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The Magazine of The Evangelical Lutheran Church in America

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God & love songs

Tunes sparkle, feature substance

As lead singer for Buffalo Springfield and founder of the country band Poco, Richie Furay was a musical icon of the 1960s and ’70s. He left the secular music scene after experiencing a dramatic conversion to Christ and became the pastor of a small church in Broomfield, Colo. He continues to record albums reflective of his faith and makes them available through his Web site.

Two of Furay’s recent recordings contain what he calls “devotional songs,” with spiritual themes or lyrics derived from Scripture: imagine a psalm being set to the tune of “Take It Easy” and you won’t be too far off the mark. In My Father’s House contains the pick-me-up pop song “Peace That Passes Understanding” and I Am Sure offers “Overflow,” a song of thanksgiving that is almost impossibly beautiful.

But not all Christian music is religious. Last year, Furay released the album Heartbeat of Love, a collection of songs devoted to the joys and sorrows of romance: 12 glorious pop songs about falling in love, being in love and staying in love.

It’s a musical valentine for all seasons. Most of the songs sparkle with delight, for Furay knows romance can be emotionally thrilling. But there is an undercurrent to these songs that gives them real substance: Disappointments, loneliness, forgiveness all become part of the romance package.

As a special treat, Furay performs “Kind Woman,” a song he wrote for his wife, Nancy, while courting her 40 years ago. It’s the strength of that long-term relationship that gives this material an authenticity rarely found in pop music. For the Furays, romance is simply one aspect of a life filled with faith, hope and love.


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