Bishop Drums to the Blues in Off-Hours

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Bishop John Bryson Chane with his band, the Chane Gang. Credit: Episcopal Diocese of Washington

Bishop John Bryson Chane with his band, the Chane Gang. Episcopal Diocese of Washington hide caption

itoggle caption Episcopal Diocese of Washington

John Bryson Chane, the Episcopal Bishop of Washington, is a 59-year-old minister who sometimes takes a break from tending the flock — by drumming in a blues band. His group, the Chane Gang, plays the occasional fundraiser, interpreting blues standards.

Chane's group, first formed some 40 years ago, is influenced by the timeless sounds of Muddy Waters and Howlin' Wolf. As for the vast difference between the blues and the ministry, Chane says the essence of music shares something with that of religion: Both are nearly impossible to capture in mere words.

On a recent night in Bethesda, Md., NPR's Cheryl Corley caught the group's act — and talked with Chane about his pursuits.



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