Tag Archives: momentous mondays

MOMENTOUS MONDAYS: INFLUENTIAL ARTISTS OF ALL TIME – WEEK 12: DC TALK

Which band do you reckon has shaped Christian music the most? Has reminded us that songs about God, faith, hope, doubt, boldness and truth, need not to be sung and delivered in a cheesy over-spiritualised way, but rather, with power and emotion, coupled with musical genres of pop, hip hop, rock, fusing together a myriad of genres to let people know that there is more to Christian music than just hymns sung in pews each Sunday morning? Sure there have been bands like the Newsboys, Jars of Clay, Audio Adrenaline, Third Day, PETRA, Stryper and Family Force 5; that have all amassed fans alongside critics praising their involvement in shaping Christian music history over the years. but for me, there’s one band that stands tall above the rest, in terms of their own influence, not just in Christian music, but for music in general. Yes, if you’ve read this far, you probably know which band I’m gonna delve into. DC Talk– Toby McKeehan (now known as TobyMac), Michael Tait and Kevin Max, who make up this trio, are even now considered to be one of the most influential bands of the Christian music genre (if ever there is a boxed ‘genre’ music of a Christian nature can go in!). DC Talk, though only active for a little over a decade, have nevertheless encouraged and impacted so many, and even now, as TobyMac continues with his solo career, Kevin also with solo offerings and Michael in another popular band, the Newsboys (as lead singer!); these three humble members of arguably the greatest Christian band in modern history, are still impacting the world today, both with their solo (and Newsboys) material, alongside their DC Talk repertoire of yesteryear!

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MOMENTOUS MONDAYS: INFLUENTIAL ARTISTS OF ALL TIME – WEEK 11: U2

U2 need no explanation or even introduction as to why they are included on my own 100 influential artists list. Or rather, they need no explanation as to why they should be included on any influential artist list- because, to be frank; this Irish band is one that everyone can unanimously agree upon, and quite deservingly so! For Bono, The Edge, Larry Mullen Jr and Adam Clayton are U2,  formed in the late 1970s, and are still active today. In fact, dare I say that this band is by far one of history’s most influential rock bands…ever? Like Michael Jackson was to pop, and Backstreet Boys was to boy bands, like Whitney Houston was to powerful female singers, and The Beatles and Elvis was to generally music in general, one can’t deny the impact U2 has had, not only to rock music, but also to music as a whole. For Bono and co. have created music that is honest, and though many of their music can seem a little too honest for what mainstream pop radio wants at the moment; what this band has uncovered long ago that still holds true today is this- that many people, young and old, rich and poor, people of many walks of life, and many different roads of faith, are yearning and wanting the same thing- to connect to a song on a soul level.

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MOMENTOUS MONDAYS: INFLUENTIAL ARTISTS OF ALL TIME – WEEK 10: ANDREW PETERSON

I have been wrestling a little bit over this last week about my choice of artist that I’m going to delve into today. And while I’ve said countless times in blog posts previously that popular need not be the same as influential, nor should it, in this artist’s case, popular is indeed not what this artist is (if you look at popularity in the mainstream pop market). But, having said that, upon listening and thoroughly delving deep into the music and mysteries that this artist speaks of, boy can I say that singer-songwriter and Christian artist Andrew Peterson, is by far one of the most influential artists that has ever graced Christian music in the modern era (2000 and onward). There, I said it. Andrew Peterson, though his name unrecognisable in terms of mainstream music, is indeed known quite well within the confines of CCM and music about the Christian faith. It is in this blog series that I have managed to hopefully give a portrayal of many different styles and musical genres, across various time periods. Influential artists within the Christian music ‘genre’ (if you can call Christian music a genre!) were always going to be present on my influential artists of all-time list; because frankly, I am a Christian and Christian music is and always will be a great form and source of encouragement and inspiration, whether or not the listener is of the faith, or not. And so, upon amassing who I was going to discuss about within my list of 100 names (and ever evolving names, I must add!); it stood to reason that a non-negotiable artist to explore would be Andrew and his music. Since exploring Andrew’s music around 5 years ago, my musical tastes have been stretched, altered, challenged, and even matured because of such delving, and this past week, I’ve come to appreciate a style within the Christian industry that isn’t necessarily discussed or even musically envisaged. Call it being safe, sticking close to radio format songs; whatever the case, an artist like Andrew Peterson and the music style that he incorporates (folk rock, roots rock, country gospel) is rarely promoted even within the Christian industry, because, to put it bluntly, Andrew’s music is different.

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Momentous Mondays: Influential artists of the Next 5-10 years – Week 1: Maren Morris

Is there any criteria for what determines an influential artist? Influential albums- sure we can figure that one out. Just think about an album that has changed you from the inside out, or one that has sentimental value to you, or one that you’d just know has shaped you beyond the shadow of a doubt (you wouldn’t be the person you are today if that particular album wasn’t recorded and released!); and that’s it. Maybe there are around 20 or 30 albums that you hold dear, that you believe to be higher above all others. But as for the extent of influence an artist has over society as a whole or individuals, across time, all genres and transcending countries, religions, beliefs, value systems and creeds; that’s a big, big mouthful to fully grasp and a gigantic pool of artists to choose from. I guess you’d say that the criteria is different depending on what you value in an artist, whether it is lyrics or music or the artist’s private lives and if it matches up with what they’re singing about… and that’s probably the reason why Jon is in the midst of writing about 100 artists, and even then it’s not a perfect list. The other day though, I started to think about the artists that were not part of Jon’s list, whom were deemed to be seemingly not influential enough. There were obviously some older artists whom Jon found others to be more influential for one reason or another; however if we’re only thinking of influence in the regard that an artist has to be a veteran of x amount of years or x amount of albums, then I’m certain we’d miss out on exploring and listening to a number of up and coming artists whom in the future could be equally as influential or even more so than The Beatles, Queen, Abba, Elton John, Whitney Houston and others. So, I’ve started up a mini-list of 20 artists. By no means is it perfect, but it’s a snapshot of artists whom I reckon will take the world by storm in the coming years. Artists whom I reckon may not necessarily be popular, but still impact in a society where listeners are bored with songs at the drop of a hat. Maren Morris is the first artist that I’ll be delving into and exploring, and boy does she have plenty of remarkable songs that are relevant to society that need to be shared with the whole world!

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MOMENTOUS MONDAYS: INFLUENTIAL ARTISTS OF ALL TIME – WEEK 9: MARTINA MCBRIDE

Just a couple of weeks ago, I delved into the realms and musical genres of country music, discussing about Carrie Underwood, and her relevance and influence in today’s society, the history of music as a whole, and just the overall arching umbrella of inspirational music that can encourage and impact. Here we are, just two weeks later, again delving into another country artist- Martina McBride. Never in my own wildest dreams did I ever think I would listen to country music. Sure, I heard a few songs from Carrie Underwood here and there, and I always knew that CCM rockers Third Day somehow skirted the fine line between southern Rock, CCM and country quite a bit. But if you were to let me know a year ago that in a year’s time, I’d be listening to artists like Carrie Underwood and Martina McBride, I’d be laughing, wondering what planet you’re from. Because for me, Martina’s music has only been thoroughly listened to on a regular basis this last week or so- her music, though so iconic and monumental over the years for so many listeners, has somehow been swept by the wayside unintentionally by myself… until now of course! Martina’s career is as long as it is respected and revered- a mainstay and icon in not just country music alone, but in music overall. An eye-opening occasion for myself (I didn’t know country- or even to a lesser extent country-inspired, can be such a positive experience for myself), Martina’s music is a generation behind Carrie Underwood, starting her career in the 1990s, and releasing albums at a steady pace from then till now…and that’s ok. In all serious, Martina’s style is very similar to that of CCM icons Natalie Grant and Amy Grant, and while Martina’s stint in the music industry has led to much success over the years, it has been her extra-album activities, like her love for cooking and the recent unveiling of her new cooking TV programme, that has solidified her standing as one of country music’s reigning singer-songwriters and performers, and all-round inspirational people, after all these years!

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MOMENTOUS MONDAYS: INFLUENTIAL ARTISTS OF ALL TIME – WEEK 8: OWL CITY

Owl City has always been, and always will be, a band that has such polarising views from listeners who either approach his music in one of two ways. There’s the first group, that love his music, that are die-hard fans, and appreciate every unique lyric and every nuance and imagery present in his music. Because there is quite a bit. Then there’s the other group, that casually like Owl City and listen to them once in a while, but with the drop of a hat, they’d criticise or have something harsh to say if the music isn’t up to a certain standard. And frankly, there’s been times during Owl City’s music career thus far where I’ve felt like the first group, and other times where all I want to be is to be the second group…but I can’t. Because in all honesty, Adam Young, the man behind Owl City (yes, this is a one-man-band!), has created a moniker and pseudonym that has received a lot of praise (and lack thereof) throughout the years.

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MOMENTOUS MONDAYS: INFLUENTIAL ARTISTS OF ALL TIME – WEEK 7: CARRIE UNDERWOOD

I don’t think I have ever been a great big avid fan of country music, if I’m completely honest. Sure I would hear a few songs from time to time, but for me, it wouldn’t be a genre of music that I’d actively seek out and listen to, throughout my years on this earth. If I am being completely honest, I much prefer the safe confines of CCM and pop, compared to the country music that has the great big southern drawl, and the songs full of…well, full of disappointment and heartache, I would surmise, right? Maybe it’s just me, but prior to this week, I had a conception on what country music would be like- songs about relationships, heartbreaks, mess-ups, songs about trucks, girls and guys, having a good time, songs about God and Jesus and faith, songs about…well, anything that would sell records, right?

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MOMENTOUS MONDAYS: INFLUENTIAL ARTISTS OF ALL TIME – WEEK 6: JOSH GROBAN

To say that I am 100% prepared to write about this artist would be a lie. Because I’m not. Frankly, with everything that has been happening this week, from work to what has been suddenly portrayed on the news, the research for this artist has been minimal, to say the least. Nevertheless, what I have heard (and what I will continue to hear) has blown my own expectation of the genre of classical opera/pop that this artist is famous for, right out of the water. When I was younger, I used to have an aversion to anything of that musical variety. Not really sure why, but if I’m going to be completely honest, I’d say that I was too much in my CCM bubble not to notice the great quality music that exists (and continues to do so) outside the confines of whatever is to be sung on Sunday mornings at church service…I’m sure you get the picture, right? Music is a gift from the Lord, and it is up to us as stewards of this gift to bring hope and encouragement into the light, and to bring to listeners a sense of camaraderie and unity in times of difficulty, to ask questions that may not have been asked if it had not been for the music. There are many genres of music, and many people stand tall within their own genres. As I’ve discussed in these blog posts in previous weeks, artists like Michael W. Smith places a firm stamp on the CCM/Christian pop ‘genre’, while bands like Switchfoot and Lifehouse influence heavily on the rock music scene. Avril Lavigne’s music imprints a mark on pop/punk while Delta Goodrem is very prominent in Australian music. And so which artist stands out amongst the opera/pop genre? Well, Josh Groban, of course!

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MOMENTOUS MONDAYS: INFLUENTIAL ARTISTS OF ALL TIME – WEEK 5: LIFEHOUSE

To say that I’m a very big avid fan of indie rock band Lifehouse is a very, very big overstatement. Let’s just say that for many, many of these artists I’ve placed here on my influential of all time list, I’ve barely listened to. And yes, apart from a song here and there from this guitar driven rock band (‘Hanging By A Moment’, ‘Broken’, ‘Everything’, ‘All In’, ‘Between the Raindrops’, to name a few), I haven’t really explored Lifehouse…until now of course. And we all know that this year-long project for me is as much as it is introducing to the world artists that I think have influenced and shaped music history, as it is very much an introduction for me into the realms of music that I may not have touched or even experienced, had it not have been for this project altogether. Nevertheless, Lifehouse as a band is very much like Switchfoot in a similar respect- they are indeed a band that deliver songs that probe at the human condition, asking questions that are deemed to be too personal, or even too taboo, to discuss in forums and public settings without music as the helm and delivery of transferring such ideas.

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MOMENTOUS MONDAYS: INFLUENTIAL ARTISTS OF ALL TIME – WEEK 4: DELTA GOODREM

Guy Sebastian, Jessica Mauboy, Rebecca St. James, Johnny Farnham, The Rogue Traders, Natalie Bassingthwaithe, Stan Walker, Human Nature, Shannon Noll, Kasey Chambers, Samantha Jade, Dami Im, Jimmy Barnes, Olivia Newton-John, Missy Higgins, David Campbell. What do all these music artists have in common? Anyone…no one? They’re all Australian! Yes that’s right, all these artists do not originate from America, like I’m sure many people could think right, because all good music comes out of America…am I right? No really, on a serious note, music doesn’t have to come out of America for it to be good, and much of these aforementioned artists in the beginning of this paragraph have all had moderate to very high success in both Australian radio and the Australian market, as with exposure and influence overseas as well. Rebecca St. James, originally from Australia, moved to America with her family in the 1990s and became a superstar from her early teens onward. The family, the Smallbones, also produced a duo band years later- Rebecca’s younger brothers Joel and Luke a.k.a. for KING & COUNTRY (more on both Rebecca and her brothers in two separate Momentous Mondays posts at a later date). Johnny Farnham, Human Nature, Kasey Chambers and Jimmy Barnes are all legends in their own right, and more recently, artists like Dami Im and Stan Walker have captured the international stage after winning singing competitions X Factor and Australian Idol respectively. But for me, there’s one artist that has been influential, not necessarily as popular, compared to any one of these artists I’ve mentioned, but nevertheless, has worked hard at their music, touching listeners and impacting an entire generation over the last decade or so. Delta Goodrem, basically a household name now because of her music career as well as a judge on the Australian singing competition show, The Voice; is, I reckon, one of Australian music’s most impacting and dare I say it, decade-defining, if you look at the years of the 2000s.

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