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    Food and Music for Palestine with David Rovics - Bearing Witness World Tour

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    Event description

    David Rovics is one of the great figures of modern folk and protest music.

    His sound and attitude suggest obvious influences like Woody Guthrie, Pete Seeger, Phil Ochs and early Dylan, as well as drawing from a mighty stream of country folk, union songs and talking blues traditions that he has deepened thanks to inspirational musical allies like Cuba’s Silvio Rodriguez and the writings of the Palestinian poet Mahmoud Darwish.

    On Friday 5th July from 6-10pm, David Rovics will be our very special guest (as part of his Bearing Witness World Tour) at ‘Food and Music for Palestine’.

    The event has been conceived by Addi Road as a ‘welcome dinner’ for newly-arrived people from Gaza and the local community to come together in solidarity.

    It will take place inside Gumbramorra Hall at the community centre in Marrickville. Addi Road is encouraging everyone to bring a plate to supplement the delicious food being prepared by our volunteers and our friends on site at Koshari Corner café.

    Along with the fine food and community spirit, David Rovics will perform both solo and in a duo with his touring partner Kamala Emanuel. Solidarity Choir will be the support act, “bringing you songs for a better world from around the world... in parody, in protest and in possibility… and in four part harmony.” Rovics, Emanuel and Solidarity Choir also plan to perform a few songs together.


    David Rovics lyrical reportage and ‘voice’ signal him as the archetypal people’s poet, his music and words dependent on – and energised by – a life-time commitment to what he has called “The Movement… the anti-war movement, the anti-capitalist movement, the anti-nuclear movement, the feminist movement, the gay-lesbian movement and so on.”

    Born in 1967, he grew up in a family of classical musicians of mixed Christian and Jewish heritage who strongly encouraged his political interests and growing activist vision for himself.

    He began travelling and working as busker wherever he could in the 1980s. Over his career he has chosen to operate outside of almost all music industry conventions, maintaining a radical independence and networking himself to what he has described as “New Left struggles” in the 24 countries he has toured, playing all over the map repeatedly across his life to further these grassroots connections.

    It has not always been an easy road. As he told Boston’s University of Massachusetts student newspaper The Mass Media earlier this year, “Around 1995 to 2005 was a golden age for the internet, for organizing online and using those resources effectively. [But] from the time Facebook came around, they’ve been undermining and destroying all that to the point where now it’s just a real dystopia, where people haven’t grown up entirely in reality.”

    In an essay for his own website, The Social Engineering and Paralysis of the US Left, Rovics analysis was even more critical and unsparing, not least in reevaluating the ways in which he too was operating: “I used to think I was participating in debates. Then I discovered I was just adding material for the conflict algorithms.”

    How to restore a different ‘reality’, as he calls it, has become a lifelong artistic project – advancing community engagement and advocating for change, distinguishing Rovics’ grassroots approach to playing, recording and releasing music: “I just prefer to write songs about everyone else – everyone that Western media ignores and dehumanizes.”

    Rovics latest album in that spirit is Bearing Witness.

    As he explained on his Bandcamp outlet, “When the genocide of the people of Gaza began in October, 2023,  I began to write a series of urgent songs on the subject.”

    His friend Chet Gardiner, a master blues and folk guitarist and well-regarded music producer, heard the raw versions of these songs as Rovics was pouring them out online for anyone who cared to listen and respond.

    “Chet shared that sense of urgency [with me],” Rovics says, “and started taking the songs I was putting out there and making great improvements upon them from his home studio in Hawai'i. In January, 2024 we put out a 20-song album together called Notes From A Holocaust.”

    Bearing Witness has now arrived barely five months later.

    “This new album is a continuation of those [earlier] efforts, but with a somewhat expanded scope. Roughly half the album consists of songs about the Gaza genocide that I've written since we put out Notes From A Holocaust.

    “The other half of the album are songs I've written and recorded in the past few years, that either Chet or I thought would be good candidates for enhancement – plus the much older songs, ‘St Patrick Battalion’ and ‘In One World’ for good measure.”

    As Rovics told Elija Horwath of The Mass Media back in April between the release of Notes From A Holocaust  in January release and its already recorded follow-up, Bearing Witness: “I’m always hoping that my music will educate people about a lot of things they didn’t know about, will inspire them to act and do something about the things I’m thinking about. These days, that’s often Gaza.I’m [also] hoping that my music will help break down the isolation that people feel for so many different reasons and bring people together.”

    Information and quotes sourced from ‘Rabble Rouser for the New Left’ by Katie Emerick in Anchorage Press, 14 April 2024 and ‘Singer-songwriter and activist David Rovics performs in Wheatley’ by Elija Horwath, The Mass Media, 1 April 2024.

    Event Details

    Food and Music for Palestine featuring David Rovics

    Friday 5th July – 6-10pm

    Location: Gumbramorra Hall, Addi Road Community Organisation, 142 Addison Road, Marrickville 2204

    Come join a Welcome Dinner and Concert with musicians/activists David Rovics and Kamala Emanuel touring their latest album "Bearing Witness".

    Supported by the Solidarity Choir.

    Please bring a plate of food to share. There will also be food provided by Koshari Korner.

    All proceeds will go to support recently arrived people from Gaza.


    $20 early-bird / $30 GA

    Or pay what you can.

    Food by donation. Thanks.

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