March 21, 2022
by John Apice
...Noel Paul, a fine solo artist proves an 84-year-old is a vibrant folk artist & on his own label Fazz: Now & Then (Drops March 22–Neworld Multimedia) Mr. Stookey relies less on folk/political music & fills this with 20 diverse pieces.
Originals, live cuts & covers like rocker Willie Nile’s “Under This Roof,” Christian-rocker Randy Stonehill’s “Leonard’s Toaster” — an excellent pensive tune, a standard 40s (“I’ll Be Seeing You”), classic Billie Holiday (“God Bless The Child” – surprisingly good & spirited), one folk traditional (“The Water Is Wide”) & Brazilian/bossa nova.
It’s a well-recorded document that’s to be respected. So, as Peter Yarrow morphed into a Pete Seeger sing-along folky, Stookey explored alternatives. Fortunately, he doesn’t sing about the pandemic & never preaches. For an elder-folk statesman, Mr. Stookey’s lost none of his vocal charms. His warm balladist timbre is filled with sincerity & purity...