Why Would U Mourn Prince?

I’ve seen a few people question why people would honor Prince. He was, after all, controversial, edgy and so on. I’ve asked myself why I was saddened last week too. I can’t speak for everyone, but I can speak for myself. It boils down to this – Prince is a part of my story. I’ve learned that until you fully embrace your story, you can’t move forward writing new pages. The story will include good and bad. There will be wonderful memories and times you wish you could erase. Removing them removes pages from your story. It minimizes what made you who you are.

Prince was big in the 80’s and at a time when an awkward and clumsy teenager like me was trying to figure things out. It was a time of first loves and friends and homecoming, learning to drive and prom kings and queens. It was the age of excess with big hair, fluorescent clothes and the music. Oh the music…

It was my first concert (New Edition) with Eddie B and Lori N. It was riding in the car with my best friend Chad signing Van Halen songs until we wore the tape out. It was Friday nights in Mayfield driving around to songs by The Outfield with Ern and Stephen. If there was a piano somewhere around, you just had to learn the intro to Home Sweet Home by Motley Crue. You had to know how to move and moonwalk like Michael Jackson. I once cut school to buy INXS tickets for Vickie when I wasn’t even allowed to go to the concert (she did get me a shirt so I could act like I went). We slow danced to Bon Jovi and learned to rap to Run DMC, LL Cool J, the Beastie Boys and explored our goth side with The Cure and Violent Femmes.

I could go on and on and tag so many more friends from those years. They are treasured. Sure, there were broken hearts and scars. There was puppy love and having no clue how to treat our first dates. But we were writing our story. We were learning the mistakes to teach our children to avoid at all costs. The habits, the trials and the things our parents said we should avoid.

I’ll leave you with one last thought… I begged my parents to buy us a VCR. Everyone had one. We finally got ours for Christmas one year. The first video we ever watched (from Bedford video) was one I also begged my parents to let me see. The movie? “Purple Rain” by Prince. Not exactly the way to bring confidence to the purchase your parents made. It was edgy. It was a little raunchy. It wasn’t a highlight for me choosing family movies. Neither was “Dirty Dancing” when each of my family members walked out of the theater one by one in the first 30 minutes….

What can I say. It’s a part of my story. I embrace it. I lived it, loved it, recovered from it and at times, miss the simplicity of it. That’s why I mourned Prince last week. I mourned another reminder that my story, my songs and history had slipped away.

#RIPPrince

Who Sang It Better Round One

harold-melvin-and-the-bluenotes-if-you-dont-know-me-by-now-philadelphia-international-2

Going to try something new here. I often have debates with myself while behind the wheel when I hear songs that have been made and remade. So here’s your chance to weigh in too. Let’s start off with one that has been done by three people. The song is “If You Don’t Know Me By Now.” The artists….

Harold Melvin and The Blue Notes

Simply Red

Seal 

My vote is Simply Red, but Seal is a close second. You’re call. Vote early, vote often.

 

Kari Jobe is Majestic

kari-jobe-majesticAbout a month ago, I received a preview copy of Kari Jobe’s new CD called “Majestic” from my friends at Merge PR. When I got the email, I couldn’t get over the timing of it. I immediately sent my friend Lori an email back to let her know how very special this was. She had no idea so I thought it was important to share with her why Kari Jobe holds a very special place in my heart. Now before you think that’s creepy, let me explain.

4 years ago my mom was in the process of passing from this life to her eternal home in heaven. Although she couldn’t communicate with us, we believe that she could hear us. I called my sister in Houston and told her to play some songs that I had just heard by Kari Jobe. Incredibly, my sister said “I am playing them right now.” Somehow, my sister in Houston had chosen the exact same songs that I chose, by the exact same artist. When my mom breathed her last and stepped into eternity, I knew it. My soul knew it. At that very moment, I happened to be listening to, you guess it, Kari Jobe.

When I spent a brief time in ministry, we were looking for a worship leader. I regularly recommended that we try to get Kari Jobe to join the staff. I figured if you’re gonna hire someone, why not aim for the best! So yes, I’m a fan and that is why the opportunity to preview her new CD the past month has been so special. Can I tell you that Kari has done it again? “Majestic” is incredible from beginning to end.

Recorded at the historic Majestic Theatre in Jobe’s hometown of Dallas, Texas, the album is a departure from her first two major label studio releases. “Majestic” is entirely live and features all-new material (with the exception of Jobe’s cover of “Holy Spirit”), every song a piece of her heart. “It reminds me of what heaven might be like,” she says, reflecting on the evening of recording at the iconic landmark. “I want this album to give more of a revelation that God is in control. If you will lift your voices and worship Him, there will be a shift and a change in the atmosphere of your life, and it will be heaven-centered and majestic.”

This is one of those CD’s that I have on in the background for hours and hours. The words, the music, the worship just floods my thoughts and leads me to pause and acknowledge God’s presence in my life. I recommend “Majestic” to all that would read these words. I also believe (or at least hope) that many a church worship team will be delivering the song “Forever” on Easter Sunday. What a powerful reminder that –

“Now death where is your sting? Our resurrected King has rendered you defeated!”

I give “Majestic” a 5 out of 5

“Disclosure of Material Connection: I received one or more of the products or services mentioned above for free in hope that I would mention it on my blog. Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will be good for my readers. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

 

Review – Hear Me

Who’s up for some new music? Yesterday, Kyle Sherman released his debut CD called “Hear Me”. I’ve been previewing it for the last few weeks and it is worth the download. With a style all his own, it’s hard to compare Kyle to any current artists. If I had to, I would say that he reminds me of Bebo Norman a little bit. I enjoyed the CD and think you will too. If you’re not familiar with Kyle Sherman, here’s more information:

Album Bio
Fort Worth-based singer-songwriter Kyle Sherman recently signed on as the flagship artist to brand new label RayLynn Records, an opportunity that presented itself during a time period when a record deal wasn’t even on his radar.

“It’s crazy how God works,” Kyle says. ‘Five years ago, I pushed pretty hard to do my own thing as a singer-songwriter, but every well I approached would dry up. It clearly wasn’t the right time.” So Kyle continued on a path of leading worship, taking a full-time role as worship leader at Lifechurch.TV’s Fort Worth campus under the leadership of renowned pastor/author Craig Groeschel.

Just 3-years later Kyle made it back to Nashville, pouring his heart into a microphone at Sony studio with veteran producer and country singer-songwriter Mark Collie making his first album. God is faithful. Hear Me, the result of those sessions, is an eclectic and authentic mix of rootsy, southern soul.

If you’re looking for some new music, give Kyle Sherman’s “Hear Me” a spin. I look forward to more music from Kyle for years to come.

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received one or more of the products or services mentioned above for free in hope that I would mention it on my blog. Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will be good for my readers. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.

Review – Cultivation Generation LIVE

Who doesn’t love some great worship music? This guy sure loves it. Anytime I have the opportunity to check out some new worship music, especially the kind that gets you on your feet, clapping your hands and breathes energy into your day, well I’m all ears. I recently had the opportunity to review the latest CD from Vineyard Worship called “Cultivation Generation LIVE. Take pulsating beats, driven guitars, drums and even throw in a little banjo (think Mumford and Sons) and you’ve got an idea of what “My Foundation” is all about. This thing really moves. It is a must hear if what I said earlier describes your taste. Check this out….

I really enjoyed this CD. Sometimes worship music seems to just be the same popular songs done over and over again by several different artists. It’s nice to hear new songs that can easily be performed on a Sunday morning to create a great worship experience and prepare our hearts to worship the creator of the universe. I highly recommend “Cultivation Generation LIVE – My Foundation”. You can find more about them on the web here:

“Disclosure of Material Connection: I received one or more of the products or services mentioned above for free in the hope that I would mention it on my blog. Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will be good for my readers. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

Review – The End Is Where We Begin

BOOM! I have been waiting for this day for about two years. Actually, it was almost two years ago to the day that I received the epic “Welcome to the Masquerade” CD in the mail from a friend and my love affair with the band Thousand Foot Krutch began. Song after song, my son and I were hooked on this group we had never heard of before. We wore that CD out that summer. It was an incredible CD and is still on regular rotation at my house.

So how do you follow something like that?

Ladies and gentleman, let me introduce you to “The End Is Where We Begin“. Today the guys at Thousand Foot Krutch dropped their latest CD and like I said on twitter…”you need to go get you some of that”. It’s great. I’ve actually had the blessing of listening to it for the past month or so and have enjoyed every single song. It is a MUST HAVE for you Thousand Foot Krutch fans. Even if you’ve never heard of this band, I HIGHLY recommend picking up a copy today. It might just turn out to be the soundtrack for your summer too.

One of the marks of a great band (in my opinion) is to be able to stay relevant as time and sounds change. TFK has found that lane. If you go back to their early stuff, you will hear what I mean. “The End Is Where We Begin” is a relevant, timely, supercharged collection of infectious beats, rhymes and guitar riffs. TFK just get it. They also happen to be outstanding in concert. Well done guys. I don’t know how you did it, but you found a way to follow up “Welcome to the Masquerade” with another huge collection of songs.

I give “The End Is Where We Begin” a 4.5 out of 5. 

There is so much more that I could say about this CD, but you just need to go get it. Trust me, these guys are all that they appear to be.