Michael Card at Evangel

By Eric N. Shrewsberry

October 12 was the evening for an inspirational concert with Michael Card at Evangel Tabernacle on the Outer Loop in Louisville.

Card, known in the field of contemporary Christian music for his mellow lyrics, balanced with deep, theological lyrics, is not a stranger to the state of Kentucky. Card received his bachelor's degree in religion from Western Kentucky University in Bowling Green several years ago, before starting his career.

After an introduction by Steve Butler, general manager of radio station WJIE-FM, sponsor of the concert, Card and his two musicians opened with one of Card's originals, "El Shaddi." Amy Grant, another contemporary Christian artist, made the song famous.

Other selections included "Joy in the Journey," and "God's Own Fool," from previous albums such as Scandilon, The final Word and Present Realities. He also did a song from his latest album, which was a musical version of the 23rd Psalms entitled "My Shepherd."

After every four or five songs, Card would talk with the audience as casually as one would talk with their closest friend, telling us his inspiration for the songs he wrote and relating to us an event that he experienced while he was watching his son peacefully sleeping with a smile on his face. That experience prompted him to write a lullaby entitled "Jacob's Dream," from Sleep Well In Jesus, an album of lullabies for children.

Card's songs contain lyrics that paint vivid word pictures and seem to give the listener a first-hand account of biblical events, especially those which happened in Jesus' life, including his days in Jerusalem, death and his resurrection.

When Card finishes writing a song, he submits the lyrics to his pastor at Christ Community Church in Nashville, Tenn., they are not lacking in content. His lyrics and his high tenor voice make each song a classic. To add to the intimate atmosphere, Card had only a small ensemble: a keyboardist, a bass player (acoustic and electric) and Card himself who played acoustic guitar and mandolin as well as providing the lead vocals. Another song Card performed from his latest album was the "Job Suite," a nine-minute song that gives the narrative of who Job was; Job's lament, describing the disasters that happened to him, Job's encounter with God and God's response.

Card describes God's role in the song as confronter, advocate and friend, and presents the age-old question of why bad things happen to good people. Card answers this by sayin "He does not owe us questions, he is the Lord."

Card ended the concert with new song entitled "What Her Heart Remembered" and "A Star" from his upcoming Christmas album

The only problem one would have at the concert would be the fact that Card played 20 straight songs without an intermission. That a long time to sit in one place without break.

Nevertheless, the crowd loved the concert and gave Card a standing ovation.