Garth Hewitt - Bethlehem, Palestine

Published Saturday 23rd October 2010
Garth Hewitt - Bethlehem, Palestine
Garth Hewitt - Bethlehem, Palestine

STYLE: Roots/Acoustic
RATING 7 7 7 7 7 7 7
OUR PRODUCT CODE: 52717-16930
LABEL: Amos Trust AMOSCD004
FORMAT: CD EP
ITEMS: 1
RELEASE DATE: 2008-11-29
RRP: £7.99

Reviewed by Ian Hayter

You can never accuse Garth Hewitt of not making it obvious what he's singing about. From the early days of his evangelistic ministry to the latter cries for social justice, it's crystal clear where the veteran troubadour is coming from and how passionately he wants you to share his world view. In recent years Garth's most consistent lyrical focus has been the situation in Israel-Palestine and this eight track set, with its cover photo of the iniquitous wall around Bethlehem, leaves you in no doubt about his particular political viewpoint. The stripped down arrangements of his songs seem to emphasise the emotion behind his words and his individual style is, as always, unmistakeable. Included in the set are "They've Cancelled Christmas In Bethlehem" (which is rapidly becoming a classic), two songs written in The Church Of The Nativity in Bethlehem (one - "One Of Us" - co-written and performed with Paul Field) and the haunting "The Death Of Trees" in which Arab musician Reem Kelani brings an indigenous atmosphere to the music. "Humans Too" reminds us that Palestinians need their humanity to be respected and "Shine On (Star Of Bethlehem)" would be a great song to use in a Christmas Carol service. There's nothing unexpected on this album, but the Rev Hewitt delivers his message with skill and passion. If you take the words seriously, this is not an easy album to listen to, but it needs to be heard.

The opinions expressed in this article are not necessarily those held by Cross Rhythms. Any expressed views were accurate at the time of publishing but may or may not reflect the views of the individuals concerned at a later date.

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Sample Track Listing:
1. Hidden From View [Listen]
2. They've Cancelled Christmas In Bethlehem (The Wall Must Fall) [Listen]
3. Shine On (Star Of Bethlehem) [Listen]
4. Humans Too [Listen]
5. Candle Of Hope [Listen]
6. The Death Of Trees [Listen]
7. One Of Us [Listen]
8. O Palestine [Listen]

This track data is supplied by the Cross Rhythms CD/DVD review library. Please note that CD tracks may vary according to release region or product version.

Product Description
An extended EP of songs for and about Bethlehem, in Garth’s acoustic-roots style. These songs, inspired by Garth’s travels and interviews with those living in this ‘little town’, together raise awareness and concern for what’s happening behind the wall. It follows the launch of Garth's book, Bethlehem Speaks: Voices From The Little Town Cry Out in August.

Following the huge interest in Garth’s song, They’ve Cancelled Christmas In Bethlehem (The Wall Must Fall) last year, this EP is a prayer for the people of Bethlehem who are suffering a devastating impact from the separation wall that now surrounds them. The song received an extraordinary 36,000 hits on internet video site YouTube.

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