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Published: 2012/05/23

Create Your Own "Toast to Freedom"

_Carl Carlton peforms “Toast To Freedom” with Peter Maffay in
Germany – photo by Christian Barz_

Earlier this month Amnesty International released a music video for the new song “Toast to Freedom.” The track is dedicated to human rights activism around the world with proceeds going to benefit Amnesty International. Written by Larry Campbell (Levon Helm Band, Phil Lesh, Bob Dylan), and Carl Carlton (Robert Palmer, Eric Burdon, Keb Mo) the song features one of Levon Helm’s final studio recordings and nearly 50 artists including: Kris Kristofferson, Donald Fagen, Warren Haynes, Carly Simon, Angelique Kidjo, Ewan McGregor, Keb Mo, Eric Burdon, Taj Mahal, Florent Pagny, Marianne Faithfull, Jane Birkin, Jimmy Barnes, Rosanne Cash, Shawn Mullins and the Blind Boys of Alabama.

A variety of spontaneous interpretations of the songs have been cropping up across the globe. These include one by Russian rap artist Basta, whose version of “Svoboda” (“Freedom” in Russian) melds new lyrics with samples from the original track. Other versions have started to surface as well, leading the “Toast To Freedom” organizers to host a contest. Folks are encouraged to record their own take on the song between now and June 30 with Campbell, Carlton and “Toast To Freedom” producer Bob Clearmountain selecting the winners. Information regarding the contest and the “Toast To Freedom” initiative are available at www.ToastToFreedom.org.

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