Donny's Ramblings

Me. You. Zack.

66 Comments

Say those three words quickly. I’m talkin’ about MUSIC, baby! And I need some suggestions. Extra credit is awarded if I can download it on iTunes, but that’s not a requirement.

I need some good Christian music. I’m told that’s not an oxymoron anymore. Does Christian music exist that doesn’t go on and on about how great God is? Not that I don’t agree, of course. But I’d also like to listen to something that moves ME.

Let’s make this a bit more difficult and tell you a little about my tastes. I love Phil Collins and Elton John. Those two are my favorite singers of all time. I also love the new Rascal Flatts CD Me and My Gang. I like to hear what is being sung, and not just hear a bunch of instruments wailing away. The delivery of words is important to me. Words delivered in a powerful way with the right music behind them just take me to a different place. That’s something Elton John specializes at, in my opinion.

In the right mood, I’ll listen to almost anything. My iPod ranges from Elton to Metallica, Classical to Jazz and even a bit of Yung Joc for those days when cruising Shasta Lake on the XStar (that’s a wakeboard boat, for those of you wondering). But for now let’s stick with something comparable to Elton John/Phil Collins.

Anything come to mind? Talk to me!

66 thoughts on “Me. You. Zack.

  1. Try the band Jars of Clay. They’re Christian and had a top 40 hit a few years ago called “Flood”

  2. Try the band Jars of Clay. They’re Christian and had a top 40 hit a few years ago called “Flood”

  3. I’ll second the Jars of Clay nod; especially their first record (self-titled, I think). It doesn’t have that shiny, gleaming non-threatening sound that most Christian records seem to have.Try David Crowder Band too; especially “Illuminate” or his latest, “A Collision”. Collision is a bit of a concept album (think “Dark Side of the Moon”), so it may not be the best place to start.Switchfoot is great stuff too.Email anytime… I spent 5 years or so in the Christian music industry, and am glad to kick around this or any other topic with you. tkacg5150@yahoo.com

  4. I’ll second the Jars of Clay nod; especially their first record (self-titled, I think). It doesn’t have that shiny, gleaming non-threatening sound that most Christian records seem to have.

    Try David Crowder Band too; especially “Illuminate” or his latest, “A Collision”. Collision is a bit of a concept album (think “Dark Side of the Moon”), so it may not be the best place to start.

    Switchfoot is great stuff too.

    Email anytime… I spent 5 years or so in the Christian music industry, and am glad to kick around this or any other topic with you. tkacg5150@yahoo.com

  5. Here’s Wikipedia’s article on the first Jars record – produced by former King Crimson guy Adrian Belew… wonderful music; great arrangements, strong melodies.http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jars_of_Clay_(album)

  6. Here’s Wikipedia’s article on the first Jars record – produced by former King Crimson guy Adrian Belew… wonderful music; great arrangements, strong melodies.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jars_of_Clay_(album)

  7. switchfoot, steven curtis chapman, mat kearney, kutless, jars of clay, downhere, delirious?, casting crowns, john reuben, grits, dj maj, project 86, P.O.D., chevelle, blindside, third day, jeremy camp, stellar kart, sick of change, mxpx, hangnail, dogwood, fm static, zealous, tobymac, thousand foot krutch, skillet, seventh day slumber, run kid run, relient k, red, pillar, pax217, hyper static union, falling up, hawk nelson, 38th parallel, 12 stones, sanctus real, Ra, the juliana theory, day of fire, better days ahead, anberlin, buck,

  8. switchfoot, steven curtis chapman, mat kearney, kutless, jars of clay, downhere, delirious?, casting crowns, john reuben, grits, dj maj, project 86, P.O.D., chevelle, blindside, third day, jeremy camp, stellar kart, sick of change, mxpx, hangnail, dogwood, fm static, zealous, tobymac, thousand foot krutch, skillet, seventh day slumber, run kid run, relient k, red, pillar, pax217, hyper static union, falling up, hawk nelson, 38th parallel, 12 stones, sanctus real, Ra, the juliana theory, day of fire, better days ahead, anberlin, buck,

  9. Two of my favorites: Relient K (Sample some at my blog), Five Iron Frenzy (A few lyrics at my blog), Mae is also growing on me, POD is great if you are looking for hard stuff, and A look at a few worship (most not traditional) songs. There are also three local (Seattle/Bellingham) bands that I really like who are Christian, but not sure if they are “Christian Bands” (if that makes sense): The Lonely Forest (kicking rock, lots of samples at my blog), Late Tuesday (a piano, rhodes, and harmony driven trio of ladies that play some lovely music, Lots of samples at my blog), and The Pale Pacific (just a cool band, a sample at my blog).A bit overwhelming, I know, but those are the groups that came to mind. I hoep your search goes well!

  10. Two of my favorites: Relient K (Sample some at my blog), Five Iron Frenzy (A few lyrics at my blog), Mae is also growing on me, POD is great if you are looking for hard stuff, and A look at a few worship (most not traditional) songs. There are also three local (Seattle/Bellingham) bands that I really like who are Christian, but not sure if they are “Christian Bands” (if that makes sense): The Lonely Forest (kicking rock, lots of samples at my blog), Late Tuesday (a piano, rhodes, and harmony driven trio of ladies that play some lovely music, Lots of samples at my blog), and The Pale Pacific (just a cool band, a sample at my blog).

    A bit overwhelming, I know, but those are the groups that came to mind. I hoep your search goes well!

  11. OK, welcome to my wheelhouse!I’m a harder music fan, but here’s a good starter list in the genre you’re looking for:Rich Mullins (he’s deceased, but check out the “Songs” compilation. A must have)Chris RiceTodd AgnewSteven Curtis ChapmanJars of ClayBebo Norman (Yes, it’s spelled correctly:)Jeremy CampBuilding 429KutlessMark SchultzNichole NordemanNewsboysRebecca St. JamesThird Day (Must get!)That’s a good start. Some is a little edgier than others, but everybody listed has some of what you’re looking for, as far as the Hot AC mix goes.If you decide to look for some harder stuff, check out radiou.com. It’s the best radio station in the country, period.

  12. OK, welcome to my wheelhouse!

    I’m a harder music fan, but here’s a good starter list in the genre you’re looking for:

    Rich Mullins (he’s deceased, but check out the “Songs” compilation. A must have)
    Chris Rice
    Todd Agnew
    Steven Curtis Chapman
    Jars of Clay
    Bebo Norman (Yes, it’s spelled correctly:)
    Jeremy Camp
    Building 429
    Kutless
    Mark Schultz
    Nichole Nordeman
    Newsboys
    Rebecca St. James
    Third Day (Must get!)

    That’s a good start. Some is a little edgier than others, but everybody listed has some of what you’re looking for, as far as the Hot AC mix goes.

    If you decide to look for some harder stuff, check out radiou.com. It’s the best radio station in the country, period.

  13. Most of the above stuff is your run of the mill Christian radio stuff. Not my bucket.Guarantee you’ll dig MuteMath – new album just hit iTunes Switchfoot – “Beautiful Meltdown” is one of the greatest albums I ownAnberlin rocks and never comes off cheesy.

  14. Most of the above stuff is your run of the mill Christian radio stuff. Not my bucket.

    Guarantee you’ll dig MuteMath – new album just hit iTunes

    Switchfoot – “Beautiful Meltdown” is one of the greatest albums I own

    Anberlin rocks and never comes off cheesy.

  15. I was sent a link to this iTunes playlist. Some of the songs on that list sound pretty good.

  16. I was sent a link to this iTunes playlist. Some of the songs on that list sound pretty good.

  17. The Longing Bebo Norman’s got a great new cd out and there is one on there about how much he loves to KISS on a SUNDAY!! LOL!!Third DayDavid Crowder BandFernando Ortega Julia Grace (locate on MYSPACE)

  18. The Longing
    Bebo Norman’s got a great new cd out and there is one on there about how much he loves to KISS on a SUNDAY!! LOL!!
    Third Day
    David Crowder Band
    Fernando Ortega
    Julia Grace (locate on MYSPACE)

  19. Switchfoot! Wow! Nice recommendation! I like that sound a lot.

  20. Switchfoot! Wow! Nice recommendation! I like that sound a lot.

  21. Dean, I’m with you to an extent. I’m not into the Praise and Worship fad that KLove pushes now. Like I said, radiou.com…best station evar!!!

  22. Dean, I’m with you to an extent. I’m not into the Praise and Worship fad that KLove pushes now. Like I said, radiou.com…best station evar!!!

  23. Yeah, that’s not a bad playlist, Donny. Definitely a good start.

  24. Yeah, that’s not a bad playlist, Donny. Definitely a good start.

  25. Okay, I hate to be self-promoting, but since most of the bands I’d have recommended have already BEEN recommended, I’m going to say “Seven Devil Fix”…yeah, I know, title doesn’t sound Christian, but three of the guys out of four are and it’s cool stuff. Of course, I’m biased because I play with them. Check it out here: http://www.myspace.com/sevendevilfix. If you like, I have a special price for former pornographers, lol.

  26. Okay, I hate to be self-promoting, but since most of the bands I’d have recommended have already BEEN recommended, I’m going to say “Seven Devil Fix”…yeah, I know, title doesn’t sound Christian, but three of the guys out of four are and it’s cool stuff. Of course, I’m biased because I play with them. Check it out here: http://www.myspace.com/sevendevilfix. If you like, I have a special price for former pornographers, lol.

  27. Switchfoot is really, really strong. Great tunes. My old band actually beat them in a battle-of-the-bands in 1996. They’re on a world tour, and I’m sitting here at a desk job. Sigh.

  28. Switchfoot is really, really strong. Great tunes. My old band actually beat them in a battle-of-the-bands in 1996. They’re on a world tour, and I’m sitting here at a desk job. Sigh.

  29. I must put multiple tags in here for David Crowder – especially if you are a “words” guy. Crowder is deep and his music is complex, yet simple. A must own.

  30. I must put multiple tags in here for David Crowder – especially if you are a “words” guy. Crowder is deep and his music is complex, yet simple. A must own.

  31. Doh! Just noticed my error above. It’s “Letdown” not “Meltdown” I must have had one while typing.

  32. Doh! Just noticed my error above.

    It’s “Letdown” not “Meltdown”

    I must have had one while typing.

  33. I listen to KLOVE when I work out, It’s relaxing.

  34. I listen to KLOVE when I work out, It’s relaxing.

  35. I’d give “Jars of Clay” (especially their song “flood”) and “Jeremy Camp” a vote (they’re two of my favorites).I’ve started listening to “Disciple” and “Pillar” recently, pretty good but I still prefer the quieter/calmer stuff.God bless!Ross.

  36. I’d give “Jars of Clay” (especially their song “flood”) and “Jeremy Camp” a vote (they’re two of my favorites).

    I’ve started listening to “Disciple” and “Pillar” recently, pretty good but I still prefer the quieter/calmer stuff.

    God bless!

    Ross.

  37. Glad to see you enjoyed Switchfoot. Delirious? has a similar sound but they do more worship music. I definetly agree with the Jars of Clay, Mark Schultz, Jeremy Camp and Third Day suggestions in the genre you are looking for. Mark Schultz first 2 CDs are my favorites. “Hes my son” on the first(self titled) CD is probably one of the most moving songs you will ever hear. Its about a boy who has cancer and a dad praying for him. He also did a great remake of “Kyrie Eleison” on the second CD(Song Cinema). The older stuff for Jars of Clay is better than the newer stuff too, as other have said. All of Jeremy Camps stuff is good. You can tell he really puts his heart into his music. Third Day does no wrong…seriously. Mac Powell is an amazing singer and the songs are well written. The “Wire” CD is probably the best. You can pretty much just let it run without skipping any songs. If I think of any more Ill post later.

  38. Glad to see you enjoyed Switchfoot. Delirious? has a similar sound but they do more worship music. I definetly agree with the Jars of Clay, Mark Schultz, Jeremy Camp and Third Day suggestions in the genre you are looking for. Mark Schultz first 2 CDs are my favorites. “Hes my son” on the first(self titled) CD is probably one of the most moving songs you will ever hear. Its about a boy who has cancer and a dad praying for him. He also did a great remake of “Kyrie Eleison” on the second CD(Song Cinema). The older stuff for Jars of Clay is better than the newer stuff too, as other have said. All of Jeremy Camps stuff is good. You can tell he really puts his heart into his music. Third Day does no wrong…seriously. Mac Powell is an amazing singer and the songs are well written. The “Wire” CD is probably the best. You can pretty much just let it run without skipping any songs. If I think of any more Ill post later.

  39. For some of the most poetic and intelligent Christian music: the late Mark Heard, and particularly the earlier stuff by Bruce Cockburn (a secularly distributed artist, a big star in his native Can.). You will find that Keith Green has a lot of the Phil Collins vibe. Most of his materials are very worshipful.One of the true greats is Terry Taylor. Over the last thirty or so years he has been with Daniel Amos, DA, Swirling Eddies, Lost Dogs, solo and others. A true original if there ever was one. For some more raucous blues touch try BC Blues and Will Derryberry. For great songwriting another must is Randy Stonehill and some of the original albums by the grand-dad of CCM, Larry Norman (He has repeated himself a lot over the years due to a bunch of self-produce live albums–stick with the originals). DC Talk does great hip-hop (not usually my bag) but also rocks, probably a bit of a precursor to POD. For a great female belter, try Ashley Cleveland.

  40. For some of the most poetic and intelligent Christian music: the late Mark Heard, and particularly the earlier stuff by Bruce Cockburn (a secularly distributed artist, a big star in his native Can.). You will find that Keith Green has a lot of the Phil Collins vibe. Most of his materials are very worshipful.
    One of the true greats is Terry Taylor. Over the last thirty or so years he has been with Daniel Amos, DA, Swirling Eddies, Lost Dogs, solo and others. A true original if there ever was one. For some more raucous blues touch try BC Blues and Will Derryberry. For great songwriting another must is Randy Stonehill and some of the original albums by the grand-dad of CCM, Larry Norman (He has repeated himself a lot over the years due to a bunch of self-produce live albums–stick with the originals). DC Talk does great hip-hop (not usually my bag) but also rocks, probably a bit of a precursor to POD. For a great female belter, try Ashley Cleveland.

  41. For some of the most poetic and intelligent Christian music: the late Mark Heard, and particularly the earlier stuff by Bruce Cockburn (a secularly distributed artist, a big star in his native Can.). You will find that Keith Green has a lot of the Elton John vibe. Most of his materials are very worshipful.One of the true greats is Terry Taylor. Over the last thirty or so years he has been with Daniel Amos, DA, Swirling Eddies, Lost Dogs, solo and others. A true original if there ever was one. For some more raucous blues touch try BC Blues and Will Derryberry. For great songwriting another must is Randy Stonehill and some of the original albums by the grand-dad of CCM, Larry Norman (He has repeated himself a lot over the years due to a bunch of self-produce live albums–stick with the originals). DC Talk does great hip-hop (not usually my bag) but also rocks, probably a bit of a precursor to POD. For a great female belter, try Ashley Cleveland.

  42. For some of the most poetic and intelligent Christian music: the late Mark Heard, and particularly the earlier stuff by Bruce Cockburn (a secularly distributed artist, a big star in his native Can.). You will find that Keith Green has a lot of the Elton John vibe. Most of his materials are very worshipful.
    One of the true greats is Terry Taylor. Over the last thirty or so years he has been with Daniel Amos, DA, Swirling Eddies, Lost Dogs, solo and others. A true original if there ever was one. For some more raucous blues touch try BC Blues and Will Derryberry. For great songwriting another must is Randy Stonehill and some of the original albums by the grand-dad of CCM, Larry Norman (He has repeated himself a lot over the years due to a bunch of self-produce live albums–stick with the originals). DC Talk does great hip-hop (not usually my bag) but also rocks, probably a bit of a precursor to POD. For a great female belter, try Ashley Cleveland.

  43. Hey Donny, looking forward to your interview on the Drew Marshall show this Saturday. If you are into instrumental music at all, give Tommy Emmanuel a try (The Mystery & Endless Road albums are fantastic) . He’s a follower of Christ but its not obvious from listening to his guitar stylings. Best of luck with your walk and God Bless.

  44. Hey Donny, looking forward to your interview on the Drew Marshall show this Saturday. If you are into instrumental music at all, give Tommy Emmanuel a try (The Mystery & Endless Road albums are fantastic) . He’s a follower of Christ but its not obvious from listening to his guitar stylings. Best of luck with your walk and God Bless.

  45. hey Donny, thought I should mention, in regards from one Christian to another.. some material on Elton John.http://goodfight.org/e_eltonjohn.htmlI think I’m obligated to post that.

  46. hey Donny, thought I should mention, in regards from one Christian to another.. some material on Elton John.

    http://goodfight.org/e_eltonjohn.html

    I think I’m obligated to post that.

  47. Solem:I’m not sure how your link is relevant to Donny desiring recommendations for Christian artists that use similar melodies, instruments, tempo, progressions, tone, and stylings as Elton John.I mean really. Help me connect the dots here.

  48. Solem:

    I’m not sure how your link is relevant to Donny desiring recommendations for Christian artists that use similar melodies, instruments, tempo, progressions, tone, and stylings as Elton John.

    I mean really. Help me connect the dots here.

  49. Oh, in my understanding from the original post, that Donny likes Elton John’s music; I provided a link to some material about the musician, that a lot of Christians would regard as important, and good to know~Would’nt you agree, that a seeker of righteous music, ought to abstain from everything else?Donny can do what he wants with the info..rgrds.

  50. Oh,
    in my understanding from the original post, that Donny likes Elton John’s music; I provided a link to some material about the musician, that a lot of Christians would regard as important, and good to know~

    Would’nt you agree, that a seeker of righteous music, ought to abstain from everything else?

    Donny can do what he wants with the info..

    rgrds.

  51. If you can find an old Ace Troubleshooter record, you’ve got some good stuff….FM Static is good too.I know how irritating it can be to find nothing for your musical pallet, but if you like hardcore stuff there are bands like As I Lay Dying, Norma Jean and Demon Hunter. Uhm, let’s see here….try Sarah Kelly….she sings about her pains all while praising God…..really amazing voice (think Janice Joplin meets today) Her newest record was produced by Mike Klink of Guns ‘N Roses fame. Phil Wickham is pretty awesome too…..we could go on and on…..Tony’s suggestion of David Crowder is a good one. A Collision is all about dealing with death. I’m loving Jars of Clay……….Donny, I think you get the idea…take care!

  52. If you can find an old Ace Troubleshooter record, you’ve got some good stuff….FM Static is good too.

    I know how irritating it can be to find nothing for your musical pallet, but if you like hardcore stuff there are bands like As I Lay Dying, Norma Jean and Demon Hunter. Uhm, let’s see here….try Sarah Kelly….she sings about her pains all while praising God…..really amazing voice (think Janice Joplin meets today) Her newest record was produced by Mike Klink of Guns ‘N Roses fame. Phil Wickham is pretty awesome too…..we could go on and on…..Tony’s suggestion of David Crowder is a good one. A Collision is all about dealing with death. I’m loving Jars of Clay……….

    Donny, I think you get the idea…take care!

  53. I suppose the only real artist in the “christian music” realm that I can identify is Derek Webb. he had an album out called ‘house show’ that he made, kind of as his concert tour, except from his living room. that album in particular is pretty directed towards the church, and particularly the american church, and where it falls short and why it refuses to be redeemed. amazing album.but as far as general listening; i stick with u2 and bob dylan. they’re amazing. dylan is too prophetic to go unheard.

  54. I suppose the only real artist in the “christian music” realm that I can identify is Derek Webb. he had an album out called ‘house show’ that he made, kind of as his concert tour, except from his living room. that album in particular is pretty directed towards the church, and particularly the american church, and where it falls short and why it refuses to be redeemed. amazing album.

    but as far as general listening; i stick with u2 and bob dylan. they’re amazing. dylan is too prophetic to go unheard.

  55. “Dean, I’m with you to an extent. I’m not into the Praise and Worship fad that KLove pushes now. Like I said, radiou.com…best station evar!!!”Heck Yeah!! Radio U are mad… “Going in Blind” by P.O.D. are NUMBER ONE!!! COME ON!!!!But seriously Donny, oh my gosh check out P.O.D. if you ever feel like some hard Christian Music which doesn’t get overly ‘Jesus-explicit’ but is still safe, worshipful, and AWESOME.They are so awesome… P.O.D. is the one band I would probably literally kill someone to see… Sonny Sandoval, their lead singer, is probably the only lead singer who I would run to, hug, and say ‘Thank you for everything. you saved my life’ if I ever met.They are simply the last word in consistent, heartfult, awesome Christian rock… They are one good reason I decided to live after some of the most painful times of my life…Please check out something of their music at least… it’s so, so good, and they love God so, so much, and they shove it down your throat so, so little (i.e. not at all).

  56. “Dean, I’m with you to an extent. I’m not into the Praise and Worship fad that KLove pushes now. Like I said, radiou.com…best station evar!!!”

    Heck Yeah!! Radio U are mad… “Going in Blind” by P.O.D. are NUMBER ONE!!! COME ON!!!!

    But seriously Donny, oh my gosh check out P.O.D. if you ever feel like some hard Christian Music which doesn’t get overly ‘Jesus-explicit’ but is still safe, worshipful, and AWESOME.

    They are so awesome… P.O.D. is the one band I would probably literally kill someone to see… Sonny Sandoval, their lead singer, is probably the only lead singer who I would run to, hug, and say ‘Thank you for everything. you saved my life’ if I ever met.

    They are simply the last word in consistent, heartfult, awesome Christian rock… They are one good reason I decided to live after some of the most painful times of my life…

    Please check out something of their music at least… it’s so, so good, and they love God so, so much, and they shove it down your throat so, so little (i.e. not at all).

  57. how about trying Cool Hand Luke, Andy Hunter, and Falling Up? I didn’t see those artists mentioned yet… Also Emery is fantastic- good “chistian angry music”, and Mute Math is awesome!

  58. how about trying Cool Hand Luke, Andy Hunter, and Falling Up? I didn’t see those artists mentioned yet… Also Emery is fantastic- good “chistian angry music”, and Mute Math is awesome!

  59. There’s a song.. “praise you in this storm” by Chris Tomlin. I think it would be PERFECT for what you are going thru!

  60. There’s a song.. “praise you in this storm” by Chris Tomlin. I think it would be PERFECT for what you are going thru!

  61. try Derek Webb and Pedro the Lion
    I also second David Crowder Band and MuteMAth

  62. try Derek Webb and Pedro the Lion
    I also second David Crowder Band and MuteMAth

  63. Check out a band called ‘The Red Airplanes” a Texas Based group with a sound any one can enjoy.. you can get their CD on itunes… they are friends of mine, http://www.myspace.com/theredairplanes
    i just started reading your stories.. i don’t know if you will even get thes because it is old.. you have inspired me.
    hUTch

  64. Check out a band called ‘The Red Airplanes” a Texas Based group with a sound any one can enjoy.. you can get their CD on itunes… they are friends of mine, http://www.myspace.com/theredairplanes
    i just started reading your stories.. i don’t know if you will even get thes because it is old.. you have inspired me.
    hUTch

  65. I’m not sure if anyone’s already said him, but I think you’d be a big Shawn McDonald fan. He’s had a rough past and is a clear, excellent singer. He’s very passionate and real. He seems like a good fit for you. He’s one of my favorite musicians of all time.

  66. I’m not sure if anyone’s already said him, but I think you’d be a big Shawn McDonald fan. He’s had a rough past and is a clear, excellent singer. He’s very passionate and real. He seems like a good fit for you. He’s one of my favorite musicians of all time.

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