Jazz brings the spirit to California congregation worship September 10, 2013
A key to Community Church of Sebastopol’s worship services each week is the variety of music the California-based United Church of Christ congregation celebrates with. Minister of music the Rev. Brian Plaugher believes jazz’s improvisational style has the power and creativity to make a worship service more open, untamed and free.
CD reviews: "Hymns for the Rest of Us" and the latest from Kate Campbell April 6, 2012
Mark Heard once wrote a song about being “Stuck in the Middle,” between the religious pieties of conservative Christian expressions and the stark reality of secularism. “Funny world we live in, it’s funny every day, half the world prays like a preacher, the other half don’t even pray,” he wrote, “no one seems to understand you if you pray in your own way.” Heard concludes, “I’m too sacred for the sinners, and the saints wish I would leave … no one seems to want me, only God will take me as I am.”
Movie Review: "Blue Like Jazz" April 4, 2012
"Blue Like Jazz" is a movie based on the New York Times bestselling book of the same name by Donald Miller (Thomas Nelson, 2003). The film is directed by Steve Taylor, one time authentic Christian music rock star known for brilliant solo CDs like "I Predict 1990" and "Squint" and work as the vocalist in Chagall Guevara, the short-lived but amazing band with one self-titled release.
What's old is new again: The Chieftains at 50, Dion at 72 March 15, 2012
Fifty years ago, about the same time the Keith Richards and Mick Jagger were trying to figure out if some young white Brits could get away with playing Bo Diddley and Chuck Berry covers, Paddy Moloney was gathering together some traditional Irish musicians with a mission to take this time-honored music around the world.
The continuing spiritual odyssey of Bruce Springsteen; Dylan tribute benefits Amnesty International March 13, 2012
One of his strongest works, "Wrecking Ball" –– like "Born to Run," "The River," "Born In The U.S.A." and "The Rising" –– captures this very moment, the political tensions and personal anxieties of this immediate situation, and yet remains timeless. By facing the greatest disappointments, the most profound failures and losses, it finds a way through them to a source of resilience and hope that can sustain us, a spirituality that can bear the freight of modern life, even if it's not that clear, not that secure.
Driskell uses broad brush to inspire Black History Month worship gathering February 22, 2012
The "good news" can be delivered via myriad methods, and if you ask David C. Driskell, it may well involve a paintbrush, a keyboard or a strong set of pipes. Appearing on the eve of the Lenten season as part of the UCC's celebration of Black History Month, the 80-year-old Driskell is one of the world's leading authorities on African-American art.