For Holy Week, we will take a quick detour from sharing segments from our Stories We Live By show, and instead share a few of the beautiful old hymns we’ve done on the show. Well we had a wonderful time in Abilene, remembering those many long days in the library; good to wander amongst the mesquite trees and the pecans. We’re now headed east toward music city.
I realized that this next episode will be released Holy Week, so I will take a quick detour from sharing segments from our Stories We Live By show, and instead thought I’d share a few of the beautiful old hymns we’ve done on the show. I grew up in a church that sang a cappella, and I was, as it were, toothed on the old hymns, and I still love them. There is a bit too much tendency toward sentimental and individualistic consumerism in much of the so-called contemporary praise music for my probably too-elitist, too-rationalistic way. Anyway, I digress.
We close out this podcast episode with a sort of Good Friday hymn, performed by Buddy Greene, with Sonya Isaacs and Vince Gill and myself doing a bit of BGV. Prior to that is Odessa Settles singing that moving old spiritual, “We’re You There When They Crucified My Lord.” And finally we begin with an instrumental version of “What a Friend We Have in Jesus,” with a solo performance by our friend and regular Aubrey Haynie. Aubrey is such a fine guy, one of the very best in the business with all sorts of Academy of Country Music awards; I wish you could have seen him do this performance, because it’s one you have to see to make sense of. He used a bow he had broken, so that the bow itself is behind the fiddle, with the bow strings in front, of course, but moving across all four of the strings on the fiddle at once, instead of the normal one or two.
I love all of these songs. The performance of “There is a Fountain Filled with Blood” always brings back special memories, as I was still very new to the world of producing shows: we had not had sufficient time to rehearse this song during the rehearsal, so at intermission we were back stage working through some harmonies with Buddy Greene and Sonya Isaacs, and we decided it was so pretty a cappella that we would do it without the band. Meanwhile as we went out to the stage for part two, Vince Gill volunteered to join us on back-ground vocals and assured me that he would get it on the fly in the show, and I decided that since he had been inducted recently into the Country Music Hall of Fame, that I would allow it. And meanwhile, so pleased was I with myself that I would get to sing harmonies with Vince Gill, I forgot to tell Jeff Taylor we were going to do it a cappella. So, when it came time for this song in the show, before we knew it, Jeff started blowing the melody on his penny whistles; Buddy decided he would play along on guitar; and then the whole band wandered in at beautiful and poignant places, and it was a delightful, unrehearsed bit of beauty.
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Lee C. Camp, Professor of Theology & Ethics at Lipscomb University, in Nashville, Tennessee, is the host of WWW.TOKENSSHOW.COMand the Dispatches from the Buckle Podcast, and the author of WHO IS MY ENEMY?