|Title: Since the Fall - Don Potter|
Subtitle: Gray Haired Young Man Music
Release date: August 2003
Review: I believe Don Potter is one of the great biblical storytellers of our time. As I listened to his musical tales, of his latest CD 'Since The Fall', I could picture him as a traveling troubadour, costumed astride his horse slowly moving across the countryside. Stringed instrument strapped to his back, he traveled from place to place recounting in song his stories and tales. His telling of The Prodigal Son (Welcome Home), the destruction of Sodom and Gomorrah (Sodom Gomorrah) and John the Beloved's visit by Jesus on the Isle of Patmos (Don't Be Afraid) are all the more listenable when set in the exquisite musical stylings Don is famous for.
Don has an amazing gift of taking biblical stories and truths and making modern day applications with them. His treatment of the parable of the Prodigal Son (Welcome Home) is a prime example. Comparing the selfish spiritual entrepreneur of our day to the prodigal of old, he paints an all too familiar story of a ministry life shipwrecked by taking for granted and misusing the awesome gifts of God provided for us in Christ. Though experiencing the initial excitement and success (at least in man's eyes) of seeing God's power work through him, our modern prodigal then experiences the drought of spirit that comes when man, and not God, is leading the way. As in the original parable, this wayward son comes to his senses. Upon returning to his father, the repentive and humble son hears the loving words 'Welcome Home.'
One of the things I found most appealing about this CD was the wonderful stylistic variety of music. You have the haunting gypsy melody of 'God Has Risen', the get-down, honky-tonk, rock 'n roll rhythm of 'The End of Some Things', the soothing serenade of 'Since The Fall', the symphonic feel of 'Born Again, Again', and the camp meeting refrain of 'I Have A Light.' As with a great deal of Don's music, several tunes are in a minor key. Though I am not a huge fan of the minor key (it's like salt: you only need a little of it!), Don crafts the minor key with the best of them. He seems to know exactly when, in the course of the song, to slip us into a major key and soften the mood for the listener.
There are two 'live' cuts on this album, God Has Risen and I Have A Light, both recorded at conferences in Switzerland. Including them adds even more variety to project. Since the Fall, the title cut, is probably my favorite of the album. From the outset, the musical intro grabs your interest and begins to reel you in. The song is a prime example of the 'Don Potter style' that I personally love. His guitar voicings on this tune are absolutely lovely. The story is that of the Father's search for his children, estranged as a result of the Fall. You can hear and feel God's longing for his sons and daughters.
Before concluding, I would be amiss without calling your attention to Born Again, Again. Though musically appealing, the lyrics of this song are what make it a real winner. In the age of 'church as a business,' it is very easy to get caught up in 'church work', serving the church instead of serving the Lord. The phrase 'I was closer to the Body than I was to the Head, and that can never be' is sung with the conviction of someone who has experienced what He is singing. The song is a call back to our first love. Sometimes we need to be 'born again, again.'
This album was a joy to listen to. As with most of Don's songs, there are a lot of lyrics. My suggestion? Find a quiet place, pull out the lyric sheet, follow the words and get caught up in the stories. It will be an hour well spent!
Review by Danny Mullins