Chris Christian is a substantial name in the Christian Music industry. He helped launch the fledgling Christian music industry, signing artists like Amy Grant, Dogwood, and Whiteheart. He is also responsible for Home Sweet Home Records, one of the early industry leaders in contemporary Christian music. His impact in the industry goes on to songwriting, producing, and so much more. And he credits his entire career to his praying Grandmother.
The Prayer Chain was an alternative rock band in the early 90s, making thought-provoking grunge about the same time that Nirvana was also pioneering this new type of rock. Throughout the 90s, the band released several albums. Still, like so many band stories, they started to struggle with differences of direction, not only with the record label but also between their members. I recently got to talk with Eric Campuzano, bass player for The Prayer Chain, to hear about their story. So please help me welcome to the podcast, Eric Campuzano.
Dallas Holm has been making Christian music for more than 50 years. His first Christian album was in 1969, and for the first 10 years, he used the popular music of the day to share God’s love with drug addicts and gang members. With songs like "Rise Again," "I Saw the Lord," and "Jesus Got a Hold of My Life," Dallas became an integral part of the new and growing Christian Music industry. Now, 35 albums later, Dallas is a passionate advocate for making sure that everything we do is carefully crafted with sound biblical principles.
Steve Bell wears a lot of hats. He's a singer, songwriter, speaker, producer, author, recording artist, husband, and dad. But most importantly, he's a follower of Jesus. With over 20 albums to his credit, and a career spanning more than 30 years, Steve has some amazing stories to share. But what I found most appealing about Steve is his passion to be part of whatever God is doing. I think you'll find his enthusiasm compelling.
When you’ve written more than 300 songs sung in churches around the world, it would appear to many people that you’ve got it all together. But to hear Brian Doerksen talk about it, his songs are a growth out of his very personal and private time with God. So many of these times came through times of grief and hurting. And now, Brian looks at those difficult times as the seeds of Joy that helped spawn songs like "Come, Now is the Time to Worship," "Refiners Fire," and "I Lift My Eyes Up."
John Tibbs released his first album in 2010 and has gone on to release 8 albums. He was touring as an independent artist, got signed to Fair Trade Music and was touring with the Newsboys. He went back to being an independent artist and was as busy as ever. But then in 2020, the world stopped. A global pandemic stopped his ability to tour, which for a musician means a substantial hit to your income. He and his wife were expecting their first child, which added a bit more stress to his life. As you might imagine, John was feeling a bit apprehensive and frustrated.
Bryan Duncan is a Christian music pioneer. As a member of the Sweet Comfort Band, he helped pave the way for contemporary Christian music. After recording six albums with Sweet Comfort, he went on to a successful solo career releasing more than 20 albums. His powerhouse vocals combined with horn-driven rhythm and blues is just about the best music ever recorded. So I’m excited today to sit down with this legend of Christian music.
Garth Hewitt was the first British Christian musician signed to Myrrh records in the UK back in the early 1970s. And for the last fifty years, he has recorded more than 50 records and has toured the world using his music to share about the love of Jesus. Garth was dramatically inspired by Dr. Martin Luther King, who used his platform to address social issues and spiritual needs and Garth's music reflects that.
I first learned of Bob Halligan, Jr from reading credits. Early on, I noticed his name as a songwriter and contributor to many of Rick Cua’s albums. If you are a rocker, you have undoubtedly heard Bob’s work as he was the go-to hard rock songwriter of the 80s, penning songs for Judas Priest, Kix, and Michael Bolton. But he also wrote songs for Cher, Kathy Mattea, Joan Jett, and more. Then, I discovered Bob’s band Ceili Rain, an Irish rock band with a penchant for releasing some catchy songs.
Brothers Shawn & Michael Cavallo have been singing and performing together since 1997. In 2004 they reorganized as Manic Drive and released a couple of albums that were recognized by the Canadian Gospel Music Associates with 4 Covenant Awards. Then in 2015 they received a Juno Award for Best Christian Album. Sitting down with these guys was a lot of fun. I really appreciated Shawn & Michael’s intent to make music that will share their faith in places that might not be open to traditional Christian music.
As I’ve been working on this podcast, I’ve found a number of excellent podcasts that I really enjoy. One of those is hosted by Rick Altizer a movie director who has produced movies for Chonda Pierce and Russ Taff. Rick was also a recording artist back in the late 90s. So it was great fun to sit down with Rick and chat about his transition from musician to movie producer, and I think you are really going to enjoy this conversation.
John Schlitt had it all, a successful band, a career that was really going places, and a life that was spiraling out of control. But God had other plans, and through a dramatic interaction with his wife and pastor, John began a journey that took him out of music so that he could focus on his relationship with Jesus. And just when John thought music would never be part of his life again, along came an opportunity to sing with a little band called Petra. And for the next 30 years, God used John to help spread the gospel around the world as one of the most iconic voices in Christian Music.
Today I’m chatting with Natasha Owens. Natasha’s new album Stand is set to be released any day now and we’re going to get a preview of the project. But more important than her new album is her story of how God brought her through a severe depression she went through after the accidental death of her father. Natasha shares about the importance music played and continues to play in her healing and going through several tough life experiences. She also shares how her community both helped and hindered her healing. And the realization that God has her back through it all.
Today I’m talking with David Zach from the band Remedy Drive. Here is a guy who was minding his own business, just trying to be a rock star, when he learned about the atrocities of human trafficking that is occuring in our world today. And David had the guts to say, “I’m not just going to read about it and watch the stories on the news. I’m going to do something. I’m going to get involved.”
Today I am chatting with Simon Ådahl. Simon is a Swedish musician who has been part of the bands Edin-Ådahl and Bertil-Edin. He has also released some solo projects and several of these albums made their way to the states back in the mid-80s. Simon has some incredible stories to share about smuggling Bibles into the communist countries of Romania and Yugoslavia. But he also has a testimony of how forgiveness has completely changed the trajectory of his life, and I can’t wait for you to hear this powerful testimony.
Today’s guest is a multi-talented musician who has been active in a number of bands. There is ArkAngel, Radio Halo, and Atomic Opera. He also worked with Caedmon’s Call for a season in addition to having several albums of his own. I’m not sure how to classify Kemper’s music. Is it Old English, Celtic, Medieval, or Art/Progressive Rock? Probably a little of all each of those styles. But Kemper is much more than just a musician. He is an author, teacher, and an Episcopal priest, currently working at a Lutheran church.
Paul Clark started his music career writing songs about his new faith and sharing them with whoever would listen. His first album from 1971 sold so well that executives at Word Records offered to help distribute his record because it was something new and they saw this Jesus Music was impacting the country for Christ. Flash forward 50 years and Paul is still active in helping people use music as a tool for sharing the Gospel. After more than 30 albums, Paul’s passion for reaching the lost hasn’t wavered one bit and I’m excited for you to hear his story.
Babbie Mason has been making music since the early 80s. She was discovered at a music conference in the mid-80s, but like so many discovery stories, there was a lot of hard work and study that went into her discovery. I love talking to people who have been successful in their craft and share that success by training and mentoring others. Babbie has done that in spades. From being a middle school teacher to writing books and coaching new artists, Babbie uses her gifts to make sure those around her can use their gifts to the fullest.
Michele Pillar was part of the early Maranatha Praise singers before releasing her self-titled album in 1982. She has released seven albums, is a 3-time Grammy and Dove award nominee, and is a sought-after conference speaker. In 2016, she released the book Untangled, The Truth Will Set You Free and she is putting the finishing touches on her next book, due to be released later this year.
Unless you are an avid credit reader like me, you might not recognize my guest today by name. But I guarantee you will recognize his work. Dave Clark is a songwriter, publisher, and arranger who has lived in Nashville for the past 40 plus years. He has written songs for Rascal Flatts, Larnelle Harris, Sandi Patty, Donny Osmond, Glen Campbell, CeCe Winans, Al Denson… just to name a few. And he’s written at least one #1 song in four consecutive decades with more than 25 number one songs on the Christian Music Charts. I think Dave is pretty good at his job!
Today's podcast is a world tour, hitting 3 time zones to chat with the members of the Paul Colman Trio. We laughed a lot, talked about dead Hobbits, and dug into living our lives intentionally for Jesus. How does God take our broken and messed up lives and use them to show people around us that God loves them? This is definitely a conversation you do not want to miss!