Monday, December 2, 2019

New from Found Wandering: "Silent Night"

Found Wandering - the Pennsylvania trio of Colin Comstock, Sarah Comstock, and Jake L'Amand - is a favorite of Merry & Bright.  We've written about them a few times, and we selected their entire Christmas catalog as an essential in every serious Christmas music connoisseur's collection.  To me, they are the best band I've discovered since starting this blog ten years ago.

In addition to being a great band, they seem to be great people.  Every year, Colin, Sarah, and Jake expand their band and bring in an amazing group of their musical friends for a benefit concert.  This year's concert will be held on December 22, 2019 in Narberth, PA and will benefit the Philadelphia Project.

For all of us outside of Pennsylvania and have to enjoy Found Wandering through their recorded work, they have released a new EP this year, with three live songs from their 2018 benefit show.  "Silent Night" includes the title song, plus "Everything", written by Taylor Leonhardt,  and "Sweet Little Baby Boy" by James Brown and Nat Jones. 

"Silent Night", the song, is (in my humble opinion) a tough one for a band to tackle and really make special.  Many artists do very good, reverent versions of the song, but few are memorable.  I love the song, I love its history, and firmly believe it deserves its place in the upper echelon of Christmas standards.  Still, most versions fail to capture and hold my attention.

Not so from our Pennsylvania friends.  In their hands, "Silent Night" is transformed into a 7 minute 9 second bluesy masterpiece, with haunting vocals from Sarah Comstock and a guitar solo from Jake L'Amand (or possibly guest guitarist Erik Sayles).  While I'm very fond of Bing Crosby's recording as the seminal modern recorded version and Les Paul & Mary Ford's simple reverence, Found Wandering has given this staid Christmas classic new life.

"Everything" and "Sweet Little Baby Boy" are standouts in their own right.   "Everything", originally recorded by Taylor Leonhardt on her "River House" album, is an unconventional Christmas song, without the usual tropes and sleigh bells, but listening intently uncovers the meaning of the song, or, at least, one possible meaning that spiritually belongs in our celebration of Christmas. 

"Sweet Little Baby Boy" closes out the album, and is performed beautifully, the coda to gorgeous, moving offering to the world of Christmas music 2019.  "Silent Night" is available as a download purchase at the band's Bandcamp site.  Please visit and listen (I think you'll buy a copy, too).

Found Wandering "Silent Night" Bandcamp site
Found Wandering website

Please enjoy Found Wandering performing "Christ Was Born On Christmas Morn"