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Songs of a Wilderness Traveler
Artist: Tom Frye and Damascus Road
Label: Independent
Length: 17/68:24

It is nearly impossible to hear Tom Frye’s songs without thinking of Rich Mullins. They have similar lyrical styles, and friends of Rich (Mitch McVicker, Michael Aukofer, Jeremy Casella, and Andrew Osenga) appear in every song. They have a mutual love for God’s creation in nature, and both take occasional forays into worship music without sounding like other every modern worship band. 

“Rain Down” is an earnest plea for grace and wonder, and is like Michael Card singing over a Rich Mullins soundtrack. “Ancient of Days” is more of a folk tune. “A Little More Faith” and “There is Jesus” sound like acoustic versions of Third Day. “Violence of Grace” is a portrayal of what Christ endured in order to be able to grant the grace we need. 

Insight into the nature of human beings is found in “Sometimes I Dance”. Depicting both the good and evil sides of man, it also gives plenty of Biblical examples of men who succeeded when they followed God, and failed when they did not. “Run to You” again recalls Rich Mullins thematically, noting the trials of life, yet still straining to be like Christ. 

Frye lets his Midwest country roots show on “Grace to Stand” and “Jesus is Crazy”, which is almost a spoken piece that features a harmonica solo. “Come to Me” portrays Jesus speaking to all: “Come to me and I will give you rest.” 

While at times the music seems dated, Songs of a Wilderness Traveler has a lot of high points. And for those who are looking for someone following in the footsteps of Rich Mullins, this isn’t a bad place to start.

Brian A. Smith
4 May 2009

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