Note: This review originally appeared in the Illinois Entertainer.
Care For All: Musicians For Healthcare aims to help fund the Vermont Workers’ Center’s Healthcare Is A Human Right Campaign. With its roster of roots rock artists, this benefit CD is far less likely to top the charts than the star-studded Hope For Haiti Now. Still, producer-guitarist Scott Ainslie is betting its message will resonate with the numerous American musicians who shell out big bucks for individual healthcare policies with high deductibles and little coverage.
Activist-author Si Kahn sings and plays guitar on his “Care For All,” one of the few songs specifically composed for this CD. Ainslie covers Stephen Foster’s revered chestnut “Hard Times Come Again No More,” and Pete Sutherland’s “Our Time’s Not Up” offers an optimistic view set to an enticing blend of Celtic and African music. Chris Kleeman’s freewheeling “Scratch It While You Can” is one of three melodic instrumental tracks on Care For All while “Never Learn” by The Devil Makes Three packs the emotional punch of vintage protest music.
On “Suffering Of The People,” Anais Mitchell and Maddub back a persuasive speech by Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders with techno beats and a spirited chorus of, “The industry is built on the suffering of the people” that underscores Sanders’ contention that affordable healthcare for all is a civil rights issue.