Musical Recommendation: Cageless Birds Live at Home

I (Michael) don’t often enjoy live recorded worship albums. It’s not that the quality of the recordings throws me off, but I find as I listen, I am often not in the same head space as those in the live setting. For the last week, however, I have been listening to a live worship album that has changed my perspective. I first listened to the music of Jonathan David Helser six years ago. At the time, Myspace was the way I was exposed to new music (that makes me feel old and a little sad), and I had been listening to a lot of John Mark McMillan. Helser was “friends” with McMillan on Myspace, so I started listening to his music. Unfortunately, I didn’t keep up with the songs Helser and his wife were producing, but I kept seeing their new music pop up, and I had friends who used their work in leading worship.

About two weeks ago, John Mark McMillian posted on Facebook that the Heslers and others from their community were putting out a live collaborative album. Since then, I have listened to the album at least twice a day. It is a beautiful combination of the spontaneity of live worship without the background noise of a live concert. The album was recorded live at the Heslers’ home (watch the above video to learn more about that process), and the comfort of that setting comes through in the music. Though there are many great songs on this album, right now “Come Close,” with its simple meditative lyrics and sweet guitar riffs, is what I gravitate towards on the album. I hope you get a chance to listen to this album, and that it ministers to you as it has to me. Enjoy.

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