Tag Archive for Linda McCrary

Prosperity of a Different Kind

 

There is an old Jewish proverb that reads:

“Blind is the man who trusts in his own strength, he will be like a bush in the wasteland and he will not see (recognize) prosperity when it comes.”

There have been many generous contributors and helping hands along this album journey of ours, however I must confess, to carrying too much of the weight upon my own shoulders, especially in terms of managing all of the creative people involved (and their chaotic schedules) and making sure that the funds at our disposal (at any given time) covered all of the project expenses.

I had tried desperately to complete the album for Christmas and when that was deemed improbable, then at least for the beginning of the new year. When I was offered time with one of my favorite studio engineers a few days before Christmas, I anticipated a quick and joyful resolve and fully expected to have the album out within a week.

However, during the second day in the studio with Hank Linderman (Engineer for Eagles, Beach Boys, Keb Mo, Mick Jagger), he paused a moment to say that the project was much bigger than he had realized and too good to rush (not quite what I wanted to hear) and suggested we take a week to enjoy the festive season (no, no, no) and perhaps another week to allow some space for my own musical objectivity. I was not a happy camper that day, but I had run out of options… and I had no strength to go any further on my own.

It was a few days later, on Christmas morning that I read the proverb and considered for a moment that a prosperity of a different kind was being offered to me by Hank. One that in my own stubborn blindness I was at first unable to see… but during the (enforced) rest period… my eyes gradually opened and… now I am able to wholeheartedly accept and appreciate this wisdom source as a beautiful gift. We have since entered a process (too slow for me at times) of mixing and listening together, and allowing the feedback of other noted producers to help us shape the sound.

And…we are edging closer and closer to the finishing line as you can hear in this teaser mix above.

I have also decided, upon the wisdom of Hank to have the album mastered at yet another high end studio that specializes in the sound we are after. This may add another week or so, just to get a booking, but again, I sense this as part of the prosperity that the blind man could not see (or hear).

As for the funding, we are keeping the campaign open until the album is released. We have been able to pay all of the invoices thus far and remain hopeful of reaching our funding goal so that we can complete this last stage of the project debt free.

This crowd funding and community project has been extremely life enriching for me and I am most thankful for your patience and generous support,

Cheers

Chris

Great Expectations

As with all ‘great expectations’ things don’t ever really go to plan. The day we pressed the ‘go button’ on the album project, after many months of preparation and scheduling, we discovered that one of our much loved singers had a life threatening disease that required urgent medical attention and, a considerable ‘timeout’. As you well know, in times like these, people, family and friends become, all of a sudden, much more important than making a record.

But after a few days hesitation, and with some mixed feelings, we were soon back on some kind of track and in the studio, plucking strings, tickling the ivories, hitting (perhaps harder than usual) inanimate objects and singing our hearts out… always with an eye on the door, hoping our friend would make a grand entrance and belt out that high C.

As we neared the final days of recording, the album was sounding soooo good… better even than I had first imagined it could be, but on a particular song… the one earmarked for our friend to lead… there just seemed to be missing something.

Now… I know it reads like a Hollywood Movie, but on the actual final day of recording, this beautiful soul turned up at the studio, and pushing through the pain barrier and the effects of the medication… sang the song for us. I am not sure if ‘sang’ is even the right word, for a story was shared that surpassed the lyrics I had once written. The song has a whole new meaning to me now.

We are now mixing the album and finalizing the artwork. In truth we are a bit behind schedule and concerning our budget we will be able to get across that finishing line because of several gracious ‘IOU’s’.

I wish you all could hear the album now… but you’ll have to wait another week or so… as it in parts like a dissembled engine, waiting for the master mechanic to put it all together.

Many thanks for sharing this journey with us,

Cheers,

Chris

In The Studio

Dear friends, my apologies for the tardy correspondence. We have been working hard in the Honky Abby studio these past two weeks (I have the tan to prove it) .

We have tracked most of the instrumental parts and starting tomorrow, Linda McCrary and the gang begin to lay down the smokin’ gospel background vocals. I can’t wait.

We probably have about two and a half weeks of recording and editing before we go into the mix mode of the process.

In a few days I will send out a video and some additional information for all those who have generously volunteered to sing in our world wide gospel choir. There’s still time to sign up for this… just go to our website and click on the “Sing on Our Album” button.

Thanks again for continuing to blow the wind into our sails. We are moving forward and gathering pace…

Cheers,

Chris

P.S. The video above is of David Raven laying down the drums on “River Child” and new song of ours about Redemption and identity… in the style of Robbie Robertson… this is a very rough mix with final vocals to come.

 

Forgive and Forget


Rhythm Gospel & Blues is more of a community than a band and while there is a collective desire to make this new record, we support each others individual projects.

Linda McCrary has a new single, Help Me To Forgive, the first of a series of songs related to her passion project on Forgiveness.

There is almost sense of completion for Linda and me in that I wrote this song for her 20 years ago for The Amazing Stories project.

At the time Linda was, let us just say ‘suffering’… and while her first recording of the song was more of a fervent cry of help …”Oh God, please rescue me from drowning in my own anger and bitterness” this new version, is a celebration of what God has been doing in her life since that very dark season.

Linda’s life bears witness to forgiving, forgetting, letting go and moving on and she now has the strength, the conviction and a kind of right to call out to the rest of us to forgive our enemies, politicians, law enforcement officers, nations, neighbors and or family members.

And, so while we are in the middle of a crowd funding campaign for Rhythm Gospel & Blues I commend you all to visit your preferred online music store and ‘pick up’ a copy of Linda’s fresh new version of ‘Help Me to Forgive’.

Cheers,

Chris

Singing in the Solstice

We were on tour in the UK and were booked to play pubs, Churches and a few night clubs, including the famed Cavern, the birth place of the Beatles.

The most interesting gig was to be at a new age festival, that for some reason, a local promoter had considered a perfect fit for our ‘psychedelic jamming music’.

Lets just say that when the organizers of the festival event, catering to folk from the Wicca religion and various other esoteric tribes, realized that we were a gospel blues band traveling round the country singing about our Jesus experiences, they tried to kick us off the festival bill.

But after a discussion about contracts and integrity and shared musical tastes, we were given permission to play two songs as the opening act… during the late afternoon before too many of the new age patrons arrived.

On the afternoon of the event we walked up to the festival stage with our guitars, amps, drums and B3, and to say that we were unwanted would have been an understatement. The tech crew, the musicians in the other bands and the festival helpers all kept there distance.  There was even a rumor floating round that we had actually helped burn witches at the stake.

There would be a twist to this tale.Read more