The new folk revival, beware the Nightwatchman. The Nightwatchman features Tom Morello, who may be best known as the guitarist of Grammy award winning, hip-hop, funk, rock band Rage Against the Machine (RATM), releases solo album ‘One Man Revolution.’
Rage Against the Machine formed in 1991 and is best known for their socio-political lyrics. The band released three major albums and one collection of covers featuring Bruce Springsteen’s “Ghost of Tom Joad” before breaking up in 2000.
Shortly after the breakup, Morello formed the alternative hard rock band Audioslave. Audioslave is made up of RATM bassist Tim Commerford and drummer Brad Wilk along with x-Soundgarden lead singer Chris Cornell. Audioslave released three major albums before their eventual breakup in February.
‘One Man Revolution’ is a tribute to two of Morello’s biggest influences Bruce Springsteen and Bob Dylan. On an electric guitar he is known for making unbelievable computer-like sounds. In this album, Morello trades his electric guitar in for an acoustic. His guitar playing in this album is a bit more conventional, he also plays harmonica and sings in an authentic American-folk style.
Morello told Chris Harris of MTV News that the Nightwatchman is, “A reaction against illicit wars, a reaction against first strikes, torture, secret prisons, spying illegally on American citizens. It’s a reaction against war crimes, and it’s a reaction against a few corporations that grow rich [off] this illicit war while people beg for food in the city streets.”
Three songs that people should definitely check out are “No One Left,” “Union Song” and “Flesh Shapes the Day.”
In the song “No One Left,” Morello sings about how the world has gone black. It’s a commentary on 9-11 and the U.S invasion of Iraq and how people with dreams lost their lives. It also has some sick harmonica playing.
“Each one had a dream.no one’s left, on the streets of Manhattan, a dusty wind blows.on the streets of Baghdad a dusty wind blows,” as an example.
My favorite song on the album is “Union Song,” a protest song aimed at corporate America. Morello discusses the firing of the General Motors autoworkers, the outsourcing of jobs to third world countries, people unable to feed their families and sweatshops.
“To the peasant in Guatemala, in a sweatshop got you job, and she can’t feed her family on the pennies that she makes,” as an example.
“Flesh Saves the Day” is a great song that discusses the stupidity of prejudice in our society. The song begins with Morello stating that he knows for a fact that Jesus was black and that he supports our troops wearing black masks possibly stating that the majority of soldiers are black.
“Skin, scar, dirt and fire, it doesn’t matter who you are.what you say.flesh saves the day,” as an example.
Any fan of American folk music would love ‘One Man Revolution.’ Morello resembles Bruce Springsteen, Bob Dylan, Johnny Cash and Woody Guthrie, wrapped in one great release in “One Man Revolution”.