Pete Seeger influences classics

By Carl Nadig

The roots of American folk singer and songwriter Pete Seeger’s influence dig deep into American musics.

Many albums wouldn’t have been made if it wasn’t for Seeger. In honor of the musician, who died Monday, here are three albums that possess his influence and voice.

“Real Gone” by Tom Waits

This bluesy and dark album delves into Tom Waits’ deepest political songs. Because of Seeger’s political activism, Waits and Seeger’s music act as a tool for their beliefs and concerns in society. The two musicians complete the circle between fine arts and political science.

Where Seeger can be seen as having a more rural, country sound, Waits is a more industrial version of the message produced in the beginning of the 20th century.

“The Monitor” by Titus Andronicus

This concept album is drenched in conflict. Without folk music, punk rock would’ve never existed. Titus Andronicus is a trademark band for taking an American piece of history and creating musical ballads about independence, liberty and thoughtfulness.

Whether or not Seeger knew he would indirectly influence the punk scene, this album is an emblem of how stories can reach across long periods of time and teach something new about a historic event.

“Highway 61 Revisited” by Bob Dylan

Bob Dylan’s storytelling method of developing a song’s narrative is what made Seeger’s songs recognizable and enjoyable. What made Dylan experimental was his usage of combining storytelling with protest activism. Hints of Woody Guthrie and Seeger are found in this highlight album. Dylan’s usage of turning away from the acoustic folk scene and experimentation of electric instruments is the largest part of Seeger’s influence.