It's an ecumenical, a rather jokey blues rev-down with a serious undertow: God doesn’t care about the brand name of your church. As a whole, this "concept EP" is Christ-haunted (in the words of Flannery O'Connor) by the spectre of the Confessional poets, with Delmore Schwartz's last moments dimly seen around every corner. If Robert Lowell is the main inspiration for this cycle of tunes, then Schwartz is the soul. A brilliantly wayward peer of Lowell's undone by combative paranoia & self-medication, he typifies the cautionary tale of "Amazingly Promising Young Talent Ends In Ignominy". In dreams begin responsibilities, so why not crusade on behalf of them rather than for some ever-splintering host of denominations? (Or, as Monty Python would call them, "Splitters!")
Eric "The Dark Prince of Rock" Butkus - Acoustic Guitar, Computer Case, & Squeaky Chair
“He went to the preacher, he went to the sherriff,
Told them all the same . . .
Cops and the soldiers, they nailed him in the air,
And they nailed Jesus Christ in his grave.
Well, the people held their breath when they heard about his death,
And everybody wondered why:
It was the landlord and the soldiers that he hired
That nailed Jesus Christ in his grave.
When the love of the poor shall one day turn to hate,
When the patience of the workers gives away,
‘Would be better for you rich if you never had been born,’
So they laid Jesus Christ in his grave.
This song was written in New York City
Of rich men, preachers and slaves
Yes, if Jesus was to preach now like he preached in Galillee,
They would lay Jesus Christ in his grave.”
- Woody Guthrie, “Jesus Christ” (1940)
“‘Now I just want to give you folks a few reasons why you can trust this church,’ he said. ‘In the first place, friends, you can relay on it that it’s nothing foreign connected with it. You don’t have to believe nothing you don’t understand and approve of. If you don’t undestand it, it ain’t true, and that’s all there is to it. No jokers in this deck, friends . . .
‘Now, friends,’ Onnie Jay said, ‘I want to tell you a second reason why you can absolutely trust this church ----- it’s based on the Bible. Yes sir! It’s based on your own personal interpitation of the Bible, friends. You can sit at home and interpit your own Bible however you feel in your heart it ought to be interpited. That’s right,’ he said, ‘just the way Jesus would have done it.’”
- Flannery O’Connor, Wise Blood (1952)
“Some say Peter, some say Paul,
Ain’t but one God, I know, that done made us all,
You can ‘buke me, you can throw me around,
But I know I’m going to the holy town,
And my soul’s got a seat up in the kingdom,
And that’s alright.”
- Traditional, “That’s Alright”