Coram Deo ~

Looking at contemporary culture from a Christian worldview

MUSIC REVIEWS and NEWS

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Roll with the Punches – Van Morrison
****

Anytime you have the great Van Morrison covering strong material with excellent musicians you know you’re in for a treat. Morrison follows up 2016’s strong release Keep Me Singing with his 37th studio album, which he self-produced. The album contains ten covers of old blues and soul classics along with five songs written by Morrison.  Van’s voice is still an incredible instrument, and he brings passion to these blues songs, whether cover or original. Morrison has stated that from a very early age he connected with the blues. A strong group of collaborators join him on the album including Chris Farlowe, Georgie Fame, Jeff Beck (who contributes to seven of the songs), Paul Jones and Jason Rebello.

I thoroughly enjoyed this album. Below are a few comments about each song:

Roll with the Punches – This song was written by Morrison and Don Black. While an original, this sounds like a classic blues song.  It features some excellent piano, guitar, keyboard. It’s an excellent opener.
Transformation – This ballad was written by Morrison. It features organ, an excellent guitar solo by Jeff Beck and backing vocals by Chris Farlowe. Key lyric: Get used to righteousness ’cause it makes you feel whole, gonna be a transformation right down in your soul
I Can Tell – This song was written by Bo Diddley and Samuel Bernard Smith in 1962. It has an instantly infectious beat, featuring keys, backing vocals, guitar solo and harmonica solo from Morrison.
Stormy Monday/Lonely Avenue – These songs were written by T-Bone Walker (in 1947), and Doc Pomus, the latter of which was a hit for Ray Charles in 1956. The songs previously had appeared on Morrison’s 1994 live album A Night in San Francisco. The song features vocals from Chris Farlowe, a guitar and harmonica solo from Morrison along with backing vocals.
Goin’ To Chicago – This song was written by Count Basie and Jimmy Rushing in 1941. It’s a slow blues number featuring a duet with Georgie Fame, harmonica by Morrison, and Chris Hill on double bass.
Fame – This song was written by Morrison. It had originally been included on Morrison’s 2002 What’s Wrong with this Picture? album. This version features backing vocals, a great blues beat, guitar and harmonica from Morrison. Key lyric: Oh no don’t believe all that old Andy Warhol guff. It takes a lot more than 10 or 15 minutes.  
Too Much Trouble – This song was written by Morrison.  The band really shines on this breezy blues song featuring guitar, horns, piano and Morrison on sax. He wants the trouble in his life stopped.
Bring It on Home to Me – This song was written by Sam Cooke in 1962. It appeared earlier on Morrison’s live album “…It’s Too Late to Stop Now…” Volume 1.  The new version features a strong vocal from Morrison, organ, piano, backing vocals and a great guitar solo by Jeff Beck.
Ordinary People – This song was written by Morrison and originally appeared on his 1998 album Philosopher’s Stone. It features some excellent guitar by Jeff Beck, piano, keys, and backing vocals. Key lyric: Ordinary people, they just don’t seem to comprehend.   
How Far From God – This song was written by Sister Rosetta Tharpe in 1946. The toe-tapping arrangement is led by some excellent piano, along with organ, guitar and a passionate vocal from Morrison. A highlight.
Teardrops From My Eyes – This song was written by Rudy Toombs in 1950. This breezy arrangement features piano, guitar, keys, backing vocals, and a great sax solo from Morrison.
Automobile Blues – This song was written by Lightnin’ Hopkins in 1949. Morrison’s sax playing is the highlight of this song, which also features piano and guitar.
Benediction –  This song was written by Mose Allison in 1971. It was originally included on Morrison’s 1996 collaborative album Tell Me Something: The Songs of Mose Allison. It features piano, backing vocals, organ and sax from Morrison. Key lyric: Wherever you wander, whatever your breed, there’s just one thing baby, that comes from above. When push comes to shove, thank God for self-love.   
Mean Old World – This song was written by Little Walter in 1951. It’s a slow blues number featuring, some excellent piano, a guitar solo, and harmonica solo by Morrison.
Ride On Josephine – This song was written by Bo Diddley in 1960. This upbeat track features Morrison on harmonica, along with good backing vocals and guitar. It would be a great song for Morrison and band to tackle in concert. A highlight.

  • One Day (When We All Get to Heaven). Watch this acoustic performance of Matt Redman playing an acoustic version of this new song from his excellent album Glory Song (from atop the famous Capitol Records building in Los Angeles), hear the story behind the song, and learn how to play it.
  • Lecrae’s All Things Work Together is a Grace-Filled Mic Drop. Kathryn Freeman writes “Rather than a new Lecrae, then, All Things Work Togetheractually brings the fullness of his identity as an African American, Christian, father, husband, and rapper to the forefront.”
  • Fernando Ortega Interview. Listen to this interview that Wayne Shepherd had with Fernando Ortega on his First Person
  • 20 Truths from Sing. Ed Stetzer shares these 20 truths from Keith and Kristyn Getty’s new book Sing!: How Worship Transforms Your Life, Family, and Church. Here’s my reviewof the book.
  • Walking on Water. NEEDTOBREATHE is donating all of the proceeds from their new single “Walking on Water” to the Dream Center Networkin partnership with OneWorld Health. The song is one of my favorites of the year. It reminded me of Peter walking on the water to Jesus in Matthew 14. The video doesn’t seem to go with the song. See what you think.
  • 6 Lessons from Luther on Congregational Singing. Matt Merker writes “One element of worship that underwent substantial change in Wittenberg was congregational singing. In The Whole Church Sings: Congregational Singing in Luther’s Wittenberg,Robin Leaver documents how Luther spearheaded this reformation of song. Leaver—professor emeritus at Westminster Choir College—tackles a narrow question: When did a culture of congregational singing get started in Wittenberg?”
  • New Michael W. Smith Video. Watch the video for “A Million Lights” by Michael W. Smith.
  • Shake it Off? Joshua Dunn writes “Though culture can often prove helpful in shaping the way we worship, we should never let conformity to culture compromise our witness. As we seek to refine our worship practices, may we gladly embrace our identity as God’s set-apart people (1 Peter 2:9-10), and in doing so proclaim his excellencies to a listening world.”

  • Crooked sticks draw straight lines, just look at me. Lecrae
  • Heartless hymns are insults to God. Charles Spurgeon
  • God’s grace is greater than your biggest regret. Lecrae
  • The cost of being on the right side of history is being on the wrong side of popular opinion. Lecrae
  • Seems like I only REALLY want Chick Fil-A on Sundays. Stings every time. Trip Lee. Responding, Andrew McCuthen tweeted They just need to make a Chik Fil Sund A and only open it on Sundays from 1-5pm.
  • The real you is not defined by the size of your office The real you is who you are when ain’t nobody watchin. NF

Not Today Satan – KB (featuring Andy Mineo)

This week’s song of the week is “Not Today Satan” from KB’s new album Today We Rebel and features label mate Andy Mineo. Listen to the song here.

[Chorus: KB]
Not today Satan
Ooh
You ain’t welcome ’round me
Ooh, yeah yeah yeah
Not today Satan
You ain’t welcome ’round me
You ain’t welcome ’round me
Not today Satan, not today
Not today

[Verse 1: KB]
Yeah, I live my life on the regular, ayy
Both of your takes are perpetual, ayy
Forbidden Fruit seem so edible, ayy
You try resist like ellipticals, train
My mama told me it’s spiritual, ayy
So I’m under armor like I’m Curry, look
You cannot bear with the boy, yeah
This is not the Jungle Book
Accuse me, know he would
I’m just covered by the blood
Thinkin’ about the way that they did you serpent
Crushin’ like Valentine’s
Can’t you see what the mission cost with the finish, swish
Don’t try to slide in my DM
OJ Simpson with the defense
Lake of fire say we need him
Last weekend, but

[Chorus: KB & Andy Mineo]
Not today Satan
Ooh
You ain’t welcome ’round me
Ooh, yeah yeah yeah
Not today Satan
Not today Satan
Yeah, yeah, yeah
Not today Satan
You ain’t welcome ’round me
You ain’t welcome ’round me
Not today

[Verse 2: Andy Mineo]
Yeah, speak of the devil, ayy
I think I know where he live, ayy
I think he in politics, ayy
I think you gettin’ my drift, ayy
Yeah, I think he made the Explore page
I seen him at my last court date
I’m askin’, “Lord, give me more faith”
It’s cold in these street like a North Face
Ayy, gotta keep my face cloth
And I know my days short
So I stay woke, never daze off
‘Cause, uh, evil never takin’ no days off
Whoa there, big fella, don’t try it
Get that corn out my face, you know I’m on a diet
And I’m treatin’ all of your lie like United
That just ain’t flyin’

[Chorus: KB]
Not today Satan
Ooh
You ain’t welcome ’round me
Ooh, yeah yeah yeah
Not today Satan
Ooh
You ain’t welcome ’round me
You ain’t welcome ’round me
Not today

[Bridge: KB]
La, la la, la la
La la la, la la, la la
Oh my God, now, ayy

[Verse 3: KB]
Yeah, I know your ways
Already read all your plays, yeah
I think I’m booked for tomorrow, yeah
And today just ain’t your day, ayy ayy
I see you feedin’ they hate
See the bodies that you take
We do not break, never no breaks
Buildin’ displays on top of your cake
Come and see me ’bout it, ooh
My squad too deep
Got it covered like Newsweek
Kickin’ these facts like Bruce Lee, yeah
Before the W’s like UV, yeah yeah yeah
UV, Son gotta shine, Lord, use me
Hit ’em with the ooh
Come out here, don’t let him fool ya
He bring up your past
Boy, bring up his future
We not confused (we not confused, we not confused)
Your name is racist, hatred, graceless
All disgraces traces straight to your engagement
To face the natures but on that day you face the Maker
Not to-Not today Satan

[Outro: KB]
Yeah, I believe boys on me
Believe boys on me
Not today Satan, not today
Amen

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Author: Bill Pence

I’m Bill Pence ~ married to my best friend for more than 37 years, a St. Louis Cardinals fan, a manager at a Fortune 50 company, a graduate of Covenant Theological Seminary, and in leadership at my local church. I enjoy speaking about calling, vocation and work. I am a life-long learner and have a passion to help people develop to their fullest potential and to utilize their strengths more fully. I am an INTJ on Myers-Briggs, 3 on the Enneagram, my top five Strengthsfinders themes are: Belief, Responsibility, Learner, Harmony and Achiever, and my two StandOut strengths roles are Creator and Equalizer. My favorite book is the Bible, with Romans my favorite book and Colossians 3:23 my favorite verse. Some of my other favorite books are Don’t Waste Your Life by John Piper, The Holiness of God by R.C. Sproul, The Prodigal Son (originally titled A Tale of Two Sons) by John MacArthur and Crazy Love by Francis Chan. I enjoy Christian hip-hop/rap music, with Lecrae, Trip Lee and Andy Mineo being some of favorite artists.

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