Worship newcomers The Wood Drake Sessions desire to see the church flourish with new songs of worship through their full-length debut self-titled album. The record is set to bow on April 29. The Wood Drake Sessions, which comprise of Paul Ranheim and Kirk Sauers, is a creative collective seeking to provide inspired and timely worship songs for the Church.
Their new album also features vocal contributions from Sandra McCracken, Leslie Jordan (All Sons & Daughters); modern hymnist Wendell Kimbrough, and NPR-lauded singer/songwriter Liz Vice, among others. Produced by Lucas Morton, From the Valley to the Golden Shore features nine roots-based, organic pop tracks conveying the surety of Christ's sovereignty despite the turmoil of the times.
"Our great desire is to see the Church flourish today, and we believe new songs that capture God's faithfulness and great deeds in the midst of our cultural moment are important for her flourishing," Sauers shares. "We hope our music can inspire and stir the affections of our hearts to continue to love, trust and enjoy God. We also envision these songs helping shape the faith of God's people as they sing them together in worshiping communities, serving not just to help us know Truth and inform our heads, but to feel Truth and shepherd our hearts."
"All too often we feel like we're drowning in the noise of this world," Ranheim adds. "We need to be reminded that we have a King who is coming, and believers of all cultures, races, and times-along with all creation itself-will rejoice at the restoration and shalom that Jesus will bring. We need songs that shape us to hope deeply in Him."
"We wanted the album to be brought to life by a variety of people, to have greater representation than just our own voices," Ranheim continues. "I still remember the moment I heard Sandra in my head singing 'Oh How Good To Be Together,' and I knew she could make that song come to life unlike anyone else. Pretty soon we found ourselves reaching out to a handful of artists who all generously agreed to join in our mission."
"The Wood Drake Sessions name was inspired by a Wendell Berry poem, 'The Peace of Wild Things,'" explains Sauers of both the duo's moniker and mission. "When despair grows within, the poet writes of lying down 'where the wood drake rests in his beauty on the water.' The imagery of a still and worriless creation extending its welcome of peace profoundly touched the ache of our hearts. Paul and I knew this was how we wanted our songs to exist-as works of art inviting us into the stillness of God's presence, the grace of His goodness, and the rest of perfect peace."
The Wood Drake Sessions also offers a variety of resources, including charts, lead sheets and tutorials to help worshiping communities sing together. For further information, visit thewooddrakesessions.com or turningpointpr.com. Follow The Wood Drake Sessions on Instagram, Facebook and YouTube.