Monday, February 20, 2017

John Mark McMillan at le Poisson Rouge

John Mark McMillan taught himself to play guitar as a teenager, sitting on the loading docks behind his father’s storefront church in Pineville, North Carolina. In short time, he began writing songs that were very personal and asked very hard questions about life and faith. In 2001 and 2002, he found himself buried in a sense of loss after the breakup of a relationship, the loss of his day job and the death of one of his closest childhood friends, and his music expresses the vulnerability and the hope for a better future. This optimistic view through the lens of pain has marked his music consistently. McMillan's sixth album, Mercury & Lightning, is available for pre-order, but a release date has not yet been revealed.

Throughout his performance at le Poisson Rouge tonight, John Mark McMillan's music insinuated that his Christian faith was all that was left at the bottom of the rubble of life. His lyrics frequently struggled to comprehend the uncomfortable nature and events of life, and yet celebrated the joy of victory over the darkness. The porch light was on and one can always return to the safety of home, he seemed to say in his songs. McMillan accomplished this with a strong, masculine voice, a confessional style of singing, and a rocking band. This music deserves to cross over beyond the Christian music market.

Visit John Mark McMillan at www.johnmarkmcmillan.com.