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Stunning Music

February 18, 2005

The purpose of this post is to simply point out two of the most stunning albums I have heard in a long time.

In the order in which I purchased them:

Universal United House of Prayer by Buddy Miller is a fantastic album of rootsy, gospel and gospel-based music with fascinating guitar textures (Buddy’s specialty) and incredible vocals. Some of the vocal talent is attributed to the fabulous McCrary sisters (direct descendants of one of the founding members of the Fairfield Four. If you don’t know the Fairfield Four, get thee to the record store.) Gospel Americana music with genuine heart, soul and conscience. This album contains a stirring cover of “With God On Our Side,” Bob Dylan’s antiwar epic which examines the human (and dare I speculate, sinful) tendency to attribute military victory to God.

There Will Be A Light by Ben Harper and the Blind Boys of Alabama is equally amazing. Harper has been known for a while as a talented guitarist and songwriter, and his contributions to the Blind Boys’ albums have been terrific. So when it comes to this project, the first and most natural reaction is, “it’s about time.” It’s difficult not to resort to this old cliche, but Light is full of soul. If this one doesn’t have you closing your eyes, tapping your toes, and praying then you’re probably already dead.

As a lifelong Christian, I have long lamented the state of the Christian music that is available to us. Much CCM seems to be a pale imitation of what’s popular on the radio and MTV. These two albums give me genuine hope for the future of Christian music. People of good faith and amazing talent are still putting their best efforts to work for the living God.

See also: Randolph, Robert

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