Turntable Thursdays 10/5/2017

Memories of Tom Petty

Before we check out Matt Redman’s new record ‘Glory Song’, I’d be remiss to start off this edition of Turntable Thursdays without stopping to pay tribute to Tom Petty. Petty was a consummate live performer and incredible songwriter who added a slew of rock classics to the Great American Songbook. If you ever saw them perform live, Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers blew you away. Each of them phenomenal musicians in their own right, together the Heartbreakers etched out a unique sound that rocked our ears, touched our hearts, and stirred our souls. In a couple of interviews I watched the past few days, the band’s keyboardist, Benmont Tench, emphasizes the importance of listening to one another and giving each other space to play in, knowing when to play and when not, and taking care not to tread over one another. Tench stressed that these were key to playing in an ensemble. And Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers were as fine an ensemble as any to ever grace a stage.

My earliest memories of Tom Petty go back to the late 1970s (no, there were no dinosaurs still alive then). I remember hearing ‘Refugee’, ‘Breakdown,’ and ‘American Girl’ around the time I was in 9th grade (1979). I had started playing piano a couple years earlier, around 1976.  The prominence of the keyboards in the Heartbreaker’s music naturally caught my ear.

A young, awkward punk kid with fanciful rock-n-roll dreams, I befriended another kid named Charles Van Devender who played a little guitar and who everybody called Van. Van was also a Petty fan and had already collected every one of the albums the band had released at the time. Van and I started jamming together on occasion, with him on guitar and me on piano and a Casio keyboaturntable-2501762_1920 borg editrd that Van had bought at Radio Shack.

In 10th grade, another friend of Van’s, Robert Bulloch, joined us for our jam sessions. We were just kids playing music. A few months down the road, we joined up with a couple of other dudes, who played bass and drums (Roy Hufstedler and Jon Beck) and before we knew it we had formed a little trailer band (we often rehearsed in trailer instead of a garage). We did covers of the Beatles and the Stones, the Eagles, Lynyrd Skynyrd, Rush, Chicago, and Styx, along with some Zeppelin and Kiss. Heck, we even learned a couple of Cars tunes. And of course, we worked in Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers. By the time we’d formed our band, ‘Hard Promises’ had been released and we quickly added ‘The Waiting’ to our repertoire.  I remember the video for ‘Stop Draggin’ My Heart Around’ first coming out (1981) with Stevie Nicks joined by Petty and the Heartbreakers. Brimming over with testosterone, we instantly saw Tom Petty as our hero. Stevie Nicks had it going on and there was Petty crooning next to her. Honestly, I’m not sure we knew how good we had it back then, even though times weren’t easy.

Fast forward to the future…the sudden passing of Tom Petty Monday night has left the fans who loved him in shock, particularly on top of the tragedy that occurred earlier in Las Vegas. After weeks of seeing all the devastation wrought by a series of powerful hurricanes unfold, saying goodbye to one of America’s greatest songwriters felt like a kick below the belt.  To me, Tom Petty’s songs always provided a comforting reminder that let you know everything was gonna be alright, even though the world around us might seem like it was falling apart. Even though he has left this Earth, Petty’s music will live on, and I’m sure I’ll be joining you jamming out to his music while I’m truckin’ down the road.

R.I.P. Tom Petty. I pray you’re having a blast learning to fly somewhere where you are eternally free.

‘Stop Draggin’ My Heart Around’ Stevie Nicks & Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers

matt-redman glory song

Glory Song/Matt Redman

Matt Redman’s ‘Glory Song’ is an incredible praise record filled with great songs that believers can celebrate and praise to. In the midst of what feels like an painfully difficult season in our World, Redman’s new project is a welcome reprise from the devastating anguish surrounding us. His latest release is an angelic sound to my ears and a big lift up to this worshipper’s heart. The record features a number of guest vocalists (Kierra Sheard, Tasha Cobbs, Madison Cunningham, Kim-Walker Smith)  and even a rapper (Guvna B).

‘Greatest Hallelujah (Acoustic)’ Matt Redman

Glory Song Track List

1 All Glory (feat. Kierra Sheard) 5:07
2 Gospel Song (feat. Guvna B) 4:32
3 Greatest Hallelujah 7:14
4 Gracefully Broken (feat. Tasha Cobbs Leonard) 5:50
5 One Day (When We All Get to Heaven) 5:42
6 Redemption Ground (feat. Madison Cunningham) 4:46
7 It Is Finished 4:07
8 Questions (You Are Faithful) 6:30
9 Still I Will Sing 4:13
10 Place of Praise (feat. Kim Walker-Smith) 5:08
11 Hope Is Marching On 4:16
12 Simple Pursuit / Glory Song 7:43
13 Your Ways 5:27

From the first track, which opens with  a very, spiritual, Gaither-esque feel, to the final song, Redman has put together a solid album that pays tribute to our Lord and Creator, proclaims the hope believers have in our Savior,  and offers praises reminding us how through His Spirit, God is working all around us. My early favorites include ‘All Glory’, ‘Gospel Song’, ‘Greatest Hallelujah’, ‘Gracefully Broken’, ‘One Day’, and ‘Redemption Song’. Go ahead and give it a listen on Spotify or iTunes or whatever listening method you use. You’ll be uplifted and blessed. It may be Redman’s finest record.

Until next time…keep the music playing.

turntable-1337986_1920 ingrid edit

Photos courtesy of Pixabay.com

Here We Are To Worship

Worship is our human response to God, acknowledging God’s worth and ascribing to God the glory that His name is due. As we bow down to our Creator, we recognize our relationship with our Maker. We come to the alter in awe of all God has done for us. We praise Him simply for who He is and what He has carried out in our lives. Once we were sinful wretches, spiritually blind and lost, whom God chose to shower with His grace and mercy, redeeming us into a right relationship with Himself through the atoning sacrifice of Jesus Christ.

Here I Am to Worship written by Tim Hughes

Light of the world
You stepped down into darkness
Opened my eyes, let me see
Beauty that made this heart adore You
Hope of a life spent with You

So here I am to worship
Here I am to bow down
Here I am to say that You’re my God

And You’re altogether lovely
Altogether worthy
Altogether wonderful to me

King of all days, oh so highly exalted
Glorious in heaven above
Humbly You came to the earth You created
All for love’s sake became poor

And I’ll never know how much it cost
To see my sin upon that cross
And I’ll never know how much it cost
To see my sin upon that cross

I do not know about you, but when I think about the Lord, I am overwhelmed by our Father’s love for us. His goodness blows me away. God is great. He is steadfast and faithful. Our God is truly an awesome God, who’s wonders never cease and who’s love never ends.

So if there is any encouragement in Christ, any comfort from love, any participation in the Spirit, any affection and sympathy, complete my joy by being of the same mind, having the same love, being in full accord and of one mind.  Do nothing from selfish ambition or conceit, but in humility count others more significant than yourselves. Let each of you look not only to his own interests, but also to the interests of others. Have this mind among yourselves, which is yours in Christ Jesus, who, though he was in the form of God, did not count equality with God a thing to be grasped, but emptied himself, by taking the form of a servant, being born in the likeness of men. And being found in human form, he humbled himself by becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross. Therefore God has highly exalted him and bestowed on him the name that is above every name, so that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow,  in heaven and on earth and under the earth, and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.

Philippians 2:1-11 (ESV)

I haven’t always felt this way about God. Truth be told, it took me a long time to make my way through the door and kneel at the altar. I am grateful that through my journey, people prayed for me and God never gave up on me.

If you’re been wandering, lost and alone, know that God hasn’t given up on you either.

I’m praying for you.


Free photos courtesy of Pixabay.

Original photos by Rainer Bantau Photography ©2017.