With this week’s artist — or rather, group of artists — the worship sound starts to get much younger. Seasoned veterans of worship are displaced by up and comers like Chris Tomlin and David Crowder, among others who at one time or another participated in the Passion Worship Band.
The CDs the Passion bands produced coordinated with the annual Passion Conferences, which were basically revivals for a postmodern culture. Passion Conferences began in the late ’90s and continue today. Originally they were held annually in primarily Texas and Georgia, though also Tennessee. Recently, Passion has gone on tour, including dates in international cities.
I haven’t followed much of their music lately, but their earlier CDs certainly influenced the music I chose and led with my worship teams. The Passion band was similar to the Vineyard bands, in that they featured different worship leaders, including mainstays Chris Tomlin, Charlie Hall, and David Crowder. Also featured over the years were Christy Nockels (in my opinion one of the best female vocalists to ever lead worship, or at least recorded worship), Jami Smith (a rocky Melissa Etheridge type vocalist), Steve Fee, and Matt Redman.
Pushing the music forward was sixsteps records, which was begun by Louie Giglio, who has also served, in a sense, as Passion pastor. He has co-written many fantastic worship songs and continues to be the primary speaker at Passion events. Producer Ed Cash has churned out CD after CD of similar sounding music that young worshipers have embraced the world over. The pretty-voiced Chris Tomlin has written a glut of worship songs, but I’ll write more about him in a couple weeks.
Many of the Passion songs you can find on other CDs, as typically each artist would eventually record his or her own project. Sometimes, as in the case of Redman’s “The Heart of Worship,” a song had already been released.
Some of my favorites from the earlier records:
- Better Is One Day
- The Heart of Worship
- We Are Hungry
- Here I Am to Worship
- Famous One
- God of Wonders
- Our Love Is Loud
- O Praise Him (All This for a King)
- Holy Is the Lord
- Sing to the King
- Blessed Be Your Name
- Not to Us
- How Great Is Our God
- Your Grace Is Enough
Perhaps I’m just getting old, but I haven’t been all that interested in the more recent releases, although I’ll still use some of the songs they produce, like “Our God” and “God of This City.”
Next week I’ll look at a crazy-haired, maniacal-looking worship leader from the heart of Texas, one with a penchant for synths.