanks for the heads up Bob.
Take The Power Back is available on Total Creative Freedom at all decent digital stores across the globe via Proper Distribution and on iTunes here Bob shot the amazing video for Take The Power back New Zealand if you are wondering. He’s just got back from touring there.