Life & Lyrics: Introduction
The goal of Life & Lyrics is to introduce you to a variety of Catholic/Christian music both new and old. I will interject some professional opinion as a musician, basic theology as a Catholic radio station manager, and hopefully give you some new artists to add to your playlist. With the rise of Christian music stations several years back along with an added number of Christian Music Festivals in the 90’s, I was introduced to what is known as CCM or Contemporary Christian Music. I played guitar with the church group when I was a teen, and so I’ve always enjoyed the positive effect that music has on people especially when you add the element of faith. True, you must keep an ear on the theology behind the lyrics and cannot get drawn off track of the teachings of the church. That being said, I will list several of my favorite CCM artists (in no apparent order). In future blogs I will give a little bio on each artist and I will look deeper into one of their songs. It will not be a music or album review, but will look at the song structure both musically and lyrically and how it involves scripture or church teaching in any way. Here are just a few of the artists that will be covered in Life & Lyrics.
Steven Curtis Chapman
Most of these artists I have been blessed to be able to see perform live (Rich Mullins excluded) though I’ve met several of his Ragamuffin band. There are hundreds of other possibilities to add to this list in the future, but it’s a start and I am open to suggestions, if you have a favorite CCM artist just shoot me an email and let me know.
The Catholic Playlist
This would be a good time to mention that Living Bread Radio presents The Catholic Playlist on our radio network each Sunday at 1pm. This show features both local and national Catholic musicians, and is a great program to introduce the genre to a wider audience.
In the late 80’s there were several local outdoor festivals which featured a few top selling Christian artists, and some who were just beginning to get their feet wet in the music business. They were inexpensive and seemed like a nice family friendly environment to spend a day or weekend. The music was upbeat and had a positive message and a great impact on the crowd. With four young children we looked forward to attending each year. The advent of CCM radio only helped increase the attendance of these festivals over the years and today they appear all through out the country. It was not until the year 2000 that there was an event which had all of the above, but then added a more Catholic element to it. It is known as The Fest, and takes place each August in Wickliffe Ohio, an event that my family has attended since its inception. This year’s event prooves to be another outstanding day and will feature three wonderful groups Mercy Me, Steven Curtis Chapman, and Matt Maher, plus several others. Bring the family, make a day of it and stay for the outdoor Mass where you can join thousands of other Catholics from all around the country. For a complete schedule and more information go to www.thefest.us
Until next time,