Release Date: December 4th 2015
Reviewed by: Joshua Andre
- Little Drummer Boy
- The First Noel
- Silent Night
A former member of the respected and well-loved Paul Colman Trio, singer/songwriter Grant Norsworthy has had an interesting career post PC3. Originally from Australia, Grant now resides in the U.S., singing, speaking and teaching all throughout America, and the world, in festivals, churches, youth groups and colleges. With Grant also conducting music workshops as well, known to many as his series ‘Word And Song’; Grant has also released a debut worship album Resident Alien in 2012, and how he has followed it up with a free Christmas EP on Noisetrade called Gift Of Hope. Although I would love to hear something new and original from Grant (how could you not love his rendition of “Jesus Loves Me”, and long to hear more?), these 3 new holiday songs (although recorded in 2010, but only released now…), that has us worshipping Jesus and praising Him for coming the earth as a baby in a manger to save each of us; reminds us of Grant’s earnest heart for Jesus, and his heart for seeing people come to know Him as their Lord and Saviour. It isn’t known when Grant will record an other full length album, so let’s just bask in the knowledge that these songs are free online, and listen to them as soon as we can. After all, isn’t Christmas music just worship music centred on a specific theme, and could be listened to any time of the year?
Opening with the vibrant and catchy “Little Drummer Boy”, this version comes quite close to my absolute favourite versions from both Lincoln Brewster and Jars Of Clay. Driven by the acoustic guitar, Grant’s honest and heartfelt vocals carries the song, as he proclaims that any gift we bring to God would seem inadequate compared to the gift of Jesus that He has given to us. With gratitude and thankfulness being at the heart of this track, Grant eloquently highlights that all we can do is worship Jesus, that ‘…little baby, I am a poor boy too, I have no gifts to bring, that’s fit to give a king, shall I play for You on my drum…’. As we are immersed in one of my favourite carols ever, Grant has perfected this acoustic version quite well, with the message of the song being how we as Christians should always keep praising God and thanking Him for everything He’s done for us!
“The First Noel”, driven by captivating electric guitar and acoustic guitar, is a slow tempoed ballad, that has Grant passionately and fervently outlining that Jesus is ‘…Noel, Noel, Noel, Noel, born is the King of Israel…’. It’s a declaration that we all can cry out with freedom and assuredness, given that Jesus came to earth to provide us with freedom, security and salvation. While the more subdued strings led lullaby “Silent Night” is the perfect way to end what is a short but to the point EP, with Grant ardently recounting that very night Jesus was born, that ‘…shepherds quake at the sight, glories stream from Heaven afar, heavenly hosts sing alleluia, Christ the savior is born…’. An added third verse that possibly is an original verse is a great inclusion to the track as well!
Throughout listening to the 3 song holiday EP Gift Of Hope, I have been blessed to hear Grant Norsworthy’s passionate heart for Jesus seep through these well-known Christmas classics, as we worship Jesus because of His birth. I would have loved a full length Christmas album, but maybe Grant is building up towards a landmark 2016- hopefully there’s an album or two in the pipeline. But even if there’s not, and Grant is content to minister to those who need it through his Word And Song workshops, that’s fine by me, as he is doing what God wants for him to do. Does this mean that we should listen to Grant’s music, inclusive of this EP, even if he releases no more new material? Of course we should keep listening! At least that’s what I’m going to do… so let’s dive in and listen to these three Christmas songs from Grant before Christmas ends, shall we?
3 songs to listen to: All Of Them
RIYL: Paul Colman, Peter Furler, Andrew Peterson, Steven Curtis Chapman, Jason Gray