Hit CD: It’s Not Just the Sound, It’s the Message

Post a Comment » Written on January 3rd, 2008     
Filed under: News
ORLANDO, FL (January 3, 2008) – Brant Christopher is surprised that his band’s new CD album Beautiful Imperfection is getting such good reviews. “I was blown away by them,” he says.

The members of Fort Pastor love their unique sound, but just were not sure many other people would hold the same opinion. After all, it’s not every CD that features a cross between American and Australian roots music and extensive use of instruments such as the didgeridoo, djembe, xylophone and darabuka, not to mention zipper and front door.

Christopher likens the music to “Dave Matthews meets the Blue Man Group.”

CoverBut a reviewer for Christianity Today’s music website declared Fort Pastor’s album “A rare triumph in the realm of Christian music, and Fort Pastor makes it sound easy.” He adds, “The stellar sound wouldn’t be nearly as memorable without some witty, well-written lyrics to match.”

A CM Central reviewer opined that the album contained “thirteen magnetic songs. They are eclectically arranged and well executed, covering a lively variety of subjects from war to love, giving intelligent expression to their passionate heart for social issues.” He praised its “veritable soundest of unique instrumentation.”

Christopher, who now lives in Orlando, Florida, previously has helped lead worship at Emmanuel Covenant Church in Nashua, New Hampshire, and has stayed connected with the church. Christopher also toured two years ago as a solo artist to raise money for the Paul Carlson Partnership.

That was shortly before forming the band Fort Pastor in October 2005, when he met Jeffrey Todd and Jono Callow at the Greenbelt Festival in Cheltenham, UK, the largest Christian music event in the country. The music, which reflects the influence of David Matthews, also draws from the Americana music of Texas from where Todd hails, as well as Callow’s native Australia.

After independent releases, the group signed with Kosmos Records earlier this year and toured extensively this past summer with appearances at major festivals including Soulfest. The band also has shared the stage with major artists such as Jars of Clay and Mercy Me. Fort Pastor just signed with major promoter Street Level Artist Agency.

GroupMost Christian radio stations have refused to play the CD because the sound doesn’t fit any easily definable genre, Christopher says, adding he hopes the reviews will cause programmers to change their minds.

Christopher says the album title is intentional because they never set out to make an album that was perfect. “As a society and culture we are too obsessed with perfection,” he maintains, adding that the obsession runs counter to the gospel, which is honest about imperfection and the need for grace.

As for the band, “We are concerned more about the passion and the performance than we are about the perfect note.”

The band is attracting attention as much for its message calling listeners to engage in social justice and community action as it is for the album’s sound. Even the name is a reference to the band’s mission.

Fort Pastor is the name of the military installation at which people seek safety from zombies in the film Dawn of the Dead. Christopher explains that the movie was a political statement about consumerism and how people become zombies consuming all that is around them.

The band has created its own foundation called the “Social Justice Army (SJA)” that fans can join. The band wants people to be as concerned about ministering to people in their neighborhoods as they are in traveling to other nations. Chapters are being formed across the country, with members pledging to give at least one hour a month to community service.

So far, volunteers have logged more than 20,000 hours, says Christopher. The volunteers have donated time in various ways, including working with Habitat for Humanity, food kitchens and shelters.

The band oversees the organization while on the road – including while traveling in the van. Christopher says with a laugh that he praises the Lord for wi-fi.

Inspiring people to social action is the major motivation of the band, Christopher says. “After the music is over, that is what I want my life to be about.”

Print Friendly, PDF & Email

Report This Post

Leave a Reply

Report This Blog