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If you’ve been paying attention, you’ll recognize Todd Berger’s name from his work with Enter the Worship Circle on the Village Thrift Circa 2005 album, back from… uh… right around 2005.  Together with Ben and Robin Pasley, Ryan Lott, and Doc Harrill, Todd helped create something genuinely new in worship music, which is a rare thing when it happens.  Overall, I liked the album.  I thought some songs were phenomenal, some were really good, and some just shouldn’t have made the final cut.  Like most albums, it was a mix of good and bad, but what it did more than anything was prove that a worship album didn’t have to be Chris Tomlin-influenced worship-rock (which there’s nothing wrong with), redone hymns (also, nothing wrong here), or simple acoustic songs ala Enter the Worship Circle’s normal stuff (again, nothing wrong with that either).

There’s a new Village Thrift album in the works, which should be even better than the first, but while you’re waiting, Todd Berger is about to release his own solo album, And Have Not Love.

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Way back here, I wrote a post about the Australian-based band the Sons of Korah.  They’ve become one of my favorite bands as of late for the creativity and artistry of what they’re doing.

The Sons of Korah take the Psalms and turn them into contemporary music that draws on folk and world music traditions. And they do an excellent job of it.  Musically-speaking, the guys are great musicians in their own right, but when it comes to capturing the Psalms in music form, they’re just brilliant.

I’ve heard a lot of Psalms turned into songs, and the Sons of Korah create some of the best.  So, if you will, read on for my recent over-email interview with Matt Jacoby, lead singer and guitarist of the group.

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I’ve been doing the Worship Wars since way back in mid-February, and I think I’ve gotten tired of it, so this will be my last post in the series, at least for now.

And what better way to end the Worship Wars than with Enter the Worship Circle?

I’m not a huge fan of the primary Enter the Worship Circle series of albums, but I respect Ben and Robin Pasley as musicians and I love their heart to worship.  Besides, when it comes to hippy, gypsy acoustic worship music, no one does it better than the original Worship Circle crew.

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A friend of mine introduced me to the Australia-based Sons of Korah about a year ago.

With an alt-folk sound influenced by world beats, the Sons of Korah are Matt Jacoby (lead vocals, guitar), Jayden Lee (resonator, mandolin, nylon guitar, glissentar, harmony vocals and some lead vocals), Mike Avery (bass), and Rod Wilson (percussion and drums).  well, that’s who they used to be, but Jayden Lee has left the group to pursue ministry in different areas.  Click here for a string quartet piece, Caroline’s Processional, which he composed for his wife.

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Welcome back to the Worship Wars!  Sorry for missing my usual Friday post.  Being in the ministry, last week was crazy.  We’ve been remodeling our church building, so we really pushed it the past few days to get things as ready as we could before Easter.

Our plan is to convert the whole church into a coffeehouse / concert venue / bookstore by the beginning of summer.  It’s been a lot of work, but it’ll be awesome when it’s done.

But enough of that – on with the Rock N Roll Worship Circus!

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I’m finally back from a week off from blogging.  As I explained here, part of my inability to blog for a while was busy-ness, part was computer problems, and part was burn-out from blogging every weekday for over half a year.

I’m thinking of taking a break for a couple weeks, once the Worship Wars are over, so I can get back into regular life, but today… let’s look at Red Mountain Church!

Red Mountain Church is a church based in Birmingham, Alabama, that places an emphasis on worship, particularly through hymns reworked to modern music.  Read over their website to see their vision for their church and their city.  It’s pretty cool stuff.

Anyway, they’ve got a pretty large body of musicians at the church who have collaborated to release five albums of those reworked hymns, and I think you should check them out.

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Since I’ve been doing this blog for a while now, I’ve already posted about a number of noteworthy worship groups.  Rather than revisit all of them individually, I thought today would be a great day to put up a couple of songs by each of them.  Get it all done in one day, you know?

These guys each deserve a whole post of their own, but I want to get this thing moving along with the Worship Wars so I can go on to other things.

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If you think of hippy drum circles and acoustic guitar when you think of Enter the Worship Circle, you’ll be surprised with their Village Thrift side of things.

Village Thrift is Ben and Robin Pasley, Todd Berger, and Ryan Lott taking songs that Enter the Worship Circle could easily have done, but stripping them of all that makes you think ETWC and filling them in with techno samples, DJ mixes, and funky electronic sounds.

It’s not the best electronic / techno I’ve heard, but it’s some of the most original and most anointed for worship.

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Today in the Worship Wars I’m bringing in one of CCM’s favorite worship groups - Shane and Shane.

I know, it’s pretty shameful to have so much CCM stuff on this blog lately, but the indie worship scene really is pretty slim.  I’ve still got more indie guys to pull in, but some of the CCM worship stuff deserves your attention.

I first heard of Shane and Shane years ago, but it took until last November before I finally gave in and listened to them.  I figured that since they were CCM they had to be lame.

Well, they’re definitely not making “cool” or “artsy” or “indie” worship, but the songs they’re doing are amazing all the same.

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Taking a complete worship turn-around from the last band I posted about (Delirious?), today I give you one of my favorite musical groups of all time, the Psalters.  They’re crazy worshipers, insanely talented musicians, and radically devoted Christians.  If you haven’t given them a listen yet, I think you’ll really dig ‘em.

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Important Note

These MP3s are here for sampling purposes and to help spread the news about some sweet bands you may not otherwise know about. Support the artists by buying their MP3s and CDs and attending their shows. If you're a musician and don't want your MP3s on here, let us know and we'll take them down. In the interests of promotion and not robbery, all MP3s are taken down after a week or two, so if you wanna hear stuff, either come around often or pay for songs.

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