Monthly Archives: August 2009

Death Bed – Relient K

For Those who have ears to hear, Relient K is an American rock band formed in Canton, Ohio in 1998 by Matt Thiessen on vocals, guitar and piano, Brian Pittman on bass, and Matt Hoopes on guitar between the band’s junior year in high school and their time at Malone College in Canton, Ohio.  The band is named after guitarist Matt HoopesPlymouth Reliant K car, with the spelling intentionally altered to avoid trademark infringement over the Reliant name.

The group is associated with the Contemporary Christian Music culture, most notably the Christian rock and Christian punk scene.   Despite being a Christian band the group has performed alongside secular artists, and has had critical success with mainstream pop punk and alternative rock.   Since its formation, Relient K has released five studio albums, seven EPs, two Christmas albums, and one collection of rarities.   The band has received numerous awards including a Grammy Award nomination in 2003 for Best Rock Gospel Album and two Dove Awards.

Relient K is best known commercially for their two studio albums which peaked in the top 15 of the US Billboard 200 chart.   After signing with Capitol Records, they broke into the mainstream in 2004 with the release of Mmhmm, which debuted at #15 on the Billboard 200.   In 2007, their fifth album brought the most success for Relient K, Five Score and Seven Years Ago debuted at #6 on the US Billboard 200 and sold 60,000 records in its debut week.

From this album, Five Score and Seven Years Ago, comes my favorite song from them.  DeathBed is a song about life, loss, failure and and ultimately salvation.  It is worthy to be a part of this site.    Enjoy the message it brings…

Cinderella – Steven Curtis Chapman

Steven Curtis Chapman was born to Herb and Judy Chapman in Paducah, Kentucky on November 21, 1962.  Chapman’s father is a guitar teacher in Paducah, and young Chapman, along with his brother Herb, Jr. grew up playing the guitar and singing.

Upon finishing high school, Chapman enrolled as a pre-med student at Georgetown College in Kentucky.   After a couple of semesters he transferred to Anderson College in Indiana.   However, he soon dropped out and went to Nashville to pursue a career in music.   While in Nashville he briefly attended Belmont University.   He began working a music show at Opryland USA while dedicating time to songwriting.  Soon he was recognised as one of the leading Christan artists of all time.

Of his many hits, my favorite is “Cinderella”, which is featured here.   This video posted is one of his first performances after the tragic death of his daughter.   With great pleasure, I present “Cinderella” by Steven Curtis Chapman.

She spins and she sways
To whatever song plays
Without a care in the world
And I’m sitting here wearing
The weight of the world on my shoulders

It’s been a long day
And there’s still work to do
She’s pulling at me
Saying “Dad, I need you

There’s a ball at the castle
And I’ve been invited
And I need to practice my dancing
Oh, please, Daddy, please?”

So I will dance with Cinderella
While she is here in my arms
‘Cause I know something the prince never knew
Oh, I will dance with Cinderella
I don’t want to miss even one song
‘Cause all too soon the clock will strike midnight
And she’ll be gone…

She says he’s a nice guy and I’d be impressed
She wants to know if I approve of the dress
She says, “Dad, the prom is just one week away
And I need to practice my dancing
Oh, please, Daddy, please?”

So I will dance with Cinderella
While she is here in my arms
‘Cause I know something the prince never knew
Oh, I will dance with Cinderella
I don’t want to miss even one song
‘Cause all too soon the clock will strike midnight
And she’ll be gone

She will be gone

Well, she came home today with a ring on her hand
Just glowing and telling us all they had planned
She says, “Dad, the wedding’s still six months away
But I need to practice my dancing
Oh, please, Daddy, please?”

So I will dance with Cinderella
While she is here in my arms
‘Cause I know something the prince never knew
Oh, I will dance with Cinderella
I don’t want to miss even one song
‘Cause all too soon the clock will strike midnight
And she’ll be gone

Fields of Gold – Eva Cassidy

Eva Marie Cassidy (February 2, 1963 – November 2, 1996) was an American vocalist, known for her interpretations of jazz, blues, folk, gospel, country and pop classics.   Cassidy was virtually unknown outside her native Washington, DC.

In 1993, Cassidy had a malignant mole removed from her back. Three years later, during a promotional event for the Live at Blues Alley album in July 1996, Cassidy noticed an ache in her hips, which she attributed to stiffness from painting murals while perched atop a stepladder. The pain persisted and a few weeks later, X-rays revealed that the melanoma had spread to her lungs and bones.   The doctors gave her three to five months to live.   Cassidy opted for aggressive treatment, but her health deteriorated rapidlyIn her final public performance in September 1996, at the Bayou, she closed the set with “What a Wonderful World” in front of an audience of friends, fans and family.   She was subsequently admitted to Johns Hopkins Hospital . Cassidy died at her family home in Bowie, November 2, 1996, at the age of 33.

Four years later, Cassidy’s music was brought to the attention of British audiences when her version of  “Over the Rainbow” was played on BBC Radio 2.   Following the overwhelming response, a camcorder recording of “Over the Rainbow”, taken at the Blues Alley, was shown on BBC Two‘s Top of the Pops 2.   Shortly afterwards, the compilation album Songbird climbed to the top of the UK Albums Charts, almost three years after its initial release.   The chart success in the United Kingdom led to increased recognition worldwide; as of 2008 her posthumously released recordings, including three UK #1s, have sold around eight million copies. Her music has also charted top 10 positions in Australia, Germany, Sweden, Norway and Switzerland.

In May 2001, ABC‘s Nightline in the United States broadcast a well-received short documentary about Cassidy.   Over the weekend, all five of Cassidy’s albums occupied Amazon.com‘s best sellers list top spots. The Nightline episode has since been rebroadcast three times due to popular demand. Producer Leroy Sievers has said that it is “probably the most popular Nightline ever”.   In December, a nine-minute segment on NPR resulted in a similar sales surge, with five of the top seven spots going to Cassidy.  It was this original broadcast that introduced me to her wonderful music.

This version of “Fields of Gold” recorded for the Blues Alley Album,  is what I believe is one those rare exceptions where the cover version is better than the original.  Originally written and record by Sting, Eva Cassidy brings the raw emotion and interpretation that I believe is like no other.  It is without a doubt one of the best songs ever posted on this site.

So with great pleasure, I present Eva Cassidy “to those who have ears to hear”.