The next 7″ Vinyl Single I have from Needtobreathe is an Insiders Exclusive Single. It was only offered out to paid fans who are signed up for their Insiders Club (Yes, I am now a member, but wasn’t back then). As you can see from header picture, the packaging was limited to a die-cut paper sleeve, inserted in a clear vinyl sleeve which has a barcode sticker attached to the outside of the vinyl sleeve. Pretty plain but cool in its simplicity.
From what I gather, the vinyl was supposed to give us the unreleased track “Happy If You Could” which you can get the demo of the song on a digital E.P. called Cercas Blacas E.P. from 2013. I can’t find a ton of information on it, but it looks like it was recorded for the “Rivers in the Wasteland” album but not used. And here is the interesting part of all this. The song “Happy If You Could” isn’t even on this release. I am sure it was a mistake, but the song on Side A is actually the band’s cover of “Go Tell It To The Mountain”. Did someone not bother listening to the test pressing???
The song, “Go Tell It To The Mountain” is a Christmas song they did and harkens back to their Christian roots. They do a beautiful version and include a lot of band harmonies. It is a song they have played live a lot as well especially around the holidays. It is a surprise track, but well worth it. The song was released on a compilation album A Very Special Christmas: Bringing Joy to the World.
The B-Side is the Charleston Demo of “Difference Maker”. What is the Charleston Demo? It is named off the studio where it was recorded. The demo was done at Plantation Studios in Charleston, South Carolina. The song is best described by Bear Rinehart himself. I found this on the Newreleasetoday.com website. It is an article written by Kevin Davis when he interviewed Bear about the song. Bear states the following…
This song is my story of trying to understand my role in God’s plan. We were on tour with a secular artist, Taylor Swift, playing to 20,000 and even 50,000 people per night. We felt like we were doing what we were supposed to be doing. Despite our efforts, I didn’t feel like we were having the impact we are called to have.
I think God was asking us at this time, “What are you doing this for? Are you doing it for Me?” And, I think that’s where this song was birthed. That confusion is almost a good thing. The bridge says “I am on the fence about nearly everything I’ve seen.” I meant that in how the whole band was going through a “we surrender to God” kind of way.
We don’t need to be concerned about what happens after we’ve given up this gift we have to God. That was really powerful for us. We had ambition and let that take too much of a priority in things that led us down a road that wasn’t good. I think that in trying to re-prioritize, God wants us to sacrifice those things, those idols in our lives. Some idols for us were wondering what the outcome was going to be, that we had the upper hand or maybe we were the best band out there, or we thought we were the most clever at it.
I feel like the beginning of the song is us asking ourselves are we really difference makers. How valuable are we, really? Towards the end of the song it comes around that God makes us a part of what He does, which is so crazy. It starts with us realizing that we don’t get to make the rules. We don’t control it, and we don’t get to say what the timing is. It’s not because of our talents. He doesn’t need that. He needs our willing hearts.
The demo of the song is acoustic and sounds like it was recorded back in the early part of last century which is really cool. It is mostly Bear Rinehart on vocals with some background “oohs”. The song is dark and sad and it really feels haunting in the way it was recorded. It is actually quite cool. There is what sounds like a flute that helps give it that haunting ambiance. This is one of those songs that was so different from anything else they had done, but grew on me to now be one of my favorites for its poignant message. The studio version of the song is on their album ‘Rivers in the Wasteland’.
I don’t have any videos for versions of these songs so I am sorry for that, but at the same time it makes tis a little more exclusive doesn’t it. Thanks for hanging around and I hope you enjoyed the trip through this release.