John Doe’s “Psychadelic Soul Record” From the Desert

Doe remains a stirring singer who embodies weary determination and impassioned grace on “The Westerner.”


John Doe
The Westerner
Cool Rock Records/Thirty Tigers

Shepard Fairey & Aaron Huey

First heard almost 40 years (!) ago as a member of the great LA punk group X, John Doe never fit the clichés of the genre, intertwining his voice with bandmate Exene Cervenka’s in wailing harmonies that sounded more like hillbilly laments than nihilist diatribes. As a solo artist, he’s compiled a striking body of work that spans the 57 varieties of roots music. Dedicated to his late friend Michael Blake (author of Dances with Wolves), The Westerner is billed by Doe as his “psychedelic, soul record from the Arizona desert,” which is another way of saying he’s delivered a dusty, sure-handed set of vibrant down-home rock’n’folk full of longing, sympathy, and hope. Joined by guest vocalists Debbie Harry of Blondie and Chan Marshall (aka Cat Power), Doe remains a stirring singer who embodies weary determination and impassioned grace on the heart-tugging ballad “Sunlight” and the greasy foot-stomper “Go Baby Go.” Tough and tender and once, The Westerner is a genuine old-school treasure.

 

SIX TRUTHS

Reclaiming power from those who abuse it often starts with telling the truth. And in "This Is How Authoritarians Get Defeated," MoJo's Monika Bauerlein unpacks six truths to remember during the homestretch of an election where democracy, truth, and decency are on the line.

Truth #1: The chaos is the point.

Truth #2: Team Reality is bigger than it seems.

Truth #3: Facebook owns this.

Truth #4: When we go to work, we're in the fight.

Truth #5: It's about minority rule.

Truth #6: The only thing that can save us is…us.

Please take a moment to see how all these truths add up, because what happens in the weeks and months ahead will reverberate for at least a generation and we better be prepared.

And if you think journalism like Mother Jones'—that calls it like it is, that will never acquiesce to power, that looks where others don't—can help guide us through this historic, high-stakes moment, and you're able to right now, please help us reach our $350,000 goal by October 31 with a donation today. It's all hands on deck for democracy.

payment methods

SIX TRUTHS

Reclaiming power from those who abuse it often starts with telling the truth. And in "This Is How Authoritarians Get Defeated," MoJo's Monika Bauerlein unpacks six truths to remember during the homestretch of an election where democracy, truth, and decency are on the line.

Truth #1: The chaos is the point.

Truth #2: Team Reality is bigger than it seems.

Truth #3: Facebook owns this.

Truth #4: When we go to work, we're in the fight.

Truth #5: It's about minority rule.

Truth #6: The only thing that can save us is…us.

Please take a moment to see how all these truths add up, because what happens in the weeks and months ahead will reverberate for at least a generation and we better be prepared.

And if you think journalism like Mother Jones'—that calls it like it is, that will never acquiesce to power, that looks where others don't—can help guide us through this historic, high-stakes moment, and you're able to right now, please help us reach our $350,000 goal by October 31 with a donation today. It's all hands on deck for democracy.

payment methods

We Recommend

Latest

Sign up for our free newsletter

Subscribe to the Mother Jones Daily to have our top stories delivered directly to your inbox.

Get our award-winning magazine

Save big on a full year of investigations, ideas, and insights.

Subscribe

Support our journalism

Help Mother Jones' reporters dig deep with a tax-deductible donation.

Donate