I would like to dedicate this page and introduce to you a wonderful band of musicians; a band of people I have lovingly named... The Chosen.
I Chose these particular individuals especially for what they bring to the table when they perform. With an attitude of excellence, with a performance of perfection, and without so much as a whimper; each one made time to be a part of this project when there was none, if for no other reason than just because they are my friends. For most of them they carry a passion and love for the Lord like a banner, and they bring that into my life, as well as our music. I dearly love an appreciate every single one in a way that mere words cannot express.
So here they are really in no particular order. If they could all be first, at the top of the page I would have done it that way, but for now until I figure out how to do that... this is just the way it fell.
~ my husband, my partner, my friend, who keeps me accountable, and without whom I would not have music to share with you now. He had joined me in this musical venture reluctanly at first, but then entered in with great passion. We totally get each other and agree on both style and content for my music; sometimes without a word ever being said, it would just happen. His passion for getting things just right, makes him the right man for the job. He is truly a blessing in my life.
“Samma Girl” Engling
~ where do I start with Samma? Her sweet vocal talent can be heard in the background vocals for “In My Bones”, and you will hear her tickling the ivories on the intro to “Holy One”. Although she does play piano, her instrument of choice is the electric guitar. She is a poet and a dreamer, and an extremely talented singer-songwriter in her own right. Not to mention (but I must) the fact that she was my photographer for ALL the pictures on my CD and my webmaster for MySpace and ShoutLife websites. Quite the eclectic talent she is. Samma is an incredible influence and example to me in many ways. Her heart for the Lord and the passion that is expressed when she talks to those of whom she is aware need know that Jesus is there and loves them, is awe inspiring. I love you so much Samma-Roo!
~The Burgermeister, a man with a dream, a guitar, and a Mountain Dew, this is as much his creation as it is my own. We gave him a place and a push, he in turn gave us his best. It is his fault that this CD came into being when it did. He is litterally a virtuoso on both classical and lead guitarsm and his God given gift to perform and write music is an inspiration. He is a perfectionist as well, and his performance is nothing less that excellent. I know there will be more to come in the near future, and I can't wait to hear it.
~ The Rob-ster, our one take wonder, who was always there, even when time wouldn’t allow. He has a uniquely superb guitar style and a rhythm that is nearly flawless; with a heart to match. Our song "Have Your Way" began with Rob coming in one day and asking if he could lay down some ideas for songs he had written on guitar and then told me to pick out one and write some lyrics. So I did. We had an instant musical chemistry that has grown through the years. He is a true man of God and dear friend, who will always have a special place in my heart.
~ A man with uncanny musical abilities, he sings, he plays guitar and bass, but first and foremost he is a drummer; the only drummer I want driving this musical train. He has impeccable rhythm with great style, and enthusiasm. Al has a beautiful heart for the Lord and delightful wry sense of humor and is just plain fun to be around. His buisness keeps him on the road more than he would like, away from his family and friends; even so when he is able to spend time in town, he makes the time to record at the drop of a hat, whenever I need him. He just ROCKS!
~ Who I lovingly referred to as "Wild Bill Hilly" has been my wing man and good friend for more years than I can count. He is quite established in his own right as the lead guitarist for the band "Sweet Crystal". Even though he came to me as a lead guitarist when I was looking for a Bassman, he went out, bought himself a bass, and came to my rescue. We have performed every venue from street fairs to radio, and everything in-between for a good part of 12 years as a duo. "Acoustically Yours". He played both acoustic guitar and bass on the road and in the studio; as well as colaborated, my lyrics to his beautiful music for "Sweet Mother Earth" on my first CD "Who I Am.". I look foward to many more musical encounters be it on the streets or in the studio...I gotta have my wingman.
~ my sweet friend Heidi is soft spoken with a beautiful heart and an amazing spirit. Heidi is both a piano and vocal teacher for very young and the young at heart; not to mention that she is also an accomplished bassist. To add to her credits she is singer-songwriter in her own right; with an amazing, angelic voice and a polished classic piano style. She found the time to offer up her talents for me on my song “Holy One”.
~ watching Steve when he is in his element is truly an event. He plays with wild abandon and amazing exuberance, and you can see that each movement he makes is in praise to the Lord. His style cannot be duplicated; he knows the patterns, and they all have names, but they are executed so uniquely; each take was something new and wonderful. He brought new life to my music. What a blessing.
~ Big John is a giant of a man with a heart to match. He has a gentle spirit and a heart for the Lord. His gift for playing the B3 organ is second to none; it is a rare and incredible talent. He brings out the soul of the music in the most subtle ways, or he can tear it up like nothing you have ever heard before. Any way he plays it, you can be sure it is gonna be awesome.
~ Lisa is among my favorite people in the world. I love her so very dearly. She has a heart for people, especially of the teen persuasion. Lisa’s up front, bold honesty is beautifully balanced with her infectious zany enthusiasm for life and passion for the Lord. Lisa has an incredible ear for what sounds right or more importantly …for what does not. That is why I pulled her in on this project, for that creative input that only she could give. I knew she would be honest with me around every turn, and the results were amazing. Sometimes the most miniscule detail that no one on the planet would have caught, she heard and brought to light…once it was addressed the results were a tremendous improvement. And if you listen closely to “Only You” there are four incredible cello notes that she couldn’t live without …I told her to go for it and play it, so she did. Executed perfectly I might add. All I can say is... Muwah! Sweets, I love ya!
~ having just released her own CD "Teri Miller ~ Livin' Everyday" in November of 2007, I so was excited when she agreed to sing back up vocals with me on my own project. Teri has a heart and passion to know the Lord on a more personal and deeper level. She has been an inspiration to me since the first time I ever heard her sing. The song was “Amazing Love” and it was the first time I have ever recognized the presence of the Lord beaming from the voice of another singer. I thought to myself that very moment in time…”I want what she has! I want to be able to do that!” She has been an awesome example for me and it is an honor to have her sing with me on this project. I have been blessed 10 fold by knowing her.
~ is lovingly known as the one note wonder at church. He has a gift for knowing just the right sound to use for any given song, but also when and when not to add his special brand of ambiance. Subtle and unassuming, yet powerful and poignant when he plays, he added just the right touch to “Only You”.
~ Brian, is also a music teacher for middle school band (for the last 10 years, high school band and elementary general music before that). You will often hear him say…”You can’t scare me I teach middle school.” Giving each song his own special brand of bass; Brian plays bass like it is a lead guitar, with a mix of jazz, rock and folk all rolled up in one; no doubt an inspiration from God. Truly a wonderful addition to my music.
~ addition number 3 to my bass crew. Each one chosen for the unique style they could bring to any particular song. Dan the Bass man, a long time friend of Dave Burger, was introduce to the project, and instantly gave us the sound we were looking for. Don't let the cowboy hat fool you, he has an innovative rock style that is unmistakably his own and was a breath of life to the songs he recorded for me, especially the cover tune “Every Minute” . He will be back in our studio recording for me in the future you can count on that.
~ it can be said that there are very few stringed instruments that Vito has not mastered. Vito Lafata has been a friend for many years; unfortunately our paths do not cross as often as I would like, due to the distance between us. Our lives, however, have guided us both to serving the Lord with our music. We met years ago while we were both in “Country Bands” playing the circuit. He graced my first CD “Who I Am”, with his beautiful mandolin style; and I just had to have him in on the “Heart to Heart” project for the title track, for which he created the perfect ambiance for the song. We were also able to capture his incredible acoustic rhythm style on “In My Bones”. You can listen for more of him on future recordings, Lord willing he will be there.
~ Janet is a resident of Hamburg Township, Michigan. I got her name from our mutual friend Micah. While I was looking for a contact number or e-mail address, I came across her website. I found myself listening to the most beautiful music and reading a short bio that knocked me out. If you like the sweet sound of a violin, you have got to check out her website. http://www.janetsullins.com While you are listening to sweet little clips of her work, take the time to read her credentials. She has been blessed with the privilege of accompanying some of the most influential musical artist of our time. And she took the time out to come and play for me! Beautiful!
~ Stefan has been a precious friend of mine for many years now. We have recorded music, performed music, and once in a great while we were able to take some time to simply just hang out together. He has an zest for life and music that is absolutely contagious. I had asked him to do the daunting task of charting out the piano score to Sara Groves' “Every Minute” as close to the original as possible. “Sure I’d be happy to” was his reply, not realizing the endless hours that would lie ahead of him. He managed to even include the little nuances that helped make the song uniquely special. He went that extra mile for me, and at the expense of his own precious time! And I truely can't thank him enough! He expresses his music by bringing excitment, and flare to the room when he plays, and he loves to share the lime light with friends...(or "CATS around town", as he would put it.) You will find him playing throughout the Detroit area in various environments, from jazz clubs to country clubs, rock gigs to funk to "Dueling Pianos". Check him out you won’t be disappointed http://stefanmusic.com
~ was my last hope in executing the piano for the song “Every Minute”. Attempted by many accomplished pianist, Dave was the golden key to unlock the mystery of timing, style and charisma that the song was thirsting for. I was determined to record the song “Every Minute” because it is the perfect description of me and how I feel of the people I know and love. (I would have written it myself unfortunately Sara Groves beat me to it.(GRIN) With the talents of both Stefan, and Dave in the mainstay of the song, I was able to accomplish a long time desire.
~ virtually walked in the door on a moment’s notice. It was crunch time and the project was due to be wrapped up and sent out…we ran into a slight snag, and Brian came to the rescue, bringing his talents on the piano to the table. Brian is the music minister at St. Joseph's Church in the Howell, Michigan. He is accomplished singer-songwriter as well. He literally was the saving grace to “Amazing Grace/My Chains Are Gone”, and a delight to have the opportunity to get to know.
~ is a man of many talents. I did not employ his musical talents which include, singing, drums and well I am sure there are more hidden musical abilities there, not to overshadow his talent as sound tech engineer; I did asked Micah to create this website. His time is a commodity that is extremely limited, yet he somehow found some time to share with me to help me build a website worthy of public viewing. He has been there for me whenever I have needed his expert advice, and I feel his respect when I speak. The Lord has blessed him with incredible abilities that not just everyone can do. He in turn is a blessing to many others, including me. Thank You SO Much Scarecrow! I Love Ya Man!
Again I must say that mere words cannot express my love and undying gratitude for all the people who came together to help this music come alive. God really does give us our hearts desire, even when we don’t deserve it.! To say “Thank You” is simply not enough, however, it must be said. So... THANK YOU All~ Hugs Love and Blessings, GG