I have been working on this article reporting about and reviewing three remarkable and nearly unknown CDs that we have for sale and I really, really hope you will read my reflections on them. Even if you aren’t interested in the music, the writing about them, I trust, will be inspiring and informative; they each have a very special story and some good folks behind them. Please click on over to the monthly website column. Pass it on to anybody else that is interested in music, any contemporary worship leaders, folkies, activists or jazz connaisseurs. These three releases are under the radar recordings and as an indie store, we are able to support these sorts of projects, but yet don’t know how to get the word out…
Life Is More 5n2 The spiritual-missional journey of our mail order pal, youth worker, social reformer, worship leader, guitarman Ethan Bryan from Missouri is described in my review, his journey of reading good books (like Irresistible Revolution and Colossians Remixed) and how he wrote an album full of songs, each somewhat inspired by a different cause, project or wholistic faith-based social justice ministry. Hear songs inspired by groups such as Not for Sale, NoSweat, She Wrote Love On Her Arm, Blood:WaterMission, IJM, etc. Low-budget, big hearted. I tell the whole story, and more…and what a story it is! Check out the full column, please.
Songs for a Revolution of Hope Brian McLaren, Tracey Howe, the Restoration Project
Tracey has collaborated with some pretty groovy worship leaders and acoustic new folksters, and has been outspoken about international concerns, justice and peace for some time now. She took Brian up on his call for innovative and thoughtful new music for emerging, justice-seeking congregations, and they did this album together, with friends. These tunes were a good part of the worship piece of the Everything Must Change tour. Consider it a soundtrack to the book, whole-life worship stuff, with beat-poet spoken word a la Cockburn, medieval poets like Julian of Norwich or St. Francis put to country-folk, and some aggressive political awareness, placing orthodox theology next to a postmodern, socially engaged worldview. Gentle tunes about kindness and mercy, too. Read the whole review and order a batch of ’em.
Heaven in a Nightclub Bill Edgar, Ruth Naomi Floyd, John Patitucci, John Salzano Our good friends at the thoughtful Christian hang-out and collegiate study center at Cornell, the wonderfully named Chesterton House, put together a full evening of conversation, art, and jazz music one glorious summer evening a year ago in a classy club in New York City. Edgar is a mean jazz pianist, and knows a whole, whole, lot about the relationship of jazz to older African-American spirituals. Floyd, who often sings with him, is truly one of the great jazz vocalists of our time; Patitucci is a Grammy Award recipient for his work on the bass; Salzano is a stellar, highly-regarded session sax player. This live double disc is a treasure, a rare live show that captured a truly extraordinary night. Supports the thoughtful work of Karl Johnson and other sharp Chesterton House folks in Ithaca, too. Please see my full review, and order soon.