Paula Boggs Band - Elixir: The Soulgrass Sessions Review

When Paula Boggs is brought up, it's impossible not to think about her biography before getting into her music. A former army paratrooper, lawyer for Starbucks, VP for Dell, and most recently, a member of the President's Committee on the Arts & Humanities (PCAH), Boggs left all of that behind to pursue music full time. However, this does not mean that she is giving up on making a difference in the world.

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Songs have been political as long as both have existed in this world, especially in the world of country music. Whether it's as conservative as Toby Keith's Courtesy of the Red, White & Blue or as liberal as Jason Isbell's White Man's World, most artist's are proud to take their stance on the political spectrum.

Boggs manages to promote her protests in this album, labeled with the genre "Soulgrass," which, as one would guess, is bluegrass and soul. Thankfully, for the sake of not dividing an audience, it doesn't focus on the bad from one side of the aisle. The lyrics focus on bringing attention to subjects that deserve attention. The lyrics are meant to mend, not demean.

Her song Benediction is the biggest example of this, which was written in honor of the nine lives lost in the 2015 Charleston, South Carolina church shooting. It is written to remind us that we must honor those lost and become a stronger community, not focus on the evildoer.

Need to light a candle
Need to bow my head
Toll a bell for Charleston
Nine black beauties dead
You may say it’s hatred
Some may call it sin
All I know, by grace of God
The devil will not win

The primary focus of this album, also exemplified in Get Along Song, seems to be that we need to unite as a country. The political divide is the worst I have ever seen it, with extremes on both sides eclipsing the media, when the majority of this country understand that unity is what we need to thrive.

Everybody seems to have answers
Every day's a parade
Of people pushing any agenda
That promises a shot at front page

What the hell became of communion?
How the hell did you get so smug
To think we know so much from so little
And the most a stranger gets is a shrug?


-Sleepwalking

7/10

Elixir: The Soulgrass Sessions is now available.