Tom Waits has released his first new music in two years in the form of a collaboration with Mark Ribot who he has worked with many times before. The song ‘Bella Ciao’ was originally adapted from an Italian folk ballad to become the theme of the armed partisan resistance to Mussolini in around 1943. Since them it has been a favourite resistance song at anti fascist protest around Europe and further afield. It has also been covered by numerous political artists old and new including Chumbawamba and Firepit Collective more recently.
This latest version comes from Ribot’s forthcoming album ‘Songs of resistance 1942-2018’ and is one of many collaborations for a project that looks to be extremely interesting in political terms. Its publicity states: “A studio album released September 14, 2018 on ANTI- Records, Ribot set out to assemble a set of songs that spoke to this political moment with appropriate ambition, passion, and fury. The eleven songs on the record features a wide range of guest vocalists, including Tom Waits, Steve Earle, Meshell Ndegeocello, Justin Vivian Bond, Fay Victor, Sam Amidon, and Ohene Cornelius, Tift Merritt, Domenica Fossati, Syd Straw, with proceeds benefitting grassroots advocacy organization Invisible Project.”
The video for Bella Caio pulls few punches directly linking anti fascism with resistance to the rise of Donald Trump. We look forward to the release rest of the album with great interest.