Planete Folle is another band that means "Crazy Planet" in French. Vic is the singer, acoustic guitar, and 10 button accordion player in Planete Folle. The repertoire in that band is Cajun, Zydeco, and New Orleans R&B covers, most of which are in Louisiana style French. Vic is about half way through recording a new solo CD offering of "topical songs for our post-9/11 times".
The Nightmare of New Orleans, heard here on last-fm, will be included in that new batch of political broadsides. A demo version was released to some activist DJ's, which is probably how it showed up here on last-fm. The Nightmare of New Orleans is about the “criminal negligence” of letting the “levees sink in disrepair” and then giving an evacuation order "without providing the means" when "hard winds and high waters" from Hurricane Katrina hit the Big Easy. Another fairly new topical song by Vic is called The Kidnapping Coup.
It's about US military intervention in Haiti in 2004 and the lack of news coverage on the overthrow of democracy. Vic's best known song is probably his tribute to anti-Vietnam war topical folk singer, Phil Ochs. It's called Broadside Balladeer. It was included with various artists on Acoustic Rainbow Sampler #23, a CD that was sent to about 1,400 DJ's around the globe. This resulted in some nice commentary from some of them.
Dominique Lemarechal of RCF Rivages in Brittany, France, said Broadside Balladeer was "fantastic, and I hope to hear other songs on Broadsides & Retrospectives (Vic's own CD of 19 original songs. Speaking of that CD, Programme Director: Christian Claesberg, & DJ Andrea Stolle of Radio Teutoburger Wald, the Old Stringhouse Music Show in Herford, Germany wrote, "It is a masterpiece of music! At the moment our listeners likes the tunes #11, #13, #14 and #17 A Little Girl’s Bedtime, Good Time Delaware, Bourbon Street, Our Only Chesapeake). Remo Ricaldone, host of the American Roots Radio Show in Condove, Italy, said, "I consider it powerful and inspiring, both lyrically and musically!" The lead song, Mad Cowboy Disease, skewers the Bush-Cheney neo con war policies with serious humor in the tradition of Vic's hero, Phil Ochs. Wilmington News Journal writer Gary Soulsman once referred to Vic as “the Pete Seeger of Delaware”.
Indeed, environmental preservation themes and tributes to local places are celebrated in such titles as White Clay Creek, Our Only Chesapeake, The Brandywine and The Christina, The Fog Watch on Limestone Road, The Swans on Smalley's Pond, and The Rugged Hills of Landenberg. Several of these songs are on Broadsides & Retrospectives, including Good Time Delaware, the Chuck Berry-style boogie tribute to the beach that calls for protection of the coastal zone because "there's got to be a place to let the wildlife run!" A perennial children's favorite that has been in Vic’s repertoire for more than 25 years is called The Frog Jog. It’s a silly fantasy full of frog frolic set in the swamps of Sussex County, Delaware. It was co-written by Vic's friend Craig Maurer. The Frog Jog is often performed with an invitation to the children to wear a frog costume and dance to the tune.
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