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Posted on Apr 6, 2013 |

Review: The Spark

Review: The Spark

Kevin Heider. Photo by Steve Dalgetty, Endless Pursuit Photography.

Kevin Heider. Photo by Steve Dalgetty, Endless Pursuit Photography.

the spark coverThe Spark, a new double album from Dayton native Kevin Heider, is Catholic music in the best sense: great music by a Catholic.


There are songs about God here, but most of the songs are about everything — love, beer, being on the road, things going right, things going wrong.


The Catholicism here isn’t added, it’s suffused. A way of looking at things, a perspective on life. The drinking song is also about St. Brigid, who liked a good pint. A song about a new baby is a prayer to know what to do, how to live.


The songs range in style from rowdy to contemplative, some sung with a full band, some with only a guitar accompaniment. Theres’ a overall acoustic alternative feel, but with plenty of other things thrown in, from Nashville country to Celtic folk. Heider and his musicians move easily between styles and emotions — going alt rock for “Maureen (Has Anybody Seen Her?),” about waiting all night for a girl, and easy back for “The Dark Side,” a sad, contemplative ballad about sin. “Enola’s Wake” harkens back to 1960s folk songs (in a good way) and “Barcelona” just rocks.


What sets the album apart is not only the musical and vocal performances — which are top notch — but the songs themselves. They’re good. So many talented independent bands can’t write songs (but think they can). Heider’s melodies and lyrics are ones you’ll remember and sing — whether it’s the slow, haunting hymn “The Great Flood” (heard on The Glory Collective’s album Shine, reviewed here):


O how great was the flood,

that passed my lips unsung

like a newborn babe’s first taste of life

it danced on my tongue…

or the rollicking, “I escaped just in time” bad girlfriend song, “Girl from Frederick”:


I’d fallen in love with a girl from Frederick

and for almost two years she ran from me;

but when I finally turned to walk in a new direction

She said, “Maybe we can try and see.”

Maybe we can try and see;

But I don’t want to try and see.

I just want to be part of you and me.



Heider says “The Great Flood,” inspired by Holy Thursday, is the lynchpin of the 24-song album, the central piece in a journey. It’s one that’s well worth taking.


Just as Catholicism isn’t just something you do at Mass, Catholic music shouldn’t be something to listen to only when you’re in a particularly “Catholic: mood. This album is one you’ll want to listen to anytime.



Singer, songwriter, and self-taught musician Kevin Heider grew up in Dayton. A graduate of Franciscan University of Steubenville, he now lives in Maryland. This is his fourth album. At 7:30 pm on May 2nd he will speak at Theology on Tap Dayton, “Contemporary Catholic Musician: The Artist’s Love,” at Oregon Express.


Purchase digital downloads of The Spark on iTunes, Bandcamp, and other digital media outlets. Buy the two-CD set at

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