We did the Christmas gift exchange when he was here last week. I got him a new stabby thing. He got me, among other things, Radney Foster's new album, Revival.
I loves me some Radney Foster. I have had this song stuck in my head all weekend:
Now, this isn't the only song of its type, but I find it immensely respectful and moving. The story behind it and its inclusion on the album is interesting as well:
At that stage, "Revival" was essentially complete. Smith sent a heavily orchestrated version to Foster, who opted to remove almost all the other instruments. The end result is a bare-bones, gut-wrenching, emotional song with poignant but not syrupy lyrics, the kind of song at which Foster excels.
"That was my hope," he admitted. "I wanted you to feel that sense of the last verse: 'The cockpit's quiet and the stars are bright / feels kind of church like here tonight.' And I wanted that feeling through the whole song."
A video of the song went out today in an email blast to mark Veterans Day.
"All of that is a Guard unit out of Grand Prairie, Texas," Foster said. "I had the wonderful and yet hard opportunity to sing 'Angel Flight' at the service for the dedication of the memorial for the Red River 44," he said.
"It's a lightning rod moment for me," Foster said, quietly. "I watched the general bend down to children my own children's ages and hand them a folded flag for their father's memory. I still don't know how I got through that."
(Actually, for my money the best line in the song is the one from the end of the chorus: Come on brother, I'm taking you home.)
These are the guys the song was prompted by:
On September 17, 2008 seven soldiers from the 2-149th Aviation Task Force 34 were killed in a CH47 Chinook crash near Talil, Iraq. Killed were:
SSgt Luke Mason, 37, Springtown, Texas. He is survived by his wife and four daughters.
CW3 Brady Rudolf, 37, Oklahoma City, Oklahoma. He is survived by his wife and three children.
CW2 Corry Edwards, 38, Kennedale, Texas. He is survived by his wife and two sons.
SGT Daniel Eshbaugh, 43, Norman, Oklahoma. He is survived by his wife and three children.
CSM Julio Ordonez, 54, San Antonio, Texas. He is survived by his wife and four children.
CPT Robert Vallejo II, 28, Richland Hills, Texas. He is survived by his wife and a newborn son he never got to meet.CPL Michael Thompson, 23, Harrah, Oklahoma. He is survived by his parents and sister.
(h/t North Texas Patriot Guard Riders)
There is a memorial slideshow here.
That song was actually not the one that prompted Erik to buy me the album. The title (sorta) track, "A Little Revival":
I heard this on KFWR for the first time not too long after Erik introduced me to it. It's a great song with not just religious but activist overtones: If it's Jerusalem or in Tiananmen Square/Didn't it all get started 'cause someone stood up somewhere? Overall, it's just an amazing song, and the whole album is great (though I'd be lying if I said it was *all* on that level--but there's not a bad song on it).
On a completely unrelated note, I've finally added Borepatch to my blog roll. I have a horrible habit of forgetting about some really great bloggers simply because I've neglected to bookmark them, but Erik reading him on my computer (hopefully, he will not have caught any PC-cooties) reminded me, so he's now bookmarked and I have someone else with great taste in music to read daily! 'Cause, you know, my current daily reading list just isn't long enough. (I guess he can fill the hole left by Murphy--and can someone who knows him please kick him in the shins until he resumes blogging?)