Red Booth Notes: An Unexpected Gift – the Music of LoveSong
But we did have a country store, Lindy’s, that sold a bit of everything. Every now and again, the Wilsons, who owned the place back then, would try something new—anything, really, to generate some business and bring in a few extra dollars.
So I was more than a little surprised to walk in one day and see a small metal rack holding record albums that looked for all the world as though they’d been shipped in from Timbuktu. These vinyl records had been “remaindered,” each had a small rectangular cut in their cardboard corners to everyone know these were bargain records.
Most were completely forgettable albums—compilations of songs that had barely broken what used to be called “the top 40.”
But one record was different. For one thing, it was a foldout double album, which none of the others were. It looked more impressive, more substantial.
I picked it up, and had a look. It was called Feel the Love, a live album from a group called LoveSong. I flipped it over and read through the song list.
I saw song titles like “Psalm 5,” “Sometimes Alleluia,” and “Jesus Puts the Song in Our Hearts.”
“They must be Christians,” I thought, and took a chance. I paid three dollars and brought the album home.
That’s how I discovered one of the finest bands to come out of “the Jesus Music era.” And I came to know songs that gave me a deep, abiding sense of gratitude. Sonically, Feel the Love sounded a lot like Jackson Browne’s classic album, Running on Empty, and was rich in Beach Boy/Beatlesque harmonies. I would later discover that several members of the band had toured and recorded with Richie Furay, a founding member of Buffalo Springfield, a band now enshrined in The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.
LoveSong’s musicianship showed throughout—and their faith shone through. Their lyrics gave voice to so many things I’d felt as a young believer. I played the album over and over again. Each time I play these songs now (the album was released on CD some years ago), I remember my senior year of high school, 1981-82, and how these songs traveled with me in the first car I ever bought—a 1970 Plymouth Duster. I grew to know them by heart, and nearly every line carries with it a fond memory.
Some wonderful kind of alchemy brought that album to a small town in New Hampshire. I never did discover how one classic record got packaged in with so many forgettable budget albums. But, on reflection, I’m glad I never asked Mr. Wilson about it. What I do know is something special happened, and brought a blessing I was meant to have. Something rare, and very fine, had come my way. I’ve always been a bit staggered by that.
Not long ago, I checked to see if LoveSong’s live album is available on vinyl from amazon.com. It is—for $99.98. Seems like I was treated to a divinely ordained bargain all those years ago. It was the best three dollars I ever spent.