NEXT: Fresh New Worship – July 2016

Screen Shot 2016-08-09 at 12.14.00 AMI not only have a deep love of Jesus, & His people, but I enjoy serving God & His people through Gospel-centered song. I dig through everything that is released – from labels & independent – & find those unique gems you might otherwise overlook. Here are my picks from July – I pray they help you more effectively serve your people.

What new songs have you recently introduced? Share in the comments below!

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NEXT: Fresh New Worship – April 2016

Screen Shot 2016-04-05 at 9.44.56 AMAs I’ve noted before, it can be hard to find solid, new corporate worship songs for your congregation, especially if you don’t subscribe to the “one-size-fits-all” mentality of only pulling from the CCLI Top 100. I collect new songs year round, listen, play along, & analyze to see which ones float to the top – that’s to say, I’ve done some of the work for you. I hope this curated list of new worship songs helps you better serve your congregation.

Being a fan of more upbeat music, I found myself very surprised that April’s list is so mellow, & uniquely feminine. Even if you find nothing here to use at your church, these would make great quiet time songs. [Read more…]

GUEST REVIEW: “COMING ALIVE” – Dustin Smith (by Cyle Augusta)

If any of you know my wife, it is very much NOT like her to want to review a CD. Last week that all changed, when she asked me if she could be a guest-blogger on my site. This is what inspired her to want to write a review… welcome to my blog, Cyle Augusta!:

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It was a normal school morning. Hopping in the van, all three boys buckled in and ready to go. Starting the car, I immediately discovered a new CD in the player. The husband had just returned from a Nashville trip and returned with gifts, so I listened. The CD was on track #6 and the words were “Let the spirit of the Lord come rushing in, rushing in, rushing in…” In a moment we all found ourselves singing – worshiping along. The kids wanted to listen to #6 again. And again. After dropping them off at school, I pulled the CD out to see who it was that had just led worship in our mini-van: Dustin Smith – “Coming Alive,” Integrity Music. We listened to it nonstop in the coming days! We’d repeat on one song until I’d venture to another and – who would’ve known – the next one was just as good!  Every song was just as powerful as the last!  [Read more…]

Fresh New Worship Songs – August 2015

Screen-shot-2015-08-05-at-9.37.46-PMIt can be hard to find solid, new corporate worship songs for your congregation, especially if you don’t subscribe to the “one-size-fits-all” mentality of only pulling from the CCLI Top 100. Well, I collect new songs year round, listen, play along, & analyze to see which ones float to the top – that’s to say, I’ve done some of the work for you. Here are my most recent picks. [Read more…]

the Beauty of a Capo well-used (& the horrors of cheap capo-dom)

Hello.  My name is Shannon, and I use a capo.

*GROUP RESPONDS: “Hello Shannon!

I admit it – I’ve thought that before about “Capo Users”. I’ve gotten hand-cramps for the sake of my glorious anti-capo-dom. I’ve forced complex songs into simpler keys, far outside my sweet-spot vocally, to massage my ego and not use a capo.  I’ve played chord-shapes that don’t ideally befit the riff/hook for the sake of being that guy who’s “better than the capo users.”  Yes, on rare occasions I used a capo, but only on open tuned guitars – the fact that I once had 4 guitars on stage, 3 of which were in alternate tunings, gave me enough “cool points” to counteract the evil capo – sorta like buying “Carbon Credits”.

Back in ‘03, however, I saw Shane & Shane live.  Those guys have MASTERED the guitar, and they’re capo maniacs: capos upon capos – cut capos inserted at odd angles into other cut capos.  I think at one point he had to be using a capo on his vocal chords, too – Mr. Bernard’s range is pretty …well… “pretty” [Read more…]