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The Wide World of Andy Vandergriff

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The Beginning. Shot with Nikon Nikkormat 50mm f:/2.0 on expired 35mm Ilford HP5 400 ISO film, pushed to 3200 ISO in development. Scanned with a Canon CanoScan 5600.

The Beginning. Shot with Nikon Nikkormat 50mm f:/2.0 on expired 35mm Ilford HP5 400 ISO film, pushed to 3200 ISO in development. Scanned with a Canon CanoScan 5600.

I made this video back in April, and it’s been attached to a post on the On Being blog by a guest contributor-thanks so much Marcy Bain for taking a liking to the video, and for sharing it with a wider audience!

beingblog:

Tuesday Evening Melody: Saturday Night Tavern Storytelling with Over The Rhine’s “All My Favorite People”

by Marcy Bain, guest contributor

As a Presbyterian minister I spend a great deal of time in sanctuary spaces, but I confess that my favorite spiritual music is not always sung by the Sunday morning choir. Often it’s sung in Saturday night taverns by mainstream folk artists like Over The Rhine, Patty Griffin, and Jennifer Knapp. Other artists shuffle in and out of my iPod rotation, but when I seek spiritual comforts, to these musical mainstays I always return.

The other day I was trying to locate that thing, that ineffable quality in their music that draws me into sacred space, and it proved a daunting task. Like a flash of creative insight, or a burst of beauty that wrecks the senses, I can’t really put my finger on the pulse of such mysteries; I can only receive them when they come to me. And so it is with these artists and their songs.

However, if I endeavored to speak in broad terms, I would say that these artists hold a few key characteristics in common. They make music that strikes a spiritual chord in me without being doctrinaire. They each pursue excellence in their craft. They defy labels and simplistic categorizations. Folk music at its core is story tellin’ music; each of these artists sings out their stories from the deep-seated wellsprings of spirit and soul. None of them make music specifically geared towards the Christian marketplace, but all of them have deeply nourished me in my journey of faith.

For those of you with New Year’s resolutions to expand your musical palette, start with Over The Rhine’s “All My Favorite People,” dive in to Knapp’s “Mr. Gray,” and let Ms. Griffin take you to church with her stirring rendition of “All Creatures of Our God and King.” If the Saturday night tavern happens to be your favorite sanctuary, who knows, you just might get to see a preacher overcome by “a juke box altar call” (to borrow a lyric from another OTR song) as she sits in the corner putting the final polish on her Sunday morning sermon.


Marcy BainMarcy Bain is an ordained Presbyterian minister from Dayton, Ohio. She believes that there is a special place in heaven for girls with guitars, and she is ever so grateful for all that they’ve contributed to her life.

Want to recommend a song for our Tuesday evening melody? Submit your suggestion and a little bit about the tune. We’ll take a listen for possible publication on the On Being Blog.

Muni T-Line at Embarcadero Station. Shot with a Nikon Nikkormat, 50mm, f:2.0, on Kodak Gold ISO 100 film.

Muni T-Line at Embarcadero Station. Shot with a Nikon Nikkormat, 50mm, f:2.0, on Kodak Gold ISO 100 film.

Girl On Market-Taken with a Nikon Nikkormat, 50mm, f:2.0, 1/125sec, in San Francisco, CA.

Girl On Market-Taken with a Nikon Nikkormat, 50mm, f:2.0, 1/125sec, in San Francisco, CA.

Taken with a Nikon Nikkormat, 50mm, f:2.0, 1/125sec, on Kodak T-Max 100ISO film at Montgomery and Market, San Francisco, CA.

Taken with a Nikon Nikkormat, 50mm, f:2.0, 1/125sec, on Kodak T-Max 100ISO film at Montgomery and Market, San Francisco, CA.

Muni Metro N-Judah line-taken entering subway tunnel at Duboce and Church.

Muni Metro N-Judah line-taken entering subway tunnel at Duboce and Church.

Shot from the roof of my apartment building on 12th Ave. in the Inner Sunset.

Shot from the roof of my apartment building on 12th Ave. in the Inner Sunset.

So I’ve been quiet on here, for no real reason but for that I’ve been deep into living life here in San Francisco. I recently got out and about and took some photos in downtown SF, and I’m gonna show some of those.

So I’ve been quiet on here, for no real reason but for that I’ve been deep into living life here in San Francisco. I recently got out and about and took some photos in downtown SF, and I’m gonna show some of those.