Andy Worthington’s Band The Four Fathers Complete Mixes for New Album, ‘How Much Is A Life Worth?’

3.2.17

The Four Fathers rehearsing in November 2016 at the Music Complex in Deptford. From L to R: Richard Clare, Andy Worthington and Brendan Horstead. Photo by Andrew Fifield.Check out our existing recordings here, and get in touch to let us know if you’re interested in our new album, out very soon!

Yesterday, I was very excited to put the final touches to my band The Four Fathers‘ second album, ‘How Much Is A Life Worth?’ The album will be available soon on CD and to download on our Bandcamp account, where our existing recordings are still available — our first album ‘Love and War’, the ‘Fighting Injustice’ EP, featuring remixes of three songs from ‘Love and War’ (US and UK versions), and a single, ‘Close Guantánamo.’ Please feel free to like us on Facebook and to follow us on Twitter.

The album features ten original songs — eight by me, as lead singer and rhythm guitarist, and two by Richard Clare (lead guitar, backing vocals), and we recorded it with Pat Collier at Perry Vale Studios in Forest Hill in three sessions from July to November with Brendan Horstead on drums and percussion, Andrew Fifield on flute and harmonica, and Louis Sills-Clare on bass.

My songs include the title track — our most recent song — comparing how white westerners value their own lives compared to the victims of the west’s post-9/11 wars in Afghanistan and Iraq, the refugees fleeing the death and destruction in Syria and elsewhere, and the black men — and children — killed with impunity by the police in the US, where the Black Lives Matter movement has been such a powerful force.

I made a few changes to the vocals yesterday — in particular, changing a line about the refugee crisis, “Europeans are getting more cold-hearted”, to “Westerners are getting more cold-hearted”, to reflect Donald Trump’s completely unacceptable ban on citizens from seven countries — Iraq, Iran, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria and Yemen (at least 134 million people) from entering the US — for an initial period of 90 days, but with Syrian refugees banned indefinitely. As I explained in an article last week, Trump’s Dystopian America: The Unforgivable First Ten Days, “The ban was so scattershot and chaotic that, incredibly, it also included permanent US residents who were abroad when it took effect, and even dual nationals, born in any of the proscribed countries.”

The running order of The Four Fathers' new album, 'How Much Is A Life Worth?'In the running order I put together yesterday (which may be subject to change before the album is released), the next two songs, which I also wrote, are ‘Riot’, a brooding, low-slung roots reggae anthem pointing out the dangers of growing inequality in the UK, which has become particularly grave since the global banking crash in 2008 and the cynical age of austerity introduced in its wake by the Tory government, and ‘London’, my love song to the capital, a poppy, punky reggae song spanning my 30 years living here, as greed has taken over, stifling creativity and dissent. Both are amongst our favourite songs to play live, along with favourites from our first album, like ‘Fighting Injustice’, ‘Tory Bullshit Blues‘ and our cover of Bob Dylan’s ‘Masters of War.’

Next is the first of Richard’s two songs, ‘She’s Back’, about Pussy Riot, which has a West Coast 1960s vibe, and then five more songs of mine — ‘Dreamers’, written last year for the 50th birthday of one of my closest friends, ‘Tell Me Baby’, a 1960s garage-style love song, ‘Equal Rights and Justice For All’, a bouncing roots reggae number about habeas corpus, with reference to its origins in England 800 years ago, and how it came to be shamefully discarded in the post-9/11 ‘war on terror’, not just at Guantánamo. and elsewhere in the Bush administration’s network of secret prisons, but also in the UK — although shamefully the UK programme of imprisonment without charge or trial on the basis of secret evidence is much less well-known.

This is followed by a reworked version of ‘Close Guantánamo’, which we released as an online single at the end of last year, when it was featured in a promotional video for the Close Guantánamo campaign that I have been running since 2012. The reworked version features an updated verse about Donald Trump.

My last song is ‘River Run Dry’, an Irish-influenced song about the end of an affair that I wrote in Brixton as a young man, and Richard’s second and last song, ‘When He Is Sane’, a slow slice of psychedelia dealing with mental health issues, rounds off the album.

If I was more organized, I’d have samples of these songs for you to listen to, and I’d already be able to direct you to a page where you can pre-order the album, but as I’m not that organized, I’ll have to ask you instead to send an email if you’d like us to let you know when the album is released. I’m hoping it will be in the next month or so, with a launch gig in London to accompany it.

If you can help in any way, with getting the album out to a wider audience, with gigs, or with opportunities to make videos, then please do get in touch, as we’d love to hear from you.

Andy Worthington is a freelance investigative journalist, activist, author, photographer, film-maker and singer-songwriter (the lead singer and main songwriter for the London-based band The Four Fathers, whose debut album ‘Love and War’ and EP ‘Fighting Injustice’ are available here to download or on CD via Bandcamp). He is the co-founder of the Close Guantánamo campaign (and the Countdown to Close Guantánamo initiative, launched in January 2016), the co-director of We Stand With Shaker, which called for the release from Guantánamo of Shaker Aamer, the last British resident in the prison (finally freed on October 30, 2015), and the author of The Guantánamo Files: The Stories of the 774 Detainees in America’s Illegal Prison (published by Pluto Press, distributed by the University of Chicago Press in the US, and available from Amazon, including a Kindle edition — click on the following for the US and the UK) and of two other books: Stonehenge: Celebration and Subversion and The Battle of the Beanfield. He is also the co-director (with Polly Nash) of the documentary film, “Outside the Law: Stories from Guantánamo” (available on DVD here — or here for the US).

To receive new articles in your inbox, please subscribe to Andy’s RSS feed — and he can also be found on Facebook (and here), Twitter, Flickr and YouTube. Also see the six-part definitive Guantánamo prisoner list, and The Complete Guantánamo Files, an ongoing, 70-part, million-word series drawing on files released by WikiLeaks in April 2011. Also see the definitive Guantánamo habeas list, the full military commissions list, and the chronological list of all Andy’s articles.

Please also consider joining the Close Guantánamo campaign, and, if you appreciate Andy’s work, feel free to make a donation.

4 Responses

  1. Andy Worthington says...

    When I posted this on Facebook, I wrote:

    Here’s my latest article, publicizing the completion of my band The Four Fathers’ second album, ‘How Much Is A Life Worth?’ which we hope to be releasing soon, featuring ten new songs – eight by me, and two by guitarist Richard Clare. They’re mostly political songs, with a few love songs in the mix, including the title track, about how white westerners perceive the values of their lives compared to Muslims, refugees and young black men in America, for example (sadly more topical than ever under Donald Trump), and other songs about Guantanamo, habeas corpus, austerity, civil unrest, gentrification, rampant greed, the growing inequality between the rich and poor, and much more. Do get in touch if you can help us promote it, if you can make a video for us, and/or if you can get us gigs. We think the world needs more protest music!

  2. Andy Worthington says...

    There’s six hours and 40 minutes left. If you buy any music from Bandcamp until the end of the day (Pacific time), they’ll donate their cut to the ACLU Nationwide to fight Donald Trump’s disgraceful immigration ban: https://daily.bandcamp.com/2017/01/31/bandcamp-human-rights/

  3. Andy Worthington says...

    That’s not just The Four Fathers; it’s any of the many wonderful musicians who sell their music via Bandcamp!

  4. Andy Worthington says...

    An update from Bandcamp: fans bought just over $1,000,000 worth of music yesterday, with Bandcamp’s share (around $120,000) going directly to the ACLU. The rest of the money received goes directly to the labels and artists, although more than 400 artists and labels pledged to donate their share of sales as well, Sadly, no one bought any of our music yesterday, although we did get a few listens! https://daily.bandcamp.com/2017/02/03/update-on-todays-aclu-fundraising-frenzy/

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Andy Worthington

Investigative journalist, author, campaigner, commentator and public speaker. Recognized as an authority on Guantánamo and the “war on terror.” Co-founder, Close Guantánamo, co-director, We Stand With Shaker. Also, singer and songwriter (The Four Fathers) and photographer.
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