Christmas Song Tutorials for the Church: “Mary did you Know?”

MaryI explained a bit about what this series is about in my last post POSTED HERE, so I won’t retread new ground, however I’m sure a few of you are puzzled: “Mary did you Know?” has been floating around for just under a quarter of a century! However, it’s a classic that moves my heart, & one that has some tricky spots for inexperienced musicians/worship leaders.

This tutorial video has two parts:

  1. A short intro & song demonstration and…
  2. A short breakdown of a few specific simplification strategies.

 Watch the video for more information:

[Read more…]

Christmas Song Tutorials for the Church: “Christmas Offering” by Paul Baloche

“I’ll bring an offering of worship to my King
No one on Earth deserves the praises that I sing
Jesus may you receive the honor that you’re due
Oh Lord, I bring an offering to You”

Are you looking for new songs to lead this Christmas? I know I always feel some trepidation approaching the holidays – expectations are high, & everyone seems to have an opinion. It often makes me cringe at the impending “celebration”, and that’s NOT right… but it’s true.

  • For one, we hear the SAME SONGS…over…and over…AND OVER
  • Secondly, the classics can be SO HARD to reproduce with a guitar-driven worship band, especially if you’re working with inexperienced musicians
  • Lastly, there’s such a flood of new songs hitting the market each year that it’s easier to just give up & return to those “same ole, same ole”, instead of seeking out a NEW “classic”.

These next few weeks I’ll be setting aside my normal serial blogs & reviews (for the most part) to share a series of tutorials. I’ll do the work of finding the songs, & teaching them, & you can grab the linked resources for the songs that will work best for your congregation, & enjoy worshiping Him this season with church family! [Read more…]

On-Air Interview at Victory 91.5 in Atlanta

logoOne of my favorite radio stations is Victory 91.5 out of Atlanta. I fell in love with them while passing through Atlanta, toying with the radio dial: I heard a song by IHOP artist Misty Edwards on the radio. That is NOT so common. Followed by a mainstream Chris Tomlin tune. “Wow, that’s quite a mix“, I thought to myself. Then – BAM – a really incredible unsigned indie worship band out of Atlanta. I was hooked. [Read more…]

REVIEW: Brian Wurzell – GRACE OCEAN

Artist: Brian Wurzell
Release: Grace Ocean
Highlights: “Grace Ocean”, “Great Redeemer” – other notables included “Sing”, & “Floodgates

Brian Wurzell, the Worship Arts Director at Hillside Community Church inRancho Cucamonga, CA (formerly at Cornerstone Christian Fellowship in Chandler, AZ), has delivered to us a refreshingly unique, modern rock worship album.  GRACE OCEAN subtly tips its hat to indie-rock bands like Pedro the Lion and Starfler 59, while never becoming inaccessible.

Obvious corporate highlights  (take note, fellow worship leaders) are the hook-laden title track, which is pure ear candy (Can a “worship song” also be “ear candy”?  I guess so.  See exhibit A: “Grace Ocean”), and the mid-tempo ballad “Great Redeemer” – a prayer that God would “take our weakness and show Yourself strong”.  [Read more…]

REVIEW: Joshua Seller – MY KING IS COMING

Artist: Joshua Seller

Release: My King is Coming
Highlights: “Came to Save”, “Greater”, “My King is Coming”, & “Worship Rises”

Joshua and I met while we were both speaking at the Forge Conference this past October, at which time he gave me a pre-release of his forthcoming CD, “My King is Coming”.  However, I got so much new music at that conference that it honestly took me a few months to really give it a good listen.

Joshua is the worship pastor at Harvest Bible Chapel [Read more…]