I first heard of Elder Anderson Johnson when I was interning at Music Maker last spring. My task was to transcribe an interview that Tim and Axel Kustner recorded back in the ’90s and to write a biography of Elder Anderson and his relationship to sacred steel. Listening to the recordings, I heard music interspersed with stories Elder Anderson told about his life. I was amazed by all of his experiences and his strong sense of faith through various hardships.
A very spiritual man, Elder Anderson told Tim and Axel, “I’ve been in church all my life, and I’ve never drinked or smoked in my life.” The song “God Don’t Like It” best elaborates on this statement. He has harsh words for people indulging in too much drink, but he doesn’t apologize, singing:
I know you don’t like my song,
I spoke my sober mind,
I won’t take back a word I said,
Because I don’t drink moonshine
Take a listen to the track yourself, and it appears on his album Roots of Sacred Steel, as well!
– Margot, interim communications assistant