When the 2010 earthquake wrecked havoc in Haiti, Americans were called upon to open their pocketbooks to aid the devastated Caribbean nation. Many thousands gladly did unless they heeded talk show host Rush Limbaugh. On air, he turned a cold shoulder with the words, "we already donated to Haiti. It’s called the U.S. income tax."
An outraged Nona Hendryx, joining a legacy of great R& B singers before her, went into the studio with her composition "The Ballad of Rush Limbaugh" castigating the hypocrisy and general meanness of a man who lives high on the hog disparaging the plight of the helpless.
That song, along with others in the activist mode, make for the thrust of a new CD from Hendryx, the renowned American vocalist, producer, songwriter, musician, author, and actress. With "Mutatus Mutandis" (Righteous Babe Records, 2012), the Occupy Movement and others with a similar affront at the malice of the Tea Party (first song on the CD) and the oil spills that have endangered the environment ("Oil On the Water") have gained a voice of great urgency. Most well known for her days with LaBelle for whom she wrote a bulk of the songs, Hendryx’s powerful vocals and strong rhythms carry on with this outing. Hendrix’s activism dates back at least to the years when she was one of the first artists to agree to perform for the first New York City GMHC, Dance-a-thon created to raise funds to support people living with HIV AIDS.
In the category of "my, how times have changed," the musically peripatetic Hendryx, who is openly bisexual, in 1985 wrote and recorded "Rock This House" with Keith Richards, a song that was nominated for a Grammy award. That same year, the MTV broadcast of the video which featured drag queens was yanked from the air as a result.
Righteous Babe Records