"When You Care" new live recording.

For those who have just been clamoring for the recording I made of myself singing "When You Care," I've put it up as a free download from Google Docs. The choir is from the Christ Church Episcopal of Bay Ridge. Fr. Jeff Tamblin is the preacher there, a very gregarious, kind and generous man who, himself, loves music and loves to sing.

You know, I never know how to address clergy at these fancier churches. My dad never cared for titles or even the idea of being "elevated" over the congregation in any way. In fact, I remember one time he pointed at his driver's license and said he didn't even like to see "Rev." on that.

I inculcated this attitude early in life, later to discover it has a fancy name, "egalitarianism."

In the South, when you see the preacher, you say, "Hey, preacher!" in a big Gomer Pyle voice. Not "Hello, reverend" as if going to funeral. At least, I always did. 

The first time I got into trouble for doing that was when Damascus Road, my old Jesus rock band, played at some Episcopal church in south Texas. The minister there didn't respond to my "Hey, Preach!" very well. 

So, each Sunday morning, when I see Fr. Tamblin, I usually say, "Hey, rabbi!"

He just grins back at me.

 "When You Care" is the second formal arrangement I've given this choir. The first was a more elaborate version of "My Thanksgiving Prayer." I will do that with them again, soon, to get a  recording of that. 

What's amazing is that these skilled readers can dive into just about any arrangement at 10am, run through it three or four times, and have it performance-ready at 11. For a songwriter, this is an incredibly valuable gift. And what a music program they're developing as a result. The congregation gets the benefit of terrific music for every service. 

The singer side of me is equally being fed because it's thrilling to sing with great singers, and to be a part of a great ensemble. About 12 of us, more or less, each week.

This past Sunday, for instance, they were having two baptisms. I didn't sing the solo because Mark brought in a cello player and singer, Julie Reyburn, along with the vocal group, Marquee Five -- one of whom sings in the choir already -- and we all sang Mark's very sophisticated arrangement of "Shall We Gather At The River."

I hope you enjoy the recording of "When You Care." It was done with a single mic, informally. But I think it sounds pretty good, except for that lousy lead singer. 

Do you like a man in uniform?

1 comment

Popular Posts