The Girls of Summer (and one boy, too!)

Ahhh… summertime! Lazy days out by the lake… sunning by the pool… and then there’s what I’ve been doing! lol

To be sure, I have had a time or two to enjoy the aforementioned activities, but I get to do them all around the country! So this entry will be an attempt to give you a glimpse into my idyllic life on the road!

Toward the end of June I had the awesome privilege of tracking acoustic guitar for an equally awesome Nashville artist and friend, Debra Soule (aka Deb Solberg). Deb is a great singer in the Janis Joplin tradition but to my ears a FAR better singer! I’ve been playing some dates with Rob and Deb and they went into Vibe56 studio with legendary producer/writer/artist Phil Madeira. What a great day! Great players, great songs, and the foundation for an incredible project. Check out Deb’s site for details (www.debrasoule.com).

Another ‘girl of summer’ I had the joy to work with is Morgan Bracy (www.morganbracy.com). Nashville is crawling with lots of folks trying to make it in the biz, but Morgan is the rare artist with something to say with her music… and the music is great, too! I had the chance to fill the guitar slot in Morgan’s band for a showcase and I hope to get to work with her again. She’s taking a bit of a break to have a baby(!), but be sure to check out her site in the meantime.

July started off with a bang… and no, I’m not talking about fireworks on the 4th! In what is probably the most unusual job I’ve had, I was in front of the cameras taping some segments for a LifeWay kid’s project. Yes, I am now a ‘thespian’! lol In a tie-in to the project that will be featuring my song “I Will Trust in You”, I play a character named Uncle Marcello and I tell kids about all the cool places I’ve been to and how they can be praying for ministry needs there. In a strange way it’s art imitating life… but it’s obviously something I’m passionate about; using music and media to reach people all around the the world with the Good News! As they say in the biz, ‘film at 11!’

That brings me to another one of the Girls of Summer… Jen Breeze. Jen and Brian Timmerman attend our church (Brian helps with FOH audio and Jen plays in the band and leads worship from time to time). I had the honor to play on a few of the tracks for Jen’s new CD “Something Real” (check it out at www.jenniferbreeze.com), which led to not one but TWO CD release events. The first was held in her hometown of Stuart, FL (close to West Palm) where Jen and her band (I was on electric guitar) played to a packed house at the Lyric Theatre. Needless to say, this hometown girl did very, very well. It was a 28 hour round trip by car, but I got to read the last Harry Potter novel from cover to cover on the ride home… lol! We got back to TN and played a cool little venue called Puckett’s where Jen really wowed her adopted hometown. In all the press these concerts generated, critics would compare Jen to Melissa Ethridge (probably because of her gutsy vocals and great guitar playing), but to me she reminds me of Sheryl Crow. Jen is another artist with songs that tell stories from the perspective of a musician who is a Christ-follower, and not as a ‘Christian musician’. While they may seem like the same thing to you, there’s a huge difference where these talented artists simply share truth in a way that folks outside the church can really relate to. Hmmm… what a great idea!! 🙂

Finally… a Boy of Summer, my longtime buddy Kevin Williams!! I just got back home last night from a children’s camp held at Camp Windemere in Roach, MO (no, I’m not making the town up!). We were leading worship for 2 churches from the Ft. Smith, AR area, and it was a great week! At least a dozen kids accepted Christ as savior and it was an awesome week of renewal for me especially. You’ll be excited to hear that our song “I Will Trust in You” was used in a huge way during our worship times. I can honestly say that I’m astonished how this song touches so many people. But I’m quickly reminded that God’s word will never return void and that this song is simply one of His many promises!!

Sorry for the length, and I can blow some smoke about doing better next time… but you know me!! lol

I love all of you and hope you are having a great summer!!

GV