Skip to main content

15 albums: wrecking ball

number 10 on the list of my top 15 albums is wrecking ball by emmylou harris. now, emmylou harris is a prolific artist and has put out a TON of albums, not to mention that she has sung with everyone from buddy and julie miller to bright eyes (i love her on bright eyes' i'm wide awake, it's morning). and i own several of her albums and collaborations, because i have become a big fan. but nothing that she has done - nothing - moves me like this album with its airy guitars and big drums. produced by daniel lanois (who also produced u2's achtung baby, along with brian eno), it has lanois' signature atmospheric and moody sound. this album was a huge departure for emmylou, for that very reason, but i had no idea about that when i picked up this album in 1999. i just picked it up because lanois' name was on the back. the fact that steve earle, larry mullen, neil young and lucinda williams also appeared on it was just gravy. but what really solidified this album in my top 15 list was just the strength of the songs. every song is a gem. it just feels like a foggy night, fraught with emotion and potential. it rings out like a church bell, with just as much sense of history and calling. it beats with a pulse, alive and well, but not frisky so much as faithful to a deeper spirit - an undercurrent of both brokenness and redemption. emmylou's distinct voice is perfect for lanois' production, and the result is, at least for me, absolutely mesmerizing. i love this album. i would take it to my desert island. and even if i were stranded there alone for all of eternity, i would never be able to forget the depth of human emotion, because i would hear it in this music.


Popular posts from this blog


i made these comments and prayed the following prayer at one of our worship services at SPWF yesterday, and had a few folks asked if i would post them, so there they are: 
It has been a season of terrible tragedy.  And I have noticed in the news a trending phrase: thoughts and prayers.  It even has its own hashtag on twitter and other social media, but net necessarily in a good way.  People are understandably tired of hearing about others’ thoughts and prayers, when that is only a thinly-veiled way of saying that our only obligation to those who suffer is a brief moment of silence, or nothing more than a tweet or public statement.  The truth is that, for those of us who follow Jesus, much is required when our neighbors suffer.  We are called to do justice where we can, to love kindness and mercy, and to walk with God through it all.  But let us be careful not to throw out the proverbial baby with the bathwater.  We are, as people of faith, those who know that prayer is not simply an em…

a divided tree

there is a tree in my back yard.  i'm pretty sure it's an oak tree.  at least that's what i think Shannon told me.  i don't know my oaks from my maples, my elms from my locusts.  to me, it's a tree: a corinthian column bursting up into life and glory.  full of sap and pulp and rings and bugs and cells pulsing with water and always reaching for something.  it is full of rhythm, reach and flourish then fall and die, and repeat. 

this particular tree, though, isn't of one mind. 

half of it's rusted orange leaves have given up their grip and surrendered -gracefully or not - to the pull of gravity and the threat of winter.  the north side of this inauspicious oak is just about bare naked, all sticks and straight lines, a skeleton of itself.  but the side that looks south is stubbornly resisting change.  no longer green, the leaves have compromised their summer vibrancy, but they are clearly not ready to concede death just yet. 

i feel like i can relate to this …

thankful right now

"if the only prayer you ever say in your life is 'thank you,' it will be enough." -Meister Eckhart

"thanksgiving is inseparable from prayer." -John Wesley

i've been thinking about gratitude quite a bit this week, and how to foster a thankful spirit in the midst of the barrage of bad news that for me is punctuated by yet another "breaking news" notification on my phone, interrupting the busyness of my day to rudely remind me that the world's brokenness knows nothing of limits or boundaries, not to mention my schedule or sanity.  still, the bad news keeps coming. 

i just scrolled through my most recent notifications just from the last few days and they contain phrases like "crimes against humanity," "57 million users hacked, but not reported," "alleged pattern of sexual abuse," and "extremely disturbing," just to name a few.  how am i supposed to be present at a staff meeting when my phone is buzzing …