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Sarah McMillan.  Wife to John Mark.  Soon mother to Jude Williams.  Master potter.  Musician.

Ever since I started listening to Sarah’s music, I’ve found myself referring to her inadvertantly as “Sarah Mark  McMillan,” but her music is nothing like her husband’s.  Where John Mark’s music hearkens back to 90s alternative rock, Sarah’s goes a little further back… more toward the 1890s than the 1990s.  Drawing on folk, roots, and country, with some bluegrass twang thrown in, Sarah’s songs put you solidly in a slightly modernized Pentecostal camp meeting from the early 20th century.  It’s equal parts Enter the Worship Circle and O Brother Where Art Thou?

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Finally, I’m back blogging, and here is another of my posts that is way late in the coming, but I hope it helps point a few of you in the direction of an artist well worth it.

Joe Garner is one of my favorite artists I downloaded from NoiseTrade a while back.  With a subtle, earthy folk sound and songs that bring to mind a slightly more modern and way more indie version of classic Johnny Cash ballads, Joe Garner’s songs tell stories of broken, desperate people in need of a Savior.

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When I was in college, I started following God shortly into my freshman year.  Somewhere between then and the summer of that year, I discovered Christian reggae.  So all summer long, on Frances Street in Madison, Wisconsin, my room mates and I blasted the sounds of Christafari, Nothing to Dread, and Temple Yard toward the crowds on State Street.  And when we had listened to the few reggae albums we had so much that our ears couldn’t take even one more song, we popped ’em back in and listened some more.

I fell in love with the bass-driven reggae sounds – a perfect mixture of challenging, almost politically-charged lyrics and island grooves.  Unfortunately, though, my budget was limited and my connections were few, so the handful of reggae CDs I owned received a lot of airtime in our little apartment.

Solomon Jabby is one of those reggae guys I wish I had known about back that summer. Read the rest of this entry »

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