throughout the years, i’ve had countless people ask me what books have influenced and inspired me. i usually rattle off a few (brian mclaren’s a new kind of christian, rob bell’s love wins and shane claiborne’s jesus for president are some common responses), but there’s actually an album that has shaped and influenced me just as much as any book.
at the tail end of 2005, derek webb released mockingbird, his 3rd solo album. while his first 2 solo albums were beautiful and evocative in their own rights, this album marked a somewhat surprising sharp turn into a category of singer-songwriter that he hadn’t yet journeyed.
mockingbird was very pointedly political in ways that the average derek webb and caedmon’s call fan certainly didn’t expect. quite frankly, it forever splintered his fanbase, polarizing a good bit of his conservative fans. (i know several former fans who now strongly dislike derek webb and point to that album as their turning point.) for me, it was exactly what i was seeking in my life at the time. i was a year into seminary, which, for me, was my journey into a much more progressive, vibrant and generative faith. so when derek webb was singing, my enemies are men like me, intro’d by an interlude called a consistent ethic of life, it deeply resonated within me.
that album played over and over and over in my house in the following months. i’ve cited it in sermons, quoted it in theological conversations and in many ways, it has served as an anthem in my life ever since. to be frank, this album, in many ways, was a catalyst not only theologically for me, but also a much more progressive political ideology. in all aspects of life, mockingbird served as the initial stone that created an ever-widening ripple.
so here we are, 10 years later and yesterday, derek webb announced, via a kickstarter project, the 10th anniversary of mockingbird. with it, he’ll be releasing the album on a limited vinyl for the first time, as well as releasing a remix album, re:mockingbird, which will be what the album would “sound like if i was making it here in 2015”. finally, to mark the milestone, he’ll be performing a series of house shows, which will culminate in a full-band performance in nashville later this year (which will be filmed and recorded).