The Frye Family Band’s bio is something of a suspense story. It kicks off by mentioning that patriarch Tom Frye got a call one day expressing interest in featuring his family on a reality TV show, but the bio takes its time revealing how the phone call turned out. In the meantime, the bio focuses on the music and religious faith of the Frye family, which is really what the Frye Family Band are all about.Reclamation, the band’s new EP, is a collection of six tracks, each with a subtly different flavor, but all of them fitting comfortably within the pop-country-Christian pigeonhole. “Creation’s Song” is just what you’d expect it to be: a simple song of praise for God’s creations, including imagery of the sea and flowers and replete with hallelujahs.
“All In,” one of two tracks that brings the vocals of the young Frye women to the fore, is a confection sweetly reminiscent of “Love Story”-era Taylor Swift, but here the love story is between the singer and God. The other of the two songs, “Completely Yours,” is distinctly more folky.
“Song of Hope (I Am My Father’s)” kicks up the energy a bit, with Nate Dugger’s banjo providing a bluegrass tint that leads toward a gospel hand-clapping climax. “Broken Places” is an understated encouragement to hang on to faith even during difficult times. The message of both songs is one of devotion in the face of doubt, but even in these songs, there’s not much tension.
I’ll end the suspense: Tom Frye turned down the TV show when the producer suggested that it was “weird” that a family was making music together. Spooked by the idea that the show was looking for dysfunction, he backed away. Given the fates of famous reality-TV families these days, it was probably a really smart move. Instead, the Frye Family Band remain devoted to their music, functionally, faithfully and happily.
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Late Nite Catechism
February 8 • Paramount Theatre, Anderson, IN