Your Letters: Rick Perry; Gillian Welch

Last week, NPR's John Burnett filed a report on Texas governor Rick Perry's prayer rally in Houston, spurring a flood of responses. We also heard from roots-music artist Gillian Welch and her long-time partner, guitarist David Rawlings. Guest host John Ydstie reads listeners' comments to these stories and more.

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JOHN YDSTIE, host: Time for your letters. Last week, NPR's John Burnett filed a report on Texas Governor Rick Perry's prayer rally in Houston's Reliant Stadium.

Governor RICK PERRY: In these difficult times, Father, we pray for our president, that you would impart your wisdom on him, that you would guard his family.

YDSTIE: We received a flood of responses - more than 300 alone on our website, NPR.org - from both supporters and opponents. Here's a sampling: James Goodale(ph) of Houston writes: Sadly, candidates mix religion and politics all the time today as they wear their religious beliefs on their sleeves and try to out-devout their opponents. The primary objection was that Governor Perry announced and publicized the event on the state of Texas website and invited participants on the governor's letterhead, both of which are funded with state funds and operated by state employees. But Jerry Maize of Franklin, North Carolina disagrees. His post on our Facebook wall reads: Just because he is a governor doesn't mean Rick Perry cannot exercise his religious freedom. We also heard from some of you about our interview with roots-music artist Gillian Welch and her longtime partner, guitarist David Rawlings.

(SOUNDBITE OF SONG, "WAY IT GOES")

GILLIAN WELCH: (Singing) Becky Johnson bought the farm, put a needle in her arm. That's the way that it goes, that's the way...

YDSTIE: I spoke with them about their career together and their collaboration on Welch's new album, "The Harrow and the Harvest."

WELCH: The first time Dave and I ever sang together, we both took notice of it. You know, we'd sung with a lot of people before that. But there was something - some particular way that our voices hooked up. I'd like to think we've cultivated it over the years.

YDSTIE: Vicky York of Bozeman, Montana writes: I want to thank you for the great interview with Gillian Welch and David Rawlings. I was fortunate to hear them in concert here in Bozeman and like you, observed there were some songs where their voices meld together as one so that it is almost impossible to tell which is which. Also, I was fascinated by David's guitar. Yours has been one of the few interviews that has elicited the story of his guitar and why its sound is unique. Watching him perform at times it seemed like he was playing a violin.

(SOUNDBITE OF SONG, "WAY IT GOES")

WELCH: (Singing) That's the way that it goes, everybody's buying little baby clothes. That's the way that it is, though there was a time he and I were friends.

YDSTIE: We welcome your comments. Go to NPR.org and click on the link that says Contact Us. You can also find us on Twitter and Facebook at NPRWeekend.

(SOUNDBITE OF SONG, "WAY IT GOES")

WELCH: (Singing) Though there was a time when you and I were friends.

YDSTIE: This is NPR News.

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