Monday, December 31, 2012

The New Year...

Momma and Ames Emmanuel
New Years kissin'. 
I'm pretty sure everyone needs some party music for tonight, right? Well, here you go. The King of Pop always brings the jams. My earliest memories of music involve me, at five years of age, standing on a pool table, singing Michael Jackson songs for my brother and his dates. He paid me in assorted candies and fruits. He denies this ever happened, but it it did.

My wife and I entered our wedding reception with MJ's "Rock With You" blasting through the speakers! My pal, Kevin McClain and I were going to record a cover of it for the reception, but during the run up to the wedding things were too hectic to get it done. Well, we finally did it, four years later. I enlisted a couple of other amazing musicians to play with us on it.

I hope you enjoy and happy new year!


Christopher

     Recorded November 29 and December 6-11, 2012. Kevin McClain played drums. Rudy Landa played guitar. Brett Banks played bass. These dudes are good. Thanks, brothers!
     "Rock With You" written by Rod Temperton. Originally performed by Michael Jackson. From the album Off the Wall

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Christmastime Is Here...

Christmas is my favorite time of the year. It is magical. I love seeing my kid's faces light up over the decorations. I love settling down with my sweetheart, after all the hustle and bustle, late on Christmas Eve. And who doesn't love the music?

If you didn't already know, I have a Christmas record for your listening enjoyment over at CKandWinter.com. That was a fun project to put together. Lord knows, I couldn't stop there. I've recorded a few songs for a little 52 Christmas present! Download them all for free and tell your friends and loved ones about it. Let me know what you think. Thanks for listening.

Merry Christmas,

Christopher

     Recorded November 11-13, 2012. My good friend Rudy Landa played banjo on this. Man, I love that guy. I know my sons, Lucas Grey and Christopher Avery, and I already recorded "Jingle Bells" for And Winter, but... I was recently contacted about doing a version of "Jingle Bells" for a company's Christmas video. The videographer said, "we love your version of the song, but the kids will not work for what we are doing. The video is for Bushmills Irish Whiskey." Understandably so. I went straight to my office and started working on about seven different variations. They liked this one the best. You can check out their Christmas video over here. Thanks, Bushmills! 


     Recorded December 6-8, 2012. It felt incredibly weird to sing the words "ding dong, ding dong" in three part harmony. I'm just saying. "It's the Most Wonderful Time of the Year" written by Edward Pola and George Wyle. Nice work, gents.


     Recorded November 29 and December 11-12,  2012. "Angels We Have Heard on High" written a long time ago by an unknown French person. The tune was written by Edward Shippen Barnes. Thank you, Ed and aforementioned anonymous French person! I love this song. Nichole Broome sang all of the super high parts. You can hear more from her over at NicholeBroome.com. Kevin McClain played drums. You can hear more from him and his bandmates over at AmericanAquarium.net. When Kev wasn't recording, he was letting my son, Ames Emmanuel bang a bit. Here's the proof!

video


     Recorded December 20-21, 2012. We had some more Dropbox action on this one. Anderson Hall recorded the drums at his place, then sent them over to me. He has done some great work on his contributions to 52! Thanks, Anderson. I wish I had more to offer you. You deserve it. 


     Recorded November 29 and December 18-21, 2012. Kevin McClain recorded drums on this one, too. His tracks were hastily recorded at the end of our time together. He said, "you want to hear the ideas I've been messing around with for "Light Into the World?" I said yes, but secretly pushed record. He unknowingly took one take. I asked him, "could you do that one more time, so I can record the "ideas?" He agreed. The final recording is from his second take. At the end, I had to fade the last cymbal crash quite quickly because Kevin, knowing me, said, "DO NOT... USE THIS!" Hah. Well, Kev... I did. Sorry, but your trash tracks are my treasure tracks. You are gifted, brother.

Monday, December 17, 2012

Week 44...

Last Friday was our fourth wedding anniversary. We've been keeping everything really low key around here, because of the new house. So, no big gifts this year. I did want to do something sweet for my dear one, though. I took a bag of clothing options for her to change into, a card and flowers up to Rachael's workplace and hijacked her before she left for the day. I forced her to get into the car. I then twisted her arm until she ate sushi with me at our favorite place. Oh, the kicking and screaming! It was a nice evening away.



On our wedding day, we had so many good friends and family fill the room around us. Rachael's brother, Tyler Brown, was a groomsman in the wedding. He wrote a song for us called "Our Colors are the Same." He was gracious enough to sing it during the ceremony. It was a touching moment. His version included just an acoustic guitar and his voice. I thought it would be a great keepsake to add to 52. I took it in a little different direction. See what you think.


Enjoy,

Christopher

     Recorded November 18-22, 2012. Tyler has some great stuff up over at www.TylerBrownMusic.com. Check it out, if you get a chance.

     "Our Colors are the Same," written by Tyler Brown in October, 2008. From his "Mono Season."

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Week 43...

My friend, Rusty holding a
fresh from the oven, Isaiah Jane
We performed "Show Me What I'm Looking For" one Sunday morning as an opener, over at Ridge Church.

When I started leading worship at Ridge, I was basically a contracted musician. There was an ever-changing crew of leaders coming through a big revolving door. It worked well for a while, but at some point, they decided that they wanted some continuity from week to week. I figured that out after a couple of people stopped me in the halls and said, "We're pulling for you," or "You have my vote." I was a little thrown off at first, but was honored by their support and encouragement. Eventually, they asked me to come on staff as the Music Director.

Stepping into the job was interesting for me. I mean, I'm a guy with a past. I have history. I have baggage. I didn't understand how God could appoint me to this post. But He did! I couldn't have been more excited or petrified. I know that God has done wonderful things in spite of my many thoughts of inadequacy.

I was lucky to have someone to take me under their wing. At the time, the Service Programming Director for Ridge was a guy named Rusty. He's full of creativity.  He was great at challenging and encouraging me. He was an even better friend. He's moved on and I miss the mess out of that guy. He was forever trying to get me to do a Carolina Liar tune. It took a while, but here you go, Rusty!

Enjoy,

Christopher

     Recorded Dec 1-5, 2012. My pal, Anderson Hall recorded the drums in his practice space, then Dropboxed the files over to me. He's a good drummer and a great dude! I'm thankful for his hard work.
     "Show Me What I'm Looking For" written by Carolina Liar. From the album Coming to Terms

Saturday, December 8, 2012

Week 42 (or something...)

I got to sing at Nick and Laura's wedding
even though I was still angry about the
Cincinnati Chili fiasco. 
I don't even know why I am still labeling these by weeks. Like I said in an earlier post... THIS IS THE BUSIEST TIME OF THE YEAR! Between the family, moving into a new building for Ridge Church, and moving to a new house, there isn't a lot of time left over. I have been working though. I promise. I'm just going to dump stuff on here, from now on.

Ok, "Your Children" is a song I wrote for my former church, Warehouse 242's Tenebrae service. I've talked about this Good Friday service before over here. It really was special to be a part of. I loved seeing God-given creativity and the Gospel, colliding.

The song was the final piece of the night. It's based upon the Bible verse John 19:30, which says, "when he had received the drink, Jesus said, "It is finished." With that, he bowed his head and gave up his spirit." Jesus died for a reason. Because we, all of us, are His children. He loves us like a daddy. He laid down his life just like any loving father would. He wants the best for us. He does.

Enjoy,

Christopher

     Recorded June 23, 2009 and November 2-7, 2012. This is another song that I thought was long lost on that dead hard drive. I'm glad it has gotten to see the light of day. Nick Nichols played drums with me for the Tenebrae service and later recorded them for me. While taking a break from working on the song, he ate all of my leftovers of Cincinnati Chili that Rachael had made the night before. I'm not gonna lie, I'm still pretty bitter about it. Thanks a lot, Nick. Seriously. 

Lyrics 


Rest well, beloved
for you have been chosen
the son of man

Rest well, beloved
you body is broken
as a covenant

You carried me 
every step of the way
Oh, the weight of your gift
Oh, what a debt to pay

Rest well, beloved
your hands have brought glory 
to all the land

Rest well, beloved
the door has been opened 
to bring us home again

Rest well, beloved
for you will rise and reign over
every nation

You carried us
every step of the way
Oh, the weight of this gift
Oh, what a debt to pay

And with your last breath
you exclaimed

We are all your children
Every treasured life
We are all your children
You alone, our God

We are all your children
Your own flesh and blood
We are all your children
You alone, our God

We are all your children
Each one wrapped in light
We are all your children
You alone, our God

We are all your children
Precious in your sight
We are all your children
You alone, our God

We are all your children
Each and every one
We are all your children
You alone, our God