Ann Callicrate is a cheerful
labor and delivery nurse who, at first glance, does not smack of heresy.
But beware of the mischievous light that sometimes sparkles in her eyes.
She revels in creating provocative humor. Her first album, "The Best of
Blasphemy," is a work that, according to Callicrate, is not picking a bone
with The Big Creator, but pokes fun at the most judgmental aspects of
album is a compilation of work of 'religious humor,' with the addition of
four original songs created by Callicrate and her husband, Neil Jay Young.
"There is no Catholic over 40 years old who does not know the Vatican Rag
song by the legendary Tom Lehrer," she says, "I was inspired to gather
together, in the name of comedy, songs that poke fun at religion; as it
has never been done before." Other titles on the CD include Sister
Josephine, by Jake Thackray; Creation Science 101, by Roy Zimmerman; and
Praise The Lord And Send Me The Money, by Hugh Moffatt. Country music
dominates the album's mood, with the addition of 50's rock and roll,
gentle jazz, and a sea shanty, most appropriate for If Jesus was a Pirate,
Callicrate's original creation. The entire album was created in the
couple's professional studio at their Canyon home.
wrote her first two songs for the album. "I have a lot of silly things in
my mind," she says. She attributes some of it to her upbringing. She was
raised Catholic in Salem, Oregon, in a family with 11 children. She went
to Catholic school until she was 13. She remembers that there were a lot
of things she had to struggle with. "Confessionals were always frightening
to me, it looked like a dark wooden box," she remembers. But there were a
lot of things she loved, too, "I loved sacred music, the liturgy, the art,
the colors. And in the middle of all the grandeur, there was always
laughter," she recalls.
she had a serious car accident on Moraga Road, two years ago, she had to
stop work for a while - that's when the idea of the CD really took off. "I
was doing something good and of value to me," says Callicrate, "my defense
mechanism has always been humor."
am against people who point fingers or are judgmental (like in the song
Jesus Loves Me But He Can't Stand You)," she says, "there are many fun
religious songs, and who has never told a religious joke?"
songs will probably not amuse the most conservative in Lamorinda; Start
the Apocalypse Now is more a political song than a religious one. There is
some colorful language here and there, so a PG-13 rating might be
appropriate, but the selections are intended to amuse rather than shock.
The mostly country music style roots the album in an American tradition of
cabaret and humor. For more information go to www.thebestofblasphemy.com.