Band That Played for the Dalai Lama Comes to Reading
Social justice band to play the Unitarian Universalist Church's Ivy Chord Coffee House.
A musical act that once played for the Dalai Lama will play to a somewhat less notable crowd this weekend—unless a global leader happens to drop by Reading’s Unitarian Universalist Church Saturday night.
“By the nature of the work that we do, we play at a really wide range of venues,” said Pat Humphries, one half of the acoustic duo known as Emma’s Revolution.
Humphries and Sandy O., Humphries’ band and life partner, blend politics with music in a show that Humphries said is usually 60 percent music and 40 percent talk.
The pair unabashedly described themselves as “progressive,” and said they weren’t concerned with playing a show in a town that voted—by Massachusetts standards—for conservative candidates in the last election.
“Everywhere we go,” Humphries said, “there’s a progressive community.”
Sandy O. said that, while the band’s music approaches large, abstract issues, it does so through personal stories. As she and Humphries visit different communities, she said, they hear about what people are doing or experiencing locally, “then we can share that story across the country when we sing.”
Sandy O. said this weekend’s show will likely pick up on the themes connected to the recent shooting in Tucson, Ariz. and congressional Republicans’ vote to repeal President Barack Obama’s health insurance reform package. The duo even has a song about the TEA Party.
While those are heavy issues, Sandy said she and Humphries aim to leave their audience in a better mood.
“The main purpose of the show is to have a great time together… [and] leave people hopeful,” she said. “We’ve been performing together for almost a decade, and we always have people jump to their feet at the end of the concert.”