Friday, November 30, 2007

Gossip Column: Will Thom sing?

If you are in the Kansas City metro-area this Sunday morning (12/2) make sure you join us for worship at the Shawnee Mission UU Church at 10:00 or 11:30. I will be preaching on "The Spiritual Dimensions of Depression" but more than that I will be making my singing debut. Joined by Tom K. on acoustic guitar I will be singing a rendition of "No Depression in Heaven."

"No Depression" was a country song originally performed in 1936 by the Carter Family. The song originally referred to the Great Depression. Over the years it has been covered by numerous artists. (Click here to listen to version of it as sung by Sheryl Crow.)

However, the most famous version of the song was the one done by Uncle Tupelo. This band, based in Belleville, Ill. and fronted Jay Farrar and Jeff Tweedy, recorded and toured from 1987-1994. Although heavily influenced by punk-rock, Uncle Tupelo played country music in order to find success within the St. Louis music scene. What resulted was a brand new genre of music: alternative country.

When Uncle Tupelo broke up, they spawned two important groups. Jeff Tweedy would go on to front Wilco, an experimental alternative rock band that has since released 6 studio albums as well as collaborations with Billy Bragg and the Minus 5. Their 2002 album "Yankee Hotel Foxtrot" would go on to make Rolling Stone's list of the top 500 albums of all-time.

The other half of Uncle Tupelo, Jay Farrar, would go on to front Son Volt, a band that would stay closer to the alternative country formula and record 5 full-length albums including the brilliant 1995 release "Trace", the under-rated 2005 "Okemah and the Melody of Riot", and the brand new album "The Search."

I can't wait to sing on Sunday!