Friday, July 31, 2020

Back to the 90's

Time for another walk down our musical memory lane... A couple of days ago we talked about Cain's "Revival"... Well, this week's Flashback Friday features another revival... a Christian rock band formed in Memphis, TN in 1991 - Big Tent Revival

BTR released five albums in the 90's, and were a five time Grammy-nominated Christian blues rock band. There were some great songs on these albums including "Two Sets of Jones" (a song about the importance of trusting Jesus through the storms of life instead of material things, in a style that was reminiscent of Billy Joel's, "Piano Man") "Best Thing in Life" (a memorable rock anthem), "If Loving God Was A Crime" (a soft rock song about not being ashamed of your faith), "Choose Life" (about choosing eternal life- reminds me of the style of an early Beatle's song), "Mend Me", "Famine Or Feast", and "What Would Jesus Do" - which became somewhat of an anthem for the WWJD movement in the late 90's. (Do you remember wearing a WWJD bracelet?)

Perhaps one of my favorites from Big Tent Revival was the 1996 song, "Here With Me":
You said you'd always love me, and you would never leave
Sure as the sky above me, I believe, I believe, I believe

Mountains high and valleys low
Desert land and driving snow
Like a river to the sea, you are always here with me

Few bands in any genre can claim a Grammy nomination for every album they have recorded. Big Tent Revival is one such band. But even with three critically acclaimed albums, numerous Dove and Grammy nominations, and a slew of #1 radio hits to their credit, they insist that the accolades, while affirming, was not the reason the band existed. Driven by a desire for musical excellence and spiritual maturity, Steve Wiggins (guitar/vocals), Spence Smith (drums), Randy Williams (lead guitar), Steve Dale (bass), and David Alan (keyboards), hit the road for 200+ dates per year for one single purpose—to tell the world about Jesus. During the 90's BTR toured extensively across the nation and internationally and were featured performers at the Harvest Crusades which were large scale evangelistic outreaches in the 90s.

In 2000, Big Tent Revival disbanded primarily due to the stress of extensive touring and desire to spend more time with family. BTR did get back together in 2012 and produce an album but received limited success. 

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