You could hear a pin drop as everyone listened and was touched by the combination of words, flute interludes and an electric bass beat.  Two women sang a song about Harriet Tubman. The combination of their voices created such heat that it left everyone wanting more.   This was a performance I am thankful not to have missed.
–Carol L.
Pre-release Rumors of Peace Concert
Peoples Voice Café
October 2011


rumors of peace

Woody Guthrie spoke plain
About deportees and dust bowl days...
So what would Woody write?
Right now . . . in these hard times

That’s the sobering, yet enticing question that activist-songwriter Sharleen Leahey raises in her new CD, Rumors of Peace. What would the “Poet of the People” who sang about plain folks’ hard lives during the Great Depression make of America today? With dobro, fiddle and guitar pickin’, reelin’ and strummin’ bluegrass, folk, country and gospel airs, Leahey offers her take on the times in a foot-thumping tribute to Guthrie:

Now it’s time to speak plain About bailed-out bankers having their way
While families are forced to move People sick and tired of being attacked
Are standing up trying to fight back... But the boss is getting richer as we go broke 
They’re taking our jobs And our homes and our hope Say Woody... has that much really changed?
In another song on the CD, “Corporate News,” she lambasts 

CNN & Fox – talking heads who shock
Fair & balanced they declare
Dissenting voices kicked off the air

Leahey lets loose, knowing she won’t be invited to appear on any mainstream television talk show any time soon. And neither will anyone else who doesn’t improve the corporate bottom line. Her chorus line to that damning fact goes:

And you know the rich men break the rules
And oooh how they pull the wool
And they think we’re fools
Democracy is what we lack
Free speech has been hijacked!

Other songs on her new CD address a vision for peace in the Middle East (Jerusalem – a cover written by Steve Earle), embracing the wonders of Nature (Wonder) and opening to personal and planetary change (Direction).

To Read or Print
In honor of Dr. King's Birthday Celebration at a church on Jerusalem Road . . . Sharleen Leahey sings "The Ballad of Martin Luther King" for a Baptist church congregation in Scotch Plains, New Jersey on January 27, 2011. The audience enthusiastically sings the chorus:



"I've been to the mountaintop . . .

Today I have a dream . . .

Let us never forget the words . . . 

Let us never forget the deeds . . . 

Let us never forget the dream of Martin Luther King"