Cindy Lee Berryhill- separation of chuch and state
A self-described anti-folkie (hate that term), CLB hasn't been heard from for about a decade but her new album, Beloved Stranger, is enough to make you wish that she doesn't wait that long for another follow-up. Always a reliable bleeding heart who belted Reagan back in the day, she now sings of the horrors and frustration of trying to survive on a 40 cent raise and creates an inspiring anthem for the handicapped among other things.
And while long overdue, thanks mostly to the late Jerry Falwell, her song about separation of church and state is a winner and timely again in the time of Bush II. "When Did Jesus Become A Republican?" she wonders in a downhome blues and sing-a-long worth of Lucinda Williams that leaps off the album. "I thought he was a poor man's friend," she muses about, along with his legendary connections with the lepers (contrasted with Halliburton which comes off sounding worse and deserves to). Did he really want his so-called followers in the religious right to tear away the heartland from the New York or take away health insurance and homeless shelters or export jobs for cheap labor or approve of corporate tax cuts? You might want to check the New Testament again but I can't recall any chapter/verse that gives any of that the nod.
Berryhill wants you to get the message too so she's offering "Jesus" and the album's title track for free on her website.