On Saturday, October 3rd, singer/multi-instrumentalist Leslie Mendelson took part in Democracy Comes Alive, a one-day, nonpartisan virtual music festival aimed at channeling the power of music to make a critical impact on civic engagement in this November’s elections and beyond. Following her solo performance on Quarantine Comes Alive earlier this year, this time fans found Mendelson in a duet setting as she was joined by guitarist and songwriting partner Steve McEwan while she handled singing, piano, and harmonica duties. For her appearance, Mendelson delivered live studio performances of “Would You Give Up Your Gun?” and “All Come Together”, both of which appeared on her latest studio album, 2020’s If You Can’t Say Anything Nice…

Mendelson’s two-song performance opened with a haunting take on “Would You Give Up Your Gun?”, a slower, darker tune which echoes the feelings of Americans who are tired of gun violence as she sings, “Everybody knows it’s the truth/No one can pretend it’s a lie/The more things that can kill you/The greater chance you’ve got that you’ll die.”

“It’s an issue that’s near and dear to my heart,” Mendelson admitted as she opened the ominous ballad. “I know we have a lot of problems in this country right now, but one of the big problems is that we’ve lost the ability to talk to each other… This song poses the question, ‘How close does something have to hit home before we can make a change?'”

Related: Southern Avenue Members Channel Aretha Franklin At Democracy Comes Alive [Watch]

The pair’s performance of “All Come Together” was much livelier, as Mendelson joined in on the piano for the driving tune which echoes the alt-rock radio anthems of the 1990s. The combination of the slightly distorted guitar tone and Mendelson’s unique vocal timbre gave the song just the right amount of confidence and personality.

Relive Leslie Mendelson’s two-song performance from Democracy Comes Alive below. If you enjoyed the performance and have the means, consider making a donation to HeadCount and the Democracy Comes Alive artists via DemocracyComesAlive.com.

Leslie Mendelson – “Would You Give Up Your Gun?”, “All Come Together” – Democracy Comes Alive

Mendelson joined 50+ performers and 10+ other speakers as part of Democracy Comes Alive, presented by Live For Live Music in partnership with voter registration nonprofit HeadCount. The 10-hour streaming event, powered by Nugs.TV and Plus 1, generated $40,000 and counting in funds for HeadCount as well as the participating artists, who remain out of work as the pandemic continues. In addition to the funds generated, Democracy Comes Alive led thousands of people to HeadCount’s tools to check your voter registration status and register to vote. For more information, head here.