One of the things that I really love about living life as a freelance writer in San Francisco is that I am always able to enjoy a really interesting range of experiences. So when people ask me what I’m up to these days, I can say, “oh I’m writing a book about ghosts that haunt Alcatraz” or “I’m working on this week’s horoscopes before I head over to this urban music festival” and it’s not only true, it’s truly interesting. And later today when my roommates ask what I have going on for the weekend, part of my response will be that I’m headed over to a theater in The Mission which supports women in the arts because I really want to hear Susan Werner perform songs from her new “agnostic gospel” CD.
Susan Werner is a singer-songwriter with six CDs to her name, a name which makes the list under multiple genres including folk, jazz, pop, country and soul. With the latest CD, The Gospel Truth, she’s pushing her own boundaries and those of others by essentially creating a new genre, that of “agnostic gospel”. With the hearty sounds of gospel music infusing the tunes, Werner’s lyrics take an up-close-and-personal look at the different perspectives of the church held today by people across multiple walks of life.
If you head over to Susan’s MySpace page, you can get a glimpse of some of the range of this CD. You’ll hear some of Susan’s jazzy vocals on “Lost My Religion” and the beauty of her voice when highlighted with piano accompaniment on “Forgiveness”. But where you’ll really get a sense of the new sound of Susan Werner is on the truly gospel sound of “Our Father”. The song epitomizes what the new CD is all about, cutting to the heart of the issues modern people sometimes take with the church with lyrics which include “Lord give us strength to bring compassion to every corner of the world / And please allow for women in the Catholic priesthood/ And remind the pope he could’ve been a girl”.
What better place for Susan to perform songs of this nature than at our own Brava Theater here in San Francisco. The theater has been supporting women in the arts for over 20 years, specializing in promoting new work, particularly the work of women marginalized by society for their race and orientation along with their gender. Werner’s music may touch important socio-political topics, but it’s also just fun to listen to, and I’m looking forward to the performance which happens this Friday.
Check the site this weekend for my review of the show!