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.
Worship comes through loud and clear in their self-titled album, The Welcome Wagon, produced by lauded musician Sufjan Stevens (who is a close friend of the couple). I invite you to watch the video interview below and download the free song, But For You Who Fear My Name, from the album. Learn more about The Welcome Wagon through their label, Asthmatic Kitty.
Jeannie Choi is an assistant editor at Sojourners. Click here for more free music downloads from Sojourners. News about upcoming music downloads will break first on Sojourners Twitter; click here to follow.