It’s been decades since the protest song had its heyday, when the streets were lined with thousands of flower-haired peace-loving demonstrators armed with guitars and voices. But this past summer it felt a bit like we were given an unfortunate glimpse into the past. The Moral Monday protests, led by the NAACP against the conservative upswing of oppressive laws, resulted in over 900 arrests of peaceful demonstrators. Throughout those weeks of non-violent defiance, North Carolina musicians came out of the woodwork to show their approval of the Moral Monday movement. Django Haskins’ simplistic anthem of “We Are Not For Sale” began as a rallying cry and evolved into much more.
Upon hearing Haskins’ song, acclaimed North Carolina artists Caitlin Cary (of Whiskeytown) and Jon Lindsay decided to band together and form the NC Music Love Army, a project that snowballed into something far more encompassing than anyone could imagine. Within the 6 months since the Moral Monday protests, the NC Music Love Army has already written, recorded and now released a full-length album of protest songs geared towards the N.C. state legislators. Last week I spoke with Caitlin Cary, Jon Lindsay and Skylar Gudasz about the formation of the Love Army, some of the pitfalls that they’ve come across since its inception, and where the project will go from here.
This past Saturday (Nov. 30) the group celebrated the album’s release at Cat’s Cradle, a show that was filled with protest anthems both new and old, along with a slew of special guests. During our conversation we speak about these member’s favorite protest songs, what listeners could expect from the show and heard an unreleased song from the Love Army, “Dear Mr. McCrory.”
Check out the stripped down song and the rest of our conversation.