Sojourn brings Isaac Watts’ hymns new life

The Water and The Blood: The Hymns of Isaac Watts was recorded during a few snowy days in January using an old tape machine with mics bleeding into one another and mistakes left in giving it an organic feel. This is Sojourn’s seventh album.

If Christian music was art, it would be “paint-by-numbers,” so when Sojourn comes along with an album that sounds like it’s influenced more by Tom Waits, John Hiatt, and Natalie Merchant, than Michael W. Smith, Steven Curtis Chapman, and Amy Grant, it’s a moment to rejoice. The many folks brought together to make this record have created authentic, compelling art. This is one of those rare “Christian” albums you could feel comfortable giving your gay atheist cousin, or your trendy New York City hipster friend. You could give it to your Jewish liberal aunt, or your hard partying brother in college. In other words, this music does not fit the cookie cutter mentality of “Christian rock” or the dreaded “CCM” label. It’s bluesy, folksy, soulful. It’s country, it’s rootsy, it’s Americana. It’s like Johnny Cash meets NewWorldSon meets Bonnie Raitt. It’s cool.

Beautifully produced by Paul Mahern and Mike Cooper, The Water and The Blood: The Hymns of Isaac Watts takes you through deep, well-written hymns that have a distinct Roots/Americana feel to them while communicating a universal message to their audience. Musicians with backgrounds in jazz, country, pop, and punk rock came together for a common cause while seeking to serve the Church with meaningful contemporary music. Singer Jamie Barnes, on songs like “Compel My Heart To Sing” and “Deep In Our Hearts,” reminded us of Joel Parisien, from NewWorldSon.

Since launching in 2000, Sojourn Music has recorded 7 albums of original music, including the critically-acclaimed album Before the Throne. Sojourn’s music is very powerful.  The members of the band come from a church with three campuses in Louisville, with 2500+ people gathering on Sundays for church.

The Water and The Blood: The Hymns of Isaac Watts is available on CD, Digital format and vinyl LP.

“We’re excited to release this new collection of hymns.  It’s music that comes from a real sense of community and faith, connecting emerging generations from the 300-year-old work of the father of the English hymn.  We can’t wait to introduce you to Isaac Watts,” states Michael Cosper, Pastor of Worship and Arts for Sojourn Community Church.

If you appreciate music as art, do not hesitate to seek out the music of Sojourn. Here’s where you can buy the new album.


Published by

Mark Weber

Mark Weber publishes the MarkWeberMusicBlog.

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