Tuesday, April 7, 2015

Rebecca Loebe

Last Sunday night my wife and I saw Rebecca Loebe in concert at Eureka House Concerts in Eureka Springs, Arkansas.  I first saw Rebecca Loebe in concert at The Blue Door in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma.  I attended the Blue Door show because Smokey and the Mirror, Bryan and Bernice Hembree, were going to be there.  I love their music and have been to concerts of theirs in Arkansas, Oklahoma, Louisiana and Texas.

The Blue Door concert was part of a live recording project by Goose Creek Music.  The album that was produced was called Three Nights Live. The album was recorded in November 2013 at three classic listening-room venues in Texas and Oklahoma: McGonigel’s Mucky Duck in Houston, The Cactus CafĂ© located on the University of Texas’ Austin campus, and The Blue Door.  Three Nights Live featured Rebecca Loebe, Smokey and the Mirror, and Raina Rose, along with studio musicians Daniel Walker and Will Robertson,  We really enjoyed the concert and were instantly new fans of both Rebecca Loebe and Raina Rose.

When I learned that Smokey and the Mirror and Rebecca Loebe were touring together this spring and would be in Eureka Springs I was excited and made plans to attend.  The day of the concert was rainy and gloomy but the atmosphere at Eureka House Concerts was warm and friendly.  The concerts are in a beautiful old church and there is a potluck before the concert.  Rebecca Loebe is an amazing singer-songwriter, but the best thing about her concert was her ability to make you feel like she was just singing to some friends of hers and by the end of the evening you really felt like you knew her.

This is a video from the concert.

I took photos during the concert.  The church and its beautiful windows made the photos more interesting than the concert photos I am usually able to get.

Rebecca Loebe has been making music for over ten years.  She quit her job as a recording engineer over 5 years ago to pursue music full time. Rebecca tours relentlessly, averaging 200 shows per year across the U.S.  She has also performed in Japan and Holland. In April 2011 Rebecca was on the NBC television show The Voice.  If she has a concert in your area I highly recommend that you attend.  You wont be disappointed.

The Chicago Kid is one of my favorite Rebecca Loebe songs.  It tells the story of a first time flyer who sat next to Rebecca on a flight to Chicago.  He was on his way to get married.  Here is Rebecca singing The Chicago Kid at the Eureka House Concert.

For a bit of an insight to the world of a traveling singer-songwriter who is making music their full time job, I will give you a bit of Rebecca's itinerary this week.  Last Saturday night she was in concert in St Louis with Smokey and the Mirror.  After the show in St Louis all the gear and instruments were loaded in the van. Then, as the back and final door was locked, the key broke off in the lock. With the key broke off there was no way to get in and start the van so they were quite stranded.

With no help available from roadside assistance, they decided to rent a mini van and drive all night from St. Louis to Fayetteville, Arkansas since Rebecca had the show at Eureka House Concerts on Sunday night. Even with all of the drama of the night before Rebecca put on an lovely show.

The rest of Rebecca's week is going to be hectic.  Monday morning she was up and at 'em, driving 700 miles to Columbus, Ohio so that she could catch a flight to New Orleans on Tuesday, play a gig and attend a wedding down in New Orleans and then fly back to Ohio for shows this weekend.

On her Facebook page she says, "Who schedules this nonsense?!? Oh wait, I do… hope to see you out there! xoxo"

 Check Rebecca Loebe out in iTunes.  Download some music and enjoy one of America's best singer-songwriters.  You can purchase Rebecca's CD's direct from her website.  Please support independent musicians.

It's time for Rebecca to record a new album and she is hoping that you will consider joining her team by pre-ordering your copy in advance!  You can help her make the record by clicking here.

Friday, April 3, 2015

He's Alive

During the 1970’s as I listened to Contemporary Christian Music, Don Fransisco was one of my favorite artists.  Last month for my birthday my daughter gave me an album that has just been released titled, "We Will Stand".  It is a one of a kind live recording that includes 30 CCM artists who performed together on Jan. 21, 2015.  Don Fransisco was one of those artists and he sang his signature song, "He's Alive".

Don’s music often tells a story and “He’s Alive” is one of his best. It tells the story of the resurrection of Jesus from Peter’s point of view.  The song ends with these words:

Suddenly the air was filled with strange and sweet perfume.  Light that came from everywhere; Drove shadows from the room.

Jesus stood before me with His arms held open wide.  And I fell down on my knees and just clung to Him and cried.

He raised me to my feet and as I looked into His eyes.  Love was shining out from Him like sunlight from the skies

Guilt in my confusion disappeared in sweet release.  And every fear I'd ever had just melted into peace

He's alive, He's alive He's alive and I'm forgiven Heaven's gates are open wide.  He’s Alive.

What a powerful message.  This is the gospel; the good news that Jesus is alive. 

Let’s take a look at the story as it is recorded in Mark chapter 16. "Now when Jesus rose early on the first day of the week, He appeared first to Mary Magdalene.  She went and told those who had been with Him, as they mourned and wept. And when they heard that He was alive and had been seen by her, they did not believe.  Later He appeared to the eleven as they sat at the table; and He rebuked their unbelief and hardness of heart, because they did not believe those who had seen Him after He had risen.  And He said to them, “Go into all the world and preach the gospel to every creature.  He who believes and is baptized will be saved”.

Jesus gave his disciples the job of going to the entire world and preaching the gospel.  We call this The Great Commission .  Most Christians realize that Jesus didn't just tell his disciples to preach the gospel, he asks all of his followers preach the gospel.  But just what is the gospel?  The gospel is the good news that Jesus is alive.  He has achieved victory over death.  He wants to give us eternal life. 
Paul explained it very clearly to the Corinthians in 1 Corinthians 15:1-4, “Moreover, brethren, I declare to you the gospel which I preached to you, which also you received and in which you stand, by which also you are saved, if you hold fast that word which I preached to you—unless you believed in vain.  For I delivered to you first of all that which I also received: that Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures, and that He was buried, and that He rose again the third day according to the Scriptures. 

The gospel is very simple.  1. Jesus died for our sins.  2. He was buried.  3. He rose again.

I once heard a preacher who stated that whatever topic he was preaching on he always included John 3:16.  "For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life".  John 3:16 is the gospel.  Whatever we as Christians are talking about needs to be wrapped in the covering of the gospel.  Whatever we are teaching, the things that we believe, need to have the gospel at their center.  Jesus, his death and resurrection, should be the center of any doctrine, teaching or belief.  Too much of what Christians are focused on is not gospel oriented. 

The most important part of the story of the cross is that He’s Alive!  We read in Acts 1:11, “This same Jesus, who was taken up from you into heaven, will so come in like manner as you saw Him go into heaven.”  Christians are looking forward to the second coming of Jesus because He’s alive!