Andy Kirk’s passionate delivery and contagious melodies strike at the same level of some of today’s most popular worship leaders. Thus, it’s only a matter of time before the 22-year-old fi nds himself in similar company. The attention is already gaining with his prominent platform with and Rock Band song placement (yes, that Rock Band). Yet when speaking to Kirk, he’s somehow taking the momentum all in stride. Perhaps that’s because he’s well grounded in the local church. “It’s easy for artists to say, ‘Man, I can’t wait until I’m doing whatever it is that’s a huge event with tons of people,’” says Kirk. “But what I realized pretty quickly is that what God is doing on a global scale, He’s also doing in smaller bits and pieces all over the world through the songs people are writing and the movements coming out of original music in churches and the worship leaders who are committed on a local level. So it’s really grounded me.” Kirk’s latest CD fi nds the songwriter ruminating on Psalm 57, where David tells himself and the surrounding nature and instruments to “wake up” and come alive to a God worth praising. It’s a theme found throughout Wake Up My Soul and focuses on a topic Kirk says hit home personally. “There’s a resonating theme throughout the songs I’ve been writing on this record that God is real and really alive and if we can shake ourselves awake, we’ll fi nd that,” explains Kirk. “So many things can numb us today and there’s so much social media coming at us that we can go an entire day and night without really thinking about God and the fact that He created everything around us. He’s deserving of worship and that’s why we were created.” — Matt Conner INDIE HIGHLIGHTS The Act: Jason Sweet Band The Site: jasonsweet The Sound: Alternative worship band matches radio-ready sound with intimate lyrics The Buzz: Upcoming spots at Ichthus, Spirit Midwest and Alive Festivals should fi nd Jason Sweet making more noise than ever. The Act: Stacy Lantz The Site: The Sound: Beautiful piano and acoustic turns with tinges of Nichole Nordeman The Buzz: A new disc, Patchwork Plains, is currently being mastered. The Act: Joel Levi The Site: The Sound: Emotional guitar rock delivery a la Pete Yorn The Buzz: Levi recorded with Charlie Peacock for his last EP, The Little Places, and is doing the same this summer for another project. Andy Kirk CCM 43