"Let the gratefulness overflow into blessing all around you. Then, it will be a really good day." Louie Schwartzberg
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Music Over the Campfire: Folk Rock and Community


posted by Susan Dominikovich on ,

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Music will usually tell the story of its singer/song-writer.  Music will always tell the story of a generation.  Music is a powerful voice that speaks of the pulse and groove of the era in which it is written.


Obviously we have the 1960's and its music that screams of "sex, drugs and rock n' roll."  It was a turbulent time of experimentation, not only with substances but also with freedom of speech and human rights.  I won't go into the 80's and what that music reflected.  The 80's and its music are best left forgotten.  (Although I do admit to having a soft spot for A-ha...oh the hair!) 

There is a trend in popular music at the moment.  Turn on the radio and I guarantee within ten minutes you will hear some version of folk or folk rock.  Bands such as Mumford and Sons and Bon Iver are popular examples of modern folk rock and folk Indie rock but there are others and it seems to be a thriving genre.  It makes me wonder, what does folk rock reflect in this generation?  What is the burgeoning unrest, the passionate cry, the simple story--what is the voice behind modern folk rock?  I am sure if I were to study the history and origins of folk in some depth I would stumble upon a little gem of information that pulls it all together for me.  Alas, I am a mother.  I have no time.  That's my excuse and I am sticking with it.

But I did stumble upon something and I think, without research, I think I know what it's about.  It's about community.

Actually it was a friend of mine, my fellow community harbinger, who stumbled upon it.  Well, I first heard the band and then she sent me a link back and said, "you've GOT to listen to this."  They are called Rend Collective Experiment and they are a folk Christian band from Belfast.  I love them.  I mean, I LOVE them.

This is what Rend Collective Experiemnt have to say about community and their music.


"Is there anything quite like a campfire?  The community that's built there by people sharing their stories and singing their songs is truly special and so intimate."  


And he goes on to say some inspired and magical things.  Things that speak of the longing in this generation.  The longing for community and how we as Church can meet that need.

I have a campfire story too.  Back at Capernwray Bible School in Northern England, after learning to be rebellious with my Scottish friend, a few of us sneaked out one night to go to a place called Jenny Brown's Point.  Rachele from Scotland had her car at the school as did some of our friends from Belfast.  I chose my friends well.  And it was my birthday.  So we sneaked out to have a campfire on the beach.  We sang songs and told stories.  The memories are vivid like it was yesterday and I think of each of those friends with fondness, even if I am not in touch with some of them anymore.  They were my first community that I accepted with open arms.  They were a group of people I could count on for company, conversation and advice any time I needed them.  They were the people who wanted to celebrate my birthday with me, who made me feel special.  Around the campfire.  My lovely laughing singing joking sometimes serious community.  

So there is something about the campfire and community and I am sure something too in the folk rock genre that is increasingly popular.  A longing for community and people with whom to share our stories and songs.

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