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Susan Werner Finds Her Gospel Truth

Susan Werner aims to find the spirituality of church music with and without the religion on <em><em>The Gospel T</em>ruth</em>.
Susan Werner aims to find the spirituality of church music with and without the religion on The Gospel Truth.

Pop Sessions, a new weekly feature, presents some of today's most exciting musicians as they chat and perform in the studio with public radio hosts from around the country.

I was excited to talk to Susan Werner, because her album The Gospel Truth took guts: Any time you tackle religious foundations -- no matter how fair you are -- you're likely to be blasted. But The Gospel Truth is more of a celebration than an editorial. The messages are about love and sharing, but without the threats of hellfire and brimstone. I had heard that some people walked out on a recent show while she was singing 'Probably Not.' If they had stayed to hear the final verses, they would likely have dismissed their initial reaction. The album will be more celebrated 10 years from now.

Susan Werner's bio:

A popular contemporary folk singer/songwriters who began singing and playing before she was out of elementary school, Susan Werner studied voice in college before trading in classical music for acoustic folk. After a pair of self-released CDs (1992's Midwestern Saturday Night and 1993's Live at the Tin Angel) she earned a major-label deal, which spawned Last of the Good Straight Girls in 1995. Werner remains a popular touring act, both a solo performer and as an opener for artists such as Richard Thompson, Keb Mo and Joan Armatrading. Her new album, The Gospel Truth, offers a frank examination of religion.

Online and on the air, WKSU's Folk Alley presents today's thriving folk music scene with interviews, studio sessions and concert performances from established folk icons and undiscovered young talents.

Copyright 2007 WKSU

Jim Blum
Jim Blum has been sharing his love of folk music as a radio host on WKSU-FM for more than 25 years and, since 2003, also on FolkAlley.com. Blum graduated with a B.A. from Kent State University, played bass in a bluegrass and swing band and used to be a landscaper. As host and music programmer for Folk Alley and WKSU's weekend folk music, Blum has nearly three decades of experience broadcasting to a folk community that is now, thanks to the Internet, global in scope. His broadcasts include his own mix of musical influences featuring classic folk heroes, acoustic instrumentals, world rhythms, contemporary singer/songwriters, Americana, bluegrass and other roots-based sounds. He also acts as a valuable resource for area venue owners and concert coordinators as well as holding the position of artistic director for the Kent State Folk Festival, the nation's second oldest folk fest held on a college campus.