Sandra McCracken

Sandra Marie McCracken[1] (born June 16, 1977) is an independent singer-songwriter. She currently resides in Nashville, Tennessee. Drawing from folk, gospel, and hymn traditions, her music often weaves together storytelling and scripture.[2] McCracken is a founding member of the Indelible Grace artist collective based in Nashville.[3][non-primary source needed]

Sandra McCracken
Sandra McCracken performing in 2018
Sandra McCracken performing in 2018
Background information
Birth nameSandra Marie McCracken
Born (1977-06-16) June 16, 1977 (age 42)
OriginSt. Louis, Missouri, United States
GenresAmericana, folk, gospel music
Occupation(s)Singer, songwriter
Years active1999–present
LabelsShell, Towhee
Associated actsDerek Webb, Caedmon's Call, Indelible Grace


As a singer-songwriter, McCracken has penned and co-written songs for Caedmon's Call (on albums In the Company of Angels, Back Home, and Overdressed) as well as for Derek Webb's solo release, She Must and Shall Go Free, BiFrost Arts recordings, All Sons & Daughters, Audrey Assad and others. McCracken has recorded ten studio albums of her own.

McCracken and Derek Webb performing at the Grey Eagle in Asheville, NC on November 6, 2007.

McCracken grew up in St. Louis, Missouri and attended Westminster Christian Academy. As a child McCracken, would harmonize in the church choir, accompany groups on the piano, sing solos in church, and write new hymns for her congregation to sing.[4] McCracken began her musical career shortly after graduating from Belmont University, in 1999. She independently released two albums, The Crucible and Gypsy Flat Road in 2000, and 2001 respectively.

In late 2003, McCracken recorded Best Laid Plans with engineer, Ray Kennedy (Twang Trust) and world-renowned producer, Peter Collins.[5] In mid-2004, McCracken signed the album to Shell Records in London, headed by UK music business legend, Dave Robinson. Shell released the album in the UK, followed by two radio singles, "Last Goodbye" and "No More Tears," which received significant airplay and attention across England, Scotland, Wales and Ireland.[6]

In 2005, McCracken released The Builder and the Architect, an album of hymns.[7] The same team that worked on Best Laid Plans came together again in February 2006 to record album number five, Gravity / Love which was released in September 2006.[citation needed] In 2010, McCracken released In Feast or Fallow, another album of hymns, recorded at her home studio in East Nashville.[8][9]

In addition to her solo recordings, she co-founded the children's music collective, Rain for Roots, in 2012, with fellow singer-songwriters Ellie Holcomb, Katy Bowser, and Flo Paris. This collective have released three albums, Big Stories for Little Ones—with lyrics written by British author Sally Lloyd-JonesThe Kingdom of Heaven Is Like This, and Waiting Songs.

Desire Like Dynamite, released in February 2013,[10] explores deeper dimensions of sound and grace.[11]

On April 17, 2014, Sandra McCracken and her then husband fellow singer-songwriter Derek Webb, announced that their marriage was coming to an end after thirteen years due to Webb's extramarital affair.[12][13]

McCracken performing in July 2015

In 2015, McCracken's Psalms album was released without a label, and it charted No. 18 on the Billboard Americana/Folk charts.[14] This critically acclaimed release marked a shift in McCracken's music as she began writing songs for people to sing together.[4] After releasing Psalms, McCracken toured and co-wrote significantly with the Grammy-winning Christian duo All Sons & Daughters.

In 2016, she released God's Highway and it placed No. 49 in the Billboard Heatseekers Chart upon release.[15] It went on to reach No. 20 on the Billboard Americana/Folk charts.[16]

In 2017 she began writing a column on spirituality and creativity for Christianity Today. The same year, McCracken published the Steadfast podcast where she held conversations with guests including Cason Cooley, Liz Vice, Peter Harris (founder of A Rocha), and James K. A. Smith.

McCracken lists her musical influences as Joni Mitchell, Emmylou Harris, Bob Dylan, Tom Petty[17] and Johnny Cash.[18] Her songs have been recorded by All Sons & Daughters, Audrey Assad, Bifrost Arts, Caedmon's Call and others,[19][unreliable source?] and her music has been featured by ABC's Grey's Anatomy.[20][unreliable source?]


Studio albums

  • 2000 – The Crucible
  • 2001 – Gypsy Flat Road
  • 2004 – Best Laid Plans
  • 2005 – The Builder and the Architect
  • 2006 – Gravity / Love
  • 2008 – Ampersand EP (with Derek Webb)
  • 2008 – Red Balloon
  • 2010 – In Feast or Fallow
  • 2011 – TN EP (with Derek Webb)
  • 2013 – Desire Like Dynamite[21]
  • 2015 – Psalms[22]
  • 2016 – God's Highway
  • 2018 – Songs from the Valley
  • 2019 – Christmas

Live albums

  • 2009 – Live Under Lights and Wires
  • 2017 – Steadfast Live

With Rain for Roots

  • 2012 – Big Stories for Little Ones (with Ellie Holcomb, Katy Bowser, Flo Paris, words by Sally Lloyd-Jones)
  • 2014 – The Kingdom of Heaven is Like This (with Ellie Holcomb, Katy Bowser, Flo Paris)
  • 2015 – Waiting Songs (with Katy Bowser and Flo Paris)

Notes and referencesEdit

  1. ^ American Society of Composers, Authors and Publishers. "Almighty God Work ID: 886831052 ISWC: T9140398330". American Society of Composers, Authors and Publishers. Retrieved April 19, 2015. Work ID: 886831052 ISWC: T9140398330
  2. ^ "Nashville's McCracken to perform at church". Rochelle News-Leader. Retrieved April 2, 2019.
  3. ^ "Sandra McCracken – Indelible Grace Hymnbook". Retrieved April 2, 2019.
  4. ^ a b News, C. C. M. (August 25, 2016). "Sandra McCracken – 'God's Highway,' Sep. 9". CCM Magazine. Retrieved April 2, 2019.
  5. ^ Best Laid Plans. Archived March 12, 2007, at the Wayback Machine Sandra Retrieved January 22, 2007
  6. ^ Best Laid Plans. Retrieved January 22, 2007.
  7. ^ Tony Cummings (August 29, 2017). "Sandra McCracken: A live experience blending worship and performance". Cross Rhythms. Retrieved November 12, 2019.
  8. ^ Liner Notes, In Feast or Fallow
  9. ^ " Sandra McCracken: In Feast Or Fallow: Music". Retrieved March 2, 2015.
  10. ^ " Desire Like Dynamite: Sandra McCracken: MP3 Downloads". Retrieved March 2, 2015.
  11. ^ "McCracken, Sandra". Retrieved March 25, 2017.
  12. ^ "DEREK WEBB". Retrieved March 2, 2015.
  13. ^ "Derek Webb, Sandra McCracken's Divorce Announcement Rocks Christian Music Community". HuffPost. Retrieved March 2, 2015.
  14. ^ "Sandra McCracken Psalms Chart History". Billboard. Retrieved April 2, 2019.
  15. ^ "Sandra McCracken – Chart history – Billboard". Retrieved March 27, 2017.
  16. ^ "Sandra McCracken God's Highway Chart History". Billboard. Retrieved April 2, 2019.
  17. ^ News, C. C. M. (August 25, 2016). "Sandra McCracken – 'God's Highway,' Sep. 9". CCM Magazine. Retrieved April 2, 2019.
  18. ^ Davis, Cara. Sandra McCracken: No Shortcuts Archived October 8, 2007, at the Wayback Machine. Radiant Magazine. Retrieved January 22, 2007.
  19. ^ "Welcome". Sandra McCracken. Retrieved April 2, 2019.
  20. ^ "Grey's Anatomy" Lay Your Hands on Me (TV Episode 2008) – IMDb, retrieved April 2, 2019
  21. ^ Hyde, Oscar (January 2, 2014). "Review: Desire Like Dynamite – Sandra McCracken". Cross Rhythms. Retrieved December 23, 2015.
  22. ^ Attmore, Joy (December 22, 2015). "Review: Psalms: Sandra McCracken". Cross Rhythms. Retrieved December 23, 2015.

External linksEdit