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MP3 Mark Crawford Williams - Soldier

Contemporary Gospel with Classic Rock feel

11 MP3 Songs
GOSPEL: Contemporary Gospel, ROCK: Folk Rock

This past year has been an eventful one to say the least. Leading the worship band at church, traveling to perform concerts, and taking care of my two girls has certainly occupied much of my time. But I find, again and again, God is always giving me inspiration if I am willing to be still and listen.

Here are a few nuts and bolts for folks that like that sort of thing. I went into the studio (Crew Cuts in Raleigh) w/ tracks that I had written over the last year and a half. I had been playing these songs at some of my concerts and the ones that I actually recorded seemed to really speak to people. In a way, I guess you could say that the audiences at those concerts helped me to choose which songs to put on the CD. Of course these "demos" were all recorded "solo acoustic style", and I knew some would take on a different life once other musicians started sinking their teeth into them. I did not miss my guess. This time out I called my good buddy, Todd Proctor, who is my favorite drummer and has played on several records with me. I asked him to pick the bass player that he thought would be most creative. He chose Ben Palmer, out of Durham, NC. When we had the first rehearsal I knew we were on to something. Ben is an upright bass player (one of those cool jazz dudes) but strapped on the electric bass just for me (what a guy). Jim Crew (engineer and awesome keyboard player) made it a foursome and away we went. We all played on most of the tracks and this has given this record a continuity or "vibe" that is hard to get w/ different musicians playing on every track.

If you asked me what I think the record sounds like I might tell you that it has more of a vintage feel than the first one. Yes, acoustic guitar still leads the way but this record has more organ and piano and has a somewhat "warmer sound". As was the case with the "Hold On" recording, there were a couple of songs that just seemed to speak best w/ a bare bones acoustic approach (similar to the original demo) and some that begged to be pushed by a full band. These decisions came easily as the songs revealed themselves to me.
One of the songs that demanded to be loud was this little acoustic Celtic sounding ditty called "Soldier". This tune just got bolder and bolder as we recorded the tracks. It soon became evident that it would be the title of the entire project. A line in the chorus, "I am a servant and a Soldier for my Lord", just seemed to be the theme. As Christians, aren''t we all called to be Soldiers for God in this world? There is no doubt in my mind that being a disciple of Christ can mean being a soldier for him at times. When we think of soldiers, don''t most of us think of one who would lay down his life for his cause? Christ is our eternal savior but was definitely a Soldier for God while he walked this earth. If we are to follow Christ''s example, we are to become soldiers for God as well.

On the whole, this record certainly reflects this Christian soldier''s highs and lows. Songs like Soldier and I Believe speak with excitement about the discovery that our Creator exists and is for us. At the same time, songs like What''s The Crying For acknowledge the uncertainty we can feel when "bad happens to good" and we don''t get an answer. Writing and recording this record was a new spiritual journey for me. I hope that it will speak to you wherever you are on your journey of faith.

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