September 24, 2008
Yes, these are my favorites.
With Fred on vacation, I was asked to lead worship for our mid-week prayer service – my wife is joining me on keys. That night we’re having a special night of extended worship with the INSIDE OUT BAND, then Thursday evening rehearsal for “Big Church”, then sliding into home-plate on Sunday morning! Add in all the planning, extra home rehearsal, and minor arranging, and you’ve got a whole week of working on both of my favorite things: God & music.
This is going to be a GOOD WEEK.
Thank you, Jesus!
September 21, 2008
In one sense, I’ve not always been a musician, but in that sense, no one has. However, my very earliest memories – sitting on an old couch in my living room in South Western Ohio listening to “Abbey Road” by the Beatles with my folks – have left me ruined for much thought of a life without it. My lonely years as the awkward child in elementary school were comforted by the Beatles, and eventually the Police and Tears for Fears, singing to myself while swinging, often alone, on the swings at recess. Those led to my ‘suicidal years’ – and who doesn’t want to kill themselves at least some time between 7th & 10th grade – when I was comforted and befriended by Pink Floyd, and their vast catalogue of psychedelia. Sure, I did the ‘piano lessons’ thing for a time, but I think I dropped those by the 3rd grade. Through it all, I wrote – I have probably a hundred pages of songs I had written – melody & lyrics – during those formidable years. When I first turned 15, however, I was thrown into the fire…
My grandfather had been in a mental institution since forever. I never met him. Not too long after my grandmother’s best friend died, her widowed husband moved in with her – they lived right next door. He played guitar – WELL! Late one evening after I had finished my homework I took to the path behind our house and went to grandma’s. That’s when I held my first guitar…this one:
A Chet Atkins Gretch – one of the first electric guitars to have a tremelo bar. Even better, this was CHET ATKINS OWN GUITAR, now owned by his brother, Buddy, who was my grandma’s live-in’s jammin’ partner! For the next year or more I ran next door nightly to learn the basics from someone of his generation: “Wabash Canonball” & “Blue moon of Kentucky”, for starters. The infatuation with guitars took hold of me so deep that I volunteered to take over as songwriter/manager/background vocalist for a local highschool metal band with a lot of turn-over. It wasn’t long until it was my band, and I was the lead singer and primary songwriter, when weren’t covering Bon Jovi (remember, they rocked once), Scorpions, Irons Maiden, Motley Cru, or Slayer. Eventually we all ended up Christians, and the lyrical content changed significantly, but that’s another story. Next, I bought my own guitar…
Mine was actually far uglier: pink snakeskin, with gold accessories. A true glam-metal axe if there ever were one. What I find even more interesting is the sales associate who sold me on it: at the time he was on break from his primary gig, and was simply working at a guitar shop & singing lead for the local band The Bears (who rocked, I should add). However, his name was Adrian, and his primary ‘gig’ was as a world-famous producer, and the lead singer/guitarist of King Crimson. Oddly enough, my musical tastes would soon shift, and that guitar played far more music by the Cure, U2, and the Church (bring on the delay!) than it ever did metal. Odd.
Of course, this was still only the beginning… more to come.
September 17, 2008
I’m sorry for the lack of real content as of late. One would think that being without a full-time job would amount to having a great deal of free time. One would be WRONG! Between catching up on my honey-do list from the Summer (having pulled 80+ hours a week this Summer, I didn’t do much around the house), entirely redesignig my home studio (Dear Jesus, please let me finish it up today!), and trying to start a new ministry, I’ve been surprisingly busy. The bummer is, that leaves me not only little to no time to blog, but even less time to, well, make money. I’m open to creative suggestions, particularly ones that involve me doing what I’m passionate about, and gettting paid to do it – namely, various combinations of God & music.
September 6, 2008
I wouldn’t be lying if I said – which I will, and am about to – that I have checked iTunes at least weekly since I discovered it (about 4 years ago now) for literally ANYTHING by the great Australian alternative rock band, Midnight Oil. Known best for their 80s mega-hit “Beds are Burning“, most do not know, however, that lead singer Peter Garrett is not only a former surfer, and a social activist, but also a Christian, and currently serving full-time in the various areas of the political sphere down-under. As some have asked; “Do you remember what it was like to listen to music with a message?” Midnight Oil were like the Australian U2 – and fans of the Cure, the Church, the Clash, or the formerly mentioned kings of Anthemic Brit-rock should most definitely explore their catalog.
If you’re going to be scanning singles, check out; “Beds are Burning”, “Blue Sky Mine”, “Dreamworld”, “Underwater”, “Jimmy Sharman’s Boxers”, “King of the Mountain”, “Golden Age”, & “Forgotten Years”. Here’s hoping that Midnight Oil return to the music business soon! ENJOY!
September 2, 2008
appearing live on the air – tonight – on the Lighthouse, WECC 89.3 @ 6:30PM!
July 15, 2008
In all seriousness, it’ s been a strange week. Though I never knew her personally (I had seen her before, but I don’t believe we’d ever met), we had a number of friends in common, and as it has many others, her music moved me deeply. Having followed her battle against cancer this past year or so, it really hit me hard yesterday to learn of the loss of Katie Reider. Apparently, there were many others her life and music touched as well, for it was the highest number of blog readers I’ve had since I started publishing my thoughts online several years ago (on Xanga – does anyone use Xanga anymore?). My prayers go out to her closest friends and family.
On the other side of the coin, I guess you’d call yesterday “bittersweet” – the source of my new-found “fame” (though I hope, in fact, that it expresses God’s fame): I’m excited to announce that my article “WORTHY” is being featured at TheWorshipCommunity.com, an new online Worship ‘magazine’ which facilitates discussion and community among worship leaders & worship musicians who are “in the trenches”, as some have said – those who are leading their congregations in worship in churches around the world every Sunday. I’ve made some wonderful connections, and new friends, during the time that TWC was merely an online forum, and I’m excited to see it grow, and take the obvious next step into a full-blown online publication. I’m also honored to have the featured article this week. Please swing by, read it, and be encouraged to comment!
Lastly, it was a good evening because I can see the release of Saint Lewis’ “Songs from the Hope Farm” e.p. immediately on the horizon. Very late last night my wife & I were putting the finishing touches on one of her originals, and it just excites me to see this small sampler (all of these songs – albeit more professionally mixed versions – will also be featured on our full-length c.d. expected early next year) of original worship material come together, and I’ve been really blessed by the positive feedback we’ve received on many of our songs these past few months. A very limited edition printing of the e.p. will be ready very soon, but until then please stop by our website-in-the-making: Saint Lewis Music.
May God’s blessings be evident, & His Spirit be near…
July 14, 2008
Today is a sad day for earth, and a happy day for Katie. Please pray for her family & close friends. She is indeed a voice that will be missed.