Friday, January 13, 2012


     SOULBREATHER is comprised of Brynn Gersmehl (acoustic guitar, vocals) and her husband Mark Gersmehl (piano, keyboards, percussion and drum programming, vocals).  Their debut album is 2011's SEVEN POINT EIGHT.  Brynn wrote the following to me regarding the title: "In the Bible seven is the number for fullness, completeness.  Both Gersh and I were in Christian bands (Whiteheart and Rachel Rachel) in the 1980's and 1990's.  We are humbled and honored that the Lord chose to use us in that way, but that chapter of our lives is complete.  The number eight in the Bible symbolizes a new beginning, or a new order of things, a new creation, a new birth.  The artist that refuses to change does so at great peril."  Of their latest venture she writes: "We feel something stirring deep within us.  We believe it is The Soulbreather breathing new life and vision at the center of our being."  The following words from the liner notes of the project shed some more light: "What if you had a choice: a. trudging through the dust of day after day or b. living a life brimming with love, laughter, and meaning?  Actually you do have a choice.  And it all comes down to Who you know and what you believe...There is Someone we want you to meet.  His name is Soulbreather and He has big dreams for you."
     SEVEN POINT EIGHT begins with 'How Beautiful'.  It is gentle and has a calming effect.  The lyrics draw from Isaiah 52:7: "How beautiful on the mountain/Are the feet that bring good news (2X)/How beautiful (2X)/Let the rocks and hills be echoing/With the chorus of our worshipping/As we shout our praise to You King of kings/Til the whole world knows what You have done/Til the whole world sees You Risen One/Til the whole world knows You."  'This Hope' finds them boasting in the goodness of the Lord: "I have a hope that makes me whole/It is the anchor of my soul/Jesus You reign in majesty/And yet You live inside of me/You'll never leave me/Or forsake me/And then one day/You will take me/To Your Kingdom/Where together/We'll all praise You/Lord forever."  'From All that Dwell Below' is a hymn that is quite pretty.  It dates back to the 1700's and was written by Isaac Watts and John Hatton.  It desires that God be exalted: "From all that dwell below the skies/Let the Creator's praise arise/Alleluia (2X)/Let the Redeemer's name be sung/Through every land by every tongue/Alleluia (5X)."
     'Manna' finds the Gersmehl's harmonizing and attests to God's faithfulness: "People I love/Moments of bliss/Even there I'm finding things I missed/When I was lost/You were still near/Even in my wilderness/You never loved me any less/Now I finally see that You were there/Everywhere I look I see/Your everlasting love for me/So much more than I could dream/It's like manna falling down on me."  'Great I Am' is a wonderful ballad that builds.  It runs almost six minutes and testifies that none can compare to the Lord: "Let the idols fall/Crumble into dust/Ev'ry knee will bow/And ev'ry tongue confess/Great I Am, You are holy/And I bow before Your throne/Great I Am, You are worthy/And I worship You alone/Great I Am (4X)."  Joe Mazza plays guitar on the track, while Ken Lewis is on drums.
     'Soulbreather' is hauntingly beautiful and features former Whiteheart member Anthony Sallee on bass.  The lyrics are about pursuing a deeper relationship with Father God: "I'm praying for the Soulbreather/To breath in me (breathe in me)/I'm praying for the Soulbreather to come/I'm longing for the Soulbreather/To breathe in me (breathe in me)/I'm longing for the Soulbreather to come/Come breathe in me (2X)/I long to be free/Come breathe in me/Come breathe."
     'How Deep and Wide' contemplates God's unfathomable love for us: "Far beyond my understanding/Far beyond my deepest longing/Far beyond what I could/Ever hope and dream/Now to You be all the power/Now to You be all the glory/Forever and forever I will sing/How deep and wide/Your love for me/How deep and wide/Your love/How long and high Your love for me/How long and high/Your love."  'Flow Down' is a soft pop number that confirms principles drawn from the biblical account of Jesus and the Samaritan woman at the well in John 4: "I've been walking in a desert/Dry and weary to the bone/How I long to taste Your water/Purer than I've ever known (2X)/Flow down living water/Flow down blessed Savior/Flow down and I will never/Ever thirst again."  'By the Riverside' continues the theme of life giving spiritual water only available from God: "I kneel down by the riverside (3X)/To drink from the water that's deep and wide/I'm laying down everything inside (3X)/To drink from the water that's deep and wide."  'You Are' closes the album and has them declaring their life's mission: "You are the light of the world (3X)/And I will follow You/You are the light of the world (3X)/And I will follow You (2X)/Wherever You may lead/You're everything I need."
     Brynn also wrote this to me: "This record was conceived as a whole, a journey to the deeper intimate places of the soul.  It is our hope and prayer that people will listen to it on their morning walk in the woods, on a long drive, or swaddled in their favourite blanket drinking hot chocolate in front of the fireplace.  Wherever their quiet secret place is, we believe The Soulbreather will meet them there..."  SEVEN POINT EIGHT is atmospheric, ethereal, meditative, praise and worship.  It will cause you to slow down in this fast paced world and think about the One who made you.  Brynn's sweet vocals compliment Mark's husky, seasoned voice quite nicely.  I'm recommending this album produced by Gersh and Richie Biggs, to fans of the lighter fare of Geoff Moore and Leigh Nash, and to those who enjoy Gersh's 2002 solo effort AWAKENING.  I'm rating SEVEN POINT EIGHT 83%.  For more info and to purchase visit