“Help Me Jesus One More Time” Mix Finished!

Here’s a clip of songwriter David Greer’s first demo with us, finished today.

Based on David’s guitar/vocal rough, we produced two versions, one with  Ray, a baritone, singing lead and harmony and a Bob Dylan style harmonica played by Mike Douchette. as the main lead instrument that I thought turned out great, well enough that David’s father thought it was the best song recording he’d ever heard.

But David wanted to hear it with a higher pitched vocal and fiddle instead of harp so this posted version features our singer, Jason. We’ll pick it up coming into the pre-chorus section:

Blake Sheton’s fiddle player, Jenee Fleenor plays both fiddle and mandolin. Other musicians include William Ellis of Montgommery Gentry on drums, Nashville Trax producer Bill Watson on bass guitar, Ron Fairchild of The Oaks on piano and Tom Wellenbacher on guitar who’s played with everyone from B.J. Thomas to Mindy McCreedy, .

“Jesus Help Me One More Time” is © 2015 David Greer. Bill Watson, producer.


Contemporary Christian artist Sara Beth is Seeking Songs to Record

God-focused rock/ pop rock songs a 20 year old female Christian artist would sing. But no worship music, no male-female love songs. For basic aim on Sara Beth, think Jesus Culture featuring Kim Walker-Smith.

Bring yourself up to speed here : http://www.sarabethmusic.net/about-us.

No deadline yet.

If your song(s) fits this mold submit to:

LAMusicPublishing.1@gmail.com. Contact for permission before submitting.


Mix Completed! Check Out “Found The Truth” Christian, Bluesy, Client Is Lovin’ That Sax!

A clip of “Found The Truth” a Christian song driven by Jennifer L’s soulful vocal, just as it reaches the incredible sax solo:

“I liked the ‘Pink Floyd music meets The Beatles vocals on the client rough, and thought, yes, something modernized in that direction would work. Safety resided in the obvious path: go with the Pink Floyd vibe, regurgitate the client version, only updated and better; no risk, happy client.

But great music doesn’t reside in that space. Job security? I could care less, if I needed that I’d have been an accountant.

I tossed the thought to the guitarist and drummer on the session that a more bluesy aim might be where this tune should really land. Greg Jennings, one of the founding members of Restless Heart, picked up his electric guitar and started laying down a soulful rhythm guitar part, William Ellis of Montgomery Gentry and I joined him on drums and bass guitar respectively, and about a minute in I decided it was definitely happening, the right vibe, “put it in the red” and we cut this 3 piece rhythm track.

Many hours of overdubs and engineering work later, this mix happened.”-bill w. Client reaction: “Hey Bill, WELL, Just gotta say WOW, you nailed it! Greg Jennings is perfect on guitar, not too much but simple, as John Lennon said: keep it simple. How beautiful!! You played a GREAT bass line! Jen is incredible, OH DID I MENTION SAX,sax sax? Never thought that I would love this song so much, YOU proved me wrong, GREAT JOB! Two more songs are on the way.” ROB C

Producer Bill Watson and session singer Jennifer L. Why not have Jennifer sing your song?

Why not have Jennifer sing your song?

A special thank you on this one to my buddy John, who was so incredibly patient as I coached him to hear the sax solo I was hearing. He got it off to great start with the initial phrase. Once he got the remainder, man, he just absolutely delivered with the perfect energy and emotion this song needed to pull it together. He always says, “if you can sing it, I can play it. The whole truth is: he’ll play it far better than you can sing it!” B. E. © 2012 Winston Harold. Used by permission to demonstrate production values. All other use is a violation of U.S. and International copyright law.


Christian Indie Group Experiences Success With Over-The-Internet Album Collaboration

Front_and_Inside_Cover_0001

A Christian vocal trio known as The Greatest Gift decided to do an album of material penned by bandleader Wayne Paterson. Unhappy with previous efforts recorded at studios located in Nashville, New York and Los Angeles he searched for a new studio that could bring the magic he knew existed to his work.

He began sending piano/vocal demos to producer Bill Watson of Nashville Trax in March of 2015 and was ecstatic with the results. With Watson arranging and producing the music tracks, then sending them to The Greatest Gift where they add vocals and mix at a local studio, they have finished the first album, Come Into His Presence, and have nearly completed a second.

The Greatest Gift is also using the mixed and mastered tracks to perform live and even sing to the tracks in Christian songwriting and performance contests. They took first place in the local, regional and state competitions and are scheduled to compete in the national finals in Tennessee this coming spring.

The Greatest Gift is reporting brisk sales at churches and other live concert performances, helping them recoup their investment plus help fund the next CD. They’ve also been able to secure an entertainment lawyer based in Nashville to help them pursue national distribution.

Give a listen:


Red, White and Blue Songwriter’s Shocking Feedback On Demo.

Bill Watson, Nashville Trax music producer Nashville Trax, Play It Again Demos

Nashville Trax Producer, Bill Watson

I was nervous about this one, after all I practically tore the original rough apart and rebuilt the song. A simple copy of it with better playing and vocals would have sufficed, ensuring the songwriting team who wrote it would be good with it.

But I’m not in this business for “play it safe,” “content” or “pretty decent job.” The aim is always higher… far higher.

Rob and his co-writers are elated with the prior two songs they had produced here, but rather than imparting a “no problem, we got this” sentiment, it only increased the pressure to outdo the previous two projects. Patriotic songs can be exceptionally difficult, because to work, they must evoke passion, stir the soul if you will, without resorting to male-female relationship emotive techniques. The arrangement has to do it.

I knew we had something special going on during tracking but decided to hedge my bets by working on the morning of May 26th, 2014 long enough to mix Red White and Blue. Crazy I guess, but it felt like the right thing to do.

Mixing a patriotic “troops coming home” tune on Memorial Day? Making this song exceed all expectations was no longer a vague hope or abstract concept, mentally backed into a corner, there simply was no other option.

When the mix went out and I didn’t hear back from Rob right away I started wondering if he hated it but didn’t want to say anything? A couple more days passed and all I receive is Rob cryptically saying he’d listened “but had to run it by his co-writers and others,” I’m really freakin’.

More time drags on. “Man, I thought we nailed that song to the wall so hard we busted right through to a place where eagles soar and Churchill is shouting, ‘We shall fight on the beaches. We will fight in the streets, We shall not fail!’ as the allies begin the D-Day assault. F-15s are tipping their wings to acknowledge our efforts as fireworks light up the sky.

“What went wrong?” I pondered.

Finally the word came in today:

Hey Bill,

I needed to get every one’s input, Jimmy love’s it, as so do I , and all that I played it for, Jenee is really incredibly talented and truly gifted, You All put you heart into this song and did a great job, BILL U ARE A GREAT PRODUCER, HAT’S OFF TO YOUR WHOLE TEAM !!! So thanks! GREAT JOB !! GOD BLESS AMERICA !! Rob C. and everyone in Winston Harold


Millennials Leaving Churches In Droves?

Bill Watson

Bill Watson

I read an article on CNN.com this morning regarding why Millennials are dropping out of Christian churches.

The writer, an atheist, stated that Millennials- teens, college students, and people up to about age 30- are losing interest in attending church and don’t believe in God.

In the bulk of the piece the writer theorized extensively on fault: Who’s fault is it Millennials are dropping out of church?

He concluded it was the fault of the churches for focusing their message on Jesus and non-worldy values, as well as the result of an organized push by atheists with a “God is a myth” message that’s resonating. He also alluded to a general decline in interest among almost all age groups.

He ended with, “It appears that atheists and Christians are finally working together on the same task: getting Millennials to leave the church.”

It’s so typical of the hard left atheistic faction to argue a small point supported by a larger false premise, as if the false premise was a fact beyond debate. They then attempt to focus the debate on the details of the false premise. Clever, but I hope accomplishing The Great Destroyer’s work isn’t quite that easy.

When someone opposing you is saying, “You better change tactics because you are helping us achieve our goals.” it’s a highly suspicious position. If it’s true, the only logical course is to say nothing and keep reaping the benefits!

Is Christianity growing or shrinking? Is it really on the ropes about to expire as the mass media would sometimes like us to believe?

Are people losing interest in God?

I’ve attended two Christian churches in the last seven months, multiple times each. One has expanded to a fifth campus (campus = a complete church with a building, campus staff, a live worship band, etc.) with the pastor’s message cabled from the main campus to the other four. The church began about eight years ago with less than twenty members. It now has thousands of members among the 5 campuses.

The other church I’ve attended started in the late 90’s as a tiny group, meeting for coffee at Starbucks to talk about Jesus. Over time they purchased a building and they’ve added 100 new members over the last year. They are out of room and about to break ground on a huge building expansion project, fully paid for in advance.

The front rows are filled with teens and college kids totally on fire for The Lord and worshiping with tremendous enthusiasm. They even have a weeknight “takeover” of the church attended only by local college students. They started it themselves and they run it, The parking lot fills to capacity.

I’m sure part of the attraction at that particular church is the demographic. These aren’t the uneducated, nearly penniless, rednecks desperately “clinging to guns and religion” some people mistakenly believe all Christians are. Jesus is for everyone.

The church draws it’s membership from the county with the highest per capita income in the United States. Sunday school is taught by college professors to people with PhDs. The church band is comprised of session quality players, some of the most intelligent, talented individuals on the planet.

And these people love Jesus. Look around and you see smiling, happy, super-friendly folks in love with The Lord and visibly displaying it. Millennials may attend the first time for other reasons but they come back because His spirit permeates the place.

Don’t try to convince me it’s not happening using cherry picked statistics. I’ve seen it.

Furthermore I know Trinity Broadcasting Network is constantly expanding on its multiple channel Christian Broadcasts worldwide. Christ’s message is being spread in more ways and with greater coverage than ever, finally fulfilling Bible prophecy that the Word would be preached throughout the world.

It’s even in Russia and bringing our Russian brothers and sisters, former atheists forced for two generations by the state to accept the “fact” there is no God, into the fold in astounding numbers. Not long ago Christianity was predominately a Western religion. Today, Latin America, Asia and Africa hold 65% of the world’s 2 billion Christians.

Wasn’t it just last week that CNN itself reported there are now over 200 Christian churches in Manhatten alone? And one of the newest, Hillsong, has quickly grown to over 5,000 members.

And wasn’t The Bible mini-series the most watched entertainment broadcast on cable this year?

How about the success of Donald Trump meets ZZ Top, Duck Dynasty? It’s breaking viewership records too, not in spite of it’s Christianity, but partly because of it!

Single track downloads of Christian/Gospel music rose this past year 8.8% from 20.3 to 22.1 million tracks over last year. Purchases of music downloads is mostly due to people under 30 years old with by far the highest purchasing age group being in the 25 to 29 age range.

Why would Christian music downloads increase in the U.S. by nearly 9% if Christians, especially Millennials in the coveted under 30 demographic, are losing their faith in droves? I believe these purchases are being made by millennial atheists with a hidden affinity for Christian music they listen to secretly in bedroom closets, LOL.

Christianity is about to breathe it’s last gasp…reeeeally?

Yes, some churches are shrinking in numbers, partly due to people migrating from smaller inner city churches to mega-churches in the suburbs. And some churches are behind the times. God’s message doesn’t change but the delivery system may need tweaking.

I totally understand, accept and love non-believers. Some of my friends and family are atheists and we get along fine. But I don’t understand people, like the author of the article, who actively attempt to destroy other’s faith.

Why?

What great good results from taking away a person’s moral compass? What great work are they accomplishing by destroying a person’s belief system that’s inherently full of hope and replacing it with a belief system absolutely devoid of it?

But oh, there is indeed an outcome. Non-belief inherently has a cost to the individual as well as to society.

It’s the devaluing and destruction of the traditional family unit.

It’s an absence of self esteem and the inability to see the eternal picture to the point that teens are committing suicide over Facebook posts and school bullying.

It’s a misplacement of values resulting in adults killing themselves over something as simple as losing a job.

It’s an increase in the number of people who hurt others without a thought of eternal consequences, knowing their actions are wrong but not caring, or maybe not even knowing the difference between right and wrong itself.

It’s more husbands leaving wives, forcing their children into weekend visitation with Dad and his new significant other, which imparts a completely different and unpredictable dynamic to the father-child relationship:

Fatherhood pushed to the fringes instead of where it should be, center stage leading, because the self is more important than doing the right thing.

And worse.

Does anything matter?

If all we amount to at the end of this extremely short journey is a box of bones in the ground then it matters not whether we are moral; whether we rob, rape or kill; whether we spend our time loving or hating, shooting or healing… once it’s all over and the smoke finally clears, nothing matters at all to bones in the ground. There are no consequences or rewards for any choice. Every word we speak or write is ultimately meaningless as is every action. A collective mountain of bones comprised of everyone who once drew a breath simply doesn’t care.

But He does.

Man, if everyone in the world simply turned to Jesus and made Him and His Word the center of their lives, the problem solvers could go away. There wouldn’t be any problems to solve. And guess what, don’t believe in His divinity? It still works!

Belief in God and making Jesus the center point of your brief earthly journey is the default position of the truly logical, the default position of the truly wise, the default position of the few on this earth who are truly intelligent.

Instead of turning toward the one thing that absolutely will work, the one thing that is the real game changer for the individual, for society, the militant atheists are actively turning people the other way, away from Jesus.

Their genius on full display, shining like the brilliant beacon it is, I guess.

People need God. They have a hunger for Him that nothing else will satisfy. There may be agenda driven stats available to support the convoluted CNN article’s premise, but I can assure you, based on plenty of anecdotal as well as empirical evidence, the concept that Millenials are disinterested in Jesus is absolutely false.

Militant atheists want people to believe Christianity is on the ropes, uncool, holding onto a stale position, the refuge of losers, the home of the unintelligent, about to be defeated, when it’s actually the militant atheists who are losing the battle, desperately trying to stop the glorious truth that’s pouring out His message, finding His children and feeding them The Word that satisfies forever.

It’s reaching a people and generation who have technology in bucket loads. And wealth. And mobility. And logic to spare. But they have no hope in anything beyond the grave, the one thing that makes all that good.

Jesus is giving them some. Glory Hallelujah, He is giving us all some!- b.e.


Now Tracking: 2 Full band demos and some Tracks Online Projects In

We just booked in a 15 page Sibelius sheet music printout from Musical Designs: a Christian tune titled There’s Only One. This is a pretty intense piece of music that will have the typical full band plus multiple background vocals, horns and more. Basically we are taking the notes and lyric from the sheet music and converting it into a fully fleshed out audio demo. We do have an mp3 with a flute playing melody to help. Our singer Lydia will be the vocalist.

We’re also working on multiple Tracks Online projects. Pedal Steel for a project Ken Ishal is producing. Pedal Steel for producer James Fabriano (distance means nothing with the Internet. James is doing Summer in September in Victoria, Australia. And a bass guitar track on a song titled Of Fleas And Men for producer Steve Whitaker, the third song on his album we’ve supplied bass for!

Also in: A song titled “Just For One Day” by divorce lawyer Vince Taylor about, what else? Divorce. Jennifer L will be the singer. This will be a full band demo.


Mix Finished, Mastered: He’s The One

Songwriter Jerry Ryan’s comments on our version of his original Christian song He’s The One:

” Hi Bill,

I got it. and its AWESOME! What a great arrangement! You and your band rock!

Jerry”

Is it? Take a quick listen:

You’ll be hearing this one on Christian radio within the next few months.

He’s The One is © 2014 Jerry Ryan, posted by permission. Producer: Bill Watson. Tracking/Mixing Engineers: Bill Watson/Sir Ronald Fairchild. Mastered by Bill Watson If you’re interested in recording this song; using it in a commercial application such as in a movie or on a website; or singing it in a performing situation please let us know and we’ll forward your request to the songwriter and song publisher.

How about that drummer? That’s William Ellis of Montgommery Gentry. If you need fantastic drums on YOUR tune, we’ll get him.
He’s THE MAN!

How ’bout that singer? She can sing anything and make it sound cutting edge. That’s Britt, yes, we can get her to sing YOUR song!

Like how it turned out? Why not send YOUR rough mp3 in for a free quote to producer Bill Watson: nashtrax@bellsouth.net

Write in another style? There are more samples of work to your right in Categories > Samples of Our Work.


Mix Finished “Help Me Jesus One More Time”

Here’s a clip of “Help Me Jesus One More Time” by songwriter David Greer, starting at the pre-chorus section:

We did two versions of this with two different singers. The first featured harmonica, no fiddle but this is the version David decided to go with.

This song is about a guy who’s barely hanging on to the the end of his chain and about a step away from letting go. The original rough was just acoustic guitar and vocal but I thought a real laid back soulful treatment, musically speaking, would be the right thing for the vocalist, Jason, to really pour his heart into. I suggested to Jason that he dredge up his most desperate moment and literally cup his face in his hands prior to starting the vocal session to get in the right frame of mind. And I suggested William play the drums and I’d play the bass much like “The Band” would do this song- laid back, a little loose. William, who has schooled himself in styles, drummers and such immediately replied “Levon Helm” (drummer for The Band) and I knew he was on the right track. I believe we got the three-piece rhythm track (drums, bass, rhythm guitar) on the very first take with a quick fix or two. The remainder was overdubs.

I don’t know if this song will make it to Christian radio or not but it should, just about everyone who worked on it thought it was exceptional. If it does then I’ll post the complete version start to finish. -b.e. watson

Piano: Ron Fairchild (The Oaks)
Guitar: Tom Wellenbacher (Session guitarist)
Drums: William Ellis (Montgommery Gentry)
Fiddle & Mandolin: Jenee Fleenor (Blake Shelton)
Bass Guitar: Bill Watson (Producer, Nashville Trax)

“Help Me Jesus One More Time” © 2015 David Greer is presented here for demonstration of production values only, all other uses prohibited under U.S. and International copyright laws. Publishing and right of first release are currently open. If you wish to publish or record this song please contact us and we’ll forward your request as well as supply the complete mp3 mix and lyric.


Songwriter Demo Recording Sessions

The guys from Mission 615 in Nashville Tn stopped by to lay some tracks on their new Christian rock song song “Free” and singer Brittany Lane Baptiste was in to sing harmonies and bgvs on 5 different songs.

Session singer Brittany Lane arrives to sing on a songwriter demo

Session singer Brittany Lane arrives to sing on a songwriter demo

The guys from Mission 615:

Drummer for Jesus, Darrell Hcks

Drummer for Jesus, Darrell Hcks

Mission 615 singer Grant Anderson

Mission 615 singer Grant Anderson

Mission 615 Guitarist, Tony Pizzino

Mission 615 Guitarist, Tony Pizzino

Bill Watson playing bass guitar with the guys from Mission 615

Bill Watson playing bass guitar with the guys from Mission 615


Songwriting: Tips On Writing Contemporary Christian Rock Songs

Just a few quick tips gleaned from working with the church band the last few weeks that will help you when writing Contemporary Christian rock songs. There are several elements that are common to them you might keep in mind as you write:

1. They tend to follow the intro, verse, chorus, verse, chorus, bridge, chorus format.

2. They frequently present a twist on that format: A chorus upfront. Or perhaps an instrumental interlude appears very early in the song and again just prior to the bridge or final chorus. Or a chorus or a bridge repeats many times more than you might in a secular tune aimed at getting radio airplay, this is usually in a worship song at a medium or slow tempo.

3. There are Christian songs and there are worship songs. The lyric in a worship song focuses on worship God in a personal way, i.e., “You are The King, the savior, you are the glorified one.”

4. The chords tend toward simple four chord progressions but an amazing number use the tonic, a.k.a. the 1 chord, followed by the 5 chord with the bass playing the third of that chord instead of the root, then on to the relative minor (E, B/D#, C#m) or (G, D/F#/ Em) to give two examples. In the Nashville Number System it’s the 1, 5/7, 6- progression.

The “Glorify You Alone” video above utilizes that very progression as well as several other tips presented in this post.

5. The lyrics tend to be simple, there aren’t many CC rock tunes that feature wordy lyrics or complex concepts. One exception to that is the lyrical masterpiece “He Loves Us” (Jesus Culture, David Crowder Band and others) with it’s lines like this in the Jesus Culture version: “And Heaven meets earth like a sloppy wet kiss and my heart turns violently inside of my chest.”

6. The bass line and drum chart often create the dynamics of the arrangement, which typically builds as the song progresses. In some songs, the build reaches an apex then quiets up at the end, some songs plow right on through at full tilt, apex to end.

7. The bass guitar lays out a lot. It might stay out until the chorus appears or even until the second chorus. Sometimes, even in a chorus or verse where you’d normally expect it to continue, the bass and drums drop out, then drums play alone, then the bass comes in to provide power, maybe thumping quarter notes then going to eighths and the bass/drums really drive the song hard at that point.

7. Thumping out eighth notes on bass is very common, especially at tempos around 80 beats per minute, but it can occur at any tempo anywhere the lyric gets intense and emotional. Sometimes it’s “pound out 8ths” beginning to end with just a few runs tossed in here and there.

“Glorious” by B.J. Putnam is 145 BPM and most of the choruses are driven by 8ths while verse 1 is whole notes and V2 does a cool little delayed scale walk starting on the “&” of beat 2.

Although you can write your song on acoustic guitar and let the musicians on the demo provide some of the elements discussed here, as well as decide where they should happen, I believe envisioning, or “hearing” how it will sound in regards to dynamics- where does the supporting music stay quiet and where does it get huge- can positively affect the lyric writing process- B.E. Watson


Amazing Sunday Service!

Bill Watson, music producer Nashville Trax, Play It Again Demos

Bill Watson

What an amazing time at church Sunday! Attendance was high and the pastor gave a tremendous sermon on the importance of having a healthy fear of God. Not respect. Fear.

For me, Sunday marked a turning point in my Christian walk- a far deeper commitment of time- as I debuted on bass guitar with the church band.

The songs were fun to play. Matt Maher, Lord I Need You. A song by Jesus Culture and 2 other new-to-me songs. But first up, I Am Forgiven complete with an 8 bar bass solo within three minutes of taking the stage! No pressure there, LOL. But Jesus helped me ace it, all glory most definitely to Him. Here’s the original of Forgiven I learned from:

I became serious about my Christianity about the same time we started this blog. I had just begun attending two churches here in the Nashville area and had a thought that perhaps I’d end up being called to play in the band although there was no reason to expect it to happen. This from my first Christian post months ago:

“And man, what a cool little band they have, with drums and guitars and backup singers even. Maybe you can be The Catcher In The Rye someday after all, stand with arms stretched wide on the edge of the cliff… perhaps save a few of His children from the evils of adulthood.”

I never told anyone in the church that I had this secret dream of being a bass thumping Christian Catcher In The Rye., or even told anyone I played a little, and with a bit of help from above might be able to provide some bottom end. But God has a way of getting things done, always working through people here on earth and a few of them approached me simultaneously a few weeks ago to ask if I’d be interested.

When The Creator of the Universe delivers a message asking you to do something it’s probably not a good idea to say no- The Catcher In The Rye ; )