“Both sound and lyrics are pure, hopeful, real, unfettered. Your roots in 60s folk are unmistakable. Woody Guthrie, Pete Seeger. Never thought I’d hear that brought to worship.” – Sally Morgenthaler
Most notably the author of the contemporary gospel standard "Our God Reigns," singer/songwriter Lenny Smith has risen to new prominence through the rise of his children's work in the uncompromisingly avant-garde Danielson Famile. Having begun writing songs while a seminary student at Mt. St. Mary's Seminary in Emmitsburg, MD, Smith drew inspiration in the liturgical songs and "folk masses" that were part of his environment and was especially intrigued by the pairing of scripture to music. Still, he had little luck with song publishers until his "Our God Reigns" was popularized by traveling evangelists and the song's fame spread across the globe. Having exchanged teaching Latin for house painting, Smith grew into a prolific writer, with over 160 songs to his credit. Releasing his first album at the age of 58, 2001's Deep Calls to Deep found Smith running through an eclectic set of rock-based gospel that may not have had much in common with the music of his offspring but showed a similar, if quite differently communicated, religious fervor.