Posts belonging to Category Music



Fowler Family Christmas Project

Fowler Christmas Photo

Here is a recording project our whole family worked on together over the Christmas vacation. Don’t let the piano intro fool you. The actual song kicks in after about 20 seconds. Enjoy!

Angels
[audio:Wind_Angels.mp3]

    – Recorded and produced by Sam Fowler
    – Arranged by Sam and Rose Fowler
    – Lead vocal by Rose Fowler
    – Guitars by Sam Fowler
    – Piano by Ramón Fowler
    – Percussion by Timothy Fowler
    – Background vocals by Rose and Ray Fowler

So, what did you do over your Christmas vacation?

Related posts:
    • A Very Merry Guitar Christmas from Sam Fowler
    • Guess the Famous Christmas Trees

Favorite Christmas CDs – Number 1

I am sharing sound clips from my five favorite Christmas CDs this week. And now, let’s have a drum roll please for number one …

FAVORITE CHRISTMAS CD #1:

Kathy Mattea; Good News

Good News: Kathy Mattea Song list: 1. What a Wonderful Beginning; 2. There’s a New Kid in Town; 3. Brightest and Best (Star of the East); 4. Mary, Did You Know?; 5. The Star; 6. Emmanuel; 7. Somebody Talkin’ About Jesus; 8. Nothing But a Child; 9. Christ Child’s Lullaby;
10. Good News
 
 
 
 

Why is this my all-time favorite Christmas CD? Kathy’s voice soars on these songs with deep conviction and emotion. She sings what for me is the definitive version of “Mary Did You Know.” There is a good blend of musical styles from ballads, to classical, to gospel, to folk. There is acoustic guitar! But most of all, this is an album that meditates deeply on the incarnation of Christ as found in Scripture and draws me into worship. What can I say? It’s the best! Here are some sound clips:

What a Wonderful Beginning
[audio:KathyMattea_WhataWonderfulBeginning_sample.mp3]

Mary Did You Know?
[audio:KathyMattea_MaryDidYouKnow_sample.mp3]

Somebody Talkin’ About Jesus
[audio:KathyMattea_SomebodyTalkin_AboutJesus_sample.mp3]

Good News
[audio:KathyMattea_GoodNews_sample.mp3]

Well, that’s the end of my Christmas CD series. If you missed any, feel free to browse back to the earlier posts to check them out. And now that I’ve shared my favorites with you, let’s hear your favorite Christmas CDs in the comments.

Other posts in the series:
    Number 5: Shawn Colvin; Holiday Songs and Lullabies
    Number 4: Harvey Reid; The Heart of the Minstrel on Christmas Day
    Number 3: Amy Grant; Home for Christmas
    Number 2: Bruce Cockburn; Christmas
    Number 1: Kathy Mattea; Good News

Favorite Christmas CDs – Number 2

I am sharing sound clips from my five favorite Christmas CDs this week. Today is number two.

FAVORITE CHRISTMAS CD #2:

Bruce Cockburn; Christmas

Christmas: Bruce Cockburn Song list: 1. Adeste Fidelis; 2. Early on One Christmas Morn; 3. O Little Town of Bethlehem; 4. Riu, Riu, Chiu; 5. I Saw Three Ships; 6. Down in Yon Forest; 7. Anges Dans Nos Campagnes; 8. Go Tell It on the Mountain; 9. Shepheards; 10. Silent Night; 11. Jesus Ahatonnia; 12. God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen; 13. It Came Upon a Midnight Clear; 14. Mary Had a Baby; 15. Joy to the World
 

Canadian Bruce Cockburn is my favorite singer / songwriter / guitarist, and I love what he has done with this Christmas CD. He takes familiar Christmas carols and sings them as simple songs. He digs deep into the past to find lesser known Christmas carols to share. He seeks to be faithful to the cultural roots of the songs. He mixes rollickin’ celebratory tunes with more reflective ones. He adds an original carol of his own. He communicates the true meaning of Christmas by focusing on Christ. And he does it all with his bright acoustic guitar fingerpicking lighting up the various musical offerings. This is a truly great Christmas CD! Here are some sound clips for you to enjoy:

Early on One Christmas Morn
[audio:BruceCockburn_EarlyOnOneChristmasMorn_sample.mp3]

I Saw Three Ships
[audio:BruceCockburn_ISawThreeShips_sample.mp3]

Mary Had a Baby
[audio:BruceCockburn_MaryHadABaby_sample.mp3]

Wow! It doesn’t get much better than that. But be sure to come back tomorrow for my number one pick!

Other posts in the series:
    Number 5: Shawn Colvin; Holiday Songs and Lullabies
    Number 4: Harvey Reid; The Heart of the Minstrel on Christmas Day
    Number 3: Amy Grant; Home for Christmas
    Number 2: Bruce Cockburn; Christmas
    Number 1: Kathy Mattea; Good News

Favorite Christmas CDs – Number 3

I am sharing sound clips from my five favorite Christmas CDs this week. Today is number three.

FAVORITE CHRISTMAS CD #3:

Amy Grant; Home for Christmas

Home for Christmas: Amy Grant Song list: 1. Have Yourself A Merry Little Christmas; 2. It’s The Most Wonderful Time Of The Year; 3. Joy To The World/For Unto Us A Child Is Born; 4. Breath Of Heaven (Mary’s Song); 5. O Come All Ye Faithful; 6. Grown-Up Christmas List; 7. Rockin’ Around The Christmas Tree; 8. Winter Wonderland; 9. I’ll Be Home For Christmas; 10. The Night Before Christmas; 11. Emmanuel, God With Us ; 12. Jesu, Joy Of Man’s Desiring

Amy Grant has three Christmas CDs, but this second one is my favorite. Excellent song selection, strong arrangments, some great guitar work from Phil Keaggy, and Amy’s voice just shines with authority on these songs. Plus, this CD introduced me to the breath-taking song, “Breath of Heaven.” Here are some sound clips for your listening enjoyment!

O Come All Ye Faithful
[audio:AmyGrant_OComeAllYeFaithful_sample.mp3]

Breath of Heaven (Mary’s Song)
[audio:AmyGrant_BreathofHeaven_sample.mp3]

(Note: Amy also recently released The Christmas Collection CD with selections from all three CDs on one.)

Feel free to share any of your favorites in the comments, and be sure to come back tomorrow for number two!

Other posts in the series:
    Number 5: Shawn Colvin; Holiday Songs and Lullabies
    Number 4: Harvey Reid; The Heart of the Minstrel on Christmas Day
    Number 3: Amy Grant; Home for Christmas
    Number 2: Bruce Cockburn; Christmas
    Number 1: Kathy Mattea; Good News

Favorite Christmas CDs – Number 4

I am sharing sound clips from my five favorite Christmas CDs this week. Today is number four.

FAVORITE CHRISTMAS CD #4:

Harvey Reid; The Heart of the Minstrel on Christmas Day (Out of stock at Amazon, but you can order directly from Woodpecker Records here.)

The Heart Of The Minstrel On Christmas Day: Harvey Reid 1. God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen; 2. Deck The Halls; 3. Angels We Have Heard On High; 4. Greensleeves; 5. Santa Claus Is Coming To Town; 6. Silent Night; 7. Little Drummer Boy; 8. Away In A Manger; 9. Good King Wenceslas; 10. Ode To Joy; 11. Hark, The Herald Angels Sing; 12. O Tannenbaum; 13. Jingle Bells; 14. Carol Of The Birds; 15. Rudolph The Red-Nosed Reindeer; 16. The Heart Of The Minstrel On Christmas Day; 17. O Holy Night.

Harvey Reid is an extremely talented multi-instrumentalist who lives in Maine and makes his own recordings. This is a great collection of mostly instrumental Christmas tunes on guitar and/or autoharp. Here are some sound clips:

Good King Wenceslas
[audio:HarveyReid_GoodKingWenceslas_sample.mp3]

Jingle Bells
[audio:HarveyReid_JingleBells_sample.mp3]

Feel free to share any of your favorites in the comments, and be sure to come back tomorrow for number three!

Other posts in the series:
    Number 5: Shawn Colvin; Holiday Songs and Lullabies
    Number 4: Harvey Reid; The Heart of the Minstrel on Christmas Day
    Number 3: Amy Grant; Home for Christmas
    Number 2: Bruce Cockburn; Christmas
    Number 1: Kathy Mattea; Good News

Favorite Christmas CDs – Number 5

We love Christmas music at our house and have collected quite a few Christmas CDs over the years. We have a lot of the old classics such as Bing Crosby, the Vienna Boys’ Choir, and the Mormon Tabernacle Choir, as well as more modern ones.

This week I will be sharing with you sound clips from my five all-time favorite Christmas CDs. My favorite music revolves around singer/songwriters and acoustic guitar, so you will quickly notice a trend in each of these recordings!

I will do this in the form of a countdown, so today we start with number five.

FAVORITE CHRISTMAS CD #5:
Shawn ColvinHoliday Songs and Lullabies

Holiday Songs and Lullabies: Shawn Colvin Song list: 1. In the Bleak Midwinter; 2. Christmas Time Is Here; 3. Now the Day Is Over; 4. Rocking; 5. Windy Nights; 6. All Through the Night; 7. Love Came Down at Christmas; 8. Silent Night; 9. All the Pretty Li’l Horses; 10. Little Road to Bethlehem; 11. Seal Lullaby; 12. Evening Is a Little Boy/The Night Will Never Stay; 13. The Christ Child’s Lullaby; 14. Close Your Eyes.
 

This delightful CD features a unique blend of Christmas carols, folk songs, and lullabies. I love the way Shawn wraps her voice around each of these melodies in her own distinctive way. Here are a couple sound clips:

Little Road to Bethlehem
[audio:ShawnColvin_LittleRoadtoBethlehem_sample.mp3]

Love Came Down at Christmas
[audio:ShawnColvin_LoveCameDownAtChristmas_sample.mp3]

Feel free to share any of your favorites in the comments, and be sure to come back tomorrow for number four!

Other posts in the series:
    Number 5: Shawn Colvin; Holiday Songs and Lullabies
    Number 4: Harvey Reid; The Heart of the Minstrel on Christmas Day
    Number 3: Amy Grant; Home for Christmas
    Number 2: Bruce Cockburn; Christmas
    Number 1: Kathy Mattea; Good News

A Family Man

I love this video. It is a remarkable blend of musical, lyrical and visual arts working together as the artists reflect on the bittersweet (but mostly sweet!) transition from single to family life from a Christian perspective.

Andrew Peterson, “Family Man” (Video length: 4:05)

Destiny City – Church on the Moon

From New Zealand: Church wants to set up self-contained city.

The leader of Destiny Church says plans are underway to create a self-contained “Destiny City” for its followers in the middle of South Auckland … Plans for the city include a 5000-seat church, maraes, medical centres and schools – eliminating the need for residents to ever leave. “Every child of every member of this church will never go to a state school again,” Mr Tamaki said. He urged the church’s 7000-plus members to sell their homes and move to his city “for the purpose of God”. (HT: MMI)

Even beyond the obvious financial abuse and manipulation, there is just so much wrong with this picture. As believers we are called not to isolate ourselves from the world but to reach out to the world. We are to be in the world but not of the world. (John 17:14-15). Jesus himself set the example when he left the glories of heaven in order to walk this planet with us.

Listen to this short cut from the following song and then consider:  In what ways do we sometimes isolate ourselves from the world as Christians? In what ways could we do a better job of engaging the world for Christ?

Click “►” button to play | Length: 0:47
[audio:SaraGroves_ToTheMoon_sample.mp3]
Sara Groves; “To the Moon” (from the album Add to the Beauty)

“TO THE MOON” – by Sara Groves

It was there in the bulletin
We’re leaving soon
After the bake sale to raise funds for fuel
The rocket is ready and we’re going to
Take our church to the moon

There’ll be no one there to tell us we’re odd
No one to change our opinions of God
Just lots of rocks and this dusty sod
Here in our church on the moon

We know our liberties we know our rights
We know how to fight a very good fight
Just grab that last bag there and turn out the light
We’re taking our church to the moon
We’re taking our church to the moon
We’ll be leaving soon

Billy Graham – The Song

Billy Graham turns 90 years old today. That makes him a nonagenarian. Happy birthday, Billy! Here is a nice tribute song to Billy Graham sung by Terry Taylor and Gene Eugene.

Click “►” button to play | Length: 1:13
[audio:SwirlingEddies_ BillyGraham.mp3]
(“Billy Graham”; from the album Outdoor Elvis)

“BILLY GRAHAM” – by Terry Scott Taylor/Camarillo Eddy

I don’t know about those other guys
There’s somethin’ in the back of their eyes
But Billy, you’re the man
Who don’t use slight of hand
Ain’t wearin’ no disguise
I love you, Billy.

I love the simple things you say
And you never seem to get in the way
No one is quite like you
Compassionate and true
“Just as I am”, I say
I love you, Billy.

Note: Billy’s grandson Tullian Tchividjian is celebrating “Daddy Bill’s” birthday over at his blog. Feel free to drop on over to read or add to the comments.

Related articles:

When Fall Comes to New England

We have had a beautiful fall here in New England this year. Enjoy the great word pictures Cheryl Wheeler weaves together in this song while checking out some of the pictures my wife, Rose, took around our neighborhood this fall.

Click “►” button to play | Length: 3:16
[audio:CherylWheeler_WhenFallComesToNewEngland.mp3]
Cheryl Wheeler: “When Fall Comes to New England” (Available on the following CDs: When October Goes and Driving Home)

    Across our driveway
Across our driveway

    Looking down our street
Looking down our street

    Front flower garden
Front flower garden

    Butterfly
Butterfly

    Up close
Up close

    Spread wings
Spread wings

    Neighbor’s house
Neighbor

    Carpet of leaves
Carpet of leaves

Helping Teens Make Responsible Media Choices

The Center for Parent/Youth Understanding | How To Use Your Head To Guard Your Heart: A 3(D) Guide To Making Responsible Media Choices

The Center for Parent/Youth Understanding has put together a new guide to help teens evaluate the media in their lives. The guide is called: How To Use Your Head To Guard Your Heart: A 3(D) Guide To Making Responsible Media Choices.

The 3(D) Guide allows you to teach your students how to move from being “mindless consumers” of media, to an approach of “mindful critique” as they learn how to filter all media through the lens of a Christian worldview. Because teenagers are at a developmental stage where intellectual and cognitive abilities are taking shape, the 3(D) Guide is a tool that allows adults to walk alongside students as they begin to develop the ability to think for themselves.

The 3(D) Guide teaches students 3 Media Evaluation Steps:

  1. Discover: Discover the message and worldview communicated in the piece of media.
  2. Discern: Evaluate attitudes, values, behaviors, beliefs and worldview elements in light of God’s Word.
  3. Decide: Make God-honoring decisions regarding their media use, consumption, and habits.

This looks like great material for youth groups, small groups or youth retreats. The cost is $15 for a pack of 10. You can download a free leaders guide here. You can also download a free media survey to get a handle on how your teens utilize media in their lives.

HT: Stand to Reason

Related posts: Taming Technology in the Home series

Complaints about the New Worship Songs

Dan Kimball shares a couple letters from church members complaining about the song selection and music in church.

Letter #1:

I am no music scholar, but I feel I know appropriate church music when I hear it. Last Sunday’s new hymn – if you can call it that – sounded like a sentimental love ballad one would expect to hear crooned in a saloon. If you insist on exposing us to rubbish like this – in God’s house! – don’t be surprised if many of the faithful look for a new place to worship. The hymns we grew up with are all we need.

Letter #2:

What is wrong with the inspiring hymns with which we grew up? When I go to church, it is to worship God, not to be distracted with learning a new hymn. Last Sunday’s was particularly unnerving. The tune was un-singable and the new harmonies were quite distorting.

The first letter was written in 1863 about the hymn “Just As I Am.” The second letter was written in 1890 about the hymn “What A Friend We Have In Jesus.” Hmmm, the more things change, the more they remain the same.

What do you think about the changing musical styles in church?

HT: Monday Morning Insight