At the time, I didn’t think to link this to Michelle Shocked’s long, tireless devotion to the problem of race and music. She’s spent more time working through this topic both in performance and in theory than anyone I can think of (cf. the album notes to Arkansas Traveler). So, when she stands at the front of the choir of the Church of God in Christ Church in West Los Angeles — well, what’s the authenticity quotient?
It would be tough to convince me that that’s not the real thing; but then, I’m inclined to believe Michelle Shocked about almost anything (except copyright, but that’s another story).