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The newest song on the album is also the most optimistic. The a cappella first verse reveals Letitia’s gospel influence and also the Bonafides’ polished vocal harmonies. The rural church flavor is only reinforced when the tambourine and dobro come in. “Come and build the promised land,” they sing with such confidence that utopia seems right around the corner. “I used to worry that music was a selfish pursuit,” Letitia admits, “but the more I sang with other people, I saw that music could be more than something vain. Instead of knocking on doors, asking for admittance to a job, a school, a neighborhood that we are always striving for— we can instead create our own inclusive community.”

lyrics

Once I was a fly, flew from room to room
Now I am a pen, write the story of a greater hand
I am a road and I'm headed for the promised land

We've all been told there's not enough for everyone
We guard what we hold dear with laws and with guns
Instead of all these walls, let's build the kingdom come

Used to knock on all the doors that shut us out
Now we build our own house
One with no walls that will shelter us all

credits

from Parts & Labor, released February 27, 2015
recorded by Will McKindley-Ward, mixed by Steve Steckler at Asparagus Studio. WMW on resonator guitar

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Letitia VanSant Baltimore, Maryland

Letitia VanSant & the Bonafides are a Baltimore & Washington, DC -based quartet that straddle the boundary between acoustic string band music, roots rock, and the confessional folk of a singer-songwriter.

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