Happy Friday Music Fun: Finally!

There are a few “hit” praise and worship songs that we have not done at my church. Somehow, these songs just never made it into the rotation, and now we never do them. Notably, this list includes “You Never Let Go” (Matt Redman, 2005), “The Stand” (Hillsong, 2005), and “Stronger” (Hillsong, 2007). More recently, we’ve never done “Your Love Never Fails” (Chris McLarney/Jesus Culture, 2008) or “Like a Lion” (Daniel Bashta/David Crowder, 2009).*

Another recent song that we’ve ALL wanted to do is “Forever Reign” (Hillsong, 2009; there’s also a version by Kristian Stanfill on the 2011 Passion album). We’ve tried to do this song at least twice in the past couple of years. It’s been on the set. It’s been rehearsed. But for one reason or another, the song didn’t make it to the music set in the service.

This Sunday we will attempt to address the “Forever Reign” shortage in our worship set. Having been in this position in the past, I will not believe that we’re actually doing the song until we’re actually doing the song.

Nevertheless, I’m really looking forward to it.

*Unless you count the one time that Bass Player/Youth Worship Leader did it on the Sunday after youth camp. Not that he doesn’t count, but we haven’t incorporated the song into our repertoire.

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Freedom?

When we have two simultaneous rooms on Sundays for church services, there are limits on our service schedule. Broadly considered, since we have services at both 9:30 and 11, it’s a good idea for us to finish the 9:30 service sometime before 11. Also, we start services on a timer, and the syncing song needs to be nearly the same in both rooms. And generally, our worship (song) sets are on a timer, so each team needs to finish at (approximately) a certain time. Of course, within these limits, there is some amount of freedom for each team and worship leader to do what they want in that time.

However, beyond the schedule, sometimes our songs are limited. Whether it’s adhering to a certain time limit or simply everyone’s familiarity with a particular recording, some songs are less open to change and manipulation than others. This is especially the case when we do songs with loops, that is, additional sounds or tracks that accompany the live band. (This is just slightly related to an accompaniment track or what you might hear when if you ever sing karaoke.)

Loops can be used to add sonic variety or to provide a particular sound or fill that’s unique to a particular song, or in some cases, to compensate for a lack of musicians or instruments. But the Thing about using anything pre-recorded in live performance is that the map of the song cannot change (unless the track or loop is monotonous).

We used a loop for a song yesterday in which the first line is to be sung immediately. In the first service, Worship Pastor forgot that part and switched it up a little, leaving the first eight measures or so of the song a bit wonky.

What I found especially funny, and perhaps ironic, is that the song was “Where the Spirit of the Lord Is,” whose lyrics are “Where the spirit of the Lord is / There is liberty.”*

*I really wish WordPress allowed footnotes. The song is from the 2010 Passion album Awakening and is performed by Chris Tomlin and Christy Nockels and references 2 Corinthians 3:17. We’re familiar with another song on that album.

Guitar Slide Wednesday: This Sounds Familiar Version

We’re wrapping up a six-week sermon series at the church this week, and throughout the series, we’ve done two of the same songs each week in our music/worship set. That is, for six weeks in a row, we will have done both “Waiting Here for You” by Christy Nockels and “Awakening” by Chris Tomlin at some point in the service. Both of these are Passion songs from the 2011 and 2010 albums, respectively (I feel I must warn you, that Passion link automatically plays music when you go there). The incident where the band was playing in different keys happened while they were playing “Awakening,” but I’ve really enjoyed hearing how each of our different worship leaders sings “Waiting Here for You” each week.

“Waiting Here for You” has a nice little bass slide-in at 1:13, but as with many bass slides, you may or may not be able to hear it, depending on your speakers. So in honor of our band playing this song for the sixth time (twelve counting both services), and considering the fact that they might not want to play it again for a long, long time after this Sunday… Enjoy!

And even though it doesn’t really have any noticeable slides in it, and just in case you wanted to hear it again, here’s “Awakening,” too:

Attractive Worship Leader Friday

It’s my 100th post here at this little blog… and I’m devoting it to the category of Very Attractive Worship Leader. Slightly related to the Very Hip Worship Leader, the Very Attractive Worship Leader might not have extraneous accessories (hats, scarves, etc.) nor wear the skinniest jeans available… but he/she is, you know, Very Attractive. Take Kristian Stanfill, for example.

He may not be the most famous Passion worship leader (ahem, Chris Tomlin), BUT I’m pretty sure he’s at the front of the pack when it comes to Most Attractive Worship Leader. Slightly reminiscent of Freddie Prinze, Jr., he might even venture into the category of Very Hip at times.

His song below is from the Passion 2011 album Here for You, and it’s also on his solo album Mountains Move (2011). I absolutely LOVE this song. I’ve heard the live version (from the Passion album) a bazillion times and have come to think of his ad libs and vocal cues as a Part of the Song (there are a lot of them).

If you are one of the 50 people who arrive at my church promptly and in time to see the countdown get to 0:00 on Sunday morning, then you’ll be greeted with this song as interpreted by our worship team. The other 1200 of you, well, you can just watch Kristian do this song here 🙂

Happy Friday, y’all