Friday, September 22, 2017

Psalms for Sustenance

Psalms for Sustenance
Charles Pettee

"[God] drew me up from the desolate pit, out of the miry bog, and set my feet upon a rock, making my steps secure."   PS 40:2 (NRSV)

When natural and un-natural disasters occur that are beyond my experience, it is helpful to turn to prayers and poems derived from beyond my experience. The Psalms are a perfect example, and are such a resource, for me. Of course, our Hebrew forbears sung these. So I attempt, by grace, to find melodies to sing them as well. Here's an example from a live performance of "Psalm 142, Brought Very Low"
Charles Pettee & Folk Psalm - Psalm 142
The desperate sense of abandonment that drove the poet to write Ps 142, Eugene Peterson points out, gives way, after "crying out to the Lord," to a centering in community. "The righteous will surround me" (PS 142:7c)

("Psalm 142, Brought Very Low" lyric adaptation and music by Charles Pettee, copyright, published by FolkPsalm Music/BMI -- from the album by Charles Pettee & FolkPsalm, "True Wealth" -- more info. @

Charles Pettee is a talented singer, instrumentalist, arranger, and songwriter who began his career with traditional flat picking and folksinging on guitar and mandolin in his childhood in Asheville, NC. Charles Pettee & FolkPsalm, founded in 2004, brings the 3,000 year old sacred poems of the Hebrews—the Psalms—into fresh contemporary performances that blend traditional bluegrass with original compositions. Charles has hosted workshops on guitar and mandolin technique at some of the most prestigious music festivals in the US and Europe. Either solo or with groups he’s helped found, he has performed over 5,000 shows in his 32 years as a professional musician.

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