1. I don't like country music. I went through a phase when I was living in Cedar City where I listened to it but I've moved on from that dark time in my life.
2. I am not a big fan of LDS music. I think that 99% of it is sickeningly sweet and sappy. I think I'm just too cynical for it. I do love the BYU Men's Chorus and a few other instrumental cd's that are mostly hymns.
3. Music is my favorite form of worship. My strongest experiences with the Spirit have always been through music. I envy people that can create that atmosphere with their talents but I am so thankful that they do. My life would be very empty without their talents.
I blogged about my first experience with the Nashville Tribute guys here. Here's the highlights, just to refresh my memory-
"Last March my Aunt and Mom bought tickets to a show in St. George and told me I had to come down. I didn't really know much about it. It was a country music group singing about Joseph Smith. I wasn't too excited about it, I'm not a huge country music fan, but I went anyway just for something to do and to make Mom happy. The show changed me in ways that I can not put into words. I've always had a very firm testimony of the Prophet Joseph. It's the one place in my testimony that never wavers. This show solidified that testimony in ways I didn't realize were possible. I was touched beyond description."
Last summer the Nashville Tribute Band released a second cd that is called Trek: A Nashville Tribute to the Pioneers. I bought it but hadn't really listened to it very much. When Tuachan published their Spring concert series I noticed they were having the NTB guys back to perform Joseph one night and Trek the next. Mom and I immediately planned a weekend in St. George so we could see both shows.
Friday night was the Joseph performance. I was once again blown away by it. I was moved to tears during several of the performances. I can't choose a favorite song. They are all so strong and poignant in their own way. I had someone mention that they weren't interested in listening to this CD because they think that we "worship" Joseph Smith more than we should. That is not what this CD is about! It focuses on different people that were involved in the restoration of the Gospel. There are songs about Joseph, Hyrum, Emma, Porter Rockwell and others. It is their journey from the First Vision to Nauvoo. It helps me take a different look at the Restoration and have more respect for everyone involved.
Saturday night was the Trek performance. I had listened to the CD a couple of times so I was a little bit familiar with the music but not much. The setting was perfect! Sitting among the red rocks under the stars seemed to be the perfect place to pay tribute to the pioneers. After one narration mentioned that the temperature was twenty degrees below zero I even quit complaining about how cold it was. My tears flowed freely and goosebumps appeared more than once. I've always been proud of my pioneer heritage but listening to their stories through song made my respect and love for them so much deeper. I was reminded that they had faith to walk into the unknown. They were literally walking to destinations unknown and did so diligently and faithfully. I am not literally walking but I'm still headed into the unknown and their examples of faith are there to help me if I will let them. If they can tackle the plains I most certainly can tackle Primary.
It was a wonderful experience to go to both of these concerts. I didn't even have the chance to attend church on Easter Sunday due to our travel schedule but I was spiritually fed this weekend. These cd's and concerts go above and beyond typical LDS music and country music and touch a place in my heart that I can't describe.
If you ever have the opportunity to see these guys perform take it. Do not pass go, do not collect $200, just go straight to the concert!
You can go to their website and become part of Porter's Posse to be on their mailing list.
~For my soul delighteth in the song of the heart; yea, the song of the righteous is a prayer unto me, and it shall be answered with a blessing upon their heads~ Doctrine and Covenants 25:12