Music for a new Reformation: "Wake Up Sleeper"...

(Tim) The Good Shepherd Band has released a new EP album, Wake Up Sleeper. You can listen to and download the EP from their web site.

Why listen? Because, spreading the word about this album is something you can do to help us.

This blog exists to call the people of God back to faithfulness to "everything (Jesus) commanded." Critical to that work is the Church's worship, and critical to Her worship is the restoration of Biblical themes past generations treasured, but we repudiate. Themes like spiritual warfare, the Devil, courage in persecution, Judgment, Heaven, and Hell.

Have you noticed, it's almost a definition of Contemporary Christian Music that these themes are absent? Yes, there are exceptions to the rule; but they're just that--exceptions. A Mighty Fortress demonstrates that past generations of believers clung to these truths:

And though this world, with devils filled,
Should threaten to undo us,
We will not fear, for God hath willed
His truth to triumph through us;
The Prince of Darkness grim --
We tremble not for him;
His rage we can endure,
For lo, his doom is sure,
One little word shall fell him.

So now that you've thought about the themes of A Mighty Fortress, give a listen to Hiding Place. When we sing this song in worship, my spirit is jolted awake and I remember to fear God:

Hiding Place

Day of wrath! Certain and dreadful day
When earth and sky are burned away
The sun will dim, and with it the moon decay
To greet His fierce return

The trumpet sounds, all of the dead arise
A mighty army swells the skies
The Lamb descends, a burning within His eyes
To conquer and to judge...



So swift He leads those heavenly armies on
To slay the harlot Babylon
Lo, hear her now enjoying a prideful song
He’ll catch her by surprise

And from the earth her name erase
O Jesus, be my hiding place
O Jesus, be my hiding place
Hiding place....

The band's leader, Jody Killingsworth, wrote Hiding Place, so after you listen to it, check out this arrangement of a hymn from our traditional hymnody, The Son of God Goes Forth to War.

Splendid, isn't it?

And please, all you aesthetes, don't turn your nose up at these songs because these clasically trained musicians (yes, all of them) have substituted bass and drums for the pedals of our home churches' "magnificent" Casavants. The Reformers put "worship in the vulgar tongue" at the center of the principles of Protestant worship, and that certainly extends to musical genre and instrumentation. If the reformed church is going to escape our northern hemisphere, upper middle class, white, ghetto, we're going to have to learn to meditate closely on the old truth, "All an Englishman's prejudices are a matter of principal!"

So again, give the EP a listen, and then spread the news to all your Facebook buddies, members of your congregation, and fellow presbyters.

I have no qualms about saying that the hard work these men are doing is worth promoting across the church in America today. None at all.

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Comments

This EP is terrific! In listening to those 6 songs, I find myself encouraged, challenged, exhorted, rebuked, and built up. Excellent work, Good Shepherd Band!

As one who came out of the mecca of Christian music in Nashville, I would put this album on par in its quality with anything that I heard out of Nashville in the last 10 years. In addition to that, the content far surpasses virtually everything that I have heard from christian music in the last decade.

If that isn't enough to get you to go and download this, I don't know what would be. Please do so and recommend it. It is worth commending.

Archie,

I'll download it if you can fix my speakers - deal?

But seriously, I plan to buy it as soon as they start burning the CD - I'm technologically challenged that way!

Kamilla

Kamilla,

While our primary distribution method for this project is digital download, hard copies of WAKE UP SLEEPER will be available toward the end of March. However, we do not currently have plans to distribute these widely beyond the context of a CD table at concerts. Anything more than this becomes very complicated and costly for us.

However, we're still investigating other options in this regard and will let you and the other BAYLYBLOG readers know should a solution be found.

Until then, I suggest that you either send a written request for a hard copy with a personal check in the amount of $10 ($8 disc + $2 shipping) to:

ClearNote Records
2501 S Endwright Road
Bloomington, IN 47403

Or (and I like this idea better) come visit us again at CGS on or after the 27th of March--the date of our official WAKE UP SLEEPER EP release concert.

Warmly,
Jody Killingsworth

Good music boys!

I think that the text of "Hiding Place" is the modern equivalent to "A Mighty Fortress".

On the critical side of things, the guitar tone on some of the songs is very harsh and fuzzy. I suppose that the process of self-recording is also a process of much trial and error.

Also, just to clear some things up, most of this EP was not composed for congregational music correct? The text does not lend itself to communal singing, but does to convict hearts.

Thank you for your hard work, I've enjoyed it.

Thank you Nate.

You're right, most of the songs from WAKE UP SLEEPER are not intended for congregational singing. 'Rock of Ages' we do corporately, as well as 'The God of Abraham Praise'. 'The Son of God Goes Forth to War' we sing occasionally, but usually only by special request. But the rest are not for congregational singing.

So what are they for? Special music, offertories, concerts at church or elsewhere, and the like. They're designed to give occasion for preaching. They're geared for evangelism, both to pagans, and evangelicals. They are songs that have proven fruitful to these ends. So, we decided to record them so that more people could have the opportunity to hear them, and also more often.

So, there you go. We hope to follow this project up with a recording of some of our favorite original worship songs together with a few made-over hymns. But one thing at a time.

My family are the band's biggest fans. A PDF of the lyrics for the album (which I originally created at my children's request so they could sing along) is available here: http://todayorthatday.wordpress.com/2013/05/30/wake-up-sleeper-lyrics/

Thank you, Daniel. I'm printing this out now--a real blessing to have it all in one place!

You are welcome, Mrs. Pryor.

Not to overwhelm you, but I have also just posted the lyrics to the Glorious Things album; Clearnote Songbook volume 1, volume 2, and volume 3; and the Everlasting Word Band's Rise Up O Just One and Christ is Risen! albums.

The Repeat the Sounding Joy lyrics are available also, though in not quite as spiffy a format (they were my first attempt).

Only too happy to be "overwhelmed", Daniel. Appreciate your efforts on all of this. Everything printed and ready for some regular use. Thank you!

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