Lady Gaga reminded us of the quiet force of folk music when she sang a snippet of Woody Guthrie’s “This Land is Your Land” at last night’s Super Bowl LI – quite smartly interspersed with Irving Berlin’s “God Bless America,” the song that inspired it. The acoustic guitar can speak for a thousand orchestras when it comes to political power, something Guthrie knew when he scrawled “this machine kills fascists” on the body of his. Now singer-songwriter Nicki Bluhm has offered her own protest anthem with “Remember Love Wins,” written in reaction to the Trump administration’s travel ban and serving as a reminder that peace and compassion are much more constructive to the sanctity of humanity that blind exclusion. Watch the clip above.
“The roots of each tree of each family, began in the soil overseas,” Bluhm sings alongside guitarist Greg Loiacono, on the track that she says was also inspired by a night playing alongside Phil Lesh (who helped to pioneer the 1960’s movement of music as protest with the Grateful Dead) at his Terrapin Crossroads in San Rafael, California. It’s anchored around a message, “love wins,” that was key during the fight for marriage equality as Obergefell v. Hodges was debated and decided by the United States Supreme Court. “Remember Love Wins,” like Pete Seeger singing “We Shall Overcome,” hits not just on the struggle ahead but our ability to eventually come out on the right side of history.
Proceeds from download of “Remember Love Wins” go entirely to benefit Standing Rock Sioux Tribe and Planned Parenthood. Bluhm, who joined the Infamous Stringdusters as a guest vocalist on tour throughout 2016, has a solo acoustic show coming up February 19th at the Independent in San Francisco.