DFW Music News

Where There's a Will Johnson, There's a Song for Obama Worth Listening To

I know, I know -- we have a music blog. But on this frigid morning, I wanted to direct your attention to this download, warm and well-meaning, courtesy National Public Radio, songwriter Christian Kiefer and a singer named Will Johnson. It's a song called "Someone to Wake," the final installment in a presidential song cycle that officially ended with George W. Bush on the three-disc collection Of Great and Mortal Men. NPR debuted the song, a last-minute addendum to the collection, yesterday; it will be performed, along with the other 43 songs, tomorrow in a Washington, D.C., synagogue.

In September 1995, Johnson, then the drummer in Funland, came up to the Observer to give me a cassette filled with scattershooting bedroom demos, one of which ("Misunderstanding Surplus in the Getaway Car") made the second Dallas Observer Scene, Heard compilation. I'm looking at the tape now -- its label handwritten on the back of a cut-out Rick's Place flier, Side A of the Maxell tape marked as "Centrum. Addict." Seems like a million years ago. That voice now, good God.

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Robert Wilonsky
Contact: Robert Wilonsky