Jefferson Starship calls for social change in new songs, adding to a rich canon of music. | Music


From the moment Cathy Richardson launches Jefferson Starship’s 2020 single “It’s About Time,” listeners are enveloped in a standout manifesto.

Written by Richardson, guitarist Jude Gold and the legendary Grace Slick, the lyrics take inspiration from the 1960s vintage, with the urgency of a world on the brink and the hopeful spirit of change. Despite a litany of modern issues, from the proliferation of school shootings to global warming, the musical tone is upbeat.

The Jefferson Starship lead singer is aware of what they’ve achieved. “‘It’s About Time’ says it all in a very succinct song – and it’s a catchy song,” she explains. “That’s not to say we’re not mad at things, but we wanted a message of hope.”

Richardson admits to making the same assumption as many Americans, especially with the election of Barack Obama. Some writers of the time even dared to speak of a post-racial society. Richardson was not encouraged to express himself through the band’s music until the deep threads of rancor and resentment in America and elsewhere were clearly exposed.

Yet in the 2020 album singles mother of the sun, Richardson and the group refuse to succumb to anger. “What are we waiting for?” mocks those who peddle division, lies and hatred, but ends with a call to the best angels in our nature: “We can do better / Yes, let’s come together”.

“What are we waiting for?” was the second version of Mother of the Sun, but the first song they finished. “It’s still my favorite,” Richardson says. “It’s a call to say, ‘Let’s do something about our problems.'”

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Favorites or not, it’s likely to be relegated to encore material when the band – Richardson, featuring Gold, founding member David Freiberg, drummer Donny Baldwin and bassist Chris Smith – appear at the Sunset Center in Carmel on Thursday, September 22. . with such a rich heritage as Jefferson Starship also has an inherent problem. The collection of singles – dating back to the formation of precursor Jefferson Airplane in 1965 – surpasses any realistic setlist. “[The audience] should expect a great night of greatest hits from the Jeffersonian canon,” Richardson said, adding that the band also likes an open set. “Let’s jam – it’s the most fun. When you get out of the script, that’s the best part.

Veteran groups may be forced to tread water because of their catalog. But Jefferson Starship broke free. “The music has evolved, but the music is so powerful,” Richardson points out.

The singles released from the 2020 album are clear in intent, yet engaging in presentation, finding the ethos of 60s demands for change and 80s pop, taking them to our torn world and throwing them a call to action.

A point of emphasis in “It’s About Time” is captured in the line “Old white men had their turn / Thousands of years what did we learn.”

Richardson ignores the irony of singing this on a stage with old white men. “They’re okay,” she laughs.

JEFFERSON SHIP plays at 8 p.m. on Thursday, September 22. Sunset Center, San Carlos and 9th, Carmel. $50 to $85. 620-2048,


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