Saturday, November 15, 2008

Alex Harvey, Puckett's After Hours, Leiper's Fork, 11/14/08

In October I was sitting in the studio at Radio Free Nashville waiting to do my radio show. "Geo On the Radio" was on tape that day as he was away. It was a replay of the show where Alex Harvey, writer of "Delta Dawn", "Reuben James", "Rings", and many others was his guest. Besides being a superb songwriter, Alex is also a person of faith. Geo and Alex may not have realized it, but God showed up during the interview in that small studio. I laughed, cried and praised God right along with Alex as I was listening. After that, I did my best radio show ever to this date.

For that reason, I couldn't wait to have a chance to hear Alex Harvey live. I had a feeling I was going to get my socks blessed off. It was a dark and stormy night, though the drive to Leiper's Fork wasn't quite as scary because I had the sense to make a test run to Puckett's that morning to see where it was. Normally I'd stay home on these kind of evenings, but I sure was glad to have ventured out.

Alex and his wonderful hard rocking band played to an intimate crowd of folks who appeared to be regulars at his Puckett's After Hours gigs. But even this first timer soon felt as if I were one, too. His songs and performances were powerful and passionate throughout the entire evening. For the first part of the show it was up and fun, with songs like, "Reuben James", "$5 Fine For Whining"...and then, zing. Alex got you in the heart with complete honesty and bearing his soul.

I've spent years going to dozens of Southern Gospel and other Christian music concerts and coming away strengthened in my faith. But I tell you, what Alex shared was ministry in one of its most effective and, again, powerful forms. He told stories of tragic circumstances surrounding his family members (particularly in a moving setup to "Delta Dawn"), but did so packing a punch of a testimony of faith in a God that restores and sustains. Indeed, you could easily feel the love and joy from his faith and for his audience from the stage (and I loved watching the whole band join hands in prayer before the show started). I'm told he often leads worship for churches. That should be a great experience.

If you love great songwriting and a tight band, and want to get a big blessing, do check out Alex Harvey live. And, if you really want to be ministered to, get his album "Galilee".

Praise God for this town.

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