Is everyone sitting down? Good, because what you're about to read might shock you a bit.
Anybody that knows anything about me knows that I am a devout fan of the wonderful Bill Mallonee, or the Vigilantes of Love, depending on which era you're talking about. You also probably know that I have said for the past ten or so years that VOL is, hands down, my favorite band.
I was thinking about the idea that we can divine who and what out true loves are by looking at who and what we spend the bulk of our time with and, if that's a true statement, then I (this is the part that you need to be sitting down for) have a new favorite musician.
I have spent the last 8 months listening to all sorts of wonderful things, from the Jim Lauderdale/Ralph Stanely bluegrass album to the new Caedmon's Call to Hey, Revolution, but, there's one artist that I keep coming back to over and over. I've talked in this space about Andrew Peterson before, and I've always been high on him. But I have realized this past week that, for me, there's no greater musical experience than listening to AP - especially, the live recording of his Christmas concert. I listen to that recording almost every day, and I believe that, in terms of craft and scope, it's one of the greatest musical achievements I know about.
AP's charge was to take on the Christmas story. What he decided was that Christmas morning is not the beginning of the story, but the end. So, in his musical, he takes the entire breadth of the Bible and looks at it in light of its relationship to the coming of Christ. The result is incredible - it's traditional, but it challenges myth. It's groundbreaking in its reach, and excellently crafted, with catchy, well-conceived lyrics. It defies the "Christmas" label. It's my favorite record.
So, in case you hear the rumors, you can believe them. John has a new favorite band. Bill Mallonee and VOL have been kicked off the pedestal and Andrew Peterson has climbed up there.