On his new album Songs of Resistance 1942 – 2018, acclaimed guitarist Marc Ribot set out to assemble a set of songs that spoke to this political moment with appropriate ambition, passion, and fury.
Ribot began working on Songs of Resistance – coming out September 14 on ANTI- Records - at the end of 2016 as a response not just to the American elections but to the political trends he was seeing around the world.
“I am alarmed by Trump and the movement he’s part of,” he says. “I’ve spent a good chunk of my life running around the world on tour—I’m kind of an accidental internationalist—and I see that he’s not an isolated phenomenon. And if we don’t deal with what is going on, it is going to deal with us.”
Today Ribot has revealed the new song “The Militant Ecologist” featuring Meshell Ndegeocello, a modern re-purposing of the popular Italian resistance song “Fischia il Vento”. Renowned punk rock filmmaker Jem Cohen has also made a visualizer for the song featuring a green-tinged New York City skyline with a flag whipping in the wind that can be seen HERE; listen to “The Militant Ecologist” HERE.
For their new take, Ribot and Ndegeocello changed the male partisan fighter in the original song to a woman fighting to stop global warming. “We changed the gender in our version and the flag at the end is green,” Ribot explained of his and Ndegeocello’s take on the song and visuals. “But Meshell projects the persona of a resistance fighter going on a mission perfectly: ‘strong her heart, and swift her arm to strike.”
The eleven songs on the record include a few original compositions as well as traditional songs that are drawn from World War II anti-Fascist Italian partisans, the U.S. civil rights movement and Mexican protest ballads. It also features a wide range of guest vocalists, including Tom Waits, Steve Earle, Meshell Ndegeocello, Justin Vivian Bond, Fay Victor, Ohene Cornelius and Sam Amidon.
Over a forty-year career, Ribot has released twenty-five albums under his own name and been a beacon of New York’s downtown/experimental music scene, leading a series of bands including Los Cubanos Postizos and Ceramic Dog. Since his work with Tom Waits on 1985’s Rain Dogs album, though, he is best known to the world as a sideman, playing on countless albums by the likes of Elvis Costello, John Mellencamp, Norah Jones, the Black Keys, and Robert Plant and Alison Krauss’ Grammy-winning collaboration Raising Sand.
Along with his musical efforts, Ribot has also been an outspoken activist/community organizer in a number of causes, from affordable housing to musicians’ rights in the digital age. Portions of the album’s proceeds will be donated to The Indivisible Project, an organization that helps individuals resist the Trump agenda via grassroots movements in their local communities. More info on The Indivisible Project can be found at https://www.indivisible.org/.