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February 22, 2012

Country Club Jesus Meets Juke Box Jesus

And a whole lot more, including a Satan Smackdown, from the wacky mind of Steven Welp

A few weeks ago, I received three CDs, unsolicited, from a guy named Steven Welp in Richardson Texas. I'd never heard of him or his music. I've given the albums a few spins. And I'm still trying to decide whether it's pure genius, or just plain weird. Maybe it's a little of both.

It's just Welp and an acoustic guitar, with the rare harmonica tossed in. It's not great playing. It's not great singing. It's more like rhythmic spoken word, but nothing like rap. It's almost monotonous sometimes. So why write about it? Because for some reason, it's compelling. Maybe it's his strange cadences. Maybe it's his wacky sense of humor. Maybe it's his lyrics, and/or his ability to pack a ton of theology and Scripture into a song. Or the way he alphabetically names 144 denominations in a song called "Juke Box Jesus." Or the way he mocks superficiality in the church in "Country Club Jesus." Or the way he challenges the Devil to a duel in "Satan Smackdown Time," with lyrics that go like this:

It's Satan Smackdown Time,
I'm here to tell ya,
It's Satan Smackdown Time,
You'll rot in hell, yeah
It's Satan Smackdown Time,
There's no place that you can hide
You're gonna burn burn burn, yeah

I hate you Satan
The Father of Lies
I hate you Satan
You kill, destroy lives
I hate you Satan
I'll be so happy
When you finally go to hell
Forever burn in hell, yeah!

You've got to hear it to believe it. Strange but compelling stuff. Welp doesn't have a website, but you can hear samples here, here, and here.


Thanks Mark, can't get that denominational list out of head...keeps playing over and over. Catchy.