Thursday, July 21, 2005

Gentle Revolution

A quick post before I head home. Am listening to Scott Krippayne's new album, Gentle Revolution, and enjoy it immensely. On behalf of my last church, I booked Scott to do a concert, and I must say it was one of the best I have ever witnessed. The guy had actually just spent the previous night flying back from a mini-tour in Europe, and pretty much just rolled up to the door of our venue to close out that journey. Yet, despite the lack of sleep, and the fact that the only musicians on-stage that evening were Scott and buddy of his that played a variety of percussion instruments, the show was phenomenal! Great vocal performance, a great stage presence, very intelligent... I can't tell you how many of the 500 people there that paid $5 to see the guy thanked us by saying that we had charged too little for the experience. Just a super evening.

His new album is a good one. More experimental and edgy than his past work, Gentle Revolution is packed with thoughtful lyrics, rock music with more than three chords, and some good theology. Scott doesn't write music that's just about "me and Jesus". He takes seriously the nature of the relationship between Christ's followers and the world they live in. The nice balance between the music inspired by Scott's own journey of getting to know Jesus, and this sense of where Christians ought to be in a world that needs to be redeemed, makes for an interesting record (am showing my age... only DJ's and collectors still buy records). Would recommend it to anyone who's spiritual journey has ups, downs, and is often not as simple as some preachers and teachers would lead us to believe it should be.

Just a note, about 12 or 13 years ago, I once took an executive with a Christian record label to task for the quality of the Jesus music being produced out of Nashville. I was, at the time, attending a conference for youth pastors, where we were constantly being browbeaten by artists and industry reps to push Christian artists on our kids and churches. My feeling was, and is, that the job of promotion and distribution of Christian music is the business of the Christian music industry, and that if the stuff they produced was any good, it would be sellable on its own. I find it interesting that a decade later, Christian artists are crossing over into pop, metal, and dance worlds with little, if any, help from local churches. Further, if you look in the CD case (so nineties now) or the IPod (there we go... into the 21st Century) of a typical teenager, you'll be more likely to find Christian music represented there (Switchfoot, Reliant K, etc...), than that kid in any church on a given Sunday morning. Just an indication of how far this segment of the music industry has come, and of the depth of talent it posesess.

As a part of this "gentle revolution", give Scott a listen.... I think you'll enjoy him.

God Bless,