Most Americana duos don’t sound as much like Gillian Welch and David Rawlings as people say they do. But the Milk Carton Kids’ resemblance is uncanny.
Another day, another talented Americana songwriter immersed in the language of a faith he doesn’t profess.
A week from Sunday, on the Feast of the Reign of Christ, Holy Covenant UMC in Chicago—where I work part time as a musician—is holding its second annual service spotlighting the music of Bob Dylan. (Not calling it a Dylancharist.) If you're in Chicago the evening of 11/24, come out and join us.
Below is the piece I wrote for the church newsletter.
Malian singer, songwriter, and guitarist Rokia Traoré has long blended West African music with occidental influences. Her fifth album, produced by P. J. Harvey collaborator John Parish, features the strongest rock element yet.
In my article on alternatives to the Revised Common Lectionary, I praised the African American Lectionary's extensive resources, but I didn't really describe them in any detail. There is a wealth of good stuff on the AAL website.
The AAL is based on weekly themes, many of which do not correspond to the liturgical calendar the RCL follows. This Sunday is Caregivers Day, one of several new AAL observances this year.
Consider its extravagant fertility! Howdependably it breeds itself in the marrowto fill again what drains away, the rivers of brightplatelets singing in their arterial darkuntil a simple incursion, some sharp sever.A jag. An abrupt disclosure as our secret fluidspills against its will—whether a startle or a slowseepage, a prompt to remember our fragility.When a bold splash on a lintel in Egypt signaledsafety, a lifeguard against the death angel, we didn’thave to die; it was only a lamb, and a quick throat cutthat flooded us into another life.“His blood be upon us” echoes in that old yell ofrejection. We can yield instead to bewashed in grace, the scandal of mercyacting as God’s unlikely laundry.Today the cup calls us to the altar rail, transfuses usas we drink deep, a stain that blots old grimesand dyes us with itself.
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