Josh Blakesley has acknowledged a simple calling: To make music that moves people into prayer and action.
Josh has been stirred by the rhythms, melodies and chord progressions of contemporary songs long before he was old enough to know what these words meant. As he learned about Mozart, Bach and others, he began to realize that contemporary music is very simply the music of the pepople. The overtures and opuses of the 1700s were the popular songs of that era. People identified with those songs in the same way that today's “hits” appeal to the masses of this generation. As a songwriter, specifically for liturgy in 2017, the question that provokes him is: How do I create a song that will honor traditions and music yet speak to the modern Church and lead them to worship?
Josh collaborated with his guitar player, Grae McCullough, to write a new mass setting, paying homage to the hymns of the past and the culture of modern worship. “Every week we lead music for school and parish masses, so we knew we needed something that would resonate with all ages. We also wanted it to be joyful, approachable and easy to sing but still fresh, dynamic and expressive,” says Blakesley.
On March 3, 2017 is the release of this long-awaited project called Mass of Restoration. It is available now anywhere music can be downloaded. For sheet music, please visit ocp.org
Josh Blakesley's last full-length album, Even in This, was recorded in 2015 in Franklin, TN with Grammy Nominated producer/singer- songwriter, Michael Farren. The album features songs co-written with Farren, Mia Fieldes (Hillsong), Dove Award winner Marc Byrd (God of Wonders) and Grammy Award Nominated, Sarah Hart (Better than a Hallelujah).
The title track from the album is a song about finding hope in the darkest valleys of life. It was born out of tragedy after the band's guitar player, Grae McCullough, lost his one-month-old daughter to a chromosomal disorder called Trisomy 18. "The peace I had the day Lizzie's short life ended could have only been God. There was an underlying sense of peace in the devastation and the song really encapsulates the situation we were in," says McCoullough.
Blakesley has been featured on Sirius XM, EWTN’s Life on the Rock, Relevant Radio, KLOVE and has performed with wide variety of Christian artists like Matt Maher, Andrew Peterson, Jars of Clay and the Newsboys; as well as several International Papal events, most recently in Milan, Italy in 2012. He continues to tour heavily with dates booked all over the US and Canada in 2017. He partners with Compassion International as a spokesperson for releasing children from poverty in Jesus’ name. He also works directly with the Franciscan University of Steubenville, Life Teen International, Catholic HeartWork Camp, Adore Ministries, as well as many churches, camps and conferences of all sizes in an effort to live out his calling and to “make disciples of all nations.” (Matthew 28:18)
Josh Blakesley currently lives in Alexandria, Louisiana with his wife Heather and their two children, Sophie and Sutton.