THE BIKE…

Out of the mouth of babies and infants you have established strength…” – Psalm 8:2a

It was a normal Tuesday afternoon.  A two year old was sleeping and a 4 year old was doing an art project. I was on the phone sitting in our family room generally facing the direction of our back yard. Sunlight was streaming in through the bay window filtered by the glistening leaves on the towering oak in our back yard. Sometime during the conversation – for no specific reason – Cyle turned around to look out the window.

What she saw baffled her. [Read more…]

REVIEW: Brian Wurzell – GRACE OCEAN

Artist: Brian Wurzell
Release: Grace Ocean
Highlights: “Grace Ocean”, “Great Redeemer” – other notables included “Sing”, & “Floodgates

Brian Wurzell, the Worship Arts Director at Hillside Community Church inRancho Cucamonga, CA (formerly at Cornerstone Christian Fellowship in Chandler, AZ), has delivered to us a refreshingly unique, modern rock worship album.  GRACE OCEAN subtly tips its hat to indie-rock bands like Pedro the Lion and Starfler 59, while never becoming inaccessible.

Obvious corporate highlights  (take note, fellow worship leaders) are the hook-laden title track, which is pure ear candy (Can a “worship song” also be “ear candy”?  I guess so.  See exhibit A: “Grace Ocean”), and the mid-tempo ballad “Great Redeemer” – a prayer that God would “take our weakness and show Yourself strong”.  [Read more…]

REVIEW: Over the Rhine – THE LONG SURRENDER

Artist: Over the Rhine
Release: The Long Surrender
Highlights: “Rave On”, “Only God can save us Now”, “Oh Yeah by the Way”, & “The King Knows How

I still remember the night I first heard Over the Rhine. I was mostly into indie-rock and metal, and only went to hear them because some friends had invited me. It was ’92 when I walked into a dingy bar in Columbus, Ohio, and the stage was covered in candles, with little paths amongst the candle-light to a stool for each musician. When the band took the stage, it was like an angelic visitation – I don’t think I could even bring myself to clap during the performance. I sat still, jaw gaping wide, just taking in the subtle beauty – the understated excellence – of what poured from the stage. Needless to say, I’ve followed the band faithfully since.

That said, the Long Surrender, Over the Rhine’s 11th studio album, and – counting live CDs and compilations – 19th overall, took some well-spent listening to really come to terms with, even though it is truly one of the masterpieces of their catalogue. [Read more…]

REVIEW: Joshua Seller – MY KING IS COMING

Artist: Joshua Seller

Release: My King is Coming
Highlights: “Came to Save”, “Greater”, “My King is Coming”, & “Worship Rises”

Joshua and I met while we were both speaking at the Forge Conference this past October, at which time he gave me a pre-release of his forthcoming CD, “My King is Coming”.  However, I got so much new music at that conference that it honestly took me a few months to really give it a good listen.

Joshua is the worship pastor at Harvest Bible Chapel [Read more…]

Aaron Keyes Interview, part 2: Lead PEOPLE

We’ve got to do more than lead songs – we’ve got to lead people.
– Aaron Keyes

In preparation for the international re-release of Aaron Keyes‘ last CD, NOT GUILTY ANYMORE, Kingsway Records had contacted TWC to request an interview. Knowing that I’d occasionally led worship at Aaron’s church, Fred McKinnon – founder of TWC – suggested that I take this on.   Aaron came into town to lead worship for SuperWow over on Jekyll Island, which is practically next door, so I snagged the opportunity, and what an interview it was!  You can see Part 1 Here.  Sadly, a number of technical delays led to the loss of some alternate footage, but I have the continuation of the interview right here as we discussed issues that concern us regarding the current state of “worship” and ask the question, “Are we really worshiping?”  In Summary, Aaron says, “We’ve got to do more than lead songs – we’ve got to lead people.

 

Aaron Keys Interview – Part 2 (Shannon Lewis for TWC) from Russ Hutto on Vimeo.