Sunday, September 25, 2011

Linda Rich

Linda Rich was a Christian folk singer who recorded three albums: There's More to Living than I Know So Far (1969), Patterns (1970), and Apple Tree (1975).

All three albums are fantastic: melancholy, spiritual, sparse, gentle, rich, and luminous. her voice is somewhat like early Joni Mitchell (1968-71) but more mezzo-soprano, with fewer melissmas. her guitar playing is functional, but delicate. When there are arrangements, the strings are tasteful. On several tracks on both Patterns and Apple Tree there is some fulte work that gets some spacey-echo happening. It's not quite psych, but very close.

Her lyrics are very Christian, but she also ventures into some searching territory, particularly "An Agnostic's Prayer" from Patterns. I particularly appreciate her more atmospheric lyrics:
"Sun streaming through stained glass windows,
coloured shadows in a darkened room,
red on brown,
make colours sound,
and give the peace of knowing You"
"Stained Glass Windows" Apple Tree

You can download all three of these albums here: The Ancient Star Song

I highly recommend these albums to anyone, Christian or not. There are moments of pure sublime beauty on all of these records, and you can hear the questioning and joy of Linda's faith in all her songs. She doesn't package up Christianity into a neat, happy box; rather she asks questions and admits her failings, yet she also expresses her love of Christ in a gentle joyousness that is sincere and real.


Wolfgang said...

Yes I agree a lot. I was just yesterday listening to the music of Linda Rich. I like the mixture of brokeness and hope in her lyrics. She sounds like Marj Snyder and Joan Baez or even a bit like Nico (Velvet Underground).

Christopher, how are you doing? I remember your comments from Heavenly Grooves/Ancient Star Song. Sadly all of these Jesus Music Blogs are gone. I'm happy that I did download a lot. Now I got the time to listen to all the music and I'm really enjoying it.

Because you mentioned 'First Revelation' on your blog as well I did listen to them today. Great, great music. There is generally something about the sound of the sixties/seventies that I like.

Christopher Orczy said...

Hi Wolfgang.
Everything is going well.
I miss the Jesus music blogs. There was a real sense of community among us all. It is a shame that that has been finished for us.
I am just happy I went download crazy for those few years that stuff was available.
First Revelation are fantastic. Linda had a great voice, and Danny's guitar work was inspired.
I am particularly digging Last Call of Shiloh. That is classic.

Cat Tales said...

Linda’s first album There’s more to Living was the first Christian music I was introduced to. I hope I can download the albums on my Ipad. Thank you! Kathy P.