So in 2014, I didn’t post much here. It has been a landmark busy year. I had the privilege of serving Eagle Rock Church as primary worship leader for another year. It has been a good ear with great people. I had the honor of leading worship at many conferences. I traveled all over the country. I got to serve alongside many great kingdom leaders like Kevin Basconi, James Maloney, Patricia King, Julie Meyer, Joshua Mills, David Herzog, James Durham, Michael Danforth, and more. I continued my on going work in Ciudad Obregon, Mexico, and set things in motion to do more missions work in 2015. All things considered it was a blessed year of serving the king.
2014 was a great year of worship as well. My friend Wisdom Moon shared a post called “Top 10 Worship Albums of 2014” over at AllAboutWorship.com. I linked it for your consideration. I wanted to take a moment to highlight some other ones I really enjoyed this year. The ones I highlight were not commercial successes at least in the sense of sales, but each one really impressed me with its quality. As is the case with Wisdom’s article. I will put these in alphabetical order.
Cageles Birds – Live at Home
Those of you who have followed my blog in the past will know I have a lot of lover for Jon & Melissa Helser. They recently signed on with Bethel Music to help produce and distribute their music. Coinciding with this Bethel re-released “On The Shores” which is possibly my all time favourite worship album.
However, at the begining of 2014. The Helsers got together with the band and their staff at this ministry base in North Carolina and collaborated on a group of songs. Then they gathered in Jon & Melissa’s living room and recorded these songs live from home. It yielded great songs including one of my favourites of 2014 “Mt. Zion
Housefires – Housefires I
Wisdom mentioned Housefires II on his article, but thier first album came out in the begining of 2014 and was recorded in a home group setting mu like “Live at the Banks House” by United Pursuit. This album has some of the same songs from Housefires II but is much more stripped down and intimate in its tone.
Jake Hamilton & The Sound – Beautiful Rider
Jake has alwyas been enjoyable, but often his raspy voice and almost screaming vocals in worship have put some people off. In this album he still gets a bit of that but writes a few more mellow worship albums. The Title track “Beautiful Rider” is one of my favourites of 2014 and is my phone Alarm. It wakes me up every day reminding me that God is Beautiful and He is coming back for me.
Jaye Thomas – Here is My Worship
Jaye is a friend and I had the honor of worshiping with him at my thursday night bible study recently. That was an intimate stripped down night where Jaye led from a grand piano in a living room filled with college students. However this album recorded live at Onething 2013 in Kansas City is a full scale recording with Jaye and His Gospel choir known as the Cry.
This album features several new renditions of familiar songs as well as some great new songs. Its blend of Gospel and modern worship makes for a unique experience that is well worth your time.
John Mark McMillan – Borderland
This album is not corporate but it contained one of the best corporate songs of the year “Future/Past” This album is great and explores new territory for John Mark and the gang. It is well worth a listen because it is just a musical marvel.
Jordan Marcotte – Leaning
Jordan is another firend and I have played and sang with and alongside him for several years. This album is R&B and Slow jams, but all worship and centered on the heart of God. It is such a style diverge from the vast majority of worship that it needs to be on everyone’s ipod.
Josh Baldwin – Rivers
Josh is a great worship leader in the Carolinas. This album is just full of corporate worship songs that really need to be sung more. I can listen to it end to end and then restart and not be bored. That is a joyously rare quality. It was one of my best finds of 2014.
Liz Vice – There’s A Light
Liz is one of the worhsip leaders at Door of Hope in Portland, Or. She is part of the Band “The Followers” with Josh White (another artist you need to know) This album has a soul/R&B feel that reaches back into the 60’s and 70’s but doesn’t feel lost or dated. I can’t recommend this enough. We need more like this.
Mark & Sarah Tillman – In My Bones
Mark and Sarah are another great couple from the Carolinas. This is their debut album but is so worth it. It has a unique indie feel that is accentuated by their natural flow as husband and wife. The closing track “Sing My Spirit” has brought me to tears more than once and helped me move through tough times in my life. Check this album out.
These are only 9 albums, and there are many great ones I left out. But these are ones I really felt compelled to highlight. Please take time to listen to them. buy the albums support these artists, help them make more beautiful worship.