“Ribot has long been a leader among the warrior force of free-thinking improvisers within New York’s creative-music community, a master player who has extended legacies while going his own way.” — Daily Beast
Marc Ribot is an intrepid guitarist with a repertoire that runs the gamut from traditionalist roots music to serrated free improvisation. But, he’s most often cited as a sideman for heavyweights, most notably Tom Waits in the meat of his classic run in the ’80s. He’s also worked frequently with Elvis Costello, T-Bone Burnett, John Zorn, and John Lurie, to name but a few—his left-field influence unmistakable across the many projects. Still, each of the bold missives under his own name deserves its due, and must be examined on its own terms; his most recent work, Songs of Resistance 1948-2018, is no exception. Rattled to the core by the 2016 election, Ribot went on a search for answers. He found solace of sorts by radically reworking classic protest folk songs. Gathering together an embarrassment of riches, in talent and star-power, Ribot arranged a visceral, raw protest album. It’s a beautiful but barbed tapestry of resistance that ultimately, through community, historicity, and exorcism, reaches for the light at the end of a long tunnel.