Ever since the first Farm Aid concert, musical extravaganzas for worthy causes have become standard fare. Concerts for a Landmine-Free World is different from the usual star-studded gangbang because it features roots-oriented artists. The biggest “celebrity” you’ll find is Emmylou Harris, who leads off the CD with “The Pearl.” Other artists include John Prine, Guy Clark, Mary Chapin Carpenter, Bruce Cockburn, Nanci Griffith, Gillian Welch with David Rowlings, Patty Griffith, Kris Kristofferson, Terry Allen, and Steve Earle.
Recorded during five nights in December ’99, this CD is several steps above your average live concert anthology. The music, while not all topical or political, has a commonality in honesty and intent that makes it all fit together. Executive producers Emmylou Harris, Steve Buckingham, and Gail Griffith must be commended for the overall quality of the project. Concert recorders Doug Dawson and Dean Norman (who are also listed as crew, so they obviously aren’t afraid to get down and dirty) did a fine job capturing the live concert sound.
Sick of live concert recordings that are all hype and no meat? This disc will shake you from your torpor. Not only is the music masterful, but all royalties go to the campaign for a landmine-free world. Worthy cause, great music; great combination.
This review originally appeared in VG‘s May ’01 issue.