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Improving Musicianship | Inspiring Talent

Chrissy Shefts
The Passion of Playing

Product
Review:
PRS Sweet 16
Guitar Amp Head
Disciple
An Interview with Kevin Young
JAN/FEB 2011
Volume 16, Issue 1 Selective Hearing:
01 Phil Keaggy Trio
John Francis • Third Day
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THe STrInG experTS
Features
9 Bassic Communication
Intro to Solo Bass
CONTENTS
Arranging (Part 3)
10 Drumming Dynamics
A Good Teacher is Interviews
Priceless 20 Ricky Skaggs
The Day the Press 11 Vocal Coach’s Corner
Eight Days A Week
Where Musical
Tributaries Flow
Machines Stood Still…
For one day recently the presses stopped at my printer in Tacoma,
12 Guitar Workshop
New Year’s
WA. The patriarch of the family business at J&D Printing – John Vitz- Resolutions?
thum, was laid to rest at 79 years old. 14 Show Us Your
I first met John when I moved from Southern California to Puyal- Groove
lup, WA in 1989. I was out mowing a large lawn on the corner house Giving 100% in
that my first wife Teri and I had just moved into and my little lawn Music, Ministry
mower and I were getting quite a work out filling several yard bags full
& Life
of cut grass. John lived kitty-corner from us across the street and he
ambled over to me and said, “Would you like to borrow my mower?
16 Product Review
It will get the job done easier”. I reached out my hand and introduced PRS Sweet 16 Guitar
myself to him. His wife Delores and Amplifier Head
John became good neighbors and 18 Product Review
friends. I have known them for over 20 UAD-2 Quad DSP
years now. Accelerator Package 30 Disciple
I soon found out he and several of 26 Selective Hearing An Interview
his sons ran a print shop he had start- John Francis with Kevin Young
ed in Tacoma years before. Little did I
Phil Keaggy
know then, that just a few years later,
I would start this magazine and they
Trio
would be my printer for 16 years and Third Day
counting. The relationship a publisher 34 Ask Joe
has with his printer is vital. The way 37 Guitar From
that J&D Printing has taken A2Z
care of us, with two magazines, Multi-task
our Christian Musician Sum- Harmonized
mit programs and our concert promotion materials has been Scales
stellar… coupled with their trademark generosity and integrity.
38 Essential Music
They are a Christian based business that has gone the extra mile
for us quite often.
Theory for the
When Teri passed away due to pancreatic cancer Delores Christian Musician 42 Chrissy
would show up at dinner time bringing over hot meals for my 10 Steps to Effective Shefts
sons and I. After John’s funeral service I leaned over to Delores Practicing The Passion
and told her, “I owe you a few hot meals”. 39 Do You Know What’s of Playing
Judy and I just live within two blocks of John and Delores’ Wrong
house. They were married for an amazing 55 years and have With Your Song?
been part of a local church family here in Puyallup for decades. 46 CODA
I will always remember John for his helpful attitude and
Community: Life Blood
sense of humor. He had a great laugh that you could recognize
anywhere. Judy knew John as a man with a quiet strength and
for the Songwriter
a work ethic that reminded her of her own father Elmer (who
went to be with the Lord over a year and a half ago to pancreatic

Christian Musician
cancer as well). Also both John and Elmer served in the Korean
conflict and we give honor to them both for serving our country.
When Delores was asked how she was holding up she
answered, “The anchor holds”. What a wonderful statement of
faith. 4227 S. Meridian, Suite C PMB #275, Puyallup Washington 98373
So to John we would say, “Rest in peace friend – you will Phone: 253.445.1973 Fax: 253.655.5001
be missed here in Puyallup by all who knew you… but we look Email: bruce@christianmusician.com
forward to a heavenly meeting on the other side. Oh yeah, and Website: www.christianmusician.com
thanks for all of those Seattle Mariner’s tickets over the years!” Editor & President: Bruce Adolph
Judy and I would request that you Vice President: Judy Adolph, judy@christianmusician.com
keep Delores, her family and my favor- Customer Service: Brian Felix, brian@christianmusiciansummit.com
ite printer in prayer. Thank you! Street Team: Mike Adolph, Jesse Hill & Caj
Layout: Matt Kees Accounting: Debi Davis
In His Grip… Advertising Sales: bruce@christianmusician.com
Bruce & Judy Published by the Adolph Agency Inc.
7
Spreading the Word
“Players at my clinics and concerts are
always floored by the tone, punch,
clarity and headroom of my GK.”

Norm Stockton
Lincoln Brewster

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POWER TO GROOVE
www.gallien.com
Intro to Solo Bass Arranging (Part 3)

Let’s get back to our introductory look at instructional DVD or Level 1 of my online liberties if you are so inclined! I preferred the
solo arranging for bass! courses (or any other resource you can find sound of G#- in this particular version…but
I hope you’ve had a chance to immerse that illuminates basic diatonic harmony in a if it irks you, feel free to rebel and create your
yourself in the past few installments of Bassic practical and understandable way). own version using E/G#. :^)
Communication as we’ve focused on the Anyway, you’ll notice that the chord Get your head and ears around this and
melody & harmony that will lay the ground- motion for the first measure is very “hymn- we’ll start working up our actual solo bass
work for our pending arrangement of the esque” in it’s chord-change-every-note ap- arrangement next time!
traditional Christmas tune, Angels We Have proach. Those of you who are starting to con- (Adapted from curriculum in the Grooving
Heard On High (Gloria). vulse just a bit (as you reflect on your years for Heaven instructional DVDs)
We’ll be looking at the 2nd part of the of reading down hymns on Sunday morning
chorus section this time. The last time we while attempting to make them groove) – Norm Stockton is a bassist/clinician/solo artist
were together, we focused on the familiar, please hang in there…it’s actually kinda cool based in Orange County, CA. He spends much
“Gloooooooo-ria” part, so today we’ll be this time…in a “traditional Christmas tune” of his time touring and
covering the “in excelsis Deo” line that fol- way. :^) recording with worship
lows it. The 2nd measure resumes our earlier con- artist Lincoln Brewster, but
For those of you just joining us, by the vention of changing chords on the ½-note. his 2nd solo project (“Tea In
way, you’ll find both the default applicable Those of you who’ve had some experience The Typhoon”) has been

Bassic Communication
scale and the intervals found in the melody
(relative to the underlying chord) in the text
with arranging will probably notice that the
G#- chord we’ll be utilizing on those first
receiving widespread acclaim
from media around the

Intro to Solo Bass Arranging (Part 3)
above the staff. If you have any questions two beats is commonly an inversion of the world. Visit Norm at www.normstockton.
about any of this, I encourage you to check I chord (E/G#) instead. That’s the beauty of com and on Facebook & Twitter for much
out either the mode section from my 2nd arranging a piece – you can take some artistic bass-related info and fun. While there, be sure to
check out his blog (The GrooveSpot) and register
for his e-newsletter (the groove update) for tips,
Melodic/Harmonic Analysis: Chorus (2nd Section) interviews, clinic invites, exclusive discount
"Angels We Have Heard On High" (Trad. Christmas Carol) prices, and more.

Chordal Walk-Up Arr. Norm Stockton
E Ionian, F# Dorian,
G# Phrygian, A Lydian G# Phrygian B Mixolydian
"Roots" "Root" "5"

   
E F#- G#- A G#- B
    


13 14 13
14 16 16

© 2009 Stocktones Music
9
A Good Teacher is Priceless

The other day I was cleaning and I ran struction is priceless. I want to encourage you David currently tours with
across a notebook filled with my old les- all to find that perfect teacher and continue Fernando Ortega and has
son plans from my days of instruction with to keep growing and learning no matter what worked with Sara Groves,
Richard Wilson. I was amazed at some of your age or ability. Bebo Norman, Crystal
the exercises he created for me. Richard had Below are a few of the exercises Richard Lewis, Cheri Keaggy, Tommy
the ability to push me to places I couldn’t produced for me. Each lesson plan was hand Walker, Paul Baloche among
imagine. written, created on the spot and always very others. He has played for Billy and Franklin
Finding a teacher that opens you up to different from the last. He had the ability Graham Crusades, Harvest Crusades, Maranatha
new ideas, encourages you and helps guide to find was to challenge me over and over Worship Leader Workshops and for over 2 years
you to new musical frontiers is the best way again. I hope you enjoy this small sample of he was the house drummer for the Los Angeles
to improve quickly. Richard did all of that the hundreds of exercises I have from old les- production of The Lion King. His home church is
for me. I think it is safe to say I would not be sons. I hope to someday get them all neatly Plymouth Church in Whittier, California. www.
a professional drummer if it were not for his notated like these. Richard passed away years DaveOwensDrums.com
guidance. He changed the way I played drums back but what he taught me will always stay
and the way I thought musically. with me.
There is so much we can learn these days Blessings, David
just using the internet but one on one in-

A    
                                     or
            or
R L R L R R L L R L R L R L R L L R R L R L R L R L R R L R R L R L R L R L L R L L R L
L R L R L L R R L R L R L R L R R L L R L R L R L R L L R L L R L R L R L R R L R R L R
                
 
   
                                    or
            or
R L R L R R L R L L R L R L R L L R L R R L R L R L R R L R L R R L R L R L L R L R L L
L R L R L L R L R R L R L R L R R L R L L R L R L R L L R L R L L R L R L R R L R L R R
               
 
B
                      
                  
 
 LR R L LR R L L R RL L R RL L R R L LR R L RL L R RL L R R L LR R L LR R L L R RL L R
          
 
C            
                   
  
                   
 
LR L L R R L R R L L R RL R R L LR L R RL R R L L R L L R R L LR L L R RL R L
       
10
Awhile back I read Michael Gladwell’s
book entitled Outliers. It was a fascinating
read and well worth my time and money.
Eight Days A Week
One of its many stories discussed the Beatles
performing experiences while based in Ham-
burg, Germany. This intriguing story got me wasn’t concentrating! Her eyes told the whole All singers crave that feeling and want it for
thinking about vocal performance and what story. She was looking up, down, left, right, every song they sing.
is required to really get good at it. zig-zagging and examining the ceiling. She Achieving this maximum successful per-
During the time that I pondered the did everything but concentrate and focus on formance skill is not without risk. Getting up
performance question, a young lady came her vocal performance. She didn’t win, again. on the stage itself is a risk. But that is when
into my teaching studio that simply wanted At the next lesson we went to work on people perform. They have a singing ability,
to get better as a singer. We worked together this issue. The first thing we did was focus work hard at it, and want to unleash its fury.
a few weeks when she came in and informed her eyes on a single point as she sang. That This is why singers must sing. They need to
me that she was entering a singing contest. was very difficult but when I felt she could find out how much they can achieve through
We prepared a piece of music, worked on it, control her eyes a bit, we moved to three communicating emotion with an audience.
and decided to go with it. When she arrived points, left, center, and right. That was not To discuss the Beatles again consider that
at the contest site, she promptly froze up. easy for her to do either. But she finally got in Germany they performed two hundred
She started to weep and could not enter the things under control, and promptly entered seventy six times in a year and a half. When
building. It wasn’t going to happen. But then another singing contest. She did not win that they performed it was for eight hours at a
she saw one of her classmates go in and that one either. Was she failing? Hardly. She has session doing cover tunes, jazz and many
caused a change of thought. This charged kept at it and just a few weeks ago performed other styles. Most bands today don’t perform
her competitive juices and she dried up the at her schools talent show and won it as a that many hours in a career let alone with
tears, entered the building, sang her song, freshman. Then three weeks later, she audi- multiple styles.
and finished third; two places in front of her tioned and got the lead role in the school Are you like my student, ready to work
classmate. musical. She didn’t quit but she did add some harder, I mean much harder? Are you ready
What happened? Why the melt down? performance practice to her schedule. to do eight hour gigs like the Beatles? What
There was nothing in the building that was Successful vocal performance rests primar- do you want to attain in the area of vocal
going to hurt her. I doubt that there were any ily on how singers think. Think correctly and performance? I’ll leave it up to you and the
of the judges who wanted her to sing terribly the appropriate action will result. You must Lord. Now go sing well!
and fail. So what was it? Her brain started to think well during the actual singing perfor-
go way off track and created thoughts that mance. Proper thinking during a vocal perfor- Roger Beale is one of the nation’s foremost vocal
were terrifying and untrue. I wonder if we mance is a very real skill. And keep in mind coaches. His teaching and coaching facility, The
had taken her pulse if it would of have been that vocal technique and performance are not Voice House, is involved
in the plus 150 range. Who knows? What the two separate things. They exist together. in the management and
student needed and received was a stimulus Performance is perhaps one of the few care of the professional
that directed her thoughts to the task at hand times in a person’s life that they are totally in voice. Many of his students
and that was seeing her classmate walking in. the moment. It is now! That is why some of have won prestigious
Sometimes it doesn’t take much. my collegiate singers, after their junior and vocal competitions and
After this episode, the student was in senior recitals, come up to me and exclaim, scholarships. In addition, he has worked with
several more contests and didn’t place in any “It seemed to go by in an instant.” In their Grammy and Dove award winners and nominees.
of them. She was taking it in stride but was mind, maybe, but not the audience’s. They He also offers vocal clinics and seminars, as
somewhat frustrated and couldn’t commu- were in the present, the now! It was an in- well as assistance in recording sessions. Roger
nicate what was happening very well. Well, tense time in their life. is founder and host of the Christian Singers
this summer she invited me to observe her in The only reason a person sings is to com- Workshop (www.christiansingersworkshop.
another one of her contests. Yeah, she does a municate the meaning of the song. Singers com), dedicated to the teaching of contemporary
bunch of them. I decided to go and observe must trust their vocal training and let it take and commercial vocal techniques. Roger can be
her in this competitive environment. over during the performance, so they can contacted at: voicehouse@mindspring.com, web
As soon as she took the stage it was apply all of their mental energy to commu- site: www.thevoicehouse.com.
absolutely obvious what was happening. She nicate the essence or meaning of the song.
11
New Year’s Resolutions?

I’m not sure exactly why it is that we interest in art and our abilities to create enough’ for God anyway. That’s why He
pick January as the prescribed time to re- it are like little embedded pieces of God sent Jesus. Truly, we’re fortunate that He
evaluate our lives and make ‘new year’s’ Himself inside of us. And if He truly lives puts up with us at all. Certainly, the least
resolutions. The truth is that we should in our hearts, our art will tend to be a lot we can do is offer Him the best sacrifices
continually be examining ourselves, like His art. Look at His creations - the we can. The beauty is that the more we
making adjustments and setting goals. beauty of nature, the brilliant order of put into our art and the less selfish we
If we only pick one goal and make one things, the miracle of life, the range and are with it, the more our attitudes will
resolution per year, we’re not going to depth of emotions, the relationship mod- line up with God’s and the happier we
grow or change very much, are we? Also, els He has shown us of love and peace become at being who we are and doing
by picking one BIG goal for the year, and kindness. God’s art reflects who God what we do.
we often set ourselves up for failure. By is. These very attributes will show up in My personal goal this year, and I
setting smaller goals more often, we are a our art too if we are following Him. And hope you’ll make it yours too, is to
lot more likely to reach our goals. if our art points to and offers worship stamp out mediocrity in music, most
We have to first of all realize that to Him, the Word says that he actually especially church music. God deserves
we are a fallen people in need of a lot comes and ‘inhabits our praise.’ He lives more. Meditate on it. Really listen to
of change. And the changes we need in our worship! This gift we have as art- what you’re hearing at church. Learn to
the most don’t have much to do with ists cannot be taken for granted. It needs loathe the mundane and yearn for some-
losing weight (although that is a goal of to be used to its full potential, which I thing more, something better. Search
mine this year) or with improving our think pleases God. A lot. There is one rub high and low for song lyrics that have
financial status (though most of us could to this inspirational pep-talk though, and something to say. Look for melodies and
certainly use a little of that, considering that is that we are in charge of actually chords and rhythms that help communi-
our recent economic state). The truth developing the talents that God gives us. cate those lyrics with passion. Can’t find
is that our most significant voids often In order to sing or play music well, them? Look harder - or write your own
lie in the areas of the need for truth and as in any other art form, we must study songs. Study to improve on your par-
goodness and love and forgiveness. We and learn and practice and develop skills. ticular instrument and in your particular
desperately need all these things that In music, we first need to sense pitch group role. Get out a pad and pencil and
only God can provide. Even the secular and time and form. We then need to write down an outline as to what you
idea of ‘essential needs’ (food, water, understand the theory behind all of it, can do to get better. Start doing it today.
shelter, etc.) are ultimately provided by the hows and whys of music, so we can Be an inspiration to others, the spark
God. In order to establish worthy goals continue to grow. We have to practice that makes your entire worship com-
and to attain them, we must rely on God scales and build chords and develop munity glow. Bring life to the music at
for the very inspiration and the strength coordination. And, as much as we fight church so that all can be inspired. Praise
it takes to accomplish them. In the end, against it, we need to also be able to read the Lord with all you’ve got!
all our forward strides originate and are music (often in two or three forms). We
granted by Him and, hopefully, come to need to develop our ability to create mu- Have you seen John’s free
glorify Him. sic beyond just singing or playing a song. ‘Praise Guitar Lessons’
All the disciplines of art (music, the- We should also experiment with writing online yet? Go to CCLI TV
ater, dance, painting, and many more) and arranging music. We should experi- and start the weekly lessons
are examples of creativity and energy. ence a wide variety of musical styles and today. And make sure to look
They all reflect the artist’s view of life - become proficient at all of them. We over John’s calendar at www.
and they are meant for the purpose of need to grow in ability, continuing to praiseguitar.com to find an
sharing with others. As artists in God’s beef up our ‘chops’ and develop our mu- event near you where you can hear him live.
kingdom, I believe we are called to reflect sical tastes for as long as we live, never
Him to the world. If you think of God being satisfied that we’re ‘good enough.’
as the ultimate Creator and Artist, our Our sacrifices are actually never ‘good
12
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Baton Rouge USA • www.presonus.com
Giving 100% in
Music, Ministry & Life
It’s a blessing to all and realizing it wasn’t as glamorous as she and I have had the opportunity to travel to
when God allows us to thought. Turkey, Syria and Egypt and lead worship at
shift our passion from one So I’m on the bus doing a study by Henry Arab Christian Youth conferences. It’s better
thing to another. Matt & Blackaby called, “Knowing and Doing the than we could have ever dreamed and we get
Deanna Dolan do it beauti- Will of God”, because I was trying to figure to do it together.
fully! Strong marriage, out if I was crazy for thinking about leaving. I So how do we put 100% into our Mar-
sold out to Christ, diligent had spent most of my life pouring into my art riage, Ministry and Musicianship? We do it
in ministry and excep- to get to where I was and now I’m thinking because we love to and because we are called
tional musicians. They do of leaving. I have a degree but my whole life to. We are blessed to get to spend a lot of
everything with everything had been music. I’m about to get married and time doing the same activities together but
they have…full of passion, need to make a living but I’m 29 and can’t we make it a point to carve out quality time
excellence and love. Meet my friends… afford to start over and then I read about the throughout the week. We have to.
I first met Deanna back in the Summer call of Abram in Genesis 12:1-5… Ministry is a constant everyday thing
of 2002 while shopping for an apartment in “The Lord had said to Abram, ‘Leave your whether it’s shopping for groceries or wor-
Franklin, TN. She was a leasing agent while country, your people and your father’s house- shipping on Sunday morning and the more
at the same time, a successful and incredible hold and go to the land I will show you.’ you are in the Word, praying and seeking
Singer/Songwriter pursuing a record deal and What if Abram didn’t take that next step God, the easier it is.
rubbing shoulders with musical giants. I was of faith? Leave your Country? Leave every- Finally, Music is just part of our lives. I
a year and a half into my move to Nashville thing for what? You see, God will reveal the love playing drums and Deanna loves sing-
and had finally made it to the “Big Time” as a rest of the story as soon as we make the initial ing. And we do it more passionately now
drummer. About a month earlier, I had gone faith based decision to follow his instructions. than ever because there is purpose behind it.
on my first cattle call audition for a promi- I knew right then and there that I needed We are worshipping God, our creator! How
nent Country Artist and got the call to be the to leave this chapter in life and move to the can we not put 100% into practicing, rehears-
drummer. So, I finally had enough money next, whatever that was…so I quit the road. ing and worshipping on Sunday mornings!
to move to a nicer part of town and luckily What you don’t know up until now is This was and is our journey. What we have
Deanna was my leas- that Deanna was a learned so far is that we serve a God that does
ing agent. Muslim. I wish I could things above and beyond what we expect. He
So, why, after tell you her whole tes- takes us on paths that we don’t plan out but
3 years of traveling timony, but long story they turn out to be much better than anything
the world for free short, through the next we could plan ourselves. Following God 100%
making a great liv- year, she would convert is more than worth it and He deserves it all.
ing playing drums to Christianity and We hope that you will be encouraged to follow
in front of 50,000 her Palestinian Father Him 100% in your ministry, marriage and wor-
people did I decide would disown the fam- ship. Deanna and I both at one time imagined
to come off the ily because of it. we would be traveling the world playing and
road? I had spent After her conver- singing. We never knew that it would be
my entire life up to sion, her passion would together and to serve the true and living God.
this point pouring lead her away from the He works the desires of our hearts into a beau-
100% into my art to music industry and tiful work of art. The key is aligning our desires
achieve this and now full on into a ministry to His will. Yes sometimes it is a sacrifice but
after only 3 years I called MERGE that a sacrifice that we are happy to make. He will
was leaving? reaches out to Arab not give you more than you can handle and
Being a road musician is a lot of fun but refugees here in Tennessee. It is designed to we trust that.
at the same time it is extremely difficult for be the hands and feet of Christ to Muslims Taking leaps of faith and following Him
a Christian. We would play 100 shows per and to love them where they are, making sure is a great adventure. Its how we always want
year but once you factor in travel days on a they have the essentials in life such as toilet to live. It leaves us relying on Him fully to
bus, we were gone over 200 days out of the paper, ESL (English as a Second Language) accomplish all that He has called us to. God
year. This is not a good recipe for cultivat- classes, life skills and a friend. Through this calls us to love. Love him and love people.
ing a relationship not to mention the many process the fruit of her labor has seen other So in ministry, worship and marriage if you
temptations you’re faced with daily. I was on Muslims coming to Christ and being dis- are going forth in “love” that is giving one
a bus with 13 other personalities who didn’t cipled to be faithful followers of Jesus. hundred percent. To Him be the glory!
really have my best interest in mind and it At the same time, I currently work at the
became less fun as time went. Not only were same church using my college degree to head Matt is currently on staff as the Graphic
Deanna and I fighting over the phone about up the graphic design/video department. We Designer and Videographer at Grace Chapel
stuff that’s going on in the background but are also are heavily active on the worship in Franklin, TN. In addition he serves on
also I was becoming less a part of the band team. The interesting thing about all of this the worship team and has had the privilege
because I was separating myself from bus is that God has given us all the desires of our to perform around the world with various
life. A change had to happen if I wanted to heart. I literally, at one time or another, have Country and Christian artists. Deanna is
honor my future wife but more importantly wanted to do everything that I’ve done these currently the director of the MERGE (Meet-
God because up to this point I had only given last 35 years. I used to think that when God ing and Encouraging Refugees through Guidance
100% to my art. said that He would give me the desires of and Empowerment) ministry at Grace Chapel
At the same time, Deanna was getting a my heart, that meant I would be touring the in Franklin, TN. She also has the privilege of
chance to see behind the curtain of the music world at the top of the musical ladder, but serving on the worship team, leading wor-
industry and beginning to second-guess her He never says how long those desires will last ship for women’s ministry and has traveled
place in it. Was this really what she wanted until he has something new for us. I thought throughout the world leading people into
because she wasn’t liking what she saw my musical journey was done and it would worship. You can reach the Dolan’s at: Matt@
now be my hobby. But, since then, Deanna gracechapel.net & Deanna@gracechapel.net
14
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tones I was able to create, using all types of
roduct eview guitars and pickups. Driving the amp into dis-
tortion produced a very musical overdrive at

PRS Sweet 16 Guitar all Master Volume settings. PRS calls this their
Transparent Master Volume and I must agree

Amp Head by Joe Riggio
that the tones remain full sounding, with
very natural-sounding compression, even at
lower settings.
Clean tones are also pleasing, with the
Paul Reed Smith is one of the few guitar panel includes 2 speaker jacks and a 3-posi- Master Volume set high and the Volume set
companies to successfully compete for fame, tion speaker impedance switch. lower. This amp has just the right amount of
among the top manufacturers in the United power for a quiet stage volume, but still al-
States. A timeless and high quality product Out Of The Box lows the amp to breathe, without over-power-
has made them a common name in a market I thought it might be fun to put this amp ing the stage. The reverb sound really shines
that is heavily dominated by traditionally to the test, on the stage, right from the get- when the amp is set clean and responds
recognizable brands. After 25 years in the go. I was scheduled on the worship team for sweetly to the player’s touch.
industry PRS has, only recently, introduced 3 services, the following weekend, so I left the All three tone controls produced adjust-
a line of amplifiers. PRS chose amp builder/ amp sealed in the box, until then. I arrived ments that I wanted to hear and were very
designer Doug Sewell, whose circuits are well 5 minutes before rehearsal and opened the well suited to the guitars voice. The controls
known for their simplicity and purity, to box for the first time, right there on the stage also “stay put” and are not easily moved, if
create their long awaited line of tube amps, and plugged it in place of my usual 18 watt slightly bumped.
manufactured in their Stevensville, Maryland head, into a 2x12 cabinet with one Celes-
plant. The Sweet 16 model is one of the latest tion G12H30 and one Celestion Alnico Blue. Under The Hood
in the line and this month I had a chance to Daring, I know, but I thought this would be a A look into the aluminum chassis was
spend some quality time with one. great way to test how intuitive the amp might easily accessed by sliding it out of the back
be. I use a pedal board that includes three side of the meticulously-covered, solid-wood
Features/Layout different cabinet. The circuit is comprised of a
The Sweet 16 is a 16 watt, all-tube amp, combination of both
powered by a printed circuit
pair of 6V6 board and
output tubes, point-to-point
in the power wiring and is
section. These very cleanly
tubes have laid out. This
recently made is a huge plus
a come-back when it comes
after a long time to service
run of low- or repair the
powered amps amp. All of the
featuring tubes were of
EL84s have high qual-
been made ity and even
popular since included two
the late 80’s. USA-made vin-
They are the tage 12AT7’s,
power tube utilized in overdrive/distortion pedals, so impressive!
some classic circuits, such as Fender’s tweed I set the controls where I would nor-
Deluxe, from the 1950’s, as well as the Deluxe mally set them for a fairly clean sound, from Wrap It Up…
Reverb model. This is royal heritage and it’s the amp. The result was fantastic and I never The Sweet 16 produces nothing but sweet
no wonder that companies have been look- once re-tweaked anything on the amp. The tube guitar tones with very musical overdrive
ing to them, lately. The preamp section is all sound crew was sure to tell me how much and clean voices. It is not a high-gain amp,
tube, as well and utilizes two 12AX7 and two they loved the tone from the front of house. but works very well with pedals that are. It
12AT7 tubes. That’s always a good sign. is priced well into the hand-made-in-the-
The control layout is quite simple, but in- USA category, but is not as spendy as some.
cludes all that you need to dial in the type of Back At The Ranch I would be very pleased to call one my own.
tone you’re looking for, including; VOLUME, At home I was able to get more acquaint- Retail Price: $1,999
MASTER VOLUME, TREBLE/MIDDLE/BASS, ed with the different settings and capabilities http://www.prsguitars.com/sweet16/in-
REVERB and a mini BRIGHT switch. The rear of the amp. I was very pleased with all of the dex.html
16

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© 2011 PRS Guitars Photography by Marc Quigley
By Bruce Adolph

2011 marks Ricky’s 40th year
as a professional musician, and
this fourteen-time Grammy Award
winner continues to do his part
to lead the recent roots revival
in music. Known affectionately
today as bluegrass music’s official
ambassador he has released a
new project that stretches the
musical boundaries and then
some.
When we heard that he had
teamed up with one of our favorite
songwriter/guitarists/producers
– Gordon Kennedy – for this new
project - we knew it was time to
talk with Ricky.

Christian Musician: Your new And the way the lyrics were written I started out playing bluegrass in
album “Mosaic” has such a was an incredible way to express the 1950’s really (my dad bought
fresh sound to it. There is a lot the Word of God scripturally. And me my first mandolin when I was 5
of different instrumentation and to get it out there, in a way to years old) so in 1959 I was all set
musical styles to it. Would you call people, that didn’t offend. to play mandolin. My bluegrass
it a “New Grass” record? roots really go deep with me as
It was quite a departure for me, a foundational start. Really, all of
Ricky Skaggs: Well, I wouldn’t but it was something that I felt like the music I’ve ever done has been
quite say it is New Grass; it is I really wanted to jump out of the built on top of that.
definitely a new sound. I heard a boat into you know? It was a little
lot of these demos come in from nerving not really knowing how Then if I jet propel up into the
Gordon Kennedy and his writing people would take it… people that future, I guess it was in the late
team and I just knew it was had bought my bluegrass stuff for 1970’s that I had met Emmy Lou
something different you know? years. Harris up in Washington, D.C.

20
And Linda Ronstandt and people was a really great thing for me didn’t meet Gordon until the Bruce
like that, and they really loved to do because it allowed me to Hornsby record that Bruce and
the fact that I had this tremendous record the kind of music that I I did together. Gordon wrote a
history (almost a walking Webster’s wanted to record without having song and turned it in to us called
Dictionary) for bluegrass, old time to argue with 20 people sitting “Come on Out With Your Hands
mountain music and gospel songs around a boardroom table. They Up.” It was a song that he and Phil
and that kind of stuff. Emmy Lou would be telling me why bluegrass Madeira had wrote (those two also
asked me to be part of her band won’t sell. (Laughing) They would wrote “Can’t Shake Jesus” on the
and in 1978 I joined and was tell me why I couldn’t do a gospel “Mosaic” record). Bruce loved the
with her up until August of 1980. record, so with my own label now song Gordon had turned in and
And then I came to Nashville I could call all my own shots. I can asked him to come in the studio
with the idea of trying to blend now argue with myself if I want to. and record the Dobro guitar part
bluegrass and old time mountain (Laughing) for it and then Gordon showed
music with modern country music. up to play the CMT “Crossroads”
Not modern music like Ronnie So all that to answer your question Television program that Bruce and
Milsap or Alabama and groups in that this record “Mosaic” is kind I did for that record. That is what
like that were doing. But I wanted of a musical mosaic as well as the started our relationship. A couple
to try to bring a traditional country title of the record. It is a little bit of of our engineers (Lee and Brent)
sound of the 60’s and late 70’s old bluegrass, it is a little bit of the had known Gordon for years as
back into the mainstream of music old sounds that I grew up with in well as his father and brothers
and have that bluegrass mixture Appalachia (in Eastern Kentucky) and Gordon had started sending
there, because I knew there was but it is also a fresh new kind of Lee some demos for me to listen
a sound of bluegrass music that wind that is blowing in as well. It to. Lee would listen to them and
people loved. I mean commercials is a little bit of everything I’ve ever say back to Gordon, “Well, I don’t
were using banjos, fiddles and done. think Ricky is going to like that, he
mandolins to get people’s attention, might like this one a little bit”. So
so I knew those instruments were CM: It is like a lot of cultures Lee finally ended up sending me
“attention getters.” mixing, from electric guitars to everything Gordon was giving
traditional instruments… I think it him and when I listened to them,
I really had a lot of success in is great music. I just wasn’t sure if I was going to
the 1980’s and early 90’s with be able to do these songs. But as
country music. Now Bill Monroe RS: I’m glad you like it. We have I heard them I said, “Man, I love
had passed away in 1996 and my yet to find one negative review. these tunes and I sure would like
father passed away the same year It’s amazing. I look for it. I want to to have a chance to record them…
and I had this “deep calling unto know what people don’t like about just to see if I could sing them”.
deep” to come back to my roots. it, you know. Not that I’m going to
Mac McAnally and I had recorded change anything about it because So our relationship started not that
one of his tunes a few years before that it is too late. But NPR, the long ago but I’m telling you, he
that called “Simple Life” and that New York Times, the Wall Street feels like an old pair of shoes. He
song just really resonated in my Journal, people out there that is just that constant, good brother
heart - because it was about living would not normally give a gospel that loves to laugh, to have fun and
the simple life and condensing record or a Christian record a that loves Jesus. I’m telling you. We
things down. So I got rid little nod, have just said glowing have the greatest relationship; we
of a tractor-trailer and things about this record. The fact love each other. You know Gordon
two other tour buses (I that the mainstream marketplace and I were talking about this the
kept one bus). I had has really embraced it is one of other day. If we had to give up our
25 people on payroll the most amazing things about this friendship or give up this record
and I really felt like project. (as much as we love “Mosaic”) we
it was a call from both agreed that we’d rather give
CM: Now tell us how it all got
the Lord to go back up the music than our friendship.
started. When did you first meet
and simplify my This was the greatest part of
Gordon Kennedy and how did this
life musically and this whole journey… seeing our
project come about?
also structurally friendship grow.
with my business RS: I met Gordon’s dad back in
o r g a n i z a t i o n . the early 80’s when I first came to CM: That’s terrific. Gordon has
So all of that Nashville. I did some recording been helping Christian artists
happened in sessions for him for Reba McEntire for so many years it’s not funny.
1995 and and sang some harmony for him He is a pillar in that community.
1996 and and maybe played some mandolin Switching gears here a bit… tell
in 1997 and fiddle on other projects for us about the song you mentioned
I started him. But I soon got so busy trying - “Can’t Shake Jesus”?
S k a g g s to be a session musician and have
F a m i l y a career as well… then my session RS: The way the story goes is that
Records playing dried up as I got busier Gordon was sitting down one
w h i c h playing on my own records. I morning to write with Phil Madeira
and they had piddled around the
21
is incredible. old 1920’s Gibson A5 mandolin
that was part of my life for about
CM: Yes, I watched 20 years (I had it back when I
you playing it on a was with Emmy Lou Harris). The
YouTube clip and it guy who owned it wouldn’t sell
doesn’t beat you over it to me and I said, “Please sell
the head but it delivers me this mandolin.” And he would
Jesus to you. say, “No, just keep it and play
it as much as you want to.” And
Can you tell us about what was happening was I was
both the vintage building up a pedigree from all
gear and the newer of the albums that I was using it
instruments you used on (I had played it on 25 or 30
in recording Mosaic? records). And one day I was in
Knoxville where the gentleman
RS: Well, I’m using
who owned it lived and he said,
two or three new Paul
“I’d like to get my mandolin back
Reed Smith acoustic
from you.” And I said, “Oh man
photo by Chris Waits
guitars that we really
no, please sell me this mandolin.”
love a lot. These are
whole morning and not really And he replied, “No, I want to
unbelievably clear sounding
had written much so they were give it to my grandson, he really
guitars. I started working with Paul
getting ready to go to lunch. Phil wants a mandolin.” And I could
about 5 years ago on this acoustic
had mentioned a relationship that just see the grandson dragging
guitar idea. I hopped on board
this girl he knew had. She was this mandolin across the road
and said that I would be glad to
married to a guy who had this and I was imagining all of these
lend my expertise… we need to
really “religious” thing on him and nightmare situations (laughing).
come up with something that looks
he would take the scriptures and
great, plays great and sounds I had looked for years to try and
just wear her out and beat her
great. That was the criteria. And find a mandolin as sweet as this
down emotionally with them. If she
these Paul Reed Smith acoustic one you know, and I just couldn’t.
didn’t come up to his standards,
guitars turned out great. Even But the owner wanted it back and
then he would really let her have
the pick-up systems we are really I had to give it to him. Now about
it using scriptures. This put a bad
happy with. 8 years later he sells this mandolin
taste in her mouth about anything
to do with the Lord or church or to a guy in Georgia and that guy
For vintage stuff, Gordon played
anything like that. She was raised calls another guy in Georgia who
some old Gibson acoustic guitars
a Christian and had roots but this is a friend of mine and says, “Hey,
(J45’s & J50’s), I played a bouzouki
guy had soured her stomach so I just bought Ricky Skaggs old
(which is a Greek instrument that
much that she started looking at A style mandolin”. My friend in
has kind of been adopted now for
New Age, Hinduism, Buddhism Georgia knew the story and knew
Celtic music) and I played lots of
and this, that and the other. And my heartbreak over losing it. So
different mandolins. A long hole
while Phil was relating this to he told the guy (who was a
Gordon he said, “You know, guitar dealer) if you ever
at the end of the day… she decide to sell it, I will buy it
just couldn’t shake Jesus”. And from you. The guy replied,
that one phrase that Phil said, “Naw, I think I’ll just keep
was where the song was born. it for a while.” Well, two
Gordon being the tunesmith weeks later the guy calls
that he is said, “Alright, we up and says, “Hey, I need
are going to lunch and when a little cash so I’m willing
we come back that is what we to sell that mandolin.” My
are going to write”. I guess that buddy bought it and called
was probably the shortest lunch me up and said, “You are
they ever had. (Laughing). not going to believe what
And you know, we have had I am sitting here holding.”
more positive response on that When he told me I couldn’t
song than anything else on believe it. He said, “I had to
the record. I have been doing pay more than what it was
that song just with an acoustic worth because it was your
guitar as an encore and man, old mandolin. If you want it
it is such a powerful lyric… back, you can pay exactly
and really it is a great track what I paid for it.” I said, “I
on the record but when you do do want it back and I don’t
it with just an acoustic guitar, care what you paid for it
people are forced to have to (it was like $5,000.00 or
listen to just the lyrics… and it so). I’ll pay it!” I was so
Ricky with Gordon Kennedy

22
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I think that they certainly can adopt
that lifestyle. That is one thing that
the world does really good that
the church does need to be doing.
We have seen that and we have
other kids that we pour into here in
Nashville. We are involved with a
pretty intense 90-day program for
youth that includes bible study and
street ministry along with feeding
the poor. Many of the kids in this
program are interested in music
and they want to take music out
to the marketplace and use it as
a tool to minister and evangelize
with.

So I do believe that the Levitical
community of the church many
times doesn’t see how important
that ministry is. There are some
photo by Alexis Somers
thankful to God for it coming back CM: Wow! I could talk guitars all colleges like Liberty University,
and it arrived right before I started day. I noticed that your daughter that have a worship school now.
making “Mosaic”. I just felt like it Molly sings on the record. When There are a lot of people pursuing
was a God thing and I used that I first heard it I actually thought studying to be worship leaders.
mandolin a lot on the record. it was Alison Krauss, her voice I’m on the board there and I keep
sounded so pure. saying to them, “Look, we don’t
We also used a mandocello and need to just stop with the church,
an 8-string octave mandolin. We RS: She knocked it out of the park! that is a good place for kids to
used a bunch of old Martin guitars She is such an incredible singer go and get some experience
and some old Bourgeois guitars. I and she has such an incredible but God wants to get these kids
used a Jerry Jones Dan-electro type relationship with Jesus. Her spiritual out of the church and into the
6-string baritone electric guitar that
maturity and singing voice made streets.” We have to get the “salt
one of my kids had bought me for it a great performance on “I’m out of the shaker.” We have got
Christmas last year. Gordon had a Awake Now”. Again it is amazing to get the church out there in the
very old Fender amp with tremolo to see how the mainstream marketplace where people are…
that I really loved that hadn’t been marketplace has embraced this where people are dying and
made in 40 years and I told him album. This record isn’t “holding going to hell everyday and that
I would really like to get me one people over hell with a rotten need a Savior! It is one thing to
of those. The next day – honest to stick” trying to get them into the minister inside the church building
God – Steve Wariner calls to talk kingdom you know, by using this where everything is comfy-cozy
with Gordon and mentions that his fear thing. It is music that doesn’t but it is something else to go to a
son had an old Fender amp he condemn, but it confronts. The casino or a bluegrass festival or
wants to sell and it was the exact lyrics are not judgmental. I wanted out in the marketplace somewhere
same amp that Gordon had. We to introduce Molly on this record and live as one who loves Jesus…
bought it and used it on the record to the mainstream. The demo that and be able to withstand out
too! Gordon had sent had a female there. It is something that we need
voice on it and as soon as I heard to be about, in training the next
I had another incredible mandolin it I said, “Molly has to sing this!” generation… I totally agree.
nick named “PeeWee” that was
used on several of the songs that CM: Right on. With the few minutes CM: For my last question I went to
I grew up listening to on the radio we have left I wanted to comment my FaceBook friends and I asked
make it’s way to me and I just on an observation of the bluegrass them what question would they
traded for a 1855 Martin guitar community. I see that they are very want to ask Ricky Skaggs. Here
(pre-Civil War) that is a “1” size serious about raising their children is the one I selected. If you were
– which is smaller than an ought. on musical instruments. They take down to your last song… what
So this has been a season where their kids to bluegrass camps song would it be?
the Lord has blessed me. I love for musicianship training and to
the sound of small body guitars. I different festivals and events. I RS: “Oh, how I love Jesus… Oh,
have always used big rich, robust think the modern church can learn how I love Jesus… Oh, how I love
sounding guitars but I also like the a lot from this practice of investing Jesus, because He first loved me.”
small ones too. My Martin 00-42 in the next generation musically.
is on the cover of Mosaic and it is What are your thoughts on that?
just a beautiful and rich sounding visit Ricky Skaggs online:
little guitar. RS: Well I really think that they (the
church) do have a lot to learn here. www.rickyskaggs.com
24
visit us a
t Winter
NAMM B
ooth #56
98
selective hearing by Shawn McLaughlin

The Better Angels Kenny Vaughan, Ken Coomer, Dave Roe, keyboard-funk, jazz-rockers, ballads, good
John Francis Adam Davis, Ross Bellenoit, Chris Giraldi music in general. You’d expect nothing less
Dualtone Records and Todd Erk. These folks have worked with from a name like Phil Keaggy, and his friends
“Comforting the artists like Lucinda Williams, Wilco, Rosanne bring in a fresh element that makes this one
disturbed, and disturb- Cash, Dixie Chicks, Uncle Tupelo, Steve Earle, of the guitar master’s most memorable in
ing the comfortable.” Ashley Cleveland and other giants of the some time.
This idea seems to be at alt-country/americana world. If these names Move
the heart of John Francis’ ridiculously great represent some of your favorites, you really Third Day
new LP. The Better Angels is a wonderful travel- can’t go wrong with John Francis. You can Essential/
ogue, rooted in the rich soil of America, both purchase this online at Amazon and iTunes. Provident/Sony
the music and the country in the midst of Consolidating the
serious social, moral and economic upheaval. Inter-Dimensional strengths of past work,
Francis does an amazing job of blending vari- Traveler Third Day releases
ous genres of music into one cohesive and Phil Keaggy Trio their latest opus, Move.
beautiful compilation of outrage, love and Strobie Records The album is an assimilation of the band’s
compassion for the oppressed. Francis’ affin- www.philkeaggy. southern roots (best represented by their
ity for his fellow man is emphasized in a trio com/store debut and Time), the more rocking dynam-
of songs, (“Brother’s Keeper,” “Call Me When Collaborating with ics of Wire, Revolution and Conspiracy #5,
You’re Ready,” “Prayer in a Time of Drought”) longtime drummer, John Sferra, and mutual and the pop-worship moves of the Offerings
while a number of tunes take our society to friend, keyboardist Jack Giering, Phil Keaggy projects or Wherever You Are. Lyrically, Third
task for the crumbling middle class and our releases his umpteenth album of the millen- Day alternates between straight up worship
incredible tendency to feel entitlement with- nium: a jazzy, funk-fueled romp through 12 declarations and songs that exhort and in-
out provocation (“The Way the Empire Fell,” melodically concise songs that focus more on struct. Highlights in the former camp include
“Who,” “War Register Blues,” “Everything thematic unity than unbridled improvisation. “Children of God,” a surefire single if ever
is Falling Away”). Yet, Francis always man- The album came as an inspiration from Jack there was one; “Trust In Jesus,” which marries
ages to get to the heart of the saints and the Giering’s miraculous recovery from a heart a thoughtful and inventive arrangement with
sinners, the beautiful and the broken in his attack. As he puts it, the album is “an attempt trite worship sentiment; and “Sound of Your
stories (“People On the Edge of the World,” at producing a soundtrack of my short death, Voice,” another congregational pleaser that
“Beautiful One,” “Mississippi”) and in so as I remember it before the doctors brought features a lovely guitar figure and vocal har-
doing, illustrates the humanity that informs me back to life.” Keaggy is in fine form on monies from Christy Nockels. It is the forays
us all. Francis is the son of rural Pennsylvania the disc, mostly playing electric and utiliz- into rock and gospel territory, however, that
ministers who always had music playing in ing only simple effects like the wah-wah truly provide the musical movement reflected
the house (Neil Young, Johnny Cash, Bob on the title track, while Giering employs a in the album’s title. Album opener “Lift
Dylan) and went to Messiah College in his smorgasbord of keyboard sounds, relying Up Your Face” is a rocker that marries the
home state, where he studied Literature and mostly on organ but adding a few synthesized heavier production tricks of Revelation with
World Religions. That background is clearly textures here and there. Often the interplay an insistent, minor key hook and the killer
seen in his songs, literate tales and stories has a slight Steely Dan feel, subtly on “Let’s vocal chops of The Blind Boys of Alabama,
that are full of both dissatisfaction and subtle Think About It” and much more pronounced while the next track, “Make Your Move,”
moral directive. Yes, his faith can be easily throughout “Cold Girl,” where Geiring features heavy bass and the type of punk-
seen if you are looking for it, but the gospel accents the mix with keyboard horns and meets-southern blues riffs that you’d hear on
in this album is one born of calls to action Sferra’s steady drumming provides the track’s a Black Keys record. “Surrender” and “Gone”
more than doctrinal statements. Musically, anchor. Tunes like “Porchpuppy Theme” and mix excellent choruses with some serious
he alternates between ballads with a folk “Our Girls,” a tribute to the band member’s southern rock swagger, resulting in the most
and country flair, and roots rockers that are daughters, are similar in style to Keaggy’s consistently propulsive moments on the re-
filled with deep rural character. Francis’ voice work on Play Thru Me. The album has a cord. With apologies to former guitarist Brad
might be somewhat similar to vocalists like charm unlike any of Keaggy’s recent projects, Avery, his departure might be the best thing
Jeff Buckley, Kevin Max and Chris Isaak, perhaps owing to the renewed keyboard/ that has happened to Third Day, as it has
but stands on its own as a unique, powerful guitar interplay that hasn’t been heard so allowed Mark Lee and his heavily roots and
instrument. The Better Angels was produced blatantly since albums like Emerging, which blues influenced axe work to become central
by John Carter Cash and recorded in the Hen- featured the rock/soul BAND dynamic of Phil to the band’s sound, giving the group’s last
dersonville Farm/Studio that was the site of Madeira, or the more improvisatory interplay two records a rawness that benefits a more
so much of Johnny’s greatest work. Many of between Keaggy and Richard Souther on How rural vibe. Always a band that has ridden the
today’s finest musicians form the studio band, the West Was Won. Regardless, Inter-Dimen- fence between commercial hit machine and
including Pat Mclaughlin, Michael Rhodes, sional Traveler is a real treat for fans of guitar, solid blues based rock band, Move represents
26
Third Day’s most fully realized amalgamation music industry and we want to honor their Has all the elements that made the band great
of their musical influences in a package that efforts. With all that stated let’s begin. in the first place. Fetching sonics, searing
doesn’t compromise their commercial aspira- lyrics from Steve Hindalong and the terrific
tions at all. 1.Old Angel-Lost Dogs: melodies of Derri Daugherty.
Hardly a surprise for 5.Fallow Ground-Jan
This is Christian Musician’s (and my) first those who read my gushing Krist
attempt at a year end list and it would be review in the July/Aug. Issue Long MIA for all but the
foolish not to discuss the parameters I used to of CM. Simply the best al- most fanatic followers. Jan
arrive at these choices and this order. I notice bum yet by these veterans of the music busi- has been releasing folk/pop
that many magazines have top 10’s of each ness and a stunning, folk/country/rock song gems sporadically since she
writer that reviews albums for them. I am the cycle that cuts to the heart of what it means recorded a couple of beautiful records on the
sole review writer for CM so I feel a little less to seek after “The American Dream”. short-lived but fondly remembered Storyville
free to simply list my personal 20 favorites 2.Suburba-House of label in the early 1990’s. This is full of tender
here. Artistic excellence is about 90 percent of Heroes melodies, spare guitar-centric arrangements
my criteria while sales is about .001. The rest HUGE album that and Krist’s wonderful tales of the human
of the 9.9 % is comprised of social, political merged modern sounds heart and it’s sometimes difficult search for
and spiritual impact, originality and histori- with classic forms and fur- truth.
cal significance. However, I realize that my ther cemented the formida- 6. Mosaic–Ricky Skaggs
tastes tend toward genres that aren’t as well ble talents of Tim Skipper, one of rock music’s Stunning set that
represented in the marketplace today so a few brightest lights. pushes stylistic boundar-
releases may be a bit lower than I would list 3.In Feast or Fallow- ies for Skaggs. His usual
them if solely going by my own preferences. Sandra McCracken instrumental prowess is
With that said, this is MY list and it certainly A simply brilliant takes downplayed in deference to the wonderful
represents my own idea of the best music that on classic hymns but with songs of Gordon Kennedy and Ben Cooper
has been released in 2010. I would venture a conceptual twist. Subtle with single contributions from a couple other
that you will find far more independent art- electronic touches with writers. The songs certainly contain elements
ists on this list than almost any other Chris- rich organic instrumentation highlight some of Skaggs’ bluegrass roots, but they are merely
tian based magazine or website out there. classic and new hymns done with lyrical and used for color, rather than as the template on
However, I have also limited the choices to melodic integrity. Mosaic. Instead, pop/country and even 60’s
releases by artists that would not deny that 4.Burning Like the flavored rock make up an album that doesn’t
they write, predominantly, for the Christian Midnight Sun – The really have one clunker amongst its 14 tunes.

SHUBB
audience. This is done with the understand- Choir The lyrical focus is definitely spiritual as
ing that most of our readership is made up This band’s finest record Skaggs calls this a gospel record. But along
of people who make a living in the Christian since 1991’s Circle Slide. with simple declarations of faith are flesh and

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blood stories that paint the picture of God’s of the one man band, Altizer comes up with The next ten:
providence, even in the most trying circum- 15 scintillating slices of pop/rock that are 11. Counting Stars-Andrew Peterson
stances. “I’m Awake Now” features the lovely highly influenced by the first (60’s) British 12. The Law of Gravity-Andy Gullahorn
vocals of daughter, Molly, keeping up the invasion and Psychedelia. 13. Downtown Church-Patty Griffin
Skaggs tradition of talented musicians. 9. We Walk This Road- 14. Raising the Dead-Caedmon’s Call
7. Beautiful Things- Robert Randolph and 15. Disappearing World - Fair
Gungor the Family Band 16. The Changing of the Guard -Starflyer
The only worship album T-Bone Burnett pro- 17. Horseshoes and Hand Grenades –
in the top ten, Gungor duced album that dialed Disciple
transcends the inherent down the jam band ethos 18. Jet Velvet-Jetvelvet
musical and lyrical limits of of prior releases for a studied walk through 19. Achor – Josh White
the genre with one of the more varied proj- Randolph’s Blues and Gospel roots. Originals 20. In the Middle of It-Waterdeep
ects on the list. Shades of Sufjan, Sigur Ros, combine with wisely chosen covers that high-
Israel Houghton (who guests on the record) light the social and historical significance of 5 EP’s not to miss.:
and Sunny Day Real Estate can be heard on Black music throughout the rock & roll era. Let it Shine – Kevin Lawson
this expansive set. The real triumph is in the 10. Donnelly Carter Travel I – Future of Forestry
songwriting: Unique chord voicings, soar- Payne – Billy Cerveny Travel II – Future of Forestry
ing melodies, exquisitely inventive arrange- A little known Nashville Travel III – Future of Forestry
ments and Michael Gungor’s muscular guitar artist who claims member- The Night the Cumberland Came Alive –
playing are the main ingredients of this tasty ship in the the Square Peg Mike Farris and the Cumberland Saints.
musical stew. Alliance of artists, includ-
8. I Want Mine (The ing Derek Webb, Jill Phillips, Andy Osenga Album's heard after compiling this list
Unavoidable Surrender and many others, Cerveny impresses with a that probably would have been included:
of Liberalism to biographical concept album of a Civil War
Socialism) – Rick Altizer era infantryman and the social, political and Flags – Brooke Fraser
Another CCM hermit spiritual challenges of fighting and raising a The Better Angels – John
resurfaces with a unique concept album that family during that sad time in our country’s Francis
merges politics and the entertainment busi- history. Cerveny’s fine voice accompanies a
ness in order to expose the inherent entitle- strong heartland rock, folk and blues sound
ment that plagues our society. Emulating the that draws obvious parallels to the latter day Shawn McLaughlin is a hard
Prince/Stevie Wonder/Todd Rundgren model work of John Mellencamp. working dedicated, tireless
worshipper of Christ

28
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by Bob Waller

With the release of their new album, Tim Barrett departed for personal reasons. “Trent, our new drummer was our tour
Horseshoes and Hand Grenades, Disciple “When the other original guys left that was manager/sound guy for a couple of years,
enters a new era that, while featuring tough because it’s kind of like getting a but he would get up on the drums and
original lead singer Kevin Young, now divorce,” commented Kevin. “I really felt mess around and we were like ‘how is he
contains an entirely new cast for the rest like I was married to these guys and with so good?’ Trent shined and he fit right in
of the band. Christian Musician Magazine them leaving, it was not easy. They are my when Tim left.”
caught up with Kevin Young recently while brothers and I love them and I definitely Replacing Brad Noah was perhaps the
on tour and he filled us in on the new miss them for sure, so it has been tough.” hardest aspect of putting the new Disciple
lineup, new album, and his devotion to
In stepped the capable Micah Sannan together. “Replacing Brad was not a very
Jesus Christ.
and Andrew Welch on guitars, Israel easy thing to do,” explained Kevin. “Brad
The original Disciple members formed Beachy on bass and Trent Reiff on drums. always did a lot of rhythm work and then
the band way back in 1992. It was difficult “I loved Israel from the band Staple,” said lead work over the top of that. I felt we
for Kevin to see his longtime cohorts (Brad Kevin. “He’s a cool guy, a super nerd, my needed a couple of guitar players to do
Noah, Tim Barrett and later addition kind of guy. There was no option number what Brad had always done and there was
Joey Fife) leave the band. Brad Noah two for me when it came to bass players, I a lot of things we did on our albums in the
departed for several reasons, including was going to ask Israel. studio that we needed to do live and so we
back problems that made touring difficult. started a search for two guitar players.

30
“We had played with a band called genre term that addresses what people are We inquired as to what the lead singer
Falling Up and Micah was a guitar player talking about. Every other musical genre of Disciple feels is the best aspect of being
for them. We knew Micah and he could term addresses the sound. Whether the the front man for the band. “There are so
do back flips off his guitar amp and I felt term is blues or hip-hop or jazz or rock or many good things about it,” he answered.
we should ask him to try out. The question R&B or pop or whatever, it is saying ‘this is “I get to be surrounded by a great group of
put to me was ‘can he play guitar?’ And what the music sounds like’. But if you just guys that I’m with right now and just being
I said, ‘who cares? He can do back flips say ‘it is Christian’ it’s like, oh, this is what friends with them is amazing. I really love
off his guitar amp.’ The truth is that Micah they’re talking about. Everyone else has the opportunity that I get to share and to
is a really phenomenal guitar player. He the opportunity to talk about whatever they speak and I think that if I were to get up
wrote some great songs on the new CD. want to talk about and not be labeled, but if on stage right now in front of a thousand
Andrew is the second guitar player and we talk about God we get labeled. people and just speak, I think that a few
when we met him he was doing guitar tech “There are some artists out there that have people would listen to me. But for some
work for Pillar after being in previous bands been able to bypass the term ‘Christian’ and reason when Disciple gets up and plays
as well.” are very fortunate for it, like U2 or Lenny some songs and then I speak I can get just
Kravitz, who are able to talk about spiritual about everybody to listen to me. I don’t
Once Brad Noah left, Kevin began
things in their songs and not be termed know why that is, but it is the way it is and
questioning whether he should indeed
Christian. I would love the day when we all for some reason Disciple grabs people’s
carry on. “When Brad Noah left the band I
could do that, but at the same time I am attention and gives me the platform to share
really had a serious time of questioning and
not ashamed of the Gospel of Jesus Christ my faith in Christ with people. I think that
asking ‘is this my time too?’ Brad and Tim
and I am not afraid of that term but feel a is probably the best thing about being the
and I started this band together when I was
little pigeon-holed by the music community front man.”
sixteen and they were eighteen. When
Brad was leaving I really had to answer in being the only genre that gets labeled for Horseshoes and Hand Grenades
that question seriously…’am I going to keep what we talk about.” continues in the tradition of hard rocking
going, or am I going to go home too?’ I Disciple is certainly one of the hardest heavy music that Disciple has always
began to prayerfully seek God’s guidance rocking bands touring and recording today, offered. We wondered which track on the
in that and a couple of things happened. and Kevin Young is one of rock’s most fired album would Kevin Young consider the most
For one, a girl came up to me and told up performers. His passionate preaching is important? “From an industry standpoint,
me how she had heard our song After The evident most nights during the band’s live I would say Dear X - You Don’t Own Me
World, and she had her suicide planned set. We asked him why he finds it extremely is the most important song on the album
out right to the last detail and then heard important to quote Scripture on stage. because it has opened up new doors,” he
the song and gave her life to Christ and “Music is powerful and it moves you,” explained.
decided to live. And in that moment for me, began his reply. “It’s very ultimately true as “Someone at Columbia Records liked
it was like God saying ‘see, I need more of we are looking here at this picture of Toby the song and we have a relationship with
that. You’re not done.’ Mac on the cover of Christian Musician Columbia Records and they said ‘we think
“When I was 12 years old, and before I magazine, and I heard him say one time it’s a hit and we want to re-record it with
was a musician, a lady came up to me and something that just changed my life. I think Howard Benson and see what it can do
said that she felt that God told her I was he had heard somebody else say it, so who with Active Rock’. And so we just did that.
going to have a music ministry and was knows where it came from originally, but The song has a great message about being
going to go all around the world,” Kevin I heard him say ‘music is powerful and set free from your past.
continued. “I was playing Little League as a the Gospel is powerful and you combine “But from a spiritual standpoint I think
12 year old. I was not singing or anything, those two things and you’ve got the ultimate the song Invisible is probably the most
and yet that happened. And that was God powerful thing.’ important song on the album,” the singer
preparing me for the call he had on my life, “Romans 1:16 says ‘I’m not ashamed of noted, “which is talking about how you
and he reminded me of that when I was the Gospel of Jesus Christ because it is the may be invisible to the world, and the world
asking about going home. He was telling power of God and the salvation to those may not be able to hear you or see you, but
me ‘this is why you’re here and you are not that believe in it,’” said Kevin, “and that is God hears you and God sees you.
done yet’ and so I’m still here and I’m not true, so when we share the Gospel, when
done yet.” “I have met a lot of people and talked
we share bible verses with people I literally, to them about either cutting or depression.
Alternative metal, Christian rock, heavy in my spirit and in my heart believe that we I asked a kid one time, ‘why is it that you
metal, Christian metal. These are terms are sharing power with people; the power cut?’ His answer just blew me away, which
out there that have been used to describe to be free from sin, the power to have a was ‘because I feel like no one is listening
Disciple’s music. We asked Kevin Young relationship with Christ, the power to know to me.’ That is important to somebody, to
what term he uses. “Rock,” came the reply what life is really all about, the power be able to communicate.
as he laughed. “Just rock. I love and hate of truth, and the power of knowing the
the term ‘Christian Rock’ or ‘Christian direction their life was designed to head “We’re here on this earth, not meant to
Metal’. I love it in the fact that it says thein. be alone, but meant to have community
word ‘Christian’ because that’s what we with each other and meant to be loved by
“I believe that with all my heart. So me each other and when someone feels like no
are and that’s what we talk about and just saying something is one thing, but one can hear them and no one sees them,
we are all Christians and our faith is very me saying ‘this is my source of why I’m no one loves them, it really gives them this
important to us. And being a Christian we saying what I’m saying,’ then it’s not really sense of hopelessness. To know that not
feel that that is the answer to life and so weabout Kevin Young anymore, and it’s not only does somebody love you, but THE
want to share it with people, but not do it inreally about Disciple anymore, it becomes somebody loves you, and he not only has
a way where we’re looking down our nose about this source. I feel that is what we the ability to hear us, but he’s like anxiously
like we’re better than anyone else, but in a have wanted to be about since the very waiting to hear us…He’s wanting us to
way of love that says we have something beginning. We’re a band that points to speak to him, more than we’re wanting
amazing we really want to share with you. someone else. We’re a band that literally Him to speak to us…so when we realize
“But I also hate the term ‘Christian Rock’ takes glory and praise and defers it to it, that is a major turning point in a human
he continued, “because it is the only musical someone else.”
33
31
Disciple
the Explorer and Veggie Tales. It’s about
cooking hot dogs and French fries and
having tea time. So that’s what my life is
about when I’m not performing right now.
I used to have hobbies and now I play
pretend kitchen with my daughter.”
Lastly, we noted that Disciple has been
nominated in the past for Dove awards and
had big hit records, but we wanted to know
what was most important to Kevin Young.
“The obvious answer is to see peoples
lives change,” he replied, “but it is good
to get awards and to be nominated. It feels
good and it gives you a sense of ‘these
are my peers and these are my friends’.
For example, Thousand Foot Krutch are my
friends and to be nominated for something
with them is a huge honor and to win
something feels really good. To go record
with Howard Benson is a dream come
true.
“But honestly, at the end of our life all
being’s life to know that there is a supreme “If money is a big issue and you need a of those awards will be forgotten and all
God that not only loves them, not only has lot of it to survive you are not going to be of those things nobody will remember. But
the ability to hear them, not only has the very happy doing this because right now if somebody came to our show, heard the
ability to see them, but wants to see them, the music industry is at an all time low. Gospel, and their life was changed, that is
desires to see them, desires to hear them We don’t really worry about that. When I something that lasts for an eternity because
and desires to love them…and that’s really started tithing somewhere along the middle then it is a ripple effect because the person
what the song Invisible talks about and so of my walk with God, he began to show is probably going to change somebody
from a spiritual standpoint I think it’s the me how he would take care of me. We else’s life, and so on and it is going to be
most important.” would tithe 10% of our money to Him in an exponential result.
some way, whether it’s the local church, or
Everyone has a different song writing “There was a guy who came up to me one
charity, or whatever. Because of that we’ve
style and we wanted to know about the song time and thanked me,” continued Kevin,
always seen God take care of us.
writing process for Disciple. “If I’m writing “and I think from that moment
a song and I’m writing the music I changed me in the question of
usually start with the chorus,” Kevin what’s most important. He put it
noted, “because I want to have a so eloquently and he said ‘I just
good and powerful theme to talk want to thank you because now
about and write around it. my wife has a Christian husband.
“If the guys are writing music, She’s always had a husband, but
and we all wrote together on this now she has a Christian husband,
album, normally that will start first; and now my kids have a Christian
there will be music and then lyrics. father.’’ When he said that to
But it is different every time. I’ve me, that changed everything for
done a couple of co-writes. I wrote me because that was important
Dear X - You Don’t Own Me with that an entire family had been
an outside guy named Ben Glover. changed just by saying what we
I just showed up at his house with say.
no ideas and he sat down at a “We are not very serious
keyboard and said ‘here’s a little people. We play our show, we
string part I’ve got’. He also had a get on the bus and play video
little melody. So I just started writing ‘dear “We are constantly, as a band, in financial
need. We’re also constantly getting taken games and watch football. But there is
pain, it’s been a long time’ just as if we something powerful about the Gospel and
were writing a letter to the things in our care of financially. I’ll open up our books
and I’ll be looking at them and asking ‘oh when you take time to share it with people
past. It just happened. Sometimes you just there is a God that is real that wants to be
go in and it just happens.” man, how are we going to do this or that‘,
and then every month it always gets taken in people’s lives enough to give his son,
There is no question that the music care of somehow. That being said, it’s all inJesus Christ, to die for us, and when people
environment today presents major the type of person. If you need to make a lotdiscover that, it is life changing.
challenges unseen in previous years, partly of money, go to college and do something “We have the opportunity to share it, and
due to economic reasons. We asked how else, because we sure didn’t.” we do it and when that actually happens,
difficult it is for Disciple. “We feel like we
were called to do this and we’re all very low We asked the hard working, hard when a life is changed, there is nothing
maintenance guys and we don’t make very rocking Kevin Young what he might be greater. Nothing. If we got every award
much money,” commented Kevin. “Because doing if he were no longer a musician? there is to get, and platinum records, and
we are doing what we love to do, we’re not The answer surprised us. “I have a two not one person’s life was changed, at the
really worried about it. year old daughter, and right now when end of my life I could honestly say that my
I’m not performing my life is about Dora life would be worthless.”
32
Product Review (cont. page 18)
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the Mac, well… of course that’s so easy!
After installing the software, you install
the physical card and restart. On the PC the
install wizard for new hardware & software
worked flawlessly for me. Next for Cubase &
Nuendo, simply open the VST plug in win-
dow & have it check for new plug-ins. Mine
somehow already found them during startup!
On the Mac tower running Pro Tools &
Logic the install was easy as well and both of
these programs found the plug-ins without
any trouble.
BTW: With the new Pro Tools 9 upgrade
you don’t have to worry about getting an
additional FXpansion plug-in delay utility
which is sweet! More about that at a later
date! Thank you Avid!

Authorization:
Next comes authorization. This can be
done on-line when you register your prod-
uct. To register & authorize on a Mac go to:
Finder/Startup Disk/Applications/Powered
Plug-Ins Tools/UAD Meter & Control Panel.
Continued on page 40.

33
Ask Joe known proven com-
panies. It is of my
by Joe Riggio experience that the
examples from the

Q
under $50 range,
What are some of the basic although tempting,
essentials for a guitar pedal board tend to add noise
and what sequence should they to your signal, even
be arranged in? when the effect is
Pedal boards have become the norm, disengaged. The

A
these days. It seems every guitar battle of noise from
player has one. This demand accumulated ped-
has spawned the largest array of als is challenging
choices that the guitar world has enough, without
ever seen. There are pedals in every price and one pedal adding significantly, all by itself. what generally works well and will at least get
quality range, so here’s a general overview of Upper-end or “Boutique” pedals are usually you started in the right direction. Try to keep
my thoughts: well worth the investment and are well built the OD/Dist effects first in the chain. They
Price vs. Quality- Try to spend at least and generally more quiet that the cheapies. react best when receiving their signal directly
into the “middle-of-the-road” category: Types and Flavors- Let’s boil it down to from the guitar (or volume pedal if you’re
the basics. Most essentials will fall into one of using one). This will make them feel most
3 categories; Overdrive/Distortion, Modulation like the natural distortion from a tube guitar
and Reflection/Ambient. Having one or two in amplifier. Secondly, feeding the Modulation
each of these categories will get you off to a effects, after OD/Dist. will maximize the
good start. It’s great to have the option of at desired colors from them. Using these first 2
least one overdrive and one distortion pedal to categories backwards will yield “muddy” and
choose from. The difference is simply this: “hazy” results from the Mod. effects. Keeping
overdrive is the same as distortion, but with less Reflective/Ambient pedals at the end of the
saturation or gain. Modulation effects include chain will insure that their sounds are clear
things like chorus, flanger, phase shifters, and “wash clean” into your amplifier. Lastly,
wah-wah and effects that “color” the sound a cool little trick is to insert a noise reduction
very distinctively. Delay and reverb effects fall pedal just before the Reflective pedals. This
into the Reflective/Ambient category. will reduce most of the noise from the previ-
($75-$125 ea. street price) This would include Order in the Court- Keep in mind that ous signal chain without cancelling out the
products from Boss, Ibanez and other well- this can be subjective territory, but here is Reflective effects, which tend to be lower in
volume than the main, or dry signal and can

GET A GRIP
be unintentionally muted, by having a noise
reduction pedal after them.
I encourage you to spend time both
listening personally and getting suggestions

Never drop your pick again.
from players whose tone you like. There are
thousands of choices out there and more
being added by the minute, so don’t get to
caught up in what somebody else says is the
“best ever”. Create your own tone palette by
going with what feels right to you.

Joe Riggio is a professional
guitar repairman/technician
and recording engineer, based
in Tacoma, WA. He owns
Fantastic tone
and operates “Service Guitar
Glides on the strings Repair” and “House Of
Clings to your fingers Sound Recording Studio” He has a deep love and
knowledge of vintage guitars, as well as modern
and loves to share his passion with others. He

V-Picks
can be contacted at ServiceGuitarRepair@gmail.
com, website: www.ServiceGuitarRepair.com
www.v-picks.com
34
The Thunder Has No Voice
© Ramirez & Associates

’Til Kissed By Fire
Old Indian Proverb

H E L I X
Booth 5710 e What the NaMM JaM Is all aBout.
DeanMarkley.com e 800 800 1008
Multi-task Harmonized Scales
Welcome back to Guitar from A 2 Z for two octaves making it the tenth note from I encourage you to pursue this lesson
2011. I was recently talking to my friends the root note. This moves the 3rd note B (in in other keys and intervals’ over the neck
keyboardist Austin Biel and guitarist Shane the G major scale) to its octave B. Example 5 and see what new ideas you can come up
Patrick at the Covenant School of the Arts ascends up the neck, use a “Highbred Picking with. Till next time, keep your sights set on
in Lakeland Florida about working on your Technique” with a combination of a pick Heaven.
creative gifts and creative worship concepts. and your finger to pick the higher note. You
Practicing your instrument is a form of wor- can use your middle or ring finger, which- Roger is an award winning
ship! I want to encourage you for this New ever works best for you. Example 6 moves guitarist from the “Songwriter
Year not to procrastinate. We need to be across the neck, watch for the open strings. Showcase of America” has
diligent in prayer and worship and equipping Use “Fingerstyle” picking with your thumb been a member of the Audio
ourselves to be ready for spontaneous Holy playing the low note and your ring finger and Praise teams at Freedom
Spirit led worship. Reclaiming our gifts to cre- playing the high notes. You may notice part Life Church in Kissimmee Fl.
ate new sounds and songs yet unheard that of a Beatles tune in there at the beginning of and The Covenant School of the Arts in Lakeland
will touch the heart of GOD. the example. You may have also noticed that Fl. Endorses Greg Bennett Design Guitars by
In this lesson we are going to multi-task the 3rd is part of the triad chord construction Samick, G&L Guitars, BBE Sound and PedalTrain
with a harmonized scale using a Flatpicking, of “Root, Third and Fifth”, but that’s another Pedal Boards. More info at www.rogerzimish.
Highbred Picking and Fingerstyle exercises. lessons on its own for a later date. com, email: rogerzimish@yahoo.com
We will be using 2 notes harmonized in the
key of G Major, the root and third and
the root and tenth. The root is the 1st
note of the scale “G” and the third is the
3rd note of the scale “B”. Example 1 is
the “G” Major also known as the Ionian
scale in the open position, G A B C D E
F# G. Example 2 is the “B” Phrygian scale
open position in the key of G Major, B C
D E F# G A B. Using “Flatpicking Tech-
nique” play both one octave scales using
alternate picking “Down-Up”.
Now combine the two scales together
to make a harmonized scale in Thirds.
Example 3 ascends up the neck on the
low E and A strings. Example 4 ascends
up the neck on the G and B string. First
use a pick with all down strokes, and
then play it with your fingers. Use your
thumb to play the lower notes and your
index finger to play the higher notes
plucking the strings simultaneously. This
can also be known as “double stops”.
Examples 5 and 6 are in tenths:
The diatonic interval of an octave plus
2 degrees. In other words the tenth
comes from the scale when played in
37
10 Steps to Effective Practicing
Most Christians know it’s important to set of metronome settings to use as a starting a piece correctly. FYI, get a metronome with a
aside time for things that help you grow as a point for the next practice and to gage your deep tone, it’s harder to ignore.
Christian like prayer, bible study, fellowship, improvement. Move on if you get frustrated. Don’t
etc. So if becoming a better player and musi- Practice daily! Some of us have different spend so much time trying to perfect things it
cian is also important to you here are 10 steps daily routines and can‘t practice at the same frustrates you. Work it a sufficient number of
that have helped me and many others make time each day. Study your schedule for a week times and then move on. Some students prefer
the most of practice time. Give them a try, and chart out the best and most productive to work through an entire book 2 or 3 times to
you’ll notice growth right away. times for each day for you to practice. It’s avoid getting stuck on something and becom-
Have the proper material to prac- important to plan your practice time and ing frustrated. The difficult parts seem easier
tice. Stop playing the same things over material for at least a week at a time. when you come back to them. You may learn
and over. Find a systematic study plan that Small consistent units of time pro- something new in the meantime that makes
will challenge you to take your playing and vide great results. We retain more informa- that tough part easier next time.
knowledge to the next level and inspire tion from short regular periods of study than Make your recorder your best friend.
creativity. (Obviously I’m partial to the great from long irregular intervals. If your goal is You’ll need some type of recording device.
materials at www.GuitarCollege.com and to practice an hour a day, three 20-minute You’ve got to get a realistic idea of what you
www.99centGuitarLessons.com.) It’s helpful to sessions is the most effective plan. After 20 sound like and the recorder won’t lie to you.
have 2 or 3 different types of study materials minutes of practicing your retention decreases Record every exercise and song you’re practic-
such as technique, theory, chords, soloing, rapidly. Short multiple sessions reviewing the ing. The quality of the recording isn’t impor-
reading, etc. to avoid boredom and frustration. same material increases retention. It’s usually tant; go for the ease of one button recording
Organize materials for several practice sessions easier to squeeze in two or three 20-minute with no level checks. This way you play some-
so you won’t have to do it each time you sit practice sessions throughout a busy day than thing short and play it back easily. Make sure
down to practice. finding a full hour. Once you learn something your metronome is audible when you record.
Studies show that using a music new then it needs to be converted to muscle End each practice session recording and begin
stand while you practice helps you or finger memory. This takes time, have your the next by listening so you can work out the
learn faster. Probably because it is the most instrument with you while you watch TV to rough spots. Listen for bad spots but also listen
comfortable and effective way to view your work on your finger memory. for the good and the improvement. Don’t start
material and avoid cramping in your neck, Use a timer, when the bell rings the negative self talk, stay positive! Save some of
back, shoulders, etc. Plus following along with session is over. Once you get started practic- your old practice recordings and when you feel
the material whether it is tab or notation will ing it’s a real temptation to keep going even like there is no progress, go back and listen,
improve your reading skills. when it interferes with other important things. you’ll hear the progress!
Create a practice nook and have your You certainly don’t want to feel guilty about Practice these steps consistently press-
materials and equipment ready to prac- practicing, so put in your time and stop. If ing toward your goal. You’ll get results,
tice before you sit down to begin. Don’t you don’t you might say, “I did an extra hour don’t give up. If God has blessed you with
wait until practice time to hunt for your book, yesterday so I’ll skip today” Not Good! a desire to make music do your best to
drag out your instrument, practice log, etc. Always use a metronome to develop cultivate it and give it back to Him.
Make it pleasant and inviting. Add a plant (re- good time and to measure your progress. Till next time, may God bless your hard
laxing) and pictures (CD or LP covers) of your Some say practicing without a metronome is a work.
music heroes to motivate you. Keep things waste of time. I tend to agree. Whether work-
neat and organized so it won’t be an eyesore ing on scales, chord changes riffs, whatever, Rich has a 6 CD audio
and you’ll look forward to returning soon. you’ve got to be able to play them in time. Use program for learning, hearing
Use a practice log to keep track of the metronome to measure your progress by and memorizing music theory
your practice time and what you’ve keeping track of the settings. If you can play called “Theory For The
practiced. This makes you more accountable an exercise at 110 bpm try bumping it to 120. Road” which can be found at
for your practice times and you can see your If you can do it great! Then move it up even www.GuitarCollege.com. It
progress. You can also see what times and ma- higher. If not go back to 110 and play it a few explains everything in detail and includes audio
terials are most productive for you. Keep track times then try moving the tempo up till you music illustrations on keyboard and guitar, and
get it. This is the most effective way to learn ear training.
38
Do You Know What’s Wrong
With Your Song?
by Bryan Duncan

If anyone offers a criticism of your song experienced anything in this life that has true self at the door because you might not
that you have not already considered, then never been experienced before, but the way be “spiritually acceptable.” The agenda to
you haven’t put your time in for success. that you communicate it can be completely get the doctrine right and communicate
Granted, some of the most wonderful original. The attack, the structure, and the something approved of on the larger Chris-
songs were written without the slightest way you say it can all be new. Sometimes tian platform, at least for me, turns songs
effort. Indeed, some of my biggest tunes it’s good to imagine a character saying the one person might sing from the heart into
have been afterthoughts. But I think that words if you can’t find it in yourself: “Is a recitation of some sort of bylaws!
phenomenon only comes when a writer is this true to the character? Would he say it But then, what do I know? Thank God
so familiar with the process that it happens like this?” we get to write more than one song, right?
without thinking. The originality in a song must resonate Or should it be: “…write more than one
Now, I know most of you have either with more than just yourself if you want to song right!”
handed someone a demo tape or received be heard. There’s a thousand ways to mess As a parting thought, remember what
a few. And, if you are willing to listen, you up a song. Sometimes you can’t get out Dr. Theodore Rubin says: “The problem is
know what I’m going to talk about here. of your own way. It’s why co-writing has not that there are problems, it’s expecting
Most of the time, there are so many vari- always been stronger most of the time in otherwise; it’s thinking that having prob-
ables to discuss about what’s not working this kind of work.  I’ll give you my biggest lems is the problem!”
that you don’t know where to start talking weakness as an example: overwording! I
about it. I’m exhausted sometimes think- will use big long statements that tend to Bryan Duncan... CCM
ing about what needs to be fixed even with deflect the emotions, which leave you busy artist for thirty years. With
my own material. trying to figure out what I just said. At least the Sweet Comfort Band,
I was backing up some files of old three of my writer friends have commented then solo and now with the
songs I wrote twenty years ago when “Glad on this tendency. The best comment was
Nehosoul band. Owner of
Morning” came up. Wow, what a great from a close writer friend who tells me all
chord progression! It was like I’d never the time, “You gotta dumb this down.” Red Road Records and Host
heard it before. But then I came in singing Another added, “Think Hallmark Cards of Radio Rehab at  www.radiorehab.com inducted
and I thought, “No, that’s not it! Where is here.” And I’ll never forget one writer who into the Christian music Hall of Fame in 2007.
this going?” The melody was memorable, asked, “Bryan, why do
but the lyrics were so vague that I was em-
barrassed. And then, when I thought there
could be no more criticism about the song,
you feel like you have
to explain everything
in the first verse?”
Quality Comfort Style
it hit the “hook” and I thought, “This isn’t Keep in mind the
much of a conclusion and it doesn’t sound style of music you
believable. It’s emotionally detached.” And are approaching, of
I wondered, why could I have not seen that course. Now, I think
when I was writing it? Then I remembered, you can get away with
I had liked the sound of the title and tried verbosity in some
to fit my feelings to it. Well, I never got styles; maybe the
there. idea is to deliberately
For a career that is more than a one-hit- confuse the listener,
wonder, you’d better come up with more or to force them to
than “You Are My Sunshine.” There are so listen hard – but even
many elements to a well crafted song that, there you have to have
should I think too much about it, I would reasoned out an in-
never write again. If you are going to be teresting collection of
good at songwriting, you will have to start words or phrases that
that first rewrite with this consideration:  keep the listener from
“What’s wrong with this?” I probably sing playing with their
the lyrics to a song in progress three thou- cell phone. If done
sand times before I’m convinced that it’s well, it’s entertaining
right. But there is always one more thing to see how the words
that you could consider. Like visualizing create a mosaic of a
talking to a therapist at a hundred and larger picture. When
twenty bucks an hour! it’s done right, it’s Def
If you compare any great song to
another great song, one will always lose
Poetry!
But In looking at LONG 1131 W. Main St.
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strength. Some of that can’t be helped
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empathy in the listener. Be true to yourself
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of the biggest mistakes
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39
Product Review (cont. page 33) Helios, Little Labs, Pultec, SPL, Teletronix and vocal or some nice reverb while recording
On Windows go to: Start Menu>All more. What more could you ask for! or doing something live it’s a nice option. I
Programs>UAD Powered Plug-Ins>UAD Meter To make “all” things even better, UAD has suggest you disable all other plug-ins on your
& Control Panel upgraded their GUI interface to show which system to help with the increased CPU load!
The UAD Meter & Control Panel has a individual UAD card is running (up to four As far as computer plug-ins go the UAD-2
window for authorizations & will connect cards), and how much capacity is available on “is” the state of the art choice. If you don’t
you to the correct page on the UA site. My PC each card. They have improved the plug-in already own a UAD card you will find the
rig doesn’t ever connect to the Internet for preset management so you can now copy investment to be well worth the price. Your
safety reasons. individual plug-in settings back and forth mixes will sound more professional, and
In this case you go to the authorization between SE (light) and Full versions of the since the plug-ins so faithfully emulate the
page on the UA site & put in your Computer plug-ins. actual analog equipment, you will be able to
Id and get everything done with the help of The small UAD Meter icon will show up learn how and why they work in a real world
a USB thumb drive going back & forth to a on your Dock(MAC) or Toolbar(PC). setting. This will help make you a better engi-
computer with internet access. In under 10 The UAD Meter does not have to be run- neer, producer & all around musician. To be
minutes I was up & running. ning for the plug-ins to operate. Three gauges able to have virtual racks of the best high-end
show the UAD-2’s approximate DSP load, vintage gear that sounds this good is truly
Plug-Ins: onboard Program Memory remaining, and amazing! I give the UAD-2 five stars for qual-
• The UAD-2 comes with several great clas- UAD RAM storage. By simply clicking a but- ity ease of use & innovation! I can’t imagine
sic plug-ins. ton you can also disable all plugs running on working without them.
• The 1176 LN Limiting Amplifier (com- any UAD cards on your computer. The UAD-2 Quad lists for $1899.00 street
pressor) price $1499.00.
• The 1176 SE Limiting Amplifier (light Live Track Mode: The UAD-2 Duo lists for $1149.00 street
version) The UAD-2 now has Live Track Mode, price $899.00
• An LA-2A Classic Compressor which reduces latency on an active UAD-2 The UAD-2 Solo lists for $649.00 street
• A Pultec EQP Program Equalizer plug-in to the lowest possible amount by dis- price $399.00
• A Real Verb Pro Room Modeler (reverb) abling the buffering. This feature is for use in The UAD-2 Solo laptop is $649.00 street
There is an amazing assortment of award a “live” performance mode where you want price $499.00
winning UAD plug-ins available for purchase a plug in to use while recording. There is a The cards all come with Lifetime Tech
as well including: Manley, Empirical Labs, noticeable difference in the amount of buffer Support. Nice touch!
Neve, Roland, BOSS, EMT, Fairchild, Harrison, latency with Live Track mode on when you www.uaudio.com
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3491
The Passion of Play ing
an Interview with Guitarist
Chrissy Shefts
by Aimee Herd

This past November, at the Christian Musician to bottom, on the guitar- the
Summit at Overlake in Washington, I was privileged to solo, everything. I’ve had
be introduced to guitar player, singer-songwriter, Chrissy some girl guitar players come
Shefts. While her name may not be as well-known as, up to me and ask, “How do
say... Nancy Wilson, she has recorded with her—and you learn the solos?” It just nev-
Heart—and her musical gifting and talent have carved er occurred to me that I couldn’t!
out some other pretty notable works. I guess this is what gave me the
In fact, this Seattle native—a session guitarist boldness to insert myself in that world. I
for 20 years—has also recorded with Rod Stewart, don’t really know why there are not more
Belinda Carlisle; she played all the guitars on Seal’s women playing electric guitar, maybe it’s a
“Crazy” which won a Grammy. Chrissy has worked social thing.
with Trevor Horn, Hans Zimmer... and she’s done AH: Well, as you’ve done that, have you
film and TV session work as well, with music encountered any mindsets that were inhibit-
from “Days of Thunder”, “Bull Durham,” “The ing at all?
Accused,” “NFL Preview,” “Solid Gold,” and that CS: To be honest, not really, not from
list goes on. reasonably intelligent people. Once you start
Right now though, Chrissy has been writing playing, that speaks for itself. Either you’re
and recording, and she talked about that... good or you’re not. Especially in the record-
Chrissy Shefts: Primarily, right ing world, where they can’t see whether
now, I’m back to composing. I’m a song- you’re a guy or a girl, it doesn’t matter.
writer* and I’m a singer by default, be- You just have to be good. So, I’ve always
cause someone has to sing the songs I write! I’ve striven for excellence, not mediocrity.*
had a couple of songs placed, and I just love it; the Not that I make it there all the time.
compositional aspect is so much a part of my spirit. (Laughs)
So, I’m writing and recently I’ve gotten a job doing AH: Can you give a little
some TV cues, which is creating music for certain advice to an up-and-coming
TV spots. That’s perfect for me, because it’s creating female electric guitar player,
little landscapes of color and different moods, which who is maybe feeling a bit
I love to do. daunted by fact that she’s
Aimee Herd: Chrissy, you play an instrument— in the minority with
electric guitar—that seems to have been dominated that?
by male musicians. Has that been a challenge for you? CS: I’d advise
Talk a little about being a female electric guitarist, and her not to let
any hurdles you’ve had to overcome in that regard. that be a factor
CS: I was talking with someone about that the other whatsoever.
day, and the funny thing is that I had never thought Each artist
about it. I was born this way, and I never knew anything has certain
different. When I learned songs from an artist like Jeff insecurities,
Beck or Santana, I would learn the whole song, from top especially

Chrissy rocking in the 1980’s

42
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as a player. Am I good enough? Or am I “as
good as…?” Comparison can really kill you,
so don’t compare yourself to anyone else. Just
play what you enjoy, as long as it’s fun for you.
Don’t think about the ultimate outcome [enjoy
the journey].
AH: How do you go about crafting a song,
Chrissy?
CS: Songwriting usually seems to just come, maybe
from God, because I have no idea [other than that] where
it comes from. A melodic idea will come to me, and many
times I’ll hear the whole composition, parts and everything,
in my head. That happens a lot. But then I’ve also gone
through very dry periods where nothing comes. Sometimes,
I’ll get inspiration from hearing someone else. I love it when
that happens. I’ll take the inspiration home with me and then
it emerges as something different.
AH: Who were some of the artists who impacted you as you
were forming your style?
CS: Well, Jeff Beck is the reason I play guitar! He’s still my
favorite. I like all genres of music though. I guess I started out
leaning more toward rock, then I went through a jazz period. I
played a lot of funk, and I’ve gone through all styles of music;
I love everything, so it’s hard to say who has been my favorite
[besides Jeff Beck]. He was my main influence along with the Brit-
ish Invasion. My mom took me to see The Beatles, and the Kinks.
That was pretty influential for me too.
AH: As a person is learning to play electric guitar well,
would you say it’s important to sample all the different styles:
jazz, funk, rock… so you have a more well-rounded idea of
what’s out there?
CS: Well ideally, yes, but if you’re interest really
doesn’t lie in one of those styles, then there’s no real
point in immersing yourself in it. You can learn many
genres of music, but learning to play the guitar as a
well rounded guitarist doesn’t require that you know
all of the styles. It’s more the knowledge of the gui-
tar, and technique.
AH: So, it needs to be where your passion lies…
CS: That’s the most important thing, because if
you’re not enjoying it, and it’s not fun [then you’ll
lose interest]. What motivated me was my love for
music. I had to do it.
AH: Talk about your gear for a moment; what
do you like to play, what do you prefer, and what
have you found to be the best for what you do?
CS: It’s interesting... recently, I changed up
some of my vintage gear. I was carrying around
4x12 Marshalls from my touring days on the rock
tours. So now, what I’ve found, that I’m really loving,
is my Fender Blues Junior, and I also have a ‘63 Strat and a
James Tyler that I love. I’ve really scaled down, and I have
a lot of analogue effects. I’ve definitely been getting back
to the real “organic” kind of sound. I like playing just
straight guitar without a lot of effects. So, just kind of
stripping things down is what I’ve been doing, and I’m
really enjoying it.

44
AH: I’ve been hearing that same ting go of my desire or wish. I did this
kind of direction from a number of for quite a few days, not feeling any
musicians—just cutting out the extras different. Then, out of the blue, I got a
and simplifying. phone call from a producer in England
CS: Well, it’s kind of getting back with whom I had done very successful
to what’s natural. The guitar can work in the past. He had gotten my
become so camouflaged by distortion phone number from a salesman at a
and effects that it could be anybody music store, who was another musician
playing. But when you’re naked there, from The Vineyard!
your personality, your heart and your He asked if I was available for a
spirit come* out in your playing. session. I felt totally out of shape, but I
AH: Chrissy, talk a little about said yes. That, to me, was God saying,
what God’s been doing in your life. “Do what I gifted you to do.” I didn’t
CS: God has done an amazing get that answer until I had gotten to
Chrissy with our good friend Gregg Bissonette at the Summit
thing in my life. Back in 1995, I had a the point where I was willing to give
series of events happen in my life all The thing that worried and scared me it up. Since then, it’s been so different
at once that caused me to fall pretty hard. I still, though, was that my love, passion and for me.
lost my parents, and then my best friend in a desire for music was gone. Where I had once Now, when I do what He has gifted me in,
horrible accident. I lost my health, and nearly been prolific, I now felt like an empty shell. the difference is, it’s ultimately for His glory.
my life. I existed numbly for a few years, try- At that point, I wondered if I was finished No matter what arena or platform I may play-
ing to get my life back together. But I felt like with music. That was terrifying. Music had ing from. My life is fuller than it’s ever been,
I would never play music again. been the only thing I had ever done and it and musically, I feel more accomplished, and
During that time, a couple of dear friends had been everything to me. rewarded. God is just rewarding me ten-fold,
led me to the Lord. In 2004, another friend Since my usual coping mechanism, drink- with the people I’m surrounded by musi-
introduced me to the Vineyard church where ing, was no longer an option for me, I began cally and in relationships. What I do is only
I got baptized. It’s so amazing what God can to pray. I prayed every day that God would a small part of who I am, but it’s part of who
do with a broken soul and spirit. I began let me know—give me some sign—that it was He made me. God has given me a life.
playing on the worship team. His will for me to continue in music. The Visit Chrissy’s MySpace page at: www.
hardest thing was truthfully and totally let- myspace.com/chrissysheftsmusic

REDEFINING
UTILITY
MUSICIANS
PHOTOGRAPHERS
VIDEOGRAPHERS
STAGE CREWS
SOUND TECHS
MOBILE CHURCHES
JOB 8:5-7

www.gruvgear.com
714.253.GRUV

45
CODA
cal guarantee, rather to say this: the life of a
songwriter does not work very well without it.
In 2010, I participated in all of the
Christian Musician Summit’s Songwriter Boot
Camps (www.christianmusiciansummit.com).
I regularly speak with songwriter groups all
across the country and the consistent mes-
sage I hear from songwriters is that they are
longing to connect with a creative commu-
nity.

Community: Life Blood There are songwriting organizations
already in place such as NSAI (Nashville
Songwriters Association International), the

for the Songwriter American Christian Songwriters that also sup-
port local chapters. You may read on my most
recent blog (http://asongwriterschampion.
by Cindy Wilt Colville blogspot.com/) where I talk about local and
regional groups and list a number of other
songwriter organizations.
It is important for songwriters to cultivate of creative development: Accountability. If there are no organized songwrit-
and nurture their own creative community Establishing a songwriting community is a ing groups in your area I encourage you to
for the development of their craft and to great opportunity for songwriters to provide take the initiative in establishing your own
ensure a productive and successful songwrit- the same encouragement and accountability creative community. Some ideas on finding
ing career. Community enhances creativity; that a publisher or coach can provide. All like-minded songwriters would be to post an
art does not truly exist until it is expressed over the country I meet songwriters who are inquiry on Craig’s List, contact worship lead-
and shared. looking for other songwriters to collaborate ers of churches in your community or send
with, to provide a safe place where they can out a Facebook message to all of your friends.
“A bell is no bell till you ring it, share their songs, their struggles and ideas. A next step would be to secure a “free”
A song is no song till you sing it….” Songwriters thrive when they find a commu- location that is songwriter friendly such as
— Oscar Hammerstein II nity of like-minded people who encourage, a church, coffee shop, any location where
inspire and challenge them to finish songs! live performances are welcome. Once you
Songwriters thrive in community. Isola- The desire to express and communicate have established your group the real work of
tion is the kiss of death. ideas, emotions and a passion is what moti- working and supporting one another begins.
I want to talk about three important vates songwriters to write songs. Community You may discover numerous opportunities to
benefits to be found when writers organize not only provides an expansion of sources bring in guest speakers, stage a writer’s retreat
themselves into a creative community. Trust of inspiration and valuable accountability, or engage singer/songwriters who are doing
me when I say there are many, many more Community will bring about greater Produc- concerts in your area. There will be many
benefits where these are found, but for now: tivity. opportunities to share with groups in nearby
Inspiration, Accountability and Produc- Every member of a community, like every towns as well as networking with other song-
tivity. member in the body, is the sum total of their writing communities around the country.
Inspiration fuels and sustains the act unique gifts and individual experience. I I would always be interested in hearing
of writing. In community, songwriters gain know that each and every combination or from you, whether you take the initiative and
inspiration through the sharing of their ideas group of writers multiplies the available ideas establish a songwriting group or already have
while engaging the ideas of another fellow and sources of inspiration. Every member a group working in your community. We
writer. This camaraderie and natural encour- in the creative community holds the feet of truly do need each other.
agement is vital and life giving. Because each his or her co-writer to the fire of the work
member of the community is a resource for at hand just as surely as their own feet are Cindy Wilt Colville is a
inspiration, the songwriter has access to a being held as well. Inspiration is the energy creative music publishing
broader scope of life experiences, stories and source of the writer’s desire. Desire coupled to consultant providing
imagination. Accountability is the great motivator. It is a songwriters with songwriting
Most songwriters do not have a publish- simple chemical equation, really. Inspiration development, song
ing contract that requires that they write a and accountability lead directly to Produc- catalog assessments and
certain number of songs a year. They don’t tivity. Productivity may be measured in career consultation in addition to facilitating
have a songwriting coach, like myself, provid- completed songs, maturing craft and style, songwriting workshops and retreats throughout
ing them weekly assignments, song meet- expanding collaborations and fruitful co- the United States and Canada. For more
ings and creative feedback. However, when writing relationships. information visit: www.cindywiltcolville.com.
a group of songwriters form a community You may question: does this community Follow Cindy on Twitter: www.twitter.com/
they engage in one of the key motivators really work? My point is not to make a magi- songchampion.
46
BREAK
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