Have you ever loved a band so much it became a part of your identity?
I’ve known a few people like this. When you think of them, that band or artist is part of what you think. They can’t shut up about how great they are and how everyone should listen to them, Well, now I’m one of those people. Hi, I’m Becca, and I love The Collection. A lot.
In July, I tagged along with Avery and his Sojourners intern cohort to the Wild Goose Festival in North Carolina. It was described as a “Christian woodstock,” a camping-style music and speakers festival for progressive people of faith in the mountains of NC. I didn’t have much information before going on what to expect but I was SKEPTICAL. I was happy for the free ticket but didn’t think the festival was for me, didn’t expect to get anything out of it or have a deeply spiritual and meaningful experience. However, after a few days, I surprised myself. I let go of judgement, took things from the messages, took my shoes off and danced barefoot in the grass with the music, sang along loudly at Beer and Hymns, met with a spiritual director.
The music was the best part of the festival. The Goose, as they call it. Some of my favorites were performing (Lobo Marino and John Mark McMillan) as well as many others I discovered. The best discover was The Collection. They played the mainstage Friday night and their music was so upbeat and fun that I pulled Avery up close to the stage and we danced along. I didn’t pay close attention to the words, but loved their sound and the singer’s voice. They seemed so fun, so talented, and to truly enjoy themselves while performing. After their set, the lead singer came back up for an encore and blew me away. He said, “I don’t usually play this one too much anymore, but this is the place to do it,” and sang a song called Dirt. Here are some of the lyrics:
Abraham was scared to die, forsook his wife within a lie
I think I know the reason why; cause he was made of dirt
Joseph's coat was full of pride, the blood of goats won't wash you white if I was his brother, I'd have lied and left him in the dirt
Moses never entered in to land he thought was promised him; he took his people 'round again to pick manna from the dirt
Solomon became so wise with many wives and concubines, he fell for every single lie, yeah, his head was full of dirt
David's where I got my name, abusing power, abusing fame he stole a girl, her husband slain, left six feet in the dirt
and peter fell to his own shame, denied his love, denied his name, he ran away when the people came to nail him to the dirt
Samson only thought it fair to let that witch come cut his hair and look through eyes no longer there as he crushed them in the dirt
and paul would sit upon his throne and kill us with the biggest stones and wrestle with a thorn unknown, a thorn up from the dirt
It was stunning. And so powerful. Here’s a video of him performing the song:
After coming home, I downloaded all their songs on Spotify and have probably contributed to half their streams in the time since. I fell in love. I didn’t realize that they came from Christian roots until he played Dirt, but upon listening to their music I found that all their lyrics are profound stories of spiritual wrestling, doubt, faith, and exploration of important questions. They are filled with biblical allusions and deep understandings of the tradition I grew up in. I relate so much to David Wimbish’s writing in his songs and listen to them every day.
I’m pretty sure the WGF back in July was their most recent show together. I’ve been checking their website regularly since then, hoping to see them again because WOW I need to! I was slightly worried that they had stopped touring, had gone their separate ways and wouldn’t make more music together. To me, they are so important, so relevant, and should be a huge success among people who grew up Christian and have ever asked big questions of faith. I want everyone to listen to them! But they seem like a well-kept North Carolinian secret.
So I was ELATED when a few weeks ago, David Wimbish announced that they would be touring again. They won't be in DC, but I got tickets to their Baltimore and Philadelphia shows because I can't just see them once! Seeing them live will be such an important and beautiful spiritual experience for me as I have come to love them so much and know all their lyrics by heart. I’ve told so many friends about them and bothered too many people by saying have you heard them?? They’re touring! You gotta come! But if you’ve read this far, please check them out. I hope their music blesses you like it’s blessed me!
Some of my favorite songs:
Dirt / Lazarus / Capernaum / The Borrowers / To Dust / Mama / Birds / The Alchemy of Awe
And David Wimbish’s song 2:4
Christian, feminist, idealist, wife, poet, abolitionist, dreamer, adventurer.