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Heartbeat of Love
Artist: Richie Furay
Label: Kerygma
Length: 12 tracks

Richie Furay is one of two ministers of religion who has been inducted in the Rock 'n' Roll Hall Of Fame; the other is Al Green. Furay's place in rock history comes from his role in late Sixties--short-lived but long influential, The Buffalo Springfield, where he was one of the triumvirate of band leaders along with Stephen Still and Neil Young.

Having spent the last twenty years as a pastor in Boulder, Colorado, Furay has never given up his music. There has been the odd Poco reunion and rumors but sadly, never the reality of a Buffalo Springfield reunion. He has also released his own albums that have been more of a worship devotional angle. Heartbeat of Love is being marketed as his first mainstream album in 25 years, and the first thing to note is that it should not be regarded as some low-key do-it-yourself little hobby--like bit of fun from an aging rocker. Most of his old legendary cohorts lend a hand. That is like a who's who of early country rock--Neil Young, Stephen Stills, Rusty Young, Paul Cotton, Timothy B. Schmidt, Kenny Loggins and Mark Volman.

As well as old band mates there are a couple of old favorite songs, too. "Kind Woman" a Poco song that also makes an appearance on the Buffalo Springfield box set, gets an absolutely gorgeous reinterpretation. With Neil Young and a daughter of Furay on backing vocals, it should sit as a country rock classic.  "Let's Dance Tonight" was an old live favourite that gives this celebratory bunch of songs on a high energy finale. The whole album is like a celebration of Furay's 40-year marriage to Nancy, whom he met and married in that short lifeline window that they call Buffalo Springfield. Furay never was a political writer and with his devotional albums having a release for his more prominent Christian songs. Neither was melancholy ever his forté. When you think his best Poco songs were "Kind Woman" and "Good Feeling To Know," when it is "to know that you are loved" and Furay is simply doing what he always did best. Faith does not sit on the top line of the lyrics, but without a doubt, Furay sees his life and particularly his marriage as having very visible ropes tying them to the anchor held in a transcendent place.

If this was released in the early Seventies, it would have been a major release. Furay's voice is still brilliant, the songs have unadulterated hooken laden addiction, and the playing is seasoned sensational. It would be hard for anybody to reach the heights of Buffalo Springfield Again_ but this album must rate as maybe the best Richie Furay album with or without a band since that time. And if you wanted to be cruel, very few of his most famous former band mates have ever produced anything as solid.

Steve Stockman is the Presbyterian Chaplain at Queens University, Belfast, Ireland, where he lives in community with 88 students. He has written two books Walk On; The Spiritual Journey of U2 which he is currently updating and The Rock Cries Out; Discovering Eternal Truth in Unlikely Music. He dabbles in poetry and songwriting and he has a weekly radio show on BBC Radio Ulster (listen anytime of day or night @ www.bbc.co.uk/ni/religion/rhythmandsoul). He has his own web page--Rhythms of Redemption at http://stocki.ni.org . He also tries to spend some time with his wife Janice and daughters Caitlin and Jasmine.

13 June 2007
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

 

 
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