Ellie Holcomb: Red Sea Road

Remember Jesus Music? A generation of singer/songwriters in the early 1970s wrote contemporary songs with clear biblical messages about the pressing issues of life. This is that. Holcombe’s second full-length solo album mixes jangly acoustic pop and modern country under the careful direction of producers Ben Shive and her father, Brown Bannister, whose recent cancer diagnosis and successful treatment informed the direction of this project. Topics include Christian self-image (“Wonderfully Made”), the importance of Jesus’ death and resurrection for our daily lives (“We’ve Got a Hope”), and the use of the Bible to challenge Satan’s lies (“Fighting Words”). At every turn, Holcombe and co-authors Christa Wells and Nicole Witt practice what they preach, weaving biblical and hymn quotations and allusions into every verse. Holcomb’s raspy twang mixes elements of Miranda Lambert and Taylor Swift without being mistaken for either.

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