When contemporary Christian music first hit the scene, it was its own music genre. Decades later, this industry has exploded in many different directions and types of music. One of the newer genres appearing on shelves at local Christian bookstores soon is Southern Pop from the group, All Things New.
All Things New is a foursome of 21-year-olds from Florida with a lot of stories under their belts. A recent press release states that this group remembers their childhood like it was yesterday – because is practically was. However their childhoods weren’t exactly happy ones.
Nashville is the home of many artists and it would seem that music would be the calling of singer, Garret Hornbuckle who was born there. His father was a country music song promoter. But when Garrett was two, his father left the family and he moved to Florida with his mom. Soon, he had a new stepfather who was as abusive as he was distant. He also left when Garrett was 14. By the time he graduated from high school, his mother was evicted from their home and his older sister landed in prison for drug use.
It is from this life experience that the group had the makings of its first single, “New Man” which feature lyrics that are truly heartbreaking:
I can remember when he leftIt’s still pounding in my chestThe pain I felt when he said goodbyeAll the nights I tried to callCause I needed a father’s loveTo cheer me on to lift me upTo be my guideI tried to find my worthIn things that didn’t workMy confidence was brokenI was hopeless
Fortunately, the story doesn’t end there. Garret has seen firsthand the power of restoration. Today, he stays in contact with his parents and stepparents and his sister is doing well in rehab. The lyrics continue:
But God you have made me newYou’ve restored my heartAnd turned these ashes into lifeOh God, You have pulled me throughAnd everything I was is goneAnd washed away for good.
“It doesn’t matter what you or I have been through,” he says. “In Christ you are worthy and you are whole.”
Garrett shares the stage with drummer Luke Wycuff, bassist Joshua Schou, and guitarist Jeff Stein, whom Garrett now lives with. “I live with Jeff and his family now, which is a testament to how close we are to each other in All Things New. It’s really cool to have this family in my band.”
Jeff and Luke had a different upbringing than Garrett. Both grew up in the church and had embraced music at an early age. But Luke had his own faith challenge when his father lost his long-held ministry job due to leadership conflicts and mismanaged funds. “My dad was so hurt,” Luke recalls. “He’s my spiritual and musical mentor, and I thought if this is what church is about then I don’t want to be part of it. I let the devil creep in and speak lies.”
After attending a worship conference with his brother, Luke’s faith in God was restored just as his father’s position was as well.
For Joshua, he wrestled with drugs before joining the band. “My entire life was centered around myself,” says Joshua. “I used to wake up and think: Who might have something that I want today?” His life too was restored, “It’s so powerful to know that as a Christian we have Jesus inside us, and we will do greater things because of it. I know now my life is not my own. I want my life to be devoted to Christ and serving others.”
Soon, the journey to signing with BEC Recordings became a reality. Garrett remembers, “The label brought us in for a meeting and said they wanted to take the next step. We thought that meant recording some demos, but they were ready to sign a deal and make the record. We stepped off the elevator after that meeting, and I went down on my knees in prayer. All four of us were bawling.”
While the majority of All Things New new album is slow and heartfelt, there are two songs than stand out. “Washed Over Me” has a celtic sound to it and is very upbeat. The attached YouTube video captures not only the song, but the joy on the singer’s faces.
“In Your Reach” features a banjo and speaks truth with lines like, “Nothing is going to hold me down. Your hands are going to pull me out. I am always in your reach.”
All Things News’ release will be available on April 9. (Originally posted on Examiner.com)