Valdosta Daily Times

Features

December 10, 2013

Valdosta couple make music of faith in God and one another

VALDOSTA — Just so there is no confusion. They came up with the name first.

The Far Country wrote their song “Wrecking Ball” two years before Miley Cyrus wrote her hit song with the same name.

The Far Country is Valdosta husband-and-wife team John and Lindsey Fuller. Asked about the song, that also provides the title of their CD, while also sharing the same name as Miley Cyrus’ hit, Lindsey Fuller responds, “Ha ha, good question.”

Far Country’s “Wrecking Ball” is about being vulnerable in a relationship. The chorus: “We’re not finished / We’re not history / I won’t put down the pen / This wrecking ball / Is headed straight for our walls / Love will let us in / So let the wreck begin ...”

While Lindsey Fuller sees no connection with their song and Cyrus’, if people discovered the Far Country while looking for Miley, “we wouldn’t hate it.”

As far as Far Country’s sound, the Fullers describe it as “straddling the line of pop/rock and folksy soul, with Southern roots, country undertones, and lyrics that point to something more.”

 Throughout the album, the couple sings songs about situations that can pull a relationship apart while persevering to make things work by having faith in the Lord and one another.

“Our goal is to exalt Jesus, exhort the Church, and excel in artistry,” Lindsey says.

There are songs like “Civil War” about “broken promises and rested wedding rings” and how just a stand now can save a relationship — “we can wave the white flag overhead / Cause what we have it isn’t dead / Our love it isn’t dead.”

The Fullers sing religious songs, some obvious, others more of a mystery within the lyrics.

“Phoenix” is a subtle song of faith, of how lives, relationships and spirits can rise from the ashes “because You let my hate pass / Through the holes / In Your side and wrist ... Rise, rise, Yes he will rise ...” The song “Empty Grave” is more openly spiritual with its refrain of “Hallelujah / For the Lamb who was slain / Hallelujah / For the cross and empty grave.”

“Marry Me” opens with a couple becoming one in Christ and prayer and becomes a love song of a couple becoming one in blessed love for one another.

“Open Arms” reveals a couple that loves each other as they are.

In some songs, John takes the vocal lead. In others, Lindsey leads the vocals. In all cases, their voices mesh in harmony, complementing one another, backed throughout with strong instrumentation.

Lindsey says her and John’s varying musical interests and influences deepen the flavor of their music.

“John has a bit more of a rock feel, and I have country roots that I just can’t shake,” she says. “So we often meet in the middle to form a pretty unique sound. John’s forte is music and melody. I love to wrestle with lyric. Most times we just let the song shape itself as we go. But sometimes, we do begin with a ‘north star’ — a specific concept we want to write a song about, and in those cases, we know the style we’re shooting for. Songwriting is kind of like God in the sense that you can’t put it in a box. It’s a bit of a mystery, and we love that.”

It is a rapport they have shared since the beginning of their relationship.

They both grew up in Valdosta. They met while attending college. Music played a central role. So did mutual respect, trust and love.

“We were both invited to record on a compilation CD recorded through the Wesley Foundation,” Lindsey says. “We got to know each other during the recording process, and even played on a church tour together for the CD. When we started dating, I thought the way he treated me was too good to be true, but four years later, it’s still that good!”

John and the former Lindsey Radcliff married in July 2011.

Pursuing music full-time, the Fullers live together and work together. Working with a spouse requires give and take, but they mostly see both the bonuses and the obstacles as advantageous.

“Working together is so much fun,” Lindsey says. “It has its challenges like any other job, but we welcome them because they make our relationship stronger, and consequently, our music as well. We write together most of the time. Occasionally, we get song ideas when we’re apart, but we always finish them together. Some songs are written during scheduled writing sessions, and others form while I’m making dinner and John strums a guitar at the table. There is definitely a level of structure to writing, but there’s also a freedom to it as well when you live with your co-writer.”

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