I had planned to review Trevor Morgan's debut album earlier, but when the opportunity arose to hear him play and interview him at Gospel Music Association week in Nashville, I decided to wait. I already enjoyedWonderlight, but chatting extensively with Trevor on Tuesday made me appreciate him more as a person. He's paid his dues--Morgan arrived in Nashville nine years ago, and only the encouragement of his wife kept him chasing the dream over all those years. When he toured as the bass player for Ginny Owens, she gave him the chance to play a few of his songs and sell his indie CD, keeping the fire alive. Now he's the first artist on the new BHT label.
Wonderlight offers a good mix of songs, and one of the most worshipful, Oh Hallelujah, also features a tasty guitar solo. Morgan writes some memorable lyrics, many of them addressed to God. One of the standout tracks is Love Leaves Its Mark. Trevor explains the inspiration for the song: "A Newsweek article had examples of men who claimed to be saviors, yet they didn't sacrifice...they hadn't proven themselves worthy." The chorus says:
Beware of saviors / Who talk about love / And bear no scars / There's no way around it / Love leaves its mark
Not wanting to be someone who just pointed the finger at others, Morgan and co-writer Kyle Matthews added a final verse:
You know I care / And how hard I try / I'd like to believe / That I'd lay down my life / But I've let you down / And I'll make mistakes / There's only One / Deserving of your faith
Morgan toured for some time with mainstream act Owsley, playing bass. Will Owsley contributed to Upside Down, the first song on Wonderlight. Trevor told me that the song was "really about surrender...the parable of the man who built on the sand...all it takes is one thing to knock it to the ground."
You can turn my world upside down / Fly me through the blue sky, high into the holy ground / For all the things I've loved and lost / I only wanted to be found / Come take my world and turn it upside down // Gold streets / Covered in concrete / I covered my tracks / But not the cracks in my foundation
He added, "All that just kind of alludes to the fact that we've been given a new nature in Christ, but we still have the sin nature and it's an ongoing struggle."
Wonderlight will appeal to anyone who likes an adult pop rock sound a la Geoff Moore. Morgan is a deacon in his church, and both he and his wife are active in small groups, Bible studies and accountability groups. He sees the local church as a vital support and accountability partner to his music ministry. With that understanding, I think he'll be around for a long time.
Visit his site for sample clips from all of the songs on his fine label debut, Wonderlight.
Visit: Trevor Morgan.