Stephen Simmons is a politically minded singer-songwriter whose new song “Devils Work Is Never Done” has been added to Neil Young’s Songs of the Times page on his site ( a great reference for songs that matter).
Simmon’s new self-released record, Drink Ring Jesus, is an all acoustic affair that deals quite a bit with religious faith and spirituality. Stephen was raised in the Church of Christ and as far as I can tell at the present time has an uneasy relationship with his god. Despite having no faith in religion, I am still fascinated by songs that deal with this topic. “Drink Ring Jesus” is pretty topical isn’t it? What with all the nuts finding the virgin mary in patterns on the underbelly of turtles, underneath aqueducts or hidden in the bark of a tree. In this song the narrator finds jesus under his glass inscribed in his “drink ring” with that as a sign he seems resigned to be saved (but salvation in this song lacks a certain appeal perhaps because he knows he can’t take his drink with him). “Devil’s Work…” tells how the devil is upset that he’s only left the rotten, the famous and the powerful, the politicians and the wagers of war. This sounds like Train A Comin’ era Steve Earl which like I’ve said before is a huge compliment since I think that record is the high water mark of the acoustic country genre.
If this rings true for you I encourage you to buy this disc directly from Stephen Simmons here.
Bonus songs from Neil Young’s Songs of the Times (anti-war songs) webpage
Steve Forbert – The Baghdad Dream
Holcombe Waller – Eyes Like Knives
Mathew Ryan – Caged Bird
David Crosby & Graham Nash – Live On
Nils Lofgren – Frankie Hang On
Will Kimbrough – I Lie
Kit Malone – Dear John Mellencamp
Cindy Lee Berryhill – When Did Jesus Become A Republican?