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Canyon – Ellie Holcomb
**** 

I first heard Ellie Holcomb on the song “Elizabeth”, a song she wrote with Kristyn Getty and included on the 2017 album Sing! – An Irish Christmas: Live at the Grand Ole Opry House. Watch a live performance of the song here.
I was attracted to this album by a tweet from NEEDTOBREATHE indicating that lead singer Bear Rinehart had teamed up with Holcomb for “Sweet Ever After”. I’m glad I checked out the album, as it’s one of my favorites of 2021.
The album was inspired by a trip Holcomb took to the Grand Canyon last summer. She has said that the songs, born out of a season of a lot of personal and global (COVID-19, racial tension, tornado, etc.) loss, feel like a soundtrack to healing and hope.  Canyon, produced by Cason Colley, is Holcomb’s follow-up to her 2017 Red Sea Road album. She wrote or co-wrote all of the songs. Her father, Christian music veteran Brown Bannister served as executive producer.
Here are a few brief comments about each song:

Click on ‘Continue reading’ for:

  • More of this review and a review of Chris Tomlin & Friends: Summer EP
  • Music News
  • Song of the Week Lyrics

I Don’t Want To Miss It – This upbeat song was written by Thad Cockrell, Cason Cooley and Ellie Holcomb. The song features drums, bass, piano, backing vocals, and banjo. She doesn’t want to miss God’s voice and touch.
Key lyrics:
I don’t want to miss a thing
So I climbed up in a sycamore tree
‘Cause I don’t want to miss a thing
And I don’t want to miss it
I don’t want to miss a thing
I don’t want to miss the melody
That You’ve been singing over me

Canyon – This hopeful song was written by Thad Cockrell, Cason Cooley and Ellie Holcomb. The song features, banjo, backing vocals, drums, piano and bass. She found the Lord in the desert. Holcomb has said that this song, and the album, is about a deeper sorrow and a higher hope. There’s a river running through her deepest sorrow and pain. There’s a river running through every dream that never came true.
Key lyrics:
I walked into the desert and I found You
You set a table for me in the presence of my enemies
To share with my enemies
No longer my enemies

Color – This song was written by Bear Rinehart and Ellie Holcomb. Holcomb sings of stone-cold lonely nights when she built her house on sand. She thought the truth was black and white, but now sees it is made of color. The song, which builds powerfully, features keys, finger snaps, bass, guitar, drums and backing vocals.
Key lyrics:
In the broken sanctuary light
I’m surrendered, I am hypnotized
I can see You even though I’m blind
This world is made of color

Bridge – This song was written by Jordan Reynolds, Ellie Reynolds, Ellie Holcomb, Carly Bannister and Alexandria Mowry. The song features piano, guitar, bass, drums and backing vocals. The song is about racial reconciliation, rebuilding what has been broken, repentance and forgiveness.
Key lyrics:
I wanna listen, I wanna repent
It’s time to rebuild what’s been broken
Teach me to love, help me learn to forgive
And when hate melts it down, we’ll rebuild it again

Paradox – This song was written by Natalie Hemby and Ellie Holcomb and features Hemby. She thought see would see God clearly from the top of the world, but now that she is in the valley looking up God has never felt so close. The song features piano, keys, backing vocals, bass and drums.
Key lyrics:
And now I’m in a valley, looking up
You have never felt so close
Canyons all around me, stars above
Meet me in the depths below
Where the lost is found
Where the broken is crowned
Where the souls rise up
From the ground
You got me in the valley, looking up

Brand New Day – This song was written by Jeremiah Dunlap, Matt Wertz and Ellie Holcomb. We all fall down and get banged up. There’s a storm, but you’ve not going under. It’s a brand-new day. I really enjoyed the musical arrangement on this song, featuring guitar, hand claps, bass and backing vocals.
Key lyrics:
Mercy new, don’t miss the way it shines
It’s a brand-new day

Sweet Ever After – This song was written by Bear Rinehart and Ellie Holcomb, and features Rinehart of NEEDTOBREATHE. The song references the tornado that struck Nashville in March, 2020, and features banjo, bass, backing vocals, drums. The sun is coming up on the stairway to Heaven in the sweet ever after.
Key lyrics:
Got a lot of bad days still coming our way
But a sweet ever after
Wind and waves breaking over our walls
But the ship, it don’t shatter

Stronger – This song was written by Nicole Witt, Ellie Holcomb and Christa Wells. The encouraging song is about being stronger than your fear. It features piano, drums, guitar and backing vocals.
Key lyrics:
Go fly away my dear, up to the golden sun
Don’t build your home right here, you were made for love
Worry whispers lies but let the truth be clear
You are stronger, love, you are stronger than your fear

Mine – This song was written by Ellie Holcomb and features Drew Holcomb. It’s a beautiful piano and strings driven song for their children.
Key lyrics:
Before I held you, I knew I loved you
Before I saw you, I was sold out for you
I was writing lullabies
Before I ever heard your cry
I’ve been here the whole time
You always have, you always will be mine

I Will Carry You – This song was written by Ben Glover and Ellie Holcomb. The song could be addressed to a friend who is tired, hurting and full of anxiety. It features piano, guitar, banjo, drums, and backing vocals.
Key lyrics:
I will carry you
Through your darkest night
When you’re terrified
I will carry you
When the waters rise
When your hope runs dry
I will carry you

Gold – This song was written by Ellie Holcomb and features Carly Bannister. It sounds like a love song to Holcomb’s husband Drew, as she sings that she learned to sing so she could sing right next to him. The song features acoustic guitar, pedal steel guitar and backing vocals.
Key lyrics:
You are wonderful, you are kind
You are patient, you are humble, and you are wise
You don’t see it with your own eyes
But you are gold to me and I love the way you shine

Constellations – This song was written by David Leonard (Christian), Ellie Holcomb and Jon Guerra. The piano driven song features a passionate vocal from Holcomb as she cries out to God to promise her that she is not alone.
Key lyrics:
‘Cause out here in the dark
Underneath a canopy of stars
Constellations falling from Your heart
They tell me that I’m not alone
‘Cause honestly, I’m so alone
But promise me I’m not alone

Best Songs
All


Chris Tomlin & Friends: Summer EP
***

Chris Tomlin follows up his successful 2020 album Chris Tomlin & Friends with this new EP featuring three new songs, as well as two previously released songs from the Chris Tomlin and Friends album. The EP is produced by Corey Crowder. If you already have the full-length album, you’ll want to check out the three new songs.
Below are a few brief comments about each song:

Good To Be Loved – This song about God’s love was written by Tyler Hubbard Chris Tomlin, Corey Crowder and Blessing Offor, and features Hubbard. God’s mercy is new every morning (Lamentations 3:22), is never ending, goes from east to west (Psalm 103:12), and is deep and wide (Ephesians 3:18). The song features piano, bass, drums, organ and backing vocals.
Key lyrics:
It don’t run out
It’s never-ending
It goes as far
As the east is from the west

Talk To Him – This song about prayer was written by Chris Tomlin, Russell Dickerson, Tyler Hubbard, Corey Crowder and Ashley Gorley, and features Dickerson, who was formerly Tomlin’s guitar tech on the road for three years.
The song features guitar, bass, drums and backing vocals.
Key lyrics:
Just talk to the One who created the Heavens and Earth, yeah
He’s always there waiting and always will be
Yeah, He made you, He knows you
He loves you, He’s for you
He already knows what you need, so just
Talk to Him, talk to Him, talk to Him

Love People – This song about loving each other was written by Chris Tomlin, Tyler Hubbard, Corey Crowder, Dave Barnes, and features Jimmie Allen. Love doesn’t see color, and underneath the surface we’re all the same. The song includes a part of 1 Corinthians 13. The song features piano, bass, drums and backing vocals.
Key lyrics:
We didn’t all come up the same way
But we’re all in need of the same grace

Thank You Lord – This song was written by Tomlin, Thomas Rhett, Tyler Hubbard, Corey Crowder and David Garcia, and features Florida Georgia Line and Thomas Rhett. Tomlin has said that to have a life of gratitude and thank God for all things – good and hard – that are around us, was a major theme of the Chris Tomlin and Friends album. The verses have a country music feel, and the bridge is more worship music, featuring Tomlin. This is a feel-good, sing along song that features hand claps, backing vocals, guitar and drums.
Key lyric:
Praise up, eyes closed
One thing I know
I just wanna thank You Lord, thank you Lord

Sing – This song was written by Tomlin, Corey Crowder, Brian Kelley, Tyler Hubbard and Cary Barlowe, and features Russell Dickerson and Florida Georgia Line. The easy-going song about singing about God’s love features guitar, hand claps, backing vocals, drums and a memorable chorus.
Key lyric:
You make me wanna sing about Your love
Make me wanna tell the whole world what You’ve done
How You’ve turned my life around, I was lost but now I’m found
You’re the song stuck inside my head all day
Yeah, You make me wanna sing, sing
Sing all about You
Yeah, You make me wanna sing 


  • I Wanna Remember. Listen to the new R3HAB remix of “I Wanna Remember” by NEEDTOBREATHE, featuring Carrie Underwood.
  • Sad Stories Told for Laughs. On this episode of The Habit podcast, Ellie Holcomb talks about the times she and her husband Drew found themselves performing in community college cafeterias, the time they got kicked out of a community college cafeteria and instead had to play a study room, and other sad stories told for laughs.

Sweet Ever After by Ellie Holcomb, featuring Bear Rinehart

This week’s song of the week is “Sweet Ever After” by Ellie Holcomb, featuring Bear Rinehart of NEEDTOBREATHE. The song is from Holcomb’s album Canyon, one of my favorites of 2021. Watch the video for the song here.

[Intro: Ellie Holcomb]
Ooh, yeah, yeah, yeah
Ooh-ooh-ooh
Ooh, yeah, yeah, yeah
Ooh-ooh-ooh-ooh

[Verse 1: Bear Rinehart]
In the spirit of David, and the cracks of the walls
And the schemes that we’re all running
We’re exposed to the rain coming down from the clouds
And the fire that falls from Heaven
But our tragedy binds what our ignorance hides
We all wind up here together
Yeah, our bodies are tied and our souls, they are blind
Bones broken by the weather

[Chorus: Ellie Holcomb, Ellie Holcomb & Bear Rinehart]
Got a lot of bad days still comin’ our way
But a sweet ever after
Wind and waves breaking over our walls
But the ship, it don’t shatter
The real life lesson ’bout a life well-lived
Is you lose what don’t matter
But the sun’s coming up on the stairway to Heaven
In the sweet ever after
In the sweet ever after

[Verse 2: Ellie Holcomb]
Woke up terrified in the middle of the night
To a storm, our whole house was shaking
Didn’t know where to hide, the winds howling outside
Sounded like everything was breaking
Well, the tears fell like rain, when the morning light came
In the wake of that disaster
Brick and stone in the street, shattered glass in our feet
Homes splintered by the weather
[Chorus: Ellie Holcomb, Ellie Holcomb & Bear Rinehart, Bear Rinehart]
(Listen) Got a lot of bad days still coming our way
But a sweet ever after (But a sweet ever after)
Wind and waves breaking over our walls
But the ship, it don’t shatter (But the ship, it don’t shatter)
The real life lesson ’bout a life well-lived
Is you lose what don’t matter (Is you lose what don’t matter)
But the sun’s coming up on the stairway to Heaven
In the sweet ever after
In the sweet ever after

[Bridge]
If we listen
There’s a sound
Beneath the footprints
In all our towns
We’re connected
Like waves of grain
When we break wide open
We’re all the same
When we break open
We’re all the same
[Chorus: Ellie Holcomb, Bear Rinehart]
Got a lot of bad days still coming our way
But a sweet ever after
Wind and waves breaking over our walls
But the ship, it don’t shatter (But the ship, it don’t shatter)
Well, the real life lesson ’bout a life well-lived
Is you lose what don’t matter (Is you lose what don’t matter)
But the sun’s coming up on the stairway to Heaven
In the sweet ever after (In the sweet ever after)
In the sweet ever after (In the sweet ever after)
In the sweet ever after (In the sweet ever after)
In the sweet ever after (In the sweet ever after)

Author: Bill Pence

I’m Bill Pence ~ married to my best friend for more than 40 years and a St. Louis Cardinals fan. Before retiring I served as a manager at a Fortune 50 company; I'm 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 2 Corinthians 5:21 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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