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Let it Go-‘Live’

I have been taking the “Let it Go” show on the road of late as part of the Identity Series.

Synopsis: In His presence… as I begin to let go of who I think I am, of the hurts and struggles of the past, of the sins of my father and the guilt and disappointments that have held captive my heart… I make room for the real me to emerge. Like Lazarus materializing from the tomb, once strangled by that deathly shroud of the old man, of my old ways, I come alive… I am reborn… to be the person I was always meant to be… the precious child God knew before I was born.  Jer 1:5 “Before you were born I knew you…”

This is a process of healing that begins in worship and continues with the learned prayer practices of Letting Go… of casting not just my cares upon the Lord but everything that keeps me in that prison of false or misshapen identity.

The Closer I am to Him, the closer I am to myself… the closer I am to myself… the closer I am to Him.

Here’s a video of a live session from CBC, the Church family that helped us move to California back in 93.

My bit starts at 4:41.

Cheers.

 

Let It Go from Capo Beach Church on Vimeo.

November 8, 2015
Chris Falson

Falling in Love Again

A story of escaping the prison of professionalism after finding love inside the music.

I was raised to be a professional musician. To play all the right notes at the right time. Nothing more and nothing less. Do the job, take the money and move on to the next gig.Barry-300x300

Like a coal miner’s son I was born into a trade and a tribe that I would serve, through good times and bad for the rest of my days. They’d bury me with my guitar and my union card.

I had a dinner suit for the bigger clubs and casino shows, blue jeans, black T’s and doc martins for the smaller pubs and seedier clubs, an array of guitars and amps, skills and ‘guitar licks’ enough in the genre’s of jazz, blues, rock and country music to make a decent living. After several hundred club gigs I graduated up into the recording studio brotherhood and, as a professional I was on time, I played my parts proficiently and I got the job done.  I continued to rise through the ranks and soon I was performing on network Television.

I had made it and as much as a guitar player can be, I was model professional.

Now and then in the midst of this professional journey I would be foolish and play music for fun… on my own of course, in a room somewhere private… where no one could hear me… and I would fall upon little treasures that I didn’t understand or know what to do with… and so, I would keep them to myself and then go off onto my next professional gig, keep my head down and do my job.

But, like a child reading his first Agatha Christie novel… I could not put ‘the book’ down… or stay away from my closet musings with my guitar and these little noodlings or melodies of childlike lyrics… all of which… was very unlike the professional I was trained to be. For, without realizing it, I was falling in love… with music and these simple little musical ideas and chordal shapes.

imgres-2I would stumble upon a basic uncomplicated chord progression and begin to imagine a rock pool or a mountain stream and I would sit there and let the peace wash over me. Then I would hear someone walking down the hall towards my hideout and I would hurriedly put my guitar away as if I had been caught doing something naughty. Continue reading

I Know Nothing

EB1251-001-300x300Last week a singer-songwriter, who had been most insistent (like the old woman and the judge) that we get together for a ‘one on one’, dropped by my office. The songwriter hoped that I would agree to  a) be her songwriting coach  and b) introduce her to producer‘s or labels that would be interested in signing her.

After we had moved on from discussing the weather and completed the usual pleasantries associated with meeting someone new, she took out her acoustic guitar and played some of her original songs for me.

I could hear the makings of a good writer in her… and I can honestly say that I was impressed with bits and pieces of each song… a melody here and a lyric there.

But that’s like saying that the parts of the apple the worm hasn’t eaten are quite edible.

Continue reading

Too Good to be True

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Have you ever been offered a job that seemed too good to be true?

One organization chased me for years, wanting me to take on the role of their creative director. The job would have required me to uproot my family and move again… this time out of LA… away from where I believed I was meant to be.
After each polite refusal these guys would offer more  money and bigger perks.

Their last offer was kind of crazy…”They would pay me $150k per year plus a large deposit on a house of my choosing and all I had to do was be an influence over the creative team… I didn’t have to do any specific work or show up at any given time…

“Please… just live amongst us!”

I said no…  It was just too good to be true. Continue reading

The Curious Music Maker

What happens when the curious child in us makes music or writes songs?

When we feel no pressure from adults, from peers or society, trends, the popular people, the FB likes, our audience or fans, the leaders of our community and or the Boss that signs the checks… we are free to say what we want and… how we want.
dartpainterWe can write absolute nonsense and it wouldn’t matter.

We could experiment with topics, rhymes, beats, time, instrumentation, lyrics and so on.

We could, in a sense, throw musical paint at a canvas to see what it looks/sounds like.

Or we could just turn the canvas upside down? It might be what we had in mind but couldn’t say in an upright position.

With no one to impress… what can you hear or see in your curious child imagination? Continue reading

Getting off the High Horse

It can be difficult as a ‘professional’ to step down from the ‘lofty’ stage-platform to enjoy music as much as the fan or the amateur. When I listen to my live recordings with my professional ears I hear flat notes, wrong chords, jumbles lyrics, imbalanced mixes and the occasional annoying cough from an audience member (would someone please pray for that person).

And so I need, from time to time to be reminded that, often the most beautiful recordings, perhaps like people, are the slightly broken or imperfect ones. And… I should know this… because it is in these ‘live’ moments that I am at my best within myself, collaborating with the other musicians and singers and of course, the most important people in the room… the audience.

Quite recently, a good friend was thanking me for my new live album and as he mumbled on about how he and his wife had been fighting over the CD… I wondered to myself… ‘What new live album?’ I soon understood that he was talking about this mix of live recordings I had collected over a few years and had (in a weak moment) given to him as a present.

The thing is… the request for the live concert recordings is becoming all to common… and while I battle with the sliding scale of quality I am gradually weakening my resolve in favor of the lovely messy moments of live music making… and like Jesus… I am stepping down off my throne… and setting the mixes free. For, my fan ears tell me that there is something lovely in these recordings… and these same fan ears allow me to enjoy or enter into the moments of worship as I listen to these tracks.

And so… I want to make this available to all the people that have encouraged or prayed or supported me over these many years. It is a live worship merry Christmas present (without the carols and bonbons).

Enjoy.

 

Hometown Blues

“A seer has little honor in his hometown, among his relatives, on the streets he played in as a child.”

thoughtful-man-small-800x800This morning as he reflected on the words of Jesus this man, well into his middle season of life, considered his own past, his hometown, his old church days, the albums he had made, the songs he’d written, all the band members and different kinds of friends he’d journeyed with over the years and it occurred to him that he was in the process of re-creating himself… with a lot of outside help of course… and that ‘he was not the man they think I am at all’

For somewhere along the road he had let go of the mantles of boy next door and street musician  for the cloak of… well (it felt even strange for the man use say this word)…  a seer…  and though he was still getting used to wearing this elaborate costume in public…  he could feel the change in his songs, stories, the sound of his music, the tours and projects he was now planning… his reason for being was all about breaking shackles, tearing down old rickety boundary fences and preparing others for strange seasons and times ahead. It no longer mattered to him where he had come from or if ‘they’ didn’t get it… for the man was compelled to sow the seeds he gathered from the orchard storehouse behind the kingdom gates.

This, he had to admit was all rather new and sometimes confusing and so, this morning, as he prayed, he soon found himself, in his mind’s eye, running forward into the arms of Jesus, who, once he had him in his grasp, twirled him around and around like a small child.

purple-wild-flowers-pol-ledentIn that cocoon of motion Jesus began to smother the man with an oil blessed with the fragrance of spring and then, blew some kind of angel dust into the man’s eyes, ears and hair so that flowers of bright colors began to grow wildly all about him, so much so that in the days to come, the pollen from the flowers would fall onto all those that came in contact with the man… with the effect of creating an insatiable and infectious desire in them to hurdle the ancient gates and walk within the grounds of the Kingdom on their own.

The man could not help but say “Wow..thank you Jesus”.

The twirling continued at such speed and revolutions that when Jesus let go of the man he was propelled forward into a kind of cosmic space… and so the man assumed he was flying into the future… and yet, when his feet touched down he realized that he was being sent back into his own world… and as he ‘re-entered’ he carried a new restful authority and an eye to recognize that, while circumstances would at first appear no different from any time previous … he now had an understanding of what was going on… where this road was leading… and that he was equipped for the job at hand.

The day was afoot… and there was much to do.

Writing ‘All Honor’

I will never forget how nervous I was the first time I led a congregation in worship. It was in winter for I remember wearing a jacket on stage … I also remember sweating profusely and having huge (embarrassing) under arm sweat marks by the second song.

I was nervous for a lot of reasons. I was not a confident singer back then… I was following in the foot steps of some mighty gifted folk… and as much as anything, I was breaking a trend… at least in our small pocket of the world… in that I was leading from guitar.

And of  course I feared many things… making a fool of myself… failing the Pastor’s trust in me… and letting down the good and faithful parishoners on their big day out.

But things worked out OK. I was invited back to lead the next week and then again the following week and soon this became my full time vocation.

And because it was different… a musician leading rather than a minister or pastor… many people thanked me for freshening up the sound… and for my laid back approach to the leading of worship .

Everyone likes to be told they are doing well or have their ego stroked.

But I had not forgotten how fearful I was and how desperate my prayers had been the days leading up to this first Sunday, asking initially for God to beam me up  (get me out of Dodge)… then once I realized that this wasn’t going to happen… that he give me ‘some tips’… or a bit of wisdom on how to lead… or how ‘I’… Chris Falson… the guitar player-sometime singer should lead a congregation in worship.

And this is why I wrote the song… because while people were showering me with praise… I couldn’t accept any of it… and I didn’t want God to think for  a moment that I had forgotten than it was He who deserved all the plaudits.

Subsequently, there were many stories surrounding the performing and recording of this song. None better than the live-recording below from the Lift Him Up Album, featuring Ron Kenoly, a splendid choir and the likes of Abraham Laboriel, Chester Thompson (Genesis), Leanne Albrecht and Alex Acuña.

 

Houston We Have Problem

You stand on stage before a crowd of people, many of whom are in desperate need of love and acceptance … and they each wonder… “Could love  really be unconditional, kind, patient and all embracing”… and right on cue, as if you can read their thoughts… you whisper to yourself… “Boy have they  come to the right place… and I have just the song for them.”

Opera-viking-ladyAnd so,  as if on auto-pilot, you take a big breath and begin to belt out the chorus of “I LOVE YOU WITH ALL OF MY HEART!”

“But wait… stop… STOP SINGING!?” I say, holding up my hand like a traffic cop.

“Huh” you reply with a confused and bewildered expression on your face. “Why are you interrupting me? I am trying to love these people with my tender song about love and intimacy.”

And I counter with…

“But why are you shouting this song out as if the person you love is on a mountain top many miles away.”

You are even more perplexed now and so I sit you down, give you a moment to gather yourself before I continue…

“Imagine yourself, not on stage but in a lovely restaurant.

Rose-Dinner-800x800You are having a romantic dinner with the love of your life. You have a private table in the corner of the room. The red rose you bought her/him sits in a fine crystal vase on a matching red linen table cloth. You hold hands and look into each others eyes as the flickering candles throw a soft light onto your faces.

In this long anticipated moment, your hands begin to perspire. You desperately want to tell this special person about the deep love and desire you have for them. You had considered a card, a scented love letter perhaps… even a plane flying over her/his house with a banner saying “I Love You with all of my Heart”. But in the end you knew that, to convey both your passion and the feelings of tenderness you must sing this lovely song.

So consider carefully.

Do you stand up on your chair and belt out the song for all to hear, including the other diners in the restaurant and the cooks in the kitchen? Or do you look deeply into this loved one’s eyes and sing in a half whisper, in a tone of voice that sounds slightly broken, as if he/she is the only person in the whole wide world that matters to you in this moment?

If you can understand my little allegory, then you are ready to return to the stage and share your love song with your audience.

 

If not, then Houston we have a problem!

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Have Oasis, Will Travel

Water is that lovely colorless liquid that forms rain, oceans, lakes, rivers, streams, ponds and puddles. Water is also a metaphor for spirit.Watersplash-NOM-stock-800x800

 

Without a daily supply of clean H20 our natural bodies begin to dehydrate. Dehydration, can be mild to severe, based on how much of the body’s fluid is lost or not replenished. It can be a life threatening emergency. If an adult human being, without clothes, food or water were placed in a shadeless part of the Sahara desert on a hot day, he or she would be dead before nightfall.

 

To survive indefinitely in hot and exposed desert conditions, the average adult requires at least 6.5 liters (1.5 gallons) of water each day.

Adesert-1-800x523 life without the daily refreshment of spiritual water leads to another kind of dehydration.

An Oasis on the other hand is an area within a desert with a fresh water supply for vegetation and human use. It may consist of a single small spring around which palms grow or be an extensive area where the water table is at or near the ground surface.

Planted by the Water is all about helping creatives and communicators become carriers of this spirit water. Our mission is to awaken musicians, artists and storytellers to both the richness of God’s creative spirit and His desire to use their music, art and stories to carry love, life, healing and restoration to their communities.

Let us know if we can help your creative community.

Have Oasis, will travel.

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