Singing Seems to Help a Troubled Soul – New Album, Feb. 1

Album cover by Emily Sloan

Album cover by Emily Sloan

I love Johnny Cash songs. It may sound cliche, but I really do. Ever since I heard “Walk the Line” on the radio years ago, I was hooked. He had an incredible way of writing lyrics that painted a real story that you could believe in. Interestingly enough, no many people know that he wrote more gospel songs than any other genre, and he even earned a Bible degree via correspondence while he was making music.

Every Cash fan has his or her favourite song, but mine has always been Daddy Sang Bass.” This song tells the story of growing up during the Great Depression, the hard work, and singing together on the front porch.

The chorus goes:
Daddy sang bass, mama sang tenor,
me and little brother joined right in there,
Cuz singing seems to help a troubled soul

That line, singing seems to help a troubled soul, has always captivated me. How true is that? King David knew this, and the psalms he wrote reflected this. In churches all over the world, people are incredibly passionate about the music sung every week. In my life, there is no other feeling than when I can sing my heart out, especially when I get to sing my heart to Christ who saved me.

IMG_7958

Photo by Shelby Hurst

In just a few days, I have the privilege of releasing my second album, “Singing Seems to Help a Troubled Soul.” This a huge honor, and I am extremely grateful to Cedric Hardimon & Church Boy Entertainment for the support and funding behind this project and for supporting me as an artist on the label. Thank you also to Dustin Ragland for your brilliant work on helping produce this album and your encouragement along the way.

Preparing for this album, I was looking for a thread to tie it all together. Over the past few years, I had been writing songs, and the few favourites made it to the recording, but I had no idea what to name the album. I loved this Cash lyric, but I didn’t have a song called that. So, I wrote one. It’s the first track on the album.

“Singing Seems To Help a Troubled Soul” is a short song about the challenges of life but the light of God shining through through the melodies and chords of His song. I even invited a group of my friends to sing on the chorus with me.

Truthfully, all of these songs deal with singing and the troubled soul. Every song I wrote came out of times in my life when I was longing for God’s song in my heart. And I hope that they minister to your heart as well.

Photo by Ethan Hickerson

Photo by Ethan Hickerson

There are several friends who sang with me on this album, including Robbie Seay, a worship leader and artist from Houston, TX, who sang on “Psalm 23,” Aaron Boyd sang on “Nothing Here or Yet to Come,” and he is from the band Bluetree who hails from Belfast, Northern Ireland. CedEnough, artist and CEO of Church Boy Entertainment, adds his talents to “Goodbye Yesterday,” and Laura Medcalf, a long time friend with an amazing voice joined me on “Love Has Come For Us.” A group of my friends sang on the first, third, and final songs on the album, and I was also excited to have my wife Courtney sing with me on “Walk With Me.”

The album releases on iTunes on February 1, and CDs will be available at the CD release at First Baptist Church in Chickasha on Sunday night, February 9, at 6:00pm. They will only be $5, and I will include an Irish jig for free. Please join us – we are not just singing songs but we are seeking to share the Gospel as well.

Over the next several weeks I will be releasing some blogs to talk about each song, so you can hear the heart behind the music. I’m a firm believer in my calling to be a minister and pastor to people, and the songs God gives me are a big part of that. You can watch tv or look in a music store and see plenty of songwriters, and I do not want to be just another one in the list. I want my songs to make a difference and have a purpose.

Thank you to all of you who have supported me through the years, my wonderful family, and to Jesus for giving me a reason to sing.

Thank you to Philip Sullivan (AKA Captain Awesome) for designing the album art, to Emily Sloan for the awesome album cover, and to Shelby Hurst and Ethan Hickerson for taking photos.

Photo by Shelby Hurst

Photo by Shelby Hurst

Also, thank you to Dustin Ragland for the drums, bass, and production on the album. Ethan Hickerson rocked the electric guitars, Kyle Forgety brought the banjo heat, and Laura Medcalf had brilliant background vocals.

And THANK YOU for listening and your support. To help this project keep going, and to help us make more in the future, there are a few things you can do to be a part:

Buy the album – Feb. 1 on iTunes or in person after Feb. 9. You could do both!
Share – It’s always more fun to share with everyone. Tell others about the music, buy them a CD, write tweets and Facebook posts! Anyway to spread the word helps so much.
Have us come play for you! I would love to come share some songs with you. We don’t eat much, are a lot of fun, and I’m just kidding we eat a lot.
Pray for us and our families.

For more info about Church Boy Entertainment, you can visit www.churchboy.com

If the Devil Wants to Come For Me, I Will Tell Him To His Face, “You Can Have My Body But You Cannot Have My Soul!” – Robbie Seay (@robbieseay)

This week is a crazy, awesome week. Some in the realm of church call it Holy Week, others just know it as Easter weekend, with some even including Good Friday. We celebrate this week and weekend in so many different ways. Today I wanted to share a song and a celebration with you as part of what Easter means.

One songwriter and musician I have really looked up to over the years was Robbie Seay. He’s from the Houston area and deeply connected to the local church. For several years he has been one of the leaders of Ecclesia, a great church in the heart of Houston (http://www.ecclesiahouston.org).

What’s great about Robbie is that his songs and ministry come out of serving in the body of Christ. He’s not just out there trying to make a name for himself by writing songs. What he writes comes from the joys and pains of serving the Lord.

His latest album, “Rich and Poor,” released last fall, and has one of my favorite songs that I have ever heard called, “Cannot Have My Soul.” It’s a song about the pain of dying coupled with the joy of living forever with Christ. The chorus goes:

And if the devil wants to come for me
I will tell him to his face
You can have my body but you cannot have my soul
In the Heavens I will be
Singing songs of hallelujah
You can have my body but you cannot have my soul
No, you cannot have my soul

These few weeks around Easter our church has been focusing on the Resurrection, and why it is so important to us. Our pastor Michael has been preaching from 1 Corinthians 15, which is an amazing chapter.

When I hear this song by Robbie Seay, it brings me so much hope. It really makes me think of the joy of the Resurrection. One day these old broken bodies will be a distant memory as we are found in Christ in a body the way it was supposed to be. We’ll see our loved ones again. We will see our Savior and that unimaginable Love face to face.

Peter wrote great words in his letter of 1 Peter that shows our hope because of Christ’s Resurrection. 1 Peter 1:3-5 says,

“Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ! According to His great mercy, He has caused us to be born again to a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, to an inheritance that is imperishable, undefiled, and unfading, kept in Heaven for you, who by God’s power are being guarded through faith for a salvation ready to be revealed in the last time.”

May you take joy this week because we have a hope that is alive! Through what Jesus did through the Cross and Resurrection, we have a true reason to celebrate. May we never forget this, and may we never lose sight of our true hope.

You can see more of Robbie’s album “Rich and Poor” on iTunes here: http://itunes.apple.com/us/album/rich-poor-deluxe-edition/id493200510

Here is a video of “Cannot Have My Soul”

I’m a soul
With a body of my own
And there’s a time I’ll lay this body down

When I go
They’ll mourn for what is lost
They’ll rejoice for what is found

And if the devil wants to come for me
I will tell him to his face
You can have my body but you cannot have my soul
In the Heavens I will be
Singing songs of hallelujah
You can have my body but you cannot have my soul
No, you cannot have my soul

I can go
I can live beyond these bones
I can walk the streets of gold

Oh let me go, let me go
Let me live and breathe again
In the place that I have longed to know

And if the devil wants to come for me
I will tell him to his face
You can have my body but you cannot have my soul
In the Heavens I will be
Singing songs of hallelujah
You can have my body but you cannot have my soul

Oh, you cannot have my soul
No, you cannot have my soul, no
Singing songs of hallelujah
Oh, songs of hallelujah

Oh, you cannot have my soul

Won’t stop living
In your arms I’ll be
Living in the hope you leave
I’ll stop living in fear, you see
Living in the hope you leave