Curtis Mayfield! "Keep on Pushin'."
Gotta have this one.
And this one. Bob Marley and Peter Tosh wrote this based on the riff from War's "Slippin' Into Darkness" after touring with them in the 70's. This live version features Carlton "Santa" Davis on drums and George "Fully" Fullwood on bass, whom I've had the privilege of performing with a few times.
Billie Holliday's "Strange Fruit".
CCR's "Fortunate Son", "Runnin' Thru the Jungle", "Who'll Stop the Rain" all meant something to a generation of men in the military.
The Weavers, Peter, Paul & Mary, Simon & Garfunkel all had songs that would fit the bill. Pete Seeger alone had quite few, and you can't forget Woodie Guthrie.
What about Dylan? "Masters of War," and "Blowin' in the Wind," for example?
You knew the Fab Four would pop in here!
Sly at his best:
Lots of powerful versions, but Rick Trevino and Los Lobos really turn in a classic performance.
A Steve VanZandt song performed by JB.
Social awareness is no stranger to Jackson Browne. This song had a real cool guitar lick by Gary Myrick.
Any song that stirs up human emotions is a socially powerful song, especially when the audience sings all the lyrics in unison!
well....NOT this one, in any case! Even Paul Yandell can't save it.
Bob Dylan wrote this, but Aaron Neville's voice and Daniel Lanois' production make this my favorite version:
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