|Dimensions||14 × 12.5 × 1 cm|
This CD is a tribute to John Cummins, the late President of the CFMEU, Victoria. A great freedom fighter and union man. Dare to Struggle Dare to Win is very much a Union album and this CD represents not just a tribute to the life and passion of ‘Cummo’, but a statement of Union solidarity.
Martin Doherty and Leigh Birkett – “Dare to Struggle, Dare to Win – A tribute to John Cummins 1948-2006”
Review by Bob Mancor
I must start off this review with an explanation. I knew John Cummins as a fellow worker, mate and activist/Union Leader for more than 30 years. Six months ago, I had never heard of Martin Doherty and Leigh Birkett and it was only on the 31st August, 2007 that I fi rst heard them play live along with the fi ddler, Simon Watts, at the inaugural John Cummins Foundation Dinner in Melbourne. I had got hold of this CD a few weeks before and I’ve been listening to it ever since. So I’m biased – but for all the right reasons, and I fi nd this to be a wonderful CD of the genre of music that I’ve been listening to for more than 40 years. The album is beautifully produced, both soundwise and in the presentation of the accompanying booklet, which is clear, precise and of great quality. In fact, it is as good and informative as any CD booklet I’ve seen. As far as the music goes, it is a great combination of the past, present and future as well as a coming-together of musical infl uences from various lands – mainly Irish, Australian, English and American – all joining together in a really strong and positive way. It is the old and the new giving us hope for a better world and a brighter future with struggle by the working people being the key to it all. My favourite is Tom Paxton’s “They couldn’t take the union (normally music) from your soul”. When I hear this song it is as if it was written about Cummo himself. How different songs affect different folk is well illustrated by a fellow construction worker from Geelong who has a young family. He told me Ewan McColl’s “England’s Motorways” really struck a chord with him for obvious reasons. That is not to leave out any of the other tracks, many written by people who’ve spent much of their working lives in construction, such as Martin himself, Ulick O’Boyle and Gary McCarthy. For me, there is not one bad track and you can’t often say that about a CD.
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