PJ BOSTIC and JIMMY P. BROWN: Amy Grant Covers

Amy Grant?

In the fantastic, slice-of-life, movie about Christian Heavy Metal, Electric Jesus, there is a scene where Sarah, the sound guy’s girlfriend, starts singing Amy Grant’s Love Will Find a Way. Jamie, the lead guitarist in the fictional band, 316, leans in and says, “Amy Grant Sucks.” This scene elicits laughs from all the metal fans who have ever seen the film. But the statement is demonstrably false.

I have always held the belief that a great song is a great song regardless of the its original genre. Disturb’s cover of the Genesis classic, Land of Confusion, is a perfect example. Heck, MTV used to have an entire series devoted to playing songs outside of their genre and stripping them down to acoustic instruments. We heard amazing renditions of metal and hard rock slowed down and softened. If the song is good, it matters not what genre it is in, it will always be good.

Amy Grant and her writing partners have crafted some classic songs over her storied career. And while they may not appeal to most metalhead’s musical palette, the strength of these songs can not be denied. I was fortunate enough to see Amy Grant at the height of her career on the Heart in Motion tour. Selling out arenas and playing with top tier talent, Amy put on an incredible show. I recently saw her play during her Christmas tour, and it was phenomenal as well. She hasn’t lost her charisma and the songs are still powerful.

I know what you are thinking, “So Mr. Author, you have blathered on about Amy Grant for three paragraphs now, why should I care?” Here is why you should care. Just in the past month, we have been treated to two recordings of Amy Grant songs by artists usually found in the hard rock/heavy metal arena. And both recordings breathe new life into these old classics.

Jimmy P Brown (Deliverance, Fearful Symmetry) and Jim Chaffin (Deliverance, The Crucified) have released a cover of the Amy Grant song Lead Me On. They refrained from doing an entire Deliverance treatment and thrashing it up; however, what they do present is a wonderful, contemporary rock version of the song. Jimmy’s voice is in fine form and the production is huge. Check it out at youtu.be/ofrJ-JPBSLw.

PJ Bostic also just dropped another Amy Grant cover, What About the Love. This is a total reimagining of her song from the Lead Me On album. Lyrically, the song deals with legalism, man’s inhumanity to man, and the lack of compassion all round. Paul Roraback, the man behind the PJ Bostic moniker, shared with me the thought and process of selecting and recording this song:

“I was cleaning my fish tank one day and felt nostalgic, so I decided to blast Lead Me On. Track after track I was reminded how these songs were there for me through easy and tough times. I started pondering the idea of covering one of these and when “what about the love” came on I knew that was the one. I really loved the guitar arpeggiation, the lyrics, the flow and the melodies. Out of the blue I became obsessed with the idea of putting my spin on this song so I poured my heart and soul into it as if it was one of my own. I wouldn’t have it any other way! I hope it finds a special place in people’s hearts today considering all of the anger and hate we’re surrounded by and even find ourselves participating in today. I often write songs that preach to myself in the areas where I need work and this song was preaching to me – and I’m listening!”

The original song is typical Amy Grant. Pop music with a polished sheen. The PJ Bostic version sees Paul putting his prog rock vibe all over the tune. It is reminiscent of the Rush song How It Is. His version is now my preferred. Check it out on Spotify. And then visit his website at pjbostic.com to hear more what this incredible musician has to offer.

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