Folksinger Charlie Mosbrook Brings New Album of Topical Songs to Tremont Sanctuary Benefit

Sun 11/25 @ 3-5PM

Few people have been as central to their piece of the Cleveland music scene as Charlie Mosbrook. His turf is acoustic singer/songwriter/folk music. He’s been performing for 30 years, releasing albums, collaborating with and encouraging other artists, hosting open mic nights and (currently) serving as president of acoustic music nonprofit Folknet, which he helped raise from a period of dormancy.

He has steadfastly continued to be a major force in Cleveland acoustic music despite a back injury, which has limited his movement and often requires him to use a wheelchair. His disability hasn’t stopped him from even going on the road — take that, you whiners!

So the release of a Mosbrook album is an event worth noting. He’ll be celebrating a new seven-song album, Remember Who We Are, with a concert at Tremont’s Pilgrim Church UCC this weekend, benefiting the church’s sanctuary family.

The album takes its title from Mosbrook’s 2018 Woody Guthrie Folk Festival Songwriting Contest second-place winning tune, “Remember Who We Are.” In the spirit of Guthrie, it features topical songs — both his own compositions and others — that speak to today’s social/political/civic issues in highly specific terms.

For instance, in his own “Abandoned Big Box Store,” he addresses the plight of the refugee families at our southern border and the response of the Trump administration to their situation singing,

“The president blames the Democrats
And demands that we build a wall
Or continue to separate mother and child
He could end this with one single call
he ramps up his rhetoric to rally his base
to enrage a deplorable core
they are sleeping tonight near the border
In an abandoned big box store.”

His contest-winning song is a warning to those (such as “a tone-deaf president”) who want to disregard, discredit, ridicule or shut down large segments of Americans and their interests, including “women marching in the streets and bent knee’d athletes/we are refuges and dreamers, the immigrants you blame.” The album also includes a version of the African-American spiritual “I Shall Not Be Moved,” which became an anthem of the Civil Rights Movement in the 1960s. Mosbrook has kept things simple and straightforward, letting the songs and lyrics doing the talking, with guitar, mandolin and dulcimer accompanying his direct and heartfelt vocals.

Admission is a $15 donation or what you can afford or feel moved to give. Refreshments will be available for purchase. The space is fully accessible.


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