In the Spotlight

When I was reading about the Irish Christian group,  Rend Collective, I thought to myself, “Cool, they’re kind of like us….”

The band was formed between 2002-2003 at Bangor Elim church in Northern Ireland under the original name, Rend Collective Experiment.  What I love about this group is their sound- kind of a mix of folk, bluegrass, old timey gospel with a little rock thrown in. But I also love the fact that while there are 15 members of the band, all but 6 are there for encouragement, support and a prayer team for the 6 who do the tours.  And that’s kind of what we do here 🙂

Their main objective when they began was to give people a spiritual boost and draw them back to the church. As students, the Christian student movement asked the question, “What does it mean to practically follow Christ?”  In their music and during performances  they want to focus on an authentic experience with God and to perform music more like a family which includes their audience.

Drummer Gareth Gilkeson says that “One of our biggest fears about church is that we can get into this ‘entertainment’ mindset. There’s people on a stage, and then there’s an audience… The idea of the body of Christ is that we’re all together, we’re all worshiping God.

From their site Bio, the title track and lead single, Rescuer  from their 6th studio album, Good News is described as the band’s desire “to shed light in the dark places. In a society that seems to continually face bad news, the lyrics point to the good news found in Jesus for every season and circumstance.”

Their album, The Art of Celebration (March 2014), which includes the songs My Lighthouse and Immeasurably More came about after a spiritual breakthrough as a band- vocalist Chris Llewellyn explains, “Seriousness isn’t a spiritual gift … but joy is! The album centers on the theme of choosing joy and celebration in all seasons and we tried to make it sound like that – to sound like fun.

This attitude is also evident in their song

This song is a favorite at our church’s 2nd service!  What is special too about the song is that it was filmed in both northern and southern Ireland- to show unity in what was such a divided country. Not just politically, but spiritually. The band wanted to show how God’s kingdom is unified and there are no outsiders when believers are the Church body.

Although the band is based in Ireland,they have really caught the attention of not only audiences in the US, but many musicians as well. They have toured with Chris Tomlin,  Mercy Me, Tenth Avenue North, and many others. I didn’t realize that many of Rend Collective’s tracks include the voice of David Crowder.

Crowder says of the band, “Rend Collective Experiment is better, greater, or otherwise different from what is usual… And when I say this, I don’t intend to reference the music, solely. It is immediately apparent that the music is simply an extension of an approach to life and faith that is equally notable.”

The rest of the ‘front’ band consists of  Will Herron (vocals), Ali Gilkeson (percussion, keyboard), Bridget Herron (horn, accordion) and Patrick Thompson (bass).

I grew to love bluegrass as that was Michael’s favorite style.  We had a few CDS with old time bluegrass hymns, and the gospel style of Rend Collective really brings that back for me.

Look and listen to some more of this amazing band and post your favorites!

Have a blessed Saturday all.

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