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New Album release: Bon Jorno & Hutchings, Truth to Power August 8th, 2019

On July 31st Mike Bon Jorno and I released Truth to Power, our first collaborative album. Many of the tracks are protest songs that we composed in real time as walls were being built, borders closed, climate science denied, racism celebrated, trade wars launched, and real wars threatened. To listen online, please visit our Bandcamp page by clicking here.

In the CD’s 16-page liner-note booklet we describe the album as follows:

Truth to Power is the product of a long-distance collaboration – and a budding friendship – between a European multi-instrumental recording artist and a Canadian singer-songwriter. We met online a few years ago over a set of lyrics Kevin wrote in the wake of the 2016 U.S. federal election, and the resultant song – “Cancel My Trip to America” – led inevitably to the cultivating of our transatlantic ties and the making of this record.

Our world has changed a lot since the recent arrival of the “post-truth” political era, and seven of the songs recorded here offer a musical commentary on events that have shaped that change. These songs are thus a sort of musical journalism, each one an op-ed reflection on a particular political moment – and an embodiment of our urgent need to respond to that moment in our work as musical artists. We didn’t deliberately set out to write nearly an album’s worth of protest songs; on the contrary, each song came spontaneously, arriving in real time on a flood of sadness or outrage. Sometimes in the creation of art there’s no resisting circumstance: when the Muse announces a song’s arrival, the song must be free to write itself.

Although we put our hearts and souls into this project, we would be happy to see most of these songs – these too-contemporary folk-pop responses to an expanding culture of fear and loathing – become irrelevant, forgotten musical footnotes to a dark history that will soon vanish into the light of a coming better day. So we hope. We want to write far different songs – and we hope to do so now that this project is completed – but we needed to work our way through these ones first. Our album’s title, Truth to Power, is taken from the opening track, “I Wanna Go to America,” in which we sing “Here’s to the ones not afraid to stand / Marching on the Mall speaking truth to power.”

And so, although many of our songs express a protest against recent American policies and political practices, Truth to Power is not anti-American. On the contrary, we offer our songs as a heartfelt tribute, sent from Canada and the European Union, to our many friends and heroes in America, fearless souls who work, march, take a knee, and otherwise speak out for peace and love.

—Kevin Hutchings and Mike Bon Jorno
Ness Lake, British Columbia
Wiesbaden, European Union

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