Gospel Soundcheck

Greetings, Christian music fans! I’m Joanne Brokaw and I’ll be your host at the new Gospel Soundcheck blog.
Depending on your previous experience with Christian music, the term can conjure up images of everything from cheesy rock wannabes to introspective worship to entertaining pop. The phrase can make you feel all warm inside or nauseous.
I admit that I’ve been both.
Over the past 8 years that I’ve been covering Christian music, I’ve seen great bands fly under the radar (and sometimes into oblivion) and trite bands cause a media frenzy. I’ve seen bands launch onto the national scene and bands happily and successfully doing God’s will in their own backyards.
But the one thing that I think is clear: Christian music is getting better. It’s crossing over with more culturally relevant music, the artists are taking their craft as seriously as they take their message, and the lines are being blurred between Christian music and music made by Christians.
Which brings us to the new Gospel Soundcheck blog.
We’ll be taking a look at bands making it in the Christian industry and bands crossing over into mainstream and bands with a foot in both worlds. We’ll talk about praise and worship, rock, and pop, with some gospel, hip hop and southern gospel thrown in, too.
We’ll talk about bands you like, bands you hate, and bands you’ve never heard of.
The key is, we’ll talk about Christians and we’ll talk about music, and we’ll talk about how the two intersect.
In addition to my other life as a humor columnist and editor at (just call me Sybil), I’ve been covering Christian music for about 8 years for dozens of publications in the U.S. and Canada. I write a monthly entertainment column for the Christian Examiner chain of newspapers, which covers Southern California, Minneapolis, and Seattle, as well as the Ozarks Christian News in Branson, Missouri. I also write for Christian Voice Magazine.
I travel to Gospel Music Week in Nashville every year, network within the industry, and try to keep my finger on the pulse of Christian music.
But there’s one thing that you should know right off the bat: it’s impossible for one person to know every band and every album and every tour happening in every place in the whole world.
That’s where you come in. I want you to keep me posted on bands you love, and especially hot local acts on the verge of breaking out. Who knows, you may have the next Flyleaf, Switchfoot or Jonas Brothers playing at your church or a local club.
I hope we’ll have some fun talking about Christian music and I’m looking forward to being your host here at the Gospel Soundcheck blog!

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