In search of the perfect Christian Jam Band

Okay, I'm on a mission.Last night, Fran, Rhiannon and I went to see Point of Grace and Mark Schultz perform at a local mega-church. It was the second time we've seen Point of Grace, our first Mark Schultz concert. We went mainly for Rhiannon, who is just nuts over what she calls "Fish Music" (because the local Contemporary Christian Music, i.e. CCM, radio station is WFSH 104.7, affectionately nicknamed "the Fish"). Now, I do not mean to be a grouch when it comes to CCM; there are a few bands I … [Read more...]

“Unveil My Heart, Let Me Know You”

A lot of contemporary Christian music is simply garden variety praise and worship music, perfectly fine for what it does — but generally so kataphatic that it doesn't have much of a contemplative focus. But there are a few exceptions. Check out this song from an early album by the Australian singer Rebecca St. James:It has an authentically contemplative vibe. I particularly like the line "Unveil my heart, let me know, know you" — for even a cursory knowledge of Christian mysticism reveals tha … [Read more...]

The Master and the Musician

When I was a teenager hanging out with the charismatic community, I fell in love with the music of Phil Keaggy, a gifted guitarist and a vocalist who sounds like the contemporary Christian answer to Paul McCartney. In 1978 he released a lovely album of instrumental music called The Master and the Musician.It's 30 years later and Phil is on tour, doing a series of concerts in which he will be playing The Master and the Musician in its entirety, along with selected other songs from his career. … [Read more...]