Modern Drumset Techniques For Today's Worship Drummer

New Scottish Hymns – You’re The Shepherd (Live)

You’re the Shepherd’, taken from New Scottish Hymns Live Streaming Event, 24th January 2015.

Sheet Music, Lyrics and more information on the project can be found at www.newscottishhymns.com.

You’re the shepherd, we’re the sheep
You won’t slumber, though we sleep
Oh what love our saviour shows
To the little ones he knows
We are guilty, You are good
We fell short, but You withstood
For Your father’s holy name
You endured and overcame

We were helpless in our sin
You forgave and took us in
Though our hearts still turn from You
Yet with patience You pursue

You’re the teacher, we are taught
By Your precious blood we’re bought
You’re the healer we are healed
By Your cross our hope is sealed
We’re forgiven by Your blood
Orphans called as sons of God
Brought from darkness into light
Washed in red and clothed in white

Yours the triumph, Yours the throne
Praise and glory, Yours alone
Tongues of angels, songs of men
Let the heav’ns resound again

New Drum Cover: Hillsong Y&F – Wake

My latest drum cover – Hillsong Y&F’s ‘Wake!’ Check it out!

 

Review of Worship Albums 2014

2014 was a pretty decent year for worship and CCM (Contemporary Christian Music) albums – here’s a brief look at what came out. In January Switchfoot released ‘Fading West’ – a really great album, and Casting Crowns put out ‘Thrive’. Elevation Worship’s latest offering ‘Only Kind Forever’ is decent. Nice drumming from Luke Anderson throughout, and the standout song is definitely ‘Grace So Glorious.’ ‘Blessed Assurance’ is also quite good and ‘Glory Is Yours’ is a nice upbeat number. There are some good songs here, although nothing that much different stylistically from their previous. 7/10.

In February, Bethel Music released TIDES LIVE, and in March came the remixes from Hillsong UNITED and Jesus Culture. Kari Jobe also released her album ‘Majestic: Live’ – a decent offering but all-too-similar to other releases to be honest. Planetshakers released ‘Endless Praise’, John Mark McMillan released ‘Borderlands’ and Rend Collective released ‘The Art of Celebration this month too. I quite enjoyed this album, with songs like ‘Joy’, ‘More Than Conquerors’ reminiscent of their early offerings, and ‘My Lighthouse’ being the ‘hit single’, but also songs like ‘Boldly I Approach’ standing out in quieter offerings. 7.5/10.

In April, Paul Baloche released ‘Live’ – a collection of some of his best material. Well produced but not anything different than his others. Like me, though, if you like Baloche, you will enjoy this. 6.5/10. Also this month came Francesca Battistelli’s ‘If We’re Honest’, which I personally enjoyed, and Phil Wickham’s ‘The Ascension.’ Bethel Music released another album, this time from their annual Women’s Conference, the title of this album ‘You Make Me Brave.’ I personally thoroughly enjoyed this, from the drumming to the production, to the all-female vocals. ‘You Make Me Brave’ and ‘Shepherd’ by Amanda Cook, ‘It Is Well’ by Kristene Di Marco and the big version of Jenn Johnson’s ‘Come To Me’ all sound lovely – as do the spontaneous moments. Steffany Frizzell-Gretzinger’s ‘We Dance’ is a beautiful intimate track too. If you like Bethel you will like this album. Great mixture of joyful numbers and expressions of reverence. 8.5/10. Also this month was the next Passion album which, again, was a mixed bag for me. Kristian Standfill’s songs sound all-too-similar. My favourite tracks were Redman’s ‘Mercy’ and Christy Nockels ‘You Came To My Rescue.’ 5/10.

May saw the release of Crowder’s first solo album, ‘Neon Steeple’, which I personally enjoyed (7.5/10), and All Sons & Daughters self-titled studio album which I thoroughly enjoyed (9/10). In June, Leeland released a cool EP called ‘Christ Be All Around Me’ (also featured on AS&D album) and in July, Hillsong Worship (no longer called Hillsong Live) released ‘No Other Name.’ It’s a fairly enjoyable album, the title track will no longer be sung in Churches globally (as will ‘The Creed’), and marks what I think is a change for Hillsong. Gone are the ‘big’ moments (mostly) in this album and what arrives are a stream of mid-tempo songs with nice pad sounds and effects. Great to see them step out of the comfort zone and they always write quality songs. ‘Calvary’ is a nice song, as is ‘All Things New.’ Gungor and Tenth Avenue North also released albums this month. August saw the release of Steffany Frizzell-Gretzinger’s solo album ‘The Undoing’, as well as Lincoln Brewster’s ‘Oxygen’ (a very “meh” album – overly commercialised and cheesy), Colton Dixon’s ‘Anchor’ and Jars of Clay’s 20th Anniversary release. In September, Lecrae released ‘Anomaly’, Desperation Band ‘Banner’ and Dustin Smith ‘Coming Alive’. Now this is a cracker. Powerful, fiery, prophetic and declarative, and at times vulnerable, its a great album full of a mix moments – definitely worth a listen. 8.5/10.

October saw the release of Planetshakers ‘This Is Our Time’, Kings Kaleidoscope’s ‘Becoming Who We Are’ (see Jesus Freak Hideout for a good review). Chris Tomlin also released ‘Love Ran Red’, yet another safe and unmemorable batch of songs. That doesn’t mean that its not good or that many won’t be sung in Churches, but there are few ‘wow’ moments or times where you feel Tomlin steps outside of his box, apart from maybe ‘Waterfall’ and ‘Boundary Lines’, which are both enjoyable. ‘I Will Boast’ and ‘The Table’ takes us back to 2002-era Tomlin and ‘At The Cross’ is good. 7/10. Also this month came Worship Central’s ‘Set Apart’. I was quite disappointed by this album, to be honest. I expected more creativity (since they say they are big on that), but found little of it – ‘The Way’ is a nice track but with an all-too-similar feel of “let’s do Avicii in the chorus”, but it is expected to be one of the tracks of the coming year. ‘Set Apart’ is also good, and ‘Awesome Is He’ – but apart from that, found myself asking when the strong tracks were to come. Nice spontaneous moment at the end, though. 5/10.

Nothing much more of note towards the tail end of the year, with the exception of Brooke Fraser who released ‘Brutal Romantic’ a great album with lots of wonderful moments – 8.5/10. Misty Edwards, who released ‘Little Bird’ and Andrew Peterson’s ‘After All These Years’. I’ve only listened to the latter and its an excellent collection of Peterson songs past and present. Passion also released a collection of songs.

Over and out! Here’s to 2015!

Stuart Townend on writing ‘In Christ Alone’

Taken from Stuart Townend’s website

In Christ Alone

In November 2000 I was at a worship conference in Eastbourne, and introduced through a mutual friend to Keith Getty, who I had heard was a terrific melody writer. We met up for a coffee, and he promised to send me a CD of song ideas.

I didn’t really think any more about it. Then a CD arrived in the post containing three song ideas played on a piano. I didn’t get past the first melody, because I was so taken with it – it was quite hymn-like, but with a beautiful celtic lilt – I immediately started writing down some lines on the life of Christ.

Often lyrics come in quite a haphazard way. You write loads of couplets, then re-write some, then gradually piece it together to give it continuity and shape. The process for “In Christ alone” was much more linear. Once I’d worked out the rhyming structure (it felt like the song had better shape if lines 1 and 3 rhymed as well as the more usual 2 and 4), I started working on the first verse, setting the scene with a fairly subjective exploration of what Christ means to the Christian. Then I as I worked through the life, death and resurrection of Christ, I was getting more and more excited and emotional, and verse 4 kind of spilled out as a declaration of the impact of these amazing events in our lives.

Within a couple of days I had the whole lyric, sent it to Keith, he suggested a couple of changes, and “In Christ alone” was finished.

I think maybe one of the reasons the song is so popular is that it can stir up our emotions (I still often cry like an old softie when I sing it) – but the emotion is not the central feature of the song. Because the lyrics stay fixed on the unchanging truths of our salvation, it not only provokes emotion, but engenders faith, strengthening our spirits, not just stirring our souls.

Psalm 23 – Lins Honeyman

Here’s me playing with a talented singer/songwriter, Lins Honeyman, from Perth in 2011, in his own rendition of Psalm 23. Was heavily influenced by Stanton Moore and Steve Jordan (still am!) at the time.

Preparing to Worship: Stuart Townend

A useful article from Stuart Townend’s new-look website:

 

PREPARING TO WORSHIP

Worship has been described as the highest calling and privilege in the Christian’s life. When we come together it is an opportunity to celebrate all that God is and all He has done for us. It’s an opportunity to deepen our relationship with Him and one another, to experience His love afresh, and to be changed by the power of His Spirit.

Now put like that, you would imagine I would be straining at the leash to get to church every Sunday morning! But I have to confess that the reality is often very different.

I may have succeeded in getting myself to church on time (I’m ashamed to say I sometimes even fail on that score!), but my mind can be distracted by other concerns, and my expectations of meeting with God can be, frankly, low. Even when I’m standing at the front leading, I can be more preoccupied with making sure we play the songs well and that the people enjoy the songs, than that I lead them into a meaningful encounter with Christ.
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Shout To The Lord and Mighty To Save

I’ve already posted this on my Facebook and Twitter, but here are the final two videos. Truth be told, they are probably the ones I’m least happy about, but I’m still happy. Hope you enjoy! There is one more bonus video to come. And also, if you want to check out How Great Is Our God in better quality, the Vimeo video is now online, check out my channel. I will upload up here tomorrow.

Shout To The Lord

Mighty To Save

 

Video Filmed at Holy Trinity Church, Wester Hailes, Edinburgh on Friday 27th January, 2012.

Video Filmed by Jelizaveta Burhanova, Chris Gillies & Molly Gibney.

Video Edited by Jelizaveta Burhanova.

Drums Engineered by Michal Jankowski & James Parnell. Mixed by Michal Jankowski.

Backing Track Engineered & Mixed by Frazer Knox.

Backing Track Musicians:
Steph Macleod (vocals & acoustic guitar)
Mark Cameron (electric guitar)
Peter Crockett (piano)
Dave Biddulph (bass guitar)
Brian Macleod (percussion).

How Great Is Our God

At the tail end of last week I uploaded my fourth drum video on YouTube. Currently that video is uploading onto Vimeo, which is slightly higher quality. Also being uploaded to YouTube are the two final drum tracks, which I won’t unveil yet. In the meantime, enjoy ‘How Great Is Our God,’ one of the best tracks I think that was cut through the project, with Steph Macleod particularly shining.

 

Video Filmed at Holy Trinity Church, Wester Hailes, Edinburgh on Friday 27th January, 2012.

Video Filmed by Jelizaveta Burhanova, Chris Gillies & Molly Gibney.

Video Edited by Jelizaveta Burhanova.

Drums Engineered by Michal Jankowski & James Parnell. Mixed by Michal Jankowski.

Backing Track Engineered & Mixed by Frazer Knox.

Backing Track Musicians:
Steph Macleod (vocals & acoustic guitar)
Mark Cameron (electric guitar)
Peter Crockett (piano)
Dave Biddulph (bass guitar)
Brian Macleod (percussion).
Backing Track Musicians:
Steph Macleod (vocals & acoustic guitar)
Mark Cameron (electric guitar)
Peter Crockett (piano)
Dave Biddulph (bass guitar)
Brian Macleod (percussion).

Blessed Be Your Name

And the third video, Matt Redman’s ‘Blessed Be Your Name.’ Keep posted for a review here of his latest album ‘10,000 Reasons’ and his new book ‘Mirror Ball’ over the next couple of weeks.

 

Blessed Be Your Name

Video Filmed at Holy Trinity Church, Wester Hailes, Edinburgh on Friday 27th January, 2012.

Video Filmed by Jelizaveta Burhanova, Chris Gillies & Molly Gibney.

Video Edited by Jelizaveta Burhanova.

Drums Engineered by Michal Jankowski & James Parnell. Mixed by Michal Jankowski.

Backing Track Engineered & Mixed by Frazer Knox.

Backing Track Musicians:
Steph Macleod (vocals & acoustic guitar)
Mark Cameron (electric guitar)
Peter Crockett (piano)
Dave Biddulph (bass guitar)
Brian Macleod (percussion).

Backing Track Musicians:
Bethany Young (vocals & acoustic guitar)
Mark Cameron (electric guitar)
Peter Crockett (piano)
Philip Martin (bass guitar)
Brian Macleod (percussion).

Top 20 Worship Releases from Worship Leader Magazine

This was taken from Worship Leader magazine’s website, a post released on 4 January, 2012. For more information, please visit Worship Leader’s Website.

Do you agree with the choices made? Post below!

Twenty years ago Worship Leader published the inaugural issue of the magazine. With key editors and contributors such as, Chuck Fromm, Ron Allen, Chuck Kraft and Robert Webber it was designed to be a resource that shined a light on many practices of worship and gave those from different traditions a place to better understand one another.

The first issue of WL had a grand total of two music reviews. Bethel Chapel’s The Glory of the Lord and Saddleback Church’s Saddleback Praises: Music With I.M.P.A.C.T. We get a few laughs around the office looking at the picture of Robert Webber with the permmed hair and perennial mustache and Chuck Fromm’s shout out to his mentor Peter Drucker. And we are also proud when we think of the moments of worship we have witnessed and taken part in, and the movement of God’s children finding renewal in his sprit and truth.

So we want to celebrate our birthday. But the truth is Worship Leader has never been about celebrating itself. Our whole existence is centered on helping people point to the One who is worthy. Less us, more him.

Here is a statement in Chuck Fromm’s editorial in that inaugural issue of Worship Leader:

Our God is still seeking “true worshipers,” those who worship in spirit and truth. Our goal is to provide you with ideas, information, and resources to help you enhance and facilitate worship at your church.

We could still use that as a mission statement today! That is something that we certainly are proud of. So, we are asking you to join with us in a bit of celebration right now. It’s a celebration and a remembering of sorts. For fun and as a look down memory lane, we have chosen what we consider the top 20 most influential worship releases of the past 20 years. And we have asked a couple of our friends to share what some of those offerings meant to them.


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