In the Press:
"It really warms the cockles of my heart when I hear an album by an artist that is made for the sheer pleasure of loving and playing music! Michael Hart is that tyoe of artist sitting on the stairs with his dog and his guitar his hand on the front cover of his new CD "All The Things I Fell But Didn't Know How to Say". He plays through an assortment of instrumental tunes with great ability and technique. Playing mostly acoustic guitar on this CD, he may never outsell the likes of Lady Gaga but this boy can play!" So if you like guitar picking this instrumental album is worth checking out!
- Frankie Neilson, Beatmerchant Record Store, Steveston Village, 604-204-0044. The Beat Merchant Published in the Steveston Community Society Newspaper, April 2011.
- David Dawes, BC Christian News/Canadian Christianity.com
- Christian Current
- Geoff Howlett, Never For Nothing Webzine.
"Canadian singer-songwriter Michael Hart makes beautiful worship music in an acoustic pop style integrating roots elements along the way. He is to be commended for creating psalm like worship which is vulnerable and honest without falling into the trap of being sugary or bland . With a voice somewhere between Richie Furay and Ian White (thinking about it, if you like Ian White, you'll love this!) Michael writes truth-filled uplifting songs that are simple and melodic. I love the inspirational feel of the opening "Put My Trust" and the majestic music of the title track complete with some lovely understated violin from Spencer Capier. The brooding bluesy "Let Not This World" has an excellent call and response. The exhortational "Have a Little Mercy" is partnered by " There is Forgiveness" and a musical wide-eyed look at the vastness of God's grace and forgiveness. If you're fed-up with the colour-by-numbers-heard-it-all-before worship material being churned out in so many places, this stunning worship album has the power to touch your soul."
10/10 = indispensable
- Mike Rimmer
- John McLaughlin
"For over a decade he's been sculpting some of the most thoughtful and soulful Christian music available, skillfully renewing both heart and mind. Hart's music style is wonderfully eclectic: a mix of hymn, ballad, blues, medieval, pop and rock even a taste of country. The variety would be, in less agile hands, bewildering. In Hart's hands he manages all with adeptness making each musical genre his own element. For fans, Lord of the Mountain is the work we have been waiting for from Michael, distilling his deep intelligence as a songwriter and his passion as a man after God's own heart".
- Mark Buchanan
"This disc is full of echoes. Echoes of Keith Green. Echoes of Michael Card. Echoes of early Phil Keaggy. When you're out in nature it's often awe-inspiring to hear an echo--while the echo is never as clear or as forceful as the original, the mere fact of the echo is cool. So it is with Michael Hart's Lord of the Mountain. This is one eclectic disc, with the unifying aspect being the acoustic instruments. There's a touch of contemporary praise, a hint of blues-rock, a trace of pop/gospel--a little something for everyone. But, Hart makes it all work on this, his fifth project. Highlights: The title tune (a contemporary Psalm), "Let Not This World," and a quiet, graceful, interpretation of the classic hymn, "O The Deep Deep Love of Jesus."
= strong album worth checking out
- Mike L Ehret
"Michael Hart is one of the most thoughtful singers and songwriters you will hear today. Here is an artist not afraid to draw on a wide diversity of musical styles in order to serve his purposes. Here is an artist prepared to deal with the whole range of responses to God given to us in the Bible. And here is an artist not afraid to let instruments do their own work (as in 'There is Forgiveness'). 'Lord of the Mountain' is a rare jewel in today's music scene."
- Jeremy Begbie
"The folk and blues based gospel on Hart's fifth album was created by a stellar cast including Graham Boyle (k.d lang's drummer), Miles Hill ( Jann Arden) and Spencer Capier (Carolyn Arends). Hart's guitar, dulcimer, piano and dusty vocals provide the foundation."
- Nancy Lanthier
"When you think of Canada, what to associate with it? Mounties? Ice Hockey? If you do, then, you're missing out on a lot of good Christian music. One of the many talented - and often underrated - artists to come out this country is singer/songwriter Michael Hart. For this, his 5th album, Michael collected some fine musicians around him and recorded most of the sounds live. With his trademark dulcimer featuring throughout, he and the band present a collection of songs in the style of contemporary hymns, blues, jazz, light pop, and sweet harmonies. Michael's voice is rich in tone and is immediately on top form with the opening "I Put My Trust", where piano and acoustic sounds are so fresh. The title track includes some lovely violin and "Call Me" really soothes all inside you. Lyrically, Michael writes from having a deep longing to serve a loving God and from enjoying the beauty of such a relationship. Two short instrumental pieces are a welcome addition to the running order, while "Praise Him" and "There Is Forgiveness" stand out towards the end. Overall, it's an album that should see Michael's music reach far further than the boundaries of his native Canada - it just needs someone to sit up and take note." 9/10.
- Geoff Howlett
MICHAEL HART - A WELCOME PRESENCE
"This CD has some impressive guests: Vancouver legend Bill Sample is on grand piano; Bob Murphy, whose jazz piano accompanies Christine Duncan; Miles Hill on bass (Jann Arden); Graham Boyle on drums and percussion (K.D. Lang); Spencer Capier on violin (Carolyn Arends); and singer/songwriter Jim Woodyard on mandolin.
Hart says "the overarching theme on this CD is one of worship -- without being a praise and worship CD -- and a desire to get back to beauty. Out west, we are surrounded by so much of God's presence in creation . . . and yet in our faith, creation and redemption are tied in Christ."
Lord of the Mountain leans heavily on the Psalms, from which four songs are drawn; another is based on a passage from 1 Peter. Two others are traditional: a Welsh hymn, 'Oh the Deep Deep Love of Jesus'; and 'Let There Be Light' by John Marriott, from the early 19th century. Other songs by Hart were influenced by such things as a trip to the Rockies and the work of Hope International.
A couple of the Psalm-based pieces feature creative twists. In 'Got My Soul (Psalm 139),' he sings "That's why I got my soul in you" as the chorus, while he begins 'There is forgiveness (Psalm 130)' with "Out of the blues [rather than 'depths'] I cry to you."
Most of the songs have a folk/acoustic sound to them, but elements of light rock ('Praise Him'), swing ('One Day') and blues/soul ('Let Not This World') are also evident.
"I like to unify the eclectic approach with the production," says Hart, "in this case a big acoustic soundscape that is clean and percussive, with dulcimer, violins and grand piano -- no loops or sequencing -- but the aim being to keep it accessible." Most of Lord of the Mountain was recorded 'live off the floor' at Bob Murphy's studio."
- Flyn Ritchie
- Terris Hatfield
- Ron Reed
"by (Jesus)... let us offer the sacrifice of praise to God continually, that is, the fruit of our lips giving thanks to this name. This past Christmas, two very special friends, Dan and Sandra gave us a gift of music. They introduced us to the inspirational art of Michael Hart's voice and musical talent - a CD titled "Dulcimer Light-Christmas." In May of this year, the Tabusintac Pastoral Charge then introduced our congregations and our community to Michael by presenting a concert at the United Church Centre, Miramichi West. His harmonious voice and adept fingers on his 'dulcimer' and guitar played out the scriptures. The audience consisted of all ages and heard various songs from Michael's newest of his 5 CDs "Lord of the Mountain." One particular song from this CD is a favorite "Call Me." Some of the lyrics from this CD are adaptations from the book of Psalms. Michael also sang some crowd pleasers (clapping and singing) from his previous CD The Heart of the Matter. His personality and sense of humor shone through each word of every song.
I'm sure we would not be alone when we say what an enjoyable evening this was. Family and friends gathered together praising God. Canada should feel blessed to have such an extraordinary and accomplished songwriter and singer. I urge every church to accept his presentation of his gifts and invite him into their community for a wondrous time of sharing. PRAISE HIM (Psalm 148) "Praise Him from the heavens. Sing to His Majesty." Michael does just that."
- Stephen Irving
ON THE AIR.
Nine tracks from Lord of the Mountain are in rotation at these radio stations:
"Lord of the Mountain was also Feature CD of the week at UCB Europe August 7-11, 2000. Also at Vision/Rhema Australia Radio - 28 radio stations.
"Just today we received your excellent new CD. Love the lyrics and the sound; 'edgier' not over produced."
"It is terrific. What a blessing. I put it on now just before my devotion time and the whole feel of the CD is worship. Thank you so much .... Praise God for your gift. "Let Not This World" and "Put My Trust" minister to me, and "Once A Kid" brings me joy. And "Oh The Deep Deep Love Of Jesus" version heals - thanks."
"SIMPLY OUTSTANDING ...... you have a gift that continues to amaze me...it is truly INSPIRATIONAL .....I want to pursue my walk with Christ and tell others...."
"We're really enjoying the album! "Let Not This World" and the title track "Lord of the Mountain" are the main hits right now (great versions!), but I suspect that as I listen more and more, some of the other songs will
sink in and become just as popular. We love another 'bluesy' song -- the one right after "Let Not This World" -- can't recall the title right now -- just the fact that those two really get us up and dancing!"
In the Press
New Web Review: "Since I first wrote about this singer in NFN earlier this year, Michael Hart has continued to win friends wherever his ministry has taken him. A recent Cross Rhythms review of his previous release "The Heart of the Matter" only confirmed the well deserved interest that this man is gaining. Released in his home country last year, Dulcimer Light is not just another artist jumping on the Christmas bandwagon. True, well known songs like "Joy to the World" and "Angels We Have Heard.." are included but, given the Michael Hart style. Listening to it, you can close your eyes and imagine a typical family Christmas, sat around the tree and a roaring log fire in the background. On the other hand, there's enough carefully thought out music and lyrics to touch the heart of many. Other, less familiar songs, are just as impressive with Michael adapting the sound of the dulcimer to carefully wrap each track with care. Well worth your effort to order. 8/10."
"A veteran singer-songwriter and recording artist who has a strong reputation in the Christian community, Hart has wrought a fine balance between imaginatively reworked familiar carols and lively traditional folk songs like Si Nous Marchons. It is his most focused, fully realized LP."
"Dulcimer Light is among the best of the new Christmas CD's. Several things set this effort apart from the general run of Christmas albums strong tenor vocals...passionate, muscular and yet smooth as silk. Also notable is his skill as an arranger. Dulcimer Light is satisfying in every way - musically, emotionally and spiritually."
"Michael Hart's incredible vocal range is aptly demonstrated in this album, as his virtuosity on his chosen instrument the dulcimer... something for the whole family."
"Recommended: On Dulcimer Light Canadian singer/songwriter Michael Hart serves up a cross-cultural Christmas for those who like to travel while staying at home."
On the Air
"Here's one that just arrived - Dulcimer Light Christmas - light and bright - delightful, it's the work of Michael Hart".
" We love the CD. We're playing all the tracks! It's on our automation system playing overnight and on weekends all of December. Your music is blessing Ottawa.
"Mary Did You Know" is my favorite cut on Michael's new Christmas CD."
"Sharing his faith and recordings, his research into long forgotten old Gaelic carols, that he has now resurrected for his new Christmas album Dulcimer Light, proved fascinating and humorous. The songs themselves give me a a sense of the medieval and nobler days of our Christian and Canadian heritage. He encouraged audience participation with his many percussion instruments and responsive singing. A delightful evening with a true troubadour of the Lord."
"Thank you so much for the Dulcimer Light Christmas CD that I won from your web page. We have throughly enjoyed your music from this CD. My eight year old son simply adores Christmas music and this is tops on his list. A very good effort. Thanks again."
"I received Dulcimer Light - Christmas in the mail about a week before Christmas 1997. From the time of its arrival, it was without a doubt the most listened to Christmas album at our house. In fact, I'm *still* listening to it -- Christmas or not! "Mary Did You Know" rates as my all-time favorite, and "Si Nous Marchons" is a close second. This is a great album!
In the Press
"Integrity, confidence and free spirit are words I would use to describe Hart. Performing primarily in Canada he has a strong track record. He shows his convictions openly and in a way that touches your heart. He wants individuals to find The Pearl, not cultured but real."
"The Heart Of The Matter emanates strength and faith. Hart's own devout beliefs permeate his lyrics, but some of the songs are appealing regardless of one's own religious beliefs - or lack of them. For instance The Owner Of The Company is an amusing biblical metaphor for record labels that has a finger snapping piano bar jazz feel; Audrey's Song is a touching ode to a loved one taken by cancer, and 2 Minutes Silence is a salute to those who laid their lives down for their country."
"This is his most accomplished release, mixing light jazz and folk with soft rock and containing the expected songs of praise and devotion. Yet Hart is not a one-note Christian or songwriter. Paper and Phone, the anti-war 2 Minutes Silence and the moving Audrey's Song alternately show wit, grit and compassion."
"He's got strong compositional abilities ... is an accomplished guitarist and singer as well with a clear, sweet but strong voice that has a wide range. He doesn't try to hit you over the head with a message; his songs definitely have a wide appeal and if you appreciate catchy and memorable melodies, good singing and interesting lyrics, this concert is for you".
In the Press
"The production is top-notch ... the vocals are crisp and urgent lending credibility to lyrics which reflect social conscience (Break the Walls) as well as an attitude of worship (David's Song). Don't delay. Introduce yourself to another Canadian gem."
"Musically innovative ... excellent vocalist ... talented musician ... His songs demonstrate a spiritual sensitivity that gives this album another level of appeal ... this one seems to be a winner."
"It's his way with interesting lyrics and unusual arrangements that make Soulkeeper one of the best Canadian Christian pop releases of 1990."
"The fact that Soulkeeper jumps around from quieter pop to jazz to island music, all done well, keeps it interesting. The percussive Peter Was A Fisherman is a gem..."
"Michael Hart's ... voice is amazing and unique. The songs are mostly upbeat and fun to listen to. Hart is a talented musician and a spirited performer ... He does most of his shows here in Canada. Lucky for us."
In the Press
"This one borrows from the jazzier side of pop music and features nice arrangements. Musically there are some real toe tappers thanks to excellent playing and production."
"There are large numbers of Christian songwriters only too willing to put their convictions into music ... Often, alas, the results...would send any listener not already converted screaming out of the room for a stiff drink. Michael Hart ... writes good pop songs and has come up with an album that stands up on its own regardless of its religious convictions."
"The album works best with such songs as Beachcomber or Blackbeard's Gold or Peter Was A Fisherman, where the narrative style of lyricist Roger Koe places Hart firmly in a laid back South Seas/West Coast environment similar to that of Jimmy Buffett, Christopher Cross or Pablo Cruise."
Copyright © 1997-2001 Michael Hart/Soulkeeper Music