Southern Raised: Another World (StowTown Records)
There doesn’t seem to be any sign of sibling rivalry among the Southern Raised quartet, a group comprised of sisters Lindsay, Sarah, Emily and brother Matthew. Though the family was classically trained in music, it didn’t take long for them to discover a unique fusion drawn from Gospel and Bluegrass, an inherent mix hailing from the Branson, Missouri area. It only seems natural that their breakthrough album centers on the Lord because their parents prayed that God would use their family in ministry from the time they were young. Lindsay, who is a co-writer on the title track, “Another World,” shares, “The inspiration came from a quote I read by C.S. Lewis: ‘If I find in myself desires which nothing in this world can satisfy, the only logical explanation is that I was made for another world.’ Truly God’s children have been created for something else, but, while we are here, we want to encourage people to keep pressing on, keep walking, keep serving, and staying true to God and His Word. Be a light and testimony on your journey to another world, and take souls for Christ with you…may God bless you on your way.” Though the music in Another World is exquisite and winsome, their love for the Lord is powerful.
Iron Bell Music: God That Saves (Essential Worship)
Performing well-known worship songs, as well as originals, Iron Bell Music materialized through a weekly worship night in a local barn. The hope of the band was to provide a place for people to come and encounter the presence of God, no matter who they were or what they were facing in life. Their album, God That Saves, provides listeners with a worship experience that they can embrace in any location, reaching out to a God who will reach down and rescue the lost, hurting and humble. “We want the songs to literally cause breakthrough for people in their relationship with the Lord,” says band member Joel Gerdis. The title track is the personal testimony by song-writer and band member Stephen McWhirter. After years of abusing drugs, McWhirter eventually landed into a serious addition. One evening, he encountered the Lord and was given indescribable peace. “I fell to my knees in tears, gave my life to Christ, and quit everything. In that moment, I came to intimately know the God that saves, the One who restores, renews and redeems what seems impossible. This song is my story, but it’s more than that. It’s a song that adores the Lord and declares His name and nature, over every circumstance, as the God that saves,” he shares.