Webster defines tragedy as a “serious drama describing a conflict between the protagonist and a superior force such as destiny with sorrowful conclusions.” Lately, it seems so much tragedy has happened to so many from hurricanes to mass shootings. Strangely, tragedies can sometimes bring out the best in us.
On June 9, 2015, the music industry lost one of its own. Singer/songwriter Randy Howard lost his life in a gunfight with a bounty hunter while in his home. But through this tragedy, the best came out from many including Randy Howard, himself. After his death, co-writer Tracy Parker, and producer Paul Hornsby put together twelve of Randy’s tracks titled, A Pair of Knees.
Randy would approve of this new release. It’s a combination of spiritual hymns, country gospels, and bluegrass melodies, many written by Randy himself. All of the tracks, from the three-quarter time, “Let us Cross over the River,” to “Hallelujah Hotel” to the last track “Wedding Prayer,” display Randy’s gifts. I particularly love the album’s opener and title, “A Pair of Knees” where Randy wrote, “He almost won my soul and I almost lost my mind.” I don’t think Randy was talking about God there, but rather the other guy.
Many who knew Randy Howard, might think he was on a collision course with destiny. His ending was sorrowful, but was it? Even as his past continued to haunt him, he appeared to be getting his life in order. Forgetting what’s behind, Randy was “pressing toward the mark.” Amazingly, he was able to make peace with himself and Maker before he took his last breath. Today, Randy is probably sitting around Heaven with a pen and pad writing, writing, and writing. I’m J.R. Joseph Miller, and this is Randy Howard on A Pair of Knees.