As you know if you follow this site, I am a huge fan of Needtobreathe. I have all their albums on vinyl and now I am going after the cool and unusual stuff on CDs. The first thing I found was a promotional single for the song “The Heart” off their upcoming 2014 album ‘Rivers in the Wasteland’. There is a sticker on the front of the plastic wrapper that gives you all the promotional information that is upcoming for the band including the “Impact Date” or release date of the single on April 21, 2014. it mentions the producer who was Joe Chiccarelli who had worked with The Raconteurs, The Killers and U2. It even goes through the bands upcoming performances on TV and BBC Radio. Check it out below.
The Promo CD is out of the UK and I bought it from someone in the UK. The single was presented with a paper sleeve (black and white text only) and in a PVC wallet. Very simple presentation, no artwork or anything special like that. Plain and simple, but still really cool. The only song on it is “The Heart”, nothing else.
In my quest for getting everything on vinyl for Needtobreathe, there were four 7″ Singles I had to get and I am glad to say, I now have 3 of them. There is still one elusive one that I need for the song “Keep Your Eyes Open”, so if you see it let me know. For now we are going to talk about this single for the song “Brother”. The song is actually off the album, ‘Rivers in the Wasteland’ from 2014. However, the songs on this disc are not on the version on the album.
The disc is a limited edition release with only 2,000 copies and I have one so there are only 1,999 left out there for you to find (yes, I know how to subtract). It is on a very beautiful transparent blue vinyl and it is gorgeous. It comes in a lovely jacket with a cool picture of Bear Rineheart on the front and his brother Bo Rinehart on the back which is significant which we will discuss later.
The package also comes with an insert with details about Side A and Side B and it is formatted in that same flowery motif. It is quite nice.
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???
For My Sunday Song #170, we are choosing the song “Brother” by Needtobreathe as the final song in the 10 song Needtobreathe series. This song is the one with Gavin DeGraw as guest vocalist and not the version on the album “Rivers in the Wasteland”. Although I liked that version, I think having the duet added a lot to the song since it felt more like it matched the meaning of the song. The song only reached #98 on the Billboard charts, but the Christian charts had it reaching #1.
The song came about due to the issues between two brothers. Those brothers were Bear and Bo Rinehart. Their friendly competition turned in to more of a blame game as times got difficult for the band as they struggled during the work on the album ‘Rivers in the Wasteland’. They finally worked things out once they actually talked to each other confessed their own personal faults. Once that was done, they realized how important it was to have a brother working with you and beside you rather than compete with you. They turned that in to a beautiful song.
The song has a church feel and some choir-like backing vocals to help add to that effect. Having Bear and Gavin do it as a duet it gave the song that back & forth that it needed to give it the effect of two brothers going at it and making amends to each other. It gave the song more dimension and heart. Their voices worked so well together and their tones blended nicely and gave the song the emotion it needed.
For My Sunday Song # 164, we are talking about “Difference Maker” by Needtobreathe. The song was the debut single off their album ‘Rivers in the Wasteland’ from 2014. The song reached #16 on the Christian charts and might be one of the most powerful song they have ever written lyrically.
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.
Back in 2006, my brother told me I had to listen to this album called ‘Daylights’ by the band Needtobreathe. I had never heard of them and I trust my brothers opinion since he did bring me in to the Kiss world when I was like 6. He said they were a Christian Rock band and they were amazing. Well, he was sort of right. They were awesome, but they aren’t just a Christian rock band. They are a rock band who happens to be Christian and a lot of their views are in their music, but they aren’t bible thumping. They are telling honest stories that will hopefully impact you in some way.
And impact me they have. Their music is what I go to when I need inspiration, I need to feel better or I just need some good roots rock music sometimes with a Southern Rock flair. For me, it is all good and there is no “Worst Album”. After 6 studio albums, 2 live albums and numerous E.P.’s, they are still one of my all-time favorite bands out there and I hope they continue for years to come. The band is as follows:
I am keeping this list to just the 6 studio albums and let this be your gateway in to the band. Remember, these are in order of my least favorite to my very favorite and that might not be your order, but that is fine. It is only my opinion. So be kind. And here we go…Needtobreathe!!
For Christmas, I really only wanted one thing…well, it was actually 6 things. I wanted the entire Needtobreathe album collection in Vinyl. They have 6 studio albums and I am glad to say, Santa was good to me as I now have all their studio albums in Vinyl. And what a collection it is.
I became a fan back off their first album “Daylight” which came out in 2006. They have been labeled a Christian band, but they are really so much more than that label. They are folk, southern rock, country, pop, rock and Christian all at the same time. Their songwriting is exceptional with great stories and positive messages. Bear Rinehart’s voice is amazing and carries so much emotion and he draws you into each song and takes you on a wonderful journey.