Liturgical Folk: Justin Brooks & Family Tour
For the past decade, Saint Michael Director of Contemporary Music, Justin Brooks, and his wife Tiffany have followed a calling to lead music and write liturgical songs for the Church that reflect the seasons of life, worship, and needs of their local congregations. This often manifests itself as the composition of sacred songs, settings of scripture, and reinterpreting traditional hymns and service music with faithful, yet new arrangements.
After recording three albums of such material, The Brooks met like-minded musicians and worship leaders Ryan and Melissa Flanigan (All Saints Dallas). With a similar desire for liturgical renewal by way of composing new songs and arrangements that speak to all generations of the Church, The Flanigans began a music project called “Liturgical Folk”. Its mission is to “make beautiful and believable sacred folk music for the sake of the world”. With two albums under their name (“Table Settings”, “Edenland”) and two more in production, Justin, Tiffany, and their children, Taylor and Grayson have joined them in this endeavor by presenting live concerts locally and on tour.
Hitting the road with both families in two minivans, Liturgical Folk has completed four U.S. tours where Tiffany provides lead and background vocals, Justin serves as a multi-instrumentalist (guitar, banjo, accordion, keyboards, percussion) and both the Brooks and Flanigan children sing as well. Tours are planned around the children’s school holidays/breaks so they may all be together. Liturgical Folk’s most recent tour was their “Gulf Coast Tour” which took them from Texas to Florida, performing five concerts in all.
A favorite venue for the group are house shows. These are concerts performed in someone’s home where 30-50 people are gathered (however, there were almost 100 at a house show this most recent tour!) Performing in a home lends itself to an intimate, yet comfortable environment that is conducive to the acoustic nature of the instruments and stories that are told. Of course, churches are the other venue in which they perform. As one of the goals of Liturgical Folk is to create an ecumenical worship experience, they have performed concerts at Anglican, Presbyterian, and Episcopal churches with other denominations of the Christian faith interested in hosting the group. Stated on their website, “We are creating a cohesive network of like-minded churches and artists with the hope of inspiring and refreshing all saints wherever they may be on their journey and to resource the church with what we have discovered deep in its bones and prayer books.”
One of the statements often quoted by Liturgical Folk is that “There is an old song that has yet to be written.” It is that essence that Justin and Tiffany are excited to continue at Saint Michael as new songs are written for our congregation, and to extend that ministry outside of the parish walls.