I’ve been attending a liturgical church for the last several years, and it rings all my word-nerd bells. The language is so beautiful and rich, and every service rehearses the story of salvation, culminating in Communion.
An endorsement blurb from Johnny Cash graces the back side of Nashville Skyline, Bob Dylan’s 1969 album recorded in Music City: “Here-in is a hell of a poet,” said Cash. And for such poetry, a half century later, Dylan would receive the Nobel Laureate for literature.
But, really, so what? “What is poetry’s role when the world is burning?” asks no less a poet than Chris Wiman.
For some years now I have operated under the suspicion that people are lonely most of the time. I may be incorrect, and it would be a pleasant surprise to find the opposite is true. But I tend to hold my supposed rightness about things pretty close, so in any case it will take some convincing. When I sift through the moments in my life where I felt most supported, connected, known or loved by others, or when I participated in such nearness with someone else so they might feel such love, and when I realize the vast number of those moments despite their paradoxical inability to be usefully quantified, it’s unclear to me whether God is nourishing my belief that loneliness is dangerously prevalent and togetherness its cure, or whether He has been thwarting my understanding of reality from the start—or my start, anyway.
By now, many of you may know that the Internet blew up last weekend over Childish Gambino’s music video for his new song, “This Is America.” As of the time I’m typing this, five days after release, the video has racked up over 63 million views and probably about as many think pieces.
Ben Shive wrote and recorded this one for his first record several years ago, and I told him immediately that I wanted to record it for Resurrection Letters: Vol. I.
I recently had the pleasure of speaking with Taylor Leonhardt, whose album River House has thoroughly caught the Rabbit Room’s attention with its lyrical subtlety and invitational, spacious production style. Whether you are already familiar with this album or new to the scene, this interview will have something for you.
Taylor Leonhardt will be joined tonight at the last Local Show of the season by John Tibbs, Andy Gullahorn, and Jill Phillips, and there are still a few tickets left. You can grab them here at the Rabbit Room Store.
One of the most meaningful moments of my life was last year at the Western Wall in Jerusalem. I wasn’t supposed to, but I used my phone to record the sounds of the Jews singing as the sun set that Sabbath, marking the beginning of the Jewish new year.
The Orchardist’s Janie Townsend recently wrote a compelling reflection on our first Supper & Songs show, specifically what it was like to play the roles of host, event organizer, and performer in the same evening, the low-level panic of watching water refuse to boil while anticipating a large swath of hungry guests, and the meticulous, often un-Instagrammable pursuit of community through meal and song. You can read that post here. Meanwhile, we have a video to share with you, a compilation of clips to give you a taste of what our first event was like.
My friend Russ Ramsey, who was a pastoral consultant for this album, once preached a communion sermon on 1 Corinthians 11.
Tomorrow night’s Local Show is going to be something special: Randall Goodgame, Buddy Greene, Christopher Williams, and Jordy Searcy. Chances are you’re familiar with most if not all of these folks, but we’d like to take a moment to introduce you specifically to Jordy Searcy. He’s a class act, and an all around excellent songwriter, vocalist, guitarist, and performer.
We’ve got some good news for you to ring in the weekend! Two new releases have graced the Rabbit Room Store: Sing the Bible Volume 3 and a paperback version of Henry and the Chalk Dragon. Happy Friday to all. Click through for links to both items in our store.
I have found through the years, as I am sure many have, that some of my favorite albums are those connected to a live performance. The album itself tells a story, but the subconscious narrative underneath is the memory of what I shared in a room with the artist that first time.
In the spring of 2004, Maroon 5 had just made their somewhat lyrically scandalous splash among college students around the country. When a few friends and I heard they were playing in the gym of a small nearby campus (…the band’s hard work in that era seems to have paid off), we made the trek to see the show.