BAND SPOTLIGHT: PREPARE HIM ROOM

We’re just a few days from Prepare Him Room at Bethel Bible Church on December 15, so I thought it might be fun to profile some of the musicians that we’ll be featuring at the concert!

Screen shot 2013-12-09 at 4.04.14 AMWhen I first decided to do this concert, there was one guy I wanted on board…Tim Gillespie.

I don’t know any musician more passionate about excellence and more devoted to orchestrating musical experiences that move and inspire. From the start, Tim was invested – he volunteered to make all our charts, he gave great notes about what to keep and what to cut and he completely nailed the keyboard and organ parts for this concert.

There’s a lot of keyboard in this thing – big spacey pads, syncopated clavs, chimes and bells, etc. And he’s doing it with just two hands and one keyboard. If you’re at the concert, make sure you spend a little time watching this guy work. He’s one of the main reason why it sounds so sweet.

PREPARE HIM ROOM will be Sunday, December 15 at 6pm at Bethel Bible Church. (17121 Hwy 69 South; Tyler, Texas.) Admission is free.

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BAND SPOTLIGHT: PREPARE HIM ROOM

We’re just a few days from Prepare Him Room at Bethel Bible Church on December 15, so I thought it might be fun to profile some of the musicians that we’ll be featuring at the concert!

Screen shot 2013-12-09 at 3.20.35 AMIn professional music, there’s a term known as “side-man.” If you’ve been to many concerts, you’ve seen this position. This is the guy who jumps between four or five instruments through the whole show – adding little parts here and there. Heck, it’s more choreography than recital!

The thing about being a side-man, though, is that it’s hard. You’ve got to know a lot of material that you can play at the drop of a hat. Good thing we have Smitty.

You may know him as Dave Smith, but to us, he’s “Smitty,” and on Sunday night, he’ll be our side man. While you may have heard him on mandolin before, you might be surprised with how good he also he is at finger style guitar. The songs Sunday night have a lot of acoustic guitar and Smitty is the perfect guy for it. Lots of parts, played quickly and expertly…that’s what Smitty does best!

PREPARE HIM ROOM will be Sunday, December 15 at 6pm at Bethel Bible Church. (17121 Hwy 69 South; Tyler, Texas.) Admission is free.

BAND SPOTLIGHT: PREPARE HIM ROOM

We’re just a few days from Prepare Him Room at Bethel Bible Church on December 15, so I thought it might be fun to profile some of the musicians that we’ll be featuring at the concert!

Screen shot 2013-12-09 at 3.54.28 AMIs there anything more Christmasy than piano? I mean, you can’t really have something at church without a piano! That’s why I’m glad we’ve got Karen Hudson.

But this isn’t your traditional church piano playing – in the musical Sunday night, the piano is used more like a voice than an instrument. Instead of pounding away or trying to keep the song under control, the piano parts are more like call-and-response: a melody here echoes a particularly plaintive lyric or a trio of notes there accents words like “angels” or “light.”

Karen Hudson is the master of this. She plays piano like a singer – finding those pockets of space where she make the most musical impact. Karen is a smart player because she picks the best moments to play. She’s there to improve and beautify what we’re doing and I think it works big time.

PREPARE HIM ROOM will be Sunday, December 15 at 6pm at Bethel Bible Church. (17121 Hwy 69 South; Tyler, Texas.) Admission is free.

PREPARE HIM ROOM: BAND SPOTLIGHT

We’re just a few days from Prepare Him Room at Bethel Bible Church on December 15, so I thought it might be fun to profile some of the musicians that we’ll be featuring at the concert!

Screen shot 2013-12-09 at 3.31.02 AMThe songs of Prepare Him Room live in a strange musical setting – primarily, it’s a pop record, but it’s layered with lots of “auxiliary percussion.” Because we didn’t have a lot of room on our stage, I knew we’d need a drummer who could create those parts while still on a traditional drum kit.

I knew that Gabe Balltzglier was the guy for this. Gabe’s been helping us at Bethel off-and-on for the past few months and I knew he would be the perfect drummer for these songs. On Sunday night, you’ll hear Gabe playing very precise parts. Whereas some drum parts are just straight-ahead beats, the songs in this concert are much more complicated. You’ll hear Gabe moving from shakers and percussion equipment to big washy cymbals to driving pop grooves. Drums for this show isn’t easy, but we’re blessed to have one of the best young drummers in Tyler, Texas helping us out. Come see Gabe!

PREPARE HIM ROOM will be Sunday, December 15 at 6pm at Bethel Bible Church. (17121 Hwy 69 South; Tyler, Texas.) Admission is free.

PREPARE HIM ROOM: BAND SPOTLIGHT

We’re just a few days from Prepare Him Room at Bethel Bible Church on December 15, so I thought it might be fun to profile some of the musicians that we’ll be featuring at the concert!

Screen shot 2013-12-09 at 3.39.44 AMBack in the summer, there was one aspect of the Christmas concert that was a concern: bass guitar.

Bass is one of the most important instruments in any musical setting, but this material in particular posed some serious challenges. We would need somebody with enough skill and experience to find spaces within the groove but someone who could also learn a ton of very specific material (in a short amount of time.)

If Chad Riddle doesn’t sound familiar, that’s because you rarely see him. Chad plays for our downtown team every Sunday and is one of my favorite bass players in Tyler. On Sunday night, you’ll see just how good he is – bass guitar for this concert is orchestral and precise and Chad has it down.

PREPARE HIM ROOM will be Sunday, December 15 at 6pm at Bethel Bible Church. (17121 Hwy 69 South; Tyler, Texas.) Admission is free.

PREPARE HIM ROOM: BAND SPOTLIGHT

We’re just a few days from Prepare Him Room at Bethel Bible Church on December 15, so I thought it might be fun to profile some of the musicians that we’ll be featuring at the concert!

Screen shot 2013-12-09 at 3.25.54 AMBeing an electric guitar player is hard work. You’ve got this loud, awesome instrument that can do so many things and yet you spend most of your time hearing people say, “turn that down” or “that’s too weird-sounding!”

But on Sunday night, we’re gonna’ let Ray Wilson cut loose. I can’t wait for you to hear all the different tones and textures that he’s providing for the songs. In fact, you’ll probably be surprised at how many different sounds are coming from this guy’s guitar! Since our concert focuses on so many different characters in the Christmas story, Ray has worked to build parts and atmospheres that fit each one of those songs – from celebration to sobriety.

If you like electric guitar, you will LOVE what Ray will be doing at the concert.

PREPARE HIM ROOM will be Sunday, December 15 at 6pm at Bethel Bible Church. (17121 Hwy 69 South; Tyler, Texas.) Admission is free.