Sunday Summary – Music: June 14, 2009

Redneck’s Famous Last Words: “Hey Y’all, watch this!!”

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Yeah kids, it was Bluegrass Sunday at North Point.

And I don’t mean we just added a fiddle to a couple tunes – I mean we went all out Bluegrass on both East and West stages for the Opener and all the worship tunes.

Each side had two acoustic guitars, mandolin, fiddle, scaled down drums, upright bass, and 3 fantastic three-part-harmonyin’ sangurs…

(OK, we had electric bass in East – so only a little cheating…)

Each side opened with an old tune called “The Fox”. It’s a Bluegrass standard, and we copied a version that Nickel Creek did a few years ago.

That song has, without a doubt, WAY too many words in it. But that’s part of what makes it a great, fun tune! Give it a listen on iTunes – see if you could spit those out!

Todd sang it in East, and Mike Hines did it in West, and both dudes did an amazing job!


I Saw The Light

– yep, an old tune made famous by Hank Williams, Sr. 130 bpm’s of hoedownin’ joy!

Let God Arise

– put your metronome on 140, play a double-time train beat (boom chug, boom chug, boom chug, boom chug), and flat-pick yer fingers off! Now straighten out the “Let God Arise” lyric leading into the chorus in 3 part harmony and you’ve got a heap load of fun. Add a fiddle and mandolin solo for taste, and you’ve got a recipe to burn the barn down!

Jesus Reigns

We did this one far closer to the original, but obviously substituted instrumentation. So the rhythms and melody were familiar, but it had a sweet twist with some beautiful fiddle and tasty mandolin fills. Think a lovely Alison Krauss tune…

Now was it as deep and spiritual experience as some may have liked? Maybe not. But it accomplished our goal of engaging the audience with something that put a smile on their faces and amazed them musically. It was such a treat to let some of our most accomplished players and singers really let loose – like unbridled stallions!

You will gain an audience’s respect when they are presented with a quality that is beyond their expectations, no matter the genre.

While can’t post video of this past Sunday, there’s an old video floating around YouTube of the old 7:22 band playing “I Saw The Light”, including Todd singing lead and Jason Hoard on mandolin.

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East Band – Todd Fields, Jason Hoard, Bethany Olds, Ashley Appling, Pat Malone, Danny Grady

West Band – Mike Gleason, Mike Hines, Rachael Gillis, Tim Huffman, Tiffany Watson, Scott Meeder, Steve Florczykowski

West – Check out Tim’s “Uncle Earl” outfit, complete with suspenders and straw cowboy hat 🙂


East – Bethany taking a solo…



Sunday Summary – Music: May 17, 2008

It’s amazing how your physical body can affect your experience of, well, anything!

Between pulling something in my lower back on Thursday, then totally overexerting myself Friday and Saturday, I was a wreck come Sunday morning. Literally – like a Mack truck hit me. I felt 90 years old. At one point that morning I didn’t even think I’d be able to put my socks on. Lame, I know…

So playing in East ended up being more of a chore than a pleasure. Which stinks, because it was an absolutely amazing band doing fantastic songs.

So there I was, doing one of my absolute favorite things to do in the whole world, with some of my favorite people to do worship and music with, in one of the most desirable situations and locations to do it – and all I could think of was how much I couldn’t wait to get back to the Green Room and lie on the floor!

So that brings up a thought…

No matter how perfect a scenario we create for those on stage or in the audience – sound, music, monitors, gear, lights, quality, content, professionalism, etc. – there will almost always be something in each person’s life that acts as an obstacle for enjoying their experience and ultimately connecting with God on a deeper level.

I’d say that it’s up to us to address those obstacles – give them a name. Then we can carefully enhance a scenario when possible or eliminate as many of those obstacles as we humanly can.

But obviously we, in our human strength and flawed minds, can’t do it all, or even always do what we do properly, so we always need to pray hard that God blesses our efforts, that they would be honoring to Him, and that He would take care of the rest.

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How Great Thou Art

Glorious (new Todd Fields tune)

It Is Well (new Todd Fields arrangement)

The second two tunes are on Todd’s new CD!


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East Band – Todd Fields, Brad Avery, Jason Hoard, Ashley Appling, Pat Malone, Rosie Pinkerman, Me

West Band – Ryan Stuart, Jen Carrozza, Mike Bielenberg, Mike Hines, Ben Snider, Scott Meeder, Earl South

Todd Fields’ CD Release – Video Photos

Todd’s new CD releases this weekend, and we had a concert for it Friday night.

Needless to say, it was an incredible experience, not only musically, but personally as well. The chance to make incredible music with incredible people is such an amazing blessing.

You MUST get the new CD, which will be available exclusively through North Point Resources until it hits iTunes in late June.

And our buddy, Matt Gibson, shot a behind-the-scenes video that will, hopefully one day be available for public viewing. In the meantime, here are some screenshots I captured from my favorite scenes of his incredible handiwork, along with some simple impromptu photo titles……

“Microphone & Light”

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“Snare & Sticks”

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“Praying Lady”

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“Set List”

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“From the Front Row”

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“The Most Important Thing”

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Todd Fields – lead vocals, electric guitar

Ashley Appling – drums

Pat Malone – Bass

Jason Hoard – electric guitar

Brad Avery – electric guitar

Reid Greven – keyboards, acoustic guitar

Ryan Stuart – backing vocals

Jordan Watts – special guest backing vocals

Jayce Fincher – front of house mixing

Tyler Freeman – monitor mixing

A big thanks to Matt Williams, Dan Stonaker, Suzy Gray, Rick Holliday, Andy Stanley, Bill Willits, David Hill, and all the members of North Point Resources that made this possible!

Sunday Summary – Music: December 7th, 2008

We were all over the map planning out this week. Stuff that we thought would work, and was working, got changed at the last minute for stuff that we eventually felt worked even better.

Kinda like a lot of situations: Trust your gut instinct, even after the plan is in motion. If there’s time to change it and it’s the right thing to do, then do it.

So what did we do/not do?

We had originally planned to do a version of “Do You Hear What I Hear” – it coincided with the introduction of the Christmas season, as well as tied into Andy’s wrap up of his “Listen and Learn” series. Makes sense?

But we wanted something different and original, so we put our thinking caps on…

The next day, I pitched a demo of a rewrite of the song. Our music team dug the new additional chorus I wrote, but we all agreed the verses needed some more work, and maybe a different direction (I agreed too!). Todd got the “see what you come up with” assignment, and after a few ideas and some more input from Eddie and I, we had a working concept. Todd’s new verses, my original chorus, and a collaboration of arrangement and form.

So we brought in Ashley Appling and Pat Malone – two of our creative stalwarts – to join Todd, Eddie and I and record a full band demo on the Wednesday morning, to later be learned by an entirely different group of guys that night at rehearsal. Last minute? Yes. Impossible? Nope.

So we were feeling good, right?

Well, an hour later Eddie saw the “Lanny 10B4” video, which was really funny, but (accidentally) directly referenced that someone was going to be coming on stage in a minute to more clearly explain what he had comedically confused…

So that meant that Lanny did a funny video that set up Andy, but that we were going to try and squeeze a Coldplay/U2 type epic rock tune that was a tie in to Christmas and the message series before Andy actually came up, and so he was going to have to end up explaining the tune, and then reference back to the Lanny schtick from 6 minutes ago.

Yeah, confusing is right!

AND we were cutting a worship tune to do the opening tune, too.

We talked it through, and agreed that cutting the “Do You Hear?” opener was the right thing to do, and that would give Andy the chance to reference Lanny, and we’d do 3 worship tunes.

Plus, we already had a closer to do that wrapped up Andy’s message and series.

But I was bummed. The “Do You Hear?” tune we worked on seemed like it was all for not. UNTIL, in the same conversation, we realized that this upcoming week, Dec 14th, we are planning to do a few pre-service Christmas tunes, WITH Ashley, Pat, Todd and I, and that it would be a great spot to do the tune without having to teach it to a new group of musicians.

You know, that whole “when God closes a door, He opens a window” thing…

So that’s a little story for you on how, even a few hours before Wednesday night rehearsal, and after all the pre-planning and technical meetings, a service can change.

SO….. What DID we do this Sunday after the dust had cleared?


All Creation Sing (Joy To The World)

**This is an arrangement that Steve Fee wrote years ago, but finally was able to record it with the rest of the Fee boys and Jason Hoard and release as a single – and it’s now available on iTunes, and will be available on North Point Music in the next few days (including Multitracks, Accompaniment tracks, charts, etc…)

All Because of Jesus

Glorious One


Revelation by Third Day

We took some musical liberties on this one and kept the chords from Chorus 1 and played them in all the choruses and even the outro. Those chords and vocal harmonies were too cool to do just once 😉

East Band: Mike Gleason, Todd Fields, Steve Thomason, Joe Lee, Richard Meeder, Jared Hamilton, Rachael Gillis

West Band: Steve Fee, Matt Adkins, Heath Baltzglier, Brandon Coker, and honorary “Fee” member for the day Chris Arias

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What have YOU changed lately because it was the “right thing to do”?

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Catalyst Pictures

Catalyst 2008 is over, and we’re all pooped. It was great – especially the music 😉

Here are a few iPhone candid photos (in no particular order)…

Brandon Coker – trapped under the LED cylinder, center stage


Backstage – Lanny Donoho, Candi Pearson Shelton, Chrystina Fincher, Mandy Miller


Matt Adkins, Danny Grady, Ryan Stuart


Jason Hoard, Ashley Appling, Kristian Stanfill, Eddie Kirkland, Some Dude, Heath Baltzglier, Brandon Coker


Jayce Fincher, The Guy That Wrote “The Shack”, Pat Malone, Todd Fields talking to “The Shack” guy


On Stage…

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The “Pop and Lock” guy from So You Think You Can Dance

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View from Front of House


Eddie Kirkland and Bethany Olds doing “Lift High”

– this was a special moment. Just the two of them on stage, and the crowd singing drowned them out! THAT was powerful!!


It’s tough to see, but there’s an elephant and a donkey back there..


Stay tuned for my favorite photo….

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