We know that many people involved in the emancipation of slaves during eras gone by used song not only as encouragement to one another in times of trial, but as codes: directions towards freedom, landmarks, and names of way stations along the Underground Railroad. While the modern slave trade has changed faces, the Hydra is still the poisonous creature it has always been.
And people are still created in the image of God, designed with a wondrous capacity to respond to music, as well as use music to move mountains. Carl Thomas Gladstone is just such a musician, poet, and sojourning soul walking the rocky path in the desert like the rest of us. According to Gladstone (from his bio):
“If I were to be remembered as anything I'd hope it would be a poet. Whenever I put a song together I want the lyrics to be as subtly complex as any of the poems or scripture passages that inspired it. At the same time, it’s the music that finally energizes those same words beyond what they could do alone. I want to be Otis Redding singing Seamus Heaney or Steve Earle singing Maya Angelou. Beyond this, I hope that every finite thing I create contains some marker, some image, some reconfiguration of words that points listeners toward the infinite and amazing nature of God and the new community of Jesus.” From www.carlthomasgladstone.com
His album, The Abolitionist Hymnal, contains modern interpretations of such anthems as I Am An Abolitionist, and Spirit of Freedom, Wake! I appreciate the poetic social commentary, more acoustic than k roothless, but spiritual and deeply embedded in the richness of God's freedom all the same. I pray more artists use their voices to speak, sing, dance, move, or draw the Truth and the Love we are set free by.
The following is the Kickstart Video to the album is shown below: