Soul-Junk formed in the mid-'90s while singer/guitarist Glen Galloway was gradually pulling out of Trumans Water (who soon moved to Portland). "One day, [Soul-Junk] drove from Louisville to DC, and I read the whole gospel of Luke start to finish. The next day we drove from DC to Chapel Hill, and I read the book of Acts start to finish. For the next three days, I heard God telling me it was time to leave Trumans and start a gospel band. Which was crazy because lots of what I was writing at that time were seven-minute spazz/noise freakouts. Gospel seemed like the furthest thing away. All of a sudden God started giving me the songs. They were gospel. But they were weird and raw and not like any other gospel songs. So I told the rest of the band I was leaving. I did one more European tour right after that, and then left and started Soul-Junk."
Essentially a one-man band, Soul-Junk's "scripturally informed" guitar rock wasn't automatically embraced by fellow Christians.
"Just got kicked off the lectern at a worship song summit," rapped Galloway on "3PO Soul" on the band's 2000 CD titled 1956:
"My hymns all plummet, cuz church ladies still can't hum it
But the Kingdom of God? Yo I'm from it
Man's religion gave me a fake red light so
I'ma have to run it..."
"I think Soul-Junk is in the process of leaving a legacy that will probably be more valued after they are gone," summarized Brian Flechtner of the Oregon-based label Quiver Society!, which released 1959. He appreciates Soul-Junk's ongoing evolution, as well as Galloway's ability to remain diverse and experimental. "I used to go to a church that sang from the old 'Psalter'...the Puritan approach to singing the psalms can be quite somber."
Galloway is the sole performer on 1959, except for some charming vocals from four-year-old daughter Mila. "I like that it's different from anything I've ever done before," he says. "It's also very deep in terms of the spirit for me. After hearing these songs 300 or 400 times, I still hear the inspiration behind them much louder than the mechanics of recording them.
"I'd love to eventually record the whole Bible in a way people could listen to over and over," he says. "I've already done it for myself on microcassette/MP3, but it's chipmunk ultra-midrange voice-only-phonic. [It] reminds me of stuff I recorded when I was 14, ping-ponging back and forth between two Radio Shack portable cassette players. Sounds good in concept, but I'm looking to make this whole thing melt-in-your-mouth yummy rather than hard work in any way. My gauge is if listening seems like work or fun. While I was recording the Psalms, everyone who heard them asked for a copy. That's what it's supposed to be."
The musical renditions of Genesis and half of Exodus were the first posted on the Soul-Junk site. In 2012, Galloway co-founded a new band called Octa#grape.