John Bowman “Worship Him” Album Review

John Bowman

Prime Cuts:   Have Your Way, Miracle Today, Summer's Gone (My God Made It All)

"Worship Him" is not the type of album you can fully appreciate in your mad rush from picking up your kid from football practice to your grocery shopping at Walmart.  It's just not that type of a record made for the hustle and bustle of life.  Rather, these 10 songs are reserved for the tender hours of the early morning when we are quiet before the Lord with an open Bible on the table and a pencil in our hand.  "Worship Him" is made for such moments.  These are worship songs that help us channel our thoughts on our Father before we allow the morning sun to scorch us and the dew to drown us in despair.  Armed with just a guitar and no other instrument, Bowman's soaring tenor over these God-besotted words is indeed our most defensible arsenal against Satan's acerbic darts. 

When it comes to John Bowman, he's a bluegrass virtuoso without peer.  Plying through his resume, one is easily impressed that he has played guitar for both Doyle Lawson & Quicksilver and Alison Krauss & Union Station.  Bowman can also be found playing the fiddle for J.D. Crowe & the New South, the banjo and the fiddle with The Isaacs, and currently he contributes the sounds of banjo, fiddle and guitar for The Boxcars.  Since 1997, Bowman has been ordained as a pastor.  And as he has developed a passion for preaching, his love for singing the Lord's praises has also accelerated.  Thus, it is no surprise that "Worship Now" is his latest offering.

"Worship Now" is a hushed and reverent affair that boasts the voice of Bowman augmented by an acoustic guitar alone.  Such a sparse, understated and intimate arrangement avails for Bowman to select some of most moving worship covers.  Bowman certainly illustrates his good taste by choosing not the tried and true worship paeans but some of the more obscure gems.  Further, he has not restricted his choice of material to one canon of songs.  Here you will find Bowman offering an intimate version of Hillsong's Darlene Zschech composed "Have Your Way."  Immediately as the first notes strike, you know that this is not just a mere performance. Rather, you can feel Bowman's heart pulsating through every syllable of this worship ballad.  And congregations would be blessed to hear how Bowman takes the familiar Paul Baloche and Lenny LeBlanc's "Above All" and making it come alive before us again. 

Never one to forsake his bluegrass roots, he offers a rootsy take of the traditional "God's Not Dead."  Most theological astute is "Summer's Gone (My God Made It All)" a song that rejoices in God's sovereignty even in the wintery seasons of our lives.  Anyone who feels exasperated in the dearth of anything verdant ought to give this song a spin.  Without ever allowing the album to lapse into a soporific phase, he surprises us with an engaging story song of a recalcitrant finding salvation in "Miracle Today." Though deliberately calm and consciously tasteful, "Worship Him" resonates with wisdom, sincerity and Godliness that truly puts this album head and shoulders above many worship records out there.

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