Last summer I went with a group from Crossroads to Joplin, Mo to help with relief and recovery work after the tornado that destroyed huge portions of the town. We left Lexington at 9:00 pm, drove all night to get there, hopped out of the truck and immediately started cutting and clearing fallen trees from a farmer’s land. Later that night, exhausted and emotional from what I’d seen that day, I laid down on an air mattress in a gymnasium, put my earbuds in and tried to gear down.
Sara had made me a playlist for the trip. One of the songs on that playlist was Rivers and Roads by The Head and The Heart. It was the first time I had heard the song. It completely destroyed me. The song is all distance and longing - and there, miles from home, surrounded by people whose physical notions of home had been totally destroyed, it was incredibly stirring.
The Head and The Heart’s particular blend of pop folk makes great use of harmonies. Whenever you listen to a band that does really good harmony, you wonder if it will make the transition to live performance. I’m happy to say, after seeing The Head and The Heart play live last Tuesday, these guys don’t just sound great under studio conditions, they can genuinely play and sing live.
And Rivers and Roads was every bit as stirring in a music venue packed with stocking caps and beards as it was laying on the air mattress hundreds of miles from home.
Witness the majesty in the form which it was meant to be experienced in: shaky camera phone footage: