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MP3 Phil Keaggy, Randy Stonehill, Bob Bennett & Buck Storm - Songs for Israel

Not always, but sometimes the pieces put together make on the whole something more splendid than could have been anticipated. That is how I feel when I listen to this album.
- Ray Ware / Music Manager

12 MP3 Songs in this album (49:12) !
Related styles: Spiritual: Contemporary Christian, Folk: Modern Folk, Featuring Guitar

People who are interested in Bob Bennett Phil Keaggy Randy Stonehill should consider this download.

In November 2008, Candlelight Christian Fellowship and Compass International of Coeur d’Alene, Idaho embarked on an experiment-of-sorts by inviting four songwriters to visit Israel and other Biblical locales with the purpose of writing and recording a new body of music inspired by what they experienced together. There was an expectation that if challenged to write new songs as a result of walking the very streets of Galilee, Jerusalem, Ephesus and Patmos – these artists of music would contribute fresh perspective to ancient stories and thereby complement and enrich what scholars and theologians have endeavored to do for centuries. The Church has had a turbulent relationship with her artists over the years. The early Byzantines restricted religious imagery to representative icons – fearing realistic renderings might tempt congregants to idolatry. Composers like Bach and Handel may have been employed by the Church but they were not always understood and appreciated – particularly when they sought to introduce new forms of music or new ways of performing. Artists experiment with sounds, color, form and tempo until they arrive at a new work that expresses their intent. The process can often be messy – and incomprehensible to the logic of scientists or theologians, but in time, it finds it’s value to the Church in enlarging and deepening these old stories that hold the secrets of life to each succeeding generation. These first four songwriters invited into this adventure – each brought a wealth of experience and skill to the task. Two of them, Phil Keaggy and Randy Stonehill, have written and recorded hundreds of songs going back to the very early days of the Jesus Movement of the early 1970’s. The third, Bob Bennett, represents a second wave of such singer/songwriters – who burst on the scene in the 1980’s with lyrics steeped in poetic honesty. The fourth and youngest songwriter, Buck Storm, represents a new generation of Christian songwriter. Each responded to the challenge to write new music and lyrics – as a creative response to the experience of seeing with their own eyes and hearing with their own ears – the land where Jesus and his disciples once walked. Such artists tend to be quite individualistic – after all, they are expected to bring something new and unique to each project they create. So, an added difficulty is imposed on them here – to create on their own but in light of the others – and in some cases with cooperation and input from each other. So you have Phil playing guitar on songs written by Buck. You have Randy adding his vocal style to Bob’s material or, as in the case of “Deliver Us, Deliver Me”, you have two artists writing together to create something new and unique. It seems only appropriate that the youngest in Buck Storm would also be the catalyst and overall project producer to knit the multiple tracks to a cohesive whole. It should also be said that these artist were not in a cocoon of their own but lived and traveled with a diverse group of one hundred and fifty Christian pilgrims from across the USA. Conversations over meals or in traversing the sites – brought multiple opinions and observations into the mix. Bible scholars like Mike Riddle and Pastor Paul Van Noy gave context both historically and theologically to what was experienced. I was blessed to be able to join in the discussion as well, and a number of my paintings were inspired by the journey. One of them, “With His Disciples in Galilee”, is included on the cover of this recording. Ray Ware / Music Manager and Painter / 2010

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