So, I’m in the middle of a solo project of sorts. In January we tracked two consecutive nights at my home church, the Sugar Land Vineyard just outside of Houston, Texas. This project has been in the works for quite awhile. My role at Vineyard Music keeps me quite busy and many times my own creativity ends up taking a back seat to more pressing matters. Happily, this is no longer the case in this season as I’m coming off one of the most productive periods of songwriting in my life. I’m excited to be able to document this new “crop” of songs that has been having significant life in our local community. I’m genuinely excited.
Load in day was an adventure to say the least. Torrential rain moved in to Houston dropping a crazy amount of rain in just a matter of hours…
This is what it looked like on the drive in to the church on that first morning.
After this soggy start, we finally got in and set up in spite of the rain.
This project is going to be the first in a new series that Vineyard Music (now Vineyard Worship) is launching called “Voice.”
The “Voice” series will be primarily live recordings of new songs as they emerge from within Vineyard churches. The “Voice” series will take the place of of the long-standing “Club Vineyard” program. More details to follow in the future.
Here’s a look at the cast of characters involved in this project:
Drums: Jimmy Cooke
Jimmy came over from the UK in early September 2011 to spend 5-6 months with me working at Vineyard Worship. Jimmy is a world-class drummer and seasoned producer as well as a long time Vineyard-ite – pastor’s kid. Jimmy has played on a number of Vineyard UK projects including “Holy” and “Beautiful”. The timing of Jimmy’s stint with us in the US was providential. This recording served as a great way to end our time together. Jimmy is now the general manager of Vineyard Records UK. We still miss him.
Bass: Bobby McDonald
Bobby and I go back many years. Bobby currently serves as the worship pastor of the Conroe Vineyard on the North side of Houston. Bobby has been a session bass player and spent many years alongside his brother “Sleepy” Ray McDonald (now senior pastor of the Conroe Vineyard). Bobby and I have played a few songs together through the years. On top of all of this, Bobby is a true worshipper. I was so glad to have him on board.
Electric Guitar: Bobby Hartry
Bobby Hartry is an Emmy-nominated songwriter (or Nommy-eminated as he’s been known to say) and award-winning producer. He is also a dear friend and amazing guitarist. Bobby and I have worked on countless projects over the past 15 years but have never worked on any of my own worship projects. He HAD to be involved this time. We unintentionally wore matching “Boo Boo Records” shirts. (Mine was grey).
Electric Guitar: Wade DuPree
Wade is my regular guitar player at the Sugar Land Vineyard. He is a tone fiend and collector of many fine electric guitars.
Wade also has the distinction of being the uncle/dad of the band Eisley. (check ‘em out, you’ll be glad you did)
Wade is an all-around great guy and monster player in his own right. Hey, shouldn’t every live worship project have three electric players? Why should Hillsong United have all the fun?
Keys/Lead and backing vocals: Crispin Schroeder
Crispin is one of my favorite worship leaders on the planet. His voice is so filled with passion and soul that finds its home in New Orleans, Louisiana. A few years back while I was tracking vocals with Crispin for another project he was taking shots of Louisiana hot sauce in between takes for extra “soul” (not a joke – so good). Currently Crispin is the senior pastor of the Covington Vineyard in the New Orleans area.
Lead and backing vocals/vocal arrangements: Torri Baker
Torri is a member of the worship community at the Vineyard Church in Columbus, Ohio. I met Torri a few years ago while in Columbus leading worship. She has built an amazing team of vocalists at the Columbus Vineyard and is an incredible vocalist and worship leader in her own right. I have been incredibly blessed and humbled by Torri’s involvement on this project. She is a true gift to the body of Christ. You’ll see.
We had 17 people in the choir for the live event and then a number of others included in the studio choir after the fact in both Texas and Ohio. Three of my daughters and my wife were involved in the choir. Amazing blessing.
Here’s a look at one of the choir rehearsals the week of the recording:
This makes me want to do a choir + acoustic guitar only recording.
Well, I think that gets you situated. I have to say this project has been perhaps the most grace-filled project I’ve ever been a part of. I’m pumped to see what the Lord has in store for us as things move forward.