Tuesday, April 22, 2014


Elizabeth Asher Bannister was born on September 12, 1982 in Nashville, TN.  She has a Master’s degree in Education and taught middle and high school English.  For several years she toured as part of her husband’s band, Drew Holcomb and The Neighbors.  Ellie’s two solo EP’s, MAGNOLIA (2011) and WITH YOU NOW (2013) both hit No 1 on the iTunes Christian/Gospel charts.  Ellie Holcomb “loves the way that lyrics and melody have helped pave the way for conversations with people who’ve often walked through similar life struggles”.  Ellie’s first full length album is AS SURE AS THE SUN (2014, Full Heart Music).

The title track is a soft, piano-based ballad that begins with these marvelous words: “There is good news, there is great truth/That you could never change, no matter what you do/You are loved more than you know/More than you could hope for, after everything you’ve done/As sure as the sun will rise and chase away the night/His mercy will not end/His mercy will not end”.  ‘Marvelous Light’ was penned by Ellie and Rusty Varenkamp.  This one has somewhat of a Celtic feel to it and includes these words of testimony: “So I walked out of the darkness and into the light/From fear of shame into the hope of life/Mercy called my name and made a way to fly/Out of the darkness and into the light”.

‘The Broken Beautiful’ penned by Ellie and Matt Armstrong has a playful pop beat and makes these requests of the Lord: “Would You remind me now of Who You are/That Your love will never change, that there’s healing in Your Name/And that You can take broken things and make them beautiful/You took my shame and you walked out of the grave/So Your love can take broken things and make them beautiful/And make them beautiful”.  ‘My Portion and My Strength’ asks a couple of great questions of God: “Your voice calmed the wind and the sea/But can You calm these storms inside of me?/.../Your voice gave the blind the gift of sight/But can You take my darkness and turn it into light?”

‘Night Song’ was written by Ellie, Christa Wells, and Nicole Witt.  This nice adult pop song cries out to God for help: “All these lies that are owning me/All this fear makes it hard to breathe/Will You be, be my night song?/The truth that sings into my darkness/The melody of love that leads me on/The voice that comforts all of my sadness/Oh, even when the suffering is long, be my night song”.  ‘Love Never Fails’ has a bouncy beat and the vocals are delivered with soul.  The song contains these observations: “Love doesn’t strut, it is not proud/Love will make sure to be seeking others out/Love doesn’t try to keep the score/It sides with forgiveness”.

‘Love Broke Through’ has a modern worship feel to it.  It extols the Lord Jesus Christ: “You gave us hope when hope was lost/You came and died upon a cross/So we could know that we are not alone/God with us, God with us/He will never let us go/Your love has called me out, out of my sorrow, out of my broken places/Hope has been renewed/Cause there on the cross/Yeah, there on the cross/Your love broke through”.  ‘Only Hope I’ve Got’ has a great message we all can benefit from: “I don’t wanna tell some arrogant story/Or let myself believe I’m You/I don’t want to be a thief who’s stealing Your glory/Will You help remind me of what is true?/The only hope I’ve got/It’s You, You/It’s You, You”.  Ellie wrote the next song ‘The Valley’ for several of her friends battling depression. Here are some of the lyrics: “I don’t want to face this valley/I don’t want to walk alone/You say that You’ll leave to find me/Well, I am begging You now to come/Don’t think I can face this morning/A heaviness is on my chest/You say that You’ll lift this burden/Well, I am begging You to bring me rest”.

‘Songs of Deliverance’ is an Ellie Holcomb/Jillian Edwards composition.  This tender folk song speaks of God’s ability to rescue us: “There in my weakest hour You offered grace/You gave me love unfailing/So in my heart I’ll raise a banner high/Remember how You saved me/I know You’ll answer me, You’ll hear my cries (4X)/Answer me, You’ll give me love unfailing”.  Ellie wrote the album closer “I Want to be Free’ alone.  On it, her voice and instrumentation have an old country flare.  She boldly asks the Lord for emotional deliverance: “Roll away this stone, roll away this sorrow/And take away this pain that I’ve been holding on to/Cuz I want to be like the birds all singing in the trees/Oh Lord, I want to be free”.

Ellie says: “I love sitting in God’s Word and letting music come out”.  AS SURE AS THE SUN comes across as a very personal album performed with a lot of emotion.  This is a good album to use for spiritual reflection and contemplation.  Ellie has a wonderful voice and also has abundant talent to go places.  Fans of Francesca Batistelli, Faith Grace, and Colbie Caillat should buy this one.  I’m rating it 87%.  For more info visit: www.ellieholcomb.com.