The Lower Lights
The Lower Lights is a folk-style band comprised of more than thirty musicians, some of whom are members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. When they aren’t working their “day jobs,” they get together and infuse Church hymns with their signature Americana style. According to their website, “The Lower Lights is a gospel-folk collective that’s diving into the Christian songbook-familiar hymns, lost gems, Hank Williams tunes, Christmas songs, and more. Drawing on equal parts reverence and celebration, The Lower Lights have landed on a sound that's part-revival, part-vigil, and steeped in tradition without drowning in it.”
The exact formation of their group isn’t clear, but they generally agree that musician Patrick Campbell and producer and engineer Scott Wiley wanted to make some kind of hymn album for several years. They pulled together a group of musicians for a party held at the home of guitarist Ryan Tanner and formed the group in 2009; the name coming from the hymn “Brightly Beams Our Father’s Mercy.” Since then, the group has included, among others, Cherie Call, Ryan Shupe, Mindy Gledhill, Neon Trees’ Branden Campbell, Jay William Henderson, Stephanie Mabey, Ryan Tilby, Brooke White, Sarah Sample, Debra Fotheringham, and Stuart Maxfield, Aaron Anderson, and Robbie Connolly of the band Fictionist.
Since the band’s beginning, they have created four albums of hymns and two Christmas albums. They regularly perform Christmas concerts. Their albums include: Live, The Lower Lights: A Hymn Revival (volumes 1, 2, 2 B-Sides, 3), Sing Noel, Come Let Us Adore Him.
- There’s so much garbage in the world, but there’s so much good,” Tanner said. “To be able to do something like this, where you get up and you get to sing these beautiful songs, is a real blessing.”