Kentucky bluegrass group Breakin’ Clay’s video popped up on my Twitter line this morning, and it took only seconds for their voices to create a welcome moment of joy in my workday. When it comes to bluegrass and gospel, the vocals seem to be a challenge for many bands. Not this one.
I’ve seen more bluegrass bands than I can count, and many have expert instrumentation. Subjectively speaking, though, what hooks me are the vocals. I suspect a number of others might agree.
The five band members have a unique chemistry and abundant talent when it comes to song. I don’t listen to a lot of bluegrass, but when I run up on something special, it resonates with me. I’ve had their song in my head all morning.
The group is new to Twitter [@breakinclay], but they also have a page on Facebook [https://m.facebook.com/BreakinClayBand/?ref=bookmarks].
The sound of gospel and those clear, perfectly pitched voices comprising Breakin’ Clay took me back decades to the time I was a girl and would sometimes visit my maternal grandmother’s church. I was raised Lutheran, and my church took a low key more formal approach to faith. Lutheran music of that day was classically oriented.
The music at my grandmother’s church was different. It was a small church attached to no national evangelical group. People would speak aloud if they agreed with the preacher. It was not uncommon for worshipers to confess publicly, a practice that shocked me. But it is the music of that little church I remember most keenly, because it was beautiful and raw in its reverence for Christ. I can still hear the voices of the members of the choir singing the old hymns that in my Lutheran faith appear to have fallen out of favor.
At any rate, if you like bluegrass and gospel, give this band a listen. They’re a bright spot in the burgeoning indie arts movement.
On their Facebook page, a quote sums up their mission:
“We’re a bluegrass group from Kentucky. We love good, old-fashioned bluegrass/gospel music. We hope that we can help spread the word of God through song.”
I’d say Breakin’ Clay is off to an excellent start. The vocals on ‘God Put a Rainbow in the Sky’ stopped me in my tracks.
(KBD/March 9, 2017)