July 29, 2011

Quirky Christian Music: Focus on Danielson Famile

I'm not sure if I've mentioned it previously, but I'm starting a new radio spot on a Sunday evening for quirky Christian music. The challenge has been to find the music in the first place. Slowly but surely I've been amassing a small collection of CDs and I'm hoping to expand it further.

I thought I might perhaps share an occasional review here, or have a look at lyrics and provide a link or two so you can hear the artist/group yourself.

Recently I've been delving into the quirky world of Danielson Famile aka Brother Danielson. Out of all of the quirky Christian music that I have discovered so far, Danielson Famile are definitely at the top of the list.

The group’s frontman is Daniel Smith, who started the group back in the early 90s in Clarksboro, New Jersey, USA with his four siblings and friends. Dan’s peculiar falsetto leading vocals, combined with his unashamed Christian content, an unusual musical style and odd costumes have resulted in an almost cult following. Their style has to be heard and seen to be believed and they have a following in both Christian and non-Christian circles.

Danielson Famile
Photo by last.fm
To the uninitiated, their on-stage costuming is likely to evoke comment, but it is to serve as a reminder. In the early days, the Danielson Famile’s dressed as doctors and nurses to demonstrate that their purpose was to provide a service to their audience, perhaps to remind us that it is God who gives us life and provide the means for us to be made well and whole, and that God Himself is the ultimate physician – the giver of life – the healer, who would like each of us to be made complete. Additionally Dan has performed dressed as a tall fruit tree to show that the group’s purpose was to bear the good fruit (through the Holy Spirit).
Danielson Famile
Photo by last.fm

I love the fact that Dan Smith has created a style all of his own and continues to develop musically and stylistically while remaining true to himself and his Christian foundation. While Dan does not believe they play "Christian music," their music is certainly based on their own experiences and relationship with God. As Dan said in an interview, he aims to be "less rebellious against God."

Because I am only newly introduced to their music, I am not convinced that I will ever really enjoy it for its sound, but I suppose one should never say "never".

Don't Step on My Trumpet
I can say though, without equivocation that I am definitely a fan of the lyrics. The songs that I have read have convinced me not only of the terrific poet behind them, but that through even what appears at first glance to be somewhat cryptic, there is sufficient substance and merit to make Danielson Famile and Brother Danielson well worth the time getting to know.

While I have not yet found an analysis of the lyrical content of the songs from Dan Smith himself, I thought I would endeavour to provide my own interpretation of what I feel is the meaning behind one of their songs. I'm not saying that my interpretation is right, and of course I would love to hear your feedback.

Ship the Majestic Suffix

Following are some links for further information:

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