Monday, March 26, 2012


     BREATH OF GOD (2012, Candlelight Concerts and Records) is an EP that is a collaboration between Randy Stonehill and Buck Storm.  Four of the songs were written by the duo, with the fifth, the title track, being penned solely by Stonehill.  You might remember these two artists contributed to 2010's SONGS FOR ISRAEL.  Randy Stonehill released his first album BORN TWICE in 1971.  He was born March 12, 1952.  Over the years he has delivered such wonderful songs as 'King of Hearts', 'Christmas at Denny's', Shut De Do', and 'American Fast Food.'  Buck Storm is a worship pastor and a Christian Americana artist.  On his website, of his ministry, he is quoted as saying: "I want people to see and hear the love of God in every word of every story, and every note of every song.  I want them to see that Jesus is the only star.  Christ was a radical.  He loved people for who they were, not for what they had to offer.  Lord, give me a heart like that!"
     On most of the tracks of this EP, Buck and Randy share vocal duties.  The first song, 'We are Here', is the longest, running 5 minutes and 51 seconds.  It is upbeat, includes nice background vocals by a choir, and anticipates the 2nd Coming of Christ: "Lightning cuts the eastern sky as night gives into dawn/The devil's screaming in the courts of the kings of Babylon/And aching for that glorious day/All creation groans/When justice has it's perfect hour and Love will take His throne/Oh Lord behold Your people/We are ready to rejoice/For You have known the ending from the start/Awakened by Your Spirit, united as one voice/One single prayer to stir the Father's heart/We are here, hear our call."  Next up is 'Jesus', a rootsy, mid-tempo number for fans of the Lost Dogs.  It has Randy singing in his unmistakable falsetto at times, and would not have been out of place on his EDGE OF THE WORLD project.  The words of the song talk about the importance of how you view the person of Jesus and make it clear it is worth giving a lot of thought to: "Jesus in the woodwork, Jesus in the clouds/Jesus in the stained glass, Jesus in the shroud/Jesus in the music of a newborn baby's cries/Could that be the face of Jesus shinin' in those eyes?/Jesus Christ the Superstar, Jesus Christ the Lamb/Jesus as a curse word of a drunken businessman/Jesus in the measured words of the old and wise/Jesus King of glory in a flesh and blood disguise/I got real good news and real bad news for you/In the end I guess it all depends upon your point of view/I got real bad news, real good news it's true/The way it's gonna all shake down baby that's up to you."
     As 'Bones' starts, it has a decidedly old country, Johnny Cash feel to it.  The song includes a trumpet solo by Jim Hanson, and marvels at God's miraculous power as seen in the Old Testament: "Linking bone to bone, gonna make 'em alive/He's callin' them home like bees to the hive/God told Ezekiel 'Prophesy!'/Bones/Scattered like seed, beaten by war/But there's a sweet rain fallin' on the killin' floor/Shake off those grave clothes we'll need them no more/Hear the rattlin' winds (2X)/The prophet's callin' them in/Bones (3X)/Hear the rattlin' winds (2X)/See them rising again/Bones."  Storm's voice sounds gruff, similar to Barry McGuire's.  'Out of Egypt' is a laid back ballad with nice touches of electric guitar.  I take the song as a spiritual allegory of one moving out of the devil's bondage and into the freedom Christ gives.  It talks of how it can take a lot of faith to make this journey: "Out of Egypt I have come/The devil barking at my heels/Snappin' at my wheels/Howlin' at the sun/Out of Egypt I have come.../And the sun sets early in these canyons/And the nights get cold sometimes out here/Across the fire from my Companion/He brought this broken man/Out of Egypt.../Sometimes freedom can be frightening/Prison bars can feel like home/Then the Truth breaks through to me like lightning/He brought this broken man out of Egypt."
     'Breath of God' is the closing and shortest song (3:38).  It is a tender song with Stonehill carrying the vocals accompanied by an acoustic guitar.  The song describes intimate communion between God and man: "Oh breath of God, come in and dwell/Please make this aching heart Your home and use me well/For You created me and named me as Your own/To know the wonder of Your love and make it known/Breath of God, teach me Your ways/That I might serve You in these precious fleeting days/Now I know one thing if I've learned nothing else/Until I live for You I do not live myself.../Oh breath of God I'm tired and cold/And all the dreams I've chased have left me feeling old/You've been waiting here/Now I understand/Let me fall into Your loving nail-scarred hands/Breath of God, oh breath of God."
     Buck Storm told me he is unsure whether BREATH OF GOD will be fleshed out into a full record in the future or not.  Either way, it stands on it's own as a terrific, well crafted group of songs that is sure to move you.  For more info visit,, and,  You can also like 'Stonehill and Storm' on Facebook, or buy this EP which I'm rating 90%, on itunes.