Two Durham Diocese clergy with an interest in music have been reviewing a new album. The album by acclaimed blues artist Richard Townend and the band The Mighty Bosscats is taking a musical approach to the subject of the seven deadly sins.
The Revd David Tomlinson and The Revd Jim Craig, have both taken to this musical opportunity to reflect on Richards songwriting and musical working of the biblical references to the seven deadly sins.
Richard, from Essex, travels all over the UK, including numerous dates in the north of England where his new album 7 Deadly Sins (currently No.2 on the Independent Blues Chart) has received approval from two Anglican vicars for the way it challenges our perceptions of human behaviour.
Richard, who has produced a series of critically-acclaimed albums and has been nominated three times for songs in the British Blues Awards, is favourably compared to JJ Cale, Chris Rea and Dire Straits.
The musician, whose day job is as an IT expert with Shell, performs both as a solo artist and with The Mighty Bosscats and he recently completed a short tour of three venues in Switzerland, including Geneva.
This included a private performance at a bank overlooking the Lake Geneva shoreline, which inspired Deep Purple’s famous song Smoke on the Water.
Richard, the cousin of Christian song writer Stuart Townend, has already been booked back to fly out and play at a blues club, hotel and blues festival next year on the strength of his performances and also featured in radio shows in November in the Netherlands.
More information can be found at www.richardtownend.com
Durham Clergy Reviews:
Revd David Tomlinson, Saint John’s, Shildon, Co. Durham, in the Anglican Diocese of Durham: “I enjoyed the album. The subject matter is interesting in that it takes a traditional theological concept and dresses it in new clothes.
“For instance, it looks at gluttony as a lifestyle and lust as a choice of the moment and combining this with a sound that settles in the soul of the listener is bound to create interest in both the faith-shaped and the music lover.
“I also enjoyed the nod towards a gospel sound in Sweet Wine, a suggestion perhaps that the church too is engaged in the pursuit of gluttony.
“The relationship between love and choices is explored again in Diamonds and the blues riffs put me in mind of Chris Rea, though Richard Townend has a sweeter timbre.”
Revd Jim Craig, the Arts Chaplain for Gateshead and Bensham in the Anglican Diocese of Durham: “With their 7 Deadly Sins’ album, The Mighty Bosscats present us with a bluesy re-examination of the seven capital vices or cardinal sins.
“In recent years, the tabloids have taken great pleasure in revelling in the selfish greed of the banking sector, the MPs expenses scandal, and accusations of phone hacking on Fleet Street. Such zealous demonisation of the guilty parties has had the effect of blinding ourselves to the importance of the moral choices that each and every one of us faces every day.
“Richard Townend’s lyrics explore familiar global topics such as the ethics of big business and blood diamonds. However, each song ultimately leads to a resolution that begins with an examination of our own moral code. ‘Diamonds’ is Townend’s exploration of the vice of greed. A woman (or trophy wife it says in the notes) wrestles with her husband’s gift of a diamond necklace. However, she finds herself questioning the source of the precious stones: ‘One mans greed makes another man bleed/ his diamonds fund a civil war’. Ultimately she rejects his gift, opting instead to break free of the subordinate role that has been thrust upon her: ‘She rips it off – throws it in his face/ wears a charity on her wrist.’
“In recent months, there have been many high profile theological debates amongst the leaders in both the Catholic and Anglican churches.
“If you think that these debates have distracted the church from its core original mandate of mission and ministry, then ‘Angry Words’ offers a solution: ‘U gotta think a little more about the words you say/ don’t break everyone’s hearts in this way/ listen – no more angry words.’
“Every song in this collection is a parable for those trying to stay faithful to both Christ and their community. ‘7 Deadly Sins’ is that rare thing: an intelligent and insightful release for the Christian music scene.”
Notes to Editors
7 Deadly Sins is currently No.2 on the Independent Blues Chart and Richard will be out over the Christmas and New Year period with the Mighty Bosscats and as a solo artist performing songs from the album. Richard can be seen at:
16th December – 100 CLUB OXFORD STREET LONDON 7.30 START – BAND
07 January – The Anchor Pub Blues with Bottle Club Sevenoaks TN13 1AS – solo
21st January – OddFellows Gorleston Norfolk Solo
24th January – Jaks Bar – Skegness BLUES MATTERS Acoustic Stage – solo