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JFH Music Review

Jadon Lavik, Roots Run Deep(er)

Jadon Lavik
Roots Run Deep(er)

Artist Info: Discography
Album length: 10 tracks: 38 minutes, 44 seconds
Street Date: September 18, 2012

There is an echelon that separates many protestant churches. One side is the traditional liturgical type that recites hymns and old prayers written hundreds of years ago. The other side features the modern types that are making new songs featuring gut-busting guitar solos and lyrics about our feelings about God. Those artists that attempt to tread this echelon aren't always successful, but a few come out of this challenge shining like stars. Jadon Lavik's new venture, Roots Run Deep(er), is one that might very well come out being an exceptional project.

The truth is, most of these songs aren't any new songs that you haven't heard before. If you grew up going to an older church that had an old hymnal on the back of the pew, these were there. However, these renditions breathe fresh life into these amazing songs. Songs like "Great is Thy Faithfulness," "Be Thou My Vision" and "Solid Rock" are given a bluegrass twist that would make Alison Krauss proud. Musically, these tracks are raw yet polished and feature excellent use of instrumentation.

A wonderful thing about the album is that most tracks could be usable during any church service; artistic interpretations of "My Jesus I Love Thee," "Closer Walk" and "Be Still My Soul" would make for wonderful additions to the Sunday morning set list. "How Great Thou Art" and "Doxology" are given wonderful minor key treatment that is very impressive, however, they aren't really versions that might work in a congregational context, but they would work well as prayer and special music during a service.

Fortunately, the greatest track on the album, "It is Well," is usable in any and all contexts. The sweet use of piano and delicate percussion give this timeless song great depth and clarity; Lavik's use of soft vocals in a great touch as well. This version is, truthfully, one of the greatest renditions I have heard to date; it pays homage to the original while unleashing incredible interpretation.

On the echelon of tradition and modern, Jadon Lavik has proven to be one that can walk the line. His approach to hymns honors the timeless melodies while embracing the biblical context of a "new song." It's simply breathtaking. If you are looking for fresh versions of some songs of old, this is a great album to get.

- Review date: 9/16/12, written by Ryan Barbee of

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JFH Staff's Second Opinion

Jadon Lavik has had some success in the Christian market, but he's not necessarily a household name. The former BEC Recordings artist is set to release his second independent album and the sequel to 2008's Roots Run Deep. The aptly titled Roots Run Deep(er) cleans up the mishaps from the first run. If you are unfamiliar with Lavik, Roots Run Deep(er) and its predecessor are collections of hymns. Sounds boring? Not at all. Lavik does an excellent job in the modernization of these classic hymns. Jadon, who looks more like a professional athlete than a pop singer, lets his vocals take center stage and shine through the mostly subtle, yet at times powerful, music. There is much more instrumentation on Deep(er) than the original and it feels that Lavik may have had more creative influence in this independent release than on the first go-around. Songs like "Great is Thy Faithfulness," a definite top track, feature added parts such as bridges or modern choruses. If you are a fan of hymns, whether the original or revised, this is a record worth checking out. In particular, the upbeat "Fairest Lord Jesus," the steel guitar driven "Closer Walk," the Jars of Clay-esque "Be Thou My Vision" or the new rhythm of "Solid Rock" are worthy of your attention. For those who have not been fans of Jadon Lavik in the past, don't miss out on this superb collection of hymns. - Michael Weaver, 9/10/12


. Record Label: Tooth & Nail Records
. Album length: 10 tracks: 38 minutes, 44 seconds
. Street Date: September 18, 2012
. Buy It: iTunes
. Buy It: Amazon Music (MP3)

  1. Fairest Lord Jesus (2:54)
  2. Great Is Thy Faithfulness (3:25)
  3. Closer Walk (3:18)
  4. Be Thou My Vision (3:58)
  5. My Jesus I Love Thee (4:41)
  6. Doxology (4:02)
  7. It Is Well (3:52)
  8. How Great Thou Art (4:06)
  9. Solid Rock (3:46)
  10. Be Still My Soul (4:42)


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