Acclaimed singer-songwriter, environmental activist and former U.S. Congressman John Hall announced today the release of a new video for his song “Save the Monarch,” which features renowned folk music artist Dar Williams. The four-and-a half minute long video is available on Hall’s website and YouTube.
“Save the Monarch” appears on Hall’s latest album, Reclaiming My Time, which was released in May 2021. Hall’s sixth solo record, in addition to the 18 albums he released with the pop-rock band Orleans, Reclaiming My Time broke the Top 20 on the Americana Country Charts and was widely praised upon release. (The album’s title is a phrase used on the floor of Congress when a member wants to resume speaking after an interruption.)
“When I wrote ‘Save the Monarch’ I envisioned it as a hymn for endangered species, a sincere prayer that we answer the call to be good stewards of the earth,” said Hall. “The urgency of needing to protect life on our planet has been an enduring theme in my work, and I was absolutely thrilled when Dar (Williams), a neighbor of mine when I lived in New York’s Hudson Valley, agreed to sing the song with me. Dar is such an extraordinary artist and writer, as well as an engaged environmentalist. She certainly helps lift the song and gives it greater resonance.”
Hall and Williams swapping vocals on “Save the Monarch” is certainly apt, as they served for several years together on the board of directors of the Hudson River Sloop Clearwater, an environmental and education nonprofit co-founded in 1969 by folk music icon and activist Pete Seeger.
The video for “Save the Monarch” was directed, filmed and edited by Rob Arthur, who has directed videos for the Doobie Brothers, Dave Mason and Peter Frampton. A veteran keyboardist, Arthur has spent the past two decades serving as the bandleader for Peter Frampton.
Hall plays all of the instruments on “Save the Monarch” except for drums, which are handled by Peter O’Brien, Hall’s former bandmate in Orleans. Reclaiming My Time is notable for the many musical artists who joined Hall in the studio, including John Cowan (New Grass Revival, Doobie Brothers), Andrea Zonn (James Taylor, Vince Gill), Jay Collins (Dukes of September, Allmans), Sean Paddock (Kenny Chesney) and pedal steel guitar player Dan Dugmore. Steve Wariner co-wrote and sang a duet with Hall on “Another Sunset.”
Hall is known mostly for his work with Orleans; the band’s hits “Still the One” and “Dance with Me,” which he co-wrote with former wife Johanna Hall, continue to be streamed over 100,000 times apiece daily. Last year, Orleans released a Christmas album called New Star Shining, and in 2022 the band will be celebrating its 50th anniversary.
In 1979, Hall launched Musicians United for Safe Energy (MUSE) with Bonnie Raitt, Jackson Browne and Graham Nash, which culminated in the famed “No Nukes” concerts, which featured the above-mentioned musical artists, as well as Bruce Springsteen, James Taylor, the Doobie Brothers and Carly Simon.
Hall was elected in 2006 and 2008 to serve in the U.S. House of Representatives, where he fought for environmental issues and veterans’ disability rights. In 2016, his memoir Still the One: A Rock’n’Roll Journey to Congress and Back was published.
Stream the new album here: johnjhall.bandcamp.com
“Save the Monarch” at https://youtu.be/Q3y2L4jyyJo.