Roy Zimmerman’s “Blue Dot Tour” comes to Chattanooga Sunday, April 6, at 6 p.m. for a performance at the 212 Market Restaurant, 212 Market St. Admission is a $15 suggested donation.
Review for Roy Zimmerman:
“It’s a big, big world full of all kinds of people," sings Roy Zimmerman, “but there’s one thing we can all agree on...” Then he strums. And he strums. He casts his eyes to the ceiling. At last he sings, “...and when I find out what it is, I’ll let you know.”
Mr. Zimmerman is a satirical songwriter in the Tom Lehrer/Phil Ochs tradition. He tours almost constantly, taking his funny songs about fracking, creationism, marijuana laws, government shutdown, same-sex marriage, guns, taxes and abstinence across the country, often playing in some of the least progressive places in America for the most progressive people there - the “Blue Dots” he calls them.
"I get accused of preaching to the converted,” he says, “but I don’t think of it that way. I think of it as entertaining the troops.”
The world is full of funny songs, but Mr. Zimmerman’s hilarious, rhyme-intensive originals are also incisive calls to action, smart, savvy and undeniable. The “Blue Dot Tour” is 90 minutes of these songs - funny songs like “The Faucet’s on Fire!” and “I Want a Marriage Like They Had In the Bible,” heartfelt songs like “Hope, Struggle and Change” and “I Approve This Message.”
In 13 albums over 20 years, Mr. Zimmerman has brought the sting of satire to the struggle for peace and social justice. His songs have been heard on HBO and Showtime. He has recorded for Warner/Reprise Records. He’s been profiled on NPR’s “All Things Considered.” Mr. Zimmerman’s YouTube videos have amassed over seven million views, and he’s a featured blogger for the Huffington Post.
His latest release is the documentary DVD “Vote Republican: a 50-state musical odyssey” following Mr. Zimmerman and his wife and frequent co-writer Melanie Harby on their 2012 tour. In every state they visited, they wrote a new verse for their tongue-in-cheek song “Vote Republican.” The film weaves all 51 verses together with additional footage and music to create a funny, yet poignant portrait of election year America.
“Melanie and I did a 50-state tour in 2008, and again in 2012, and we found a lot of these ‘Blue Dot’ groups, doing progressive work in places where that’s not easy to do. The idea of this tour is to connect the dots.”
He spent the comedy boom years of the eighties doing stand-up in San Francisco, sharing stages with George Carlin, Bill Maher, Kate Clinton Dennis Miller and many others. He wrote all the material for his funny folk music quartet The Foremen, recording two albums for Warner/Reprise Records. He's done several shows with The Pixies' Frank Black, swapping songs in a solo acoustic setting.