Local Current Blog

Wee Willie Walker, Paul Metsa, and Sounds of Blackness release new civil rights song

Paul Metsa and Wee Willie Walker. (photo by Howard Christopherson, courtesy Rock the Cause Records)

Today Rock the Cause Records released a new single from Minnesota artists Paul Metsa, Wee Willie Walker and Sounds of Blackness, titled “Ain’t Gonna Whistle Dixie Anymore.”

The new release comes around the same time in August as the anniversary of last year’s march in Charlottesville, Va. and the four-year anniversary of the uprising in Ferguson, Mo. “Ain’t Gonna Whistle Dixie Anymore” is inspired by the civil rights marches that have happened across the United States since, and in response to white nationalist rallies being planned across the nation this August. Proceeds from streams and downloads are to benefit the Southern Poverty and Law Center, as well as other organizations working to advance social equity and end racial divides and bigotry.

Just days ago, Wee Willie Walker was named most outstanding male blues singer in the critics’ poll of the 25th annual Living Blues Awards. At 76, and a five-time Blues Music Awards nominee, this was his first national blues award.

Written by Metsa, “Ain’t Gonna Whistle Dixie Anymore” is a protest anthem aimed at racially-motivated hate, violence, and social disparities. According to a press release, the artists hope the song inspires conversation and action to disrupt the institutionalized racism that exists in America today. It’s a traditional blues and folk crossover that features soulfully charged and haunting vocal performances by Willie Walker and Sounds of Blackness, set to a backdrop of drums and banjos.

Ferguson-based rapper and activist Tef Poe, and St. Paul’s High School for Recording Arts, are creating a hip-hop remix of the song, which will be released by early September, according to Rock the Cause CEO Scott Herold.