TGIP: “How Majestic” – Smalltown ProductionsPublished by Torrence Glenn on Wednesday, August 25, 2010 at 5:29 pm.
So I don’t know if you can tell but I’ve been in an ULTRA CHURCHY mood lately. It happens that way sometimes. Even though I make no bones about the fact that I don’t only listen to gospel music and and enjoy some secular music, every now and then you just want to hear “church music” and even some gospel music doesn’t fit the bill. Well, lately I’ve been in that mood a bunch lately.
I’ve also had a few conversations with friends and colleagues in the industry, some of whom are quite younger than me and was starting to realize that even though I’m not “old” so to speak, some of the songs and traditions even I grew up with are lost on some that came after me. So in the hopes of keeping some of that stuff alive, I decided this particular “Thank God It Played” post.
If you’re “church kid” like me you are probably quite familiar with “anthems.” Depending on the type of church you went to, an anthem was usually a special song that you wouldn’t just sing every Sunday. They usually had a bit of a classical edge to them and took a bit more time to learn and you’d pull them out for events like Church Anniversary or a banquet or something. Anthems were always fun but somewhat difficult so you didn’t waste them. Then there was another thing that by the 90’s we started to call “shedding.” Think of a “shed” as a jam session on steroids. Musicians and singers would get together and just make music and have fun with it without the structure that was forced on us in the church service setting. Because services needed order, many times you couldn’t do all of the tricks and experimentation with a song that you wanted to. So many times after service/rehearsal, there would be this organic progression to the musicians corner to just sing and play even though the service or rehearsal was over. That was the chance to get all your runs, licks, riffs, etc. out so that you let out some of your artistic and creative frustrations. You were able to experiment with new sounds and in my crew especially a lot of great songs were written in these sessions even though no one ever heard them but us and our churches. (Nowadays most sheds usually involves musicians/singers competing and trying to outdo each other instead of really just letting go and learning from one another.)
So in tribute to the old school “anthem” and “shed” that I present today’s track. Smalltown Productions put together a double CD project called “Divine Worship” that tried to capture these kinds of moments. It’s a CD of just pure church music recorded in the raw. When I’m in a particularly churchy mood I pop it in and sing along and kind of get my own “shed” in. (See, when you’re a music executive who can somewhat carry a tune, you spend most of your time listening to everyone else sing and don’t get to dust off your chops yourself.) Today’s track “How Majestic” is an anthem we used to sing a lot back in the day and I hadn’t heard it in a while until I popped in this CD again and listened to the very first song. I ended up keeping it on repeat for a whole hour. It’s an anthem combined with a good ole fashioned shed and with the modern spin they were able to put on it, it GOT ME TOGETHER! What y’all know about that youngins?!
Listen to “How Majestic” and tell me what ya think. Who remembers this song and songs/sessions like it?
And just in case you start to ask me who’s singing and what not, here ya go?
Schon Jomel Crawford (RIP)
Demetrius Griffin (Remember this?)
Bishop Nathaniel Townsley, Jr.
Nathaniel Townsley, III (Executive Producer)
Jonathan Dubose Jr. (Probably the baddest lead guitar player ANYWHERE. You probably most recently remember him from the Walter Hawkins memorials.)