This groundbreaking work covers both major and minor Christian music artists and those associated with Christian music from the '60s to the present day, highlighting their influences, their struggles, and their achievements. Powell treats each artist or group with a balanced, intriguing, and fresh look into their background and discography. Every entry summarizes critical response to the group, and provides band member lists, complete discographies, lists of awards, artist website addresses, and biographies of the artists. The fun, easy-to-read writing style provides fans with accessible information on their favorite artists, while also encouraging them to greater appreciation of the stylistic breadth and historical depth of the music they have come to love.
The CD-ROM features a searchable version of the complete text for both Windows and Macintosh systems, as well as live links to artist-websites, album information, and music clips.
"Mark Allan Powell has done a great service - not only to the vibrant scene we often call 'Christian rock, ' but to the rock and roll world in general and to the church. While it is true that many of us Christians have developed and relegated ourselves to a subculture, there are many artists living and working in this 'evangelighetto' that have made and are continuing to make relevant and very beautiful art. Yes, some music made by Christians can truly be labeled trite and propaganda, but there is a vast universe of musicians who are fusing their faith with their art in an outstanding way. This encyclopedia helps legitimize those remarkable artists that, up until this point, were clustered away as legends in an unknown and ignored genre. Treating this art with the respect it deserves, along with the occasional but warranted criticism, does a great justice. Good art deserves to be appreciated and this book helps save my voice from having to shout as loud to get people's attention for it."
--Doug Van Pelt, Editor, HM Magazine
"Powell's Encyclopedia is exhaustive, all that you'll ever want to know about the artists and history of Christian rock. This is a noble work - honest, fair and complete - paying respect where it is also overdue, and honoring the genre's true artists alongside its most successful sellers. Careful to value the art of pop music, Powell's greatest contribution is the thoughtful theological insights and honest critical voice. I wish I'd written it."
--Brian Quincy Newcomb, pastor of Christ UCC, Maplewood, Mo., and freelance music writer, contributing regularly to the St. Louis Post-Dispatch and CCM Magazine
"Mark Allan Powell has accomplished a most formidable labor of love with the publication of this Encyclopedia of Contemporary Christian Music. With a fan's zeal and a scholar's dedication to research and accuracy, Powell has treated the music made by these artists - dismissed for too long by too many in the music business and the church - as a valid, and often vital chapter in the ongoing history of popular music and Christianity. Thorough, informed and opinionated, Powell's refreshing take on the music and its messages is an important contribution to this sadly overlooked phenomenon."
--Thom Granger, author and former editor of CCM magazine
"I wish this book had been available when I was working on mine. How Powell managed such comprehensive coverage is beyond me. This is certainly the defining volume of every recorded work our community has released. I am impressed and overwhelmed. So many of these works existed way under the radar and then disappeared almost instantly. It's important that they be remembered and archived for future generations. As a fan, and aspiring historian, I thank Mark Allen Powell from the bottom of my heart."
--John J. Thompson, Founder; True Tunes Etc., and Author of Raised By Wolves: The Story of Christian Rock and Roll
"More than a reference book, The Encyclopedia of Contemporary Christian Music is a fascinating commentary on the church in America since the late 1960s. For those of us who were part of the Jesus movement, this is a documentary on 'our' music. For all observers of the genre it is THE encyclopedia that provides a substantive historical context for today's industry. Powell's success at providing a comprehensive list 'of artists associated with contemporary Christian music' is exceeded only by the monumental size of this amazing undertaking. It takes an academic to create a useful tool of this nature. It takes an artist to make it enjoyable. Powell has demonstrated that he is both."
--Rick Edwards, Editor of CCM magazine