Want to hear some moving and creative new songs written to support a great cause? Check out the “article” (conversation) below that I wrote with my friend Ronni Lynn (Here’s a song we wrote/sang together)! It features some of our favorite submissions to the Braver Angels Songwriting Contest. To be considered for future articles and contest prizes, submit your song before July 4th, 2020!
I recently became “Director of Cultural Engagement” for Braver Angels (formerly “Better Angels”)–a political non-profit fighting to depolarize America. In my new role, my biggest initiative has been launching a national songwriting contest, which you can read about or even enter here. Together with legendary songwriters Peter Yarrow, Steve Seskin, and Aaron Barker, as well as a committee of musically inclined Braver Angels, we’re trying to create more ways for artists to get involved and support our work. You can read about my past work for Braver Angels in my “It’s About U.S.” project.
After years of practicing songs, 10 months of writing, and 7 months of tour planning, my first Better Angels Benefit Show opens tomorrow! Opening night is nearly sold out and filled with old friends from my hometown. Plus, in a last minute surprise, the president of Better Angels–David Blankenhorn–will introduce the show!
In celebration of this long imagined tour becoming a reality, I’m sharing the song that planted the seeds for this project. 2 years ago–just after the 2016 election–my lungs started filling with nodules. After hearing my diagnosis, I didn’t think singing and dancing were things I’d be able to do much longer. I wrote this song to help myself come to terms with new limitations on my future.
But through a series of positive turnarounds, I recovered my health and discovered Better Angels. And because I am healthy again, so many of my dreams from that time have come true. I can travel, I can be a storyteller, I can finish books… Best of all, I can be part of the change I then asked of others. My show is giving me a way to help my country through my music and words.
During a time of utter despair, my music kept my dreams of my own and my country’s future alive. Now, I hope my show can persuade others to keep their dreams for our country alive too. We can still work together to make our country stronger. We can still recover. We can still take control of our country’s fate.
Thank you to everyone who helped me realize this idea. As in my song, I couldn’t have done it alone. I hope to thank you in person along the way.
Special thanks to JB Nuttle for filming and audio editing.