Governor-Turned-Protest-Songwriter Jack Markell, Members of Moonalice and More Collaborate on New Track to Get Out The Vote

October 7, 2020
Governor-Turned-Protest-Songwriter Jack Markell, Members of Moonalice and More Collaborate on New Track to Get Out The Vote

Art by DOMO

Jack Markell, former Governor of Delaware turned protest songwriter, has collaborated with Ann McNamee, founding member of Moonalice, to write and produce a new song and music video, “The Silence of the Good.” The lyrics were written by Gov. Markell, while McNamee composed the music and produced the video. According to a press release, “the song is inspired by Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s Letter from the Birmingham Jail, where the civil rights leader was detained after a rally in 1963.” The track also aims to stress the importance of voting and using one’s political voice.

The video features spoken word by Dr. Clarence B. Jones, who was a speechwriter, legal counsel and personal advisor for Dr. King. In addition, multi-instrumentalists Eric McFadden (George Clinton, Stockholm Syndrome, Eric Burdon & The Animals) and Jason Crosby (Phil Lesh & Friends, Moonalice & Doobie Decibel System) provided the vocals and music on the recording.

“From the first time I read it, I thought Letter from the Birmingham Jail was one of the most important documents in American history,” Gov. Markell said. “When I decided to try my hand at songwriting, I knew I wanted to write a song about the Letter. I am so blessed to have been connected with Ann McNamee, Eric McFadden and Clarence Jones. Clarence’s participation takes the song to a whole different level.”

“Some 57 years later, after the Letter from the Birmingham Jail, ‘The Silence of the Good’ video has accurately and compellingly captured the essence of what Dr. King said in his Letter,” said Dr. Jones. “It’s been one of the proudest moments of my life to be associated with this uniquely creative undertaking.”

Along with the release of “The Silence of the Good,” the Haight Street Art Center (co-founded by Roger and Ann McNamee) has announced an exhibition, also titled The Silence of the Good. According to a press release, the exhibition “has united multiple artists to create a variety of stylistic and powerful posters to promote the importance of voting, along with a careful and critical look at the history of voting in America.” The artists featured include: Micah Bazant, DOMO, Emulsify, Alexandra Fischer, Gary Houston, Hundred Storms, John Mavroudis, Julio Salgado, Chris Shaw and Mari Tepper.

An outdoor and virtual exhibition is set for Oct. 10, free of charge, and the pieces will remain on exhibit until Nov. 15. The works will be shown alongside HSAC’s previous exhibit pertaining to voting, 19th Amendment: 2020 Vision. Those who attend the outdoor exhibition must maintain social distancing and wear masks.

“It was an honor to have composed the music for Gov. Jack Markell’s powerful lyrics to ‘The Silence of the Good,'” said Ann McNamee. “As a co-founder of the Haight Street Art Center, I’m looking forward to this multidimensional show, in true risk-welcoming Bay Area tradition. We will be distributing this music video and some of these posters for free. Please let us know how we can support your involvement in getting out the vote. Help us break ‘The Silence (and silencing) of the Good.’”

Gov. Markell and McNamee have worked together previously; in August, Markell released “Charlottesville,” a song celebrating the life of Heather Heyer, which again featured music composed by McNamee, her husband Roger and Jason Crosby. Watch the video for that here.

For more information on the art exhibition and to view it online, head to Check out the video for “The Silence of the Good” below, as well as a couple of pieces from the corresponding art exhibition.

Art by Julio Saldago
Art by John Mavroudis