You can count on "Blowin' in the Wind" at the Peter, Paul & Mary concert Thursday at Deer Valley, but hold your hat after that.
In a telephone interview from his home in Maine, Noel Paul Stookey promised "one-third brand new songs, one-third from our new album, `Lifelines,' and one-third our old hits."The folk group celebrates its 35th anniversary this year with a groundbreaking new album. Taking the ampersand from the familiar PP&M logo and moving it to the end of the three initials ("PPM& Lifelines"), Peter, Paul and Mary collaborate with friends, mentors and the next generation: Judy Collins, Ramblin' Jack Elliot, John Gorka, Emmylou Harris, Richie Havens, B.B. King, Holly Near, John Sebastian, Carly and Lucy Simon, Dave Van Ronk, Tom Paxton and the remaining members of Weavers: Pete Seeger, Ronnie Gilbert and Fred Hellerman.
"How did you like it?" Stookey asked. "We're finding people aren't getting used to it immediately."
Not to worry, the new album covers its bases - there is a bluesy new sound but plenty of pure folk for fans reluctant to leave the past. Particularly entrancing is "By the Waters of Babylon" with "Sinner Man" interwoven. Stookey said, "I knew `Waters of Babylon' from church, and we took on the challenge of mounting songs one on another. `Sinner Man' is from the early '60s folk movement and worked well with `Babylon.' "
Stookey was thrilled that Phil Ramone produced the album. "He's a master of capabilities and was able to overdub `Ramblin' with fiber optics when he couldn't be in New York to do the recording. The album is a combination of high tech and high hopes," he said.
Ever socially conscious, Stookey said the trio did not want to lose sight of the vision one has "as long as love is in command."
"We know about love with a small `l.' That's how you feel about french fries at a certain place. But there is a capital `L' love that we need to reacquaint ourselves with. It's the larger interest, the kind of Love that Mother Teresa inspires," he said.