Studio time:
So Saturday, in Dan’s absence due to his Gramma’s passing, Dad took me in to Cottage grove and we met Randy for the first time.  My main concern was that I could be relaxed and able to really DO this with him as my producer (advice giver) and all around recorder of everything that would be this first CD.  Upon meeting him, all those concerns went out the window as I officially met the most laid-back person I’ve ever seen; this was incredibly encouraging because it enabled me to just relax and get into what we went there for.  And that is…going through all the top songs, plus a few of my favorites that didn’t make the cut, and having Randy decide which ones were the top ones that are going to be used for the first album.

Originally he was going to use a mixture of the top favorites and the second picks for the first album and have that same mix for a second album chosen already, but after listening and realizing how many songs I really had, his main concern was getting all the best ones on this album and then having the freedom to have all new material on the second one by the time we were ready to do that.
All in all, we went through about 38 songs and the favorites he picked were a good mixture of what the screening group chose as overall favorites and what I chose as my overall favorites.  The ones that he and i both picked, that were not on the top of the list with the screening group, turned out to be songs that both he and I heard alot more going on with than what the piano could portray, so it was good to see that we were on the same page as far as song potential.  It was also good to get his professional opinion about the music and voice and so many other things – he really didn’t hold anything back and it was really exciting to hear his final assessment be that I’d be ‘crazy not to go through with this’ and I ‘definitely have what it takes to do this’……..!!!!!    ‘Praise God!  He’s put it all together this far and I know that he will bring about completion in His timing!’ was my response, which I think took him a little off guard, but I think after the time we spent with him on Saturday, he knows what he’s gotten himself into :~)

Prayer requests:
1. That God would give dad and I wisdom in choosing the first 3 songs to begin working on out of the ones chosen for this first album – this is important not only for easing into recording, but easing into practicing together; giving ourselves small steps at a time and encouraging accomplishments along the way.
2. That we as a group of musicians would come together both in timing and opportunity for practice, but musically in smoothness and unity as well.
3. That we would continue to look to the Lord to fill in the gaps when they happen and trust that, as already most of the time He has provided before we have even seen the need, He will provide for those things that are needed in the timing that He knows we need them in.

Interesting tidbits:
I’m sure at this point you are wondering which songs ‘made the cut’ so i’d like to list them here for you along with another interesting tidbit that is completely useless, but pretty funny –
Randy has this HUGE dry mouth (haha) St. Bernard!! Ok, so that’s not the funny part… dad really detests drooly wet dogs, especially HUGE drooly wet hair everywhere dogs that are still not even a year old and make a miniature horse look like a cat – and then there’s always the fact that they are kinda big and clumsy and when they want attention they’re bowling you over and when they’re sleeping, they’re drooling in puddles and sounding like that great uncle everyone has that snores –
So ALL this is going on while we’re there at Randy’s because he would bring him in every now and then and, of course, dad became his favorite person…or pet…?  Whichever it was, as soon as dad finally would peel him off, he’d come over and drool on me and the keyboard and my hands while I was playing and would have to be told again and again ‘we’re working (whatever his name was) go lay down!’
Nope, that’s not the funny part yet either…the funny part came when we were getting ready to leave and realized that the dog, strangely out of our hair for the last hour or so, had decided to take a nap on…you guessed it, Dad’s coat :~) I’ll leave the rest to your imagination and will give you the 13 songs now! :~)
Keep in mind that they will not necessarily be recorded or on the cd in this order, but here they are:
Amazing God
Know You
The Sea
See Me Through
Not About Me
On My Knees
Hold On
On My Own
Commission of Joshua
Good Thing
The Love of One

Next steps:
So, as stated briefly before under Prayer Requests, the next thing I need to do is to come up with my top 3 easiest songs.  This is for two reasons: first that the musicians and I can have the encouragement of accomplishment in practicing together, and second for the encouragement and ease in the studio as we all, with the exception of our bass player, do this for the first time! :~)
After the first three that we’ll begin working on are chosen, Dad (guitar player) and I (on piano), will begin working out the kinks and getting the main ideas for the songs’ progression in each.  Then we’ll add in Rod (on bass) and then finally, when it feels like we’ve got our ducks in a row, we’ll add Zach (on drums) and we’ll all be ready to practice together.  At the point that we are all comfortable with a completed project of those three songs, we’ll go into the studio and, hopefully, shake off the recording jitters, and record the songs straight through.
The idea is to be practiced well enough that we can go in and do all three songs, including set-up and jitter removal :~), in under 4-5 hours, according to Randy.  That’s why that prayer request is so important AND why it’s important for us to be able to continue to trust God with the timing of practicing and completion of songs as we go! :~)

Again, thanx for being a part of this in prayer for us and in support of us!  If you have any questions, always feel free to email or call – i know i said the newsletters wouldn’t be as long anymore, but they’re not happening very often, so just read a section at a time if there’s too much here for you to read in one sitting (JAKE) :~)

Through Christ who strengthens me

~Gretchen & Family~