Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Music Notes--Living Proof at First Baptist Church of Fate

I pretty much soured on gospel music long ago. And bluegrass is a genre I have always had distant admiration for, which means I have enjoyed sporadic performances and appreciated the talent of a few great players. Yet, I must admit I enjoyed the concert I recently attended at First Baptist Church of Fate of Living Proof.

The strength of this group, or at least what surprised me most, were their arrangements of not only their original songs, but also well known hymns. I expected a lot of verse/chorus, verse chorus songs with no room for musicianship. But they did not seem afraid to allow the instruments to take part in the ministry. I was particularly struck by their version of “How Great Thou Art.” Leader Jonathan Thrift, is a particularly fine musician, adept on guitar, mandolin, steel guitar and banjo. He also shared vocal duties with his wife Melissa and Kathleen Parker, and the harmonies, particularly between he and Parker were really fine.

Much of the set seemed to lean a little more to country than bluegrass, but I didn’t find that to be a distraction. I suspect people who like either style will find the band agreeable to their palates. They didn’t, thank God, talk to the audience a whole lot. The music did all the communicating they needed.

Living Proof is based in Jacksonville, Texas and work through the music ministry of Emmanuel Baptist Church. If you are in that area and enjoy southern gospel, country or bluegrass, you should give them a try.

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