Released just a year ago Nashville artist Brady Toops is redefining the gap between the sacred and the secular. The album "Brady Toops" which debuted at #8 on the Christian/Gospel chart combines traditional folk, rock and gospel.
Having grown up in New London, a small Minnesota town, Toops spent the majority of his early years running around on diamonds and athletic fields. After making a brief stint in Minor League Baseball with the St. Louis Cardinals, he left the world of athletics in 2006 to pursue his first love, music. Being accustomed to life on the road and traveling more miles than one cares to count, Brady finally made his way to Franklin, TN to work with songwriter/producer Anthony Skinner. In the early summer of 2011, his 5 song EP, "A Little Love", was released. The new album was produced by David Leonard of All Sons and Daughters and displays a unique combination of hymns, spirituals, and traditional singer/songwriter tunes.
The opening track on this 11 track album is the touching "By The River". The song is reminescent of Johnny Cash's gospel albums. The storytelling and flow of the song showcase Brady's voice and give a glimpse into what the album could be. Filled with ambient, folk music worshipful flow. "Golden Bell" the 2nd song is blends the vintage feel of the album with a modern tone. "Reckless Love" is more upbeat than the earlier tracks. Almost sounds like Casting Crowns style, the modern take of the song will get you up on your feet praising. "Lord Have Mercy" is done masterfully. This is a great song to pray along with Brady. "Glorious Name" keeps the worshipful flow going with the proclamation "You are the Lord, the Lord God so merciful / You are the Lord, full of grace and full of Truth, oh You never change, what a glorious Name."
"Come On Home" is one of those goose bump kind of songs. The tenderness in the vocals take you on an emotional journey. The lyrics are stirring "Can you feel His eyes, they look for you, / Can you feel His cries, they long for you / Come on home, though you've left, He couldn't forget, just come on home." The next two songs are Brady's prayerful, introspective versions of the hymns of the faith, "Swing Low Sweet Chariot" and "Soon and Very Soon." "Blessed Savior" stays in line with the rest of the album. With Brady's vintage feel and ambient sound he captivates your soul and takes you on journey's of worship. "Make Your Home" is a song destined to be sung by believers for years to come. The final track is another personal prayer from Brady "O For Grace".
"Obviously, how a person sees the world bleeds through everything they do. These songs are the most honest and sincere words I know how to say. They’re my prayers, my story, and the stories that have marked me along the way,” said Brady Toops.
If you're a fan of Jonny Cash, All Sons & Daughters or Jon Forman you'll enjoy this album. Whether you're a Christian or not, these songs will hit deep within your soul. Brady is one of those rare artists that is destined to stand the test of time. Do yourself and your soul a favor and give the album a listen. You will not be disappointed.