Coram Deo ~

Looking at contemporary culture from a Christian worldview


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I: The Arrow (EP) – Andy Mineo

This is the first chapter in a series of EP’s that Mineo plans to release. He has stated that he has been going through a period of doubt of himself and of his faith, as he has experienced a season of anxiety and depression.  This is a transparent and honest release from Mineo as he works through anxiety and confusion.  It is unlike any of his releases to date. It’s the follow-up to 2017’s Andy Mineo and Wordsplayed Present Magic & Bird with Wordsplayed and is his first solo album since his excellent 2015 release Uncomfortable.
Give these songs several listens.  They require and deserve that. I look forward to the next EP.
Below are a few brief comments about each of the six songs:

I’ve Been…. – This song was written by Wit, Joel McNeill, John McNeill, BEAM and Mineo. It was produced by Weathrman and BEAM. Additional vocals are provided by Willow Stephens. The opener is a slower song and introduces the theme of the record. He’s been lost for some time.
Key lyric: I hope I get the benefit of the doubt
I need a minute just to figure this out

Clarity – This song was written and produced by Daniel Steele, Chad Gardner, GAWVI and Mineo. Additional vocals are provided by Gardner. The song opens with Mineo speaking over keyboards by Daniel Steele. He raps hard in verse two.  The song includes spoken word interludes from a female. He wants clarity because all of his heroes are frauds, just like he is. Watch the video for “Clarity” here.
Key lyric: The opposite of faith ain’t doubt
Family Photo – This heart-breaking song about Mineo’s father Joe was written by Wit, Joel McNeill, John McNeill and Mineo. It was produced by Weathrman and Mineo. He tells about how his father didn’t show up for his wedding. The song starts slow and builds in intensity as his rage about his father builds. The song ends with him reciting Reinhold Niebuhr’s “Serenity Prayer”. Key lyric: ‘Cause when you bury emotions, you bury them alive
They only come back stronger, somewhere later in your life

Anxiety – This song was written by Wit, Joel McNeill, John McNeill and Mineo. The song was produced by, and features, Weathrman. The song was recorded in November, 2016 after Mineo had his first anxiety attack. The song describes what he felt as he was going through the anxiety attack. The song has a slower beat and ends with an outro spoken piece that may have been recorded in concert that leads into “I Ain’t Done”.
I Ain’t Done – This song was written and produced by Mineo and recorded on the bus while on tour in 2017. This bold song pounds from the very beginning, as he made up the lyrics on the spot. Key lyric: Man, my problems big, but I know God way bigger.
…Lost – The final track of the EP continues where “I’ve Been…” left off. It is written by David Ham, Joel McNeill, John McNeill, Wit, BEAM and Mineo. It was produced by Weathrman, BEAM and Mineo, and features Willow Stephens on vocals. The song starts slow and builds to a gospel vibe with a nice tip of the cap to his song “Never Land”. It ends with a spoken word piece explaining where he got the cover art for the EP and then some brief keys. It has a more hopeful spirit than the other songs. Key lyric: When I get above those clouds, yeah, I know that the sun’s out, I’ma be alright

Live on Soundstage: Michael McDonald

Michael McDonald has had quite a career, spanning 45 years, from Steely Dan, the Doobie Brothers to a successful solo career, which has included a number of Christmas albums and a few albums of Motown covers.  This live project (DVD/CD) was filmed and recorded at Soundstage’s Grainger Studios in Chicago on May 25, 2017. It includes some of the five-time Grammy Award winner’s biggest hits, as well as three songs from his excellent 2017 comeback album Wide Open, his first album of new material in seventeen years.
The album showcases McDonald’s distinctive voice, which is still a wonderful instrument at age 65. He is backed by a strong ensemble, including horns and background singers.
I thoroughly enjoyed this recording. Below are the songs included on the album, and a comment on when they were originally recorded by McDonald. Note, some of the songs downloaded in a different order than they are listed on the album.

It Keeps You Running – This song was recorded by the Doobie Brothers, was the third single released from their 1976 album Takin’ It To the Streets, reaching number 37 in the U.S.
Sweet Freedom – This song reached #7 on the U.S. charts for McDonald in 1986, and was featured in the film Running Scared.
I Keep Forgetting – This song was from McDonald’s 1982 solo debut If That’s What It Takes, reaching #4 on the U.S. charts.  
Find It In Your Heart – This song was the first single released from McDonald’s 2017 album Wide Open.
If You Wanted to Hurt Me – This song was included on McDonald’s 2017 album Wide Open.
I Can’t Let Go Now – This song was included on McDonald’s 1982 album If That’s What It Takes.
Beautiful Child – This song was included on McDonald’s 2017 album Wide Open.
Minute by Minute – This song was released on the Doobie Brothers’ 1978 album Minute by Minute. The single was released in 1979 and reached number 13 in the U.S.
What a Fool Believes – This song was released on the Doobie Brothers’ 1978 album Minute by Minute and reached number one in the U.S. The song won the Grammy 1980 for both Song of the Year and Record of the Year.
Takin’ It To the Streets – This song was included on the Doobie Brothers’ 1976 album Takin’ It To the Streets and reached number 13 in the U.S. This was the band’s first single with McDonald singing lead.

The three encores were:
You Belong To Me – This song was written by McDonald and Carly Simon and originally recorded by the Doobie Brothers for their 1977 album Livin’ on the Fault Line. The song was made popular by Simon on her 1978 album Boys in the Trees. Her single reached number 6 in the U.S.
What’s Going On – This classic Marvin Gaye song was included on McDonald’s 2004 album Motown II.
I Heard It Through the Grapevine – This classic song has been recorded by many, but probably the definitive version was Marvin Gaye’s 1967 recording. It was included on McDonald’ 2003 album Motown.

  • New NEEDTOBREATHE. Check out the new song “Darling” from NEEDTOBREATHE from their upcoming Forever On Your Side (Niles City Sessions).
  • U2 in St. Louis. U2 brought the second show of their new Innocence and Experience Tour to St. Louis’ Scottrade Center on May 4. The band was in top form and played an excellent setlist pulled from their 38-year history. Here is Kevin C. Johnson’s St. Louis Dispatch review. Here are photos from the concert.
  • Jackie Hill Perry and the ‘Crescendo’ of Christian Faith. Brett McCracken interviews Jackie Hill Perry about her new album Crescendo.
  • What If I Can’t Sing? Keith and Kristyn Getty write “But if you can speak, you can sing. God designed you to sing and gave you everything you need to sing as well as he wants you to. He’s far less concerned with your tunefulness than your integrity. Christian singing begins with the heart, not the lips ( 5:19).”
  • Lyric Video for “Across the Lands”. Enjoy this new lyric video for “Across the Lands” from the album, Keith & Kristyn Getty Live at The Gospel Coalition. Words and music by Keith Getty and Stuart Townend.
  • In the Name of Convenience: U2 and the Irish Referendum. Mark Hemingway writes “As much as Christian forgiveness is freely given, there are still higher laws and divine authority that must be respected. If Bono and the rest of everyone’s favorite Christian rock band possess enough hubris to support the legalization of abortion in Ireland, maybe they really do think they can play God.”

Music Quotes:

  • If people ask what the music is like in your church, the answer should be that the people of God are singing together. Keith Getty
  • Sometimes God doesn’t change your situation cause He’s trying to change your heart. Lecrae
  • Worship comes from a thankful heart. Chris Tomlin
  • I dropped an album last week and had a baby this week. I need a nap. Jackie Hill Perry

Everyday I Have the Blues – Van Morrison and Joey DeFrancesco

This week’s song of the week is “Everyday I Have the Blues” from their excellent new album You’re Driving Me Crazy by Van Morrison and Joey DeFrancesco. Listen to the song here.

Everyday I have the blues
Everyday I have the blues

When you see me worryin’ woman, honey, it’s you I hate to lose

Nobody loves me
Nobody seems to care
Yes, nobody loves me
Nobody seems to care
Speaking of worries and trouble darling, you know I’ve had my share

Everyday, everyday, everyday, everyday
Everyday I have the blues
When you see me worryin’ woman, honey, it’s you I hate to lose

Every day, everyday I have the blues
Every day, everyday I have the blues
When you see me worryin’ woman, baby, it’s you I hate to lose

Written by Memphis Slim and Peter Chatman

Author: Bill Pence

I’m Bill Pence – married to my best friend Tammy, a graduate of Covenant Seminary, St. Louis Cardinals fan, formerly a manager at a Fortune 50 organization, and in leadership at my local church. I am a life-long learner and have a passion to help people develop, and to use their strengths to their fullest potential. I am an INTJ on Myers-Briggs, 3 on the Enneagram, my top five Strengthsfinder themes are: Belief, Responsibility, Learner, Harmony, and Achiever, and my two StandOut strength roles are Creator and Equalizer. My favorite book is the Bible, with Romans my favorite book of the Bible, and Colossians 3:23 and 2 Corinthians 5:21 being my favorite verses. Some of my other favorite books are The Holiness of God and Chosen by God by R.C. Sproul, and Don’t Waste Your Life by John Piper. I enjoy music in a variety of genres, including modern hymns, Christian hip-hop and classic rock. My book Called to Lead: Living and Leading for Jesus in the Workplace and Tammy’s book Study, Savor and Share Scripture: Becoming What We Behold are available in paperback and Kindle editions on Amazon.

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