Monday, February 09, 2009

Great New Film

This is a movie offered by Franklin Springs Family Media. They are going to be supplying us with another DVD to give away so stay tuned for details. :)

This is a great article from the Charlottesville Daily Progress

Keeping the show on the road
Published: February 8, 2009

Four years ago a young Illinois couple put their faith in God, loaded their two children into a recreational vehicle and headed out onto the open road.

Opting for the vagabond lifestyle was Nathan Clark George’s way of pursuing a budding musical career without sacrificing family life. There are now five children, another is expected in June, and George and his wife, Patsy, are still motoring right along.

“I was working as a recording engineer, pushing buttons for other bands,” George said recently during a stop in Charlottesville, where he performed at Jefferson Park Baptist Church. “I was playing music on the side and starting to get invitations from out of state.

“I very quickly realized I didn’t want to travel away from my family constantly, and I really didn’t like road food. So the motor home made sense.

“I don’t know if it makes complete sense, but it made sense for us, and it has been an adventure. When it came time to actually do it, it was exciting for both of us, and Patsy has been very supportive from the beginning.”

George’s music, as well as his family’s lifestyle, is the subject of a recently released DVD from Franklin Springs Family Media. The 90-minute documentary, “Pull Up a Chair,” features a 30-minute segment of five days in the family’s life as they travel from Colorado to Kansas, followed by an hour of George performing in concert.

The film presents both the joys and disadvantages of life on the road. If the documentary had been made during the family’s first year of travel, there wouldn’t have been nearly as much joy.

“The first half of the first year was a complete disaster,” said George, who writes and sings inspirational, folk-style songs that work equally well in churches or coffeehouses. “I was only getting enough gigs to allow us to eat and that was it.

“There was a moment in south Florida when we literally had only $100 in our pockets, and we didn’t know how we were going to get home. I thought, ‘What have I done? What am I doing?’

“But then at our next concert in a church on Marco Island people poured in and showered us with encouragement. Sales of my CDs were huge and Patsy and I looked at each other as though to say, ‘Wow, why were we doubting?’ It was an immediate turnaround.”

Albemarle County resident Steve Morales served as co-executive producer of the documentary. Before joining Franklin Springs last April, he had served as director of Darden Solutions, a software group within the University of Virginia’s Darden Graduate School of Business Administration.

When Morales joined the company he was tasked with starting an investment fund that would bankroll family-oriented films designed to encourage and inspire people. “Pull Up a Chair” is the latest edition to a catalog of 17 DVDs covering subjects from bread making to how to reunite a busy family at mealtime.

“The goal of Franklin Springs is to create a catalog of films that help individuals and families cast a vision of how they are going to live their lives,” Morales said. “Encouraging people to be real with one another and to care for one another is an important part of our message and films.

“When we were putting the investment fund together, we were looking for an artist to feature. I met Nathan at an outdoor church concert in Centerville. I was with Ken Carpenter, the founder and director of Franklin Springs. We both loved Nathan’s music and his story, and decided to do the documentary.”

Before taking to the road, George had fixed his career sights on being a minister. But after graduating from Sangre De Cristo Seminary near Pueblo, Colo., he had a change of heart.

“The seminary was the first school I actually enjoyed, because it felt meaningful,” said the 37-year-old singer/songwriter. “But I ultimately decided not to be ordained, which precludes you from being a pastor.

“The ordination vows are very specific, and I knew my mind and heart were split between being a pastor and playing music. Music was a part of our home growing up, and I started playing electric bass when I was in high school.

“Shortly after picking up the bass, one of my friend’s dad gave me a broken 12-string guitar, and that sent me on a whole new path. I found out about the folk world and artists like James Taylor and Simon and Garfunkel, and I realized that was what I wanted to do.”

George’s music is something of a hybrid, incorporating the upbeat rhythms and story-telling elements common to folk music with the type of spiritual messages heard in contemporary Christian music. One of the things he most enjoys is putting music to the Psalms.

“I love the Psalms, and I like to think I’m in that long line of people who have put Psalms to music,” George said. “I like doing that and letting people experience the sorrow and the joy of the psalms.

“As much as I enjoy it, I approach working with the Psalms with some fear and trepidation. Because I think they’re perhaps the most important literature we have, I need to treat it with respect.

“I try to reflect the passages honestly. I’m just a folk musician, but I give it my best to treat it with respect.”

There have been times when George was hard pressed to lift his voice up in spiritual praise. When asked about road disasters, nothing tops a smelly incident that occurred in Colorado.

“I was getting ready for a gig, and because we were going to be sitting at a church for a day I needed to empty our [septic] tank,” George said. “I went to an RV place where you can do that for $5.

“I hooked up and pulled the lever, but somebody before me had put a diaper or something in the line and clogged it up. The result was that the sewage went everywhere.

“By the time I managed to shut it down, I was a mess. Of course, I was scheduled to play shortly, so I had just enough time to change clothes and hose myself off. My opening song at the time was Psalm 111, which opens with the line, ‘Praise ye the Lord.’ Little did I feel like that.”

Morales said nearly everyone he has talked to who have seen the new DVD about the George family has said he or she would love to do something similar. George said there are many rewards, but just being on the road with a family presents a lot of logistical challenges.

“Taking care of tanks, propane and the things that make the motor home run are daily tasks for me,” said George, who currently drives a 2000 Coachman Mirada, with a van in tow. “It was a huge transition for me to go from having a quiet studio to work in to not even having an office.

“And laundry. Good grief. The laundry is unbelievable. We have to take a day every week to find a Laundromat and do the laundry.

“Just finding a Laundromat, getting the laundry done and putting it away takes a whole day. And when the gas prices were so high, that really hurt. The motor home has a 75-gallon tank, so if it’s near empty that’s a pretty good investment.”

George said the most he has spent on fuel at one time was nearly $300. Nonetheless, the family plans to stay on the road for at least one more year.

George said he doesn’t feel what he is doing is a calling, per se. He believes it’s simply what God wants him to be doing right now.

In the not-too-distant future the father of five said he can see himself blessing his wife with a regular home instead of a 300-square-foot version on wheels.

But for now, new bookings are coming in at a steady pace, audiences are enjoying the music and the George family is still having fun on the road.

“My goal in all this is really quite simple,” George said. “I want to encourage folks to come in contact with the scriptures.

“Certainly, I want people to come in contact with Christ, but I’m not an evangelist. To be honest, the whole aspect of faith for me comes with hindsight. When I look back I realize how much I can trust that God is going to take care of us.

“Sometimes I worry, that’s just who I am. But I do trust that God is in control, so I take the next step to the next gig, and we trust that things will work out the way they’re supposed to.

“That does set us at ease, because we know we will be taken care of no matter what.”

The DVD “Pull Up a Chair” can be purchased at Franklin Springs Family Media.

Remember to use a link from this post or the link on the side bar, so that I get credit. :)

No comments: