Jenny & Tyler @ Art House North

If you remember back to my second “Influential Albums” post, one of my favorite bands of all time is Jenny & Tyler.  Well.  This past weekend, I had the opportunity to see them play live!  On Saturday, I drove to the Twin Cities from Morris, kidnapped my friend Ruth and, after a delicious Chipotle dinner, headed to the show.

The show took place at a venue called Art House North, a renovated church owned by Troy and Sara Groves.  The Groves’ vision is to create a place for artists of all kinds (painters, writers, musicians, photographers, actors, designers, etc.) to “express themselves and wrestle with questions of faith, culture and beauty”.  It’s a place for collaboration and community, for people to “foster creativity inspired by the pain of the world and the beauty of the gospel”.  It’s a place to “demonstrate the way of Jesus by seeking justice through art and living as creative advocates”.  (Information taken from their Facebook Page).

It was my first time at Art House North, and Ruth and I were both impressed by the environment the Groves have created.  The space itself, with the church pews, Christmas lights, and fall decorations, has all the nostalgia of old-time-religion.  All the while, the atmosphere is filled with the presence of the Holy Spirit.  Even though Ruth and I entered the doors as strangers, we left feeling like we had forged new friendships.  There were so many kind souls at the event, and it was a pleasure getting to know people who had been strangers.

Now on to Jenny & Tyler.  I discovered them by accident several years ago.  In fact, I found them via an ad on Facebook.  Upon clicking said ad, I found myself on NoiseTrade where one of their albums was available for free.  I downloaded said album and immediately fell in love.  Their music soon became a staple in my life, carrying me through and over many spiritual hills and valleys over the past several years.  I listened to them in times of grieving, in times of loneliness, and in times of bold adventure.  Their music filled me with the courage to fly to London for a semester abroad.

The husband and wife duo simply emanate the Holy Spirit.  Their harmonies are saturated in the love and peace of God.  Their website describes them in this way:

In a crowded industry glutted by banality, Jenny & Tyler stand out as true psalmists. Their music holds a mirror up to nature, culture and all the reckless passions of the human heart and points ultimately toward a Creator. Their songs mark them as modern-day contemplatives and troubadours, rooted in age-old wisdom set to new melodies.

IMG_2942Because their music means so much to me, the concert was a perfect one.  They were a bit awkward on stage between songs, but that added to their charm.  Jenny is the image of sweetness and Tyler is deeply passionate.  Even though they perform the same songs week after week, it felt like they were singing for the first time.  When they sing, their love for God is so evident.  They performed a song about their 15 month old daughter and their love for her shined.  And when they told the story of how they met and performed their love song “One Eyed Cat”, they kept giving each other these adorable sideways glances that showed how much they continue to adore each other.

Ruth said to me after the show, “I kept looking over at you and you were absolutely beaming!”

It was true.  The evening filled me with so much joy that it was hard to stop smiling.

ArtHouseNorthwithRuthie!
Ruth and I on the stage area after the show.

Seeing the following song live was one of the highlights of the show.  It had never been one of their standout numbers for me until now.  Tyler described it as a “divine love song”–words stood out to me, and have helped me fall completely in love with “Song for You”.

Influential albums II

Here is the second half of my list of influential albums!

6. Rend Collective, Campfire (2013)

You can’t work at a Bible camp and not get addicted to Rend Collective.  Although I’ve only been listening to them for a few months, their folksy worship has more than captured my heart.  And, seriously, how cool is it that they recorded an entire album around a campfire?

7. The Head and the Heart, self titled album (2010)

These guys were my foray into the indie-folk genera.  I heard “Rivers and Roads” and fell imedietly, hopelessly in love.  Of both their albums, there’s not a song I don’t like.

8. Jenny & Tyler, Faint Not (2010)

I discovered this husband and wife duo in my sophomore year of college through an ad in my Facebook sidebar.  Normally, I ignore those ads, but something made me click.  And, oh boy, I’m so happy I did.  Jenny & Tyler’s music is incredibly encouraging has seen me through some of the darkest times of my life (thus far).

9. Needtobreathe, The Reckoning (2011)

Needtobreathe was on my iPod for years before I actually touched them.  And, when I finally did, I fell hard.  It was one of those, “Where have you been my whole life?” moments.  Although all their albums are fantastic, I decided to go with The Reckoning because it was the first one I listened to and has some of my favorite tracks.

10. Cloud Cult, Unplug (2014)

Cloud Cult is another one of my recent obsessions.  They did an acoustic show at my school last Spring and I’ve been listening to them ever since.  Their music has a lot of variety, but my favorite is definitely their acoustic album.  When this song, “Pretty Voice”, comes on when I’m driving, I will listen to it three times in a row just because I’m so obsessed with it.

And that concludes my list of music albums that have impacted my life!  Don’t forget to check out the first half of the list.

Now, readers, I pass this challenge on to you!  What albums have influenced you and why?  Answer in the comments, or use this as a prompt!