Category Archives: Music

A Christmas Song

The band Downhere is currently on hiatus, but they wrote and performed together from 1999 until 2013. The drummer, Jeremy, and I were friends back in the early-to-mid 2000’s. We’re still friends on social media, but I honestly couldn’t tell you the last time we had an actual conversation. Though for old time’s sake, here’s a photo for your viewing pleasure:

me-and-the-dh-guys
This was circa 2004 when I hung out with the Downhere guys after they opened for another band. They sat with me and my college buddies for the rest of the concert. I remember feeling so cool in front of my friends that I actually knew the band, haha!

Anyway, they have some truly amazing music and I could write a whole blog post sharing my favorites, but today I want to share my favorite Christmas song by them.

Follow the star to a place unexpected
Would you believe, after all we’ve projected,
A child in a manger?
Lowly and small, the weakest of all
Unlikeliest hero, wrapped in his mother’s shawl
Just a child
Is this who we’ve waited for?

How many kings step down from their thrones?
How many lords have abandoned their homes?
How many greats have become the least for me?
And how many gods have poured out their hearts
To romance a world that is torn all apart
How many fathers gave up their sons for me?

Bringing our gifts for the newborn Savior
All that we have, whether costly or meek
Because we believe.
Gold for his honor, and frankincense for his pleasure
And myrrh for the cross he will suffer
Do you believe?
Is this who we’ve waited for?

All for me
All for you

Those are some powerful lyrics, my friends. And in the hustle and bustle of this last week before Christmas, it’s such a good reminder of why we are actually celebrating this holiday. Happy Christmas week, friends!
Love Rach

Why we love High Valley

Four years ago Christopher and I went to a Lonestar concert and fell in love with the band who opened for them. Lonestar was great too, but we knew that going into it. What we didn’t expect was to love the opener so much. They were a little known group called High Valley. You can read all about that first concert experience here. Over the years, we have continued to follow their music and just loved it more and more. And now, finally, they have a song in the top 40 which has put them into the spot light a little more.

This past Monday, High Valley was in Memphis so naturally Christopher and I went to see them. It.Was.Awesome. I don’t think either of us stopped smiling the entire time. Their music is just so great! And going to a concert where you know all the songs is awesome too! Not only do they have great music, but they are hilarious. The guys are brothers and they kind of pick on each other and have a lot of laughs throughout the performance. It’s just awesome. 🙂

high valley!.jpg

Their lyrics are wholesome which honestly is probably a part of why they aren’t more famous. I love country music, but there are a lot of songs that spend a lot of time objectifying women and/or talking about poor choices with alcohol. Regardless of how catchy the song may be, I don’t want that stuff stuck in my head. And High Valley delivers great music with awesome lyrics.

In their song, County Line, there is a lyric that says “Got my honey on my arm, Jesus in my heart…” and Christopher loves to reference that part of the song as he and I walk around hand-in-hand. He just really relates to them. To their country upbringing, to their deep religious convictions, and to how respectful they are to women in their lyrics.

It’s impossible for me to pick just one favorite song to share with you guys so I’ve decided to just share the one that has reached the top 40 since it’s obviously popular. But my gracious, you guys, all their songs are amazing.

us with high valley

Oh, and as awesome as listening to their music live again was, the best part of the evening was getting to meet the guys. It was a smaller venue so we were able to chat with them for a few minutes. When Christopher told them how much he loved their song On the Combine because it reminded him of his childhood, they asked where he was from. I know that seems like a small thing, but it was awesome to have these guys whose music we’ve been listening to for 4 years, ask about us. They so related to Christopher’s small town up bringing and it was just really sweet. We left the venue with huge smiles and happy hearts. It was an awesome night, my friends. 🙂

Have you met an artist you really love?
Love Rach

Lost in this moment…

For those who are new readers, there is a local radio station here in Memphis, Kix 106, that puts on free country concerts every summer. Christopher and I try to go to as many of them as we possibly can because they are such fun! Also for new readers… I would like to clarify that I wasn’t always a country fan. I became one rather reluctantly because my husband is sneaky. But I embrace it fully now. Yes, I do get sick of 5 songs in a row that are all about beer, partying, and how hot women are (because that’s all women are good for, you know. To be attractive to men. *eye roll*). But then that’s true with every genre I listen to (except for Christian music & most musicals). But I loooove the love songs. And I love the songs about simple life. And family. In its own way, good country music can be soothing to the soul. 🙂

us at concert

Last week we attended the very first “Smoking Summer Showcase” (what Kix calls their concerts). Kelsi even came with us! It was Austin Webb and Big & Rich.  Austin is newer to the scene, but he sings a couple of songs country fans will recognize (specifically “Raise ‘Em Up”). But I love his “Slip On By” song. It’s all about how quickly life passes by and how important it is to be present with your kids and let your spouse know you love them. Tears every time! Check out the song & video here:

And then Big & Rich played. They sing so many songs that even non country fans have likely heard (for example: “Save a Horse, Ride a Cowboy” & “Look at You”). But my favorite by them is definitely “Lost in this Moment with You”. Until this concert I didn’t even know who sang that song, but I have always loved it.

I especially love this song because there’s a lyric that says, “I see your daddy walk his daughter down the aisle. I feel my knees start to tremble as I tell the preacher, “Don’t she look beautiful tonight.” 

I don’t know if I’ve ever shared this on the blog, but during our wedding reception the preacher who preformed our wedding pulled me aside. He wanted to let me know that when the doors opened and I walked down the aisle, Christopher smiled ear to ear and commented, “Isn’t she beautiful?” Neither Christopher or I got teary eyed on our wedding day (which I find hilarious because I get all teary eyed at everyone else’s wedding, haha!). I was just so floating on cloud 9 that day. But we did have those bursting-out-of-our-chest love feelings. And that’s what came out of Christopher’s mouth as I walked down the aisle. So yeah, I kind of love this song because it feels like it was written about us. 😀

fairytale1003608 / 16 / 08

We tried not to get too kissy face when Big & Rich played the song since Kelsi was sitting right there with us. But it was really great to snuggle close to Christopher with his arm around me while we swayed back and forth to this sweet love song. 🙂

Is there a genre of music you used to not like, but enjoy now?

What’s your favorite genre of music? I used to listen to pretty much everything except ScreamO (do you guys remember that? I just couldn’t handle it). But these days I don’t really even listen to rap, dubstep, or soft rock anymore. I tend to be totally non hipster. I love mainstream and I’m not afraid to say it. Country, pop, Christian, punk rock, and musicals are my favorites. 🙂

Love Rach

Rock and Worship Road Show

Last night we drove down to Southaven, MS for the Rock & Worship Road Show. My sister, Abby, is staying with us right now so she came with us!

christopher abby me at concert

Us at the concert! Only $10 at the door for 8 different bands! Seats are first come, first serve so since we arrived early we got great floor seats! As a side note… don’t we look amazing as Smurfs? 😉

rock and worship road show

See those floor seats down there? That’s where we were sitting. I snapped this shot near the end as we left a little early (it had started sleeting outside so we left about 20 minutes before the show ended). The floor seats were great, but it was SO.LOUD. Seriously, next time I must remember ear plugs. I get so used to out door concerts that I forget how loud indoor ones are. #oldladyprobs 😉

matt maher2

The first time I ever heard Matt Maher live was about 3 years ago when we went to the Rock & Worship Road Show for the first time. That year he sang “Christ is Risen” (which I’ve shared on the blog before) and I remember tears streaming down my face as I heard it for the first time. This year he sang several favorites of mine, but my absolute favorite was “Lord, I need You”. That song has definitely been the cry of my heart many days. I loved getting to hear it live and worshiping with thousands of fellow Christians. 🙂

david crowder2

David Crowder Band was the other group that really touched my heart last night (and Christopher’s favorite of the evening). They sang several of my favorites, but my absolute most favorite was when they sang “Come As You Are”. The lyrics to that song are all excellent, but my favorite line is: “Earth has no sorrow that Heaven can’t heal“. Amen, my friends. Amen.

It was an amazing night of worship and music and I’m so glad we got to go. The other bands were also excellent and I definitely recommend going if the Road Show is coming to a venue near you! 🙂

Love Rach

 

Why The Little Drummer Boy Makes Me Cry

I have always loved this song, but this year it has meant more to me than ever. The first time I listened to it this Christmas season (you know, back in early November, haha!) I really heard it for the first time. I heard the lyrics. Do you guys know what this song is about? Listen to it:

It’s about a little boy who is going to meet the baby Jesus for the first time. He is poor and wants to bring a gift for for the new King, but has nothing to bring.  The little boy is a drummer so he offers up the one thing that he does have. He offers to play the drum for Jesus.

I played my drum for Him, pa rum pum pum pum
I played my best for Him, pa rum pum pum pum
Then He smiled at me, pa rum pum pum pum
Me and my drum…

You guys, this makes me cry every time. There are so many things on my heart that I desire to do, but I feel like it’s not enough. Or I might not be the best at it. Or that I might outright fail.

But I need to stop over thinking it. It’s not about bringing the greatest gift to lay at Jesus’ feet, but in bringing the best that I have to offer. And knowing that He is smiling when I do.

This song has really hit me this year because Christopher and I have just completed the classes necessary to be certified as foster parents. We are still figuring out if we want to foster or adopt (or both) and what the timeline for that might look like. We always thought we would adopt older kids much later (like 10 or 15 years from now), but this year we decided to at least take the classes and get an idea of what we want to do.

To be honest, we still don’t know what we’re going to do or what the timeline will look like. But I do know that every time I hear this song, it touches my heart. I may not have the greatest, most impressive gifts or talents, but I can use the talents and passions that I do have to bless others (including giving children a safe and loving home). I am bringing my best and laying it at His feet. And I am confident that He is smiling.

Love Rach

The Last Christmas Playlist

To wrap up my final Christmas music list, I am going to share some of my favorite songs by male artists. Really this is the equivalent of Tuesday’s “Angel Voices” post, except for with guys instead of girls. I just didn’t know what to title it. When I first made this list I just called it “the men sing” thinking that I’d come up with a better name for it later. Well, today is the last Christmas music post and I still don’t have a better name for it, ha! So there you have it… listen to these men sing. 🙂

Cloverton’s “Hallelujah” I fell in love with this song last year and from the looks of my Facebook feed lately, everyone else has fallen in love with it as well. It’s beautiful, haunting, and magical.  If you haven’t heard this yet – listen to it. You’ll cry. Or maybe that’s just me, haha!

Josh Groban’s “O Come All Ye Faithful”

Michael Buble’s “Silent Night”

David Archuleta’s “The First Noel”

Michael Buble’s “I’ll Be Home For Christmas” Yuuup, Michael is on here twice again. You guys, his Christmas album is stellar.

Mark Lowry’s “Mary, Did You Know?” Mark is actually the one who wrote this song and the first one I ever heard perform it. Like I mentioned early this week, I love Pentatonix’s version, but Mark’s will always hold a special place in my heart. I get chills every single time when I listen to 3:05-3:36.

Downhere’s “How Many Kings” This song is beautifully written and beautifully sung. Truly, how many kings have given up everything for us? Downhere is one of my favorite bands because of the way their lyrics have always touched my heart. But it’s also at least partially (in a small way) because I was friends with the drummer, Jeremy. 😉

rach and downhereLeft: me with Downhere in 2004 (Jeremy in blue beside me) and Right: me and Jeremy in 2009 after a concert in Memphis. I was going to share the whole story here, but it’s kind of long so I just copy & pasted it into a draft for another day. So I will share the story later. 🙂

So there you have it, my friends! You now have the list of my absolute favorite Christmas songs. All 43 of them. 😉 You can bet that these are what are playing at any given time in my house or car this holiday season. 🙂

Happy weekend, friends!
Love Rach

 

My favorite PEPPY Christmas songs!

I hope you guys aren’t sick of all these Christmas music lists yet. Only one more after today and then I’ll move on to other things. I just love Christmas music so much and want to share my favorites, but if I had left it as one giant post it would’ve taken ages to read. Haha! So indulge me just a day or two more. 🙂

Today I want to share all the peppy Christmas music. I love the slow paced “I’m dreaaaaaming of a whiiiiiite Christmaaas!” songs, but I also love the upbeat, peppy songs as well. And today I am sharing my favorites!

Lady Antebellum’s “Holly Jolly Christmas” Not only is this song great, but the video is adorable too!

Train’s “Joy to the World” This year is the first time I’ve ever heard this version of Joy to the World and I love it. I feel like this is how the song should be sung! With so much power behind the “JOY!” part. Love it! 🙂

The Irish Rover’s “Good King Wenceslas” The video I’m sharing is actually of a group lip syncing to this song, but the video was funny so I thought I’d share it. 😉 And the song is pretty much the definition of peppy! Talk about something that gets stuck in my head, haha!

Colton Dixon’s “Jingle Bells”

RJ Word & Alex G’s “Let It Snow” Mashup

Idina Menzel & Michael Buble’s “Baby, It’s Cold Outside” So I am always a little torn about liking this song. I grew up listening to it so I’ve always liked it. And I love the way Idina & Michael come together to sing this so beautifully. But I do have a problem with the content. Not the content of the video with the adorable little kids, but the content of the lyrics. I mean, it’s a guy pressuring a girl to get her to give up her better judgement and do something she keeps saying she doesn’t want to do. Even if she’s playing “hard to get” (which I am so against, but that’s a discussion for another day), it’s still not okay to disregard another person’s feelings for your own. Anyway, I know the intention of this song isn’t supposed to be about voluntary consent (or the lack there of), but I couldn’t share the song on my list without at least a small PSA. Just remember – cute song, that’s fine. But in real life – it’s not romantic if your partner doesn’t listen to you. Okay, I’m done over thinking this song now. 😉

Savage Garden’s “Last Christmas” You guys, I love Savage Garden. So very much. Anytime I hear one of their songs, it takes me straight back to high school. I had no idea they had performed a Christmas song until this year and I have loved adding it to my Christmas playlist! 🙂

Trans Siberian Orchestra’s “Carol of the Bells” Okay so, I know this song doesn’t have any lyrics, but I love this song and I love TSO. Their whole Christmas album is amazing. We got to see them perform at Christmas one year several years ago and it was amazing live. I definitely recommend them! 🙂

Michael Buble’s “It’s Beginning to Look a lot like Christmas” You guys, I never understood all the Michael Buble craze until hearing his Christmas album. He has that old school crooner voice, but in a modern way. That’s the best way I can think to describe it. And I love listening to him! Hence why he’s on this list three times (though the other two times he is singing duets!)

Toby Mac’s “This Christmas” A song I’ve been listening to since I was a teenager. 🙂 I have a heart for orphan care and this song touches that part of my heart every time.

Relient K’s “12 Days of Christmas” Do you guys remember when punk rock was the thing? I do. I loved it. And I loooved Relient K. I mean, honestly – I still love them. I play “Sadie Hawkins’ Dance” for the kids I nanny all the time and they think it’s the funniest thing ever. Or maybe it’s the dance I do when that song comes on that they think is so funny… 😉

Michael Buble & Thalia’s “Feliz Navidad”

Any peppy songs I missed on this list? 

Love Rach