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Brother Isaiah’s “Blindman” and the sweetness of repentance

Brother Isaiah smiling with guitar

Provided | Franciscan Friars of the Renewal

J-P Mauro - published on 01/21/24

Franciscan Friar of the Renewal Brother Isaiah has begun a 10-song music project on the life-giving joys and journey of repentance: Mysteries and Medicines.
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For years, Brother Isaiah of the Franciscan Friars of the Renewal has captivated audiences with his unique brand of faithful acoustic Catholic music. Now, his latest release, “Blindman,” is heralding a new, exquisite style that will broaden his sound to include more than just vocals and guitar. 

“Blindman” was the first release from Brother Isaiah’s upcoming work Mysteries and Medicines, a 10-song music project that is described as an exploration “of the joys (and journey) of life-giving repentance.” In a press release, Brother Isaiah wrote of Mysteries and Medicines

“The central proposal of the project is that the Lord’s remedies are hidden in His mysteries. Those mysteries include that of the unexpected sufferings, hardships, and disappointments of our lives, the mystery of His hidden presence in the ‘ordinariness’ of the present moment and daily life, and the mystery of the Sacraments.”

Brother Isaiah went on to explain that these Mysteries have a “sacramental character” that bears the “hidden presence of God.” He expressed his hope that the songs would serve to invigorate the hearts of listeners to instill a “new wonder” for the “beauty and sweetness of repentance,” which he described: 

“Repentance, a similarly central theme of the project, is something that is often very misunderstood today. In light of Christ, repentance is meant to be something life-giving and joy-bearing. It is the process of recovery and renewal that the medicines of God’s mysteries are meant to bring about in our hearts.”

Brother Isaiah, J.J. Wright and Friends
Brother Isaiah, J.J. Wright and Friends at work recording.

Released January 19, 2024, “Blindman” has completely flipped the script on a song Brother Isaiah has been playing acoustically since 2020. He’s sped the tune up a little bit and we were struck with how he cut out the musical intro to just dive into the first verse. Driven by an entrancing rhythm on hand-drums, the song is further filled out by electric guitars, bass, ethereal synth, and backup vocals. The focus, however, is fully on Brother Isaiah’s slick vocal style and the content of the faithful message of the lyrics

The song is not about a “blind man,” but a man who’s proper name is “Blindman,” a theme that Brother Isaiah and his collaborators “J.J. Wright and Friends” dove into headfirst for the promotional reel that is teasing the song, featured below: 

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A post shared by Friars of the Renewal (@cfr_franciscans)

The teaser sets biblical names to the music, beginning with Adam and Eve and moving through the prophets, patriarchs, and holy women of the Old Testament. From there it pivots to the New Testament, citing Mary, the apostles and disciples, until it finally reaches more modern saints. In just a 30-second teaser, the team takes us through our spiritual ancestors to ourselves, almost in the same way the New Testament begins with the lineage of Jesus Christ. 

The song seeks to instill the idea that “Blindman” is part of our own identities. God’s plan is a mystery to the faithful, who walk the world in a state of blindness until the Lord opens our eyes to the mysteries of faith. God invites us on a journey, of which we know not the destination, that we must follow by the guidance of faith and not by sight. 

The press release points to Revelation 22:4-5: 

“They will see his face, and his name will be on their foreheads. There will be no more night. They will not need the light of a lamp or the light of the sun, for the Lord God will give them light. And they will reign for ever and ever.”

Listen to “Blindman” on Apple Music, Spotify, YouTube Music, and just about any streaming platform you could possibly want immediately. Click here for more links to streaming services. 

Want to hear the original acoustic version of “Blindman”? Hear it in the video below. Be sure to follow The Franciscan Friars of the Renewal’s YouTube channel to hear the latest releases from Brother Isaiah.

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