it seems appropriate—just a couple days after the mondo-post
concerning caedmon’s call, derek webb and my awkward neo-calvinist conversation—that i would post this information. as i’ve said before, i’ve got a few different kinds of blog readers, so the following responses will flow from this post:
“great! i’m excited to hear the new stuff!”
“great. that means the caedmon’s call righteousness is gonna be tainted again by that apostate derek webb. i’m sure this is ryan’s fault…”
and for many of you,
“great. now, who the hell is caedmon’s call??”
last night, in a small, impromptu-ish tweetup/acoustic set at taft street coffee in houston (which happens to be run by the fine people at ecclesia), derek webb officially announced that the original members of caedmon’s call have reformed and they are currently writing for a new album to be released in 2010. (here’s the actual tweet.) there have been many mysterious and vague twitter references to trips to houston here lately (like this one) and now we know the reason.
for those of you not too familiar with caedmon’s call, they emerged in the christian music scene in the late 90’s with their first major label album, caedmon’s call, in 1997 and then really entered as a player in 1999 with their breakout album, 40 acres. what was so great and refreshing about caedmon’s call—at that time—was that, in the midst of copy-cat, one-note christian music, they were undefinable and unique. they were a blend of folk and rock and became very college radio-friendly. with the songwriting of derek webb and aaron tate, their lyrics transcended the shallowness that was characterized by christian radio.
from caedmon’s call to 40 acres to long line of leavers, caedmon’s sound and songwriting was consistently great.
with the coming of 2001’s in the company of angels and 2003’s back home, webb’s and tate’s partnership with the band became little more than a matter of personal friendships and label formalities. tate discontinued as the primary songwriter and webb only performed 1 or 2—what amounted to—solo tracks. while’s webb’s work was still great (like thy mercy and i boast no more), the albums, as a whole, became your standard bland(ish) contemporary christian music. while there was a bit of musical interest with 2004’s share the well, caedmon’s lost the spark that both derek webb and aaron tate brought to the band.
in 2007, webb famously “rejoined” the band, but quite frankly, it was, in essence, the same type of relationship as in the company of angels and back home. it would be more appropriate to call his work with the band guest work than to call it full participation.
it sounds now, though, that he has actually dived into the full band process, including collaborative songwriting and, assumedly, participatory recording.
it will certainly be interesting to hear what comes of the reformation (no calvinist pun intended…). on one hand, you have a guy who has become a christian music outlaw with critical and, to some, inflammatory lyrics about the church. on the other hand, you have a band that lives squarely within the christian music industry bubble, catering to christian radio and christian music stores. so, we’ll see what comes of it.
in the meantime, in hoping for the same kind of great music in the early caedmon’s years, here’s love is different from 2000’s long line of leavers. enjoy.
love is different