Monday, June 8, 2009

welcome wagon worship

About a month ago, I had the pleasure of meeting Rev. Vito Aiuto one early Saturday morning at his church, Resurrection Presbyterian Church in Williamsburg, Brooklyn. As half of the husband-and-wife musical duo, The Welcome Wagon, Vito seemed a little out of sorts as he prepared to sing a song for me and my little video camera.

“I usually don’t do this without my wife,” he said. Despite his nerves, the solo performance turned out great, as you can see in the video below. But I did find myself thinking, Sure this guy can sing, but is he for real? Is he really a pastor or is that just a means to a charming super-hero tag line (Reverend by day, indie folk musician by night).

Over the course of the interview, I discovered that the Aiutos’ faith and devotion to serving God and others through their ministry in Williamsburg is very real, and is, in fact, the inspiration for creating music at all, as Vito explains in the interview:

I really didn’t grow up with the Christian faith being an active part of our home and so I began to have this idea that I wanted it to be a part of our home and one of those ways would be singing. Neither my wife or I played an instrument at that time and so I started to learn how to play the guitar a little bit, and over years of banging out rudimentary hymns and gospel songs, some friends enabled us to record some songs.

But it all began as a way just for Monique and I to sing to God, and to sing to each other.

I think their reason for making music is so refreshing in its honesty. I grew up around a lot of people who wanted to make music for every reason but to worship God, even though a lot of them wanted to be "worship leaders." Here are two people who just genuinely love singing to Jesus. Nothing wrong with that.

Also, this album was produced by Sufjan Stevens! Major plus! People make fun of my devotion to Sufjan Stevens ... well, fine so I'm a huge fan. So sue me! There's nothing wrong with a little fanaticism for a man who weighs 135 pounds and wears butterfly wings while he performs on a banjo. His music is the bomb, OK? You might remember "Vito's Ordination Song" from Sufjan's album, Greetings from Michigan. That was written for Vito when he was ordained. As I told a friend, meeting Vito was like meeting a character out of your favorite novel at Starbucks for a latte. Hello Anne of Green Gables. Hello Vito.
It was wild!

Please watch my video interview with The Welcome Wagon :)

1 comment:

  1. meeting vito was cool. totally dug his intention for writing/singing. it was very unpretentious. also, i love that - "Hello Anne of Green Gables. Hello Vito." speaking of which... have you ever been to prince edward island?