I recently made a trip to Waterloo Records and grabbed the first thing that jumped out at me: Rebirth of New Orleans, by the Rebirth Brass Band. It pretty much blows me away. I discovered them last Mardi Gras, when I was digging through Youtube, looking for music from New Orleans.
They remind me a bit of the Dirty Dozen Brass Band, a group I got to see in Austin a few years ago. It’s a great jazzy mixture of New Orleans second line, funk and hip hop. Great horn playing. It’s also an interesting segue from the last batch of CD purchases I made, featuring Balkan brass band music, much of it created by European Gypsies.
In both cases, you have extremely skilled musicians from cultures that know what it’s like to go through bad times — yet they still know how to enjoy life and spread that joy to others. In short, they have passion.
This isn’t on the latest album, but it’s awesome — The Rebirth Brass Band in the French Quarter, in 2008:
Now check this out:
Kinda different, but kinda the same too, don’t you think?
Ever mix foods that don’t sound like they should go together and find out they really really do? Like peanut butter ‘n’ banana sandwiches? Sounded weird at first, but trust me, it’s a combination that was meant to be.
I recently discovered a musical example: The Chubby Knuckle Choir, a band with a funny name and an even stranger combination of styles, with members from Bastrop, Cedar Creek, Elgin, Waco and Liberty Hill.
It’s almost impossible to pin down their sound. Americana doesn’t quite do it. Blues, bluegrass, country, rockabilly, Cajun, R&B, funk… They’re all part of the mix. It’s such a weird combination of styles, but it sounds rootsy and natural, like folk music from a country that never was, but should’ve been.
The band has five members: Rory Smith of Elgin on vocals and percussion; Perry Lowe of Bastrop on percussion; Tres Womack of Waco (formerly of Bastrop) on guitar and vocals; Slim Bawb Pearce of Cedar Creek (by way of Sacramento, California) on mandolin and other stringed instruments and vocals and Dave Gould of Liberty Hill on string bass.
The percussion is a bit unusual, with Rory pounding on congas, scratching on a frottoir (rub board) and at times a Jew’s harp given to him by his Swedish mother-in-law. Perry plays a Brazilian box drum known as a cajón (that doubles as his chair) and an African drum called a djembe.
Each member brings something into the mix — styles, instruments and songs. Tres adds a country music flavor. Slim Bawb adds Louisiana and bluegrass influences (although he’s from California). Rory and Perry contribute R&B, funk and soul. Dave Gould, who also plays in the Watts Brothers Band, brings his skill on the bass fiddle.
“People compare us to the Gourds, but I think we’re more unique,” said Tres, who helped kick start the band. He hosted an open mic night that featured Rory and a CD release party where both Rory and Perry turned up to sing harmony. They enjoyed working together so much a musical relationship was born. In time they picked up Slim Bawb Pearce and Curtis Farley (the previous bass player).
“Tres, Rory and Perry had been playing together for a while and they needed a picker,” said Slim Bawb. “I played some slide mandolin and we meshed really quickly. It’s fun to play in this band. We have a lot of harmonies and you never know what’s gonna happen. There’s a lot of improvising going on.”
Slim Bawb moved to Cedar Creek from Sacramento five years ago. Before he became a transplanted Texan, he spent 20 years with a group called the Beer Dawgs, which was inducted into the Sacramento Area Music Hall of Fame in 1998.
Curtis, who owns Twisted Twig Studio, is still involved with the band on the production end. He came up with the name Chubby Knuckle Choir while poking fun at the musicians’ middle age spare tires and chubby hands. The musicians were having a jam session and singing harmonies. “Curtis was picking on us and said ‘y’all look like a chubby knuckle choir’ and the name stuck,” Rory said.
Rory and Perry chose their percussion instruments for two reasons: 1) their cars weren’t big enough to hold trap sets and 2) they provide rhythm without overwhelming the vocals.
Tres also liked the idea of using those instruments to make the band’s sound more unique, and offset his strong country influence. The frottoir was a nod to Slim Bawb’s Cajun influence.
“What makes it work is we all like each other,” Rory said.
The Chubby Knuckle Choir has had its share of local success, performing at South By Southwest in 2008, 2009 and 2010. They have also opened for Austin musician Guy Forsyth, former member of the Asylum Street Spankers at Nutty Brown Café outside of Dripping Springs.
Most of the time they perform at the Lumberyard in downtown Bastrop or in Quoffer’s in Elgin, but they also play in other venues around the state and are slated to play in Elgin’s Hogeye Festival next October.
They are not trying to become a national act — although they are open to possibilities if they somehow strike it big. “We’re all at that age where we have responsibilities,” Rory said. “Perry has a couple of toddlers. If we get a following that’s great, but it’s not on the agenda. We just love what we do.”
The band is working on songs for the debut studio album, which should be finished by the end of the year. In the meantime, you can buy CDs of their 11-track album “Live at the Lumberyard” for $10. E-mail email@example.com.
The Chubby Knuckle Choir’s next show is at the Lumberyard is 8 p.m. Friday, June 10. The band will perform at Quoffer’s at 8:30 p.m. on Thursday, June 23.
This one may be my favorite:
These are quite impressive as well:
It’s Always Something
The Live Experience
I caught the tail end of one of their shows at Quoffer’s bar in Elgin and went to see them again a few weeks ago in Bastrop in a really cool venue called the Lumberyard (it actually used to BE a lumberyard).
The audience was a mix of old and young who from time to time got up and danced. The band obviously a small but dedicated following (that recently grew by one).
Their set list featured some great original songs, along with some inspired covers. “Freakshow,” “It’s Always Something” “Farmer’s Tan” and “Ethylene” were among my favorite originals.
They did excellent covers of Fleetwood Mac’s “Dreams,” the gospel standard “Jesus on the Mainline” and Lee Dorsey’s “Ya Ya.” Venue owner Jeff Brister joined the band on trumpet during “Ya Ya.”
Another highlight was Storytelling, a band tradition. Band members take turns telling stories from one concert to the next. The stories are supposed to be true. Rory told one about raccoons taking up residence in his attic.
Every story ends with “and I heard a song on the radio,” followed by a cover song. The one that night was AC/DC’s “You Shook Me All Night Long.” Never expected to hear a bluegrass version of that, but it really worked.
Very entertaining live show. I’ve been looking for a band to fill the empty place in my soul left by the breakup of the Asylum Street Spankers and I may have finally found it – right in my back yard.
A few days back I interviewed a really cool guy named Joe Peña, who has an Arizona-based group called Greyhound Soul. He’s about to come back to his home town of Elgin, Texas for the annual Hogeye Festival on Saturday, Oct. 23 and I can’t wait to see him.
I expect Hogeye to be a blast, by the way. If you’re going to be in the Austin area this weekend, you should make a short drive out to Elgin and check it out. Maybe you’ll see me, snapping pics of everything for the local newspaper, the Elgin Courier. There’s all kinds of stuff planned, including a lot of other bands and lots of food, games, a parade, etc. This town is famous for its barbecue, especially sausage. In fact, people call Elgin the Sausage Capital of Texas. You really can’t beat these little small town festivals.
The following interview is pretty close to the one I ran in the Elgin Courier‘s Oct. 20 edition, except I put the cuss words back in. I love the way he talks, all laid back and hip, but I toned it down for the paper – it was a bit too rock ‘n’ roll for a small town. I interviewed him via text message. First time I ever did that. Worked out pretty well I think. What I really find interesting is the family aspect. He’s the third generation in his family to play music professionally – his father did it (still does) and his grandfather. And they’re all named “Joe.” Also, Joe IV’s brother Jeremy Peña is a reggae artist who plays around Austin.
Talk about family tradition. Guitarist and singer/songwriter Joe Peña IV, who will perform at Hogeye Festival with his band Greyhound Soul, grew up surrounded by music. His father and grandfather (both also named Joe) were both professional musicians. His father still plays keyboards with a band. Joe grew up in Elgin. He left Texas around the ninth grade and wound up in Arizona, where he got a band together and developed a following for the rootsy brand of music he calls desert rock.
“I guess we sound like a Rolling Stones, Tom Waits, Bob Dylan, Sonny Boy Williamson wannabe band, cuz that’s what I dig,” he said. Growing up, he cut his teeth on the music being served up in Elgin night clubs, including his grandfather’s club, Dos Amigos. “I was fortunate enough to be around in the Kung Fu Inn days. Ol’ Charlie Brown’s Place on Ave. C [Kung Fu Inn] and across the street was my grandpa’s place. Between the two you had blues and R&B, soul, country & western, jazz and Tejano bands having some of the best moments of their lives. Being 12, 13, 14 years old in and out of bars was my life. Hell, still is. And being witness to that shit is solid gold bro.”
Having professional musicians in the family was tough, but it also made him who he is today. “Growin’ up with music going on day and night, Dad playing his stuff, Gramps puttin’ in his two cents and then me getting it from both sides wasn’t easy. They were always tryin’ to teach the right way to do stuff. Always the right way, all ol’ school, all these chords gettin’ me dizzy. I’d be like screw this, I’m gonna play football. Well, never played football. Now I’m ol’ school and diggin’ it. Somewhere down the line I guess it just stuck and I just can’t seem to get it off my shoe, haha.”
Even after touring around the U.S. and in Europe, Joe is excited to come back to Elgin for Hogeye. “Coming back to play in my home town is fuckin’ awesome,” he said. He’s also excited to see Malford Milligan on the bill, performing with Chloe and the Crossroads band. “That’s just too cool man. We used to pass each other on our way to school back in the day,” he said. “I’m sure he doesn’t know who the hell I am, but he will goddamn it.”
Joe Peña III has played in blues and Tejano bands all his life, learning the trade from his father, who performed Spanish big band music. Although Joe III will be performing in Fort Worth during Hogeye, he encourages Elgin to turn out and watch his son play. “He has five CDs out. He tours Europe. He writes his own material and he will be playing the electric guitar my dad got for me,” he said. “He’s influenced by everything from country music to Paul McCartney. You have to play a little of everything to entertain people nowadays.”
Check out Greyhound Soul’s “Layin’ Down Lost.” Sounds kinda like good alt-country to me…
And in case you decide to check out Hogeye Festival, here’s a schedule:
Lindsy Kay Wing Memorial Children’s Costume Contest and Pet Parade
Registration 8:30 a.m., judging 9 a.m. followed by parade
Hogalicious Dessert Contest
9 a.m. turn in entries–Awards 12:30pm
El Maguey Restaurant
Pearls Before Swine Art ShowJewell Arts Photography – 119 2nd Street @ Avenue C10 a.m.-5 p.m.
Road Hog Car Show
Awards 2:45 p.m. at Nofsinger House City Hall
Gordon Swenson Memorial BBQ Pork Cook-off
Awards 4:30 p.m. at the Chamber
In a Pig’s Eye Dart Contest
Regulator’s Sports Bar and Grill 12 p.m.-4 p.m.
Celebrating 20 years of Main Street
Union Depot Museum 10 a.m.-5p.m.
Acme Brick Toss
Depot Plaza 10 a.m.-5p.m.
Cow Patty Bingo
4 p.m. on Depot Street
Bands and live entertainment
2nd Street Stage
10:30 a.m. Monty Thomas Family Band
11:45 a.m. Soulphonics
1 p.m. Chloe & the Crossroads Band
2 p.m. The Sowpremes
2:45 p.m. Grupo Agresivo
4 p.m. Greyhound Soul
5:15 p.m. Mark Winston Kirk
Depot Stage at Veterans’ Park
10 a.m. Jungle Jill & the Jaybirds (interactive children’s show)
Just found a great place to stream music: www.radiofreeneworleans.com It’s a feature of NewOrleansOnline.com, which is the official tourism website for the city of New Orleans. I’ve heard so much great music: people I knew already like Professor Longhair, Dr. John, Neville Brothers and Fats Domino; plus great acts that were new to me like the Rebirth Brass Band and the Soul Rebels.
The little player that pops up has several player options: vintage jazz, pop & rock, eclectic mix, contemporary jazz, rhythm & blues and gospel brunch. I usually leave it on R&B or eclectic mix.
I spent a good part of Sunday afternoon and much of the night at the Fiesta put on by the Sacred Heart Catholic Church in Elgin. The church is raising money to build a new sanctuary and boy do they ever know how to throw a party. Great music that didn’t necessarily have to be about Jebus, games, beer if you wanted it, raffle… All the fun stuff they would’ve thought was a sin at the Baptist church I grew up in.
Part of the time I was working. The rest of the time I was there for me. Started with yummy enchiladas made by sweet little ladies in the parish hall at lunchtime, took a few pics of people playing carnival games and a guy trying to pose with a burro he bought at auction that almost got away, and ended up rocking out to conjunto music. If I hadn’t had the commute back to Cedar Park waiting for me I would’ve stayed a lot later. I probably missed some good shows, but what I saw was pretty dad gum enjoyable.
Remember the Cedar Park-based band Los Autenticos de Tierra Caliente that I saw at Batfest? They were at this festival too. Good as if not better than the first time I heard them.
But the group that really turned my motor was called Poder Norteño from Taylor, Texas. They’re the real deal. Great accordion and sax, German-influenced basslines. These are the kind of guys you meet working in restaurants, stores, etc., who you might not think much about, but who might be stars on the weekend at some little festival or dance around Texas. That’s what I love about Tejano, true music of the people.
I didn’t make this video (Wish I had. I’m going to have to get a camera that can do it.), but it gives an idea of what Poder Norteno sound like. They were on a similar-looking stage in Elgin on Sunday and they even played this same song
And check out their MySpace page. Sound quality might be a little iffy, but really this is the kind of band that should be experienced live. If you live in Texas or anywhere that has a large Hispanic population, poke around on the Internet or look for concert posters in the window at your favorite Mexican restaurant and go out and see for yourself. You could have a band like this right under your nose and not even know it. Don’t worry if you don’t speak Spanish either. If you like the music, who cares? Too much music out there to get hung up on something like that.
Here's a shot of the bats. Best I could do with a cheap camera. Had to mess with the photo in GIMP. Otherwise it would be black on black.
Last Saturday I went to the 6th annual Batfest in Austin. They closed off the Congress Ave. Bridge (now the Ann Richards Bridge, though I’ll probably never learn to call it that) and filled it with folks in booths trying to sell things, bounce houses for the kids, plenty of food & drink, and at each end of the bridge there was a stage. The south end had Mexican and Tejano music; the north end was all about the rock ‘n’ roll. Free admission. Just pitched in a dollar donation for Bat Conservation International.
It gave me a chance to do something I hadn’t done in a long time: watch the bats fly out from their famous colony under the bridge. And something I’d been meaning to do for a long time: check out a really great local band called Deadman. I also got irresponsible and ate carnival food: turkey meatball curry (which I spilled on my shirt) and a funnel cake. At least I refrained from getting the chicken fried bacon. And I saw a good band called Los Autenticos de Tierra Caliente that I thought might be from Mexico that turned out to be from Cedar Park, my current stomping grounds.
Deadman rocks out at Batfest, Aug. 21, 2010
I’ve been a fan of Deadman for a long time, but in the years since I first discovered the group, it has evolved into something a bit different. It used to be the project of Steve and Sheryl Collins, who at one time lived in McGregor, near Waco, and had a little cafe. They divorced and Steve moved to Austin, where he now performs as Deadman with a group of excellent musicians. Sheryl, whose last name is now Segrest, is performing in Fort Worth.
The first version of Deadman, at least based on the two CDs I bought, Paramour and Our Eternal Ghosts, was what I would call alternative-country in the same vein as the Handsome Family. Very atmospheric. Made me think of Daniel Lanois and The Cowboy Junkies.
What I heard Saturday had a rootsy, bluesy, country rock aesthetic. Although there was an obvious Neil Young influence (one of the songs Steve said was an attempt to capture the style of Neil Young and Crazy Horse’s Rust Never Sleeps), the main influence I heard was The Band. There was also a country gospel sound. Some songs in fact had definite Biblical themes: “Brother John” and “Oh Delilah.”
It was definitely enough to make me want more, and since Deadman is now based in Austin, playing frequently at the Saxon Pub, I don’t have a lot of excuses.
Here’s a video to give you idea of Deadman’s sound:
Los Autenticos de Tierra Caliente, based in Cedar Park, Texas.
And more on the first band I heard when I first showed up: Los Autenticos de Tierra Caliente: Very good. Mostly fast-paced stuff, merengue with a Mexican spin, plus conjunto and norteno type music. They substituted keyboards for the bass and accordion, which I kind of missed, but that’s fairly typical of north-of-the-border Tejano bands. They had a couple of really good trombonists.
Also look at all the people down by the Austin American-Statesman office waiting for the bats to come out. The crowd of people who turn out for the bats is probably more of a trip for me than the animals themselves. That was early too. Lots more were on the grassy knoll and on the bridge rail by the time the critters went out to feed.
Wow, this really makes me sad. I just went on Facebook and saw an announcement that my favorite Austin band is retiring. The Asylum Street Spankers are like nothing you’ve ever heard – retro style, rockin’ sensibility, superb musicianship and funny as hell. There will never be another band like them. I don’t know what brought this about. Could be the bad economy is getting to them. Also, Christina and Wammo both have small children. If it’s what they need to do, then I wish them well. Musicians aren’t actually obligated to wreck themselves for our entertainment. They’re giving a farewell tour and if you get the opportunity to catch one of their final shows I would advise you to take it. Their schedule can be found here.
If you need any more convincing, read my recent post about the band: Asylum Street Spankers’ vintage sound captures Austin’s spirit That post also includes some great Youtube links that will give you an idea what Spankers shows are like, and a link to their Bandcamp site where you can stream Spankers songs or order mp3s or CDs.
Also, check out their albums on Bandcamp.
P.S. I’ve been asked why Wammo is not being listed on the ASS Facebook page. I also noticed a lot of the people who surfed into this blog lately entered search terms like “Is Wammo on Farewell Tour.” I don’t know the answer to that and would like to. If anyone has seen a show on this tour I’d like to know if Wammo was there. I’d also like to know why the band is retiring. I imagine it has to do with Wammo and Christina each having new babies. Maybe they’re all tired of touring and want to devote more time to their families. I can respect that. I just wish the band would let us know what’s up. In any case, I would still recommend catching one of the farewell shows if possible. If Wammo’s not on the tour it would definitely be a disappointment, but I did see one Spankers show when Wammo was out with the flu and it was still awesome. Speaking of which… It has occurred to me that Wammo could be ill. I’d at least like to know that he’s all right. If anyone knows anything, please let me know.
PPS. Saw a comment on the ASS Facebook site stating that Wammo was leaving for family reasons. Probably about what I figured. His wife just had a new baby and probably asked him to stick around and stay off the road. Fair enough I reckon. I will miss him though.
Update: Wammo sent out an e-mail announcing his plans and telling his reasons for quitting the Spankers. I reposted it here: Word from Wammo aka ‘Road Dog’
I’ve been a hard rock fan ever since I can remember. I’ve moved onto other styles of music, but I always end up listening to the stuff at some point. It’s like comfort food for the ears. But as much as I dig well-known hard rock bands like Zeppelin and AC/DC, I really get a kick out of lesser-known tunes from a time when the music was about to branch off into heavy metal and progressive rock. There was a whole class of music back in the early ’70s that fell somewhere in between. Bands were developing that heavy distorted guitar sound and wanted to rock, but at the same time, they had some complicated ideas they wanted to explore, lyrically and musically. Some of the bands who made this music went on to greater fame as metal or progressive rock acts. Some just put out an album or two and then disappeared.
A couple of years ago, I put together a CD-R full of mp3s with help from the guys at Rate Your Music. For the past week or so, that disk has seldom left my car stereo.
I used to think that kind of music came about because the rock ‘n’ rollers were still doing acid instead of coke and speed, but recently learned that the guys in Black Sabbath were doing coke by the bowlful, so now I’m not sure. Maybe they were doing cocaine all along and it just got too hard to find good acid? (Read my not-too-serious ramblings on that subject here.)
One of my favorite discoveries while assembling that comp was a group called Lucifer’s Friend, with my favorite song being “Ride in the Sky” from the self-titled debut, which features John Lawton on lead vocals – who sang lead for Uriah Heep from 1976 to 1979.
Who would’ve thought a French horn could be an instrument of such heaviness? The Lucifer’s Friend debut sounds just like heavy metal and it came out in 1970 – far ahead of its time. I also downloaded LF’s Banquet, which I liked, but it sounds like a completely different band. Not hard or heavy at all. More of a jazzy pop.
Another favorite that came out of that project is Captain Beyond, which is also a bit on the psychedelic side. Check this out:
I also found out something surprising. The Scorpions, who became hard rock/metal staples, debuted in 1972 an album called Lonesome Crow that sounds very different from the music most fans are familiar with. If not for the German accent, I might think it was early Rush. You can also hear a major Black Sabbath influence.
If you like that sort of thing, check out this thread from RateYourMusic and download or whatever you need to do. There’s a ton of great formerly inacessible early prog/hard rock out there that can be found today thanks to the Internet and those RYM folks really know their stuff.
And if you want to hear a modern group that does that kind of groove today, check out Black Mountain, a group I posted about a while back.
Another transfer from Live Journal. I still never read Rapture Ready like I said I was going to… Note that I’m not being disrespectful about Christianity. I just think it doesn’t always mesh well with pop culture, especially pop music. Give me good, rootsy gospel or a church hymn over any CCM or Christian rock. I went into a lot of detail about my thoughts on LJ, where it might’ve been read by 2 people:
BTW, you want to hear some great Christian music? Check these out:
I’m going to go ahead and post the entire LJ article. I think more people will read it here…
I just read a very interesting article in Slate about a book called Rapture Ready by Daniel Radosh. One of these days I’m going to have to read it. It gets to the heart of an issue I’ve been pondering for years: what’s wrong with Christian music? Only it goes further, talking about other Christian pop culture – comedy, fashion, etc.
This is a pretty good excerpt:
When you make loving Christ sound just like loving your boyfriend, you can do damage to both your faith and your ballad. That’s true when you create a sanitized version of bands like Nirvana or artists like Jay-Z, too: You shoehorn a message that’s essentially about obeying authority into a genre that’s rebellious and nihilistic, and the result can be ugly, fake, or just limp.
I guess the reason I still care about this topic is that I grew up in that Christian conservative culture, even though I’m not a part of it now. The whole “separate but equal” Christian pop culture thing wasn’t really in full swing until I was already out of high school. Closest thing to a Christian pop song I remember is “You Light Up My Life” by Debbie Boone. I do remember feeling there was a certain something lacking in Christian “culture” though, at least the stuff that came to us via church camp performers, revival evangelists and musical “specials” that some church members liked to perform, with canned background music.
One of the worst offenders was a musical family that came to our church several times with a Christian ventriloquist show. They also sang and sold records of themselves in the church foyer. Their ventriloquist dummy was cheesy and embarrassing (as those things usually are, Christian or otherwise) and their singing was dreadfully out of key. I also remember feeling there was something very inappropriate about selling merchandise inside a church. How was that different from the moneychangers Jesus kicked out of the temple?
Things got a little more sophisticated in the early- to mid-80s, when I was already a very hypocritical partying college student. I went to a Christian conference in Dallas and there was a wide array of Christian Contemporary music – not really rock yet, but close, it definitely wasn’t any kind of gospel, with the exception of Larnelle Harris. I remember some of the groups weren’t horrible to listen to – one called Gabriel that was just your basic pop, with Christian lyrics, and a group called Silverwind that had a female vocalist from somewhere in Europe, and sounded suspiciously like they were copying Abba. Not long afterward, my youngest brother got totally hooked on the Christian Contemporary music – his faves included Petra, Sandi Patti, and of course Amy Grant. It wasn’t horrible, but it wasn’t satisfying either. I would’ve had a very hard time if that had been all I could listen to and hadn’t had “real” rock ‘n’ roll. I was an art student and needed something with some heart and some punch. The CCM and Christian Rock just struck me as soulless (ironically) and shallow.
Now, that didn’t and doesn’t apply to all Christian music. I say something like this everytime the subject comes up: Christianity always works best when it comes with roots. While the groups I mentioned left me unmoved, I was at times strongly moved by some of the congregational hymns we sang in church. Hymns written by people like John Wesley and Fanny Crosby that I knew had been sung in church for generations. My father was the choir director and mom played piano. Dad sometimes sang solos, songs like the “Old Rugged Cross” and had a lovely tenor voice. That was art to me. Still is.
I feel the same way about black church music. I used to listen to a radio station from Prairie View A&M outside of Houston and I loved it, and for a while, I used to work in an office building that had a little black church in it. The people would not only sing, they would sing their prayers. There was a little speaker aimed out to the street so people could hear. Sometimes when I was working late I would go stand on the sidewalk and listen to them. That stuff is art too. It has a cultural richness to it that the stuff on the Christian rock station just doesn’t, never will have.
One of my Baptist preachers, the one who was most fundamentalist, who said some of the most cringe-worthy things, once said “Christian rock? No such thing!” We made fun of that for years, because it sounded so ignorant. But you know what? I think he might’ve been onto something. As the article above said, trying to force Christianity, which is about devotion and obedience, into a genre that’s about rebellion doesn’t quite work. You’re bound to kill either the Christian message or the rock ‘n’ roll.
I guess I feel the same about Christian music as I do about “folk.” I would MUCH rather listen to an American folk song like “John Henry” sung by some old man on an archival recording after it had been passed down through generations, than listen to that same song by a group like the Kingston Trio. I’d also rather listen to black or country gospel, or a congregational hymn, than some tricked-up modern-sounding thing. Granted the traditional songs were new once. But I think they were created for a different purpose than a lot of the new Christian music today. They were about devotion to God, not making money, or trying to copy another genre of music.