Favorite Albums Ever – Darrell Queen


This is the 7th post in a series of favorite albums by our STORYCHURCH band members.

Darrell is like a worship team Swiss Army knife. He plays electric guitar, acoustic guitar, bass guitar, keys, pads, sings as well, and probably plays castanets like a boss.

I’m always learning from him, and truly value his input into our weekly musical arrangements and song selection. Most of all, I value his friendship and being able to journey alongside him and his family.

Darrell is married to Brandy, and they have two children – McKenzie and Tyler.

Aside from music, Darrell likes to paint, is half English (God save the Queen!) and likes to sit in front of fire-pits and cook s’mores (who doesn’t?).

Here are Darrell’s album selections – not without a blurb on each one (of course). Very serious matter indeed.

Love, Pain, and the Whole Crazy Thing – Keith Urban

Love, Pain, and the Whole Crazy Thing – Keith UrbanThis album is pop country, which is cool by me, but has some great covers:   Stupid Boy and I Can’t Stop Loving you (yeah Stupid Boy is a cover.  Originally recorded by Sarah Buxton, Can’t Stop Loving you is a Phil Collins tune). I think this is vocally Keith’s best album, and his guitar tone on this album is killer (Tele’s or LP Junior’s into JTM45 throughout.)

Gavin Degraw – Sweeter

Gavin Degraw – SweeterPop masterpiece with influences ranging from Motown, contempory pop, and even a hint of the Lennon/McCartney.

Revelator – Tedeschi Trucks Band

Revelator – Tedeschi Trucks BandJazz/Funk/Blues/Rock/Soul/World music stew all through the prism of swampy Florida. The best slide guitarist of all time paired with one of the most fantastic female blues singers of the modern era (and they are a husband and wife).

Songs in the Key of Life – Stevie Wonder

Songs in the Key of Life – Stevie WonderSongwriting and musical craftsmanship at it’s pinnacle. I could have picked a number of Stevie albums, but this one just has so many jewels I Wish, Sir Duke, Isn’t She Lovely, and Pastime Paradise just to name check as few.

Shake Your Money Maker – The Black Crowes

Shake Your Money Maker - The Black CrowesIf I had to pick one album to represent what Straight Ahead Rock n Roll is, it would be this album.  Edgy enough to be Rock, but still heavily inflected with Blues stylizations.

Rubber Soul – The Beatles

Rubber Soul - The BeatlesLike my pick for Stevie Wonder, I could have picked a number of albums here for the Beatles as well.  I picked Rubber Soul because I just felt like it was the tipping point for the band, where they moved from being this awesome pop band toward being the band that would re-write the rule book on popular music for all time.

Pride & Glory – Pride & Glory (f. Zakk Wylde)

Pride & Glory - Pride & GloryThis is an album probably unknown outside of guitar players!   This was Zakk Wylde’s ( Ozzy Osbourne, Black Label Society)first foray beyond sideman status.  The album wears it’s influences on its sleeves with a heavy dose of Early British Metal mixed in with everything from Elton John, Neil Young, Chet Atkins, and even elements of Southern Rock Country music ( Cry me a River).

Layla and Other Assorted Love Songs – Derek and the Dominos

Layla and Other Assorted Love Songs - Derek and the DominosEric Clapton. Duanne Allman. Bobby Whitlock. This band could only have ever done this one album, because they literally gave EVERYTHING on each track.  This album is what it feels like to crawl inside someone else’s heart without filter or reserve.

Kind of Blue – Miles Davis

Kind of Blue - Miles DavisThis may be the most perfect body of work to ever be realized from the entire genre of Jazz. It is the most accessible Jazz album for certain, and is the closest thing I can think of to what a masterpiece painting SOUNDS like. Miles was not the flashiest or most technically proficient trumpeter to come out of the Bop era of Jazz, but he had an unmistakable and intoxicating voice on the instrument none the less.

Couldn’t Stand the Weather- Stevie Ray Vaughan

No other guitarist has influenced how I play, and how I emote on the instrument than SRV.   His sound has been so iCouldn’t Stand the Weather- Stevie Ray Vaughanmitated, it is almost cliché, but no one has been able to capture the magic of his playing since he passed.  This album is such an eclectic mix of straight ahead Texas blues, funk, and Jimi Hendrix style Rock that it is like listening to an ipod on shuffle, but strangely works as a whole album concept.

Live at Filmore East – Allman Bros Band

Live at Filmore East - Allman Bros BandThis album is THE SOUND that almost every guitarist has at some point in time tried to coax out of their rig, but never can quite get.  Duane Allman’s slide work coupled with brother Gregg’s vocals make for some of the most amazing and emotive live music ever captured.   The album is claimed as a landmark album by many differnet genres, including Southern Rock, Jam, and Contemporary Blues.  It even borders on Jazz. 

Rock of Ages – Compilation

Rock of Ages – CompilationA compilation of worship songs by bands, or various artists done in a harder rock style.  This was the first “Christian” album I was able to really latch on to and get excited about, as I was listening to some extremely heavy music prior to this.

Love & Worship – Seventh Day Slumber

Love & Worship - Seventh Day SlumberOne of the bands featured on the Rock of Ages album.  This is one of a few albums they have done that feature more rocked up arrangement of worship songs. This one in particular just has a really raw, and earnest feel that I think is fitting of an album that is about worshiping God. It isn’t polished and dressed up as something pretty for the sake of fitting a mold, but instead is genuine and little gritty, which I think worship can be.

Always Been About You – Fellowship Creative

Always Been About You - Fellowship CreativeThe polar opposite to the last album I listed, this album is a beautiful sonic soundscape that speaks of the wonder of God. The cover of this album is a perfect visual representation of the music contained inside. It looks how I feel when I listen to this record. Beautiful is one of the most moving songs on the album and is inspired by story of “Soul Surfer” Bethany Hamilton and her reliance on God to get her through.

Church Music – David Crowder Band

Church Music -David Crowder BandIs there an explanation even needed?  Truly an exploration of boundaries to the musical gifts God has given to Mr. Crowder & Co. which is then, in turn, offered right back up to Him.

10,000 Reasons – Matt Redman

10,000 Reasons - Matt RedmanEvery song on this record is as accurate a depiction of devotion and worship of God as I have ever heard.   I hear songs like Never Once and I am compelled to close my eyes and sing praise.  10,000 reasons is easily my favorite worship song, as it really encapsulates where I want my heart to be when I am worshiping God. Also, Matt Redman is one of the most talented songwriters, EVER! 

Honorable Mention to anything Matt Maher or Big Daddy Weave.  I love songs they have done, but as full albums go, I couldn’t justify them being on my list.

Also to Ozzy Osbourne/RandyRhoads- Live Tribute, and Weezer – The Blue Album. Both were albums that were big influences on me when I was younger but didn’t make the cut because they are rarely in rotation for me these days.


Favorite Albums Ever – Tammy Norville

This is the 6th post in a series of favorite albums by our STORYCHURCH band members.

Tammy is one of our vocalists.  She is also our unofficial new-recruit orientation coordinator. Tammy is very welcoming and makes sure new members to the team fit right in and feel at home.

What most people don’t know about is Tammy’s sophisicated, yet impressive practice routines. Everything with a screen in Tammy’s house has it’s own Apple TV. This allows her to create playlists of our weekly setlists and play them on a continuous loop throughout the house. Pretty neat, right?

Some of those tracks sound terrible after our planning center software has transposed them! Poor Chris!

When Tammy first submitted her album list, I asked for the actual Bon Jovi album name since it looked like she had simply provided justification for selecting Bon Jovi. She was quick to inform me that it was the boxset/compilation title.

Still. 100,000,000 fans?  Really?

I mean, really?

Here’s a list of Tammy’s favorite albums (boxsets/best-of’s) ever.

1.  Bon Jovi – 100,000,000 Bon Jovi Fans Can’t Be Wrong
2.  The Doors – Greatest Hits
3.  Pink – Greatest Hits So Far!!!
4.  Janet Jackson – Design of a Decade 1986 – 1996
5.  Cats – the original broadway soundtrack (Betty Buckley as Grizabella the Glamour Cat)
6.  Harry Connick, Jr. – 25
7.  Harry Connick, Jr. – When My Heart Finds Christmas
8.  Adele – 21

Favorite Albums Ever – Josh Grossmann

This is the 5th post in a series of favorite albums by our STORYCHURCH band members.

Josh Grossmann plays bass for the STORYCHURCH band.  There was that time that Josh auditioned for a vocal part but unfortunately we needed people on our sound desk more urgently.  So more recently Josh has been running our front-of-house audio from time to time.

Check out the video of Josh’s vocal audition here.

You also know Josh as our in-house graphic design extraordinaire.  He has brought his talent to many of our STORYCHURCH sermon series’ making them something very special and memorable.

I knew Josh would not disappoint when he compiled his list of most favorite albums.  Not only am I surprised you could actually buy all of these on Amazon, but most of them had at least 2 customer reviews.


  • Starflyer 59 – Gold
  • Manu Chao – Clandestino
  • Murder By Death – Who Will Survive and What Will be Left of Them?
  • Soda Stereo – Comfort y Música para Volar
  • Daniel Amos – Horrendous Disc
  • Glen Galaxy – Thankyou
  • Love – Forever Changes
  • Smashing Pumpkins – Mellon Collie and the Infinite Sadness
  • Iggy and the Stooges – Raw Power
  • Sparklehorse – It’s a Wonderful Life
  • Luxury – Luxury

Favorite Albums Ever – Christiane Smedley

This is the 4th post in a series of favorite albums by our STORYCHURCH band members.

First things first – Christiane’s EP releases this week (Nov 22nd). You really need to grab a copy as soon as it hits iTunes and other digital stores. I mean, listen to it, it’s awesome!

The first time we all heard Christiane sing and play was on YouTube. She adds her unique take on everything she sings and that includes worship songs when she leads on Sunday mornings.

Christiane is not long out of college and has a big future ahead of her in music. STORYCHURCH have been blessed to get to know her and avail of her talents while she is here.

Here are Christiane’s top influential albums:

  1. Patty Griffin- 1000 Kisses
  2. Amy Winehouse- Frank
  3. Johnny Cash -The Legend of Johnny Cash (covers the basics pretty well!)
  4. Nickel Creek- Why Should the Fire Die
  5. Robert Plant & Alison Krauss- Raising Sand
  6. Ryan Adams- Heartbreaker
  7. Steve Miller Band- Greatest Hits
  8. Dolly Parton- Hello, I’m Dolly
  9. Jon Foreman- Spring/Summer/Fall/Winter EP’s
  10. Bob Dylan- The Free Wheelin’ Bob Dylan

Favorite Albums Ever – Andrew Cron

This is the 3rd post in a series of favorite albums by our STORYCHURCH band members.

andrewAndrew plays electric guitar for STORYCHURCH.  He is one smart cookie (pun intended), a doctor actually, and the king of inappropriateness.

Andrew plays a lot for us, which I appreciate more than he knows.  He probably thinks I’m a little too serious at times, but I actually do find him entertaining.

I pick on his age a little too much, but only because he makes me feel so old.

When I want to have absolute minimum time to rehearse, then the best thing to do is schedule Andrew and Jillien on the same weekend.  No rehearsal, but guaranteed fun times.  😉

I always hear comments about how people enjoy seeing Andrew play and worship while on stage.  That is what we need in musicians.  As we lead the congregation in worship, we also want our musicians to be fully engaged as well.  Dr.Cron does a great job of this.

Andrew was the first one to return his top albums, so quickly in fact, that it seems this list is pretty cut and dry.

  • Michael Buble – Christmas
  • Big Bad Voodoo Daddy – Save my Soul
  • Katy Perry – The Complete Confection
  • Bela Fleck and The Flecktones – Outbound
  • Rush – 2012

I’m only familiar with one of these artists, OK, maybe two.


Favorite Albums Ever – Jillien Minera


This is the 2nd post in a series of favorite albums by our STORYCHURCH band members.

Jillien is a good friend and one of our vocalists at STORYCHURCH.  We’ve been blessed to have Jillien as part of our team for the last couple of years.  She never seems to tire of volunteering which is a super quality to have in the first few years of a church plant.  It’s been cool to see Jillien grow in confidence and I’m so happy to have people like her that I can lean on to lead, with or without me being on stage.

I fully believe in Jillien’s potential as a worship leader and I want to see that develop even further (think next Brooke Fraser).  I also believe Jillien has a good few songs inside of her, and I’d love to see her developing that skill.

People, back me up – you don’t have to know how to play an instrument to be able to write a song, right?

Jillien is married to Lee, who is a true gentleman.  I’m really thankful for his sacrifice also, looking after their kids while we all get together to rehearse.

So, without further ado, here are Jillien’s favorite albums.

Above:  Frou Frou–Details // Notre Dame du Paris–Soundtrack // Lady Gaga–The Fame // Zac Brown Band- Uncaged // Lady Antebellum–Need you Now // Michael Jackson–Thriller // TLC–Crazy Sexy Cool // Mariah Carey–Daydream // Hillsong –Faith + Hope + Love // Plumb–Need you now // David Crowder Band– church Music // Rhett Walker Band–Come to the River // Casting Crowns– Until the Whole World Hears

Knowing Jillien, I did not really see any surprises on this list.  I do sometimes forget though, how big of a country music fan she is.  Now that I say that – where is Scotty McCreery?  I can’t believe she missed him out.

Jillien has a Blog – be sure to check it out.


Favorite Albums Ever – Alastair Vance

This is the first post in what will be a series over the next couple of weeks.  I’m going to publish the individual musical tastes of our STORYCHURCH band members – with their permission, of course!

I have always thought musical preferences say a lot about someone’s personality.  So, this should be a fun way of getting to know all of us a little better.  First up is my own selection of favorite albums.

Actually, it’s a bit crazy to claim these are my most ‘favorite ever’.  There are many that didn’t make the list that deserve it just as much, but are simply not currently in rotation.

If you know me well, are there any albums you are surprised to see, or not see on here?

Above:  Aqualung – Aqualung, Death Cab For Cutie – Plans, Foy Vance – Hope, Imogen Heap – Speak For Yourself, John Mayer – Continuum, Jon Foreman – Limbs And Branches, Regina Spektor – What We Saw From The Cheap Seats, The Shins – Wincing The Night Away, U2 – Joshua Tree, Florence + The Machine – Lungs

Aqualung has nothing to do with Jethro Tull +++  Favorite song on Death Cab’s Plans is Marching Bands of Manhattan – love all their stuff +++  Foy Vance is not related to me, to the best of my knowledge – his music is awesome though +++  I discovered Imogen Heap when UK television used Hide & Seek for a LOST commercial – love her quirkiness and experimental nature +++  I pretty much wore out the John Mayer album – close to perfect +++  Jon Foreman released what I think is probably his best work in Limbs and Branches – forget Switchfoot dude +++  Regina Spektor is awesome and probably my favorite artist currently +++  If I had an album cover, I’d like it to look like the cover of The Shins album – I love their music as well +++  Joshua Tree by U2 – don’t need to say anything more.  I will say, no one else in the band mentioned this album +++  Florence + The Machine? – everyone needs a little crazy +++  Queen should have been the list too, but I didn’t have room.

Above: Bethel Live – Be Lifted High, Daniel Bashta – The Sounds Of Daniel Bashta, Jars Of Clay – Jars Of Clay, John Mark McMillan – The Medicine, Josh Garrels – Love & War & The Sea In Between, Phil Wickham – Singalong, Sojourn – Over The Grave, Third Day – Offerings, David Crowder – Church Music, Delirious – Glo

Bethel Live – love what they are releasing these days.  Be Lifted High is such a good album +++  Daniel Bashta – is this THE best worship album ever?  Maybe.  Like A Lion is on here +++ The Jars Of Clay album was one of the first Christian albums I bought with my own money.  I played that cassette until it wound round in my machine +++ The Medicine is such a great album by John Mark McMillan.  I didn’t like Economy as much as this first one.  +++ Josh Garrels is one talented dude.  Love his heart.  Raw, singer songwriter +++ Phil Wickham released the best LIVE worship album ever.  Hands down +++ I watched Sojourn live in concert – crazy talent +++ I feel like Third Day started the whole ‘contemporary christian artist makes a worship cd’ thing.  Only difference being, this album was a good one +++ Church Music by Crowder didn’t contain too much Church Music, but was a solid release and the album flowed from start to finish +++ Glo by Delirious made hairs rise on the back on my neck.