In this episode Julie Varner Walks talks with singer/songwriter Kevin Heider. Kevin, who lives with his wife and four children in Dayton, Ohio, writes hymns, drinking songs, and everything in between. He has recently released an EP called Make An Honest Stand.
A collection of six beautiful songs, Make An Honest Stand is perfect for this moment of political discord and cultural upheaval.
With lyrics that wrestle with our nation’s history and with the concepts of freedom, patriotism, and justice – and which deal, too, with anger, cynicism, and the pitfalls of social media – Make An Honest Stand offers a powerful, yet loving, criticism of our country, our politics, and our own, flawed selves.
Julie views these songs as protest songs of a sort – they are protests, perhaps, against antipathy. Honest and peaceful, challenging and probing, Make An Honest Stand is an invitation to reckoning. Or as Kevin calls it in their conversation, “An examination of our collective conscience.”
Their conversation is long – a full two hours. But it is all of a piece, and Julie couldn’t in good conscience split it into two episodes. It deserves to remain whole. So maybe it can keep you company here in the next week as you prepare your kitchen, your home, your family for Thanksgiving.
Maybe it, and the songs Julie and Kevin discuss in it, can give you something to think about as we approach this national holiday. Maybe it can help you to consider our place in the history of this country, what parts of it we should be thankful for, and what parts we should work to correct.