It was the cover that caught my attention. Rolling hills of farmland in lush green and yellow. So simple, yet so attractive. As I looked carefully at the CD cover of 40 Acres by Caedmon's Call while standing in my town's Christian bookstore, I decided I'd take a chance and buy it. I'm so glad I did. That album remains on my list of top 10 best Christian albums, hands down. Today, the band has come a long way, and so has its former leader, Derek Webb, who left the band to pursue a solo career. His solo albums, such as Mockingbird and She Must and Shall Go Free, showcase a talented singer-songwriter with a heart for justice.
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I was thrilled to see that Sojourners featured Webb and other Nashville-based musicians in its most recent issue. (Check out the article about Nashville's songs of justice here, as well as free mp3 downloads from Derek Webb and Ashley Cleveland.) It made me wonder if our friends in the twittersphere knew of any other musicians who write and sing about social justice issues. So I asked them, "April's issue of Sojo magazine is about justice-minded musicians. Know any artists who sing eloquently about justice? Share them with me!" As always, our amazing followers on Twitter really came through. Below are just some of their fabulous recommendations. Check them out, and add to the list in the comments section. Let's support these artists brave enough to write and sing about peace, love, and justice.
LukeStory@Sojourners. Are you including Mewithoutyou? You should.
shanemagee@Sojourners. rik leaf from winnipeg is great on these issues and is very politically and socially involved. check him out.
dtatusko@Sojourners. king's x has always had a justice-related theme on each album. from the song "king," 2 the gospel infusions on '08s album "xv."
andilit@Sojourners. John Francis from Philly, Richard Shindell, Dar Williams - hope that helps.
erinwarde@sojourners. Derek Webb
Marciegee@Sojourners. I always thought Green Day was nice and subversive about the LACK of justice, hah!
ninja_emily@Sojourners. Lila Downs
afmarble@Sojourners. Two of my favorite artists are Justin McRoberts and Derek Webb - both do a nice job of writing & singing lyrics about justice
drewmurphy@Sojourners. musicians that have inspired me include: Ben Harper, Bob Dylan, Bright Eyes, Rage Against the Machine & Arcade Fire
tmamone@Sojourners. Check out Jordan Page: www.jordanpagemusic.com
JosephPMathews@Sojourners. Derek Webb. "My Enemies are Men Like Me," "Rich Young Ruler," "This Too Shall Be Made Right"
bethanyhoang@sojourners. sara groves and lamont hiebert! also live jubilee
rvayp@Sojourners. phil baquie, plays with sonicflood now. He's worked with mission of mercy for a long time
flagstaffrev@sojourners. also check out Bread for the Journey, an elca global music group promoting justice and peace in minneapolis. hope it helps.
whitneyhill@Sojourners. check out the cobalt season.
jlhowerton@Sojourners. Jesse Butterworth...his song "I will be the One..."
nieuprovoker@Sojourners. you won't hear much about him, but Jeff Semple can turn a lyric and sing for justice with best of them. I'll send info if need.
SusanLS@Sojourners. Common Cup Company, a group of Canadian ministers, have some amazing justice songs. Check them out. Google will get you there.
To follow Sojourners on twitter, go to https://twitter.com/Sojourners.
Jeannie Choi is an assistant editor at Sojourners.