Sojourn Live | Come Ye Sinners

Our friends at Sojourn Community Church in Louisville, KY who have put out some of the great, new, creative worship music of the last several years now have released Come Ye Sinners, a live album. Along with that, you can get all other Sojourn albums for $5. So it's a good time to fill in what's missing in your Sojourn Music catalog as well as to pick up their new offering.Sojourn live

Bad Art & the Tortured Beauty of the Cross

Wonderful, thoughtful discussion between Scotty Smith (Pastor, Christ Community Church, blog), Greg Thornbury (Union University), and Mike Cosper (Sojourn Music) on good art and bad art. I've been thinking through some of themes they discuss as they relate to some music I've been listening to this year. I'm working on a post on one singer/artist in particular who I think many Christians would hate, but for all the wrong reasons.

Anyway, that post is for another day. Watch this great discussion (via). And by the way, this is the best video thumbnail of my friend Greg Thornbury EVER.

Sojourn | A Child Is Born


I'm a huge Sojourn Music fan because I like their music and the rich content of their songs. More than that, I love their music because I love their focus on the Gospel as a church. They are friends and one of my favorite churches around.

I've given a couple of listens to Sojourn Community Church's new Christmas album, A Child Is Born. My word for this album would be "challenging." It's challenging to your ears as it's anything but a typical Christmas album. It's not even close. Their version of "O Come, O Come Emmanuel" is "punk-rock inspired," "Hark! The Herald Angels Sing" is poppy, as is "Silent Night." Some of the more subdued and lovely moments on the album are from lesser known lyrics retooled. I love the voices that are now very familiar to me: Brooks Ritter, Jamie Barnes, Megan Shaffer & others. They are always a joy to hear again on new projects. The cover design is lovely and simple.

In many ways, this isn't supposed to be an easy album to hear. From Sojourn's website...

There’s a place for joy, a necessary and central place for celebration, but that joy and celebration has it’s most weight when seen in the context of the suffering and longing from which it emerges. So Christmas music at Sojourn has always had a dark edge, a sense of tension and angst, which points us to the darkness of our own hearts that longs for the light of Christ.

For me, A Child Is Born is an odd album. Taking the familiar and making it unfamiliar. Taking songs typically wrapped in seasonal sounds and re-wrapping them in something unseasonal and unusual. It may not be an easy album for you to like, though I've heard from many who are liking it a lot! Sojourn takes some serious risks in genre and style that will shake your Christmas world. But you will have to be the judge if this darker, grittier version of Christmas is something that will be in your rotation year by year. If nothing else, Sojourn for me has earned a listen as they continue to make music in service of the Church that is out of the ordinary.

Buy A Child is Born: Amazon or for $5 at Grouptune

Also check out: Over the Grave | The Water & The Blood

Review | Sojourn: The Water & The Blood

SojournI don't know what to say about Sojourn Music. I feel like if I'm too positive then I'm not really reviewing. I feel like I need to find something critical to say, because I'm pretty much head-over-heels for everything they do. Seriously tough for me to do anything but tell everyone about their music because it's all worth having and loving.

That said, Sojourn has a new album of Isaac Watts hymns: The Water and the Blood. Their previous album of Watts' hymns is Over the Grave.

My initial reaction to The Water and the Blood is the feeling that it's missing something. That's what happens when you open your previous album with "Warrior." I looked for that song. There's really nothing close. Where Over the Grave rocked and rolled and in many ways roared, The Water and the Blood seems to go in a different direction. I was concerned.

The Water and the Blood is reserved. It's kinda sad. Has Sojourn lost it's rock? No, I don't think so. And it took some thinking for me to figure out why I was expecting something I wasn't getting.

I think this is a new movement in the story that Sojourn is unfolding. It's the moan. It's the blues. It's not the joyous push of going Over the Grave. In many ways, The Water and the Blood is standing at the edge of the grave and meditating on who God is in view of the grave. It doesn't lack in Gospel, in fact it gives us the Gospel richly. And it's not always brooding, as we find a bit more daylight in songs like "Blest Be the Lamb." But for the most part it speaks to us during difficulty, and the mood makes it clear. It's about death and suffering, and doesn't always give us healing. Sometimes The Water and the Blood helps us to cry out when healing has not yet come. It's seeking the LORD. It's waiting on the LORD. It's trusting in the LORD. While distress is near and pain is felt, those suffering while in the grip of Christ have One listening to our cries.

There are times when I need worship songs like "Warrior," but there are also times I need The Water and the Blood. It's rich food for the aching soul. Listen and receive grace in your time of need, and know that the LORD "spilt His Son's blood in our place." ("From Deep Distress")

I highly recommend The Water and the Blood. Please pick it up. If you move quickly, you can get any of Sojourn's albums for $6. Also, for $15 you can pick up their last three albums. Don't miss some of the best and most creative and most theological worship music I've heard. At this price, you should get it all. 

Sojourn | The World Didn't End Sale


Sojourn Music is putting out some of the most creative and theological worship music around. It's always one of my first recommendations for folks looking for worship music. Now you can get their last three albums for just $15 in their The World Didn't End Sale. If you don't have them, you need to get them now. The sale may not last long. Or buy any of their albums individually for $6 each, including the newer albums or their earlier releases like Before the Throne (song "We Are Listening" is outstanding) and These Things I Remember.

Don't miss this sale!

Music Monday | Cheap, New, Free | 4.25.2011






    Good New Music (out now)...

    Coming Soon | Streaming Free

Music Monday | Cheap, New, Free | 4.18.2011





    Good New Music (out now)...

  • The Pains of Being Pure at HeartBelong
  • LowC'mon
  • Panda BearTomboy | Animal Collective frontman

    Coming Soon | Streaming Free

Music Monday: Barnes & Ritter (Sojourn) EPs

Barnes Ritter

On February 22nd Sojourn Music (Sojourn Community Church in Louisville, KY) is releasing a dual EP with two Sojourn artists, Jamie Barnes and Brooks Ritter. It's 10 new songs available for download on the 22nd, 2 EPs of 5 songs each: The War (Ritter) and The Mercy Seat (Barnes). I've had it for a week and have listened multiple times through the whole thing. It's exactly what I've come to expect from Sojourn and these two great artists -- truth, beauty, creativity, worship. It's just great & already a family favorite. 

Here's an interview of both artists (via) which includes a song from each EP. MJ Butterworth already has a review up, and check out the great artwork...

Jamie EP Brooks ep