Here’s my Christmas present to you, a free track from the album. The song is called “We Give You All The Glory.” You can download it by clicking on the download link on player on the right.
The song is a favourite with many people who have purchased the album, if you haven’t got a copy you can buy one from this site.
The song begins with piano and vocals which creates a lot of space and then it gradually builds up to an anthem of praise.
I wrote if for many reasons, the heart of the song is to give God all the Glory, letting Him know that we know that if we are moved in worship it’s because of Him, if we are encouraged it’s because of Him, if we are healed it’s because of Him. I could go on but I think you get the picture.
I hope you enjoy the track feel free to let your friends know about the free download and share the track.
Having said all that rules are made to be broken. Above all we should be sensitive to the leading of the Holy Spirit and sensitive to the congregation. It is the work of the Holy Spirit to energise the songs that we are singing and the congregation are gathered because they love Him and want to meet Him, to catch a glimpse of Him.
If a song is simple and has only 4 lines then I would use it wherever it felt appropriate. I would sing it once and then invite the congregation to join me.
Another great place to introduce new songs is in a ministry time although you still need to be sensitive to what ‘s going on around you. Not everyone will be having ministry many will still be worshipping. Just sing the song straight through, if there are lots of people still worshipping sing the first verse and chorus twice, just to give the congregation the opportunity to familiarise themselves with the song and join in.
In a conference setting I would be more inclined to introduce new songs from the first set and then use them throughout the conference. I wouldn’t spend time teaching them to the delegates. If you use the new songs consistently during the conference people will pick them up and make them their own.
How many times do we come away from a conference with new songs in our hearts.
I thought it would be really good for us to rehearse in the space that we would be recording the album in. It meant we were familiar with our surroundings, that all the gear was set up and that we could just get on with recording when we returned on Monday.
I’d booked the studio for and afternoon to evening slot, on the Saturday before our recording week. We all arrived around lunch time and had lunch and a chat before setting up. Rachel had discovered a cafe around the corner that did hot chicken, bacon and cheese sandwiches which were a hit with the band as was Rach, when she wasn’t around everyone was asking where she was!
Once we were set up we ran the songs. I’d made some lyrical changes to some of the songs as a result of meetings that I had had with Mike Burn (Family Worship) and Chris and Jennie Orange (ICF). I didn’t realise how important the lyrical changes were to the the rest of the band but the changes did affect the way the band were playing, so that was a lesson learnt.
It was great to hear everyone’s musical ideas coming together. Robs bass line for “I Will Not Fear” gave us the groove for that song. Hen’s drumming on ‘Wait for the Lord” made it edgy, Ben came up with the rhythm guitar part for “Wait for the Lord” at the studio rehearsal, when he started to play it we all looked at him and said ‘make a note!’
I was right into muso language by this point which was kind of cool, I felt like I’d found my sea legs.
We had a lot of fun at this rehearsal. I could see everyone’s appreciation for eachothers ideas, creativity and skills. We had gelled together as a team which was so important to me.
At the first rehearsal everyone got to know each other. Some of the band members already knew each other.
I had asked my friend Rachel to come along to all the rehearsals and to the studio because I wanted someone around who would look after the needs of the band in terms of us being fed and watered; Rachel has a flair for food, what can I say. Her taking this role on meant that I was able to concentrate on the music. Also I was glad of her female company, men and women just don’t think alike and although all the band are wonderful men I did feel out numbered.
I had sent out mp3’s to the band before the first rehearsal, taking on Rob Medley’s advice about letting the band live with the songs for a while. We took a little time at the beginning of the session to listen to the songs live. Then we began throwing our ideas about, everybody contributed the the session.
I knew exactly where I wanted to go with a couple of songs so they took shape quite quickly. “Wherever You Lead Me” came together really well; it took off in the rehearsal, I think that was because everybody could relate to the song and it’s ‘all out serve to God’ message The other songs needed more work.
We played through all the songs at the first rehearsal. The foundation had been laid.
I had lots of meetings with lots of people with different specialisms. I met up with Debbie Laycock (Ichthus) to check my theology. I played my songs to Chris and Jennie Orange (Ichthus) and Mike Burn (family worship). I took along a CD of rough tracks and printouts of the chords and words so that it wasn’t a performance.
I wanted to know from these guys if I had an album. Luckily they said yes. I also highlighted points in the songs that I wasn’t happy with. Brian Doerksen says “that a songwriter always knows what’s wrong with a song”.Chris, Jen and Mike all made helpful suggestions for the areas in question. I also asked the guys for any tips they had for the recording process. Jen said “take lots of food”, Chris said “expect it to consume your life” and Mike said “ expect everything to go wrong. All good preparation, I have to say.
Jo Puleston had given me some advice about the album a couple of years ago, Jo is a recorded artist and worship leader.One of the things she suggested to me was to send the songs I wanted to put on the album to Christian leaders whom I trusted.This was to see if I actually had an album to put together.It was good advice as it meant the songs were tested and submitted to my peers and leaders before I embarked on an expensive recording project.
Once I had the final songs for the album everything seemed to happen really quickly.I met up with a few potential producers; I didn’t really know how to put the album together.I also met up with Chris and Jen Orange who gave me lots of pointers.Chris suggested that I get Henry involved in the project. (Henry has recorded with Graham Kendrick, Godfrey Birtell and the Oranges) and so was more experienced in the studio than me for one!
I’d already met up with Rob Medley who is an experienced and gifted musician and a good friend.Rob has worked with Graham Kendrick, Chris and Jen Orange and is currently playing for Judy Bailey.He gave me lots of advice and agreed to co-produce the album with me.
Rob suggested that I get the songs out to band members so that they ‘lived with them for a while before we came together’.He also said that we shouldn’t use valuable studio time to put the songs together but instead schedule some rehearsals, in this way the band would get to know each other and begin to own the project.
After meeting with Rob I went home and started doing my homework.I began by looking up Tim Hughes blog and Al Gordon’s blog.I was aware that they wrote daily blogs when they where recording their albums.I’m so glad they both blogged their recordings as I learnt so much from them.In particular I took Al’s advice to relax and have fun.It was useful to know that the core musicians were all jamming together and how each instrument was isolated in separate rooms or behind screens.It was clear from Al’s blog that they were working really hard and that they were working long hours.I got a sense from Al that he just went for it vocally which I found useful, singers can clam up when it’s time to be recorded!
From Tim’s blog I took much the same advice.I liked what he said about being keen to capture a sense of worship, excitement and passion in all the songs in his recording.I knew that I too wanted that, and was now deciding that I wanted the core band to record at the same time so that we would capture that sense of worship as we recorded.Tim also said that when he records vocals he ‘tried to capture an image in his mind, a thought or scripture’ so that he could ‘keep a worshipful perspective’ which ‘helps to dig deep capturing more passion and emotion’.This was invaluable when I came to record vocals.
As a result of reading their blogs I began to look for riffs, climaxes, places of quietness and celebration in the songs I would be recording.Thanks guys.
Well it’s finally happened! The Album is complete and ready for sale. It’s been quite a journey, a very steep learning curve and it’s all good. The Lord has called out gifts I didn’t realise I had or had been denying that I had. He has shown me what fantastic family and friends I have and has provided for the project in every way. At the moment it’s available from this site. I’ll update you when it is available in other places. I’m working on all that now! I hope you like it.