I've talked over at I Like Blogging about the type of record I wanna' make and I'm excited to finally be pursuing that goal. My hope is to release three original worship tunes this summer for absolutely free!
All of the songs are in different phases of the process, which obviously has a bearing on which ones Bethel will release first, but I think all three are solid tunes for congregational worship and I can't wait for y'all to hear them.
REFUGE, SAFE FROM HARM
If you would have told me ten years ago that hymns would become my favorite type of song to write, I would have said you were crazy. But it's true. I've had this song since last fall and I love it. I haven't led it live, so I have no idea how it translates congregationally, but there are two aspects to the song that I'm super proud of. First, I set out to write a Trinitarian song. (There aren't that many of those out there, gang...) I wouldn't say the song is about the Trinity per se, but I did work very hard that each verse focused on God's "welcome" to us from each person of the Trinity. The second thing I dig is the vocabulary. I always try to come at lyrics poetically, but this I took some bigger word-risks on this one.
I've been leading this one at our church a lot and it seems to be working very well. So far, all we've had for the band is the live board recording from the first time we did it! This recording is a little different because I'm having a out-of-state producer friend build the tune for me. I specifically asked this guy because I knew he could add some creativity to this tune. (I told him to make it "cool." Because I'm old enough to know I'm not cool anymore!) This one has the most congregational connection, so I'd love to release it first. We'll see.
Shield is one of those songs I believed in for a long time. As soon as I finished it, I thought, "my people will like this song," but you never know. I was worried it would be too simple and folks would find it boring, but God's used it in our worship time. Simple is better, I guess!
O BLESSED TREE
This is one of my favorite writes from last year. Lee Black and I co-wrote this and I've loved it since day 1. I've led it at a few Easter themed services and it's been so much fun to lead. Even though it's a Good Friday song, I'll go ahead and release it this summer and then do another push for it during Lent 2016. I'm using a new producer on this one and we're just getting started. I'm excited to see how this one comes out.
I don't feel this way too often, but I think this song is strong enough to have a life with the church at large. This is due to Lee Black's amazing lyrical content - I think the song says things so beautifully that people won't be able to keep from singing it! (Man, I'll feel dumb if this song is a flop.)
My goal is to release six songs a year. We won't hit that this year, but three before year-end will be a good start. I've got to do more on the fundraising side to make sure I can afford six releases a year, but I'm willing to put in the work. I'm convinced that this is God's call for me: write 'em, lead 'em, give 'em away.