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By David Werther.

Richie Furay, The Heartbeat of Love (Friday Music, 2007)

           The home Bible study that became Calvary Chapel in Broomfield, Colorado, recently celebrated its 25th anniversary. According to the pastor's webpage,

Calvary Chapel is a non-denominational Christian church with a contemporary style worship service. Our Bible Study teaching follows a book by book, chapter by chapter, verse by verse method that we believe is the best way to teach and learn the Bible. We believe the Bible is the Living Word of God and that it's relevant for us today; therefore, there must be practical application for us to live our lives as we seek to glorify God in our daily living!

The musical part of our worship service is also contemporary. We write many of the songs we sing in our service. The congregation is the choir, so everyone participates as we sing praises of worship to our Lord Jesus Christ together.

It's neither surprising that the chapel's music is contemporary nor that some of its songs are original. Its pastor, Richie Furay, along with Buffalo Springfield band mates Stephen Stills, Neil Young, Dewey Martin, and Bruce Palmer, is a member of the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.  Subsequent to Buffalo Springfield, Furay polished his blend of rock and country in the band Poco. Then, at David Geffen's suggestion, he joined up with Chris Hillman and J.D. Souther to form a country rock supergroup. It was that group's pedal steel player, Al Perkins, who reached out to Richie with gospel. Perkins, along with members of Poco (Paul Cotton, Rusty Young, and Timothy B. Schmit) and Buffalo Springfield (Stills and Young) appear as guest musicians and singers on some of the songs on The Heartbeat of Love.

           While many singer-songwriters focus on wintry themes of withering romances, Richie revels in spring and summer themes. Weddings are the occasions for two of the songs on The Heartbeat of Love: "Forever with You," written by Richie Furay and Scott Sellen for the marriage of Richie's daughter Timmie and Dave Aragon; and "Only to You," penned by Richie for the marriage of daughter Katie and Vincent Rodriguez. Heartbeat also includes the Buffalo Springfield gem, "Kind Woman," written by Richie some 40 years ago when he and his wife Nancy were a young married couple. The title track, "Heartbeat of Love," is yet another celebration of romantic love: "I couldn't live without you; Not a moment could I make it through." The CD’s final song, "Let's Dance Tonight," is so warm and sunny that one wishes it would never end.

           We all owe a special note of thanks to Calvary Chapel for sparing its pastor long enough to record these songs with some old friends. They make a good soundtrack for summer or any other season.

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