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Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost: 20 Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you: and, lo, I am with you alway, even unto the end of the world. Amen.

Matt 28:19-20 (KJV)

 


 

Chris McClarney

Until recently, Darwin Hobbs couldn’t possibly muster up the courage to sing those words. No matter how hard he tried, he just couldn’t; he was a man in chains. Though his towering, take-no-prisoners voice has for more than a decade inspired freedom in those with ears to hear, liberty didn’t ring true to him, even though his life had all the makings of it: he grew up in church, he sang in church, he found love in church, he led worship in church. You could say he became a man in church—outwardly, at least.


Hobbs’ fifth studio album, FREE, is an end-cap to a period in his life lived under the guise of freedom. With it, Hobbs is finally experiencing emancipation—from his past, from his pain, from his scars, from the illusion that he was a grown man when, in reality, he was still grappling with the demons of a childhood marred by sexual abuse. He finally has a story to tell: “For the first time in my life I’m very excited to talk about where I’ve been, where I am, and where I’m going,” Hobbs says.


The youngest of six siblings, Hobbs has been singing in church since he was 10 years old. Unlike other prodigies of gospel, though, his vocal gift wasn’t a product of endless hours of choir practice or Sunday performances; it just dawned on him that he could sing. “I had no working knowledge of the fact that I could sing,” Hobbs admits. “I wish I could make it more difficult, but I opened my mouth and I could sing. I never had formal training.”

 

 

 

 

 

 

 



 

 

 

 

 

 

Albums

  Name Artist Released  
Love Never Fails Chris McClarney 12/15/08
Defender Chris McClarney 08/10/10
Introducing Chris McClarney Chris McClarney 01/26/10