• Bryon Harris

Bible Belt Blues - 'Fool, Did You Not Know?'

Rocking and rough blues acoustic guitar strums boldly in the opening of "Fool, Did You Not Know?" by Bible Belt Blues. When Harold Vega Vondenstein plays the guitar, he doesn't hold back. The beginning of the song feels like a wake-up call in the middle of the night.

A call and response format soon emerges between a well-performed sweet harmonica and a lead guitar, as the two instruments play off the song's melody. Harold commences singing about a person who has his life in order; everything is under control. As Harold sings the first verse, the strumming yields to singular and double stop guitar lines, making space for the lyrics to be heard above the mix. Then, the rocking guitar wake-up strumming returns on the chorus. "There's something missing. There's something missing."

Throughout the song, Harold oscillates between heavy-felt strumming and stark lead guitar motifs with the sweet harmonica whispering in your ear. But then, as if Harold is clearing the background noise of life to make sure you clearly hear the Holy message. the guitar thins out to a one-pointed line as Harold sings, "And I heard God say, "Fool, Did you not know that tonight your very soul would be required of you?" It is jolting and meant to be so.

Paula Vega Vondenstein, the duo's producer, visionary, and lyricist, built the song, "Fool, Did You Not Know?" around the Parable of the Rich Fool. It is the only time in the Bible where God actually calls someone a "fool. The word "fool" is taken lightly today. You may hear someone say, "I was only fooling around", to dismiss any number of unacceptable behaviors that they brush off as a joke. A person becomes a fool when they repeat the same behaviors over and over and never learn, until it's too late.

Setting the stage of the song, Paula uses a metaphor to paint a vivid picture of someone who has all "my ducks in a row" and is playing a "game" of fame and fortune. Having all of one's "ducks in a row" means that you have ensured all of the small details of your life are accounted for and in their proper positions before moving forward.

"Ducks in a row" originated from the sport of bowling. To have all your "ducks in a row" means that all the pins are properly placed before you roll the ball of life down the lane, hoping for a strike. The phrase could come from a mother duck putting her chicks in line, but the term "chick" or "duckling" is used for a baby duck. The adult duck, who still can't walk a straight line to where his or her nourishment is found, is certainly a fool.

Paula quickly knocks those ducks over with the next verse, "Seeking pleasure at any cost, I never slowed down to see." And then the chorus, "There's something missing. There's something missing." "Fool, Did you not know that tonight your very soul would be required of you?" There's something missing. I never made time for the things of God. I lived my life for me. In just one moment, my life could be gone and facing eternity."

The ever-present human condition of lining up our ducks in a row and automatically resetting the cycle like a bowling alley "duck pin" has left society feeling out of control, instead of in control. That out of control feeling results in anxiety, depression, substance abuse, reckless behaviors, and a deep emptiness. The fool doesn't slow down to realize that "there's something missing." The fool spends all their time organizing those ducks for a future strike and the glory of a material victory. In "Fool, Did You Not Know?", Bible Belt Blues reminds listeners, with a bold wake-up call that comes directly from God, that life is fleeting, eternity is the victory, and making time for God is the only way to roll.

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About Bible Belt Blues

Harold and Paula Vega Vondenstein are Bible Belt Blues, an award winning husband and wife music ministry duo from Gulfport, Mississippi. Their music is reminiscent of early Mississippi Bentonia blues with a focus on full-fledged repentance and church revival songs. In 2019, Bible Belt Blues released two Christian albums, I’m Not Ashamed to Be a Christian and My God, My God, which won the coveted Josie Music Award for Best Gospel/ Christian Duo.

2020 looks just as promising with 24 songs having already received radio airplay, extensive media coverage, and numerous finalist nominations including: Duo of the Year for the Josie Music Awards, two Intercontinental Music Awards Finalist Nominations for Gospel Christian/ America, Song of the Year for the Gulf Coast Gospel Music Awards, Ministry of the Year for the Best of Mississippi Awards, Finalist in the Christian Songwriting Contest, and Finalist for Song of the Year Songwriting Competition. Bible Belt Blues recently signed with Bongo Boy Records to have four of their songs featured on two separate compilation albums to be released within the next few months. Bible Belt Blues is currently working on their 3rd album.


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