This album variously rolls with the calming reassurance of a Dixie river and chugs along like a steam engine. Built around hymns and southern gospel standards, Deep Roots oozes front porch intimacy, its acoustic instruments and vocal harmonies unadorned by studio trickery. There’s also the sweetest of family sing-alongs, as Chapman’s father and brother join him for a rendition of the Gaither classic “He Touched Me.”
Midwestern rocker Phil Angotti dishes sweet sunshine on a disc redolent of 1970s pop textures à la Todd Rundgren and the Raspberries—though “Goodbye Never Said” has a timeless chamber-pop quality, aided by a dash of strings. “My Life in Rhymes,” propelled by Romantics drummer Brad Elvis, sums up Angotti’s artistic calling in less than four minutes, while “Daddy’s Country Records” japes like Shel Silverstein. Thanks to Buck Owens and Johnny Cash, says Angotti, “I learned how to love and fight and swear when I was three.”
For this second disc in the Lullaby Confessions series, producer-songwriter Barrie Buckner Jr. delivers something unique: lullabies with an easy, breezy tropical bent. Aided by longtime writing partner and producer R. J. Young, Buckner knits a dreamscape that sounds like sultry R&B channeled from a nearby nebula. The lovely, melodic “Contagious” is sung by Michelle Mai, while “Good Courage” features Ami Kosaka (and quotes Deuteronomy). It’s not just for young ones but for reverie-prone adults as well.
Pransky, a middle-aged Labradoodle, was bored. So was Sue Halpern, Pransky's owner. Then Halpern learned about Therapy Dogs International.
Decades ago when I was a graduate student at Union Seminary in New York City, Robert McAfee Brown was the hot young teacher of theology.
Geza Vermes provides a compelling sketch of the charismatic trajectory in ancient Judaism and locates Jesus within that pattern.