Ten Independent Artists You Should Know (Spring 2005)

It'd be great to uncover a reliable statistic on how many albums are released in a year. Or how many artists make their debut in a given year. We cover most of the major label releases in Christian music—about 250-300 albums with 50-75 from new artists. And that doesn't include albums from the much wider pool of mainstream releases, nor the seemingly infinite pool of independent releases.

The music business is more competitive than ever, and that's reflected in this latest list of top Christian independent artists. The press kits are better, the packaging is better, and indeed, the music is much better. The quality of these albums is so good in most cases, it's sometimes hard to distinguish them from signed artists with supposedly bigger recording budgets.

So if you're looking for something new and perhaps different for your music collection—some artful expressions of Christian faith—look no further than these ten independent artists you should know.

Randall Goodgame

War and Peace
Folk/Acoustic pop

It almost seems unfair to include Goodgame in a list of virtual unknowns because his work is so familiar and handled with such impressive artistry. Touring with his wife and children, he's shared the stage with several prominent Christian and mainstream artists. He may be best known for his work with Caedmon's Call, lending his writing to "Only Hope," "Hands of the Potter," and most of Share the Well—a newly recorded version of the title track appears on this disc. His fourth solo album, War and Peace features some amazing musicianship from the likes of guitarist Kenny Meeks, pianist Ben Shive, and Caedmon's Call's rhythm section. But the highlight is Goodgame's inviting vocals and songwriting, ...

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