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creating for God’s pleasure
Burriss Royal Bluesman Amplifier
JULY/AUG 2011 Volume 16, Issue 4
Paul Colman Trio • Owl City • Daniel Amos • Peter Furler • Jesse Sprinkle
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8 Bassic Communication by Norm Stockton Intro to Solo Bass Arranging (Part 6) 10 Guitar Workshop by John Standefer Come Thou Fount 12 Drumming Dynamics by David Owens Replicating Programmed Drums 14 Vocal Coach’s Corner by Roger Beale 7 Ways to Sing Better With Less Practice 16 Product Review by Michael Hodge Cubase 6 18 Show Us Your Groove by Rick Cua Selfish to Selfless... A Journey Worth Taking 24 Live Music Production with Tom Jackson Kicked in the Rear With Love 26 Selective Hearing by Shawn McLaughlin Peter Furler Paul Colman Trio Owl City Daniel Amos Jesse Sprinkle 34 The Indie Mechanics by Keith Mohr & Sue Ross Mohr Indie Rising
36 The Fretboard Less Traveled by Rich Severson Closed Inversions 38 Ask Joe by Joe Riggio Product Review: Burriss Royal Bluesman Amplifier 41 Guitar From A2Z by Roger Zimish Leonard Jones - the Levite of Praise 44 Surfing the Absurdities by Bryan Duncan 46 Coda: Matt Kees
It’s a Beautiful Day… I really love live music. There is just something about it that gets me going. You can practice all you want, stay in the recording studio for months, and say anything about yourself and whom your music emulates… but what it really all boils down to is… can you pull it off “live”? I have been going to live concerts ever since the 9th grade when I saw Led Zepplin play at the Los Angeles Forum. A few short weeks after that I saw Derek and the Dominoes when Eric Clapton introduced his new song “Layla”. That was a good start, and then for the last 40 years I have been attending concerts with great anticipation. For 35 of those years I have been going to Christian concerts as well, and have seen some terrific talents on both sides of the track…mainstream and Christian artist… sometimes the lines blur there some too. I remember seeing Donna Summer give such a well thought out and gently placed witness for Jesus to a mainstream audience that by the end of the night you knew that she had impacted the crowd. I’ve seen Jonny Lang do the same with a beer soaked blues crowd. I have had the good favor of seeing Phil Keaggy thrill an audience countless time with just one man and a guitar… Doyle Dykes too. I have seen all types of shows from small intimate settings to large outdoor venues or festivals. The most intimate concert I’ve witnessed was in a hotel suite with Pocket Full of Rocks giving a live worship concert to just Judy, myself, and the hotel maid. One of the largest I’ve seen was at the Los Angeles Coliseum with over 100,000 folks there for Bruce Springsteen and his “Born in the USA” tour. I love live music! I have seen hundreds and hundreds of concerts over the last four decades, but I have to tell you that just a few weeks ago I saw the best concert of my life. This one fired on all cylinders. It was the largest production I’ve ever seen (120 trucks or more just to haul it around). It was the best light show I’ve ever seen. Stunning! The band’s guitarist created tones on his instrument that sounded like he was playing through a 50-foot tall Vox amp. The rhythm section of bass and drums were “spot on” and clearly pronounced. The frontman’s vocals sounded better “live” than on the records! It was a wonderful mix of mainstream and Christian… a gentle witness to non-believers and a bold proclamation to believe at the same time. There were over 70,000 of us on a clear blue 80 degree day in Seattle and even though I was about 6 rows from the very top of the stadium where the Seattle Seahawks play football, I felt very engaged in the “live concert” experience. The band was U2, and it was their “360 degree” tour. There were moments where I would lift my hands in exaltation, not even worrying about what the mostly mainstream audience would think. It was, at times, deeply inspiring and I believe honoring to God. It was big and small. It was celebrative and contemplative. It was the best concert I have ever seen. I just had to tell you… They closed up the night with my current favorite U2 song to boot, “Moment of Surrender” It was a beautiful day… don’t let it slip away. Lord Bless Ya! Bruce & Judy
20 Peter Furler Creating for God’s Pleasure by Bruce Adolph
Cover photo by Gerald Beckham
4227 S. Meridian, Suite C PMB #275, Puyallup Washington 98373 Phone: 253.445.1973 Fax: 253.655.5001 Email: email@example.com Website: www.christianmusician.com Editor & President: Bruce Adolph Vice President: Judy Adolph, firstname.lastname@example.org Customer Service: Brian Felix, email@example.com Street Team: Mike Adolph, Jesse Hill & Winston Design & Layout: Matt Kees Copyediting: Kevin Wilber, Toddie Downs Accounting: Debi Davis Advertising Sales: firstname.lastname@example.org Published by the Adolph Agency Inc.
Intro to Solo Bass Arranging (Part 6)
Welcome back to the woodshed as we continue our exploration of solo bass arranging! Pretty fun, right? :^) The added bonus is that our overall musicianship is enhanced whenever we involve ourselves beyond a solely “bass-centric” perspective, to a tune’s fundamental rhythmic, melodic, and harmonic elements. We’ve been using the traditional Christmas tune, Angels We Have Heard On High (Gloria) for this series, and have most recently been taking a look at the chords around which we’ll be playing the melody. Last time, we focused on the first part of the chorus section (lyric: “Gloria”). This time, we’re looking at the “in excelsis Deo” part. made the artistic choice in this particular arrangement to use the IIIm (G#m) on beat 1 Those of you with a basic understanding of the 2nd measure versus E/G#. And as I said of diatonic harmony will quickly see that the then, if it really bugs you, please feel free to chord motion for the first bar (which becomes create your own version using the latter! :^) very hymn-like here with chord changes every quarter note) is: I – IIm – IIIm – IV. The 2nd By the way, don’t forget that the “8va” measure is IIIm and V (half note each). indicates that the notes are played an octave higher than written. The chord voicings are basic triads containing root, third and fifth. For the detail-oriented of Have fun & see you next time! you: yes, all but the last chord are 2nd inversion (played with the 5th of the chord as the lowest note). We discussed inversions last time, so feel free to go back and review as needed. As I mentioned in Part 3 of this series, I (Adapted from curriculum in the Grooving for Heaven instructional DVDs)
Bassic Communication Intro to Solo Bass Arranging (Part 6)
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Solo Bass Arranging Chord voicings around which melody was played Chorus Section (2nd Part) "Angels We Have Heard on High" (Trad. Christmas Carol)
Arr. Norm Stockton
Norm Stockton is a bassist/ clinician/solo artist based in Orange County, CA. He spends much of his time touring and recording with worship artist Lincoln Brewster, but his 2nd solo project (“Tea In The Typhoon”) has been receiving widespread acclaim from media around the world. Visit Norm at www.normstockton.com and on Facebook & Twitter for much bassrelated 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, interviews, clinic invites, exclusive discount prices, and more.
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POWER TO GROOVE
Come Thou Fount
Come Thou Fount (chord chart)
You may remember from last time that we tried something q = 74 new. I gave you a chord chart with some nice chord C substitutions to accompany ‘Be Thou My Vision’. But, unlike previous CM articles, this arrangement was linked with a more detailed version that can 7 D‹7 G be found at my website. I’ll be doing the same kind of thing here with ‘Come Thou Fount Of Many Blessings’. The chart you see here is an accompaniment 13 C/E arrangement that again has some nice alternate chords. The version at www.johnstandefer. com is a complete solo arrangement that includes the 19 F‹7 melody and it’s all written out in TAB and notes. It is a very nice 2-page arrangement that includes interesting techniques, a few harmonics, etc. If you’re 25 A‹ interested in the online version, it includes the TAB (and notes), a page of performance notes describing the fingering and techniques used, and an audio 29 C/E file of me playing the piece (all for $3.95). It can be found on the store page at the site under ‘TAB’. [Note: about two years ago I submitted a shorter, handwritten TAB version of this solo in a CM article. The new online version is twice as long, written into the computer program to look nicer (includes TAB and notes) and it contains a much better description of how to play the piece. Plus - you get the audio file to hear how it should sound]
FŒ„Š7 E‹7 G6/D
E‹7 G6/D C
Arrangement Copyright © 2010 by John Standefer
Now, back to the arrangement you see here in CM. The chords I’m using in this chart follow along exactly with the ones I use in the online solo version. Without all the specific fingerings, however, you’ll have to do a little educated guessing as to how to play them. Let me talk just briefly though about a few of the ‘whys’ concerning the reasoning behind the chord substitutions. In measure 2 there is a chord for every 10 JULY/AUG 2011
note, which isn’t uncommon for older songs found in a hymnal. In those days they wrote hymns out in 4-part harmony for the choir/ congregation to sing in parts. If you ever try and figure out the chords to a song out of a hymnal which doesn’t have the chord names listed, it’s a real chore because every note is a chord. Most of the time you can strum one or two chords per measure, consider the rest as ‘passing chords’ and be done with it. Sometimes, though, this just doesn’t work. In measure 2 I’ve pretty much followed the hymnal chord-for-every-note concept except that instead of using simple major and minor triads, I’ve added the sevenths to warm up the harmony a bit. Also, in measure 6, I start off with a G7 chord, except that the 7th (the F note) is in the bass. In measure 12 you’ll see a
G13. The truth is that you can’t play a whole G13 on guitar (it has 7 notes in the chord and you only have 6 strings). The important notes are the root, 3rd, 7th and 13th. We’ll talk more about the reasons for chord substitutions in future issues. For now, enjoy this song and we’ll chat more later. Blessings – John.
Have you seen John’s free ‘Praise Guitar Lessons’ online yet? Go to CCLI TV and start the weekly lessons today. And make sure to look over John’s calendar at www. praiseguitar.com to find an event near you where you can hear him live.
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Replicating Programmed Drums
I have always found it fun to try to recreate drum programming that sounds cool, but might not be very easy or natural to play for a live drummer. I’m sure many of us have had to play a programmed drum part on live drums in some musical context, but I’m talking about drum parts that are not that intuitive for a drummer to play. A lot of “Drum ‘n’ Bass” or “Jungle” grooves are like this and many players are learning how to play live drums in that style as well. There is a wonderful instructional drum book by Johnny Rabb that is worth getting if you are interested in that style of drumming. tunes and also for originals of their own. I like I hope you find this different, interesting, the angular sound of the drum programming and challenging. Those are the three things and I find it challenging to try to re-create the that keep inspiring me to practice. vibe of these grooves. Blessings, David You can listen to clips of these songs by going to iTunes. Type in Jazzanova and the David currently tours with title of the tune, but make sure you listen to Fernando Ortega and has worked the correct version. They have many versions with Sara Groves, Bebo Norman, or remixes of their songs.
Crystal Lewis, Cheri Keaggy,
You can listen to “No Use” on YouTube as Tommy Walker, Paul Baloche well. The transcription I wrote out starts right among others. He has played for at the top of the tune with the opening fill. Billy and Franklin Graham Crusades, Harvest Crusades, On “Soon” I also wrote out the cabasa part so you can distinguish between it and the high Maranatha Worship Leader Workshops and for over 2 These transcriptions are from Germany’s hat part easier. years he was the house drummer for the Los Angeles Jazzanova. They are known for their remixes of production of The Lion King. His home church is Plymouth
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7 Ways to Sing Better With Less Practice
I am not against practice. Far from it! At some point note as the end of the world. Develop a casual attitude you have to work at becoming a better singer. All great toward singing. Trying too hard will prevent peak singers either performed or practiced a lot early on. performance. Everybody has bad days as a singer, really bad days. One note is not life or death. However, it is a fact that many great singers practice much less than you might think. Some have a warm-up #5 – Let it go! Too many singers tighten up as they procedure they run through for twenty minutes every try to sing a song. They try to force the voice into other day. Others will intentionally avoid a practice submission rather than focusing on the message of the session after a successful concert, because they don’t song. While you are singing, you don’t have time to want to lose the feel of a good vocal performance. think about technique and adjustments. Instead, just let the song happen. Compare it to a child in a swing. You Generally speaking, singers come with high- pull him back, and then you just LET GO! maintenance voices and low-maintenance voices. Highmaintenance voices require constant work and large #6 – You are unique. If you take away a singer’s amounts of time in the practice room. Low-maintenance personality or style, they will have trouble. If your voices may be fine with very little practice. Whichever voice sounds a little different, or you sing in a very type of voice you have, with today’s busy lifestyles, you individualized style, it does not mean that you can’t probably don’t have a lot of time or energy to practice sing well. If you couldn’t see some well-known artists, many hours during the week. That’s okay. You may not but you could hear their voices, you would instantly need to. By practicing in a more efficient and effective recognize them. Don’t duplicate or imitate other manner and applying the following practice techniques, singers. Let your unique style develop. you can sing better without an excessive amount of time in the practice room. #7 – Focus on what is right, not what is wrong. Too many singers focus on a problem, not what they #1 – Forget perfection. The perfect voice is an do well. If a vocal problem arises, then go home after absolute illusion. It doesn’t exist. Try to develop your concert, wait until the next morning, and see if the a dependable vocal technique, but don’t demand problem goes away. It usually does. perfection. Some singers are always worrying about their voices, working on their high range one day, their Now go sing well! breath control the next. They buy every vocal book, CD, and DVD they can find, trying to learn what they think is a professional vocal technique. Then they go sing with other performers and get depressed because Roger Beale is one of the nation’s foremost they think the other singers are better. Once you have vocal coaches. He presently works with a dependable voice, stick with it, even if it is not perfect. professional singers in all areas of musical
facility, The Voice House, is involved in the #2 – Stay with one method. With all that is available management and care of the professional for singers these days, you can get information from voice. Many of his students have won hundreds of vocal teachers, each with a different prestigious vocal competitions and concept of how to sing. It’s easy to get confused. scholarships. In addition, he has worked Instead, ask yourself two questions. “What method with Grammy and Dove award winners and or teacher will I use?” and “What is my biggest vocal nominees. He also offers vocal clinics and problem?” I suggest you learn one technique, and then seminars, as well as assistance in recording sessions. Roger is focus on your most common vocal fault. founder and host of the Christian Singers Workshop performance. His teaching and coaching
#3 – Practice smart, not long. Your practice time needs to be short and focused. When you go to the practice room, focus on a few basics such as posture, eliminating tension, filling the body with air, or vocal flexibility. Limit your practice time. Work in focused stints, and then leave. #4 – Don’t try 100 percent. Don’t think of every 14 JULY/AUG 2011 CHRISTIANMUSICIAN.COM
(www.christiansingersworkshop.com), dedicated to the teaching of contemporary and commercial vocal techniques. Roger can be contacted at: The Voice House, PO Box 87136, College Park, GA 30337, (404) 822-5097 e-mail: email@example.com, web site: www.thevoicehouse.com.
by Michael Hodge
Nowadays, there are a lot of DAW choices out there competing with each other. This is great for you and me, since the competition for price-point and features keeps the big companies on their toes! Several key players include Steinberg’s Nuendo/Cubase, Avid’s Pro Tools, Apple’s Logic, Roland’s Cakewalk /Sonar, sampler. and Motu’s Digital Performer. ADVANCED TEMPO DETECTION At the Lodge Studio I currently run Pro Tools The Hitpoint detection is much improved and and Logic on a Mac and Cubase & Nuendo more musical than before. What’s also so cool on a Win 7 PC system. I have multiple DAWs is that instead of quantizing the drums or live connected together for quick compatibility performance to a grid, you can now analyze the with the different projects I work on. When Pro track, and your midi stuff will quantize to YOU Tools 9 native released back in 2010, I knew that via the tempo map. This keeps the integrity and Steinberg & Logic would have to really bring feel of your original track intact. Loops now something special to the table to keep pace. follow the drummer instead of the other way At the winter NAMM 2011 show, Steinberg around. It’s also much faster than tapping in a released the powerful new Cubase 6. This is a tempo manually one bar at a time. I love this BIG release that turned a lot of heads at NAMM. feature. Let’s start with the 64-bit upgrade. This allows LOOPMASH tons more memory allotment for VST Synths, Loops, loops, Loops…LOOPMASH ver.2 is Virtual Instruments, and plug-ins. For example, actually unique to Cubase and has some nice on a Mac it means you can go from 2G of RAM improvements. You can get super creative in up to 1 TB of RAM! remix world. There are new drag-and-drop Cubase 6 installed trouble free on my Win7 features, 20 new MIDI-controllable effects, and machine as well as the Mac OSX 10.6 machine. seamless integration with the Groove Agent I’ve heard it can run on XP, but a Win7 upgrade One drum sampler. Dance tracks are a nobrainer. LOOPMASH could also be used for live would be well worth it. performances, similar to Abelton. Cubase 6 looks more like Nuendo to me with every release. The mixer looks very professional. LANE TRACKS: There are new color schemes that help organize This has been improved in Cubase 6. If you your tracks. I found this to be a big help when are comping multiple takes of vocals, guitars, editing. I use a universal color set for each or whatever . . .you can now audition and comp instrument in my recording template. This helps very quickly and easily. I like this feature for me to find things quickly and stay organized. playing through a song several times and being creative without worrying about punching in DRUM EDITING: and out. It’s great to then take a break, get a new I think this is one of the most powerful new perspective, and then comp all of your vocal or features in Cubase 6. Like most guys I know, I’ve solo tracks into a single masterpiece! used ProTools Beat Detective to edit drums. You could do it in Cubase 5, but to me it was too TRACK EDIT GROUPS: complicated. I am definitely impressed at how New to Cubase 6 is the very useful Track Edit Cubase 6 now easily and intuitively edits drums. Group feature. The new Track Edit Group function lets you edit Any group of audio tracks placed within a and quantize all the drums at once and keep folder can now be edited as a group. I tried this them phase accurate. I’ve tried it, and am really on a guitar part with 2 mic sources and a direct impressed at how intuitively it works. I think it’s signal. at least as good as Pro Tools, and maybe even easier and faster. You can quantize any rhythmic All 3 tracks act as one for any edits. On drums material. Cubase 6 also has a new improved it is fantastic. This makes multi track editing a Hitpoint-to-MIDI drum replacement function. breeze! It is very easy to replace or enhance your drums GUITAR AMPS & PEDALS with the included Groove Agent One Drum Cubase 6 has a new amp plugin called VST Amp Rack. The sounds are actually very good. It includes 16 Virtual pedals that go into half a dozen popular amp heads and cabinets. There’s also a virtual Shure 57 mic mixed with a condenser microphone placed at different spots in front of the speaker. This is followed by more EQ and a tuner, if you like. They have done a nice job modeling all the pedals and amps. It is a real learning experience trying different amp, speaker, and pedal combinations. I enjoy hearing how an alternate speaker cabinet or mic placement changes the tone of a guitar. It’s like re-amping in the box. There are lots of tonal possibilities here. I took a guitar solo, copied the audio, and ran 2 tracks to two different VST Amp Rack inserts with totally different amps and pedals. The result was huge! I also copied a clean, funky electric part and ran one track into the Amp Rack & panned it opposite the original with great results. Sweet…. HALION VST Cubase 6 also comes stock with a new VST 3.5 Synth: HALion Sonic SE. The SE version doesn’t have all the editing capabilities of the award winning HALion Sonic, but it still comes with 900 sounds that are production ready. HALion Sonic SE has a 16-part multi-timbral mode, and allows you to play both wav and midi files. It also has a general MIDI file template so you can import stuff off the internet and have all the right notes going to the right instruments. I found it to be a very usable synth with lots of great sounds. For a small additional price there’s an upgrade path to the full version of HALion Sonic. Cubase 6 also includes a 60-day trial version of the HALion Symphonic Orchestra VST Sound Instrument Set. These contain quality Woodwinds, Brass and String, and Percussion samples. All the VST 3 Plug-ins in Cubase 6 also now have MIDI learn. With just a click, you can assign
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the player s choIce .
Robbie S e ay israel hough to n linco ln bre w st er john m ark mc mil lan phil w ickham
D’ADDArio & CompAny inC. i FArmingDAle ny 11735 i D’ADDArio AnD the plAyer’s ChoiCe Are trADemArks oF D’ADDArio & CompAny, inC. or its AFFiliAtes in the Us AnD/or other CoUntries. © 2011 D’ADDArio & CompAny, inC. All rights reserveD.
Selfish To Selfless... A Journey Worth Taking
by Rick Cua
As we have said many times, your groove is about more than just playing. It’s about your “way”, how you live, and your “mode”, so to speak. Many times musicians have to fight the hardest in order to get outside of themselves and their craft long enough to pay proper attention to those around them, including those they love most. The journey from Selfish to Selfless is ordained by God and could be one of the best trips of your life. As a kid coming from a loving family there was a lot of affirmation. I felt loved and was always told that I could do anything I put my mind to. That’s a good thing and I am forever grateful for it. The problem can be, when a lot of attention is focused your way you can turn much of your attention toward yourself and become more self-focused as opposed to others-focused. Add to that being a musician where eyes and ears are on you a lot, and if you’re not totally God-centered you can think So…am I there yet? No, not really, but I think more highly of yourself than you ought, as the I am getting closer. When I was very young I scripture above warns. can still remember one of my extremely passionate Italian Aunts referring to people It probably comes as no surprise that my being in the ”ILM Club”…the I Love Me main Love Language, like many musicians, is Club. I thought that was pretty funny, but words of affirmation. I can still hear my wife as I got older I realized she was probably saying something like “I don’t have time to referring to me as well! It’s funny how most give you strokes right now…it’s a good song, of us make decisions based on how WE will but I have things to do!” I had an interesting be affected but don’t often enough take into thought the other day: I wonder if I gravitated consideration how our choices in life will towards music because it would speak to my affect others. love language and my need for affirmation? I’m not sure, but it’s an interesting theory. I guess it all started when my Uncle bought me a new bowling ball with a turquoise bag Think about it…most everything in that had my name stenciled on the side in, marketing is geared to the individual. You not kidding here…4” tall letters. I was so deserve the best car, home, clothes, creature embarrassed and felt like the whole world was comforts, etc. We are programmed to take watching every time I walked into the bowling care of ourselves. So what’s wrong with alley with it. I was well loved and learned over that? Actually, when in balance, nothing. The time that it actually felt pretty good. problem is we tend to look so inward that we forget about others. We forget about giving, Fast-forward 10 years and there were posters serving, reaching out, and making time for it with my name and picture on it advertising all. the next gig I was playing. Another 10 and I was making records and touring the world, Throughout the scriptures we are told to look and yes, at least in part it seemed to be about outward from ourselves both in thought and me. Even in Christian music I had to wrestle action. These scriptures were written because with self-promotion. When you are the of the nature of man and, I’m sure, the climate brand, that’s what you do. I guess what made in the world. John 15:12 – “…love one another, me comfortable with it was the knowledge just as I have loved you.” Romans 12:10 – “Be that it was really all about God and I was just devoted to one another in brotherly love; give the vehicle. But even with that truth there was preference to one another in honor;” Romans still a struggle at times. 15:7 – “Therefore, accept one another, just as Christ also accepted us to the glory of God.” 1 There is a point in all our lives where we Cor 11:33 – “So then, my brethren, when you need to take the focus off of ourselves and come together to eat, wait for one another.” place it on others. I’m not talking about Galatians 5:13b – “through love serve one abandoning your own feelings and desires, another.” Galatians 6:2 – “Bear one another’s but rather, getting the whole thing in balance. burdens”. Ephesians 4:32 – “Be kind to one The Apostle Paul says in Romans 12:3 “For by another, tender-hearted, forgiving each the grace given me I say to every one of you: other, just as God in Christ also has forgiven Do not think of yourself more highly than you you.” Philippians 2:3b – “regard one another ought, but rather think of yourself with sober as more important than yourselves.” These are judgment, in accordance with the faith God just a few of the “one another” scriptures that has distributed to each of you.” speak loudly to the issue of selflessness. 18 JULY/AUG 2011 CHRISTIANMUSICIAN.COM There’s a beautiful balance within the wellread passage in Mark 12:28-31 – “One of the teachers of the law came and heard them debating. Noticing that Jesus had given them a good answer, he asked him, “Of all the commandments, which is the most important?” “The most important one,” answered Jesus, “is this: ‘Hear, O Israel: The Lord our God, the Lord is one. Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength.’ The second is this: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ There is no commandment greater than these.” Love your neighbor and every other wonderful thing related that the Bible teaches. ALWAYS be concerned how your choices affect others. NEVER be so inwardly focused that you overlook the needs and feelings of others. And, love your neighbor as yourself. Not more highly, not less but “as” yourself. This is part of the balance. There will be times in your life where it may seem that you are putting more emphasis on yourself than you should. Pray and ask God for discernment. Check yourself with your spouse, Pastor, or close friend you trust. Living selfless doesn’t mean not taking care of yourself too. Scripture makes that clear. Only when you are in God’s perfect balance can you have peace and feel like you are living right and making steady headway on the road from Selfish to Selfless.
Not just a musical artist, Rick knows the business of music as well. Besides being a music publisher, artist manager and booking agent, he founded and ran his own record label, UCA Records, in the 1990s which led to a position for five and 1⁄2 years as Vice President, Creative/Copyright Development at EMI CMG in Nashville. There he managed a large songwriter roster and exponentially grew revenue through film and TV licensing, song promotion and print music development. He is currently on staff as the minister of Pastoral Care and Visitation at Grace Chapel in Franklin, TN.
By Bruce Adolph
I’ll bet that I have seen the Newsboys in concert over 20 times in my life. For several of those times I was actually involved in promoting the show. When the original front man, John James, departed early in the Newsboys’ career, I was there to interview Peter Furler, who was relinquishing his role as their drummer and stepping into the role of the Newsboys’ new front man. That was the Step Up to the Microphone tour. Peter wrote most of the songs, did a huge part of their recording of the albums, and then toured relentlessly for years on end. Then, just a few years back, word came that Peter was going to step back from the microphone and the
Christian Musician: Last time we met, you had been a “road-dog” for so many years. There was a constant cycle of “Write music – go in the studio – record – tour – come back – write new music – record - tour. . . . . and repeat”. And you just came to the point where you wanted to “unplug”. So pick up the action from there for us. Peter Furler: Well, the transition was a lot of work for all of us. The Newsboys was a tree that I planted in my teenage years. So it is something that is very dear to my heart. God was the one that made it grow. And the transition was very important to do well. It was sort of like handing over a church, or a ministry. You want it to move on and to flourish. So that took awhile. The original goal was for me to be behind the scenes, and I was for a good season. Michael Tait came out and rode the bus for 30 shows or more and traveled with the band and caught the vision. And then we switched and I was behind the scenes and just helping wherever I could. But then it just got to the point where it became clear to all of us that the band needed to step out on their own two feet. So that left me at the point of basically saying, “What am I going to do with the rest of my life?” But not in a negative sense. It was really thrilling to get to ask that question and have that sense of adventure. Being in something like the Newsboys, things were always planned out so far ahead. And it needed to be! I could look at the itinerary and tell you where I was going to be next year: “Oh, I’m going to be in Moscow next year.” And to go from that, to not knowing 20 JULY/AUG 2011
Newsboys were going to work in Michael Tait (known as 1/3 of dc Talk) as the new front man. Peter was going to unplug. I interviewed him then and found him to be one tired road dog. He didn’t know what the future really held for him, but he was walking boldly into it. Over the years I have been a fan of the Newsboys as a band (all great guys too), and a fan of Peter himself. He is a master of hooks, has a knack for writing excellent melodies, and is also quite an exhorter of the brethren when he speaks to an audience. Now, after a two-year sabbatical, Peter returns to music; but he is coming from quite a different place now…
the Aussie way of life. It’s a lot slower pace of life here where we live and the lifestyle is simple. It’s a bit of a surf-culture here, and that’s something that I grew up with. It was just a change for us really, as opposed to getting away from anything. It was a chance for us to test new waters together. CM: Did you surf when you were growing up in Australia? Peter: Yes! I grew up surfing and that was a huge part of my life growing up as a kid. CM: So how does the surf compare in Florida? Peter: It’s great down here! It gets a pretty bad rap, but I like that because it keeps the tourist surfer population down. But I’ve had some of the best surfs of my life here! It doesn’t get the surf Australia gets, but not many places do. It’s great here though, and when it really comes in, it’s like Christmas!
what the future held, was just brilliant. And also, my wife Summer and I just really began to enjoy life and simplify our lifestyle. We traveled around in an RV for about 110,000 miles. We did that for 18 months, sleeping in campgrounds and following the tour bus. We were just living in that environment and loving it! We were playing to 10,000 people one night and then sleeping in the parking lot of the Wal-Mart super center that same night. We had lots of interesting and strange experiences hanging out with other RV’ers and at all of the campgrounds. It was really incredible, but it also really taught us, as a couple, about how much we really need in this life in terms of material possessions.
So that began a process for us of really simplifying over the past couple of years and to look at everything we have and everything we own. It made us think about and appreciate the things that we work for and what it takes to get them and to maintain them. These are life principles that you learn CM: How about the sharks? Are they and we’re thankful that we picked them up bigger in Australia? now and are continuing to live them. Peter: Yeah, they’re bigger there. But I see a lot of sharks out here. I use a standCM: Tell us about the exodus out of Nashville. In some ways, that must have up paddleboard a lot. That’s one of the big been refreshing for you too because there boards that you stand up on and paddle is so much music industry there. But you with a Hawaiian-style oar. And when I’m out left Nashville and you chose. . . . Florida? on that and going to a particular spot, I’ll definitely see up to 3 or 4 sharks every time Peter: We love Nashville! It’s a great place I’m out. and the people there are so great. It wasn’t really an exodus like “we’re getting out of CM: So I hear that you’ve been doing here”. It was more about Summer and I being some painting too, as well as reading and a couple of free spirits and feeling a bit like relaxing, is that right? gypsies. We like to get up and go, and to be Peter: Yeah, it’s part of the creative process free to do that. Being down in Florida feels for me. I think it’s something I’ve really had like we’re freer to do that now. Being down to learn, about not being so busy all the time. here feels more like the Aussie climate and The bible says, “Don’t wear yourself out to
get rich, but have the wisdom to show restraint.” So I’ve had that bit of revelation in my life. But at the same time it’s good to have a vision, and it’s good to create something just for the pure joy of creating it. I’ve been quoted in the past as saying, “God didn’t create the horse so that it could win at the races. He created it for the pleasure of watching it run.” And this is like that for me: There’s this creative thing in all of that we all have. We are created in His image and we all have these gifts to be able to make things, whether it’s a meal, or a song, or a business deal. Whatever it is, there are great things that can be created by everyone.
that type of a life and when there aren’t any hooks pulling you to places that you don’t need to be. It was probably the most fun record that I’ve ever made. CM: It probably harkened back to your first love of just falling in love with music in the first place, and playing just for the joy of creating music and not because of any expectations on it. Peter: Yeah, there were lots of revelations in the process. And I think that I knew many of those things already, but they became new to me. Things like: creating something out of nothing. Just picking up an instrument in the studio, knowing that sometimes you don’t feel like it (in fact, a lot of times you don’t feel like it!) but you just lock yourself in that room and you try and play and sing your way out of it. And doing that for hours sometimes and maybe even coming out feeling like nothing happened, but then going back and listening to what you recorded and hearing something fresh in a progression, and then finishing it. And then to look back a week later and think, “That song didn’t exist a week ago, and now here it is! A song like ‘Glory to the King’.” Wow! I might sing that song the rest of my life. You never know. But I dedicated a few hours and a few moments of discipline and I get blessed with a song that I may end up singing for the rest of my life! CM: You’ve always been a master of the “hook”. You’ve always had a great sense of music and it’s always been very accessible for people. I like the fact now that for your future tours you have such a vast set of resources to draw from. You have all of your new music that has so much life to it. But then if you’re in worship setting, like if you come to one of our Christian Musician Summits, you have some great songs that you can pull out that are such great worship songs that everyone knows. Peter: And I’m so thankful for that. I love that I can do both. Your magazine addresses a lot of songwriters and musicians, and one of the things that I’ve re-learned again is about how I go about writing the music. I don’t listen to a lot of music, in fact, I hardly listen to any music. We’re not big “music around the house” people. And when we’re driving, we like to talk, or take in the sights and the sounds. So when I go to write music, I’m really hungry. I haven’t been filled by something else. When I write a melody, I write one that I want to hear. I don’t try to write one that I think will be a hit, or one that I think my fans
Continued on page 30
that want me to come speak. But something So for me, to paint is just another extension just didn’t “click” for me. I began to realize of that creativity. And to have a bit more time that I’m a singer, and a songwriter, and that’s to do it now that I’m not on the road all of what I do. I began to realize that vision more clearly than I’ve ever had it before in my life. the time CM: And I’ll bet that the songs are CM: So you did a project with Steve coming easier now too, now that you Taylor, but I also know that you began don’t have such a set agenda and schedule forming some of your songs into a solo project. Tell us what that next step looked that you have to follow. like. How did you go about making the Peter: They really are! Some of them have record? I reminds me of the same kind kind of, literally, just fallen into my head. It of sound as “Love, Liberty, Disco”, which really kind of started with Steve Taylor coming is one of my favorite Newsboys albums. around to visit me. We had a coffee together I thought it was such a cut-above other and he was asking me about my plans for music out there in terms of the artistry the future. And I really didn’t know. I didn’t and creativity, and it had so much life to have any plans to make a solo album. But I it. It probably even went over some of had a bunch of songs in my “kitty” that were your normal listeners heads! But I feel kind of leftover, and Steve and I began to talk like this new album has that same spark to about them and listen to them. We both felt it. You are refreshed Peter. You can just like there were some good ideas there could feel it in the music. be developed. So we began to talk about finishing some of these songs. And my deal Peter: Definitely. I think that working with with Steve was always, “I’ll finish them as long Steve and Jimmy and John really stirred up a as you sing them!” I wanted to stir him up a new freedom in me. Also, not having a record bit because I’ve always been trying to get him deal or any outside force putting expectations on the project left me with the freedom to to do a record. pick any palette of sound and color of music So I went into the studio with Steve Taylor, that I want. And it also gave me the ability, Jimmy Abegg, and John Painter, and the four and not in an arrogant way, but in a “freeof us made a record. Not many people know spirit” way, to not have to care so much about about this record yet because it’s not out. . . what becomes of it. .but it’s brilliant! It’s a great record! And that Somebody asked me recently what my was the product of me just having another creative outlet and being able to just jam expectations are for the solo album. And I for the pure love of making music with three have to say, they’ve already been met! I’m other guys. And collectively agreeing on the just thrilled to be making music! I live a sound and the words and the lyrics and chord much simpler life now, so there’s less to have changes. I was just there as the drummer, and to maintain and to do. And that’s where this came from. It flowed from that sense of to provide some background vocals. freedom and a lack of anxiety. That’s when So that’s what really led to me realizing that I write best: when there’s no anxiety and I this is what I do. I’ve had other opportunities don’t have to worry about tomorrow and I come my way, as you can probably imagine. have no burdens on my shoulders. And also, I’ve had a church call me up and want me to just letting the Lord direct my steps. And you lead worship for them, and different groups can let Him direct your steps when you live 22 JULY/AUG 2011 CHRISTIANMUSICIAN.COM
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KICKED IN THE REAR WITH LOVE
I just finished meeting with a band that has sold over 6 million records, have had several Gold albums, and numerous #1 hits. They have one of the most charismatic front men around, who’s also a great singer! They know they’re not connecting with EVERYONE in the audience, and they want to connect with EVERYONE. they loved the concert so much. Everyone’s comments were pretty much the same, ‘Wow! I didn’t expect it to be so professional. I wasn’t going to buy anything but now I need 2.’ What a difference it makes to go into a church knowing you have something for them and they will be blessed. Thank you for your organization and the way it empowers artists like me to use our talents and creativity. Performing is fun again! And more than anything, I get to witness people who get changed because of how God used that moment, which is better than $600 in CD sales.”
Now, you may not be playing to 10,000 people a night and I wasn’t sure what to making $70,000. expect. This group is And let’s face it – actually known for their as a Christian artist live show; and they want me to help make that’s not the goal anyway; but how about it even better. I was so impressed with their creating moments in your live show that desire to learn, grow and improve. In fact, I will change people’s lives? told the lead singer that one of my jobs is to Bill Gates says in his book Business @ the “kick them in the rear with love”; to challenge Speed of Thought, the businesses that will them; to help them grow even more as artists, be successful in the 21st century will have two even though they’ve been doing this for at things together: “high-tech and high touch.” least 15 years. He looked at me, gave me his Your onstage performance is your high touch! fist, and said, “Dude, that’s exactly what I want When you are in the same room with people – I want to get better.” and can make an emotional connection with What a breath of fresh air! them, they will become fans. This group didn’t come to me on their own. It had been suggested to both them and their manager that we work with them for quite a while. Finally, they realized that the people telling them to get with us really cared about them – and that it would be a good thing for them. You see, this band plays about 150 shows a year; and if it was just about “learning as you go”, then they’d be the masters at it! In fact, they were on the #1 tour in America last year.
$70,000. But maybe you’re playing to 100. Are you getting $700 a night from your merch sales? Tom Jackson, world-renowned Live Music Producer, Here’s a testimonial from an artist we worked helps artists develop with recently: “I’m so happy to report we their show into “unique memorable moments!” A This is a group whose merch sales are $7/ kicked off our first concert and people were Live Music Producer does amazed! We had 35 at this concert and person at their shows – and they still want help. over $600 in onstage with the live show, what a record producer CD sales. Most does in the studio. Tom’s people came Live Music Methods make up to the table your live show engaging, to buy 2 or 3 to exceeding audience’s give to friends expectations and creating and family. Four fans for life. Many successful more families artists have learned from Tom: Taylor Swift, Jars contacted me of Clay, Jordin Sparks, Sidewalk Prophets, Casting the next day Crowns, Francesca Battistelli, The Band Perry, and to get extra other acts you admire! For more info, go to www. onstagesuccess.com. copies because Photos from CMS Conferences where Tom taught. One of the things we discussed a lot during the meeting was the difference between good and great. They knew (whether writing a song, or in the studio, or in their live show) that the right “little things” make a big difference. 24 JULY/AUG 2011 CHRISTIANMUSICIAN.COM
Going back to my meeting with the band – it encouraged me! Here’s a group that long ago The Live Music Methods I’ve developed will knew the importance of the live show, even help you make that connection so you can though they were selling millions of records. capture and engage your audience, create Now that the music industry has changed, it’s become even more important to them. moments for them, and change their lives. On the other hand, being able to make Do you realize how important your live show money with your music is what will make is to your career? Or maybe you know a band it possible for you to continue doing your or an artist that needs help on their show. music, sharing your message, and changing Could you send them a link to this article or lives. So let’s take a look at the numbers. As our website and let them know the reason I mentioned earlier, you probably aren’t you’re doing this is because you like them playing to 10,000 people a night and making a lot, and you want them to be a success?
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On Fire Peter Furler EMI Christian Since we are interviewing Mr. Furler in this issue, I will leave recent autobiographical details alone in favor of looking at the exNewsboy leader’s new solo disc, On Fire. The specter of his former band shines bright, as Furler does little to dissuade those who thought he was the dominant musical architect of the group. Indeed, On Fire bears much resemblance to such ‘Boys projects as Love, Liberty, Disco (Our own illustrious editor Bruce Adolph’s personal favorite Newsboys album) and Go while, perhaps paying slight homage to club-oriented groups like Owl City. Entertainment is the buzzword here as Furler piles on the hooks fast and heavy on such crowd pleasers as “I’m Alive,” which memorably opens the album, and the pop anthem “Reach,” which speaks convincingly of God’s steadfast nature. The first half of the album seems designed very specifically for church use with very vertically directed (i.e. Worship) lyrical proclamations and plain-spoken declarations of God’s attributes. With “All In Your Head,” Furler transitions to the rapid fire, clever wordplay that signifies his collaborations with Steve Taylor, married to a steady, 4/4 dance beat. “Closer” throws an aural curve ball at listeners with a definite Chemical Brothers-inspired industrial sound as Furler spits out warning words of the believers’ lack of preparedness for the end times. Steve Taylor makes a delicious vocal cameo that adds real bite to the meaningful, yet somewhat goofy, lyric that signifies a juxtaposition that Furler has successfully navigated in the past with songs like “Breakfast” and “Fad of the Land.” “Faster and Louder” fights the inevitability of the aging Furler slowing down musically, while serving as a metaphor for the spiritual walk as well. Despite these two exceptions, On Fire is not the most inventive piece of plastic you will hear this year; however, that hardly makes it less than a rousing success. With the songwriting expertise of Furler and Taylor, as well as Me in Motion guitarist Jeff Mosley on board with fluent production, the disc is exceptionally fun to listen to, inspires when it is designed to, and is as entertaining as anything Furler has committed to record. That should be enough to please any long-standing Newsboy fan or connoisseur of CCM. 26 JULY/AUG 2011 All Things Bright and Beautiful Owl City Universal South While I will readily admit a huge bias toward guitar-based, organically conceived music, Owl City’s (the nom de plume for songwriter/ programmer, Adam Young) huge 2009 hit “Fireflies” had me humming along with the millions of other listeners who were captivated by Young’s fanciful musical production and unerring sense of melody. All Things Bright and Beautiful won’t disappoint fans of Ocean Eyes, as the new project, while showing a natural element of growth from debut to sophomore project, sounds alarmingly like that colossal hit. “Alligator Skies” in particular sounds like it hopped right off the same assembly line, despite the hip-hop “light” groove and a guest turn by rapper Shawn Christopher. There is no denying the potency here of Young’s melodically beguiling, hook filled tunes, but the record is mostly devoid of anything relatively substantial, either musically or lyrically. It is kind of like eating an entire carton of Cool Whip in one sitting – enjoyable while you are doing it, but ultimately, it leaves you undernourished. The lyrical content is often escapist fun with an eye on romance and longing. Spiritual themes are given a brief name-check as Young sings of “angels” and “Beautiful things seen by astronauts.” “Galaxies” also opens with the speech given by Ronald Reagan when addressing the nation after the explosion of the space shuttle “Challenger,” while Young states, “Dear God you are the only star I would follow this far.” In an era of great economic challenge and political anxiety, it is a little underwhelming to hear Young sing about “sailing our sad days away, forever, in deep blue seas of paper mache… when we join the Yacht Club.” Granted, the melodies on All Things Bright and Beautiful are winsome and the presentation is fun, but it would be nice to have an album that is a little less disposable next time out. Shotgun Angel: 35th Anniversary Deluxe Reissue Daniel Amos Born Twice/Retroactive www.danielamos.com While we don’t usually review reissue albums (okay, this is the first), that is mostly because our market suffers from a lack of effort in honoring the founding fathers of our genre. In other words, it’s hard to review what ain’t made. Born Twice, a new reissue label started by veteran label man Matthew Hunt, is starting to fill the reissue void and manages to hit a screaming, 565-foot grand slam with this phenomenal effort by the legendary Daniel Amos. To paraphrase from industry veteran David Lowman’s review on his essential, “CCM’s 500 Best Albums of All Time” blog: Daniel Amos may have the most rabid and myopic fan base on the planet, as most of us are convinced that any Christian album “top ten” would probably consist of Only Visiting This Planet by Larry Norman and nine Daniel Amos albums in varying order. To say that this beautifully repackaged and pristinely remastered edition is overdue would be an understatment of the highest order. For those who aren’t familiar with the early days of Christian music, Daniel Amos was the biggest Christian band in the land when this was released circa late ‘76. Their first, self-titled album of Eagles-inspired countryrock sold excellent numbers for the day and their regular concerts at Calvary Chapel Costa Mesa were the best attended shows of that era. The release of Shotgun Angel changed the landscape for what Jesus Music could be, artistically. Country-pop was the sound of the time and, while SA adhered to that sound somewhat, especially on the first side of the record, the last half was something new altogether. An overture, performed by a full orchestra, opened the suite of songs on Side Two that made up the genre’s first real “concept” piece. The suite took a look at end times theology, which was a hot button topic of the day. The record’s dispensational view of eschatology was also accepted by Calvary Chapel and most Evangelical branches of Christianity (ironically, that view is no longer accepted by most members of the band). The BIG surprise, however, was the band’s evolution from Poco and Eagles-inspired pop to edgier rock and roll with motifs
borrowed liberally from Sgt. Peppers-era Beatles, Smile-era Beach Boys, and even a few tentative steps into what would eventually be called new-wave rock. The record set the stage for the band’s transition away from the comfy confines of the CCM market into a completely new era of bold artistic exploration that caused Daniel Amos to lose more than a few listeners. However, this wonderful document of the era still exists and BOY, is it a beauty! The new master is revelatory. Remastered by J Powell, the album sounds current and vital and enhances the stellar work done by original knob-twiddler Jonathan David Brown. In fact, Jim Stipech’s majestic orchestral arrangements are given an exciting extra dimension and added grandeur. What really makes this project a must own, however, are the multitude of bonus tracks, demos and alternate mixes, some of which have been remixed by longtime DA champion, Eric Townshend, who along with brother Jason and project overseer (and band historian) Tom Gulotta have managed to keep the group’s work and vision alive for the past decade or two. An incredible 26 tracks and 77 minutes of unheard music have been uncovered by these gentlemen and they range from the sublime – the extremes between the demo and alternate mixes of “The Whistler,” exhibiting both the enchanting
Taylor melody (demo) and the band’s bold, experimental arrangement (alternate mix) to the silly - the “Studio Snippets” track as well as “Shotgun Bagel” and “Looney Tunes.” We even get to hear Mark Cook sing the demo version of “Shotgun Angel” instead of Taylor, who sings the album version. With the band’s impending move to less commercial territory (the whole of the Alarma Chronicles), it is instructional that Shotgun Angel holds up better, even as a period piece, than that slightly dated sounding concept series. It has a classic quality that makes it viable, even in today’s market, though that is mostly due to the compositional genius of Terry Scott Taylor, Mark Cook and Jerry Chamberlain. Finally, the deluxe, multi-color, 24-page booklet that accompanies the project is indespensible to the reissue, containing 30 never before seen photos of the band. It also contains one of my favorite credits of all time, listing: “John Benson - Eefin’ on ‘Meal’,” which will make perfect sense upon hearing that song. If you are a fan of Daniel Amos, or even have just a passing interest in the history of the Christian music genre, this is an absolute must own - as a document of a lost era, as well as a peek at an absolutely essential band during one of the most important times in their development.
Return Paul Colman Trio Independent www.paulcolmantrio.com This currently tops my list for most welcome reunion of 2011. Paul Colman and his two compadres, Phil Gaudion and Grant Norsworthy, had been making records for several years overseas but finally made one stateside in 2001. Their two essential record releases were decent representations of the band’s roots in guitar-oriented pop (think Beatles and 80’s stalwarts like Elvis Costello, Squeeze, Midnight Oil) but with a little extra studio sheen that tended to obscure the band’s songwriting chops. After two records, the band broke up. Gaudion went back to Australia, Norsworthy eventually followed and Colman enjoyed a sputtering solo career and a one record stint in the Newsboys. Thankfully, they always remained friends and the time came to again record an album as a band. Return features songs that were written intermittently over the past ten years and left aside for various reasons. The lovely acoustic pop-worship song, “The Gathering,” was actually written for the “City on a Hill 3: The Gathering” project and not used. Time
off did little to blunt the band’s ability to write exceptionally catchy pop-rock tunes. The opening salvo, “I Don’t Know Why” has a cosmetic resemblance to Take Me to Your Leader era Newsboys, but it features pure pop choruses that band could never manage credibly to this degree. Unencumbered by the production dross that marred their Essential records output, even the more commercial numbers like “Show Me the Real You” and “Salt of the Earth” sound refreshingly free of market concession and could probably dominate Christian radio if PC3 choose to play the industry game. The general restraint and tastefulness of the production free up the band to explore textural nuances on “Salt of The Earth” that allow this atmospheric track to rise above the mere Coldplay sound-alike vibe that most CCM bands appear to settle for. The track “I-53” abbreviates Isaiah 53, and is a word-for-word reading of that chapter, set to music that is equal parts prog and Blues and features an incendiary guitar solo from none other than Phil Keaggy, who also lends his axe to the final few measures of “The Gathering.” The band shows its affinity for guitar-oriented power pop with “World You’re Living in” and “Judge Judy,” which were inspired by a guide at a Great America theme park and by getting an autograph from the ubiquitous TV judge, respectively. “Wannabe” adds an acoustic funk groove and killer harmonica licks from the bandleader while Irwin Thomas
gives the track a stadium feel with his superb guitar solo. Colman and crew effectively mine spiritual application from the details of everyday life in several songs while others are more direct declarations of devotion and God’s providence. Both “Forever Friend” and “5’s and 6’s” are supper club-inspired acoustic folk/pop that wouldn’t sound out of place on an early Beatles album. The latter is named after the shifting time signatures of the song’s rhythmic structure. Return’s sheer variety of styles would be dizzying if not for the strength of the songwriting and the exceptionally symbiotic ensemble work by these longtime chums. Having previously heard little of a reunion by The Paul Colman Trio, this album comes as a most welcome surprise and Return to form by a band that, apparently, was just in need of the perspective that a sabbatical can sometimes provide. Here’s hoping it isn’t nine years until the next record.
does not compare to the peace, love and joy that lies before us. Please let this recording remind you of the beautiful souls that have impacted us and encouraged us to truly live our lives and to savor every breath.”
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Industry veteran Sprinkle, whose long list of accomplishments includes drummer (for Poor Old Lu, Demon Hunter, Morelle’s Forest etc.), producer, label head and studio owner, also includes singer/songwriter. It is under this guise that he created, with the help of many friends, this lovely CD of prose and music which was inspired by the life of an individual he knew for only a year, but felt compelled to remember through lyric and tune. Sprinkle’s solo music is a mixture of 80’s college rock (R.E.M., The Connells, Let’s Active) and moodier, folk-rock (Elliot Smith). On Streamstory, his main instrument is the acoustic guitar, but inviting melodies like those found on the album opening “Color of the First Light” are fortified by the inclusion of ringing Streamstory electrics and well measured Jesse Sprinkle percussion, as the song Blind Records/Bluebrick Recordings/ builds slowly from just guitar Amani Records to a stirring full band sound www.jessesprinkle.com by song’s end. Lyrically, From the inside jacket of Streamstory: Sprinkle will appeal to the “This CD is dedicated to the memory of Erik more esoteric as he rarely slips into a straight Secker – Truly he will be missed. But at the narrative, instead, favoring impressionistic heart of these songs we celebrate life. We Continued on page 32. have all been touched by loss but this loss firstname.lastname@example.org www.shubb.com 707-843-4068
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EVENTS for CREATIVE TYPES to IMPROVE SKILL & INSPIRE TALENT for GOD’S GLORY
September 16 & 17, 2011 Cornerstone Fellowship, Livermore, CA featuring Peter Furler, Lincoln Brewster, Brenton Brown & others...
October 14 & 15, 2011 Scottsdale Bible Church Scottsdale, AZ, featuring Peter Furler & others
October 8, 2011 Calvary Community Church Westlake Village, CA featuring Brenton Brown & band, Dwayne Larring, Tom Brooks & more
November 11 & 12, 2011 Overlake Christian Church, Redmond, WA featuring Peter Furler, Phil Wickham, Lincoln Brewster, Paul Baloche, Christy & Nathan Nockels, Doyle Dykes, Zoro & others
have a much clearer picture. And again, it’s an will like. I just don’t think that way. I just write opportunity to have an open palette and do songs that I like. And I’m very thankful that something creative and new. there are a bunch of people who like them CM: Okay, let’s throw out a possible too! scenario for you. I know you’ll be getting CM: Sure! And you could draw back and gigs to go back to the big Festivals, and pull out “Breakfast” for fun, or you could there’s bound to be comparisons because your old band, the Newsboys are still out do “He Reigns”. there. So is it going to be kind of like a Peter: And I will! I just finished my first show Pink Floyd – Roger Waters thing where in Australia. I had Summer playing keyboards one night they might play some of the for me, which was just amazing. She did an big hits, and then you could headline a incredible job. And they asked that we play second night and play some of the same some songs from the new record, which big hits? Have you guys talked about that obviously isn’t even out yet, and those went and how that all might work out? down great. And then we played some “He Reigns”, and some “Breakfast”, and “Something Peter: I think we’re all good. That’s really Beautiful” and a few more like that. So it up to the promoters. You never know what a worked out perfectly because they just go so promoter feels is best for the fans. But I think that would be fun. well hand-in-hand together.
Peter Furler (cont. page 22)
don’t have any hooks in you. And it’s not about arrogance; it’s just about being led by the Spirit and not being led by the bottom line. CM: And also it’s part of just downsizing, isn’t it? We’re all going to have to downsize a little with what’s going on in the economy. Peter: Yes. Right. And we’ve really done that in our lives in a good way. We actually felt it and started to do it quite a bit before any of the current economic situations were happening, but we just felt led by the Spirit to do that. And again, God was very gracious to us in so many ways. CM: So, it’s great to hear that you’re part of a beach community. What part of Florida are you in? Peter: We’re down in the panhandle, right at the gulf. We’re near Seaside and Panama City beach. CM: And that’s actually where you asked Summer to marry you, isn’t it? Peter: Yeah! It is! We have a lot history here. Well, down here is actually where I asked her dad if I could marry her. I think Summer and I had already decided. But this was where I asked her dad. She’s from Georgia, but they vacationed down here quite a bit. CM: Just in closing here, you know that we’re going to have you teaching a workshop at our Summit, and it’s going to be a pretty open forum to songwriters and musicians where you can offer advice and share what’s on your heart. But is there anything you have on your mind right now that you would like to say to encourage fellow songwriters and Christian musicians?
CM: Can you tell us who you think will CM: It’s similar to what happened when be in the touring band with you the next the three guys from DC Talk split up. They were all still doing DC Talk songs and then time you go out? mixing them with their own songs. Peter: I’m not 100% sure yet. . . there are Peter: Yeah, that’s right. Especially when some different options open right now. you’re the one who wrote the song, it’s kind But at this point I’m looking at Seth of like your child. I think the thing I would Mosley on guitar. He and I coprobably look at too, is pulling some of produced the record together. the more classic Newsboys stuff that The two of us actually played the guys in the band now wouldn’t all of the instruments on the probably go to. They’re trying to record. I’d love to bring him forge on, which they should be. And out. And I’m looking at Jon I’m trying to forge on too. . but at the Thatcher, from Delirious, on the same time. I love the past! bass. And on drums. . . . I still really haven’t decided yet. Summer is on CM: This time around the block keyboards and she’s brilliant. But though, you’re not by this time next going to get in a year I should position where you have to push yourself too hard. I like the fact that you’ve got open spaces in your life. You don’t have to tour and do 150 dates.
Peter: I would say, “Keep at it!” Do it for the right reasons. Don’t let disappointment keep you from pursuing your music. Sometimes your instrument, whether it’s your guitar, or your keyboard, can also represent disappointment. You can look at it and feel like you’re not good enough. I can feel that way too as a musician and a player. And I think the discipline of just doing it is really P e t e r : important. Keep at it and don’t give up. Don’t And I love be thinking about career (and I know that’s that too. easy for me to say), but it’s the truth. Again, it’s Ask the Lord to give you songs. Summer one less and I pray every day and ask the Lord to hook in my give us great songs. Also, be thankful. I think life. It’s like that being thankful is one of the keys to a Jesus talked successful life. We can look at the negative, or a b o u t , we can look at the positive in each other, or in “They’ve got any situation. nothing in me.” There’s CM: Thank you Peter. It’s great to hear s o m e t h i n g about what the Lord is doing in your life p o w e r f u l and about the new music horizons that when people are in front of you. God bless you!
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Cubase 6 Review (cont. page 16)
With VST Expression 2 now available in Cubase 6, I find that editing individual MIDI notes is more intuitive and fun. This new VST protocol allows more expression than ever imagined before. Expression 2 now goes deeper to make a MIDI track super-expressive. MIDI controllers can be applied to individual notes. This has Steinberg Cubase 6 is one of the best DAWs on never been possible until now. You can also the market today. grab a group of notes and change values like WISH LIST: you would with audio tracks. If you are a tweakNot much, actually. I would love to see an easyfreak, this is definitely for you! to-use mixer grouping function, and of course . VIDEO TUTORIALS: . .always more VST Synths. I’d also like to see a Cubase 6 comes with 2 hours of video tutorials. function to change the project record folder in Learning about gear has always been fun to me. the Media Bay. That’s just me…. I checked these out and found a lot of cool stuff The street price runs about $499.00. The I had actually forgotten. There is also a Cubase 6 upgrade from Cubase 5 is $150.00. Have fun! ‘first look’ iPhone App that is well done. Take your music to the next level! MORE STUFF: For more information, check out The new Time Stretching function is very www.steinberg.net. good. We took a Big Band track with strings and pitched it down a whole step. I was surprised at how good it sounded. I then put a vocal on Michael Hodge is a producer, it, and no one but me was the wiser. You can engineer and recording artist. He’s a guitar player on staff at also alter the tempo of a track while keeping it Lakewood Church in Houston in the same key. This is another great and usable TX. He and his amazing wife feature. Carrie Mcdowell Hodge record and lead worship together at conferences MEDIA BAY internationally. Their passion is for the nations and to The Media bay is now more user-friendly, and stir up the next generation of worship leaders both sports a mini-browser to get to stuff quickly. singers and musicians . Michael is in constant pursuit of great tones and great gear!
Cubase 6 has closed the gap with Pro Tools and Logic with new features like Drum Editing, Advanced Tempo Detection, Track Edit Groups, and Folders, along with Vari Audio, VST Amp Rack, HALion Sonic SE, VST3.5 Plug-Ins, VST Expression 2 and 64-bit compatibility for both Mac and PC.
Selective Hearing (cont. page 28) imagery that requires some work from the listener. I’ve always felt that poetry is more effective when it is felt, rather than deciphered and decoded; this allows for a more personal interpretation and I believe this is what Sprinkle is going for. The theme seems to be the passage of life into eternity as references to hope, new birth, streets of gold, and angels are heard, but this is a long journey, and Sprinkle fills each of the thirteen tracks with plenty of aural flourishes to pique our interest along the way. Cello, violin and twelve-string guitar give some songs (“Beyond the Earth,” “In Loving Memory,” “Everlasting Joy”) a pastoral nature, while numerous effect pedals and backwards loops elicit an almost hallucinatory or psychedelic feeling that may be meant to approximate the passage from terra firma to the celestial. This is especially effective on “Clockwork.” For those not affected by the conceptual nature of the record, Sprinkle just happens to be an ace tunesmith, so cuts like “Color of the First Light,” “Old Home,” and “Somehow” are memorable and expertly conceived slices of populist 32 JULY/AUG 2011 CHRISTIANMUSICIAN.COM
art that should appeal to anybody. “Your Touch is Gold” ends up in Beach Boy territory with Sprinkle’s creative use of bells and glockenspiel, as well as some yummy harmony vocals, while “Love” features an ascending guitar figure, disembodied vocal fragments and some frenetic stick work from Sprinkle to create a swirling, melodic, instrumental melange in the song’s latter half. Far from the processed commercial glop that emanates from the studios of Nashville, this record is full of beguiling imagery, crisp arrangements and generous musical expression all in the service of remembering an individual who touched the lives of many people. It should also be noted that the proceeds of this record go to Erik Secker’s surviving family to help with any expenses that have been incurred. While exploring Sprinkle’s website, you may want to read about the work he is doing with The Ugandan Water Project. Or even donate.
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by Keith Mohr & Sue Ross-Mohr
Keith and Sue here from “The Indie Mechanics.” Welcome to our new column! As you may know, Keith has been writing his “Indie No Spin Zone” articles for this fine magazine for years. Recently, we teamed up to produce a podcast called, “The Indie Mechanics.” Check it out at: www.indiemechanics.com. The podcast is about 1 hour in length, covers topics pertinent to the Christian musician, songwriter, performing artist, and is updated weekly. Now, we’re bringing the podcast to print so we can share our experience and wisdom with you! in front of fans. With current philanthropy based services, such as Kick Starter and Indie GoGo available through the internet, artists are literally able to raise monies to fund their ventures without the spin of a rolodex on a shiny wood desk filled to the brim with industry contacts. study those who are currently where you want to be. Believe in God and what He has you doing, and by all means, keep doing it. You don’t win a race by stopping before the finish line! Being thematic in nature and creative is the gist of this century. Be uniquely you! Be high tech and high touch at the same time. Use the tools available to you, but do not neglect live, in person, face-to-face engagement. Enlist the services of a tried and true consultant to help construct the blueprints of your plan, and then enter the world of successful independent artists as they too, climb with you. What a great time for Independent artists! Be independent, together! We look forward to sharing more info with you in each issue of Christian Musician Magazine! Also, we will be live in person, teaching seminars at all of the Christian Musician Summits around the USA this summer and fall. Check them out at: christianmusiciansummit.com. Hope to see you at an event soon! If you have any questions or ideas for future articles, let us know! We can be reached at: email@example.com or firstname.lastname@example.org Creatively His, and Keep up the excellent Faith-Work! Keith and Sue The Indie Mechanics
Keith Mohr is president of indieheaven.com and has worked with thousands of Christian independent musicians, songwriters, and artists since 1997. Keith is also an accomplished songwriter, keyboardist, and producer. Sue Ross-Mohr is president of theinnervizion.com, a consulting, marketing, and promotions company who have extensive experience in all facets of the music industry. Together, Keith and Sue were recently married and spend most of their time dreaming and working together! You can find Keith and Sue on Facebook, Twitter, and elsewhere online!
Independent allows artists to create and manage their creations. As any individual who has known these ‘creative types’ knows, the ultimate is seeing their art put out into the public eye and ears as it was meant to be seen and heard. They are the owners, not Our first article is titled “Indie Rising,” and dependents waiting for the time to come that unless you have been living under a rock the recouping of profits will allow them fullthe past few years, you are aware of radical rein. changes in the music industry and how it has affected artists and those who work with, and Now don’t get us wrong. There is a place for them. We hope our thoughts on the topic and time for everything under the sun. We at IndieMechanics, are not label-negative, we are will turn the lights on even brighter! just artist-friendly. Without labels we wouldn’t Just what does it mean today to be an have had the pleasure of hearing and seeing Independent Musician/Artist? Let’s break this the Beatles strut their stuff on stages across down and define the title a bit to see where the nation, or others bringing thousands to it fits in this vast arena that we call “the Music a deafening roar praising the name of God Biz.” in arenas and events, or even the hundreds that were found through A&R, developed To begin with, the word independent, in and brought to radio to fill the airwaves with regards to a musician and their career, used talent that has been phenomenal at times. to set them apart as a ‘lone ranger’ without the help of a label. The dictionary brings forth As the clock ticks each and every moment, the profound offering that an individual/ the melding of these two roads are taking business is not subject to another’s authority place even as we speak. The roads that or jurisdiction. So with that being said, are available for independent artists have independent has grown not because of being quadrupled. Some artists, such as Radiohead alone, but by being independent together and Switchfoot, have even chosen to not with other individuals and companies and renew their label contracts in order to enter sharing authority and jurisdiction. the independent roads, along the unsigned. To have the label of being ‘on a label’ was thought to mean that you had reached nirvana your career path. Times sure have changed. This very statement has actually flip-flopped. With the presence and ability to speak to the world through social networking, the fans/ friends/followers are literally at the fingertips of the artists. Many times without spending a dime of their own monies. A label was a vital piece of the puzzle that was a prerequisite in past years to fulfill that. Along with that need, came the relentless quest for financial help in getting the artist out there on the road and 34 JULY/AUG 2011 Is there truly a trick or a magic direction that will take an artist to the places where they want to go? Not really. Some, however, get sidetracked wasting time and resources looking for the path of least resistance. Don’t do that! Some focus their concerts to those in back of the stage instead of those in front. Don’t do that! It’s not indie rocket science folks! It all comes back to the basics, over and over again. The difference between a professional and an amateur is one of definition and consistency. Know who you are and where you want to go. Research and
If you are looking for some new chords to spice up old progressions, you’ll enjoy these new voicings. Let’s look at the voicing of an Amin7 chord and a C6 chord. By the way, they have the same notes! The same makeup! Amin7 = A C E G & C6 = C E G A. They contain the same notes, just in a different order. These voicings are particularly useful for a secondary guitarist, with the first guitar playing the open, stock chords, and the second guitar playing embellishments and fills. The first guitarist can play an open Cmaj chord while the second plays a C6 on top of it. This gives the Cmaj a sweet country sound. Likewise, when the first guitar plays Amin, the second can play Amin7, which will lighten up the minor sound. Since these chords have the same makeup, each chord can serve as either a major or a minor; you just have to know where to place them on the fretboard. As you learn these shapes, remember that you are getting 2 for 1. What a deal, and well worth the work!
Inversions Here are some voicings for Amin7 or C6. A closed inversion, for our purposes, means we will have chords using four adjacent strings. An open inversion means we will skip a string in the voicing. String group 1 encompasses strings 1 2 3 4, group 2 uses string 2 3 4 5, and group 3 strings 3 4 5 6. In our open inversions we use strings 6 4 3 2 and then 5 3 2 1. If you have a guitar playing friend, try having one of you play the stock chords, either Cmaj or Amin, while the other plays these voicings and see how you like the sound. If you don’t have a friend like that then use a recorder. I’m sure you’re going to like the sound and can find places where you can use them either in the worship service or your own personal playing. Transpose Remember if you really want to get these grips down you’ve got to transpose them to other keys. Apply them to all the common chords you currently play. Don’t forget these chords will work for any major chord and it’s relative minor chord, F6 = Dmin7, A6 = F#min7, D6 = Bmin7. Someday these chords will become part of your everyday playing. Till then, may God bless your hard work.
36 JULY/AUG 2011 CHRISTIANMUSICIAN.COM
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by Joe Riggio
Review of Burriss Royal Bluesman Amplifier
“What is that thing? A lunch box? An ammo box?” Nope, this is the Royal Bluesman Amplifier from Burriss Amps and Effects Pedals. They are a company that makes American-made, hand-wired tube amps and this is their offering of an 18-watt, class-A tube-driven guitar amp head. This is a very popular configuration among “boutique” amp builders these days and I, being a big fan output jacks, accommodating 4, 8 and 16 of them, was anxious to try this one out for ohm loads. This was a sign of a well thought out, professional amplifier. Oh, and one more myself. little clever surprise: the footswitch that is My first impression, because of it’s compact included with this amp also delivers 9 volt size, was that it would be a very bare bones power to your pedal board, via a 9V jack at type of amp with little or no frills. However, the amp pedal. I have never seen this feature this little thing has a couple of surprise before, in any amp. As curious as I was about features that are fairly uncommon in many what was inside, I decided to wait until after other “pocket amps” currently flooding the my testing to have a peek. I didn’t want to market. I immediately notice from a visual scan have any preconceptions about how this amp of the front panel that Reverb and Vibrato are “should” sound. onboard this single channel gem. Hmmm… now I’m even more interested. The back panel Starting with a Strat, my most familiar guitar, revealed an effects loop, complete with level I began putting the controls through the controls for both the “SEND” and “RETURN” ropes. My immediate realization was that, jacks. I quickly finished hooking the head even though this is a master volume circuit, up to my 1x12 cabinet, housing a Celestion this is definitely not a heavy distortion, highG12H 30, from the early 70’s (my personal gain amplifier. Even at high preamp settings favorite). I was pleased to see 3 speaker on the “VOLUME” control, the growl is kept to a point associated with older power-tubetype distortion. It remains beautiful and tight, never entering into buzzy sounding tones. The “TONE” control settings were also very natural even when boosting beyond the flat 12 O’Clock area. The basic voice of this amp is about what I expected from this type of circuit: chimey and focused with very present midrange and rolled-off low frequencies. Again, this is not a Heavy Metal type amp with huge bottom end but has plenty of fullness within the guitar’s acceptable range for Blues, Rock and Country. Secondly, using a Les Paul was even more exciting. The amp has no problem staying tight when driven with the higher-output humbucking pickups. The basic voice stays intact but becomes a bit more saturated from being driven harder. This thing really does sound like a 38 JULY/AUG 2011 CHRISTIANMUSICIAN.COM
high-quality, hand-wired amp. The onboard spring reverb and tremolo are true vintagesounding effects, not digital simulations. Now let’s take a look inside… This Royal Bluesman came from the factory with excellent quality modern tubes. A pair of JJ EL34’s, a trio of Russian-made Mullard 12AX7’s and a rectifier tube fill up the sturdy-feeling tube sockets. Looking into the inner workings of this military-grade chassis revealed a beautiful, fully hand-wired circuit. There were no printed circuit boards, at all, only point-to-point circuitry. The spring reverb tank is carefully fit sideways into the very small space. Very clever, I must say. Honestly, there were no disappointments from this moderately-priced gem of an amp. The compact size paired with classic tube tone would make this a great choice for just about anyone ready to step into something of pro quality, in the $1,000 price range. Retail $1,195.00 Street $995.00 www.burrissamps.com
Joe Riggio is a professional guitar repairman/technician and recording engineer, based in Tacoma, WA. He owns and operates “Service Guitar Repair” and “House Of 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 can be contacted at ServiceGuitarRepair@gmail.com, website: www.ServiceGuitarRepair.com
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In Pursuit of Excellence
Leonard Jones - the Levite of Praise
Leonard Jones is a multi instrumentalist, songwriter, teacher, and worship leader that has inspired thousands of musicians around the world. He has appeared on hundreds of CD’s, and you may have played one of Leonard’s songs, or a song written by one of the many worship leaders that he has taught. For over 20 years Leonard has been teaching and leading Worship at Morning Star Ministries in North Carolina. Now God has him doing a new thing, he is mentoring church worship teams and ministering at conferences and worship events around the world. Leonard is getting ready to launch the “Levite Praise Institute”: Training Generations of Worship Leaders & Artists, along with releasing his new CD of original music fall of 2011. Roger Zimish: You grew up in Florida and first started playing music there right? Leonard Jones: Yes, in Jacksonville, Florida. When I started playing guitar I was listening to the Beatles, the Yardbirds, and would learn Eric Clapton and Jeff Beck solos. After high school I went to Jacksonville University where I was a composition and theory major with a minor in violin performance (classical music and jazz). I joined the Air Force and moved to Germany for a couple of years. After the Air Force I came back home and played in several bands. I was in the Christian rock band called Vision with a couple of guys from Lynyrd Skynyrd, (keyboardist) Billy Powell and (bassist) Leon Wilkeson. This was after the Skynyrd plane crash (the Lynyrd Skynyrd band was in a deadly plane crash where several members died in 1977). They got saved, and we would give our testimony after we played our concerts. We played all the big Christian music festivals like Cornerstone, and other Jesus festivals in the 80’s. RZ: You play a number of instruments, Keyboards, Sitar, Flute, Violin, Mandolin and Guitar. Can you tell me about some of your instruments? LJ: My main electric guitar is a 1960 Vox Soundcaster that I got in Sweden. They didn’t make too many of them, and it’s got incredible low end. I still have the original pickups in there. The guitar fights you a little bit, but I like that. I don’t like a guitar that’s so easy to play; I like a guitar to give me a little resistance . . .not much, but I like that. I also play a Gibson Les Paul 50’s Reissue. The acoustics I’m playing are a 1970 Martin D-28 12-string and a Taylor 25th anniversary model. Both have LR Baggs pickups. I like the LR Baggs system because they are a good all around pickup and sound really good. For amps, I have a 1973 50-watt Marshall head. I set the lows at 4 or 5, and the highs at 7, and the amp just screams. I have a ‘63 100-watt Marshall head, but it tears the walls down. You can’t control it inside, but it sounds great for outdoor gigs. My cabinet is a 4x12 Marshall with Blue Celestions.
is just for soloing sometimes. If I do any effecting I’ll do it afterwards. I’ll add a little reverb, or some echo. I just like that raw sound that the amp makes just plugging straight into the amp in some situations. If I get the amp set like I want, I won’t even use the Maxon. For looping, I like the new (Digitech) JamMan stereo with the mic input. I’ll run my violin into that, and my guitar. When I’m playing by myself, I use the inputs on my keyboard (a Korg Oasys). I can run my acoustic guitar and vocal mic into that keyboard, so I then can send the output of my vocals, violin, guitar, and keyboard into the JamMan. It’s really fun. You just have to be careful that you don’t cloud the sonic landscape when you do that. You can store background tracks on the JamMan too, like the acoustic guitar part for the song ‘Burning Bush’ so I can play the violin part. The JamMan has a headphone output that can combine the track along with a click (metronome), so that can be sent to the drummers in-ear monitors.
I just got a real nice Bouzouki from Greece that’s really cool. My violin . . .well, one day I mentioned to the Lord that I would like a good violin, and the next day my friend Ricky Skaggs calls me up and says, “I was praying, RZ: When you were at Morning Star, were and the Lord told me to give you one of my you developing the artists or the worship leaders? violins.” It was handmade. (WOW!) RZ: You use a Maxon overdrive pedal. Do LJ: I always develop the worship leaders. The you use any other effects or looping pedals? way we did it is very simple: we just let them lead worship with us. They just naturally fit in. LJ: I don’t really use any effects. The Maxon For twenty years I would almost always have a CHRISTIANMUSICIAN.COM JULY/AUG 2011 41
student leading worship with me when I was up there, and a lot of those guys, like John Mark McMillan, have gone out and are doing really big things now. I think apprenticeship is the best way to teach. You can teach them in the class room forever, but get them out there on the stage with you leading worship and writing their songs. I would write with these people, and I was learning just as much from them as they were learning from me. They had all these fresh ideas and I had all this experience.
“Oh Jah!” is a classic Leonard Jones song that RZ: Tell me about your new perfect pitch RZ: You have taught and worked with a lot has appeared on several CD’s, check out the course and how it can help a worship musician. of guitar players. What mistakes do you see chord movements in the verse. Stay tuned LJ: My “Perfect Pitch Ear Training Course” is players making today? for the next issue for more with Leonard five DVD’s and one CD. It’s over nine hours of LJ: The biggest problem I see is that they Jones in the studio and a look at his new song training. When I went to college and did my rely too heavily on their tone, and not on their “Inside Your Love”. Visit Leonard at www. sight singing exam, I’d open up the book and technique; so consequently, it sounds like it. LeonardJones.org. start singing it and I’d be right on the note, The creativity level is much smaller because Roger Zimish and Austin Biel will be hosting and they were like, “You have perfect pitch.” they’re listening to each other and they pick the summer Guitar Intensive in July 2011 at And I’m thinking, “Well, yah, everybody has up each other’s habits. In other words, if a The Covenant School of the Arts in Lakeland perfect pitch.” “No,” they said, “You have to player sits there and bangs away on octaves all Fl. www.covenatschoolofthearts.com be born with that.” And I’m thinking, “How do the time, and you are emulating that person, you figure that?” I learned it just by hearing then you’ll end up doing the exact same thing. Roger is an award winning the note “E” over and over again while I was I’m not saying octaves don’t sound good . . guitarist from the “Songwriter tuning my guitar. If you hear a note enough it .they do sound good, but you know yourself Showcase of America” Roger will get stuck in your long-term memory. From that when we were growing up people could is available for private lessons that you can use your relative pitch to find the play a melodic solo over the chords. Many and at The Covenant School other notes. players today don’t know how to do that, and of the Arts in Lakeland Fl. So if you can hear an “E” in your head, and I think they really need to learn that. People Endorses Greg Bennett Design somebody plays an AbMaj7 with a flat 5, you want to hear melodies. They don’t want to Guitars by Samick, G&L Guitars, just count up from “E” to “A flat”. From there hear banging away on octaves. They don’t BBE Sound and PedalTrain Pedal Boards. Email: you can hear your major sevens and that know they want to hear that yet, but once email@example.com, www.rogerzimish.com kind of stuff. It’s very difficult, but I’ve had they hear it, they say, “Oh! I’ve been robbed.”
beginners tell me what chord I was playing. It’s past single notes and goes to where you’re hearing the whole chord construction. With our spontaneous worship albums that we do, we’ve never discussed keys. Whoever is in the other room . . .when they start playing, I know what key they’re in as soon as they hit the note. That’s what it’s for. It’s for spontaneous worship. Most so-called ‘spontaneous albums’ are very diatonic. If you listen to the stuff we do we’re all over the map, and you can’t do that without ear training.
Now Lincoln Brewster . . .he plays melodically! RZ: A final word. LJ: Well I enjoy playing good music with nice chords and interesting melodies. It’s about making inroads into people’s hearts, and I’m mainly trying to affect the next generation to think musically. (end of interview)
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Surfing The Absurdities
By Bryan Duncan
One of my band members years ago noted how nobody says they went to “hear” their favorite band. What people say is, “I went to see” them. In all our practice to present an impressive performance, it’s almost depressing to discover that what makes a memorable presentation is not always in what we have rehearsed. it. One particular night, I found myself with the microphone in one hand, playing the keyboard with the other, on one knee trying to retrieve the sustain pedal. I ended up laying on the stage, under the piano, finishing the song, and laughing with the audience about how ridiculous I must look. For years after that, I would hear from those who recalled I learned this early on in my own concerts. the one concert where I “performed under It was on the “train wrecks” that the audience the piano.” perked up – that one moment where it was Now, I only know of one story about noted clear that what was happening had not been composer and violinist Niccolo Paganini. It’s planned! P.A. disasters were most often the the story of the night he broke all but one beginning of a derailment! I used to get angry string on his violin during his performance about those annoyances that hindered my ... but finished the piece on that one string! presentation. But over the years I’ve learned People resonate more with witnessing what how to “surf the absurdities”. It’s God’s little we must overcome to finish well. Never forget way of keeping us real! that! Sometimes the most inspiring part of The first time I realized I was never going a presentation is what people see in your to get a presentation exactly as I liked it was personal reaction to disruption. There are an early concert playing a Yamaha CP 70 on whole theories about playing on one string. stage, where the sustain pedal kept sliding Jam sessions aside, I’ve forgotten words under the keyboard where I could not reach to songs in a set and replaced them with spontaneous thoughts that have come to mind, some so good that I left them in later! I recall a song I perform regularly, “I Probably Love You Delilah.” There’s a line in that song that says, “I don’t remember what I’m sayin right here… cause you look so good that I don’t really care.” That was from a mistake I made on stage. I kept it! And recently, I too broke a guitar string right on that line! (It’s on Youtube, btw), and I sang “You look so good that I…. broke a string.” I could have stopped right there all frustrated, but, why not relax and improvise to overcome. I believe God loves those “in the moment” opportunities to trust Him the most. Funny now, that what I recall most in the storytelling of my career are the absurd moments where I was no longer in 44 JULY/AUG 2011 CHRISTIANMUSICIAN.COM control. They become the high water marks that define one presentation from another. Same songs, different outcome. Isn’t that what created our desire to follow Christ in the first place? It’s the absurdities in life; spiritually, faith is about trusting God with answers we don’t have and things we cannot control. Even this week, I found myself in the great state of “ill annoyed.” I contracted a throat infection. Couldn’t sing! The one thing I do best. They asked me if I wanted to cancel. “Not a chance,” I told them. “Let’s go out and see what happens.” I would say the secret is finding the “serenity to accept what I cannot change and the courage to change the things I can.” That’s a little line borrowed from “recovery” principles. You will find an opportunity in every performance to acknowledge what you have no control over. The truth is, almost anyone can rehearse a piece and regurgitate it. That’s why we have “cover bands.” Do you want to be a jukebox where people drop a quarter in and get the song they want to hear? Or do you want to be “in concert” with God Almighty? What people really come to see is passion and heart. This weekend, no one left disappointed that I didn’t deliver what I’m known for; they got to hear the new songs I’m working on, how God affects my life, and why I wrote the songs. It became a presentation of what goes on behind the scenes. And what inspires me to write and sing in the first place. Let’s call it a “reality” show. Frankly, God loves the moments where we are not in control, because He has the opportunity to “solo.” I guess the point is for Christian musicians, learn to fade! Do you know how to back up the soloist? You hold down the structure and stand back to make room for the improvisation!
Bryan Duncan... CCM artist for thirty years. With the Sweet Comfort Band, then solo and now with the Nehosoul band. Owner of Red Road Records and Host of Radio Rehab at www. radiorehab.com inducted into the Christian music Hall of Fame in 2007.
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I’VE FORGOTTEN HOW LUCKY WE ARE WITH DAWs (digital audio workstations)
In the course of the next several blog postings on my site www.producedbymattkees.com, I’m going to give some personal insights into producing, with some practical tips. I’m actually developing content for a book covering the concept of “Indie Producers Making Records for Ministry.” So, please feel free to send comments to email@example.com or share some of your ideas on my Facebook page (facebook.com/mattkeesmusic). What do you think I ought to cover in the book? e.g. recording techniques, mixing techniques, how to use plug-ins, etc... let me know what you have questions about. Okay, back to the purpose of this article. I was just doing some recording the other day with a great artist/lead worshiper from Vancouver BC, Lalpi Guite. We’re working on a song that will be mostly acoustic guitar and cello... but during the recording I was thinking... wouldn’t it be cool to do this? or to do that?? I can add just about anything w/ soft synths, or plug-ins, even other instrumentalists. All I have to do is make sure Lalpi plays his acoustic guitar in tune and with the click. Then I can add whatever I want! I grew up in an era where this was not necessarily the case. I started recording on 16 & 24 track analog tape. When you record with a relatively few number of tracks like that, you have to spend a LOT of time planning out your track sheet, so that you have enough space to capture everything you want to capture. We all remember ping-ponging various tracks to mono or stereo to make more room for everything else down the line. Plus, you had to organize your production schedule so that instruments were captured in the right order. For example, first, you recorded basic rhythm tracks with a scratch vocal. The trick there was to make sure you nailed the drums. Frequently, we’d overdub 46 JULY/AUG 2011
with Matt Kees
the bass, keys and guitars. Then you could 4. Oh, so carefully cleaning up tracks add multiple BGVs, then ping-pong those to before mix-down 2 tracks. Next came the multiple guitar tracks, 5. Ping-ponging which again had to be ping-ponged... then 6. Pushing the VU meters :) percussion, and strings, etc, etc... and then But some things never change... We’ll discuss a lead vocal... ahhh. Those were the days. more later on my blog... visit me there. Everything was linear... it had a place in the Remember - I’m starting a book for ‘Indie time continuum. Producers Making Records for Ministry’... Not anymore. what topics should I cover? Shoot me note. Now, with Digital Audio Workstations, the game has changed. And I frequently forget Matt Kees is an independent producer, songwriter how lucky we are to be able to record this and musician (as well as the Director of the Christian Musician Summit conferences). way - especially with a small ‘boutique’ studio Most of his clients are independent artists and worship like I have. For one, I simply don’t have room leaders looking for a great recording that won’t break for a multi-track machine... ha! Plus, since I the bank! ha! work with a wide variety of clients (mostly Matt is a Neumann and Sennheiser endorsed engineer over the internet - which is another incredible and produer. tool), I can pop back and forth easily between Visit www.producedbymattkees.com for more projects to work on them whenever I want, information on how to see if Matt’s the right producer and I don’t have to worry about storing tape, for your project. or organizing schedules for dozens of players. I just pull up a file, and bam! There you go. I can work on any track for a song at any time. I can even do drums last (which I never have until just now on track by my worship leader, Gerod Bass with Carl Albrecht on drums). With non-linear editing, I can cut and paste tracks to my heart’s delight. Things I love about DAWs... 1. Non-linear editing. 2. Endless tracks 3. Loop recording multiple-takes (makes comping a breeze) 4. Huge variety of insert effects with plugins (what’s your favorite?) 5. SOOOO many busses :) 6. easy mix-down automation What do I miss about analog recording? (sarcasm? maybe, except #6) 1. Cleaning and aligning tape heads 2. The challenge of the track sheet 3. Tails in? tails out?
Look Forward To Practice!
You spend so much time practicing, you should enjoy it. That’s why Yamaha created the new SV-150 Silent Practice Plus violin. This comfortable, lightweight and stylish instrument includes a controller with a unique MP3/ AAC/WAV/MIDI player; it can speed or slow any song’s tempo by up to 25% without changing pitch, so you can practice at your own pace.
controller also offers a chromatic tuner, metronome and 24 high quality Yamaha digital effects – from concert hall reverb to distortion– to make everyday practice sound extraordinary. I Visit www.4wrd.it/spvcm today to learn more and find an SV-150 dealer near you. Practice will never be dull again.
Save your favorite MP3, WAV, AAC and MIDI files on an SD disk, put it in the controller, then play along.
Adjust the tempo of songs by up to 25% without affecting pitch to practice at your own pace.
©2011 Yamaha Corporation of America. All rights reserved.
thicker body more control
Classic Voice Eminently Recordable Gig Ready
Volume + Tone control for each pickup, 3-way toggle
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24.5” Scale Length 22 Frets Wide Fat Neck SE 245 Treble and Bass Humbuckers
F or the music you make
e l ec t r i c s • a c o u st i c s • a m p s • c a b l e s
© PRS Guitars, 2011 Photo by Marc Quigley
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