Nathan Salsburg – Psalms
No Quarter Records
20 August 2021
£19.99 (vinyl – also available on CD and digital download)
I love the Psalms. They say that all of Scripture speaks to us, but the Psalms speak for us. They express every season of the soul and reflect our many moods from exultant joy to heart breaking lament. Here is a wonderfully uplifting way to experience the Psalms.
Nathan Salsberg’s day job is running the massive Alan Lomax Sound Archive. In his spare time, he records beautiful soundscapes based on simple songs and a distinctive fingerpicking guitar style.
This album of nine songs sees Salsburg reconnecting with his Jewish roots to record contemporary versions of biblical psalms in Hebrew, interspersed with English.
The album sleeve helpfully has the words in both Hebrew and English.
The beautifully arranged songs sensitively capture the mood of these ancient songs. This is the ultimate chill-out music for a thoughtful believer, providing a creative way to meditate on biblical texts. It is another of those examples of how creative people are drawn to the artistic potential of biblical material.
Many of my musical discoveries are accidental. I happened to see this for sale at a local record shop. It has just been released, so I was intrigued by the handwritten note: “This has hardly been off the turntable in the shop.” I think I will have it on repeat for a while now. Do yourself a favour and have a listen.
John Woods is a writer and Bible teacher based in West Sussex. He is also Director of Training at The School of Preachers in Riga, Latvia