The Walla Recovery
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The Walla Recovery

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"People to Know: The Walla Recovery"

DFW has a new feather in its cap... er, cowboy hat. For those of you who aren't privy to the news, please meet The Walla Recovery, a local band tackling the soul of the human journey.

Although life led group members down different paths, all four ended up home in Fort Worth, writing and creating the kind of music to make any Nashville lover proud. Band members Brandon Reynolds, Jonathan Kaylor, and Justin Luningham join lead singer and songwriter, Zack Smith to produce music and lyrics that are both unique and soul-stirring. While The Walla Recovery is what one would consider an acoustic band, the presence of the cello on most songs blends southern folk with a classical flare.

So, what's all the fuss? Whether you enjoy the bulk of Christian contemporary music, or you often roll your eyes while scanning through 94.9 FM, The Walla Recovery has something to offer you. Its music is captivating in a peaceful sort of way--what you want to listen to on a relaxing Saturday afternoon. But the lyrics capture more than "God is great; God is good." The Walla Recovery's newest EP, With Trembling... , especially paints a picture of the human reaction to an impressive God--a reaction complete with confusion, pain, awe, and praise.

Smith says, "While encouraging and hopeful, and even 'feel-good' in a way, I don't want to create meaningless, happy thoughts or pointless lyrics to numb minds. Rather, we desire to create art that demands a reaction. I want our songs to grab listeners and not let go until they've decided what they believe about what we're saying. We want our words to be useful, true, and provide a vulnerably honest look into who we are and what struggles we have."

The band name, The Walla Recovery, speaks to the desire to rediscover the hope, faith, and unconditional love we were willing to experience in childhood. Walla Avenue marks the spot for Smith's childhood home; and thus, the group name.

For more information about The Walla Recovery, the new release With Trembling... , to check out tour dates, or to book the group, visit www.thewallarecovery.com. - Examiner.com


"New Music: The Walla Recovery"

The Brink was privileged to meet the front man Zack Smith of the folk group The Walla Recovery. New to the music scene, the band hails from Ft. Worth, TX. Here's our conversation with Zack.

Brink: Tell us about your band's name.

Zack: I grew up on a street called Walla Avenue in Fort Worth, TX. When I
was a child I had certain hopes and dreams that have been lost through
the process of "growing up." I have often felt that I would be a
better human being, that is, better acquainted with my true heart, if
I hadn't. I believe that many of us have similar stories and at times
feel as if a part of us is missing. Perhaps it's the part that helps
us come alive and find the strength to live truly satisfied lives.
Most young children seem to have an innate trust in their caretakers
and guardians in difficult circumstances, and know exactly what they
want to become in this world. The Walla Recovery is our own pursuit to
find and relearn those qualities, and our encouraging others to do the
same.

Brink: How long have you all known each other? How did you meet?

Zack: We met and began playing music together in late 2001 at our church. I
was a youth ministry intern at the time, and Brandon, Jonathan, and
Justin were high schoolers in our student praise team. For more than 3
years we led worship for their peers on a weekly basis. We often look
back on those times as foundational to who we are now, individually
and corporately, musically, creatively, and socially. We found playing
music together to be something we loved enough to keep going.

Brink: What is your purpose or objective as a band? What do you guys want
to add to music?

Zack: We have so many goals! We want to create art that brings encouragement
to those who need a friend, helps people to cast away their fears and
experience joy. We'd like to fill a void of substance we see in
popular music by offering well-crafted songs housing intimate
conversations about our own lives and honest struggles, in hopes that
people can find them worthwhile to engage with in their daily thoughts
and relationships. We pursue a peaceful, intelligent presence, and
excellence, because we believe the endeavor to produce something
beautiful is difficult, should require our whole hearts, and will
sharpen us and teach us more about the creator of all things. We'd
like to become part of a community of people loving one another,
finding our voice, and speaking the truth.

Brink: What are your thoughts on your latest EP, With Trembling?

Zack: This has been a project in the making for some time. Some tracks were
written nearly a decade ago, and have been waiting to be refined and
sent out into the world. It is a collection of related songs written
during a tumultuous few years in my life, when I had ideas about
entrusting myself to the Lord, but also found a hard time being
comfortable with his sovereign will, and more questions and answers.
Is he good? Will he do what's best for me? Can I trust him? At the
start you'll find our main character living the best he can on his
own, self-absorbed and ultimately dissatisfied. At the end, you find
him open and curious, beginning a new journey toward a kind of death
that makes way for true life: a joyful sacrifice. The road between is
littered with events and conversations planned to help him remember
the only one he can trust. It tells this story in the style of our own
human history, pointing out creation, fall, redemption, and
consummation.

Brink: What's your favorite song on the EP? Why?

Zack: Each of us in the band will have a different answer to this, but I
have to say my favorite is "She Said." Honestly, it's easy to play and
sing along with, and it speaks intimately about the source of our
knowing who we are in this life. I often feel as if our songs come
from outside of us, bearing messages that we need to hear as much as
we need to relay, and this is especially true on this one. The
realization it's helped me make has been life changing. A runner-up is
"The Spoils of Warring Hearts," which is fun to play live, and the
words really remind me that God loves me more than anything I love in
his place.

Brink: Is there a band or song that inspires you when the Christian walk
gets tough?

Zack: You should really check out 'Jesus, I My Cross Have Taken' by
Indelible Grace (igracemusic.com), sung by Andy Osenga. It's brutally
honest about how impossibly strong of a commitment is warranted by the
astounding work of Jesus; thereby, it shines with the promise of grace
to me. And the melody is enchanting. I can't sing every word of that
song truthfully, but I pray that I will live in them nonetheless.

Brink: Are you guys going on tour any time soon?

Zack: We hope to be out playing shows later on this spring and summer, and
we'd love to hear - The Brink


Discography

Demonstrations One Through Three / 2004
Demonstrations One Through Three (Bonus Track Version) / 2009
With Trembling... / 2009

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Bio

The Walla Recovery invites you to step off of the platform of nostalgic "what-ifs" and embark on a journey away from unfulfilled longing and toward sacred forgetfulness. Not as those who have finished the journey, the boys of Walla have been chasing the mystery since 2001.

The band's latest EP, "With Trembling..." respects the audience with its brutal honesty while challenging them to adopt its expectant hope. Consisting of pilgrims Brandon Reynolds (percussion), Jonathan Kaylor (cello/guitar), Justin Luningham (bass/cello), and singer-songwriter Zack Smith (guitar/vocals), The Walla Recovery offers euphonic versatility and familiarity with each live and studio listen.

These trepidatious troubadours have travelled from Austin to Alabama, Florida back to Fort Worth, near Zack's childhood home on Walla Ave. The release of "With Trembling..." marks the most significant stride the band has taken in its trek together. The next one promises to be bigger.

"It's been a long road alone
I'll try not to be lonely and I'll try to keep a smile
But if you'd come along — if not for the journey then just to rest my feet a while
I may endure another mile"

Fear and wonder. Risk and reward. The Walla Recovery and you.