Bob's ability to write songs about other than typical "spiritual" topics has always made him stand out a bit from his peers. To Bob, spiritual themes are everywhere, even in the least holy of circumstances. His approach to ministry also follows the same line of reasoning - that our lives are intricately woven with the sacred and the human, and that honest communication is ultimately most effective.
"In 1982 came Michael's "Matters of the Heart", a recording Contemporary Christian Music Magazine voted 1982's "Album of the Year", ranking it among the top 20 contemporary Christian albums of all time."
If you tell Bob Bennett his songs don't sound much like Christian music, you're likely to invoke a smile. After all, Bob has always lurked outside the fringes of contemporary Christian music, crafting songs that detail not only his joys and victories, but also his disappointments, struggles and failures.
Bob's acoustic folk-style recordings have honestly confronted the messy side of human existence over the years. But those who have discovered his depth, wit, honesty and musicianship consider him to be one of Christian music's foremost songwriters. His classic tunes "Matters of the Heart," "Man of the Tombs," "A Song About Baseball," and others reveal a songwriting proficiency unmatched among his peers.
Bob was born in Downey, California, in 1955. He picked up his first guitar at age nine and formed a rock 'n' roll band in high school. In the late seventies he converted to Christianity and his songwriting began to reflect his newfound faith. His career was launched with the release of his 1979 folk-style debut recording First Things First. Three years later came Matters of the Heart, a recording Contemporary Christian Music Magazine voted 1982's "Album of the Year," ranking it among the top 20 contemporary Christian albums of all time. Soon after the release of his next recording, Non-Fiction, he served as opening act on Amy Grant's Unguarded tour. Lord of the Past: A Compilation followed, with its title song reaching number one on the Christian radio charts in early 1990, followed by his second number one song, "Yours Alone." Later that year Bob joined Michael Card on his The Way of Wisdom tour, performing in front of sold-out audiences across the country. Songs from Bright Avenue was released in 1991, a collection of songs he wrote while struggling with the dissolution of his marriage. The years that followed were a time of emotional healing, regrouping and moving forward with his life. Recently, Bob has found acceptance in the mainstream folk music scene, while performing in music clubs near his home in Southern California.
"I think that accomplishing some sort of ministry by playing music is a completely faulty, frail method that God still manages to use," Bob says, "To me, my primary goal is to communicate truthfully with people. If I can communicate truthfully the life of the spirit and the always accompanying struggle along the way, then ministry happens as a natural result of that.
"Deliberately subjective in his lyrics, Bob allows listeners to eavesdrop on his personal observations and decide for themselves if the words ring true. Ultimately, he reaches into hearts, using his abilities to craft language and music to tell the stories inside each of us.
Bob has joined Signpost Communications, with his contribution to the "Livingroom Series" of recordings, entitled "The View From Here".
Solo releases include: First Things First (Maranatha! Music, 1979) (04/2007: Limited Edition Twenty-Fifth Anniversary Release) Matters of the Heart (CBS/Priority, 1982) (05/22/2007: Re-released on iTunes and in Mp3 format on Amazon) Non-Fiction (Star Song, 1985) (05/22/2007: Re-released on iTunes and in Mp3 format on Amazon) Lord of the Past: A Compilation (Urgent Records, 1989) (Out-of-Print) Songs from Bright Avenue (Urgent Records, 1991; Re-release by Signpost Music, 2003) Small Graces (Covenant Artists, 1997) The View from Here (Signpost Music, 2002) My Heart Across the Ocean (single, 2002) Christmastide (Signpost Music, 2009) Joy Deep as Sorrow (Self-Released, 2012)
Songs in other projects include: "Place I Am Bound" -- Track #2 on Fast Folk FF708 Vol. 9 #8 November 1993, Los Angeles Revisited (still available from Smithsonian Folkways Recordings) "Beautiful, Scandalous Night" -- Track #3 on At the Foot of the Cross--Vol. 1: Clouds, Rain, Fire "Holy God, We Praise Thy Name", "Born To Die", "In The Bleak Midwinter" -- Tracks on Christmas In Our Time (Urgent!, 2004) "Strange Joy" -- Track #3 on Music of Proclaim!, volume 3: There Is A Way "Hand of Kindness", "Unto the Least of These", "Our Codependent Love", and "Defiant Lamb" -- Tracks #3, #5, #8, & #11, respectively, on Return of the Killer B's (Live from Memphis)
Collaborations and other credits include: background vocals on Billy Crockett's albums: Any Starlight Night (Urgent Records, 1994) & Watermarks (Walking Angel Records, 1998) Six String Prayers, John Standefer (guitar) & Bob Bennett (vocals) (2007) co-wrote "Broken Beauty" with Jon Buller on his album: Light Up The Sky (Signpost, 2009) Jesus Music Again, Bill Batstone (guitars, bass, vocals), Bob Bennett (guitars, vocals), Alex MacDougall (percussion, drums) (2011,review...walked up Pilot Mountain with Video Bob Bennett (June 22, 2012)
Awards and recognition include: CCM Magazine named Matters of the Heart "Album Of The Year - 1982", and among the Top 25 CCM Albums of all time. The magazine also ranked Lord of the Past among the top 100 CCM Albums of all time.