"To everything there is a season, and a time for every purpose under heaven." These timeless words from the Book of Ecclesiastes have echoed through the ages, in both scripture and song, offering hope and understanding when needed most. Now, thanks to chart-topping folk-rock/Americana harmony trio Gathering Time, the iconic prose once again takes on renewed relevance as they release a video for their rendition of the Pete Seeger classic “Turn! Turn! Turn!” from their latest album Old Friends.
Describing it as both “reassuring and energizing,” the band says the video will be unveiled Friday, October 2, just after the Jewish New Year high holidays and at the beginning of the festival of Sukkot, when Ecclesiastes is traditionally read. Edited by Efrat Shapira of Efrat Productions, it incorporates footage from three different outdoor performances this summer, and utilizes images reflecting the Covid pandemic and social protests to link the ancient words to the current era. View video here: https://youtu.be/dXx3ctHGtBw
"If there's one thought that has kept me grounded and staved off a sense of depression for me, it's that as a society and a human race we've been through this before, even worse. This song and video reflect that and remind us that there is always hope,” says vocalist, bassist and rhythm guitarist Stuart Markus. A self-described history buff, he adds, "We've seen that history goes in cycles, good times and bad, conflict and peace, sickness and health, boom and bust. While it can be depressing to realize that the good times won't last, it's comforting to remember the bad times won't either."
Their album Old Friends, a tribute to the folk and folk-rock greats of the 1960s and '70s, was officially released Sept. 1 and was quickly embraced by folk DJs around the U.S., Canada and overseas.
"We're fortunate that we’ve established great relationships with the folk DJ community over the last decade with our last four albums of mostly originals so we are thrilled that Old Friends has resonated with them as much as it has, " Markus says.
Gathering Time’s advance single from Old Friends, "Get Together," (the Youngbloods hit from 1969), took the #1 song spot on the Folk Alliance International Folk DJ Chart for July; however this isn’t the first time the trio has earned a #1 – their March, 2016 release Keepsake earned the #1 album, #1 song and #1 artist honors.
Attributing part of the success of the single to its relevance to current times, Markus says other songs on the current album are also applicable to today’s turbulent culture, including "Abraham, Martin & John," an elegy to assassinated leaders, "Hurry Sundown," about the need to turn off and tune out the world, "At Seventeen," Janis Ian's timeless ode of teenage rejection, and "And When I Die," Laura Nyro and Blood Sweat & Tears' classic about life and the legacy one might leave behind.
Other songs on the album include two tracks to bookend a relationship, "You Were On My Mind" (S. Fricker) and "If You Could Read My Mind" (G. Lightfoot), and "Ripple," the classic originally by the Grateful Dead.
"Before it became almost synonymous with singer-songwriters," adds Markus, "the term 'folk music' usually meant singing songs that had been written long before, sometimes so far back their authorship had been lost. With this album, we hope to make the case that the tradition applies to rock-era music too, and to remind a whole lot of people how wonderful and relevant these songs still are."
More information on Gathering Time can be found at www.gathering-time.com.
Footage was shot by Robert Comforto of Video Masters and the members of the band, and video editing by Efrat Shapira, Efrat Productions.