Inside the Norm (Influences Part II)

The other day I  wrote about some musical influences by bands that came about before I came to the Lord, and before I started playing music.  I wrote about a setlist of classic rock songs I am learning for an upcoming event.

But, of course, as a worship musician, I have Christian influences that also inform my musical voice.  Let's look at some of those:

Steven Curtis Chapman

Early on in my walk, I swiped a copy of SCC's Greatest Hits album from my wife.  (which isn't really stealing, right?)  I was thinking that Christian music had to be pretty lame.  But this album was filled with some great songs, and I remember thinking that some of the other stuff might not be so bad.  I pretty much wore that CD out my first year in the church, and knew every nuance of every song, especially Will Denton's amazing drum work, which was a huge influence on the way I play drums.

Israel and New Breed 

As much as I like Israel Houghton's solo stuff, I really love his work with New Breed.  I've probably lifted more arrangement ideas from Alive in South Africa than any other source, especially when it comes to medleys.

Paul Baloche

Honestly, for me Paul is more a worship pastor figure than a recording artist.  Even before I got to hang out with him a bit at last year's Forge Conference, he always seemed very down-to-earth and genuine to me.  I've learned more about not only things like structuring a worship team and arranging music, but also having a heart for worship from his videos than almost anywhere else.  And what songs!

Nigel Hendroff

When I think about a worship guitar player, I think about Nigel.  He has amazing technique, and there is an ease and grace to his playing that I constantly try to emulate (and fail miserably, by the way)

David Crowder* Band

I've broken bread (well, pizza) with David and the guys, and I've seen how he treats people who approach him off stage.  That tells me as much about his heart as his music does.  And I love his music.  From his early acoustic stuff, to the constantly-playing-in-my-car-all-the-time Remedy Club Tour Edition, Crowder pours into me and back out all the time.  I love the quirkiness and the unabashed fearlessness of the music.  I'm nearly inconsolable that they are splitting up after this tour.

And there you have it....   what about you?


  1. Influences are tricky, and there are few worship musicians I've ever been influenced by in the way you've described, because I've always wanted to changed the songs I've heard to make then sound 'right'.

    I guess Matt Redman is an influence, because I've used and liked quite a number of his songs, though seldom as recorded.

    Hillsongs from 10+ years ago, but not current stuff.

    I like Vicky Beeching, but again constantly want to 'fix' the backing tracks.

    Mary Maclean I've spoken to a couple of times - love her playing live, but the one CD..... needs fixing!

    It's not that I'm so great and everyone else is wrong, but I DO have my own furrow to plow and sounds I like, and that can make what others do sometimes just sound plain wrong in my ears.


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