Christian Artists To Know: Josh Garrels

Josh Garrels
Genre: Folk
Styles:Surf, Singer/Songwriter, Hip-Hop, Blue-Eyed Soul, World
Location: Waxhaw, NC
Label: Small Voice
Myspace :
Christian label: yes
Category: The Spiritual whats this?

A mystic Christian playing a mix of surf-infused, Lo-Fi folk; Afro-Caribbean hip-hop, spoken word post modern spirituals with electronica underpinnings, Josh Garrels is underground because he had not resolved the conflict of creating his deeply personal, spiritual music with the business of selling songs.

As I researched this article, many had stories about the first moment they saw Josh play. Mine was Cornerstone Festival 2007.  It was evening of the last day and my wife and I were exhausted.  Our plan was to catch Sleeping At Last and hit our tent early.  As was our custom, we were sharing our dinner at the food court with my son and his wife.  The sound check caught my attention and my wife said, “He can keep playing as far as I am concerned.”  This is actual performance that caused us to stop and listen.


We stayed.  For the next 45 minutes we were enthralled with the deeply spiritual, beat driven, complex message delivered by the tall white dude with the hair, a beat box, a guitar and some friends.  We have been fans from that moment.

Josh’s musical career was spawned at the Christian Missionary Alliance, a communal group of a dozen or so young men pursuing their callings and selling coffee in Muncie, Indiana.  It was through this coffee ministry that Josh was first introduced to Cornerstone.  He began doing sets at the Alliance coffee outlet in the food court and has moved into being much anticipated fixture at the annual Christian rock music festival.

Josh Garrels performing “Freedom” live at Off Center Studio shows him in full style.  You can buy the full video of this show at his website.


Josh’s music is more than great melodies and cool beats.  He layers his songs with free form Postmodern Christian theology.  An excerpt from “SISU’ from Over Oceans:

And when I look for freedom he puts

More chains on me

Strangles my hope so that I live like a zombie.

What master’s house can this be,

that when I look for freedom he still deceives me?

If there’s a God I screamed, answer me!

I didn’t expect an answer to be received

He said, you must die to be set free,

Living in the kingdom of God eternally

Josh’s two most recent recordings, Jacaranda and Over Oceans, are both tor de forces of free flowing Postmodern Christian philosophy over every style of music you can imagine.  We encourage you to dive in and meditate on his message.  Soak in the joy of his freedom in Christ.  But, please do not forget to dance.

Josh Garrel’s amazing music can be found digitally on Josh Garrels

You can also find his CDs on Amazon: Over Oceans(2006), Jacaranda(2008)


  1. [...] Heartfelt, unique, and unlike anything out in the air right now. The pure songwriting ability in this young man is gorgeously displayed in his second full-length album, a hard look into the heart of those who [...]

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