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anne hills

Anne Hills
The Things I Notice Now

Anne Hills sings the songs ofTom Paxton



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A loving tribute to one of America’s most iconic bards by one of folk music’s most beautiful voices. Includes three duets with Tom and a new Paxton original!

track listing

1. The Things I Notice Now itunesbuy
2. Icarus itunesbuy
3. Cindy's Cryin' itunesbuy
4. Early Snow itunesbuy
5. Hard Times Are Here Again itunesbuy
6. Hold On to Me, Babe itunesbuy
7, Time to Spare itunesbuy
8. Mother itunesbuy
9. Dogs at Midnight itunesbuy
10. When Princes Meet itunesbuy
11. Redemption Road itunesbuy
12. Every Time itunesbuy


Anne Hills was a 15-year-old student at Michigan’s Interlochen Arts Academy in the 1970s when she first heard Tom Paxton on her roommate’s stereo. Fast forward a few years and she found herself collaborating with Tom and the late Bob Gibson as the Best of Friends trio (1984-85). (That short-lived group is preserved on the 2004 Appleseed CD, Best of Friends. A few decades later, Anne and Tom recorded their first full-scale collaboration, Under American Skies (Appleseed, 2001). And now the circle is complete with the release of The Things I Notice Now, Anne’s new 12-song CD of all-Paxton compositions celebrating Tom’s 75th birthday (Halloween, 1937).

Paxton, who has received Lifetime Achievement awards from the Recording Academy (the Grammy people), BBC Radio, and the American Society of Composers, Artists and Publishers [ASCAP] among many honors, was one of the very first folksingers in the Greenwich Village scene of the early ’60s to write his own topical and personal material. “That a writer could change the world for the listener and change their political view from a personal place” was a revelation and inspiration to Hills. Her subsequent careers as an award-winning musician, poet, actress, writer, artist, and social worker have all reflected that theme of empathy and change through art.

Rather than recycle some of Paxton’s best-known and most-covered songs (“The Last Thing on My Mind,” “Ramblin’ Boy,” “Bottle of Wine,” “The Marvelous Toy,” “What Did You Learn in School Today?”), Hills solicited suggestions from Paxton, who also contributed the newly written valediction “Redemption Road” (co-written with Geoff Bartley), and added favorites of her own to create The Things I Notice Now: “I chose songs that feature his lesser-known, poetically beautiful writing and reflect his ability to capture deep conflict and sorrow with the same clarity as his comedic and political songs.”

The Things I Notice Now takes a long look at real life: lovers and families separated by economics or exhausted emotions (the title song, “Hold On to Me, Babe,” “Every Time”); splintering communities (“Early Snow,” “Hard Times are Here Again”); the passage of time (“Time to Spare”); lethal jobs (“Dogs at Midnight,” “Cindy’s Cryin’”); and the poor as pawns of politics (“When Princes Meet”). Anne’s lovely soprano voice (joined by Tom on three songs) brings each situation to vivid life with an effective lack of diva-like gymnastics. Says Paxton, “I revel in the power of that voice of hers.”

Intimate, understated backing is provided by Hills’ longtime friends and collaborators Scott Petito (production, keyboards, guitars, bass); her former classmates at Interlochen Chris Brubeck (trombone) and Peter Erskine (drums, percussion), both established jazz musicians; frequent performing and recording partner Cindy Mangsen (accordion, concertina), and Anne herself on guitar.


other releases:
Points of View
Best of Friends

Under American Skies