“Speak Up!” digs into the long tradition of roots music as a voice for the voiceless, a tool for social change, and a universal language. The issue contains essays by artists, who have written about how they’ve used music to speak up – for themselves, for others, and for issues that concern us all. There’s a deep exploration of race in country music, a history of music programs in prisons, a conversation with John Prine about how his story-songs have changed minds, and retrospectives about how speaking up cost artists like the Weavers and the Dixie Chicks a large portion of their audience.
What happened to the Weavers? / A conversation with John Prine / Jail Guitar Doors USA and music in Texas prisons / Thirteen years since the Dixie Chicks’ stage banter heard ‘round the world / Exploring race in country music
Johnny Dowd and Hamell on Trial / Chuck Hawthorne / Anais Mitchell’s “Hadestown” / An organizing history of “We Shall Overcome” / Erin McKeown and Kaia Kater / Chely Wright / The Kennedys / How rising rents affect artists / Little Village Foundation / How artists respond to controversial laws
Political Cartoons from the Woody Guthrie Archive
Photographs from Todd Gunsher, C. Elliott, Kirk Stauffer, Amos Perrine, and Steve Ford
Illustration by Drew Christie, Howard Rains, and Alexie Hoffman
Cover art by Woody Guthrie