I haven't been to church in years, but I was tricked into going by my friend Brandin Reed, when he mailed me a copy of his brand new CD "Rhythm & Hymns".
I used to think I was just reminiscing talking about Brandin, but now I feel like I'm "name dropping" to say we used to lead worship for the youth group of Portland's New Beginnings Christian Center, now well over mumble mumble years ago (just under 100 years ago).
I know I should listen to it several more times before writing about it, but I can't wait.
I am sure my neighbors think I am weird(er) because I'm wearing my wireless earphones, bobbing my head, swaying, shivering on my back porch in the wet Oregon cold while
Brandin recorded and dedicated this to his dad, Pastor Larry Reed who was for many years a street preacher / evangelist and can be heard a couple times in the songs on the CD from old live recordings, preaching up a storm.
If you have ever been to a pentecostal / charismatic / Holy Ghost church more than once, you know their music has changed a lot over the last 25 years.
I remember when playing an electric guitar in church was gradually and cautiously accepted... AS LONG AS THERE IS NO DISTORTION!
I also remember my playing the very first distortion guitar solo during church services in at least two different churches, which went over really well and was met with equal parts excitement and disgust.
It wasn't long before CCM (contemporary christian music) was sounding more and more like U2 or Dave Matthews and we were even doing reworded covers of Beasty Boys and MC Hammer. Yes, ON PURPOSE.
But CCM has changed a lot since then, as has most genres, branching out with more and more influences and finding its own way.
Many if not most charismatic churches now have teens / young adults leading their worship services with everything from rock to Indie influences... but there is just something about the Hymns.
Back when I first started going to pentecostal churches almost 3 decades ago (I am old), electric guitars were anathema (see what I did there?) and hymns were still king.
They still are.
I can't do a write up about Brandin's CD justice, but the first thing I notice about a new CD is whether I will listen to it again and again, and this is one. It has crazy smooth and sincere influences from gospel, country, blues, R&B and even "Nawlin's jazz" and Brandin's patent falsetto and vocal riffing. Never forced and always from the heart.
There is a big difference between singing and playing your instrument really well and even singing with some soul and emotion... or having all that and also singing from experience, the heart and with anointing.
Brandin's still leading worship services a lot further away in Texas or some weird place and apparently now making really great CDs. I can attest he is a good guy with a good heart, beautiful family and has a good voice and a great ear.
Well, I am done
If you go to church, you should listen to this CD. But if you don't go to church, you should probably still listen to this CD.
Check him out:
Rhythm & Hymns on Amazon
Rhythm & Hymns on iTunes
I didn't think Brandin would sneak me back into church tonight, but I'm glad he did.