Water, one of the classical elements, is essential is essential to life and carries with it a power that cannot be fully controlled. At God’s command, it was water that scarred the face of the earth and destroyed all living creatures in the great flood of the Bible. We see evidence of water’s power in torrential downpours of rain, overflowing riverbeds, hurricanes, and other destructive revelations.” However, it’s also water to which Christ compares himself when he’s speaking with the Samaritan woman at the well. It’s water that serves as a symbol of rebirth through Christian baptism. We are “washed of our sins” and made clean. Water is clearly a powerful force - for good and for harm.

With their debut album, The Rhett Walker Band explore this metaphor thoroughly, returning to the proverbial well on almost every track. Come to the River (the album) equates the presence of water with the presence of God and Walker clings to every drop, recognizing his life depends on it. Tracks like “Singing Stone,” “Gonna Be Alright,” and “Make Me New” explain the dry, desert of a life without God. Other songs, like “Get Up, Get Out,” “Vessel,” and “All I Need” explore the power of storms in life and the toll they can take, while offering the hope of understanding that God can work through these circumstances to heal and restore us. That restoration takes on the role of an anthem on the lead single, “When Mercy Found Me.”

Musically, the album presents a laid-back, southern rock style anchored by crunchy guitars, finger slides, and Walker’s vocals, which remain composed throughout the album, but always hint at a possible explosion of sound. “Make Me New,” “All I Need,” and “Singing Stone” are all quite memorable tunes, but most notable is “Brother,” a haunting melody featuring guest vocalist David Leonard (All Sons & Daughters) that reminds us how vulnerable we each are in life. A solid debut that I would describe as a happy medium between Needtobreathe and Day of Fire, Come to the River is definitely an album worth a few dozen listens.

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