From PJ Media: Good News for Classic Rock Fans: the Eagles Will Soar Again!

When a seminal rock band loses a member, does it make sense for the rest of the group to go on? Some have tried it: the Commodores managed to have hit songs after Lionel Richie’s departure, and Fleetwood Mac gamely tried to record and tour with and without various members.

But what happens when a founding member of one of these great bands passes away? The Who and Queen are two examples of bands who have made it work after the passing of a key member, but most bands call it quits or move on in some other way.

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From PJ Media: Gregg Allman, 1947-2017

Southerners don’t grow up without being surrounded by music. It permeates everything we do down here, and — as much as the food and literary traditions that dominate Southern culture — the music of the South informs and reflects our experiences.

I grew up with music playing around me, and one of the bands I remember hearing on the radio was the Allman Brothers Band. Their gritty and soulful sounds blended rock, country, and gospel-tinged R&B to help establish the expansive genre that we call Southern Rock. And now one of the band’s founders has passed away. Gregg Allman was 69 years old.

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From PJ Media: Chris Cornell’s 10 Best Songs

Normally people put this statement at the end of articles about celebrities who have committed suicide, but I want to get this out right here at the top: If you’re considering suicide, you’re not alone, and you can receive help and hope. Please read these words from my friend Kira Davis (who has faced her own demons of depression), and click here to get help, or call the National Suicide Prevention Hotline at 1-800-275-8255 or text the organization at 741-741.

Here are Chris Cornell’s ten best songs.

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From PJ Media: The Left Turns on Bob Dylan for His Pro-Israel Views, Refusal to Acknowledge Nobel Prize

So Bob Dylan has won the Nobel Prize for Literature “for having created new poetic expressions within the great American song tradition.” His name is now enshrined among a list of laureates that includes luminaries like T. S. Eliot, William Faulkner, and Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn.

It’s a tremendous honor for the legendary singer-songwriter, that’s for sure. But it’s also stirred up its share of controversy. I won’t debate Dylan’s award—I’ll leave that to my esteemed colleagues Andrew Klavan and Ron Radosh

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Image Credit: Shutterstock/Christian Bertrand

From PJ Media: Country Music — Not Safe for Christians Anymore?

We may think we’ve reached a point in our culture where we can expect outright sacrilege in pop and rock music, but the use of religious imagery to describe the things of this world has begun to creep into country music. That’s right – the last bastion of safe music for Christians outside of actual Christian music is embracing sacrilege.

Two of the biggest country hits of the summer rely on religious images and phrases.

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From PJ Media: 8 of Prince’s Most Iconic Songs

The world has lost a singular musical genius in Prince. Few artists have refused to limit their work to one genre like he did. Not many artists could write such powerful lyrics about sex, love, and God — often in the same song.

Prince earned a reputation as a pop-music provocateur; just listen to songs like “Controversy,” “Dirty Mind,” and (gasp) “Darling Nikki,” and you’ll see that today’s purveyors of subpar musical rubbish have lost the ability to shock that Prince mastered.

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From PJ Media: Glenn Frey’s 5 Best Vocal Performances

Glenn Frey, the voice and mind behind some of the biggest hits by the Eagles, has died after a battle with multiple health problems. The songs he wrote and performed with the Eagles became some of the most enduring music of the ’70s.

The Eagles never seemed to manage to win over the critics. But it didn’t matter, as the music the Eagles made resonated with a generation of boomers—and their kids, as I can attest. Glenn Frey contributed to that enduring sound.

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My 2015 In Review

I don’t know about you, but I can’t figure out where 2015 has gone. It’s been an eventful year, that’s for sure, but it doesn’t seem like it was terribly long ago that I was ringing in the new year with friends.

This year has seen its share of ups and downs, excitement and difficulty, elation and frustration. But all in all, it’s been a great one! I’ve witnessed some amazing television (Bloodline, Quantico), seen a few incredible movies (Tomorrowland, SPECTRE, Star Wars: The Force Awakens), and immersed myself in some wonderful music (Zac Brown Band, Adele, so many great songs from Nashville – and Liz Vice sounds even cooler on vinyl!).

Here are some of this year’s highlights:

My dad kicked lung cancer’s butt!

I’ll never forget spending the second weekend of the year at Dwight D. Eisenhower Army Medical Center at Fort Gordon in Augusta while my dad had a portion of his lung removed. The people there were nice, and the folks at Fisher House were wonderful and welcoming to my mom and me.

Cancer is always a scary thing to hear, but my dad handled the surgery and every treatment with a good attitude and a sense of humor. He was able to celebrate his 70th birthday as a healthy man! Glory to God for the healing!

We survived an office move.

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During the spring and much of the summer, the Eastridge staff spent our days in temporary digs. We finally got rid of the trailers we’d been leasing for a decade and made plans to renovate the house on the church property as offices.

The original estimate was about three weeks’ renovation. It took three months. Somehow we were able to keep the church running – including VBS – with no conflict while operating on just the basic office needs in spaces that served as classrooms on Sundays and Thursday nights. It’s a testimony to the amazing people I work and serve with.

I got to go to Walt Disney World three times.

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Only people who share my family’s Disney obsession will be impressed, I know. I’ve had a couple of years where I’ve been able to go to Disney World twice, but this was the first time I went three times. We took a family trip for Spring Break (awful crowds – never again) where my mom fell and broke her wrist. I took a “grown ups” trip with a friend of mine in September, and we took another family long weekend trip in November to experience some of the Christmas fun. I hope I’ll have more three-trip years.

Not only did I get to see Liz Vice live, but I got to have great conversation with her, AND I got to help her out.

If you know much about me at all, you know that for a little over a year I’ve fallen head over heels for Portland-based Christian soul singer Liz Vice. Her retro take on music is refreshing, her voice is second to none, and she just happens to sing songs about Jesus!

She came to Atlanta in October, and I went in with some friends to get a table at Eddie’s Attic to hear her in person. She communicated on Facebook that her band needed a drum kit for the show, and Eastridge let us loan her the Jackson Lake Campus drums for the night, which meant extra time to hang with her before and after the show.

Liz is a down-to-earth lady with a huge voice, and I think she’ll go places.

I became a published author!

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I’ve been writing as long as I’ve been aware of what writing is, though I’ve only had the opportunity to write professionally for about five years. As an outgrowth of these writing opportunities, I received the challenge from my colleagues and editors to write a book.

The result, Football, Faith, & Flannery O’Connor: A Love Letter To The South, was a dream come true, though maybe one of those dreams I never thought would be real. I wouldn’t trade the process for the world: the writing, the editing, the promotional fun, the autograph signing. (And I still have plenty of autograph cards available; if you didn’t get yours, hit me up!)

I owe so much of it to my friends, (former) editors, and writing champions David Swindle and Hannah Sternberg – and to the incomparable Lisa De Pasquale for writing the intro.

That’s my year! Here’s to a year unlike any other, and an even better 2016!

From PJ Media: Still Need Proof That Zac Brown Is One Of America’s Greatest Entertainers?

For anyone who doubts that Zac Brown is more than a mere country singer, I present to you Exhibit A to prove that he’s one of America’s greatest entertainers.

The Georgia native who fronts the band that bears his name recently performed at a concert for the upcoming CBS special Sinatra 100, celebrating the centennial of the birth of the Chairman of the Board. Brown performed “The Way You Look Tonight” in a way that would make Ol’ Blue Eyes himself proud.

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From PJ Media: 10 Off-The-Beaten-Path Christmas Recordings That Are Worth Listening to This Season

Well, folks: ’tis the season, and you won’t be able to escape Christmas music no matter where you go.

If you’re like me, you tire of the clichéd holiday music pretty quickly. But never fear, dear reader — if you’re willing to wander off the beaten path a bit, you’ll find some quality sounds that will help make your season bright. It’s my pleasure to present to you ten off-the-beaten-path albums and EPs that are worth a listen this Christmas.

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