In Your Ear: Gospel Music Newcomer Brian Courtney Wilson

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Gospel singer Brian Courtney Wilson shares with Tell Me More the music that's currently keeping him grooving. The songs include John Mayer's "Stop This Train," Mary Mary's "Seattle," and one of his all-time favorites, Soul legend Donny Hathaway's "Song For You."


And finally, September is Gospel Music Heritage Month. And to acknowledge the occasion, we brought a conversation last week with a leading gospel historian and one of today's hottest gospel artists, Brian Courtney Wilson.

Today, we thought it would be fitting to share with you some of what Brian is listening to from both the world of religious and secular music. It's a segment we call In Your Ear.

Mr. BRIAN COURTNEY WILSON (Gospel singer): Hey, ya'll this is Brian Courtney Wilson and I'm privileged today to come in and talk about just some of the music that I'm listening to.

I love John Mayer's "Stop This Train." I think it's one of the most brilliant songs I've ever heard.

(Soundbite of song, "Stop This Train")

Mr. JOHN MAYER (Singer-songwriter, musician): (Singing) No I'm not color blind, I know the world is black and white. Try to keep an open mind but, I just can't sleep on this tonight. Stop this train. I want to get off and go home again. I can't take the speed it's moving in. I know I can't honestly won't someone stop this train.

Mr. WILSON: One of the reasons I like it, I guess is I admire at his age his ability to kind of get that anxiousness that comes from time continuing to move on and how you can't stop it. Not just from a young man's perspective, but he seemed to capture an old man's perspective too, and I really enjoy that song for that reason.

I think Mary Mary's album, "The Sound," was one of the best records I heard in urban music. Not just Christian music, of course, they're an awesome Christian group. In particular, there's a song called "Seattle." I was listening to it on the way to the studio today and just how well written it is and how much depth it has.

(Soundbite of song, "Seattle")

MARY MARY (Gospel duo): (Singing) But the Lord, its me again ready for something new. Please rest upon my heart like the morning dew.

Holy Spirit rain like Seattle. Overtake my life like a flood, like California shake what's not like to. I just want a heart like yours. Just like a painter has...

Mr. WILSON: One of my all-time favorite vocalist ever is Donny Hathaway. And I think a "Song For You" is like just beautiful. It's one of the most beautiful songs I've ever heard.

(Soundbite of song, "Song For You")

Mr. DONNY HATHAWAY (Singer-songwriter, musician): (Singing) I love you in a place where there's no space or time. I love you for my life, you are a friend of mine. And when my life is over, remember when we were together. We were alone and I was singing this song to you.

Mr. WILSON: To try to describe why would not do it justice. All I can say is it's hauntingly beautiful.

MARTIN: That was Brian Courtney Wilson, sharing with us the music that's topping his personal play list. To hear our earlier conversation with Brian, please check out the TELL ME MORE program page at

And that's our program for today. Im Michel Martin and this is TELL ME MORE from NPR News. Lets talk more tomorrow.

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