Friday, December 8, 2006

More than the LifeWay building

#19 Love & Thunder - Andrew Peterson

Greetings all. Took a bit of a hiatus dealing with a family emergency (dad) but all is well, and yes Brandon, he's still rockin' the 'stache. Much love to all the Dads out there rockin' the state trooper, porn star, bandito 'stache.

My Christmas present to my parents this year was to take them to the 12/6 show at the Ryman - Andrew Peterson's "Behold the Lamb of God," a full three hours of independent, un-hyped Nashville singer-songwriters, who happen to be Christians, or as we say in Tennessee (as most of you know) Chreesh-chin.

The first couple of hours are filled with original material from the likes of Derek Webb, Sandra McCracken, and others. The final hour is Andy P's concept album (Behold the Lamb of God) that narrates the birth of Christ, and it is the finest Christmas performance I've seen. He always pulls a special guest or two. Year's past have featured Allison Krauss, Mindy Smith, Phil Keaggy, Peirce Pettis, etc., This is my second year, and I would recommend a listen at

Love & Thunder shows Peterson's folk, country, and bluegrass roots, his love for the Old Testament (Canaan Bound and Pillar of Fire), prophetic tradition (After the Last Tear Falls), and just regular life (Let there be Light and Family Man).

The other hallmark of an Andy P. record is his unflinching handling of death and grief. This bit of "The Silence of God" is classic Peterson, referencing Merton's Gethsemane:

There's a statue of Jesus on a monastery knoll
In the hills of Kentucky, all quiet and cold
And He's kneeling in the garden, as silent as a Stone
All His friends are sleeping and He's weeping all alone

And the man of all sorrows, he never forgot
What sorrow is carried by the hearts that he bought
So when the questions dissolve into the silence of God
The aching may remain, but the breaking does not
The aching may remain, but the breaking does not
In the holy, lonesome echo of the silence of God

All I know is that Michael W. Smith never talked about grief, war, politics, or well, anything important. I hope more kids find Andrew Peterson than whatever LifeWay happens to be pumping out at the moment. They might have a chance if they do.


Big Cougar said...

Are you insinuating that "Cross of Gold" isn't a solid Marxist critique of the glorification of religious iconography? Or that "Go West Young Man" isn't a devastating critique of Great Awakening-fueled American expansionism at the expense of Native American cultures? Because if you are, you couldn't be more right.

Sean B said...

That was probably the best unironic yet persusasive recommendation of Christian music I've ever seen (and I read most of "Body Piercing Saved My Life." That guy was just trying too hard.)

That being said, here's some life wisdom for you - Perhaps the day you truly becomes a man is when you wake up one day and see that 'stache staring back at you in the mirror. oh, also when you have a double mortgage.

jphillip said...


I've joined the beard club this winter. I must say that I'm dead-sexy, too. As a long-time beard-wearer have you ever considered "going stache"?

saucerocket said...

Nice selection. Although I've never listened to this album, I really enjoy the music of Andrew Peterson. He played at our church last year, and my wife and I loved it. One of the highlights: he did a song while playing a guitar made out of an armadillo.

::also working on a Decembeard.

Sean B said...

On Halloween, 2004, I dressed as a cowboy-type, complete with the beard shaved down to a handlebar. We went to a party the night before Halloween, and all day Halloween, before that night's festivities, I couldn't bring myself to leave the house, lest someone see my face in that condition. I even avoided mirrors.

Country Roads said...

a fellow bearded friend here- i really liked your review. i visited his website and just ordered a couple albums for christmas presents for people.
thanks for the tip.