Saturday, August 18, 2007

Bryan Field McFarland - All That Matters


Bryan Field McFarland
All that Matters

Sassafras Songs 2007

The world needs more musicians like Bryan Field McFarland.

On second thought.

The world needs more people like Bryan Field McFarland.

On his newly released full length album All that Matters, McFarland touches upon the gamut of human emotion and registers an album of such emotional honesty and purity that it cant help but place a beaming, joyous smile on your face for the rest of the day.

As a musician in my own right, it is and has always been my quest to observe the simple joys and wonderment in life and hopefully, reflect those feelings in songs... and in turn hopefully help others to see that joy within themselves. It is the most important quest (in my estimation) for any musician or artist for that matter.

And McFarland does this with such ease that it is hard not to relish in delight over his talent. Take for instance his song "Blacktop River," a moving acoustic number (in the vein of John Hiatt or the later career solo work of David Crosby) that simply put, is a track about taking your car out and experiencing the glory of good drive. Simply put, McFarland's music is a celebration of life, and so much of that kind of musical magic is lost in today's music market.

At times, McFarland's CD hits too heavy with religious overtones, which has never been my forte per-se, but what I do admire about these songs is that they are not geared around changing the religious beliefs of the listener, but rather simply state the feeling that McFarland has about his own faith. And again, this is a testament of McFarland's gifted craft as a songwriter.

So please, take a listen to Bryan Field McFarland's new CD... it is bound to make you feel better about your day, and anything that has the ability to do that is something purely magical.

-Mark Dougherty

3 comments:

Mark said...

Interesting, go to McFarland's site where he links his reviews and the latter part of this review is missing. Which means, in particular, the honest critique of the albums hit on spiritual notes. I feel this is a valid point, and an important one, because it points out the honesty of the faith. However, it appears the artist only wanted to highlight what was purely positive, and squelch the negative.
To me, as an artist in several forms, I believe it is unfair and is ultimately dissapointing. Art is honesty, it shouldn't be edited for anyone's gain.
I was disappointed McFarland couldn't be bold enough to say, here is someone's honest opinion of my work, see for yourself. Saying this and being a Christian as well, I think honesty should prevail in art, religious or otherwise.

PS to be fair he did link to the review, but it raises an interesting point to me.

Bryan Field McFarland said...

I am NOT about squelching the negative Mark! Additionally, I am NOT grateful for your quick (and erroneous) assumption.

Personally, I do not see ANY part of Mark Dougherty's review as negative. He merely stated that

"At times, McFarland's CD hits
too heavy with religious
overtones, which has never been
my forte per-se, but what I do
admire about these songs is that
they are not geared around
changing the religious beliefs of
the listener, but rather simply
state the feeling that McFarland
has about his own faith. And
again, this is a testament of
McFarland's gifted craft as a
songwriter."

I never did nor do I now see ANYTHING negative in these remarks. Quite the contrary.

As I wrote back to the reviewer when I first saw it posted, I am excited that the first review of this "songs-for-worship" CD is from a "secular" site. Personally, I don't see the need for secular/sacred split, but that's another topic.

To the point, I'm an artist too and I assure you that I did not intentionally edit the Reactor Media Review. I intended for the ENTIRE review to be copied when I copy/pasted it into my site. I also intended for the review to be at the top of the reviews on my site. By the way, as of reading the preceding comment I have remedied the situation making sure that the ENTIRE review is the first review currently seen on my site at http://www.bryanfield.net/press.html

THIS is why I also linked to the review site. So, folks could go an see for themselves where and what I had lifted to place on my site.

So, here's more honesty for ya.

May honesty prevail!

All the best,

Bryan

Mark said...

First let me apologize if it was too quick and erroneous of a response. But let me assure that my heart on the matter was to promote discussion on a topic I have become passionate about over the years being both a musician and a christian. That topic being the mass marketing of the christian label.
I may be too quick of a draw but I always feel the need to point out a Christian "artist" who will squelch the negativity of his or her secularization in their effort to be what they say "in the world not of it" and thus boosting their sales in the market of the Christian anti-mainstream culture. When, in fact, they miss that point completely. And unfortunately I have seen it too many times. I believe Jesus would likely be found today not in a Christian bookstore but mingling with culture.
The point Mark D made was a valid point and I wanted it to be reemphasized, and was afraid of it being dampered. You state your faith clearly, and that is something to be respected and touted. It's not overbearing, and that to me shows the power of what we believe. Stating it clearly and honestly is sometimes all that is needed.
Let me say your honesty is very much appreciated! As is your passionate response to me, I didn't mean to piss you off if I did, but I'm glad you jumped. I meant to be fair to you, as you did link the article, but I think again, I was trying too quickly to prove my point.
And to the readers for the record, I do not wish to discredit Mr. McFarland or his work. I was simply promoting discussion, and was quick to judge based off past experience.
So, yes may honesty prevail, and worthy craftmanship be praised over an agenda.