Michael W. Smith and The Newsboys

Michael W. Smith and The Newsboys

Surrounded and United tour

Moline, IL

April 19, 2019

            During this show, MWS noted that while he had toured with dc Talk and Michael Tait in 1992 (!), this match-up with the Newsboys was a first.  It’s a really good show too.

            The Newsboys opened the show with a couple recent songs then were joined on-stage by former members Peter Furler and Phil Joel. Stand-bys such as “Entertaining Angels” and “Breakfast” are always fun songs in concert.

            The big news of the night came when Michael Tait announced that Newsboys United will release on May 10.  The record will feature Tait, Furler and Joel.  Tait sang “Greatness of Our God,” the first single off the new forthcoming record.  Tait called the song the “most favorite” song of his career.  It’s been awhile since I’ve seen the Newsboys live and drummer Duncan Phillips is just awesome.

            MWS set included a few WAY back songs from 1992’s “Go West Young Man.”  I wish he would’ve played more songs from the “Million Lights” release but “Secret Ambition” never gets old, especially hearing that song at the start of Easter weekend.  You could hear a pin drop when Michael introduced “This is Your Time,” his tribute to Cassie Bernall.  This was the night before the 20th anniversary of the Columbine shooting.  Look up her story

            The show opened with two songs from Adam Agee, former lead singer for Stellar Kart and Audio Adrenaline.  He has a solo CD that’s worth checking out.

            The Surrounded and United tour runs through mid-May.  Catch it while you can!

Steven Curtis Chapman – Deeper Roots

Steven Curtis Chapman

“Deeper Roots:  Where the Bluegrass Grows”

13 tracks @ 48:51


Grade = A

            Throughout his social media and in the liner notes to his new record, Steven Curtis Chapman talks about how he grew up listening to and playing this style of his music.

            On his web site, Steven writes, “My earliest memories of growing up in Paducah, KY are woven together with the sound of bluegrass and folk music, with my dad on guitar and his good buddies, Scotty Henson on the banjo and Jack Curtis Martin (which is where my middle name came from) on the dobro. I loved that sound and couldn’t wait to learn to play the guitar and join in!

“By the time I was 8 years old I was playing and singing in church with my dad Herb Sr., brother Herb Jr. and my mom Judy.”

This is a pretty cool record, featuring some new songs, old time gospel songs, a few reworkings of previous releases.  The title track will get you moving.  “Cinderella,” with its subdued instrumentation, strikes me as even more poignant than the original version.  The gospel standards “I’ll Fly Away” and “Victory in Jesus” come across as fresh.

The real star on this record is Steven’s father, Herb Sr.  Someone sign him to a recording contract!  SCC’s solo tour runs through May.