The 90s comprised an amazing decade for alternative Christian music. We had metal, punk rock, emo, industrial, and out of left field we also had an amazing run of alternative-tinged folk rock. I was primarily a metalhead/hard alternative guy when I got hit by this amazing run of folk acts like Lost Dogs, Nicolas Giaconia, Acoustic Shack, and the UK’s own Eden Burning.
While Eden Burning had been going in their native England for several years prior, their first US release was Vinegar and Brown Paper, for Storyville Records, a folk imprint of R.E.X. Music (mostly known for thrash metal releases).
I was surprised by the beauty of the acoustic guitars, the flutes, the bodhrans (frame drums), and other traditional folk elements–all driven by a clear homage to modern rock. The band was clearly influenced by The Waterboys and The Pogues, although they sounded like neither. But while the music was refreshing, even more gripping were the lyrics–they were clearly well read, and carried a theological depth not often delved into with alternative music:
The angel comes to me in the darkness of this night,
And we wrestle, and we fight
And as light seeps in, at the seams of the sky
I know I’ve seen Him!
And all my senses fly
The band members had been (and still are) intricately involved in the famous Greenbelt Festival. And while there are only 3 US-market albums, there are a total of 9 releases throughout their career.