Life spent most of 2018 punkpounding me on multiple fronts, hence my lengthy absence from this space. My deep thanks to Peter for his patience.
Anyway, time to start catching up on things, starting with some new (well, it was new in August of last year) music by Derri Daugherty, guitarist/vocalist/tunesmith for veteran Christian alt rockers The Choir. The Color of Dreams was substantially delayed from its original scheduled release date due to Daugherty relocating from his Nashville base to Southern California so he could serve as caretaker for his ailing elderly father, who subsequently sadly passed away. It bears the marks of this loss as well as others, yet is anything but a long-playing dirge.
Musically, the album plays to Daugherty’s mature strengths, which if summarized are best described as atmospheric Americana. Strains of plaintive roots country’s strong, simple melodies abound, framed in a mostly gentle wash of Daugherty’s well-honed electric guitar tonalities layered atop unobtrusive foundations. Daugherty has long exhibited a gift for melody plus sonic counterpart, and The Color of Dreams makes it clear he’s only grown stronger over time.
Lyrically the album is often sentimental without saccharine, tales of lives well lived and coming to grips with loss. If the album has a fault, it is that even though the words throughout solidly compliment the high quality music, one wishes that Daugherty would have written at least some of the lyrics. As amply demonstrated by “Mercy Lives Here” on The Choir’s Flap Your Wings album, he knows his way around putting words to music. Hopefully there will be more of this in future projects. The album concludes with some excellent instrumental ambient tracks.
The Color of Dreams is not going to make the playlist of any Christian radio station looking to fill time in-between chiropractor ads with gooey ear candy sophomoric praise choruses for soccer moms. Their loss, and especially their listeners loss. There is depth in Daugherty’s work on all fronts, presenting the kinds of challenges abhorred by many modern believers as somehow demonstrating a lack of faith despite their unmistakable lineage directly to the Psalmists crying out to God with the same fervor they showed in calling out praise to Him. For those who have been through or are going through the fire, The Color of Dreams provides welcome and sorely needed comfort.
The album is available on Daugherty’s Bandcamp page.