An after-school hour inside Ms. Taylor’s dim room;

She and I wash brushes in the large aluminum sink.

The boys in my grade go for Mrs. Rodriguez, but not me.

Ms. Taylor is plain, but she is alive, alert. She is young.

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Arthur Alligood & Nick Flora on Encouragement

Arthur and Nick

Ensconced in the rolling greens of South Nashville is a small Anglican church where, once each year, a Hutchmoot convenes. What is a Hutchmoot? Well you might ask. Suffice it to say that it is, among other things, a deep encouragement to all those who see the hand of Providence in the beauty of Creation. It was under the auspices of this parade of delight that editor Adam Whipple got to sit down with Nick Flora and Arthur Alligood, two amazing songwriters with freshly-released records, to talk a little about the oft-forgotten value of encouragement.

ADAM: Both of you have, through music or podcasts or other things, been very encouraging to lots of people. So, I want to explore this. I feel like part of the role of music and art is encouragement. There’s this whole idea of afflicting the comfortable and comforting the afflicted. And you’ve written a lot about going through rough times. So, what is the value of encouragement in your world?

ARTHUR: I feel like every song that I write is an attempt to encourage others, and in this weird way to encourage myself. Almost kind of like pep talks, like, “Get up, you’ve got time, you’re not alone.”

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Tim Coons on Becoming, Recording, and Family

Tim Coons

We’re so excited about Becoming, the new release from Giants & Pilgrims, that we wanted to give you the full gamut of Tim Coons’ account of the creation of the album. He was kind enough to sit down and let us in on the process.

 FH: Giants & Pilgrims is the name of the concept—that you and your wife Betony are co-creators of art. It’s also the band’s name. How does this collective work? Are you the main band member and song-writer? Do you have musicians partner with you as needed based on the instrumentation? Or are there other musicians that are part of the band?

TC: We have a new tag-line! We’re trying it out this year. Giants & Pilgrims: A Marriage of Art & Music. So, yes, the idea of Giants & Pilgrims is that Betony is an artist, I’m a musician, and as a married couple we create projects together.

That being said, it’s also the name I’m under wherever I play music, band or no band—Betony or not. There are others who have definitely shaped the sound of the albums. Dave Wilton is a producer that has a huge influence on the feel and flavor of the music. Then I have friends like Brian and Mary Claxton, a married couple as well. They both play drums, but she also sings and does keys. So they are a powerhouse couple of musicians! Craig Basarich, on trumpet, also lends a distinct sound.

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Album Release: Becoming, by Giants & Pilgrims


Sitting alone on the floor of the empty living room in our new rental house, I found myself combing my computer—one of the only possessions I had at the moment—for a connection to something, someone. My husband, my kids, and I just experienced an unexpected whirlwind move to another state. We had thought our prior move was going to be final; we’d positioned ourselves close to family, had stable jobs, and were living “the good life.” In many ways, we had what we’d always thought we wanted, that we had arrived.

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