It’s 11:30pm, hour 3 of a 6 ½ hour drive. Through the slow rhythmic march of the passing street lights my mind wonders into the arms of my Heavenly Father. In that ocean of ultimate contemplative peace plays a sound track – The Classic City Collective’s “Leave Your Guns with the Usher.” This record is an invitation to set aside our human tools of security and significance to sit empty-handed at the Father’s feet as He sings His love over us.
TCCC’s sound is difficult to classify – it sounds like Glen Hansard, Modest Mouse, and Hillsong recorded a record in Michael Gungor’s basement studio.
In 2008, Paul Reeves came to Athens, GA (the classic city) to become the music pastor for Classic City Community Church. At the time, it consisted of about 20 people in the pastor's basement for Sunday night bible studies. Shortly after, they began weekly services at a local elementary school cafeteria. Before long, over eight hundred of community folk and students were attending weekly services, and they quickly outgrew the cafeteria. Local musicians began to approach Paul about joining the worship team, and one by one, The Classic City Collective began. TCCC is a true “collective” –very different artists brought together by a common desire - to praise their God in new and creative ways.
They are best friends - together most everyday either listening to records, playing cards, cooking, playing with Paul's kids, or writing, recording, and playing music. This album is a compilation of what has happened while doing life together over the last few years.
They are one of the few Christian bands in Athens able to draw a secular crowd proving that innovation and excellence are universally embraced.
Leave Your Guns With The Usher
-In The Arms Of God
-No Greater Love
-God On High
-A Mind At Perfect Peace
-Darkness Turns Around
-Set My Mind On Truth
-At Your Feet
-Love's Left Standing
-Great Is Thy Faithfulness
-You've Had What You Need
Darkness Turns Around
God on High
No Greater Love
In the Arms of God
You've Had What You Need
Love's Left Standing
At Your Feet
A Mind at Perfect Peace
Set My Mind on Truth
The Classic City Collective named in the top 5 best indie releases 2011
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Leave Your Guns With the Usher Classic City Collective The alt folk of Avett Brothers meets the be...Leave Your Guns With the Usher
Classic City Collective
The alt folk of Avett Brothers meets the beautiful melodic sense of Caedmon’s Call with this well composed and beautifully rendered collection of songs.
Leave Your Guns With The Usher
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Leave Your Guns With the Usher, by The Classic City Collective, is a gem of an album. Just read that...Leave Your Guns With the Usher, by The Classic City Collective, is a gem of an album. Just read that title one more time. And yes they follow-through with the promise that you are going to get something unique. Kind of a Jesus Culture meets Caedmon's Call with a sprinkle of Death Cab for Cutie. And with the unique style, come lyrics that are profoundly deep and moving. It is quite a combination, one that entices listeners to come back to the album over and over again.
The Classic City Collective is a group of artists from Classic City Community Church in Athens, Georgia, who have written and recorded many of the songs that they lead in their church. Standouts include "In the Arms of God," a song with a very fun classic rock feel to it and a strong message about trusting in God and "God on High," a very simple yet beautiful anthem in praise of our God on high.
Since this band really is a collective-a close group of people sharing thoughts and ideas, and all contributing to the whole-there is a wide variety of styles, sounds, and voices represented. The result is a very creative and fresh compilation of usable, yet masterfully created worship songs for the Church. (Oh, and if you were wondering where the title of the album came from-there's an old wooden church announcement plaque that reminds all those who enter to please "leave your guns with the usher" hanging in the studio where this album was recorded).
The Classic City Collective
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Okay, I have to admit that you had me at "leave your guns with the usher". If I was ever going to be...Okay, I have to admit that you had me at "leave your guns with the usher". If I was ever going to be a sucker for a great album title, this would be the time. The is another one of those albums that popped up out of nowhere - a third party recommendation. But again, ay! If you know people who are putting good music out, please do them a favor and pass it on for review |I'm a little scared that I just said that|. But bring it on!
Back to the CCC. I'm not sure what to attribute all of these sudden bursts of originality and freshness to, but I'm so glad it's happening in worship music. It's not that this band has reinvented modern music or anything, it's just that they have a personality. And not so much so that it lacks depth or spiritual significance. It's interesting, but not hard to digest. It's skillfully produced, but without stripping it of the rough and real quality of the people involved.
One look at the album cover and all of those people and you may wonder if they're all jockeying for position, or overplaying/oversinging. Nope. They make plenty of space for each other. And it's not because they're seasoned veterans with stacks of albums and decades of experience behind them. I couldn't quite figure out how they pulled this together so wonderfully until I read their facebook a little and discovered that these people spend a TON of time together. They're heavily involved in their church, Classic City Community Church, but they also love to hand out in their spare time. Their ability to fit so many thoughts and ideas into their songs is reflected remarkably in the interesting way fairly basic instruments are made to sound like they each have their own story to tell.
One of the things that I love so much about this band is their ability to weave emotions into unexpected but welcome places in the songs. One of the merriest sounding songs I've heard, "A Mind At Perfect Peace", usually leaves me brimming with tears. It's such a reassuring message of Christ's love - "nothing can separate us and there's nothing to be afraid of." Simple, profound, enjoyable, and meaningful.
I also enjoy the theatrical approach to some of the song like "Darkness Turns Around". It's so over-the-top that you just don't want to take it seriously. It's full of attitude and authority; definitely not designed for sing-a-long, but I'd love to see this done live within the context of a church service. I was recently asked to sing "A Mighty Fortress is Our God" and was surprised to rediscover how focused it is on the overcoming of a real and dark foe. There aren't many songs that we sing that give much attention to our enemy (for good reason), but there's a time and a place for this kind of defiance. And that's why I think a song like this would be so appropriate in a church service - we are overcomers, and we're due for a reminding.
I love these guys in all their dissonance and diversity and will be a fan for a good long time. They are consummate musicians and inspiring worshippers. Okay, I'm done... but seriously, do yourself a favor and go grab a copy!
The Classic City Collective - Leave Your Guns With The Usher
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The amusing album title (taken from a sign used in churches in the old west), is intended to indicat...The amusing album title (taken from a sign used in churches in the old west), is intended to indicate how we need to leave human tools of security and safety behind and rely on God. Despite the old west pic on the sleeve, this is definitely not country and western, but relevant, contemporary and...first class! Paul Reeves, music pastor at a church in Athens, Georgia, is the driving force behind the collective and has produced and engineered the project. The result is 12 powerful songs of praise and worship with driving guitars, heartfelt lyrics and the sought after ability to speak direct to the listener with beautiful vocal performances. For example, "Perfect Peace" is a beautiful song which builds up the listener, "In The Arms Of God" is a great album opener with lead guitar with enough bite to rouse the throng at a U2 concert! "Set My Mind On Truth" is a gentle track focusing on keeping the thought life pure and guarding the mind. The hymn "Great Is Thy Faithfulness" also appears on the album played deftly on acoustic guitar. The only minor criticism I have is that there is maybe a little too much emphasis on intimate worship and too little on joyful praise. Apart from that, this is a recommended debut.
The Classic City Collective - "Leave Your Guns With The Usher"
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Athens, Georgia has long-been renowned as a hub for some of the hippest music and The Classic City C...Athens, Georgia has long-been renowned as a hub for some of the hippest music and The Classic City Collective’s “Leave Your Guns with the Usher” subscribes to that ethos of progressive rock. The band lives up to their claim to be “redefining congregational worship music” by offering listeners of Contemporary Christian Rock a cool alternative. It could be tricky for the non-religious to get past some of the heavier-handed lyrics on tracks like “God on High” or “In the Arms of God” but stand outs like “Darkness Turns Around” and “No Greater Love” embody classic ‘90s indie rock and could be enjoyed by anyone who digs more emotive alt-rock. Fans of male-female vocal harmonies will not be able to deny the sweetness of “At Your Feet” either. The Classic City Collective will not reach everyone, but their much more creative take on their genre could ultimately lead to a crossover.
30 originals, Christian and secular covers