Sunday Tunes

I’m infatuated with music in a way that rivals that of an addiction. I find myself able to become lost in a song with a great story. A song that has the ability to evoke emotion and take me on a journey. I absolutely love singer/songwriter types, but don’t limit myself. Music is probably one of my favorite forms of therapy, right after coffee.

Sunday Tunes: Bryan & Katie Torwalt

Bryan And Katie Torwalt | Silence And Chaos

Bryan & Katie Torwalt are relatively new to the CCM (Contemporary Christian Music) world and their music is nothing short of a breath of fresh air. Katie’s voice a soulful quake of praise-filled melodies that you can’t help but to get lost in. Bryan’s voice contrasting in rich tenor tones that support Katie’s qualities to a tee, together they are a powerhouse and I can’t wait to see how God uses them to do his will in the kingdom. I accidentally stumbled upon their music when ‘Nothing Holding Me Back’ came on my Jesus Culture station via Pandora, which is a track form their freshman album ‘Here On Earth’. And I haven’t stopped listening since, always in anticipation to hear something new. So it goes without saying that I will be purchasing their new album, Kingdom Come, and recommend that you do the same if you are a fan of such bands as Jesus Culture, Hillsong United, Gungor, or JJ Heller. I know that you will absolutely love everything that Bryan & Katie Torwalt are. Here are some of my favorite tracks from them and a link for you to listen to them live. Its the perfect beginning to an already blessed filled Sunday morning. After all, you’re alive.

Nothing Holding Me Back
I’m A Lover of Your Presence
I Breathe You In God
Weight Of Glory
I Will Trust You
He Is The Light

And here is the link to watch them perform some of their freshman album and their new album live. I highly recommend clearing your schedule and grabbing a cup of coffee, you won’t want to miss a second of it.


Sunday Tunes: Matt Kearney

What is there not to love about Mat Kearney’s music? It’s relate-able, it’s catchy and the man’s a fantastic story-teller. I’ve been a fan since a friend in high-school introduced me to him. When I heard the first songs Nothing Left to Lose, Crashing Down, Bullet, and What’s a Boy to Do. The rest is history and I’ve been an avid listener ever-since. Kearney originally from Eugene, Oregon now living in Nashville, TN found God during his partying days of college and realized there was no turning back to the depravity of yester-year. He began writing music with his friend Robert Marvin, who encouraged the move to Nashville, bringing us the indie-folk, hip-hop inspired genre that I’ve come to love today. I thoroughly enjoy the vivid imagery Mat creates using the least amount of words, proving the lyrics to be effective without stumbling over each other. Here’s an excerpt from Breathe In Breathe Out from the City of Black & White Album…

Breathe in
Breathe out
Tell me all of your doubts
Everybody bleeds this way
Just the same
Breathe in
Breathe out
Move on and break down
If everyone goes away
I will stay

If you are a fan of Mat Kearney, you might also enjoy some of my other favorite artists such as: Keane, The Fray, The Script & Jimmy Needham. Here are some song selections that I enjoy and I hope you do too.

All I have
Nothing Left to Lose
Breathe In Breathe Out
Ships in The Night
What’s a Boy to Do

Sunday Tunes: Natalie Grant

I grew up in a black Southern Baptist environment that gave me very little insight to the world of CCM. I knew of Michael W. Smith & Stephen Curtis Chapman to name a few, but Natalie Grant, I was totally in the dark. That was until I met my wife. And now I’m pretty sure that I’m a bigger fan than she is. She’s got such a power house voice that demands your attention.The thing I love the most about Grant’s music is the sincerity and authenticity behind the lyrics. There’s a handful of artists who can evoke emotion within me while listening to their music and Natalie is one of them. I can relate one of her songs to a moment in my life where I felt that way or I’ve thought that thought. I remember my wife putting in her Awaken album and I heard make me over, and the rest is history. All of her albums are what I call ‘listen through’ quality. That means you might have some favorites, but you can put the album in and just let it play because it’s that good. Here are some of my favorites! And if you enjoy these selections also check out some of my other favorite female CCM artists, Rachael Lampa, Nichole Nordeman & JJ Heller. Enjoy!

I will not be moved
Your Great Name: Song Story
Our Hope Endures
Our Hope Endures: My Wife’s Cover
The Greatness of Our God
So Long

Sunday Tunes: Forever Jones

I am a music junky. I listen to music almost as much as I breathe. I love lyrics more than melodies and baselines, A minors and drum solos. The lyrics are what determines if I love the artist enough to come back and today’s selection does just that. It keeps you returning for one more listen. Forever Jones is a family band of 7 from Shreveport, LA creating soulful gospel music with influences from pop to rock. My wife was singing ‘He wants it all’ one day and I asked who sings that? Well, the rest is history and I’ve been a fan ever-since. Only stepping on the music scene in 2010 and having a Grammy nomination and 3 Dove Award nominations. The Forever Jones family is a forced to be reckoned with.

My favorite verse in ‘He wants it all’ is:
“there’s a voice that cries out in the silence,
searching for a heart that will love him”

I truly believe that the God I serve speaks in the silence as well as the chaos. But for me, it has always been in the silent moments of tuning out the rest of the world, that he breathes wisdom into my life. I hope you enjoy  them as much as we do.
My Forever Jones faves
He wants it all
Every Moment

Sunday Tunes: Ben Rector

Today’s Sunday Tune selection is none other than Ben Rector. I say that as though you should know who he is and well you should. The man is a lyrical genius and his melodies in combo with his lyrics will leave you wanting more. I discovered the Tulsa, Oklahoma native while searching through Adele’s music on YouTube about three years ago and I have been a huge fan ever since. Rector’s writing feel good music for the whole family and suitable for any occasion. The artist is currently based in Nashville, TN and said to be touring with NeedtoBreathe this Spring.

I look to the day when the One Direction’s and Ke$has are put to the rest so the real talent like Ben can shine effortlessly. Today’s selection is When a heart breaks. My wife fell in love with this song because she said it described how she felt during her battle with Aplastic Anemia. If you want more info on the artist. Check it out here on Wikipedia and the website for tours, albums and more info.

My Ben Rector Faves
White Dress
Need You Tonight

Sunday Tunes: Gungor

The Grammy nominated Gungor is not your typical Christian Music and I don’t even know if you can coin them as Christian. There writing style is uniquely poetic and complex in design. Their music addresses the problems of the heart and simply being human in an ever-changing sin ridden world. I love to describe to their music as “porch swing and coffee music only to be appreciated in the middle of God’s country.”

Here is a great video of Gungor describing their music and telling you all about the inspiration for their new album Ghosts upon the earth. It also provides a better feel for who they are as believers and musicians. I hope you fall in love with their work as much as I have.

One thing I really love is that they write lengthy pieces that actually allow you to reflect and praise God. It’s a beautiful thing because a lot of times when the words begin to speak to you in a song, it’s over. My Sunday Tune selection from them today is ‘Beautiful Things’ from the album Beautiful Things. One of my favorite lines in the song is “out of chaos life is being found in you” and this is so true. I believe the chaotic moments in our lives are where we typically come to meet Christ. It’s not the accidental epiphany of clouds and rainbows that some would have you to believe. I also encourage you to read Michael Gungor’s blog found on the website. Where he discusses openly his issues with life in general, church and Christianity.

My Gungor Faves
Beautiful Things
Dry Bones
We will run
God is not a white man

Sunday Tunes: Jimmy Needham

Today’s Sunday Tunes selection is none other than the man himself. Jimmy Needham. I discovered Jimmy Needham when I began my conversion over to CCM Music and I have never turned back. I absolutely enjoy anything musically this man has ever created. I recently saw him live in Nashville and was shocked that it wasn’t a full house. He has a distinguished writing style that gives way to jazzy tones, electronic pop with an undertone of soulful swoon that will leave you wanting more.

Needham’s transparency with his pornography struggles was one of the reason’s I was able to connect with him and his music. Seeing as how I too was introduced to  porn at a young age and dealt with some of the same issues. You can often read his blogs that attack the issue head on in an attempt to assist others who also struggle. Here’s an exert from one of his previous write-ups:

“For a while I thought about sin, and in particular my porn addiction, as a violation of God’s law, the 10 Commandments.  I was committing various crimes against God’s standard and thereby indicted myself before a holy God.  My sin, my monster was primarily an activity-based issue.  Of course, the point of this blog is not to deny that.  The Bible is profoundly clear that our sins are activities of the mind and body against God’s perfect standard, His Law.  But I believe there to be an even more profound lens through which we can understand the monster of sin and in this case, lust:  Sin is not just a violation of Law, it is a violation of appetite.”

You can find it @ under What Monster Movies And Porn have in Common, but be sure to read the preceding blog first. Titled All in The Family: Lust & Her Ugly Cousins

The song selection today is Jimmy’s Clear The Stage. An amazingly simplistic written piece of work that is sure to pick at your heart-strings. I like to consider myself to be a pretty passionate person when it comes to music. I can’t break down the technicalities of it by any means, its more about the lyrics and melodies. You can find out more on Clear The Stage here. And here’s a snippet of what Jimmy Needham had to say about the song. I hope you enjoy it as much as I do.

“The first time I heard this song as a high school student, it shipwrecked me. I don’t think anyone can be the same person after hearing this song. I’ll never forget hearing those words and immediately getting on my face before God. As the final track on the record, it’s a heavy way to close, but my hope is that by the end, every listener will say ‘I want more of Jesus and less of everything else.’”

My Needham Favs:
Clear The Stage
Fence Riders
If I Ever Needed Grace: Live/Acoustic
Before And After

Sunday Tunes: All Sons & Daughters

Welcome to the first installment of Sunday Tunes. I’ll be giving you some of my favorite praise and worship selections from some of your favorite Christian Artists & More.

Today is All Sons & Daughters. David Leonard and Leslie Jordan teamed together at The Journey Church in Franklin, TN where the are currently Worship Designers in the Creative Arts Ministry. The best way to describe them is a snippet from their website:

“David & Leslie have found a way to capture the thoughts, emotions and sounds of their local church & put them into songs,” says Jay King, Integrity’s vice president of A&R/Artist Development. “All Sons & Daughters is more than a worship band…they represent us as people who are still on a journey. And they are creating the soundtrack for that journey.”

Here’s one of my favorite’s by the duo. This song is a great inspirational start to your Sunday Morning or any weekday. I hope you love it as much as I do.

All Sons & Daughters: Wake-Up Video