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Leigh Herrick | Just War

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United States - Minnesota

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Spoken Word: Poetry World: Drumming Moods: Featuring Drums
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Just War

by Leigh Herrick

A blend of contemporary poetics with traditional hand drumming that incorporates everything from hip hop to classical, folk to blues.
Genre: Spoken Word: Poetry
Release Date: 

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  Song Share Time Download
1. Geese
2:52 $0.99
2. Fruit Study II
1:24 $0.99
3. J-Flag Blues
4:00 $0.99
4. Hierarchy
1:58 $0.99
5. Siren
3:39 $0.99
6. Defeat of Barbarism
3:15 $0.99
7. Parting Poem
4:13 $0.99
8. Shucked and Shelled Bt Subatomic Improv
2:03 $0.99
9. capital I
1:44 $0.99
10. Congo Congo
5:32 $0.99
11. In Consequential Ballad
9:34 $0.99
12. Don't Fence Me In
1:38 $0.99
13. Medley: Page 13 Forward, Ground Zero, Passover 2002
7:59 $0.99
14. Home Front
3:35 $0.99
15. Cornucopia
1:49 $0.99
16. Kundalini Rising
5:38 $0.99
17. Waiting
1:05 $0.99
18. Future Indicative
1:27 $0.99
19. What Will Happen to You
2:18 $0.99
20. Love Poem
4:37 $0.99
Downloads are available as MP3-320 files.


Album Notes

May 2007 REVIEW:

The cover notes for Leigh Herrick's twenty-track album of music, spoken word, and sung poetry, Just War, include the statement:

The attacks that occurred in the United States on 9/11/2001 did so just 19 days before my departure to Vermont. This had a grave affect on the course of my work, not altering it, but deepening it, catapulting me into what I believe is a most necessary look at what it means to be living as a citizen of conscience on Earth and in this beautiful country, America.

The artist's statement illustrates how Just War is not simple reactionary philosophy; neither anti-Muslim jingoism nor self-hating anti-Americanism, but a complex reaction to strange times. In pursuit of the necessary complexity, Herrick played the conga, large and medium tars, kanjira, tambourine, riq, guitar, cowbell, shekere, uyot hand rattle, tuning fork, telephone and a coconut shaker with coco beads, layering them with several vocal styles. The whole thing is done in a stripped-down production that makes you feel as if you're in a room surrounded by active, energetic musicians and singers.

We're very proud to present her tracks "In Consequential Ballad," a huge and beautiful overview of changing U.S. politics, along with the instrumental "Don't Fence Me In." But if you restrict yourself to these tracks, you might come away with the mistaken impression that Herrick's statements are restricted to Americana. There's a true global view in Just War, based on absolute faith in what happens in one part of the world effects the whole world. The interconnectedness of our species is explored largely through music, but also through her lyric poetry, with tracks such as "Congo Congo" and the "Passover 2002" medley. So after you're finished here, be sure to check out her tracks at CDBaby or iTunes. —Jonathan Penton, Unlikely Stories


Leigh Herrick is a US poet recognized at both the local and national level who is quickly gaining international attention. She is the recipient of various poetry awards and fellowships and has published throughout North America and Cyberspace. Her most recent poems, essays or music have appeared in print or online at Kalliope, Margie, Howling Dog Press, and Unlikely Stories. Herrick is also a hand drummer and has trained intensively with Layne Redmond in frame drumming and in Minneapolis with local drummers Chico Perez and Wallace Hill in Afro-Cuban drumming traditions.

A multi-disciplinary artist, Herrick's JUST WAR album expresses the fusion of musicianship with original poetry. Much of the mix is underscored with traditional frame drumming and other percussion as Herrick reflects on the intersections of politics and policy through free and formal aspects of verse.

JUST WAR'S blending of poetry within the rhythmic framework of drumming arouses consciousness and changes energy.

Through the Many Unnamed Herrick calls to that spirit of wisdom that would teach how to disestablish the inhumane, knowing what language and music can accomplish, crossing borders and the limits of space and time.


Letter excerpt:

I loved your CD...these poems, just as I remembered so many years ago, are not only passionate, irreverent, poignant, they are above all, very beautiful.

You have managed to voice the saddest facts with words that also celebrate the English language and the intention to instill and impregnate something nondescript in the hearts and memory of the reader and/or listener.

I have used them to teach a Colombian friend to pronounce English without the strong regional accent of the Medellin city.

She was so taken by your poems that she was able to relax and pronounce with much more feelings than before. I guess that’s one important purpose of a poem, to affect the communication receptors of the listener/reader to such an extent that she can strengthen the relationship between herself and her own ability to express herself and thus, infect others with the same inspiration.

This is a matter of ultimate communication.
Thanks for all this.

-Christina Chow, Visual Artist, New York



to write a review

M. L. Barrón

A symbol of hope for peace and social justice.
In a time of great need, Just War gives us that powerful, profound and lyrical voice that calls out, incites and moves us into action. A symbol of hope for those of us who believe in and continue to work towards peace and social justice.

Internal Rhyme

One hell of a poet. Even when playful, she jabs you.
Urban drums. Marching drums. Artillery and nodding. And maybe more tribal than ever before. So Leigh goes for the hopeful pulse/heartbeat drumming that's next world up, that soul part that never, even in the most bitterly satiric of her lines, leaves her voice. She is one hell of a poet. Even when playful, she jabs you.

M. Ballard

Add this CD to your mix.
I have this CD in my ipod. When it comes up during shuffle play, I am at first struck by the strength of Leigh's voice and drumming, then I am inspired by her words and message.

Michael D. Main

A "Contemplation Action" - A Simmering Titan Of A Work
Herrick's JUST WAR is a simmering titan of work, and this important audio document compels us to consider what it might mean to mount similar and supporting anti-war "contemplation actions". No mere polemic, this is a mysterious 'momentum engine' of poems and musical accompaniments. Herrick's fine honed performance sensibility at times brings to mind both Laurie Anderson and Gil Scott-Heron. But where Ms. Anderson too often reserves a cuning smirk just beneath the surface of the cheek, Herrick swims waist-deep streams of ambiguity and irony - but with all sincerity and strength of purpose intact. And where Gil Scott-Heron's classic utterances seemed to stand at a reserved distance from the pulsing drumbeat of his soundtracks, leading us at times to question his authentic motives, Herrick utterly commits, at heart, with each phrase. Yet commits herself quietly, and so ultimately co-commits the listener to her living currents. This is in no way a "diminished" war poetry. Rather than point to disinheritance, these works demand full accounting, a new recording of wider experience taken to begin at the social-personal extreme of witnessing and feeling presence. I know of no other activist poetics that is both so careful with matters of humanity's 'ultimate concern', yet so telling of truth. JUST WAR is not to be missed. I dare any listener to encounter these performances once, and not return tomorrow to again take up the greater gift of resonance as has been tapped here from such a vital throat and drum.

Samantha Smart

Herrick delves deep into the primal heartbeat of thought and being.
Leigh Herrick is a poet who works. She delves into the essence of social and cultural forms and emerges with the tools to create a coherent and poignant commentary on human folly. Herrick uses rhythm, intonation and razor-like wisdom to bring us into a meditation on right and wrong, one that moves us forward with a newly activated sensibility. This collection is transformative.