MP3 Bryan Field McFarland and Jacob´s Join - ...Until All Are Fed
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12 MP3 Songs in this album (48:41) !
Related styles: Folk: Progressive Folk, Spiritual: Praise & Worship, Type: Acoustic
People who are interested in Cat Stevens David Wilcox Gordon Lightfoot should consider this download.
From a poptheology.com review by Richard Lindsay
Bryan says this album is âmashup of âWe Are the Worldâ and âO Brother Where Art Thou,ââ and I buy his description. The music on this album has a rootsy, Celtic, world-music, spiritual feel. It reminds me of the music of Mumford & Sons, not so much for its subject but for its striving idealism. The folky sound and passionate lyrics about relieving hunger for food and hunger for God make this music unabashedly uncoolâas if itâs time to let go of coolness and stand for something.
The project had a fascinating genesis. Realizing that âI couldnât just bitch and moan about the lack of contemporary music that speaks the faith and not do anything about it,â Bryan started raising funds for the album through the Web site Pledgemusic.com. The site lets listeners support independent artists by pledging the price of the album to production costs before the album is released. At the same time, artists can designate a portion of production costs and profits to a charity. Ten percent of production costs and twenty percent of profits from Until All Are Fed will go to the Presbyterian Hunger Program.
âThis project just reared its head saying âDo me! Do me!ââ Bryan says. âI wondered when I was going to do an album of hymns and sacred songs. Because of the charitable aspect, this seemed to make sense.â Bryan says the response has been moving. âI canât believe in this economy in 3 months we raised 107 of production costs for a project people didnât know about.â
Some Presbyterians might call the intersection of talent, charity, and technology that went into making this album, âprovidential.â
With the cash in hand, he was able to work with some of the best session musicians in Nashville, including instrumentalists that have recorded and toured with Garth Brooks, the Mandrell Sisters, The Chieftans, John Michael Talbot, and Michael W. Smith. We listeners can thank Bryan and his producer Shawn Conley for putting the infusion of talent to good use. When you put fiddle, piano, bass, tin whistle, and uilleann pipes with Bryanâs deft guitar playing and burly tenor voice, you get a stirring sound.
Heâs calling the band âJacobâs Join,â which is another name for a potluck supper. Itâs fitting, because this is an album where everyone brings something to the table and no one goes away hungry.
The album is structured like a worship service (another simile Bryan uses is âFrampton Comes Alive Comes to Worshipâ). The âgathering songâ is Uyai Mose, which starts with a background of congregational noises of people settling into their places for worship.
The first hymn is âHope of the World,â a Reformation-era rocker with a mid-Century lyrical update by Georgia Harkness (one of the pioneering women of theological education). The stirring four-part vocal arrangement, along with guitar and doleful fiddle, sounds like something out of the old shape-note hymnals Sacred Harp or Southern Harmony.
The next track, âLord Search My Heartâ would be as welcome in a Zydeco bar in Cajun country as it is in the church. This is a nice song of self-examination without lapsing into the usual Presbyterian obsession with group chest-beating. (Seriously, you can't get Presbyterians together for worship without them breaking into some pre-written litany of confession, read in a Calvinist monotone.)
Bryan follows with a couple of really lovely solo songs that fit his voice quite well â both with lyrics that get to the heart of the matter on hunger. âChrist You Walked Among the Grain Fieldsâ is a nice update on the folk hymn tune âBeach Spring,â with lyrics by Presbyterian songstress Carolyn Winfrey Gillette.
âLord, you shared Godâs Kingdom bounty,
Yet you know our pain and need.
Some are poor in lands of plenty,
Often hurt by othersâ greed.
Some possessed by their possessions,
Look for more to buy and keep,
Others long for simpler blessings:
âLet my hungry children eat.ââ
âChrist, Be Our Lightâ is in a more contemporary style, but shares the social justice theme. The 6/8 meter has a nice rolling feel with the guitar and tin whistle. A later track, âBread for the Worldâ starts with this simple solo style, then ends in a âWe are the Worldâ style clapping chorus through the magic of multi-tracking.
Tracks six and seven are the Bryan McFarland-composed songs on the album. The title track, âUntil All Are Fedâ is simultaneously a song of protest and hope. âHow can we stand by and fail to be aghast, how long âtil we do whatâs right? How could we stand by and choose a lesser fast, how long âtil we see the light?â The answer: âWe serve until all are fed.â
âSinging for our Supper,â takes a more rhythmic approach, with some upbeat percussion and a bit of Byrdsâ-style jangly guitar. Lyrics like âWe are hungry and misled, undernourished and overfedâ speak to our condition in the United States. And increasingly, as the gap between rich and poor grows wider: âWe all need daily bread, for more and more itâs daily dread; Itâs hard to live and harder to survive.â
âBendice Señor Nuestro Pan/Come Share the Lordâ benefits (as do several of the tracks) from Bryanâs collaboration with a North Carolina local, Sally Ann Morris. Morris is a church music director in Winston-Salem, but is also an internationally recognized hymnodist, with compositions in the popular Catholic Gather series and the UCCâs New Century Hymnal. The collaboration led to an arrangement of a Spanish-language blessing composed by John Bell and the communion song classic âCome Share the Lord.â After this recording, it will be hard to imagine these two songs separately.
More John Bell and Morris, and more Spanish, round out the worship experience. Bellâs music makes an appearance in the form of a rousing sing-along of âThe Summons,â the instrumentation bringing out its Celtic glory. Pescador de Hombres (Fisher of Men) is a treat with Leslie Rodriguez singing in Spanish and English to Bryanâs guitar accompaniment. It closes with a benediction from Bryan. âGo in Peace, Go in Love,â a Sally Ann Morris composition, ends the set as a kind of postlude, with a rocking back-beat and SNL-style saxophone.
The problems of global and domestic hunger are complex. The short of it is, we waste enough food in the United States alone to completely eradicate hunger around the world, and this is just one developed country.
Bryan hopes the album will be just the beginning of the musical action on hunger. He wants to work with churches and organizations across the country to perform this album live as a hunger action. âThe key words are âactivity, action, engagement,ââ Bryan says. âHunger is a downer of a topic, but hunger action is energetic, is hopeful, is making a day to day difference in the lives of people who wonder where the next meal is going to come from.â
For more information on hunger, check out the Presbyterian Hunger Project on Facebook
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