Singer, worship leader, record producer and modern-day hymn writer Sandra McCracken has just self-released her 12th independent album, Steadfast Live. LTTM caught up with her for a quick chat about the album, improvisation, and music in general.
Tell us a little bit about this new album of yours 'Steadfast Live'?
This is my first official live album and it captures a special performance with my band and local community. It feels a bit like an invitation, come one and all.
Which is your favorite track on the album and why?
I like the version of Trinity Song on this performance because it has a bit more bounce and movement than the album version, which gives it a fresh take on the lyric. It feels joyful with the band.
If you could work with any songwriter, who would it be and why?
I'd love to work with Joni Mitchell. She's a great storyteller. Her words help put you in a place and help you to feel an emotion.
Do you prefer playing live or working in the studio?
Lately, the two have been a similar experience because the band and I do a fair amount of improvisation in both settings. The great thing about playing music to me is the element of surprise. I think both studio recording and performing with an audience can keep that spirit alive.
How would you describe your style of music and what are your influences?
I have covered a lot of pop styles, but my emphasis these days is singable, timeless music that tells the truth. Truth and beauty are evident in gospel writers like Bob Dylan, Leonard Cohen and Sara Groves.
How would you define success in your career?
Success to me is just faithfulness. Showing up for the work is what helps the light shine through each individual artist.
What is your favorite album of all time?
You're stuck on an island, it's hot, you only have enough battery life left to listen to one song on your mp3 player. What track is it?
Every grain of sand - Dylan
What does the next year hold for Sandra McCracken?
I'm excited to see this album come out into the world next month and hope to spend some time writing while leaving space in the margins for new creativity to emerge.