Friend of this blog Susan Werner is one of the most chameleon-like performers working today. Her recent albums have spanned genres of American Songbook, rock reinterpretation, and agnostic evangelism. What has remained consistent is her fierce intelligence, immense talent, and impeccable open-hearted interpretation.
Her latest CD, Kicking the Beehive, puts us back to her activist folk roots with a stunning collection of songs that put a human face on issues including same-sex relations, abortion, and coping with terminal illness. But she leavens it all with wry humor and terrific musicianship.
My favorite song, so far, is The Last Words of Bonnie Parker, a lovely ballad examining the complications of relationships and ambitions.
And how can you not love this lyric from her song Irrelevance (a sort of sequel to her previous Movie of My Life):
And I’m sure there’s a “gift” in this somewhere
A gift wrapped in dread and denial
Yes I’m sure there’s a gift in there somewhere
It’s so hard to accept it.
I hope someone saved the receipt
Here’s the track list for the CD:
- Kicking the Beehive
- Doctor Doctor
- My Different Son
- I Know What I Want
- The Last Words of Bonnie Parker
- Manhattan, Kansas
- Red Dress
- Botanical Greenery Blues
- Sleeping On A Train
- On The Other Side