Musician and songwriter Phil Madeira turns his talent for evocative lyricism from the stage to the page as he invites us to wander with him on his relentless search for God. From a joke involving a glass eye in a family that doesn't always see eye-to-eye, a judgmental "Grandmonster" who makes an (almost) redeeming connection in her final moments, or a crumbling marriage and the surprise of new love, Madeira's raw and tender stories illustrate the journey we all share, along with wise reflections to get through it.
Roaming from his evangelical roots to discover a successful career in Americana music, Madeira boils away the detritus of religion to discover a faith "on the rocks": sometimes leaving him stranded on the rocky shore, sometimes savored like a smooth drink on a summer's day, but always leading to a God "not worrying about changing or chastising his broken children, but singing in a low, guttural hum, forged in the heat of his passion for humans, a God almighty love song." Just like a sweet old hymn can rekindle even a doubting cynic's longing for God, Madeira's beckoning voice can turn a wandering heart toward home with laughter and hope.
Phil Madeira is a musician, songwriter, producer, and singer. He has performed or collaborated with major recording artists like Alison Krauss, Elvis Costello, Phil Keaggy, Amy Grant, Garth Brooks, Toby Keith, The Civil Wars, and many more. He is currently a member of Emmylou Harris' band, The Red Dirt Boys, and the creator of the album Mercyland: Hymns for the Rest of Us
. God on the Rocks
is his first book. Madeira lives in Nashville, TN.
"Thank God for a storyteller like Phil Madeira, who delivers a feast for the ears, and for the mind, as he ponders the traditions of his family and the mysteries of the faith that have shaped his life. Like every good thing in life, it was over too soon."Amy Grant
"GOD ON THE ROCKS is a lovely memoir, recounting with honesty and humor how Christianity and the blues impacted one man's journey as a son, a brother, a husband and father, and companion to his fellow travelers. Taking a stand against those who would use religion to further a narrow and vindictive agenda, Phil celebrates God as a compassionate, living presence in his life, and so gives us a testament to the power of faith and family and in the end, of love."Emmylou Harris
"Phil shows us the how faith is often born in simple, yet sacred experiences and can be rediscovered in our willingness to remember."Jennifer Knapp, singer/songwriter
"Phil dares to reveals his scars-and the wound's still open. But beyond the hurt and the healing, his faith is unrelenting and hope prevails. It's a soul-stirring journey to undergo, especially with a genuine poet such as Phil Madeira as your guide."
"GOD ON THE ROCKS is an amazing heart-of-the-music-business journey that puts the reader on a path of discovery that leads to a vulnerable encounter with the God of beauty. Madeira writes in a sharp funny style and never strikes a false note."Frank Schaeffer, author Crazy For God
"If you're a cage-pacing, God-haunted pilgrim like me, then this deftly penned collection of stories will deeply move you. Madeira's voice is gritty and tender, broody and vulnerable, unwaveringly honest, yet compassionate. I'm supremely grateful for this heartfelt travelogue of faith."Ian Morgan Cron, bestselling author of Jesus, My Father the CIA, and Me: a MemoirÂ
of Sorts, and Chasing Francis: A Pilgrim's Tale
"This gritty, gutsy, funny, moving, insightful spiritual memoir not only introduces a gifted writer (who also happens to be a stellar musician), but it also exemplifies a growing phenomenon on the American religious landscape, an emerging spiritual ethos that defies standard labels and has the feel of our best roots music."Brian D. McLaren, author and speaker (www.brianmclaren.net)