When we mourn with those who mourn and celebrate with those who celebrate, we live in the reality of God’s Kingdom. People of exile, people of hope... as such, it is vital that we be constantly aware of ways to connect with others, globally and locally.” —Ecclesia Church Houston
There’s something to be said for being comfortable with being uncomfortable, for being at a place in your life where you’ve settled in. A place where you know who you are – both the good and the bad – and you know your purpose, and as difficult as it can be some days, you’re more than okay with it.
Welcome to the world of Robbie Seay Band, a group of musicians bent on creating art, not only for art’s sake, but for the sake of giving authentic voice to the hopes, fears, joys and sorrows of everyday people.
Never has this calling been more readily answered than on their third EMI release, Miracle. Honed from community life at Ecclesia Church Houston, where Robbie Seay and his band serve on a weekly basis, Miracle is a collection of songs composed and recorded over 10 months. A call and response to life, to what God is doing in their midst, as it happens.
“Music comes from that communal place, in nature, in worship, in stories, sermons, conversations...” Robbie Seay says. “Part of the calling of a worship leader is to be compelled and obligated to voice the prayers of the community and live in the middle of what’s truly happening in your community. That is far more powerful than simply regurgitating and mimicking music from other communities.”
Produced by Seay and Tedd T (tobymac, Mute Math, David Crowder Band), with some help from Dan Muckala (Brandon Heath, The Afters) and Matt Bronleewe (Chris Tomlin, Leeland), Miracle continues to walk the ambient edge musically, while delivering unforgettable, heart-bare lyrics composed in the context of community.
“In some ways, this record reflects the past year for us - representing a broader journey and reality,” Robbie says. “From the deepest depths of sorrow and angst to the greatest moments of celebration in scripture, the band strikes up and it’s beautiful to be part of that. Each song seems to echo what God is doing among us, that this is not a me-centered life we’re living... we are not alone.”
When the whole world seems to turn its back on me, all alone out on the sea,
I need a miracle, I need a miracle...
The title track and first single of the project, “Miracle” came in the wake of devastating news. “I remember getting a phone call from one of my closest friends. ‘Kristy has cancer. It doesn't look good, but we're believing for a Miracle.’ I wrote the lyrics the next day. I prayed and believed with him. Kristy, wife and mother of three young boys would die two months later.
“The song is not a miracle sweat cloth,” Robbie continues, “or a televangelist coming to a town near you. It's the crying out when you're in the depths of life. Believing. And as we all know, sometimes it doesn't end like we so fervently believed. The song is not a promise of a miracle. It is, however, the declaration that we all will find ourselves in great need of one at some point in our lives - and in those moments, we choose to believe even when we can't see our hands in front of our face.”
Awaken my soul... All I’ve gained I’m letting go...
“Awaken My Soul,” a driving anthem written on a plane en route to California, is Robbie’s take on the story of the prodigal and the band’s current single. “Realizing my own sin and stubbornness made me the perfect match with the prodigal, but the song is really more about the Father’s response. God not only waits with forgiveness, he pursues us. His rescue follows us closely. So, awaken my soul. All this stuff, all the fame, it’s loss compared to the powerful force of love that is the Father.”
We see mothers bury sons and begging you to come, Oh, oh oh,
We need your grace, Oh God, your grace... We cannot wait
Perhaps one of the most vulnerable songs on the project, “Lament (We Cannot Wait)” was written to express the grief of the Ecclesia Church community when tragedy hit home. “When my wife got off the phone with Karen, our dear friend and nanny to the Seay kids, I knew the news was bad. Karen's oldest son was shot and killed. Karen works at our church as well, and our community rallied around her in love and support. But losing a son, for a community and especially a single mother, this was life at its hardest. I began to write ‘Lament (We Cannot Wait)’ in my kitchen that night, after the house was still and quiet. It became our plea, our prayer for Ecclesia and our city.”
“Lament,” featuring independent artist Breanne Duren’s (OWL CITY) haunting childlike voice, rings even more loudly in the wake of the earthquake in Haiti. “It has also taken on new meaning for all our brothers and sisters in Haiti who are living through Hell and have lost family and friends, Robbie adds. “God's grace, We cannot wait. It's our only hope in times of grief and desperation.”
Still, there are songs of life and redemption to be sung. And Robbie Seay Band strikes a miraculous balance, reminding believers of the rich history of God’s redemption among us. Songs such as the hymn like “Let Our Faith Be Not Alone,” the captivating “Crazy Love,” “Your Love Is Strong” and Seay’s modern adaptation of the classic hymn “Oh Love That Will Not Let Me Go” (featuring Audrey Assad) are powerful testimonies that God’s love and his rescue is sure.
In this collection, as in the previous six releases (four independent), Robbie Seay Band continues to dig down to the ministry and artistic roots that God has planted within them. To compose songs forged in the fires of that place, where life on the road is simply an extension of life at home. To give the people songs that reflect a more honest look at life, a voice to respond from an authentic place.
“Our music isn’t just a vehicle for what I’ve got to say. It’s a dual calling, being a person of faith and an artist with some influence. The idea that any of us are grand saints of the faith is just ludicrous. Most of us artists are just trying to love family, love God and make good music.
“The older I get, the more I have to make sure I’m answering both callings, asking, ‘What would you have me say, God?’ Would you give me the strength to say it?’ That’s the kind of artist I want to be.”
;)| Posted May 03, 2010
haven't heard too much from them. one or two songs on the radio. sounds a lot like the David Crowder* Band from what i have heard and that is okay because i like the David Crowder* Band.