Why should the Presbyterians have all the good music?

January 24, 2016

It’s been a while since I wrote about Christian music, but something this morning really made me pause and think.

Horatio Spafford is known for a few things, principally as a chum of great evangelist Dwight Moody and the writer of “It is well with my Soul” – a hymn inspired by the tragic loss of his four daughters in a shipwreck when crossing the Atlantic to holiday in England. The hymn, published by Sankey to a tune by Philip Bliss, is a standard in traditional protestant Christian churches, an inspiring message that whatever the world throws at a person God’s love and grace are sufficient to meet the challenge. It’s a hymn strong on key Christian themes, and recognised and sung across the English-speaking world.

Which is why I’m rather disappointed that Matt Redman nicked the chorus to shore up one of his recent compositions. Read the rest of this entry »

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Harvest Songs – Where’s all the new material?

September 23, 2013

I’m playing at church on Sunday. My minister is talking to me about Harvest themed songs, and he hasn’t found much to enjoy from the “modern” worship canon.

Not that there is much really.

Harvest for most Christians is about thanking God for the abundance of creation. Even with all the skill in the world, farmers rely on nature to operate within normal tolerances and for us, that’s in the gift of Almighty God. We like a good knees-up. Anyone who thinks we don’t know how to party has never read about Jesus’ first recorded miracle – the whole water into wine thing. We are encouraged to celebrate, but apparently we must do it with a tragically dated soundtrack.
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Shameless Promotion

August 1, 2013

I love the Blues. I love the feel, the sound and the raw emotion.

I also love playing the Blues, and last year I played with the Grey Goose Blues Band. It was immense fun and I was very sorry to have to knock my participation on the head.

However, I still try to keep up with their latest movements. They played at the Chuckery Festival in Walsall Arboretum, and they’ve played a couple of gigs at the White Lion that I’ve been able to get to.

Today, I discovered they’re on Bandcamp, advertising their 2012 album “Beat the Devil out of me” which you can buy and download. Go and have a listen on the site. There’s some magic in that music.

Beat the Devil out of me

(You won’t find me listed in the credits. Recording finished on this before I joined. Can’t wait to hear their next offering.)


Give me that old time religion… it’s good enough for me.

April 16, 2013

Church on Sunday was great. There was a fantastic sermon and some good old time hymns mixed in with the modern songs. I’m not saying church is all about the music, but given I was playing the piano, it was a key factor in my thinking. Read the rest of this entry »


Writing new material on demand, and how it works for me

April 10, 2013

It’s a funny thing. I wrote a new song for a vicar in West Brom and I can’t get over how much fun it was to hear it sung.

The song was tough to get done, but it was easier than free composition in many ways because I was working to a specific brief and those limitations gave rise to a more ordered creative process for me.
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Good Friday – and Rock and Roll is also Dead.

March 29, 2013

In the beginning there was music. And it was mostly good. Except for the music that was bad. And you could decide for yourself what was what. So long as your mates didn’t find out you’d bought an Osmonds LP / Bros tape / Take That CD / One Direction download with your pocket money.

OK, further back than that was rock and roll. It deserves capital letters. It’s a proper noun.

Rock and Roll.

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World Premiere

March 28, 2013

Yesterday I attended the world premiere of a commission I’d written. Read the rest of this entry »