I’m not sure I can remember exactly where I first met Ann Feeney. Suffix it to be that Annie is the epitome of Preacher Casey in Steinbach’s great novel, “Salt of the Earth.” I know I saw her at Ravenswood, at Camp Solidarity in western Virginia, at the big steelworker rally at the WCI strike in Youngstown and at the Newport News strike. I could go on and on, but it really is true; wherever worker’s struggle for justice, it’s there you’ll find Ann Feeney!

As much as Ann’s singing for justice for working folks is a labor of love, she recently pointed out that it’s also a family tradition. At a recent show in Cleveland, Annie stated that she’d gotten a grant from the Pennsylvania Labor History Society to study, collect information on her grandfather, a hellraising Irish immigrant union leader and an associate of the great William Z. Foster. As she pointed out, what could be better than fighting for justice, singing along and getting paid to study your granddaddy?

I don’t know who could do it better, and we’re all a fair shot better off today for Annie’s newest CD, “Dump the Bosses off Your Back!” In my opinion, this is Annie’s best technical production.

However, for those of you who don’t know Annie, you’re missing a treat! I was considering what to say about her when I read a letter to the Nation, quoting CIO leader Len DeCaux, from his “Memoirs.”. Len wrote that when he first came to Cleveland to work for the CIO in the late 1930’s, he attended many pro-union rallies. “I’d hear one of the Communist speakers say something so radical, I’d become embarrassed,” DeCaux stated. “Then I’d look around at the workers, ragged and hungry, and they were all smiling, cheering and stomping!” That is Annie!

In “Dump the Bosses” you get, as the title may suggest, a flavor of the old fighting IWW. This is certainly true of the title song, as well as “The Preacher and the Slave” and “Hallelujah, I’m a Bum!” Other influences are present, also. This CD has a Canadian taste, with miners songs playing a strong role. “Hillcrest Mine” is the great Canadian folk singer, James Keelaghan’s fine piece about the Hillcrest mine disaster. “Sago” and “How Much for the Life of a Miner,” speak to the increasing danger miners in our own nation face under the corporate regime now in power.

“Song for Santiago Cruz” is a strong, but haunting, composition of Annie’s on the life, and murder, of young Santiago Cruz, a US Teamster organizer who was killed trying to organize workers in central America. “!Ya Basta!” is a real fighting song, another song of Annie’s, stating that we’ve “had enough!”

While I’m a real lover of the folk, protest music genre, I’ve always been a bit put off by the syrupy sweetness and the almost mystical quality of some singers. That is exactly what you will not find here! Ann Feeney is a true daughter of the working class. A bawdy troubadour of our working class!