The Farewell Drifters Post Live Video

the farewell drifters 09

Below is a live performance of bluegrass/indie folk band The Farewell Drifters‘ new song “Everyone Is Talking”. The song will appear on their upcoming May, 2010 release, Yellow Tag Mondays. Enjoy!

Essential Songs: When In Rome by Nickel Creek

Essential Songs: When In Rome by Nickel Creek

When In Rome by Nickel Creek Nickel Creek - Why Should the Fire Die? - When In Rome

The first bluegrass band in decades to enjoy crossover success on the mainstream charts, Nickle Creek incorporated heavy pop, rock and folk elements into their bluegrass style.  Chris Thile, Sara Watkins and Sean Watkins included “When In Rome” on their Grammy award winning final release Why Should the Fire Die.  “When In Rome” speaks to the folly of living a Christian life focusing on an earthly life.  The final chorus is killer by challenging  how will we fill comfortable in heaven if we spend life focusing on earth.

When In Rome
Chris Pile

Where can a sick man go
When he can’t choke down the medicine,
The old Doc knows.
A specialist came to town, but he stays at home,
saying no one knows, so I don’t, Honey, when in Rome.

Where can a teacher go?
Wherever she thinks people need the things she knows.
Hey, those books you gave us look good on the shelves at home,
And they’ll burn warm in the fireplace, Teacher, when in Rome.

Grab a blanket, sister, we’ll make smoke signals.
Bring in some new blood
It feels like we’re alone.
Grab a blanket, brother,
so we don’t catch cold from one another
Oh, I wonder if we’re stuck in Rome.

Where can a dead man go?
A question with an answer only dead men know.
But I’m gonna bet they never really feel at home,
If they spend a lifetime learning how to live in Rome.

Essential Songs:Art of Virtue by Adrienne Young

adrienne-young-essentials

I heard this song on a listening station at Austin’s Waterloo Records, stopped shopping, bought the CD, put in my CD player and drove home.

This song has one of my favorite lines, “a joy ride on the learning curve”.  Read the lyrics and tell me you don’t want to hand this song to all of your friends, even if you don’t like bluegrass.
Gonna start a revolution,
Made of action, not of words
Practicing the Art of Virtue
A joy ride on the learning curve

Gonna keep my eyes wide open
Till I have something to say
Start to put my house in order
Save some money for a rainy day

Gonna do just what I ought to
Finish what I say I’ll do
Spend my time on something useful
Worry less and speak the truth

I’d like to learn some moderation
Know just when enough’s enough
Meditate on being tranquil
Injure none and bear no grudge

I let go of my resistance
Son of God is inside me
I’m waitin’ for the real thing, honey
Ain’t nothin’ wrong with chastity

If I could walk the path of Jesus
Live each day the best I can
Follow in those humble footsteps
I might reach the promised land

Gonna start a revolution
Made of action, not of words
Practicing the Art of Virtue
A joy ride on a learning curve

Come and join this revolution
Made of action, not of words
Practicing the Art of Virtue
It’s all the rage, oh have you heard?

Is the theology of this song correct? Can we experience the promised land before we get to heaven? Wouldn’t it be great if we all just tried practicing the Art of Virtue a littler harder?

Add “Art of Virtue” by Adrienne Young and Little Sadie by downloading the song from iTunes

Adrienne Young & Little Sadie - The Art of Virtue - Art of Virtue

Christian Artists To Know: Fiction Family

Fiction Family
Genre: Rock
Sub-genres: Folk-rock, British Invasion, Adult Contemporary, Americana
Location: Cardiff By The Sea, California
Label: ATO Records
Website: http://www.fictionfamily.com/
Christian label: no
Category: The Light whats this?

Switchfoot, the alternative rockers from San Diego, California are maybe the most successful Christian music acts to cross over from the Contemporary Christian Music scene to the mainstream alternative rock scene.  Switchfoot’s major label debut The Beautiful Letdown went double platinum, selling 2.6M copies.  They released two more highly acclaimed cd’s with Columbia Records and then announced in 2007 that they were severing their ties with Columbia to “go indie.”

The Grammy award winning Nickel Creek is the first bluegrass band to achieve broad mainstream pop success, when both “This Side”" and “Why I Should Die” reached the Top 20 on The Billboard 200.  Time magazine named Nickel Creek one of “The Five Music Innovators of the New Millennium”

Why do we care?

Jon Foreman of Switchfoot and Sean Watkins of Nickel Creek decided to start writing and playing together a few years ago at a show featuring Wilco, R.E.M. Nickel Creek and Switchfoot.   Over the next three years they wrote and recorded their self-titled debut Fiction Family, which was released on January 20, 2009.

Strong melodies, multi-instrumentation and plaintive vocals create distinctive a Pop, Americana sound with stong undertones of the best British pop.  As Foreman describes it, “[Fiction Family has] a lot of Jayhawks mixed into it. There’s definitely a little Beatles influence”.  The duo modernizes the sound with liberal use of sound and musical effects.  The debut has a creative freedom to it that results in a loose, joyful sound (read Bored at the Grammys), that makes listening to Fiction Family very much like listening to the Beatle’s Revolver or Rubber Soul.

“The songs themselves would sort of dictate where things would go,” says Watkins. “No one was saying it needs to be this way or that way. It was just about what was fun and what was good for the song. It’s definitely the purest way of making music that I’ve come across.”

According to Fiction Family’s website:

“Simply put, this kind of record could not have existed ten, five, even three years ago. It’s the reassuring sound of two professional musicians tapping into the creativity that flows when limits and expectations-the old engines of a record business we’re in the midst of reinventing-are removed from the artistic process. Talk about a silver lining.”

Watkins and Foreman, fellow San Diegans who have known each other since high school, are vocalists and multi-instrumentalists.  They often took turns singing lead vocals and they both play several instruments on each song, including guitar, bass, keyboards, percussion, baritone ukulele, piano, organ, mandolin, steel guitar, 12-string guitar. Fiddle player Sara Watkins is featured on a few songs as well.

Here is Fiction Family performing “Mostly Prove Me Wrong”:

httpv://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NTxpMtfGD6U

I was very excited by the prospect of member’s of two of the most successful Christian music acts of the last 10 years collaborating on a project.  The result exceeded my expectations.  The joy of free creation is palpable in the music and the song’s melodies soar on the layers of instruments. Fiction Family’s debut feels more like an experimental side project than an ongoing collaboration.  Let’s hope they continue to make this wonderful music.

You can find Fiction Family’s music digitally on Fiction Family

You can also buy their CDs on Amazon: Fiction Family(2009)