Folksinger Tom Neilson at JustGoods July 5

Folksinger Tom Neilson will “Celebrate His Freedom of Speech” at 7:30 p.m., Thursday, July 5, at the JustGoods Listening Room, 201 Seventh St., Rockford.

Donations of $10 or $5 for seniors or children is requested. The event is sponsored by Rockford Peace & Justice Committee. For more information, call Stanley Campbell at (815) 964-7111.

Neilson was born on an upstate New York dairy farm, where he grew up milking cows, shoveling manure and throwing hay. He is a dancer, organic farmer and basketball coach.

Folksinger, songwriter, activist, historian and educator, Neilson provides a voice for those who believe in the power of folk music to effect change. His award-winning songs of humor, compassion and political affairs have been performed in 16 countries on five continents. His lyrics are celebrated for their sophistication, political astuteness and wit.

Neilson has 10 folk recordings. He has opened for Amy Goodman, Cindy Sheehan, Cesar Chavez, Ralph Nader, David Cobb and played at the Martin Luther King Center in Havana, Cuba. A classical vocalist in his youth, he has also performed at the Washington Cathedral, New York City’s Town Hall, Boston’s Symphony Hall and the New England Conservatory of Music with solos on two classical albums. At Kerrville, Tom was referred to as the Jon Stewart of folk music.

Having lived much of his life outside the U.S., Tom has spent more than a decade working and traveling around the world, mostly in Africa and South America. These experiences are reflected in his songs about Central America and the beginning of World War II in Spain.

from the July 5-10, 2007, issue

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