Posted by WBFJ | | Posted on 9:04 AM


As I celebrate 7 years of being a part of Crossroad Radio (the first 3 as co-host & the last 4 as host & producer), and embark on the 8th, I'm hit with a wave of nostalgia and thankfulness for a couple of guys who, in the 1980s, provided an outlet for me, as a young Christian, to hear the music that I wasn't hearing on mainstream radio and definitely not on Christian radio at that time.

In 1986 I walked away away from an explosion.  Not in the literal sense (sorry for my flair for the dramatic), but it was something that took me completely by surprise and radically altered the course of my life.  After a week of summer church camp, which I had attended for several years and had no reason to expect anything different this time, the truth of the gospel of Christ washed over me while sitting at a campfire service on the Friday night before leaving.  This after countless Sundays, Wednesday nights, Bible Schools, and, again, church camps, hearing, but not understanding the message of love and justice meeting at the cross.  But when I heard the words of John 15:13 where Jesus says "Greater love has no one than this, that someone lay down his life for his friends," I understood that God was calling me near and calling me His friend.  I understood my sin and it grieved me.  And I knew it grieved Him because He cared for me.  I repented and He took over.  I wanted change in every area that drew me away from Him.

One of the biggest problems I faced when I came home the next day was my music collection.  I was going into my junior year of high school in the fall and I was a music ADDICT with countless albums and cassettes (yes, I'm embarrassed) that had been my top treasures.  At the time, I felt God's call to lay them down and get infused with music that brought truth home to me.  So I called my pastor, Gary Benesh, who had first introduced me to what was known as Contemporary Christian Music (I just called it Christian rock) and asked if there were any stations in the area that played it.  Gary told me about WPAR, a preaching & teaching/southern gospel station in Lincolnton, NC, that turned over to a light contemporary format on weeknights and had a show featuring more of a rock format on Friday nights.  Does that last part sound familiar?

As I said, I was going into my junior year, a time when most teenagers spread their wings, begin partying, and really living it up.  But all of a sudden, my heart was elsewhere and I knew, despite every temptation that came my way, this couldn't be my track.  So it was truly a blessing for me the first time I tuned into The Rock Foundation on WPAR that first Friday night because I knew I had found a home and the music I wanted and needed to hear.  I was introduced to bands and artists like The Altar Boys, Daniel Amos (DA), Rez Band, The Choir, Mark Heard/IDEOLA, Crumbacher, Tonio K., Petra (although if you know my history with CCM, you know I was already familiar with them), Stryper, Steve Taylor, Elim Hall, Kenny Marks, The Awakening, etc.  The show was hosted by two guys, Steve & Nelson, who will forever be heroes of mine because they took the time to do this and because they also fielded the occasional call from a 16 year old kid wanting to know what band was playing or to make a request.  Those conversations weren't brief because these guys actually cared.  They listened and responded and in so doing, made an impact on the life of a teenager.

Fast forward several (okay, many) years to 2006 when, as an adult with no intention or inclination to get into radio, I was asked by a complete stranger at WBFJ, who went on to become one of my best friends, to co-host a show that I had heard before but never thought about being a part of, Crossroad Radio.  That guy was Mike Crump (aka Deke) and I had been lined up to do an interview with him on XR for a See You at the Pole event I was promoting through the Surry Baptist Youth Association in Mt. Airy, featuring a band that he had played on the show, Pivitplex.  The years in between high school and this had seen me graduate from Toccoa Falls College in GA, move to Nashville, TN, where I worked as a freelance writer for several music publications in the 90s, and return to the area to live in Mt. Airy, which is another story for another day.  I had become familiar with Wally Decker and Tami Rumfelt from WBFJ through bringing them out to host concerts our group had been putting on, and had talked music with them on several occasions.  After Deke and I did our interview, he mentioned the co-host spot and that Wally & Tami had mentioned me to him as a possibility.  My first thought was a flashback to those days with Steve & Nelson and the opportunity to be a part of something like what The Rock Foundation had meant to me.  I prayed (very quickly, I might add) and said yes.

After 3 years of rocking the mic with Deke, God called him to be a part of the ministry team at The Bridge (then Calvary Chapel) in Kernersville) in 2009.  I took over as host and producer of Crossroad Radio at that time and, with only a couple of exceptions, have been bringing it live every Friday night to you in the same way that Steve & Nelson brought The Rock Foundation to me all those years ago.

So if you've ever been blessed by my time on Crossroad Radio, there are several people that you can thank -  Mike (Deke), Wally, Tami,  and my wife, Angie, who gives sacrificially each Friday night to make it happen.  But gratitude runs deepest for me for the 2 guys who were doing what I do way back before I even had a notion about doing it, and the 1 show that brought rock & the gospel together in this area - Steve, Nelson, & The Rock Foundation.

Maggie's Top 20 Christian Market Albums of 2012

Posted by WBFJ | | Posted on 2:27 PM


Hello one and all!

 Dave made his list of 20 outstanding albums and I decided I wanted to get in on that action!!! There are some similarities (* marks a song that are on the top twenty for Dave and I both)…there are some discrepancies. But don't hold that against us! HERE I GO!!!

 I want to start my list off (counting down) with two that I wanted to award Honorable Mention places on this list to. The first is a Christmas album and the second is an EP. So let's get my list started!

20.  CHRISTMAS: Josh Wilson - "Noel" (Sparrow)  Josh Wilson is definitely one of the greatest song writers on the market right now.  And while he shows that off on several of the tracks on this album, he also does something very few other Christmas albums have done this season.  He presents our favorites in new ways.  Christmas music has gotten very monotonous and turned some of the best songs ever written into hum-drum tunes.  Wilson adds his own special style to these classics and makes them new.

19.  EP: Capital Kings - "I Feel So Alive EP" (Gotee)  Christian dubstep.  I have been waiting for this to happen.  Capital Kings covers an area of Christian music that has been extremely lacking.  Described as an "electric pop duo" these boys have been making their mark doing remixes for tobyMac, Group 1 Crew, and several others!  This music is electric (pun intended) and new and outstanding.  Even though this EP has three songs and one remix it definitely belongs in the top twenty of 2012!

Now let's get into the regular full length albums!

18.  Mark Schultz - "All Things Possible" (FairTrade)  This is another one of my favorite song writers, and yet I've always thought he played it very safe musically.  You know if it's a Mark Schultz song because of his voice.  And you recognize his voice because it sounds a very unique way in "HIS KEY".  On this album, Schultz breaks out of his box and does some new things musically and sings in some different keys breaking the Schultz mold we thought he was destined to stay in.  He did a very surprising album and that's what makes this one stand out and deserve a place in the top twenty!

17.  House of Heroes - "Cold Hard Want" (Gotee)*  The power in the music drives this album over the top!  The lyrics are poetic and very catching which only adds to the quality of the music.  This particular album goes full force the whole time and is so different from track to track that it leaves you wondering what will happen next.  And no matter what it is, it's good…and it amazes you!

16.  Lecrae - "Gravity" (Reach)*  Lecrae never disappoints.  And with gravity he just further proves that he is out of this world.  One of the beautiful parts of this album is the guests he brings on to add warm singing vocals on his tracks.  Hearing The Voice's Mathai on "Free From it All" was a welcome oddity.  And don't even get me started on "Fakin'" featuring Mr. Thi'sl.  That track is outstanding.  Truthfully, there isn't a bad song on the album but some are even better than others!

15.  Matt & Toby - "Matt & Toby" (Tooth & Nail)*  Matt and Toby bring a fresh new vibe to Christian music.  It's an interesting fuse of rock and…who knows what else?!?  It's a kind of roots/folk feel to this rock music.  But the vocals are enchanting and the songs are different.  Which is something we are all desperately needing in Christian music right now.

14.  Nine Lashes - "World We View" (Tooth & Nail)  Before I joined Crossroad Radio, I didn't know much about the heavy side of Christian rock.  This was one of the first full length albums I got…and they definitely opened my eyes to the fact that heavy Christian rock can still be…good.  This albums is amazing musically, vocally, lyrically, and every other way!  This album had to make my list because it so opened my eyes.

13.  Rhett Walker Band - "Come to the River" (Essential)   This band is the harder side of Third Day.  Now that may sound a little weird cause Third Day can get pretty hard.  But as a rule, they're just enough harder than Third Day to be called the harder Third Day.  (How many times can I say "Hard" and "Third Day" in a sentence?)  Anyway, for fans of southern rock this album is a definite must have!

12.  Rush of Fools - "We Once Were" (Entertainment One)  The thing I love about this album is the eclectic mix of song styles.  "We Once Were" is very rock and in your face, "Come Find Me" is a softer rock song, and then "No Other Love" is a really fun pop beat!  This album is truly outstanding and unique in it's music.

11.  The Wedding - "No Direction" (Tooth & Nail)  I don't know what it is about this album.  They do a great job of using gang vocals to their full ability and I respect that, the music is masterful and I LOVE that, and the lyrics are really catching and cutting when they need to be.  This albums is simply outstanding and you have to believe me on this!  You'll be sorry if you don't get yourself a copy!

10.  Flatfoot 56 - "Toil" (Paper & Plastick)*  I bought Flatfoot 56's first album on a whim and ended up being a little weirded out by their scream-o version of "Amazing Grace".  When I got this album I thought, "Oh no!"  And then…here it is.  As number 10 on my top twenty albums of 2012.  Their celtic, ingenious cover of "I'll Fly Away" will prove just how far this band has come!  But this album is a testament to their awesomeness and something you won't regret buying!

9.  Neal Morse - "Momentum" (Radiant Records)  As you listeners know…Dave and I had quite a few laughs over "Spock's Beard", Morse's original band.  But having heard him…you should NEVER make fun of this man.  The production is amazing, the music is Dream Theatre and even Trans-Siberian Orchestra reminiscent but still VERY much Neal!  I love this album and the uniqueness of Morse's sound and song writing abilities.

8.  Trip Lee - "The Good Life" (Reach)  You had me from "Robot".  Definitely my pick for our single of the year (yes…even above getting to say "Swooope", "YAYves", and even "Church Clap").  But this album overall is absolutely amazing!  I love every track on this album but I adore this new collaboration trend between Trip and Jimmy Needham!  "War" is different from anything else you've heard before and my favorite is one that didn't even get any air time.  "Beautiful Life" is a beautiful anti-abortion ballad that should get some more attention!

7.  For King & Country - "Crave" (Curb)  This album makes my list for several reasons.  First of all, the vocals are outstanding and the music is big and awesome and it just deserves a place of honor.  But I must also admit that "Busted Heart (Hold On To Me)" has gotten me through some very rough times and that's another reason that this makes it so high on my list.  But it is still worth a listen and a purchase!

6.  Blindside - "With Shivering Hearts We Wait" (INO)  I do remember that this is the very first hard album…the first album I got while working at XRR!!!  I can't explain to you how much I love this album.  First of all…the guys are swedish and that is awesome.  I love swedish people.  Just saying.  Anyway…the album is unbelievable amazing!  I love this band and this albums is amazingly outstanding!

5.  Capital Lights - "Rhythm 'N' Moves" (Tooth & Nail)  I am obsessed with this band.  I have become a fan of several new groups because of XRR but I'm telling you right now…I have become the BIGGEST fan over this band.  Their vocals are very unique, their lyrics are one of a kind, and their music is unparalleled.  This band is hard to beat in my book.  Definitely something to think about for a Christmas present!

4.  KJ-52 - "Dangerous" (BEC)  KJ-52 and Flatfoot 56 are kind of in the same group for me.  They have one of the top twenty albums on my list but they also belong on the "most improved" list.  (Not to say they weren't good before…just that the maturity of their lyrics and music is undeniable.)  This album is a great rap album from an awesome guy and one you'll want to add to your collection!

3.  KB - "Weight and Glory" (Reach)*  This album hits hard from beginning to end.  KB is one of the fastest rappers in the 116 clique.  And this album is a wonderful testament to his skills.  "Angels", "Church Clap", "Hello", and "Open Letter" alone make the album worth the money and none of the other 10 tracks disappoint!

2.  Brandon Heath - "Blue Mountain" (Reunion)*  I think this should be one of everyone's top three albums of 2012, but if you live in Boone, NC you need to love this album anymore.  And if you doubt it's awesomeness, pop it in and hit the blue ridge parkway.  It's perfection.  This is definitely an album Christian music lovers should be adoring!

1.  Audrey Assad - "Heart" (Sparrow)  I discovered Audrey Assad this year.  And I could not love an artist more.  From her lilting vocals, to her sweet piano driven music, to her poetically perfect lyrics, this album is comfort food for the soul.  The minimalist sound of "O My Soul" to the fullness of "No Turning Back" this album is the best of the year for the message, the sound, and the soul.


Posted by WBFJ | | Posted on 1:27 PM


I hope this list finds you just in time to be of some help when stuffing those stockings this Christmas. I call them as I hear them and, to my ears, these 20 albums represent the best in Christian music in 2012.
Agree? Disagree? Don't see your favorites on the list? Feel free to leave a comment and let me and the other listeners know your preferences. All opinions are subjective so yours is valid!
Let's count 'em down.
20. CHILDREN 18:3 – “ON THE RUN” (Tooth & Nail) The 3 Hostetter siblings (David, LeeMarie, and Seth) have always been just on the verge of greatness and with “On The Run” they’ve officially kicked that door in. “On The Run” is, on the surface, a soundtrack of young adult angst under the watchful eye of Christ’s life-saving grace. Digging deeper you find universal themes of loneliness, separation, longing, and joy that apply to almost anyone who’s ever taken a breath.
19. MATT & TOBY – “MATT & TOBY” (Tooth & Nail) Side projects can be dicey. I’ll admit I had my doubts about this offshoot from Emery’s Matt Carter & Toby Morrell, especially since I’m of the opinion that Emery is one of the absolute best at what they do. But the simple fact that Toby’s unmistakable voice gets more prominence in this setting gave this one a fairly good shot out of the gate. This one really won me over, however, with the sense of being drawn into every story being told, leaving me feeling as if I’d actually been a part of several days in the lives of Matt & Toby, something that I don’t get with the half-screaming, half-clean vocals of an Emery record.
18. LECRAE – “GRAVITY” (Reach) If there was any reason left to wonder why LeCrae’s name is ALWAYS mentioned first when it comes to the genre of “Holy Hip Hop,” it’s put to bed for good on “Gravity.” This is a little more street-wise than previous releases and the melodies aren’t quite as evident at first. But it’s in the repeated listening where LeCrae’s urgency and flow get their hooks in.
17. MIKE MAINS & THE BRANCHES – “HOME” (Platinum Pop) Quirky vocals and jangly indie rock are the order of the day for Mike Mains & The Branches debut. This is everything that’s good about your local college radio station with a dash of mainstream radio readiness thrown in to make it that much more accessible. Mains’ voice works well in the contexts of both soft moments and growls, both of which can be experienced on the album’s centerpiece, “Beneath Water.”
16. PROJECT 86 – “WAIT FOR THE SIREN” (Indie) Andrew Schwab is arguably the most lyrically eloquent man in rock music, Christian or otherwise. Bordering on being a concept album, “Wait For The Siren’s” tracks nevertheless stand alone as individual battle cries of spiritual warfare. If you didn’t already know Schwab’s a published author, one perusal of the lyrics would have you thinking that he needs to write a book.
15. KB – “WEIGHT & GLORY” (Reach) Hard to believe that Kevin Burgess, aka “KB,” isn’t a seasoned “PRO” (leaning on the former stage name of his label-mate, Derek Minor), on his first full-length. “Weight & Glory” clicks on all cylinders, hitting hard when necessary while also getting confessional when the mood is right. Tracks like “Open Letter” take guts to put out in the Christian market and KB completely passes the gut check by doing so and, thus, casting a wider net.
14. SIXPENCE NONE THE RICHER – “LOST IN TRANSITION” (Indie) By now you could probably write the script – Sixpence produces a fantastic album, goes into relative obscurity, and then re-emerges several years later sounding as if they’ve never left. Haven’t we seen this before? Well, history repeats itself on “Lost In Transition” as Matt and Leigh come back sounding as if they’ve lost nothing at all.
13. PROPAGANDA – “EXCELLENT” (Humble Beast) More spoken word over beats than hip hop, Propaganda’s “Excellent” actually defies categorization in most respects. As the redeemed son of a former Black Panther, Propaganda has absolutely no issues with speaking his mind regardless of the consequences. More than living up to its Monty Burns-ish title, this one is a lyrical tour de force with both historical and eternal perspectives.
12. ALL SONS & DAUGHTERS – “SEASON ONE” (Integrity) I rather enjoyed Jackson Waters, the one and done former band of David Leonard, but he’s rebounded quite nicely since their demise with All Sons & Daughters, along with worship partner, Leslie Jordan. Sparse and acoustic are the by-words here but simplistic surely isn’t. If this title portends future output, and going by their recent EP release, it just might, I’ll be on board for as many seasons as this duo is around.
11. THE ROCKET SUMMER – “LIFE WILL WRITE THE WORDS” (Aviate) For someone who writes every note, plays every instrument, and sings every word on his albums, Bryce Avary sure doesn’t sound stressed. His last album, “Of Men And Angels” was a stunner, bounding with the energy of a young man with lots to say about his relationship with Christ and the complexities of walking it out through his relationships. “Life” continues in that fashion and, in this case, more of the same actually works rather than becoming redundant.
10. DEREK WEBB – “CTRL” (Fair Trade) Lyrics such as those found in “I Feel Everything” might help those disenfranchised with the controversial Mr. Webb to somewhat understand what’s going on when he offers up a new album. There is no “typical” Derek Webb so just forget about pegging him. If you’re familiar with Sacred Harp singing (“Cold Mountain” soundtrack), you’ll appreciate how Webb’s genius works to incorporate it into the proceedings on “Ctrl.”
9. HOUSE OF HEROES – “COLD HARD WANT” (Gotee) If “Suburba” was 2 steps back for you, consider “Cold Hard Want” a step and half forward for the HOH guys, who nearly approached the mastery that was, and still is, “The End Is Not The End.” Tim Skipper is one of the most insightful lyricists in any style of music and when songs like “The Cop” come completely out of left field, you’re left to wonder just what this band can do to amaze you next.
8. THE CLASSIC CRIME – “PHOENIX” (Indie) One of the most cohesive and well-planned rock albums of the year also doesn’t lack for spontaneity and exuberance. It seems as if going indie, and all that’s involved in doing so, has allowed The Classic Crime the freedom to simply do what they do best – create art that comes to the end of itself, asks the tough questions, waits for the answers rather than spoon-feeing them to you, while trusting that the Creator is big enough to guide the search.
7. BRANDON HEATH – “BLUE MOUNTAIN” (Reunion) I’ve always taken Brandon Heath to be one those radio-safe, Adult Contemporary singer-songwriters that your grandmother would love. Having said that, there have been moments on each of his previous albums when he’s come close to the cliff and considered jumping from safety. Still, I wasn’t prepared for the running leap that is “Blue Mountain.” This is what singer-songwriter pop from a Christian worldview should be.
6. FLATFOOT 56 – “TOIL” (Paper & Plastick) I never get tired of these guys and their brand of bagpipe playing, kilt wearing, Celtic-infused, Americana rock & roll. “Toil,” contrary to its title, is more fun than a bowl of Lucky Charms, so it comes as a bit of surprise when you find yourself singing some pretty profound truths, gang style, in your head when it’s all over.
5. JSON – “GROWING PAINS” (Lamp Mode) In a year that saw many of Christian Hip Hop’s heavy hitters come out to play, JSON rather quietly outdid them all with this smoothly flowing, often unabashedly frank, collection of tunes about his faith journey. “Keeping it real” doesn’t even come close to being a cliché on “Growing Pains.” Surprisingly, no Kirk Cameron guest appearance, though.
4. THE CHOIR – “THE LOUDEST SOUND EVER HEARD” (Galaxy 21) You probably shouldn’t take the title literally in this case, as anyone who knows The Choir knows you’re going to get mellow, ambient, thought provoking tunes rather than gratuitous noise . Taking our Lord’s command to love each other seriously and weaving that theme throughout, The Choir produces arguably their best work in a decade.
3. ANBERLIN – “VITAL” (Universal Republic) Doesn’t the title pretty much say it all? This one approaches “Cities” level of excellence for Anberlin, more than making up for any lapses on their last two offerings. This is the record you’ve been waiting for the band to make since they signed that big mainstream deal.
2. ANDREW PETERSON – “LIGHT FOR THE LOST BOY” (Centricity) I dare you to find a better songwriter than Peterson, who exceeds his own best efforts here. Any doubts that the fuller band sound would detract from Peterson’s storytelling are laid to rest quickly and effectively by “The Cornerstone” which tips its hat to The 77s (!) quite unexpectedly 2 tracks in.
1. DAVID CROWDER * BAND – “GIVE US REST OR (A REQUIEM MASS IN C {THE HAPPIEST OF ALL KEYS})” (sixsteps/Sparrow) I called this in January upon its release. DCB was just beginning to hit their stride when they announced their breakup, but if they must leave, this was the way to go. When its whiplash-producing unpredictability finishes pairing itself with its fresh-as-a-new wound vulnerability, you’re left thinking “What was that?” Then, after taking a moment to collect yourself, you think “whatever it was, it was brilliant.”


Posted by WBFJ | | Posted on 8:52 AM


So sorry for the incredibly lengthy wait between posts on this site! It seems like I always say that I'll try to do better by posting more often, but I've learned not to make this promise because other things inevitably come up. So let's just say that I'll post when I can and hope that you enjoy it when I do. 2012 is far from over, meaning that my ultimate list is far from complete, but I thought I'd give you an idea what albums release in this year are getting the repeat treatment most often. These are subject to change by the end of the year as there is still much more goodness to come and there's also the chance that some albums out already will work their way up the list after growing on me. For the purposes of this site I've excluded any strictly mainstream releases. So, in no particular order, here goes: House Of Heroes - "Cold Hard Want" JSON - "Growing Pains" David Crowder*Band - "Give Us Rest of (A Requiem Mass in C [The Happiest of All Keys]) The Choir - "The Loudest Sound Ever Heard" Bellarive - "The Heartbeat" The Rocket Summer - "Life Will Write The Words"


Posted by WBFJ | | Posted on 2:00 PM


Dave here. Tonight on Crossroad Radio, I'm pleased to introduce you to my new intern, Maggie Lowe!  I've known Maggie for several years and could tell you quite a bit about her myself but I thought I'd let her write her own bio.  So, without any further fanfare, heeeeeeeeeere's Maggie!
"I'm a senior at Appalachian State University...and very proud of that!  I love putting a smile on peoples' faces whether it is in person, across the air waves, or via status updates.  I'm always amazed at the way God can use less than 400 words to comfort, cheer, and charm those who need it most.  I enjoy writing music, playing ukulele, my black lab, Toms shoes, and the Golden Girls. To see some of my opinions on music, life, and this thing called faith...check out Wherever you may be...say it loud say it proud: 'I belong to my beloved and his desire is for me.' Song of Songs 7:10. Christ's love to all! - Maggie"


Posted by WBFJ | | Posted on 12:52 PM


Thanks for helping make it a great year on both Crossroad Radio and Crossroad Light.  I'm already anticipating a great 2012.  Glad to have you along for the ride. But before we move on here's another look back at the top 20 on each show for 2011, as counted down this past New Year's weekend.


 1.  Dark Horses - Switchfoot
 2.  Pizza Party - Phanatik
 3.  Faceless - Red
 4.  Our Love Saves Us - BlindSide
 5.  Dum Dum - Tedashii Feat. LeCrae
 6.  Vessels - Ivoryline
 7.  Bring The Ruckus - Manafest
 8.  Trailers Vs. Tornadoes - Sent By Ravens
 9.  Signed Up To Die - This'l
10.  Come Alive - Ashes Remain
11.  Alarm The Alarm - Write This Down
12.  High - LeCrae Feat. Sho Baraka & Suzy Rock
13.  Closer - Philmont
14.  Invisible - Disciple
15.  Through Your Eyes - Worth Dying For
16.  Move - Flame
17.  Anthem Of The Lonely - Nine Lashes
18.  Jumping The Gun - Hyland
19.  Curse Of Perfect Days - Emery
20.  Pop Pop Pop - The Ambassador


 1.  We Were Shipwrecks - Ilia
 2.  Galaxies - Owl City
 3.  So Far Away - House Of Heroes
 4.  Feel It In Your Heart - Abandon
 5.  I Love Music - Trip Lee Feat. Sho Baraka
 6.  Heaven Come My Way - Abandon Kansas
 7.  Lucy - Skillet
 8.  Love Came Down - Seventh Day Slumber
 9.  Up Down - The Ambassador
10.  Save Your Life - Newsboys
11.  Sixteen - Deas Vail
12.  Background - LeCrae Feat. C-Lite (Andy Mineo)
13.  Make Your Move - Third Day
14.  American Dream - Dominic Balli Feat. Sonny Sandoval (of P.O.D.)
15.  Every Time You Run - Manafest Feat Trevor McNevan (of Thousand Foot Krutch)
16.  Can't Shut Up - Anthem Lights
17.  Halo - Manic Drive
18.  Finally - Tedashii Feat. Shane & Shane
19.  Broken Glass - Silverline
20.  Drink (Everlasting Love) - Ed Kowalczyk


DAVE BUMGARNER'S TOP 10 ALBUMS OF 2011 (not XR exclusive)!

Posted by WBFJ | | Posted on 9:19 AM


I've heard rumblings coming from several camps (magazines, websites, media outlets, etc.) that 2011 was  a down year for music.  Let it never be spoken again!  I'm a firm believer that there's always enough good stuff for him who has ears to hear.

And here are the 10 albums that perked my ears up the most:

1.  Switchfoot - "Vice Verses"
     Hard to say that there's a definitive "best Switchfoot album" but this one's quite possibly it.

2.  John Mark McMillan - "Economy"
     Troubador style Americana worship from one of the best lyricists you're ever going to hear.

3.  Thrice - "Major/Minor"
      Quite possibly their swan song (say it ain't so, guys).  If so, they've gone out with a not so subtle bang. 

4.  Burlap To Cashmere - "S/T"
     Who comes back this strong after a 12 year hiatus?  These guys, that's who!  Stronger actually.

5.  Shawn McDonald - "Closer"
     I've been a fence sitter on the subject of Shawn McDonald for a few years.  "Closer" made me choose a side.

6.  Eisley - "The Valley"
     Gut wrenching at times, Eisley delivers a Psalm-like masterpiece on heartbreak and restoration.

7.  Needtobreathe - "The Reckoning"
     Can we officially call them alt-country now?  Not quite.  There's still quite a rock and roll punch going on with the boys from Possum Kingdom, SC.

8.  The Ambassador - "Stop The Funeral"
     It's a public confession of sin, repentance and grace wrapped up in a hip-hop musical feast.

9.  Owl City - "All Things Bright And Beautiful"
     If you can listen all the way through this without a smile crossing your lips, seek help immediately. 

10.  Blindside - "With Shivering Hearts We Wait"
       A fitting title for any Blindside fan holding their breath during the band's 5 year absence.  Exhale.

So there you have my own personal recommendations for the 10 best stocking stuffers you can find for the music fans you know and love.  Or get them for yourself.  You have a stocking too, you know?

As always, I welcome your comments on my list.  You're also free to share your own in the comment section!  I look forward to hearing what music God has been blessing you through this year.