Into the Woods My Master Went – Holy Week 2017

I always love getting email from my Austin, TX friend Richard Kentopp (Check out his Gentle Wolves project). He and I both love the joy of spontaneous collaborations around a provocative theme.   Recently he invited six of us to all retune the same text – an ecological meditation on Christ at the Mount of Olives.  Thanks to Josh Banner at the Invitation Podcast for producing my track.

You can listen below.

Bits and Bobs – April 2015


Cardiphonia featured in April ’15 Christianity Today “The Best Worship Music You Won’t Find on the Radio

Indelible Grace Kickstarter
Help support indelible grace as they work on their 7th album of retuned hymns.

Jeremy Wingfield – “The Long Walk Home
Traditional Hymns, Retro Vibe.

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Park Church DenverRevelation Songs kickstarter
Joel Limpic and crew take on an audacious project. Can’t wait to hear it!

Easter Compilation – “Christ is Risen
Rockin’ compilation of tunes from Seattle area bands and Mars Hill cast offs.

Pacific Gold
Sing My Welcome Home
Dan Koch and friends from the Seattle area have written and produced a stellar collection of retuned hymns.  Check out their series of podcasts on the project HERE.

The Alone Instrument
– (self title)
A collection of hymns, retunes, and originals with an ambient, indie folk vibe. Very worshipful from the music ministry of Columbia Presbyterian Church, Columbia SC

Matt ScottPraise the Lord, All Praise and Blessing (soundcloud)

Sandra McCrackenPsalms

Ascension and Pentecost Songs Compilations

Zac Hicks – Come and Make Us Free (EP Feb 2015)

Come and Make Us Free cover art

New album from Zac Hicks and Coral Ridge Worship

Here is the title track! 

You can check out the rest on Bandcamp | iTunes | Amazon 

You can read Zac’s blog post HERE:

Here is Zac’s notes from bandcamp for the album:

“Come and Make Us Free is our latest five-track EP exploring our cage-making obsession, entertaining every theme that sits between its diagnosis and deliverance. To get right to the point, the album is about the slavery of sin and the freedom of the gospel. It plays like a mini worship service:

Invocation: “Come Witness this Gospel to Me”

Confession of Sin: “Come and Make Us Free

Confession of a Savior: “Christ Surrendered All”

Assurance of Salvation: “It is Finished”

Summary & Praise: “Gospel Doxology”

Coram Deo Church – Swallowed Up Death (2015)


Coram Deo Church (Omaha, Nebraska) – Swallowed Up Death
produced by David Potter and Luke Pettipoole

As we round the future into 2015 this album is a beacon of concepts to come…reflecting on Zac Hicks recent post about giving up the ghost on the retuned hymn movement I’m glad to see the logical evolution.  Church’s still experimenting with retuning hymns but also exploring songwriting and production to greater heights.  This is a great example of the best of both.  Excellent, contextually rich retunes alongside brand new songs and hymns…and I love that the flow and feel of the record is seamless.  You really have to do some digging to tell the difference (e.g. “Sing, Sing, Redeemed.”). I love that they even snuck in a text by well known british hymnodist Timothy Dudley-Smith!! The sounds are fabulous as well…arrangements and production that will feel familiar but also coached in melodies and vocals that make it easy for the worship planner to draw out an appropriation for their own place.  To my ear I hear bits of Wilco, Arcade Fire, Justin Townes Earle, Fleet Foxes, Sojourn church. This is good listening, good theology, songs you just really want to sing along with.

*Awesome to hear their version of our friend Nathan Partain’s song “I am one of those.”


1. Joining In The Joy

2. I Will Sing Of My Redeemer 
Original hymn text by Phillip P. Bliss
Music and additional words by Jared Strock

3. Swallowed Up Death
Love the scriptural allusions (Isaiah 25 & 35; Romans 8:18-25) and connections in this song. Great writing.

4. How Heavy Is The Night 
Original hymn text by Isaac Watts, Public Domain
Music and additional words by Jared Strock

5. Come My Way
Original poem, The Call, by George Herbet
Adapted by Kyle Christensen

6. I Am One Of Those 
original words and tune by Nathan Partain (Redeemer Pres – Indy)

7. Sing, Sing Redeemed 
Words by Megan Pettipoole
Music by Luke and Megan Pettipoole

8. When He Comes
Words by Timothy Dudley-Smith, 1969
Music by Andrew Penke

9. Jesus Shall Reign
Original hymn text by Isaac Watts
Adapted by Jared Strock
Music by Jared Strock

10. The King Shall Come
Original author unknown
Translated to English by John Brownlie
Music and additional words by David Potter

Red River Hymnal

Red River Hymnal – Christ the King Church (Austin, TX)

New album from the musicians at Christ the King Church in Austin, TX.  Full of unique classical/folk tinged arrangements.  See song notes below.

1. The Lamb Has Overcome
Original text and tune from Luke Morton – Great folk gospel jam with eucharist themes.

2. Glorious Things of Thee Are Spoken
John Newton text with one of my favorite Shape Note tunes JEFFERSON

3. Comfort, Comfort, These My People
Classic advent text from Isaiah 40. Arrangement of traditional Genevan tune.

4. When Christ’s Appearing Was Made Known
Unique epiphany text written by Coelius Sedulius in the 5th century and translated from La­tin to Eng­lish by John M. Neale. Original music by Leonard Payton.

5. Psalm 134
The last of the psalms of ascents. Original tune and text by Bruce Benedict. Killer arrangement by Josh B.

6. I Know that My Redeemer Lives
One of my favorite hymns for Easter from the Shape Note hymnal (#277) with the ANTIOCH tune.

7. At the Name of Jesus
Words by Caroline Noel (1870), tune (KING’S WESTON) by Ralph Vaughn Williams.  A new classic hymn that more churches should sing.  Killer banjo based arrangement here.

8. Come, O Come, O Quickening Spirit
Words by Heinrich Held and original music by Joshua Bennetch.  Text for Pentecost and ordination services.

9. Brightest and Best of the Stars of the Morning
Words by Reginald Heber. One of the more interesting, rustic Christmas/Epiphany texts that I know of.  Great shape note tune STAR IN THE EAST.

10. Baptism Hymn
Original text and tune for a baptism.

John Mason Neale and Hymns for the O Antiphons

Folks over at the Liturgy Fellowship have begun to talk about Advent so I’m throwing out a post. Most people are familiar with the popular advent hymn written by John Mason Neale “O Come, O Come, Emmanuel.” This hymn is a meditation for the O Antiphons which looks at various images of Christ from the Old Testament with an emphasis on Isaiah.

I recently found a collection of hymns where JM Neale wrote an entire hymn for each O Antiphon (not just a verse).  A great meditation for advent, or source of texts for retunes. The Antiphons start on page #342.  You can download a PDF of the whole collection here.

Collected Hymns, Sequences and Carols of John Mason Neale

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Luke Morton – Beggar (album)


Luke Morton is the assistant pastor at Covenant Presbyterian Church in Issaquah, WA and also a great contributor to the growing repertoire of retuned hymns.

I originally met Luke when he was an RUF intern at University of Washington slinging out retunes with fellow intern Luke Brodine. They recorded an album of retuned hymns in 2005 called “Rare Sunshine” that you can listen too HERE.

Luke has also just finished up a brand new album of songs called “BEGGAR.” You can download the album and see lyrics at BANDCAMP. A songbook should be available soon.

You can download the ENTIRE songbook for the album HERE.


1. A Pilgrim & A Stranger
– Lyrics by Jane Borthwick, 1666, Tr. Paul Gerhardt, 1858.

2. Through the Night of Doubt & Sorrow
– Lyrics by  Bernhard Severin Ingemann (1825)Translator: Sabine Baring-Gould (1867)
– Reflecting on a life of pilgrimage and focus on God.

3. Christ, Whose Glory Fills the Skies
– Lyrics by Charles Wesley, 1740
– Classic text for Epiphany

4. Psalm 23 (The Lord My Shepherd Is)
– Lyrics by Isaac Watts

5. As a Beggar, I Come to Thee
– Words and Music: Luke Morton, 2012
– Song for post communion/sending

6. The Lamb has Overcome
– Words and Music: Luke Morton, 2011
– Modern spiritual. Easter, Communion,etc
– featured on Cardiphonia’s “Songs for the Supper

7. Whate’er My God Ordains is Right
– Lyrics by Samuel Rodigast, 1676
– check out the version from Indelible Grace

8. Though Troubles Assail Us
– Lyrics by John Newton, 1779
– Song of assurance, from Phil 4.

9. O Lord, I Will Delight in Thee
– Lyrics from John Ryland, 1777
– Finding satisfaction in God

10. To You, O Lord, I Fly (Psalm 16)
– Lyrics from Psalm 16; The Psalter, 1912
– Upbeat, opening or closing song.

11. For Me to Live is Jesus
– Lyrics by unknown Author, Tr. Catherine Winkworth, 1850
– Contemplating perserverance of the Saints.

12. Jesus, Master, Whose I Am
– Lyrics by Frances R. Havergal, 1865
– Trinity Hymnal, #590
– A good hymn for Confirmation (HT:John Julian)

13. Wake, Awake for Night is Flying
– Lyrics by Philipp Nicolai, 1599
– Meditation on Eternal Life
– A Christmas song for the lectionary.

14. O Praise the Lord, for He is Good (Psalm 118)
– Lyrics: Paraphrase of Psalm 118, author unknown

15. Jerusalem, My Happy Home
– Lyrics by Bromehead, possibly attr. to St. Augustine
Read more history of this text at the Hymnary
– Another version from New York Hymns

Rare Sunshine cover art
Rare Sunshine by RUF – Seattle (2005)