SONG PREMIERE: John Shipe Incisively Articulates Unpleasant Truths On “A Song About This”

John Shipe released his dozenth album (The Beast is Back) in the middle of the American civil unrest of 2020—during a global pandemic. Stunned and overwhelmed, he retreated to his garage to write a new song titled “A Song About This,” wherein he faces up to the social responsibility of being an artist in such turbulent times.

This is a “Black Lives Matter” song. But it points no fingers, names no adversaries, and confronts no one directly but the artist himself. (“I can write a song about anything. But I can’t write a song about this.” It is more personal and vulnerable than combative, even as it vividly describes physical (violent) strife on the ground.

Over three decades, John has eased through multiple Americana genres with ruthless empathy and literate flair, garnering international acclaim and charting airplay. But he could count his socio-political songs on one hand. Songwriter-as-Activist was never a comfortable role for Shipe. “But recently,” he says, “I’m pushed to see things in ways I never have before… to take a stand and articulate unpleasant truths I have suspected for a long time. In this song, I’m inviting others like me to do the same.”

Known for his prolific output, John Shipe’s three most recent albums garnered international acclaim, airplay, and career-building live performances opening for the likes of Taj Mahal, Keb Mo’ and Derek Trucks. (He even has a story about opening for Bob Dylan in his early days.)

Glide is proud to premiere “A Song About This” (below) an emotionally explosive song of social commentary co-produced by Ehren Ebbage (Marmoset) & Tyler Fortier (Anna Tivel, Jeffrey Martin). Shipe delivers a fervent punch of heartland rock with a scalding alt-county flair, reminiscent of Jason Isbell and James McMurtry. 

In the ongoing effort of racial justice and equality, proceeds for “A Song About This” will be going to the NAACP Chapter in his hometown of Eugene, Oregon. Production services were generously donated to this musical effort. Such costs have already been donated in turn.

“The tone-deafness of promoting a new Shipe album in the middle of racial civil unrest was bothering me,” says Shipe. “I felt self-involved and fundamentally off-topic. As an artist, I’m not the most political guy. But recently, I’m pushed to see things in ways I never have before, about an issue I have cared about since childhood. I had to take a stand and articulate unpleasant truths I have suspected for a long time. In this song, I’m inviting others like me to do the same.”

 

 

Photo by Ricardo Lamas

Related Content

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

Recent Posts

New to Glide

Keep up-to-date with Glide

Twitter