What: Roy Zimmerman

When: 7 p.m. Wednesday

Where: Unitarian Universalist Fellowship of Central Oregon, 61980 Skyline Ranch Road, Bend

Cost: $20 plus fees in advance, $25 at the door, $18 for KPOV members (call the station for discount code)

Contact: kpov.org or 541-322-0863

Satirical singer-songwriter Roy Zimmerman has his work cut out for him in the age of Donald Trump.

Long a champion of leftist causes, the Southern Californian rips into the current presidential administration on his 10th studio album, “Rize Up,” which includes such song titles as “The Don,” “Drain the Swamp” and “Religious Freedom.” Split between original material and song parodies such as “Sweeney Trump” and “Joel Osteen” (a remake of Dolly Parton’s “Jolene”), the album also showcases Zimmerman and wife/co-writer Melanie Harby’s earnest side on the title track, dedicated to the students at Marjory Stoneham Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida, and featuring Pacific Northwest singer Laura Love.

Zimmerman will play a benefit for Bend’s community radio station, KPOV 88.9-FM, at the Unitarian Universalist Fellowship of Central Oregon on Wednesday (he also played a benefit for the station in 2017). This interview has been edited for length and clarity.

Q: You’re playing a benefit for KPOV here in Bend, something you’ve done in previous years too. What keeps you coming back?

A: This’ll be two years since I was up there doing it. But it was a wonderful show, really. First of all, I love supporting community radio; it’s where you can really hear from people and people can hear from you, and the word gets out in a different way than it does on corporate radio.

Q: Tell me about the “Sweeney Todd” parody, “Sweeney Trump,” that opens your new album, “Rize Up.” What inspired it, and how do you build a parody off of another song?

A: Well first of all, both Melanie and I are [Stephen]Sondheim fanatics as well, and there’s no one who compares in terms of putting a satirical, sharp point into a song that can also be funny and strident at the same time. “Sweeney Trump,” the idea arose as many of our ideas do while we’re in the car driving across America. As soon as the idea arises, that music just lays it out for you. That’s the work of it, is sort of hammering those Trump-related lyrics into that wonderful musical form.

Q: I read in a couple of places that your early group, The Foremen, played at both political parties’ conventions in 1996. Thinking about that, could that even happen now?

A: Well even then, we came from a pretty lefty point of view. So when we played quote-unquote “at the Republican convention,” it meant that we got into the convention and we played for the radio — radio row, they call it. So you’ve got all these talk jocks sitting at a long table, and one after the other you would just go down the line and do your songs. And we were their sort of novelty act — oh, here comes the lefty band from California, right, singing straight to them. We got to sing straight to Oliver North, for instance, on his radio show, and sing our song about Oliver North, straight to Oliver North.

Q: Being out there touring and seeing audiences across the U.S., is everything as divided as it would seem? What is the mood that you’re getting from a lot of people?

A: People are fond of saying that it’s never been so divided, right? You’ve heard that maybe all your life, never been so divided. It’s true, things are pretty polarized, but America is a divided place; it truly is and always has been. The emergence of Trump is a sign to a lot of us that racism does exist, sexism does exist. It’s rife in America, and maybe we’re waking up to things that have always been true. So yes, you see a lot of red versus blue, and a lot of people are really digging in and entrenching themselves. But I think that satire is a way that we can actually bring people together, because if you can laugh at this stuff, you can have some perspective over it.

Q: And you’re finding audiences do want to laugh about this?

A: Sure, sure. Here’s one difference I notice: People who do social justice work, particularly social work — people who are dealing straight with the people who are downtrodden and oppressed and affected by these policies — it’s a hard row to hoe. The people who do that work are in the face of it everyday and it can be discouraging; it can be depressing. Whereas if you’re of a more Trumpian kind of bent, maybe you just shoot a gun in the air and roast a pig and you have a good time. So it’s the people I’m singing to who maybe most need to laugh and to be encouraged.

— Brian McElhiney, The Bulletin

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