Ram's Head On Stage). She apparently picked up her guitar again in 2008 (after a nearly 7-year hiatus from the CCM scene, and probably Evangelical Christianity itself). She's been writing songs for the past year, and is set to release her new album, Letting Go, on May 11, 2010.
This album is a marked departure from her previous ones, with cuss words and provocative lyrics. Perhaps that's why she's paired well on this tour with Derek Webb, who's also been a controversial figure in the Christian music scene, with songs like "Freddie, Please" - a direct challenge to Fred Phelps and his ilk - on his new Stockholm Syndrome album, as well as the bonus track "What Matters More" (vid here) - a compelling exposé of Christian hypocrisy, which was apparently too edgy for Derek's record label (you can download it for free on his site).
Knapp has managed to retain the sonorous strum of her guitar, that unmistakable sultry voice, and those signature deep, bare-bones-honest lyrics which make you ponder the ethereal world of the soul. For pre-ordering Letting Go, she gave away a free album (Evolving), with simple, acoustic versions of some of the songs on the new album. Tracks like "Inside" give us a glimpse of some of the pain that she's faced while finding herself, and anticipating some opposition for coming back differently. She admitted during the concert that she's had to deal with a bit of a guilt complex about not writing "Christian songs" anymore - for fear that it somehow made her less "Christian".
Our favorite song was "Fallen", with the hook:
Even though they say we have fallen,
Doesn't mean that I won't do it twice.
Given every second chance,
I choose again to be with you tonight.
You can imagine how my partner and I must have felt hearing such words that night. It captures our experience, and our love, so well. I can't stop listening to it :) It's clear to me from her songs that this is a woman who is well-acquainted with the grief, sorrow, and redemption that I have found in Jesus. I can't wait to get the new album, and I look forward to hearing more from J-Knapp in years to come!