Needtobreathe is one of my all time favorite bands and one of the few bands I have to everything they do and in that search I came across this beauty. It is the E.P. called La Diferencia. It was only available on the DRIVE ALL NIGHT TOUR 2013. If you went to a show on that tour and you placed a pre-order for their upcoming album ‘Rivers of the Wasteland, you received a pre-order card AND got the BRAND NEW EP called La Diferencia on CD. I actually missed that tour so I didn’t have this and I do now. The EP contains four previously unreleased live tracks and the title is quite misleading because it would make you think their were some Hispanic language songs on here but there are not…which is fine as I don’t speak Spanish anyway. The cover art I am sure was done by band member Bo Rinehart as he has been the artistic brain behind most of their visual side of the band.
The opening track, “Difference Maker” might be the best song the band has ever written. There is such a sadness and longing in the song and lyrically, it is splendid. For me, it raises question as to why are we here in this world and what is our place in that world. Is God the answer? I think that is for each of us to decide as I find faith and religion to be a personal choice. This song helped me take a longer look at myself and I believed has helped a lot. The song is not quite a demo. They call it a “work tape” so at this point it was a work in process but damn, it is so good.
As you know if you visit my site, one of my favorite bands is Needtobreathe. I have everything they have put out on vinyl and now I am going after everything they have released on CD (that they don’t have on vinyl). And the CDs I want the most are the exclusive fan club CDs they release each year.
If you join the Needtobreathe Insiders fan club (for $60 a year), you get a Live CD of tracks collected from the band’s live performances. (among other things such as a T-shirt and a free live track download ever month – that is 12 more songs). Needtobreathe actually records every show they put on so they have a ton of tunes to choose from. They have released 5 volumes and number 6 will be coming in December. I have never joined so getting my hands on these has not been easy as it is not cheap. I am looking for the right price and most of the time it is too high. I finally grabbed my first one at a price less than the membership fee.
Who is the band and the musicians on this album? Easy enough, they tell you that…
The first one I got a hold of is ‘Insiders LP, Vol 2’. It is a collection of 14 live tracks from around world and let me tell you it is fantastic. The band has spent some time with these and the production quality is amazing. They put as much time in to them as they would a normal studio album or live album release to the general public. The mix is done so the songs blend in with each other perfectly and it feels like a complete show.
There are only a few bands in your lifetime that come along and touch you in ways that nothing else can. I have been fortunate enough to have that happen on a few occasions. Needtobreathe is one of those bands for me. Their music speaks to me and makes me feel things that have made them a part of my life. I have only seen them live 3 times now and each time they get better. I have all their studio albums on vinyl and now their 2 live albums. The latest to the collection is the release ‘Acoustic Live, Vol. 1’. And that is what we are going to talk about here today.
Back in 2017, Needtobreathe went on their first ever acoustic tour. They played smaller venues and stripped it down bare to make the shows as intimate as they possibly could. Sadly, I had to miss the show due to my work schedule and let me tell you how much that sucked. I hate that work gets in the way of life.
Back to the album…the cover art was drawn by none other than Bo Rhinehart, lead guitarist. He is one talented MF. He also designed the videos shown during their most recent tour that my wife and I caught this past Summer (read about HERE). The rest of the artwork is really strong giving the album this vintage, retro look of say the early 1900’s. It is really cool.