Tom Paxton’s “The Battle of the Sexes” — Exclusive Song Premiere

Here’s a fun song from folk legend Tom Paxton. “The Battle of the Sexes” is from this artist’s Redemption Road album, out March 10.

Chock full of clever lyrics and a rollicking fiddle-laden arrangement, “The Battle of the Sexes” celebrates with a tongue-in-cheek ride through historic male/female conflict. Fun, fun, fun!

Paxton shares, “So, I was scribbling away in my notebook, writing pretty much whatever came to me while waiting for something to show up. as is my wont, when in the course of this idle exercise I found I had written, "Back in the Garden of Eden...". Hmmm, I thought, and almost immediately wrote, "That never needed weedin' " which, of course, it didn't. This brought to mind Mark Twain's pieces about Adam and Eve's diaries, which I had loved reading years ago. Let's play with that, I thought, and the first verse was done. Then, it was a case of finding Mark Antony and Cleopatra, Samson and Delilah and the Washingtons. The chorus was fun to write: rhyming "sexes" and "Texas" justified going out for lunch.”

Like countless young adults who fell in love with Woody Guthrie and Pete Seeger, Tom Paxton headed to Greenwich Village in the early ’60s, just in time to join Bob Dylan, Dave Van Ronk, Joan Baez and other troubadours who took over coffeehouse stages — and took on the world. Paxton has been raising his rich voice in song ever since, carrying on the folk tradition with passion, wit and grace.

And the Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award winner is far from ready to call it quits, though he is planning to leave the traveling life behind. But first, he’ll celebrate the March 10, 2015 release of his 62nd (or so) album, Redemption Road; launch a two-month tour with Janis Ian on March 4; and head to his hometown of Bristow, Okla., for his March 14 induction into the Oklahoma Music Hall of Fame.

He’ll also run across the pond in May for several U.K. dates, and likely keep stage-hopping through 2015. And after that … well, after that, maybe he’ll finally get around to turning his “Back in the Day” website recollections into a book, or posting more “Short Shelf-life Songs,” or giving himself more opportunities to kick back with a midday movie, as he was doing one recent rainy afternoon before hitting “pause” to discuss his latest work.

Paxton and producer Jim Rooney recorded Redemption Road (on Paxton’s Pax Records) at the Butcher Shop in Nashville, which made it easy to recruit a stellar gang of supporting players. The list includes Al Perkins on dobro, Tim Crouch on fiddle and mandolin, frequent collaborator Geoff Bartley on National steel guitar, Kirk “Jellyroll” Johnson on harmonica and executive producer Cathy Fink on banjo and harmonies. Janis Ian contributes harmony to the title tune; John Prine takes a verse on “Skeeters’ll Gitcha.”

  • Like most folk musicians, Paxton loves a fun, “silly” song just as much as he loves a pointed political statement or a love song, and Redemption Road contains some of each, along with one traditional, the Celtic prayer, “The Parting Glass.”
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  • U.S. tour dates:
  • Thu., Jan. 15 SEATTLE, WA The Triple Door; with Kate Power & Steve Einhorn
  • Fri., Jan. 16 PORTLAND, OR Alberta Rose Theatre; with Kate Power & Steve Einhorn
  • Sat., Jan. 17 FLORENCE, OR Winter Folk Festival
  • Fri., Feb. 27 ALBANY, NY The Egg, Swyer Theater

March-April dates with Janis Ian
Wed., Mar. 4 SOUTH ORANGE, NJ South Orange Performing Arts Center
Thu., Mar. 5 TARRYTOWN, NY Tarrytown Music Hall
Fri., Mar. 6 NEW YORK, NY City Winery
Sat., Mar. 7 PATCHOGUE, NY Patchogue Theatre
Sun., Mar. 8 MONROE TOWNSHIP, NJ Richard P. Marasco Center for the Performing Arts
Wed.-Thu., Mar. 18-19 MINNEAPOLIS, MN The Dakota
Fri., Mar. 20 STOUGHTON, WI Stoughton Opera House
Sun., Mar. 22 CHICAGO, IL Old Town School of Folk Music
hu., Apr. 9 PONTE VEDRA BEACH, FL Ponte Vedra Concert Hall
Fri., Apr. 10 VERO BEACH, FL Emerson Center
Sat., Apr. 11 FORT LAUDERDALE, FL Broward Center for the Performing Arts
Sun., Apr. 12 WEST PALM BEACH, FL Kravis Center -- Gosman Amphitheatre
Mon., Apr. 13 CLEARWATER, FL Capitol Theatre
Wed., Apr. 22 SANTA CRUZ, CA Rio Theatre
Thu., Apr. 23 NAPA, CA City Winery
Fri., Apr. 24 GRASS VALLEY, CA The Center for the Arts
Sat., Apr. 25 BERKELEY, CA Freight & Salvage Coffeehouse

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Acoustic Nation

Acoustic Nation is written by Laura B. Whitmore, a music industry marketing veteran, music journalist and editor, who has contributed to, Guitar World, and others. She has interviewed hundreds of musicians and hosts the She Rocks Podcast. As the founder of the Women’s International Music Network, she advocates for women in the music industry and produces the annual She Rocks Awards. She is the Senior Vice President of Marketing for Positive Grid, making the world safe for guitar exploration everywhere! A guitarist and singer/songwriter, Laura is currently co-writing an album of pop songs that empower and energize girls.