Sam Phillips… at SoulFest??

Sam Phillips is scheduled to take the same stage as Third Day and Rebecca St. James at the Christian music brouhaha Soulfest 2008.

And in other news, hell just froze over.

I don’t know what could make the release of her first self-produced album, Don’t Do Anything, more interesting than this… a return to the “Christian music” arena.

I’m sure she knows what she’s doing. But does SoulFest?

  • Facebook
About Jeffrey Overstreet

Jeffrey Overstreet is the author of a “memoir of dangerous moviegoing” called Through a Screen Darkly, and a four-volume series of fantasy novels called The Auralia Thread, which includes Auralia’s Colors, Cyndere’s Midnight, Raven’s Ladder, and The Ale Boy’s Feast. Jeffrey is a contributing editor for Seattle Pacific University’s Response magazine, and he writes about art, faith, and culture for Image, Filmwell, and his own website, LookingCloser.org. His work has also appeared in Paste, Relevant, Books and Culture, and Christianity Today (where he was a film columnist and critic for almost a decade). He lives in Shoreline, Washington. Visit him on Facebook at facebook.com/jeffreyoverstreethq.

  • http://www.mattnightingale.net mattnightingale

    This is indeed stunning news. I would LOVE to hear what she herself has to say about it.

  • http://lookingcloser.org Jeffrey Overstreet

    I hope my review sheds some light for you, aslanfrodo.

    http://lookingcloser.org/music/bootandashoe.htm

    In fact, I have reviews of most of her work here:

    http://lookingcloser.org/music/archive.htm

    But the best place to start might be here:

    http://lookingcloser.org/interviews/samphillipsinterviewSept2004.htm

  • aslanfrodo

    I was actually thinking that I needed to write to you about this seeming incongruity/interesting situation, Jeffrey, but you were way ahead of me. I only live an hour or two away from the site of Soulfest. Is it sad for me to write that I am thinking of seeing Jars of Clay instead of Sam? (They are on different nights, unfortunately.) I was just listening to A Boot and a Shoe today, and I wish that I could even remotely grasp what in the world she is singing about! Feel free to shed some light on my cluelessness, Sam fans.

  • cptcasualt

    > I can’t imagine there being many Sam fans in the crowd that would populate that festival.

    I can imagine one. Wow, I haven’t been to a Christian music festival since Greenfest in 1986 – and a preincarnation of Sam was there. Maybe it’s finally time for me to go to another one? Only 7 hours drive from here and an hour from my wife’s fave beach in Maine. Hmm…

  • andrewnewby

    Dan was involved in managing Sam as recently as the tour for Fan Dance. I don’t know if he is still serving as her manager, but he was involved as a point person for her two albums back.

    I harbor great frustration that Mark Flanagan, owner of Largo, hasn’t started his own label. Artists trust him, and he trusts and encourages them.

    He’s assembled a beautiful tribe of like-minded musicians, all unique, but common in their commitment to the creation of something new and different. What better way to foster a fanbase and album sales than to gather them under one artistic roof? He could easily assemble a roster of artists on par with the prime years of Sun, Capitol, and Columbia.

  • mrmando

    In what way does saying that a group of people need to hear Sam Phillips equate to an “indictment” of those people?

    Now if I said a group of people needed to hear Britney Spears and Miley Cyrus performing a tribute to the songs of Tammy Faye Bakker …

    That, my friend, would be an indictment.

    By the way, the singers I just mentioned have also “touched many people’s lives.” I was amazed by the outpouring of respect and admiration in the press when Tammy Faye died. But her music still stinks. Quality is no predictor of popularity, and vice versa.

    I haven’t attended SoulFest, although my band came close to being booked there once. I have sat in as a guest musician with two of the acts playing SoulFest this year. I’ve been to Cornerstone twice. I write for two Christian music magazines. I was a CCM DJ and can tell you more about CCM up through the early 1990s than you would ever care to hear.

    For whatever that’s worth. It’s probably worth about as much as the six crates of CCM LPs in my basement.

    When I was a kid, there seemed to be a strong current of thought in evangelical circles that said Christians should listen only to Christian music. I myself was a strong proponent of that view for a while. As far as I can tell, that view is no longer as prevalent as it used to be (or perhaps I’m just out of touch with those particular evangelical circles now). If there’s been a move away from that particular sort of judgmental thinking in CCM, I’d regard it as a very healthy move. And if people come to SoulFest to hear TobyMac or Rebecca St. James, and get some exposure to Sam Phillips in the process, I’d regard that as a healthy move also‚Äîboth for Sam and for the audience. There’s no need for Sam or anyone else to think that she has stopped speaking to the church just because she no longer records for a gospel label. The church desperately needs to hear from artists who are not making the kinds of lyrical and musical compromises one must make in order to get played on Christian radio. And those artists shouldn’t assume that the church wouldn’t be interested in what they have to say.

    Anyhow, faraway212, I don’t think you and I really have a significant disagreement on the topic at hand. It’s just that when you falsely accuse me of “constantly condemning” other Christians and mischaracterize a jocular remark as a “sweeping indictment,” I don’t see how you’re any less judgmental than you accuse me of being. Planks and eyes and all that.

    By the way, Coldplay sucks. :)

  • faraway212

    You guys are starting to sound a lot like the judgmental Christians you’re constantly condemning. I understand that there are many judgmental Christians (I’ve met a lot of them), and that Christians should be held to a higher standard. I’m constantly frustrated by the refusal of many Christians to embrace great and unconventional forms of art because of their narrow mindsets. But you’re starting to go overboard.

    Have any of you actually attended a festival like SoulFest recently, if ever? Has shacklett even heard tobyMac, Third Day, etc.? I’m not a fan of these guys, but I respect them.

    There is a hunger amond CCM fans for good music, which is why many are branching out and trying stuff that doesn’t fit the CCM mold. There are also an increasing number of Christian artists and musicians who refuse to be thrown into the CCM bandwagon, and play clubs and bars as well as these fests (like Flyleaf). Some are incredibly talented, like Jars of Clay, which is an excellent group (listen to “Oh My God” off of Good Monsters if you don’t believe me).

    Let me make it clear, I am not a CCM fan. I listen to U2, Arcade Fire, Coldplay, Radiohead, etc., not this stuff, becasue I also find much of it subpar. I can’t stomach listening to my local Christian music radio station for very long. Much of your criticism has been earned.

    But a lot of the musicians you look down on have touched many people’s lives.

    I’m sorry if this sounds harsh, I don’t mean it that way. It’s just that sweeping indictments of an entire group of people-”who‚Äôs in greater need of a Sam Phillips concert than a fairground full of CCM fans”-like the ones you’re making deserve to be addressed.

  • mrmando

    SoulFest is the brainchild of Dan Russell, co-founder of Fingerprint Records and longtime manager for Sam’s old pal Mark Heard, whose disaffection from CCM was no less intense or dramatic than Sam’s. If anyone could get Sam to appear at a “christian” festival, Dan could.

    Besides, who’s in greater need of a Sam Phillips concert than a fairground full of CCM fans?

  • shacklett

    Ok, this is unbelievable. You’ve got to find out more about this. Is there somebody else going by the name Sam Phillips all the sudden?

    No matter who’s idea, this seems like a bad one. I can’t imagine there being many Sam fans in the crowd that would populate that festival. And if there were any who knew who she is, how many back slaps and congratulations will she have to endure with people saying they’re so glad that she decided to be a Christian artist again. (I feel sick…) I can’t believe many (any) of Sam’s actual fans would brave that particular festival to see her. Maybe I’m just not as devoted as I’d like to think, but I couldn’t endure [pick one: 3rd Day, Barlow Girl, kutless, Rebecca St. James, Superchick, Pillar, Newsboys, TobyMac, etc.] or their fans; even to see Sam Phillips.

    Shutup! Her picture is even on the Soulfest website! I’ll be packing my long underwear, flannel, and gore-tex for my trip to hell for sure…


CLOSE | X

HIDE | X