Other Singer/Songwriters I strongly recommend (listed alphabetically by first name)
1. Bruce Cockburn: I’ve been a huge Cockburn fan ever since I first became aware of his music in the early 1980’s. He’s one of the best lyricists I’ve ever listened to. Writes very beautiful and passionate love songs, as well as profoundly poetic spiritual stuff and equally passionate and hard hitting political stuff. He’s a deep soul and just wreaks with integrity. And he’s an absolutely amazing guitarist—acoustic and electric. He’s as real as real gets for my money…
2. Christopher Grundy: Christopher is a close personal friend of mine, and a fantastic folk singer/songwriter and also a Christian artist. He and I led the singing at UCC National Youth Events together in 1996 and 2000. He’s an ordained UCC pastor and now teaches preaching and worship at Eden Theological Seminary in St. Louis, MO. In my opinion he’s one of the best liturgical music writers I’ve ever heard, and folks looking for music they can use in worship that is theologically solid, inclusive in every way, easy to sing, and just plain beautiful will really appreciate his music. I’ve sung backing vocals on a couple of his albums, and his “Come To The Feast” project was recorded at my studio in Madison, WI. He’s a great guy and you’ll love his music…
3. David Wilcox: I’ve met David a couple of times, but it would be presumptuous to say he’s a friend of mine. In any case, he’s just an amazingly beautiful human being and an incredible artist. He’s well known for his excellence as an acoustic guitarist, and especially for his use of open tunings. In fact he has a great instructional video out that I’ve learned a lot from when it comes to alternative tunings on the guitar. But what I love about David’s songwriting most is his lyrics. He is the master of using metaphors and poetic images and comes up with all kinds of creative and less straight ahead ways to express deep spiritual (and often expressly Christian) truths and insights in his music. He’s got a great sense of humor too, and doesn’t take himself too seriously.
4. Marques Bovre: Marcus is one of my closest personal friends here in Madison, WI. He’s been a local legend for a number of years with his fist band, “Marques Bovre and The Evil Twins.” They packed local clubs for years, and had several brushes with major labels before finally splitting up in about 2004 or so. Marques has a new band now called SoDangYang, and they’re about to release their first CD. His music has a kind of acoustic based roots rock feel to it, and a touch of “new country” vibe also. He’s an incredible lyricist, and is a master of creating songs out of snippets of daily experiences that bring out the poetry and depth and truth of Life in hauntingly profound and beautiful ways. He also sings regularly at a contemporary worship service in a local UCC church, and has written more and more stuff that can be used in worship. He and I have done a bit of co-writing together. In fact the song, “Traveling Mercies,” which is in my “Something Beautiful For God” songbook is a piece which he and I wrote together.
5. Richard Shindell: Richard is another ridiculously talented writer and guitarist who writes some of the most beautiful songs I’ve ever heard. His music is actually hard to describe. He’s definitely a “folk artist,” but he doesn’t fit easily into any categories. But if you love extremely well crafted songs with deeply touching and profoundly beautiful images, check him out. And oh—he attended Union Theological Seminary in New York City, and is obviously a deep cat theologically. You’ll know what I mean if you listen to his stuff. He doesn’t write many songs that are “straight ahead Christian” (the way most of mine tend to be), but you’ll sense his deep spirituality in the ways he explores life, relationships, truth, etc. (which are all very much “Christian” as far as I’m concerned.