Well, I was in Nashville this past weekend enjoying a great weekend.
BUT, as far as things around North Point were concerned…
We did another one of our abnormal instrumentation weeks. Another chance to refresh the sonic palate, and to engage the audience.
And after what I heard after this week’s rehearsals, I knew it was going to be a week I was going to be sad to miss.
We didn’t do any specials – just worship. But we changed up the instrumentation as follows:
Todd Fields leading from acoustic
Jen Carrozza – BGV
Pat Malone – Bass
Ashley Appling – scaled-down kit (kick, snare, hats, floor tom, ride, 1 thin crash), accented by the use of Hot Rods and brushes
Cori Moon leading (think a cross between Sarah McLaughlin, Christy Nockles and Alison Krauss)
Mike Gleason – acoustic and BGV
John Carrozza – piano
Scott Meeder – scaled-down kit (like above)
Steve Florzykowski – upright acoustic bass
So yeah, the vibe was certainly different, but as many folks have commented: Very nice and quite refreshing.
For me, personally, it was exciting to witness (at rehearsals) the sheer musicianship of players and singers I admire so much. Very inspiring!
But, alas, the toughest thing for us was song selection. Todd and Cori lead very differently, especially on an opening, more energetic song of a worship set. So, after lots of emails and phone calls, we decided on:
Everlasting God (bumped up to 108 bpm)
Glory To God Forever
Lead Me to the Cross
While Cori lead all 3 in West, Jen Carrozza lead the 3rd tune in the East (Lead Me…). That is such a great song for girls to lead. It somehow seems to fit a female voice so well…
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Do you remember a month or so ago when we tried a quasi-acoustic Sunday that kinda backfired? (WE do!) Well, from all accounts, this made up for it. The key was to go farther in the effort to strip down the instrumentation, as well as really work with the Front of House guys to mix accordingly.
Song selection and player choice are also key issues. Songs can be batted around all day, and a win will be a series of songs that your leader leads well in that type of setting, along with highly skilled instrumentalists that really “get” the overall vision of the stripped-down vibe. Their playing becomes far more exposed and the room and P.A. become far less forgiving, so choose your players wisely!