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Steven S. Billings

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Friday, August 30, 2013

OH, WHAT AN ADVENTURE!

New CD!

 
It's been years in the making.  A new album!  And it's just about to be released. :)
 
It all started back in 2005 as I was completing the writing phase for The Journey Home.  My sister-in-law, Stephanie, called to ask if I would consider writing a song for my brother Jim's promotion ceremony to Lt. Col.  I said: "I don't know, let me give it a try."  In a week I had the song written.  In a month the demo was completed and incorporated into a video Steph made for the occasion.  The song is called "Branches."
 
Production for the first album was well under way by this time, but the songs kept coming, so I kept writing.  In January of 2006, suffering my first ever bout of Post Holiday Blues, I wrote "I wish I Were At Peace."  Producing the demo for this song took the most amount of time because of my struggles with writing the introduction.  That "intro" stretched into a four-and-a-half minute orchestral number and appears on the album as its own track: "Storm."
 
Ideas for songs kept flowing in, but between my regular life as a pastor and production on the first album, I just didn't have the time to finish them.  Then, between June and July of 2007, I finished "Ballekarina," "I Can't Give My Heart to You," "The Dragon," "Invisible," and "Crownbearer."  Wow!  What a creative flurry that was!
 
Then, in September of that year, my life changed.  I had been writing back and forth for over a year with a very nice lady 400 miles away named Liz.  We met for the first time that September.  We were married in December! :)  In Between that time I wrote my first song for her called: "The Way You Love Me" because her love for me reminds me of God's love for me.
 
I moved to Oshkosh, Wisconsin, from Detroit, Michigan, in January of 2008.  That week - actually during the drive - I wrote "Hold On Tight," which kind of tells the story of how we met, fell in love, and got married.
 
In June of the next year I got a call from a very pleasant man in Oklahoma by the name of Allen Finch.  He was representing a record label and they were interested in having me record a new album.  So, in July I signed a contract with Tate Music Group and began producing demos of the songs I had written so far.  In the process, I knew I'd need at least one more song to round out the set, and that song started to present itself every morning as I sat down to breakfast with my bride.  I started it on the drive home from visiting my new friends at Tate in Oklahoma and finished it in October.  It's called "Drinkin' Daisies."  You'll have to listen to the song to see what that title is all about. ;)
 
Somewhere around that time I made a new friend whose name is Sue.  Sue Dempster is the manager/agent for John Schlitt of Petra fame, and lives just down the road here in Wisconsin.  She came up to Green Bay to meet me and hear me sing at the Cup o' Joy Christian music venue, and she, Liz, and I went and ate pancakes afterward.
 
One of the first things we did together was to have John come and give a concert at my church.  Guess who got to open for him? ;)
 
Production for the second album began in December of 2010.  And, as usual, a new song for the project cropped up out of nowhere (actually, it was in the shower, but that's another story).  "Old Luggage," the last song to be included in the new project, was written in June of 2011.
 
There was one problem with "Old Luggage," however.  Liz and I had started a remodeling project at the house and my demo studio had been dismantled.  What was I to do?  Demos are my primary means of communicating song ideas to the production team.  Well, I did what a lot of artists do; I turned the arranging duties over to my producer, Chet Chambers.  I sent him a very basic piano/vocal demo and he took it from there.  Wait 'til you hear what he and the boys at the studio did!
 
Production on the new CD was completed in September of 2012.  Over the course of 21 months there were monthly trips to the studio, performances here and there, and other wonderful experiences - such as recording with John Schlitt in RCA Studio A in Nashville, and recording with my big brother Dave on two songs at Sweetwater in Fort Wayne.  What fun!
 
In February of this year it was agreed that we should do a video of "Crownbearer" with John.  He shot his clips in New York, while Liz and I traveled down to Oklahoma to shoot on location.  It was a lot of fun!  You can see the video here: http://t.co/Wp3UzfPPL7
 
In July I got to sing the song live with John at the Petra Fan Convention in Indianapolis and made some great friends there, including my manager, Rob Pugh.
 
There've been some hiccups along the way - scheduling conflicts, illnesses, details to be hammered out, but we're finally moving into the manufacturing stage, and that's exciting!  Soon the CD will be in stores and online.  Watch my Facebook page for all the latest news: https://www.facebook.com/pages/Steven-S-Billings-Musician/151579738022
 
It's been a fun ride so far; I can't wait to see what God will do next.  Oh, and yeah, there are more songs in the works! :)
 
God bless your day!
 
Steve
10:22 am edt

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For me, to live is Christ, and to die is gain.
(Philippians 1:21)

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