march 2012


Laurelyn Dossett: Vote No on May 8!

When last we heard from North Carolina's Laurelyn Dossett, she was leading a group of dauntingly gifted musicians (including the Carolina Chocolate Drops' Rhiannon Giddens Laffan) on record and on stage in performing her stirring Christmas song cycle The Gathering (check the review in our December 2011 Christmas issue), a work commissioned by the North Carolina Symphony.

Shortly before we launched this 4th anniversary issue, Ms. Dossett sent a note concerning her latest project, a campaign to inspire citizens in her home state to vote on May 8 against a State Constitutional amendment that defines the only legal union in North Carolina as being between a man and a woman. To this end, she is not only reaching out to her mailing list, but has created a video of a new song she wrote, "Vote Against Amendment One," a lovely Piedmont ballad sung by Ms. Dossett and a host of talented friends (including the aforementioned Ms. Giddens Laffans), and filmed for a video now online at YouTube and Vimeo. The video features not only the song being performed in the studio, but testimonials in support of the opposition to Amendment One, including one by the Mayor of Greensboro, NC. The song itself is available as a free download at Soundcloud (see link below).

The Carolina Chocolate Drops' Rhiannon Giddens Laffan at the 'Vote Against Amendment One' session

Given the focus of her writing on stories of her own region, Ms. Dosseett’s protest against Amendment One makes perfect sense. Dug in deep in North Carolina, she has taught songwriting and singing at the Augusta Heritage Center, as well as at many universities, workshops and festivals. She was the 2010 recipient of the North Carolina Arts Council Fellowship for songwriting, 2004 winner of the Chris Austin songwriting contest at Merlefest, and a 2010 fellow at the Virginia Center for Creative Arts. She lives with her family in Greensboro, NC.

Here is her note; her self-directed video; a link to Soundcloud, where the song can be downloaded for free; song lyrics; and session credits.


Hello, friends, I have a project to share with you. Typically I avoid overt political statements in my music, but the upcoming vote to amend the North Carolina constitution has compelled me to speak out against Amendment One. So I got together with 10 other Piedmont musicians, filmmaker Harvey Robinson of Monkeywhale, and a group of Piedmont leaders to record a song and make a video. We hope it will raise awareness about the consequences of Amendment One and send people to the polls to vote against it.

Vote Against Amendment One: Laurelyn Dossett and Friends

Listen on Soundcloud (free download)

Feel free to share, post, tweet, blog, email, forward, or just stand on your front porch and sing it to the heavens.

"When the 8th of May is come, let's vote against amendment one."

On May 8, 2012, this is what North Carolina voters will see on the ballot:

[] For [X] Against
Constitutional amendment to provide that marriage between one man and one woman is the only domestic legal union that shall be valid or recognized by this State.

The arguments against this amendment are myriad, no matter how you feel about gay marriage. For more information I suggest, or any other source of information that you find credible. I know we will not all agree.

As always, I thank you for listening and supporting live local music.  Laurelyn

Vote Against Amendment One: Credits
Laurelyn Dossett (c) 2012 Pleasant Garden Music, ASCAP

Recorded March 27& 28, 2012 in Greensboro, NC

Produced by Laurelyn Dossett and Ben Singer. Video by Monkeywhale.

Musicians in order of appearance: Laurelyn Dossett: acoustic guitar and vocals; Pat Lawrence: bass; Scott Manring: banjo, dobro; Sam Frazier: vocals, electric guitar; Molly McGinn: vocals; Logie Meachum: vocals; Daniel Yount: drums; Ben Singer: keyboards; Robin Doby Easter: vocals; Martha Bassett: vocals; Rhiannon Giddens Laffan: vocals.


Stranger there across the room
Your children are my children too
When seven days of May are done
I'll vote against amendment one

Father one or fathers two
Your family is my family too
Ties that bind won't be undone
We'll vote against amendment one

Love thy neighbor, word and true
Your neighbor is my neighbor too
To work beside and lean upon
And vote against amendment one

Points of light and points of view
Your city is my city too
The crumbling walls we'll overrun
To vote against amendment one

We cannot see for red or blue
But your state it is my state too
And when the 8th of May is come
We'll vote against amendment one
We'll rise up with the morning sun
And vote against amendment one
The sounding cry has just begun
We'll vote against amendment one

Founder/Publisher/Editor: David McGee
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