Discography (Click a disk to Listen!)
A more driving, organic, intimate collection
For his new album, Tom Booth added a sweet Martin acoustic to his electric guitar and amps. A chamber orchestra squeezed in beside his rock band. The result: a more driving, organic, intimate collection. Like candles in a small chapel, the 12 songs on Captured illuminate the face of the Lord, guiding listeners to a place of deep prayer and praise.
Lyrics drawn from Scripture, saints and mystics
Drawing from Scripture, saints and mystics—Thomas Merton, Charles de Foucauld and Teresa of Avila among them—the lyrics have startling theological depth. Contemplative, candid and serious, they challenge us to give Christ exclusive allegiance in our lives.
Lush orchestral arrangements by Don Hart
Some tracks feature lush orchestral arrangements by Grammy-nominated Nashville legend Don Hart. It’s the perfect musical frame for these devotional texts. Players include Dave Cleveland on guitar and Carl Herrgesell (Elton John, Kenny Loggins) on Hammond organ and keyboards.
Loving God is more than “singing this song”
The album opens with “Can We Love?” This string-based ballad contends that loving God is more than “raising our hands” or even “singing this song.” The refrain echoes Christ’s challenge to James and John: “Can we love? Can we lay down our lives? Can we wear His crown of thorns?”
Intense, acoustic title track warns against pride
The intense, acoustic title track warns against building our house on sand, our lives on selfishness. Separated from Christ through pride, we construct “monuments” doomed to fall. Randy Severence’s poetic text is unflinching: “under the weight of my own importance, / I am crumbling into a thousand grains of sand.”
Beautiful ballad urging us toward “the poverty of Jesus”
“Empty” touches on these same themes. Another beautifully arranged ballad, it urges us to move “toward the poverty of Jesus,” who emptied himself for us. Robert Feduccia’s refrain echoes both Job and St. Augustine: “Empty I came, empty I leave, / my heart is restless without you.”
Rock anthem with snippets from a poem by St. Teresa
A lesson in detachment a la Lilies of the Field, “God Alone Is Enough” is a rock anthem that includes snippets from the famous poem by Teresa of Avila. “O Salutaris Hostia (O Saving Lamb)” only adds to the devotional nature of the collection. It’s a welcome new contemporary setting of the timeless eucharistic hymn by Thomas Aquinas.
Folk-style cover of a classic Rich Mullins song
“Come, Holy Spirit” will be familiar from spiritandsong.com’s The Commons and Never Too Young, OCP’s middle school songbook. A cover of the classic song by Rich Mullins, “You Did Not Have a Home” is a folk-style tribute to the humanity—and poverty—of Christ: “The hope of the whole world rests / on the shoulders of a homeless man.”
Psychedelic-rock meditation on Psalm 23
Arranged for synth pad, sitar and acoustic guitar, “You Are My Shepherd” is a psychedelic-rock meditation on Psalm 23. One of the more electric, vigorous tracks, “You Stand Knocking” proclaims loyalty to Christ—and gratitude for grace and mercy: “though I wandered and have strayed, / still your mercy reigns.”
“To be captured in [God’s] storm of love is to be truly free”
As Tom explains in the liner notes, “To be captured is to be caught up in the exhilarating, sometimes frightening, but always life-giving storm of God’s love. To allow oneself to be caught up or captured in this storm of love is to be truly free.”
A masterpiece of contemporary Catholic music
Sporting an entirely new, more organic sound, Captured hearkens back to Tom’s early work—epic ballads like “I Will Choose Christ,” “Here I Am” and “Fragrance Prayer.” A masterpiece of contemporary Catholic music, it creates a place to encounter the living God.
A s excited as we all are by a best-of Booth collection—and let there be no doubts that this is a HUGE release, something we’ve all wanted for a long time—it begs the question: how did they ever pick the tracks? Talk about a daunting task: try narrowing down Tom’s stellar discography—six albums, upwards of 100 songs, and more on the way—to just one disc. This collection is an ear-pleasing mix of time-tested favorites, Unity Award winners, and hits from his most recent album, Unravel.
Released during Tom’s nationwide tour with John Michael Talbot (the “Monk Rock Tour”), the disc includes two brand new songs and 15 classics from his previous albums, several of them re-mixed and re-recorded to sound better than ever. From edgy, hard-rocking epics like “Taste of Heaven” to wispy acoustic ballads like “My Lady,” the album reflects the wide range of moods and styles—and the intensity of devotion—in Tom’s music.
It’s only fitting that the new songs, “Slipping” and “You to Blame,” find their way to the public on this CD. Featuring ingenious arrangements and conscience-grabbing lyrics, they both would have ended up on a best-of collection eventually.
Recorded partly at Abbey Road Studios in London, famous their Beatles albums, The Best of Tom Booth is a no-brainer must-have for Booth fans. For those who aren’t familiar with him, it’s an excellent introduction to one of contemporary Catholic music’s most gifted artists.
2005 Unity Awards:
Male Vocalist of the Year
Rap/Hip Hop Song of the Year – Giovanni Paolo
We’re all familiar with incidents in which famous people “unraveled,” ruining their reputation through some scandal. That’s not the way God wants us, as Christians, to go down. Rather, he calls us, as Tom puts it, to “drown gracefully,” to die to self, to “unravel” in imitation of Christ. Tom’s latest album reflects on this unraveling that Christ calls us to daily. Set to an invigorating pop-rock sound and performed by an incredible cast of musicians, the message of Unravel is one you’ll want to hear over and over.
Tom composed and recorded the title track and four other songs in the tradition of the classic American/British rock song. The album also includes lushly arranged ballads and songs with parts for cello, Hammond B-3 organ and even ukulele. The classic Christian poem “The Hound of Heaven” comes to life in “The Shade of Your Hand,” which ends with an unforgettable guitar solo by the legendary Phil Keaggy.
Phil is just one of many amazing guest musicians Tom gathered for this project. Steve Ferrone, who has played with George Harrison, Eric Clapton and Tom Petty, and who is considered one of the world’s finest rock drummers, performs on several tracks. Other guests include Fr. Stan Fortuna (jazz/hip-hop/rap artist and Franciscan priest), ValLimar Jansen (renowned gospel singer), Matt Maher, keyboardist Carl Herrgesell (Kenny Loggins, Elton John), drummer Tony Mora (Kathy Troccoli, Point of Grace), drummer/percussionist Will Denton (DC Talk, Steven Curtis Chapman), Dave Cleveland on guitar, and studio ace/bass player Matt Pierson (Rich Mullins and others).
Providing songs for both listening and communal worship, the collection includes three guitar-based psalm settings with breezy, melodic, acoustic styling. Other songs can serve for gathering and other parts of a liturgy or prayer service. All in all, Unravel exceeds expectations.
It starts with a steady, electric bass and drums, then weaves a haunting, distorted guitar with a fierce rap about the mysteries of our faith. Then come samples of someone speaking slowly, with a heavy accent: “You young people, ask yourselves: Do I believe these words of Jesus in the Gospel?” Suddenly, as you tap your foot to the intoxicating rhythm, you realize it’s the Holy Father, Pope John Paul II. Only Tom Booth could pull this off.
This is only the beginning of “Taste of Heaven,” the Unity-Award-winning rock epic that anchors Tom’s latest album. In the creation of Change Me, Tom was inspired by meditations upon the conversion process, which starts with an encounter with God then moves to this courageous prayer: “Change me, Lord.” “Ultimately, the call to change is the call to love. Like Mary,” he says, “May we say ‘yes’ and be changed.”
This beautifully packaged disc features 13 original songs that alternate exhilarating rock and soulful blues with alt-country — marked by slide guitar — and reflective ballads. One of many highlights is “My Lady,” which closes the album the way the Church closes her night prayers, with petitions and veneration to Mary.
Get a taste of Tom Booth’s music on his extended single Taste of Heaven, which includes two bonus tracks. The oversize octavo contains reprintable assembly editions for use at youth group meetings, retreats, contemporary Masses and more.
TOM BOOTH (self-titled) – Released in 1996, this collection of songs is unique in many ways. It marked one of the first occasions that Tom recorded songs from other composers (he had released several recordings prior to signing with OCP). Some of those songs, “Awesome God” by Rich Mullins and “He is Exalted” by Twila Paris, introduced this style of music to the wider Catholic community. “Here I Am”, one his best loved songs, was originally composed and recorded for this project, but was also released on FIND US READY the previous year, thus explaining it’s “double-release”. Bob Marley’s “One Love” and Rory Cooney’s “We Will Serve the Lord” also contribute to the eclectic personality of this record. Having friends Carl Herrgesell (Kenny Loggins, Kathy Troccoli and others) and Grammy award winner Israel Houghton (New Breed) perform on this sophomore release contributed greatly to the wonder that is TOM BOOTH.
CRY THE GOSPEL – This record was Tom Booth’s third in four years. Following the success of his first two releases, CRY THE GOSPEL (1998)was marked by the special circumstances of the title song. In 1999, Pope John Paul II was coming to America. He wanted to meet with the youth of the country and did so in St. Louis in January. Commissioned to compose the theme song for the event, Tom was also asked to perform the song as the Holy Father entered the arena. Filled out with now well-known songs like “Go Ye Out”, “Prayer of Abandonment” and “My Heart Belongs to You”, this collection of songs possesses a depth of lyric and mature musicianship. Mourning the loss of friend Rich Mullins, Tom also recorded “Nothing is Beyond You”, a song he helped compose with both Rich and Mitch McVicker. Mixed by Kevin Becka (Amy Grant, Micheal Omartian), CRY THE GOSPEL stands as one of Tom’s best loved songs and recordings.
FIND US READY – Released in 1995, this recording has some of Tom’s most well-known songs including: “I Will Choose Christ”, “Find Us Ready”, “Here I Am” and others. It is actually a compilation of some of Tom’s best songs, composed and recorded in the years previous to the release of FIND US READY. Many of these songs were already being sung in churches throughout the country, but in 1997 John Michael Talbot, Tony Melendez and Tom Booth toured together for over 50 dates throughout the U.S. This tour, coupled with Tom’s new relationship with OCP, helped FIND US READY become a well-known recording and the songs themselves become standards in youth ministry circles everywhere.