Originally conceived as "Every Song Tells a Story," now it has moved into a more focused thought. Each of the following tunes has a story in how the music touched me. Or, better said, how those who sang it did.
The clearer image that has come is "influence."
So, subject to some final changes that I don't foresee - here's where I'm going when I walk into the studio next month.
I am thrilled that Glad River is supporting me in this and will be contributing mightily on the project. I've even thrown out an invite to an original member of the band - we'll see if it works out.
I have friends from various parts of my life's story who are cheering me on.
Congregants and musicians from Saint John's are encouraging and will be helping, and I'm thankful for that beyond words. Most gracious, indeed.
So, here it is - a track list I just emailed out tonight to some folks playing on the project, and to Ashley, who is producing it.
Wish me luck -
I've made my last changes and they are in the sequence I see it unfolding.
Dylan and The Beatles were right there at the end, but I'm holding them for Volume 2!
Loggins is out, as are virtually all other overt "love songs." I figure I'll just karaoke a cd for my wife sometime down the road.
You will also note that the Gospel tunes are out. I think I could and should do those within the confines of a worship space. I can probably do all those at St. John's.
My methodology is as follows - Tracks 1, 2, 5 & 6 have particular stories for me as a boy that set the stage for me to want to pick up a guitar - sing and play.
The Godspell tune is from experiencing a travelling youth group sing that at Mayfield First in the early 70's and I was hooked. It was about the same time my 3rd grade Sunday School teacher told me I'd be minister.
7 is not really a tie to Jimmy, it is, rather a song of a time that was an important in my childhood. And, it rocks and has some pretty killer harmonies going on.
8-9 part of the catharsis of healing through Jimmy's death - 3 years on this April.
10 is a claim on the influences of the Wesley brothers to my life and faith, and, a contemporary treatment from one who is influencing the church even now.
12 talks about my propensity to hide inside myself when i don't feel safe or don't know where to go - the hope in that song, though, is that, through some perspective, and having finished a therapeutic course of treatment, it's o.k. to invite folks up on my roof with me.
You will note - Allentown is in - not as a fluke, but in keeping with influences, that's the first tune we ever played as a band. Seems right to me, and a social commentary of the time, as are many of these tunes.
Up on the Roof was out and back in - the lyric works great for a midtown church pastor.
Johnny Jeffords – Under the Influence
Influence – “to flow into” - These songs capture the various streams of the Spirit’s leading that have flowed into me over the years. These influences have awakened me to who I am, what I’m called to be, and the One on whom I’m most in need to rely as I take this journey seeking to be known, to be loved, to proclaim “Good News ” and, ultimately, to find home.