Sunday, April 19, 2009

Nathan Clark George: "Pull Up a Chair"

Until this weekend I'd never heard of Nathan Clark George, but as James Grant points out he was recently named the Acoustic Artist of the Year at the Momentum Awards hosted by Indieheaven, and his latest CD, Pull Up a Chair, was named Album of the Year. (You can download it at Amazon for $8.99.)

I'd highly recommend checking it out. The first two songs are Psalm 111 and Psalm 24. Simple and excellent. Led me to worship.

Here's a little more info on a few of the songs:
“What If I Were in the Garden” is one of three new studio songs on the Pull Up a Chair CD and the project’s first radio single. It’s a simple question Nathan posed to himself about his own potential to fail the Lord as the disciples did. The CD’s title cut reflects on Christ’s willingness to weep with us. “We too often cocoon ourselves,” says Nathan, “and don’t realize that we are supposed to weep with those who weep and laugh with those who laugh. We need to engage people on that very personal level.”

Nathan says his most difficult musical undertakings are writing music for scripture. Pull Up a Chair features Psalm 111 and Psalm 24 set to music. “I treat that process with great fear and reverence,” he says. “The lyrics are written by God, after all. The challenge is to make it flow in a natural way. A lot of work goes into the phrasing aspect.”

One song on the CD, “Little Trees,” is a reflection on Psalm 1 rather than a verbatim rendering. “This was really the first time I wrote an expression of a Psalm. I wrote it from a father’s perspective about raising sons, and it’s probably my favorite song on the project. When we started out living in the motor home, I worried that I would be damaging my kids. But honestly, it has given them such a wide view of the world and we’ve been able to do some amazing things together.”

From coffee houses to churches to arts councils and every venue in between, Nathan Clark George keeps his repertoire flexible, but his style consistent. “People in coffee houses appreciate the scripture songs as much as anything else,” he says. “I’m just a musician who is willing to go anywhere and sing for anybody. I really don’t follow the Christian music scene so I don’t know where, or if, I fit in. I just try to be cognizant of where God wants me and try to stay within that framework. Even if it means another year in the RV.”