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
This 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
Pop masterpiece with influences ranging from Motown, contempory pop, and even a hint of the Lennon/McCartney.
Revelator – Tedeschi Trucks Band
Jazz/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
Songwriting 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
If 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
Like 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)
This 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
Eric 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
This 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 imitated, 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
This 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
A 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
One 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
The 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
Is 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
Every 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.