Posts Tagged ‘Charlie Hall


My Top 10 CDs of 2008

I find this a fun way to look back at the year of music that I’ve collected. (For kicks and giggles compare this list to last year’s!) Here’s my favorite CDs that were released in 2008: 

10. Soundtracks! – Officially, shouldn’t be on the list here but soundtracks these days have become so much more than what they used to be! So I listed them last. These 3 are in steady rotation! 

Twilight SoundtrackJuno SoundtrackOnce Soundtrack
– Hate all you want. Crime upon crimes, I still haven’t seen the movie and I LOVE this compilation! 
Juno – Quirky, absurd, bizarre, unpolished, just like the movie! 
Once – Seriously, you already have this one right? I don’t need to say anything more. 

9. Live Music! – Again, officially shouldn’t be here so they’re last as well.

SingalongWhere the light is
Phil WickhamSingalong –  I knew this guy was special when he captivated my attention sandwiched between The Myriad and The David Crowder Band at the House of Blues! His studio work is full and rich and textured and yet here stripped down to nothing more than his guitar, his voice, and the voices of those gathered for an incredible night of worship, this captures the talent and heart of Phil Wickham. It’s disgusting that you get it for free from his website! 
John Mayer Where the light is  I KNOW, not officially a CD of 2008 because they’re all previously recorded songs from past CDs but you tell me an artist out there that can showcase his talent at 1 live show in 3 different settings like this and bring so much passion and energy and raw talent and I’ll take it off. Nab the DVD with it and sweet Jesus. It just doesn’t stop! It probably should be #1 on here!

8. Local Music! – More than shameless plugs, two bands on the bubble!  
A Soup Named StewNumber 2 – David and Company have perfected the art of Comedic Rock and packaged it in a top notch way that trumps the kind of attention “local bands” are giving to the good old CD packaging. If anything, Number 2 gives you more than you need sink your teeth into ASNS. 
Lindsay Rae SpurlockHeart On A simple EP that packs a mean punch, well honestly there’s nothing mean at all to Lindsay but this EP sweeps from poppy finger-snapping to soft tenderness. 6 songs barely scratches the surface to well of music coming from this girl!

7. Pocketful of sunshineNatasha BedingfieldPocket Full of Sunshine I mean seriously, you’d think the girl had 2, maybe 3 CDs drop this year but nope, it’s all been on the same one. And for somebody that’s seen her live, the girl’s legit! Pipes, moves, charisma. Bring it on, I don’t care, probably my secret favorite of the year.
6. Day and AgeThe Killers – Day and Age – I’ll preface this by saying, ‘Yes, I loved Sam’s Town too!’ Day and Age finds The Killers doing what they do best again. Creating something different. Boisterous, over the top, metaphorical, danceable, rockin’, tribal, jazz, Gloria Estefanish, spacey…BRING IT ON! 

5. Your Kingdom ComeMatt PapaYour Kingdom Come Hands down the best worship and/or rock CD you don’t own! This follow up to You Are Good boasts a fluid 18 track monument mixed with the writings of Derek Webb/Charlie Hall and a variety of mad skills on the piano and guitar and vocals that breeds a breadth of variety in his music that’s absolutely stellar!

4. RedWeezerRed – I’m laughing with the thought of this even being on this list but that’s how good it was. Superbly tongue-and-cheek as is Weezer but done amazingly well. Guitar tones thick and rich. And in the midst of themselves a quant, beautiful little diddy called Heart Songs gets me misty every time! 

3. The Bright SadnessCharlie Hall – The Bright Sadness – What a project! What a worship experience! What a musical delivery! I’ve always loved Charlie’s heart and his style of writing. I never thought he got enough props for his earlier releases. Flying into Daybreak got them some attention and The Bright Sadness is a masterpiece of a followup combining the new sound they’re embracing with authentic Charlie Hall!

2. Narrow StairsDeath Cab for CutieNarrow Stairs I’ve been an on the fence fan of Death Cab and Postal Service and Nada Surf and such for years now but for some reason this one pushed me over the edge! It’s on my iPhone and on CD in my truck! 

1. Viva La VidaColdplay – Viva la Vida (Prospekt’s March Edition) – Love ’em or hate ’em I don’t know if there was a harder working band in the business this year than Coldplay and their assault with Death and all his friends! Viva la Vida just doesn’t get old for me. Eno did enough to make it sparkle and shine from X&Y and the fluid nature of this project was a nice touch. The wait was worth it!


So there you have it. I might have got it wrong so I made sure to give you more than 10 🙂 
I initially thought this year was a poor year for music but after looking at this list, I’m not so sure anymore. This was much harder to compile and sort out than last years!

While you’re at it, check out what my blogging brother had to say about 2008!


Sunday Setlist Nov. 16th – Youth Style!

Tonight we had another Youth worship service and it was wicked sweetness!!! Here we go: 

  • Tell the World – Hillsong United
  • We Won’t Be Quiet – David Crowder*Band
  • Never Let Go – Crowder
  • activity to wrap up our Road Signs series
  • Marvelous Light – Charlie Hall
  • How He Loves – John Mark McMillan

Today was just super special in so many ways but for the purpose of this post, I’ll restrict it to these songs 🙂 

I’m beginning to think that not all Youth led worship services require the most boisterous and wild and crazy songs there are. I’m finding we have as much, probably more, on the mid to low tempo songs. I think it’s because we’re in the adult sanctuary and it kind of gobbles us up and it just seems silly to go bananas in there…or I just don’t have alot of wild and crazy students…but I find that hard to believe. 

The special songs of the night were the last 3. 
It was our first time playing Crowder’s Never Let Go but after I intro-ed it, I heard a student go, “HEY! They play this song on KLove!” It was pretty funny. This is a special song for me and most of us here. I heard Crowder wrote this in response to Hurricane Katrina. Well that’s a subject near and dear to our hearts here in Louisiana and I’ve been dying to play this tune. I gave it the feel off the live Remedy Club Tour CD, but picked it on the guitar rather than on the piano.

I’m SO GLAD I don’t play Marvelous Light for the adults and that I do have some semblance of crazy students. They love ‘lifting their hands and spinning around!’ It’s my most favorite thing to do! However, note to anyone leading this song on guitar and spinning around in the process: ALWAYS ALWAYS ALWAYS pay attention to where your guitar cable is. Otherwise you come dangerously close to ripping your guitar off your shoulder or wrenching the cable right out of the guitar 🙂  

How He Loves…So much to say about this song that I’m leaving it for another post. It’s beautiful, it fit my ‘hurricane theme’ for the night! HAHAHA. And the students responded. I blew out my voice on “When I think about the waaaaay!” going into the last Chorus but I did NOT CARE! It was crazy awesome. 

I absolutely love doing worship with students. It’s much more raw and it’s so cool to see students trying to figure out how to worship! However, I did realize that I need to approach this with as much diligence as our morning adult services. We’re doing some pretty complicated stuff and I’ve taken for granted the quality of musicianship from my few “adult” musicians that step in. My goal has been a way to engage the students IN and WITH worship. And I’m resting on the crutches of some of the adults for the sake of busyness and laziness on my part. I need to remedy that for next time. 

How was yours? 

Fred’s carnival is already underway! Get involved!


Fall Festivus 08

The Summer Funeral was greatness, there’s no doubt about it. However, it was the one-two punch of the Summer Funeral in conjunction with the Fall Festivus that got students saying things like:

Our youth group is crazy! I love it!!

There’s not a whole lot of explaining involved in what happened with the Fall Festivus. So here goes: 

  • Flour bombs – fill single sheet Kleenex with flour
  • Shaving cream – fill hands full of shaving cream and have at it
  • Water balloons – fill balloons with water
  • Slip N Slide – head in to your local hardware store (Lowe’s or Home Depot or whatever you chose) and in the painting section they have rolls of super thick plastic rolls. I think ours was 10 feet by 50 feet. 
  • Jambalaya – yeah…it’s delicious!

But why allow me to ramble on. Check it out for yourself: 

Kudos to


Music Review: Charlie Hall The Bright Sadness

Can I start by saying: WAY TO GO CHARLIE!! YES! YES! YES!

Charlie Hall and company dropped The Bright Sadness today that is so far leading the pack on Albums sold on iTunes today! I’m so happy because Charlie’s probably the least talked about leader from the Passion crew and he’s one of my absolute favorites! I remember getting the chance to talk to Charlie last year about Flying Into Daybreak and him saying that they were really trying things differently musically and I was stoked about the end result of FID. Well the evolution of The Bright Sadness is another incredible step for Charlie and company in creating a fresh and relevant worship sound with Charlie’s incredible lyrical content that I’ve always found to be the pulse of what I’m battling with and even a bit prophetic about what’s around the bend! 

I found this CD to have a bit of a club feel to it. The mix is a bit different that what I’ve grown to expect from SixSteps artists. I remember thinking in my truck today that the vocals are settled a bit in the mix with heavy instrumentation leaning on the bass. I found that interesting. Know what else is refreshing? I don’t think I heard any combination of “amazing+love” once! HAHAHA. 

Here’s my initial thoughts as I’ve burned through this CD twice already! 


  • Chainbreaker – Initially, I had to look at the CD again to make sure I didn’t accidentally buy the wrong artist! A great opener that kicks you in the teeth! 
  • New Year – This is such a special song. Charlie has this gift of writing a song like this that just seems like we’ve taken a glimpse into his journal that sits on his end table next to his bed. Kendall’s echoing slide riff is just beautiful as well.
  • Walk the World – As heard on God of This City but loses NO luster recorded in the studio! The funky 80s electronica at the end is a great addition as well! 
  • My Brightness – Hey a song about God’s love that does NOT use “amazing” as an adjective! I didn’t think that was possible 🙂 Sorry. Instantly in the truck I’m bobbing my head along. 
  • Scenes – Here’s another great example of the band’s evolution: the loops and whirls and such are done very tactfully here to create such a cool vibe. One of the lyrics that just sticks with me throughout the whole project: 

I have such a short memory so You keep reminding me of You” 
Man that one slaps me between the eyes! 

  • Thrill – Quirky, groovy, cool baby! 
  • The Second Alive – This is another unexpected gem found on a Charlie Hall CD. Gritty and raw and all up in your face! 
  • Hookers and Robbers – Seriously, how many songs do you know have the word “hooker” in it and you can play in church? 

Crack kids, track kids, hookers and robbers, the naked and hungry, Mothers and Fathers
Abuses, excuses, and guns in your hands, and I even welcome the arrogant man!”

That ends with, “Come break this bread, celebrate the Forgiver. Come as you are!”
What an inspiring song!  

  • Bloom Again – Sorry, I was so excited to get to You are God that I skipped this one both times 😦 
  • You are God – This isn’t You are God, must be the next track.
  • Knit my Heart – Nope this isn’t You are God either.
  • You are God – What the heck is this?!?! Oh my, you mean I don’t get the same version I already purchased from a live Passion CD but a totally fresh and new version!?!?! YES! YES! YES! The piano part is simply beautiful and the transition to the bridge is wicked sweet! I imagine this has to be so hard for these artists, taking a well loved and incredible tune recorded in the magical live arena with thousands of students singing along and then popping it down in the studio and still captivating us. Well done fellas! Well done.
  • Knit my Heart – I wish this song had it’s actual title that was something like, “June 7th, 2007.” If there’s a weak spot on the CD, this could be it but that’s still saying alot! The care and attention that went into this song is still admirable.
  • Mystery – I get goosebumps every time listening to this song. I’m not saying anything other than it is simply amazing what Charlie and company do with the most simple refrains. 

Are you still reading this review? You should have checked out a long time ago and ran to iTunes to pick this up!

Charlie Hall The Bright Sadness


What a Great Day for Music!

David Crowder*Band Remedy Live CD/DVD

Charlie Hall The Bright Sadness

Phil Wickham Singalong

Full reviews coming soon! Chris who?!?!?! Hahaha.


Passion – God of this City Videos

I’m sitting here listening to the new Passion CD: God of This City when I find out there are some promo videos out there. Your probably familiar with the CD itself already so I’d like to point you over to these videos in case you aren’t. has 5 short blurbs that go something like this:

Tomlin on “God of This City” – In the middle of the Tomlin tunes is this little song that became the title of the new CD: God of This City. Tomlin shares the story behind it basically of the detainment in Belfast, Northen Ireland not sure they were even getting in to the country with a concert the next night. God pulled through and connected them with the band Bluetree and nailed Tomlin and company with this tune. Daniel was immediately taken with the chorus and so they got permission to use it and here we have God of This City.

Crowder on Passion – It’s pointless to watch and hilarious to watch. Just go do it! It’s Crowder doing what Crowder does.

Louie on Passion – It’s Louie doing what Louie does, making you feel like God could use you to conquer the world for Jesus. I love his vocabulary though! Passion is definitely a “movement” and this CD’s goal is to give us a snapshot of that movement. Sure they want this CD to be great and they’ve remastered some of the iTunes bundles but if your taken back to what you experienced at some of the last gatherings or are drawn to God by this CD, that’s the intention!

Charlie on Passion – Charlie’s stoked they’re going all over the globe and apparently is in a train station! HAHA! videos near a railroad track – bewildered by the global tour

Redman on Passion – Matt’s just excited other continents are getting exposure to Passion 🙂

Full review coming later of the new stuff. I’m glad the old tunes already released seemed amped up and touched up to give them a little glisten to those already having them in our iTunes library! If you haven’t purchased it yet head over to iTunes or 268 for a physical CD and make sure to pop into hearitfirst to watch the vids!


This Day in Music – Passion: God of This City Song list

Passion’s New One

The latest installment of Passion goodies is now available for pre-order and while the track list has not been “published” it looks like this is what we’re getting:

  1. Let God Arise – Chris Tomlin
  2. You are God – Charlie Hall
  3. God of this City – Chris Tomlin
  4. O, for a Thousand Tongues to Sing – David Crowder*Band
  5. Hosanna – Christy Nockels
  6. Sing, Sing, Sing – Chris Tomlin
  7. Beautiful Jesus – Kristian Stanfill
  8. Walk the World – Charlie Hall
  9. We Shine – Fee
  10. God of our Yesterdays – Matt Redman
  11. The Glory of it All – David Crowder*Band
  12. Shine – Matt Redman
  13. Dancing Generation – Matt Redman
  14. Amazing Grace (My Chains are Gone) – Chris Tomlin

That’s a hefty list! Composed of live material taken from Passion 07 and the Regionals at Boston and Chicago, I’m sure the quality we’re getting will be of the Passion caliber that comes from their “live” recordings.

The rub is that it’s “new” music from the crew but of the 14 tracks it looks like we’re getting only 5 new tracks. However, those 5 tracks all look really exciting! Apparently Kristian‘s new tune is just awesome!

Another thing that looks promising is the work from Charlie that shows up here! Could we have a new Charlie Hall CD this year?!?!?! COULD WE!! I really liked their last release and loved You are God so I am totally eager to see what he’s bringing to the table next.
I’m pumped seeing Fee and Kristian on here. Nothing against Tomlin, I mean he’s huge and his music is accessible and singable and Carson’s like The Edge’s protege with mad skills but as far as leading the next generation, we’ve got to see more from Crowder and Fee and Kristian on these CDs! So seeing only 2 Crowder songs on here kind of disappoints me, especially with a tune I already have a live version from the Passion 07 release. I hoping, HOPING these aren’t the same versions I’ve already paid for. Ah well, at least I have the Remedy for my Crowder slump (rim shot please 🙂

Regardless, it looks to be a great list of songs to bring us out of the Everything Glorious “slump” (I personally liked that collection sans Party but apparently it wasn’t as widely well liked by others.)

Go preorder it at the 268 store or wait for it to come to iTunes or wait further still for the CD/DVD release that will probably come out after we’ve already bought this one 🙂


River Community Music for 1/13

Prelude – U 2 will want to see what we’re pulling off this morning 🙂 It’s honestly the reason why I’m jacked about doing these again!

Opening Music

  • Awesome is the Lord – Tomlinish version – G
  • The Solid Rock – Charlie Hall’s revamp – E
  • You Never Let Go – Matt Redman – A

Offertory – Married Life Live video Promo

Communion & Closing Song – I Stand Amazed (How Marvelous) – Tomlin rendition

This Sunday is 15 minutes shy of our regular service because we’re having our monthly River KidStuf service. But I’m pretty excited about our prelude that I think it’s a great time to begin providing our music we do at River again. Make sure you check back in on Monday: video and everything!!

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