This Breaks My Heart Of Stone
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"this breaks my heart of stone"
The further we get, the less we seem to be sure of, the less we seem to know. If I'm honest, I'll admit that I struggle with being angry. I struggle with cynicism. It's not only hard to believe. It's hard to love. It's hard to be hurt. It's hard to see so many other people hurting. It's hard to stay. It's easier to just be cynical.
And yet, there are moments where the light shines. There are moments where I am "convinced as a sinner, to Jesus I come". There are moments when I meet someone and their belief shakes me somewhere deep inside, because I feel a similar belief inside myself. These moments of belief don't seem to happen very often, but when they do, it feels like rain is falling on the drought of my soul.
For me - and I think for a lot of us - these moments of belief often coincide with music. These songs remind me, they remind us, that the gospel is at work. That redemption is taking place. That sad things are being made untrue. That hopefully in small pieces and small moments, our hardened hearts are breaking.
Thanks for listening.
Brian T. Murphy
about (the pocta sessions):
Our Gadsby Hymnal obsession lives on, and for this record, we worked with 9 more songs from "Gadsby's Hymns". We also branched out a little and spent some time working with William William's texts, which are not found in the Gadsby. We felt like two of his songs fit the collection for this record, and we decided to include them.
It is important to note that every song on this record was written or co-written by our friend, and fabulous Texan, Benj Pocta. We met Benj the same way everyone meets these days - on the internet, and before long we were sending demos back and forth. Benj traveled to Birmingham several times to write, write some more, and ultimately record this record with us. It's been a work in progress and it's been our longest process yet; over a year and a half in the making as we've revised, recorded, and re-recorded. Hopefully you'll agree that these songs have been worth the wait.
Thanks Benj. We are thankful to have met you, and it has been a pleasure working on these songs together. It's not often we find friends like you, and we look forward to many more songs together.
Produced by Brian T. Murphy and Clint Wells
Mixed and mastered by Paul Scodova
Project management by Bradley N. Cordell
Graphic design and layout by Justin Pocta
Recording and engineering by Brian T. Murphy at Red Mountain Studios - Birmingham, AL
Additional recording on Track 7 by Luke Brodine - Pendleton, SC
Additional recording and engineering on track 9 by Karl Digerness - San Francisco, CA
Additional recording and engineering during post production by Paul Scodova - Birmingham, AL
Jon Black - acoustic guitar, vocals
Chris Campbell - mandolin
Tim Carroll - double bass
Karl Digerness - vocals
Tripp Ethridge - drums
Dan Hames - bgvs
Drew Holcomb - vocals, bgvs
Ellie Holcomb - vocals, bgvs
Jeff Irwin - bass
Jeremy Meyer - bgvs
Evan Munger - bgvs, hand claps
Brian T. Murphy - pads, piano, vocals, bgvs, hand claps, loops
Brooke Murphy - hand claps
Pete Nice - pedal steel
Benj Pocta - acoustic guitar, banjo, vocals, bgvs, hand claps
Stokes Skellie - vocals
Tom Slinger - bgvs
Ashley Spurling - vocals, bgvs
Matt Terrell - vocals
Clint Wells - acoustic and electric guitars, slide guitar, bgvs, hand claps, loops
This Breaks My Heart of Stone, the latest from Birmingham's Red Mountain Church, has quickly become an album I turn to when I'm restless or stressed. The church's musicians write and rewrite music for hymns, creating a modern soundtrack for an ancient faith. The album's concluding track, "Why Should I Fear?", in particular is like a balm for the weary soul.
- Carla Jean Whitley, Birmingham Magazine (January 2008 issue)