She doesn't consider herself a worship songwriter, yet it was a song that she penned in 1995 that made Marie Barnett a household name in the worship community. The wife of well-known worship leader and songwriter John Barnett, Marie has been involved in the modern worship movement from its infancy, singing and leading worship at numerous churches and conferences over the years as well as singing at her local church. It was during one of those local church worship sets that the song "Breathe" was born.
"We had been singing 'Isn't He' by John Wimber," Marie remembers, "and my husband continued to play. I was so enthralled with Jesus at that moment, thinking I could never live, I could never even take a breath if I didn't have a word from Him every day. And so I heard those words - "this is the air I breathe, this is my daily bread" - and I started singing them."
"Breathe" would go on to become one of the most-played worship songs in churches around the world and would be recorded by numerous artists, including Michael W. Smith and Rebecca St. James. In fact, in 2002, "Breathe" was named most recorded song of the year by ASCAP (American Society of Composers, Authors and Publishers).
Marie has continued to lead worship with her husband John and has explored a more earthy sound these days. Perhaps it was their recent move to the wide open spaces of Montana that inspired the homespun vibe of her new project, Heaven Came Down.
Heaven Came Down is infused with the sounds of folk, bluegrass and country blended with introspective lyrics and Marie's emotional vocals. The result is an album of songs, recorded at the Barnetts' Montana ranch, that seem to simultaneously reach for the heavens, yet stay grounded here on earth. Friend and label-mate Ryan Delmore lends his voice to several tracks.