More Than This
- reviewed by Christa Banister Copyright Christianity Today International
- 2006 1 Apr
- In the Way
- More Than This
- Now I Know
- Most High
- Greatest Reward
- This Heart of Mine
- When I'm Gone
- Light of the World
- Lay Me Down
- Wonderful Maker
- Surrender Susan
For anyone who's ever thought his/her family was a little left of center, try this story on for size: Before singer/songwriter Jon Abel's parents got married, his mom was a nun, and his dad was a monk for more than 20 years.
Pop music wasn't exactly part of Abel's childhood, and given his early career "ambitions," one wouldn't have guessed that music would be part of his future, either. "Being from South Louisiana, my plan was to get a job, maybe go to college, watch a lot of LSU football and eat as many crawfish as possible," Abel confesses. "However, like so many things in life, it's what you don't receive that takes you to where you never dreamed you'd go. In my case, it culminated at high school graduation"—when he hoped for a new used car to replace his dilapidated '82 Mustang. But his parents gave him a shiny new Ibanez guitar instead.
The gift seemed rather odd at the time, but after six months of working in engineering in the Atchafalaya swamp, Abel figured it was time for a new career direction. He enrolled at North Carolina's Montreat College, where he discovered a love for music and began to write songs. While his first gigs were playing in the dorms over late night coffee, it wasn't long before he was leading worship at the school's weekly chapel service.
After graduation, Abel worked in youth and college ministry, but couldn't shake his love for performing music. "From churches to camps, coffeehouses to bars, I played anywhere I thought I could connect," Abel says. "I felt my connection with audiences was natural, and I still absolutely love to be a part of that. But it's the nexus that happens between God and us that really keeps me playing, writing, traveling and doing what I do."
While there are certainly smart lyrics on the likes of "Now I Know," "This Heart of Mine" and the title track, the most captivating quality about Abel's work is his ear for a great pop hook—found in abundance on
Signed or not, and radio or not, this guy's music is worth checking out.