I always feel a little odd using the language of “greatness” to describe music which I find meaningful, revolutionary, and full of startling artistry. (Not that I have not been guilty of calling many artists or albums the “greatest” in the past) – It’s just that there is something kind of Oxymoronic about describing any product of the sanctified imagination as the greatest.
Isn't part of the Christian message that we, as wretched beings, are given to celebration of the Most Great, the Most Terrible, the Most Excellent, the Most Giving, the most Holy, the Most Central of all Beings? Then there is that stuff of sideways humility.
For by the grace given me I say to every one of you: Do not think of yourself more highly than you ought, but rather think of yourself with sober judgment, in accordance with the faith God has distributed to each of you. 4 For just as each of us has one body with many members, and these members do not all have the same function, 5 so in Christ we, though many, form one body, and each member belongs to all the others. 6 We have different gifts, according to the grace given to each of us. If your gift is prophesying, then prophesy in accordance with your[a] faith; 7 if it is serving, then serve; if it is teaching, then teach; 8 if it is to encourage, then give encouragement; if it is giving, then give generously; if it is to lead,[b] do it diligently; if it is to show mercy, do it cheerfully. (Romans 12)
So, now I am struggling to find the right words to describe a body of music that is of superior character and quality, and given to world (I fully believe) as an act of grace.
I am speaking of the Music of Josh Garrels.
In as much as I was born in 1960, I find a disproportionate body of the music to which I listen was forged in the 70s and 80s. But now, my ear is undergoing something of a revolution as I am discovering dozens of artists who remind me that this is a decade of unparalleled exploration, artistry… and sometimes spiritual aptitude. And among that group, I find the music of Josh Garrels ministers to me through every channel: my senses, my mind, and that interior space where God makes home in me.
If you are not yet familiar with the music of Josh Garrels let me introduce you. Freely.
That is, you can find a free sample of Josh Garrels music right now through Noise Trade. (And while Josh routinely gives music away and performs for free, may I also suggest a hearty tip. See Noise Trade for details.) Beyond that, you can find plenty of Josh Garrels music for sampling on Youtube.
Ps. For any locals who read this as I post. I understand that Josh is coming to Fayetteville, Arkansas April 26, 2014. Now to convince my wife that this would make a great way to spend her birthday weekend.