Friday, May 26, 2006

Liberty in the Studio

We are one studio session away from having all of the vocals done for our upcoming CD "Old Time Gospel Songs,Vol.1". I am excited about this new project. I've been a huge Southern Gospel fan for as long as I can remember, but I hadn't heard some of these old songs we're featuring. This has been a lot of fun and I know you'll be able to tell on the recording. Our studio musicians did an outstanding job of providing fresh arrangements for this album. Pictured above is Liberty with Scott Pergande (center), our engineer. The guy has a fantastic ear (along with an extremely dry sense of humor). He kept things loose in the studio.

As promised, I will be giving away a free CD to one of you loyal blog readers (I mean, really, if you are consistently reading this you definitely are worthy of a reward). I need to come up with some contest to determine how the CD should be awarded. I'd like to do something half-way creative. Any ideas?

Royce's Muscle Mass

Royce took some time off from recording to flex his enormous neck muscles for the camera. As you can tell, he's spent quite a bit of time on cultivating this attractive look. The man is photogenic, no question about it.

studio time

A contrast in pictures: Doran confidently cranks out his baritone parts while Dan nervously fiddles with his headphone cord while studying the music. Actually, the boys made it happen.

Wednesday, May 24, 2006

American Idol

Just for the record, America finally got it right. Taylor Hicks was the man from day one. He definitely doesn't fit the definition of American Idol, that's for sure. Those funky moves coupled with his infectious energetic singing won me over. He is a true entertainer. Congrats!

Back in Nampa

After several days of no posting, my guilt conscience has brought me once again to I have some good excuses, though. I haven't had much time to do anything. I finally got home at about 10:30 Monday night. Man, that was a long trip. First of all, let me say thanks to all of you who posted and e-mailed me, letting me know that you were praying for my voice. It has slowly, but surely, improved. Friday evening was the toughest concert I've ever done (dating back to the GBS/Assurance Quartet days). I literally had nothing to give. I sang so hard it hurt, but nothing came out. By the time we left the church I was communicating via hoarse rasps and esoteric hand signals. I couldn't even laugh. One of the guys would say something funny and my mouth would open to laugh, but no sound would come forth, save for a slight wheeze. We were on for a concert at a nursing home Saturday morning at 9:00. By the time we got to our hotel room it was 11:30 PM. I took some powerful medication, prayed fervently that God would give me a touch and went to bed by midnight. I woke up at 20 'til 2 in a panic, struggling to breathe. I jumped out of bed and began searching around in the dark for my medicine. I finally found it, got as much of the congestion out of my system as possible (thanks to Kleenex) and headed back to bed. As soon as I laid down, the congestion cut off my ability to breathe through my nose and mouth. You talk about feeling claustrophobic. It was awful. For nearly 4 hours I walked around the room, down the hall, wherever trying to get enough oxygen. I've never had anything happen like this, so it was a little unnerving, to say the least. Finally, about 4 something, I fell back to sleep.

I woke up Saturday morning with no voice at all. On the way to the nursing home the guys tried to rehearse some trio numbers. We get there, and I went over in the corner of the room to get out of the way. Royce, I guess, chickened out on their new-found arrangements and called me up to the stage on the first song. It was unbelievably awful. I don't wish deafness for anyone, but I have to admit that I was praying that no one could hear me. Which they probably couldn't, not just because of their age, but due to the fact that nothing more than whispers were coming out. We made it through an hour of me struggling to produce sounds before Royce called it quits. We made our way to Sirloin Stockade for brunch (I forgot all about that restaurant) with some great friends of Liberty, Stan and Faith. It was the first time I've had pancakes and hot wings during the same meal. A little strange. I then stopped by Wal-Mart to pick up some medicine. Now, I can't find this stuff anywhere here in Idaho, but it was something called severe congestion PE. I'm here to tell you that it made me a believer. It gets the job done!

We spent the night on the bus, Saturday, in the parking lot of the Wichita First Church of the Nazarene. Sunday morning before the concert I was extremely tentative concerning my voice. I couldn't tell if there was much difference. However, a couple songs into the concert I could tell that it was starting to come back.

Sunday night we were at Olathe College Church of the Nazarene and had a great time! My voice made a little more progress and I was able to handle the entire concert. It wasn't totally back, but it was at least close enough to sound half-way decent.

Now, I'm still struggling to get back to 100%. Unfortunately, we were scheduled to be in the studio this week, so I've haven't been able to get any vocal rest. But thank God I've made a little progress. Thanks again for your prayers!

Now in addition to my interesting vocal issues, our bus encountered some issues of its own. An alternator which serviced our generator, which in turn controls our air conditioning went down. Dan and a mechanic in Inman, KS (who went way beyond the call of duty) came up with a way to get everything working on Saturday. Well, on Sunday evening the generator went down. It had nothing to do with the alternator problem, but still cut out the AC. So, we limped back to Boise Sunday night and all day Monday, enjoying the breezes blowing in the window. It looks like we're going to have to sink some serious money into the bus to repair the problems. The joys of having a bus. So, if you have any extra moola sitting around...

Hey, you know what? God is good, no matter what is going on. The cool thing about being a part of this ministry is that we depend totally on Him to supply the need and He does it.

Since I've been back I've been running non-stop. This new album that's coming out next month has been a lot of fun to record. Some of these old songs I had never heard before, so it's new to me. I have some funny pictures that I have to post in the next few days so stay tuned.

Go Reds!