Archive | Music

Steven Curtis Chapman’s “Deep Roots”

Steven Curtis Chapman has a new album out that I want to commend to you. It’s called “Deep Roots”. I suspect that the name reflects the fact that Chapman is not only going back to his musical roots in bluegrass, but also that he’s reprising songs that have meant a lot to him over the years.

The song selection includes classic hymns and old gospel songs. His duet with Ricky Skaggs on “What a Friend We Have in Jesus” may be the best track on the record. But probably my favorites are his fresh acoustic renditions of some of his early work. And by “early work,” I mean material that he recorded about 25 years ago—songs like “Hiding Place,” “His Eyes,” and my all-time favorite “My Redeemer Is Faithful and True.” Continue Reading →

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Grieving with Hope at Christmas

I love Steven Curtis Chapman’s music. His 1995 Christmas album is a staple at our house every year. Many of these songs are more than nostalgia to me. They are worship. Just this past Sunday as I was driving to church, my eyes were welling-up once again as I sang for the first time this year “Our God Is with Us”. I really love this music.

Now, nearly 20 years later Chapman has released a new Christmas album titled “Joy”. Chapman has lived a lifetime since that first Christmas album, and it shows in the new one. One song in particular is addressed to those who are grieving at Christmastime. It’s called “Christmas Card” because Chapman intends these words as his own message to those who are suffering at Christmas. You can download the song here or listen to an excerpt below. Continue Reading →

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Free Song from Andrew Peterson and Desiring God

Andrew Peterson has given Desiring God Ministries permission to give away a free song from his new album. The record won’t be released until August 28, but you can download the song “Rest Easy” right now. Visit the Desiring God blog to download a free MP3 of the song. You can take a listen to the song below.

[audio:http://cdn.desiringgod.org/audio/blog/RestEasy.mp3]

In the video above, Peterson gives some background to the song. Among other things, he says: “This song is an exhortation to myself to anyone else out there who might be struggling to believe that God can both know them completely and love them completely.”

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Willie Nelson in 1965

My aunt came across this old footage of Willie Nelson performing at the Grand Ole Opry in 1965 (see above). It just so happens that the medley of songs that he sings here are some of my all-time favorite Willie Nelson tunes. The medley includes “Hello Walls,” “Night Life,” and “Funny How Time Slips Away.” It also includes what I still consider to be the best version of “Crazy.” In the introduction to “Crazy,” he mentions his thankfulness for the late Patsy Cline. He then gets choked-up while trying to sing the song. I don’t think I’ve ever seen that with him before.

All four songs are available on “The Essential Willie Nelson.” I’ve had it for several years now, and these four songs in particular never get old to me.

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Jill Phillips, “You Came Down”

I’ve really been enjoying Jill Phillips and Andy Gullahorn’s song “You Came Down” this Christmas season. I heard them perform it at the “Behold, the Lamb of God” concert here in Louisville a couple of weeks ago. After that, I bought it and have been listening to it ever since. It’s one that I think you will appreciate as well. It’s from their album “Christmas.” Push the play button below to preview the song, then go buy it. The single is $.99 and the album is only $8.99.

Also, one other item is worth mentioning. Phillips and Gullahorn are husband and wife, and they covered “It’s Cold Outside” on this album. Before the concert, I had already noticed that this song appeared on their album, and I was disappointed. For me, “It’s Cold Outside” ranks right up there with “Santa Baby” as one of the worst Christmas songs ever. But I didn’t listen to it when I first saw it. Little did I know that it’s a parody, and it’s pretty funny. I was delighted to hear them lampoon it at the concert. Be sure to take a listen.

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The Son of God Came Down

Barry Joslin is a professor at Boyce College who also serves as worship pastor at Ninth & O Baptist Church in Louisville, Kentucky. He and his worship team got permission from Sovereign Grace ministries to record the song “The Son of God Came Down” and to give it away as a gift to their congregation. Barry sings and plays guitar himself on this one. It’s a great recording, and it’s certainly a great song. You can download it here or listen to it below. The lyrics are below.

[audio:http://aspen.nowsprouting.com/ninthandobaptistchurch/podcast_item/5/201/01+The+Son+of+God+Came+Down.mp3]

Continue Reading →

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A Christmas Song for the Ages

As a Christian, I am astonished that the world still sings our songs—especially ones like the Hallelujah chorus. The song proclaims the kingdom of Christ and the absolute sovereignty of God over all creation. Yet every year the world sings this song at Christmas time, and wherever it is played people stand to their feet in reverence. Can you believe that?

There are few songs that lift my heart up to heaven like the Hallelujah chorus. I can hardly make it through to the end without weeping. Of all the pieces of human culture that I hope to make it through the fires of God’s judgment to the new heavens and new earth, Handel’s Messiah is near the top my list.

I recently discovered a beautiful rendition of the song sung by thje King’s College Choir in Cambridge, England. It was so good that I thought I would share it with you. Here is a link to the YouTube version, or you can download the song from Amazon.com. Merry Christmas! Continue Reading →

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