Another View

Various Artists “WELLS FOR ZOE: WATER FOR LIFE” (Compass, 2009)
There are some things that many of us take for granted that others — literally — would die for. Little things, like clean water, water that won’t give your kids diseases, water that you can bathe in and raise crops and drink without fear. Having clean water is a big step towards solving other problems; once you can survive you can succeed elsewhere and prosper, but without it, life is untenable. That was the keystone of the efforts by the Irish-led nonprofit, Wells For Zoe, which helps build sustainable farming and other development in the tiny country of Malawi, an East African nation with shockingly high infant mortality rates and little economic infrastructure. This benefit album features many major talents, mostly drawn from the Irish pop and folk scene, with contributions from likeminded artists from across the globe. There’s something delicious hearing the transition between Scottish singer Karine Polwart’s “Well For Zoe” into Sinead O’Connor singing the wry “Baby, Let Me Buy You A Drink” — here are two classic Celtic voices singing beautifully on the same theme, with equally rewarding results (either song will echo in your mind all day long…) Also on board are Celt-folk legends Dougie MacLean and Paul Brady, as well as guitarist John Doyle and Heidi Talbot, and bluegrassers such as Alison Brown and Tim O’Brien. It’s a nice album — only a couple of tracks seemed untenable (…a crossover-folk cover of “Sisters Are Doing It For Themselves”? No, thank you.) But several tracks are lovely, and the cause is certainly good. If you’re interested in downloads, here are some options:


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