Interview with Caroline Cobb
The Texas-based singer-songwriter, mother of 2, and Young LIfe leader, Caroline Cobb has been compared to the likes of John Mark McMullin, Sandra McCracken & Rich Mullins. Her latest album The Blood + The Breath: Songs That Tell the Story of Redemption reached #6 on iTunes Christian/Gospel charts and made iTunes' "New and Notable" list the very next week.
In Fall of 2010, Caroline looked ahead on the calendar and realized that not only was 11/11/11 a milestone date, but it also happened to be her 30th birthday. She decided this special date called for a lofty writing goal. Well, the hard work has paid off and she is getting a lot of positive attention about The Blood + The Breath. "This album is a work of art and a cohesive whole, showing one great example of how a singer-songwriter does theology through their artistic medium.” ~ Zac Hicks, Worship Pastor @ Coral Ridge Presbyterian
She certianley caught our attention and we're honored that she took the time to sit down and answer a few of our questions.
UTR: When did you discover songwriting?
CC: Actually, the story is kind of a funny one... I went out on a date with this guy in high school and, during the date, he played me a song that he had written. My mom had recently taught me a few chords on the guitar and, as the guy was playing, I wasn’t thinking “Wow, how romantic!”...I was thinking, “Hey, I could do that!” As I remember it, I went home and started writing my first song that very night.
UTR: What is the theme for your latest release The Blood + The Breath?
CC: The Blood + the Breath is meant to take the listener on a journey through the story of redemption from scripture. In late 2010, I gave myself a goal to write a song from every book of the Bible in one year, and many of the songs on this album are from that year of writing, so they are straight from specific passages or stories in the Bible. But every song - even those from the Old Testament - point toward the same thing: Jesus’ death and resurrection, and the redemption He accomplishes for us.
UTR: What kind of feedback from listeners puts the biggest smile on your face?
CC: I really, really love hearing that the songs from this latest album have caused people to engage with the the Bible for the first time, or in a fresh way. That really is my hope for the album - that people would engage with the story of redemption found in scripture. Even more, my hope is that they will engage with God, the Author of that story and ours.
UTR: In the making of B+B, what song really surprised you in how well the finished recording turned out?
CC: On this album, I was working with a really great producer, Josh Moore (Caedmon’s, Matthew Perryman Jones, Sandra McCracken), and some really talented musicians. I had worked really hard on each and every song, tweaking and rewriting, making sure they fit the theme and into the story I was hoping to tell. So, I came into the process feeling good about the songs and the people I had around me. But even still, many of the songs turned out better than I could’ve imagined. I especially love what we were able to do with “Wake Up” and “Gethsemane (Heavy Load to Carry)”. “The Passover Song” (written with Sean Carter) was a bit of a surprise as well, just because I barely knew it going into the studio. Sean and I had literally written it just one week before. But now, it’s one of my favorite songs on the album.
UTR: Why do you think it's important for believers to reflect on the whole story of the Gospel/Bible?
CC: There are a lot of stories in the Bible, but they are all telling one bigger Story. Each smaller one - even the ones we often want to skip over - is essential to understanding the big Story. And understanding the overarching, big Story gives us a context, a paradigm through which we can understand each smaller story. For me, I love reflecting on the whole story because it makes me stand in awe of God and it leads me to worship. The first song on the album, “From Him, To Him” is taken from Romans 11:33-36, where Paul - after he has spent the first 10 chapters of Romans really laying out the gospel story - just stops. And suddenly, he starts to worship. It’s almost like Paul is overwhelmed by the beauty of it, so much so that he just has to pause and bust out into this reverant, exultant doxology. I think that when we really stop to think about all that God has done, the Story that He has written, and how the whole Story points to Christ, we have to stop - just as Paul did - and worship. It’s even more wonderful to think that this same God who wrote the Story of redemption is also writing our own, individual stories and - somehow - He is weaving them all into His.
Caroline makes her UTR debut on Episode #242. Get a taste of Caroline's newest project in this video: