graceandmercy
Jonathan Butler – Grace and Mercy

On Grace and Mercy Butler delivers a collection of songs that serve as a soothing musical balm in today’s troubled times. “This album really speaks about optimism, faith, belief and hope, especially in the light of what everybody has been experiencing in the last two or three years,” he says. “There’s been a lot of people losing their homes, their jobs, enduring the challenges that life brings. I’m hoping this album will bring hope to people. Songs like ‘Give it Up To God,’ ‘I Stand On Your Word,’ and ‘Who is Like the Lord’ were written from experiences that I’ve had to go through myself.”
The lead single, “I Stand On Your Word,” is a soaring ballad that reminds us of the power of God’s promises. “I love that song,” Butler says. “I hope that it hits home to a lot of people.”

God’s word became real to Butler when he was just a teenager. At 19-years-old, Butler’s life forever changed when he became a Christian. “It was love that drew me to Christ,” he smiles, “the love of someone who cared enough to talk to me about Jesus and take me in when I was basically a broken young man in South Africa. It was my late brother-in-law, my wife’s brother, who led me to Christ. He was that person in my life that actually took the time to talk to me about Jesus, and it didn’t take me long to give my heart to Christ because of that.”


photos by Raj Naik. click to view

In the past few years, his faith has sustained Butler during some difficult times. He lost his beloved mother and a very close friend in addition to helping his wife battle cancer. It’s been tumultuous time that saw the gifted musician leaning ever closer to God and pouring his experiences into his music. Grace and Mercy showcases Butler’s gift for taking potent lyrical messages and enveloping them in memorable melodies. “Give it up to God” is a soul-stirring slow jam that spotlights Butler’s warm, distinctive voice. “Simplicity always wins for me,” Butler says of the song. “There is such power in a simplistic lyric. You really reach people when you say simply, ‘Give it up to God.’ We all go through those every day trials. We read the Proverbs and Psalms and most of the time we forget that the Bible says, ‘Trust in the Lord with your heart and lean not on your own understanding.’ Every day we have to give it up to God, EVERY day.”

Among Butler’s favorite tracks are “I Know He Cares.” “I love, love, love, love ‘He Cares!’ I wrote ‘He Cares’ and it spoke to me,” Butler says. “I started with the music and then started writing these lyrics down. We all need to know that God really cares for us. The Bible says, “We are the sheep of his pasture” and he absolutely does care for us. That song really speaks to me a lot.”

“Moments of Worship” is another highlight on Butler’s new project. “I actually recorded ‘Moments Of Worship’ in Spain years ago,” he says. “I was at a friend’s house and he had a studio and an engineer. I sat in front of a piano and started singing my favorite worship songs and I just decided to do that on this album. At the end of all the music, it comes back to worship, which I think is beautiful.”

Lyrically Grace and Mercy delivers the kind of Biblically grounded, emotionally uplifting songs Butler has become known for, yet musically he says fans might be caught slightly off guard. “It’s going to surprise people a little bit coming from me because I think it’s much more of an edgier gospel record,” he says of the project, which was recorded at his home studio. “It’s more urban. Overall I feel it’s much more of a raw type of record. I didn’t grow up in church, but I’m a born again Christian. For the last 30 years I’ve been saved so I write from that place. I draw a lot from different elements and experiences and also my culture from South Africa, so I think it’s a little bit different.”

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