Stereo Embers The Podcast: Noel Paul Stookey (Peter, Paul and Mary)

Written by on 03/30/2022

“Jazz: Now & Then”

Noel Paul Stookey became a household name as the Paul part of the Peter Paul and Mary equation. The landmark folk trio formed in New York in the ’60s and went on to lead the American folk music revival
with massive hits like If I Had A Hammer, Puff The Magic Dragon, and Leaving On A Jet Plane. Hammer, of course was written by Pete Seeger and Jet Plane John Denver, but that was the thing about Peter Paul and Mary—they were incredible interpreters of American song. Their readings of Dylan tracks like Blowin’ in the Wind, and the Times They Are A Changin’ are further evidence that they could not only interpret but in many ways make those songs their own in the process.
Peter Paul and Mary put out nearly twenty albums in their career, including 2003’s In These Times and the band ceased to be when Mary Travers passed away in 2009. As for Stookey, he remains a pretty active guy both in and out of music. From founding the non-profit Music To Life with his daughter to producing artists like Dave Mallet and Gordon Bok to playing at Dartmouth in honor of Martin Luther King Day, Stookey is still out there, doing the work. And speaking of work, his new album has just hit shelves. Titled Fazz: Now & Then, the staggering 20-track collection mixes new compositions with folk, jazz, gospel, classical, and world music. It’s been germinating in Stookey’s head for almost 25 years and it was well worth the wait. Filled with folky precision, poetic finesse and clever wordplay, Fazz: Now & Then is a refreshing blast of musical
fusion commandeered by one of the greatest songwriters in American Music. A singer, a father, a husband, an artist and and an activist, Stookey is the real deal.

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