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The Song Revolution Podcast

The Song Revolution Podcast

The Song Revolution Podcast exists to empower you through valuable songwriting insights, inspiration, and interviews with some of the greatest songwriters, producers, arrangers, artists, and creatives in the industry and beyond. Find out more at nashvillechristiansongwriters.com

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Unfiltered Inspiration with Indie Artist, Songwriter, and Producer, Sandra McCracken

9/9/2017
Unless you're familiar with the Reformed University Fellowship and Indelible Grace Music, you may have missed the incredible gift that is Sandra McCracken. The quintessential independent artist, Sandra hasn't gone the way of being signed to a record company, but has released twelve recordings to date and has garnered a loyal following the world over for her folk-driven music rooted in Gospel hymnody. She's also had songs recorded by All Sons & Daughters, Caedmon's Call, Audrey Assad, and used on ABC's Grey's Anatomy. In this informal, but profound conversation, John Chisum delves into the spiritual, theological, and musical motivations behind Sandra's soulful, organic sound and many valuable insights into her life, ministry, and songwriting process, including: Discovering deeper worship in the dorm rooms at Belmont University Her resistance to "commercializing" the Gospel in music distribution Her part in starting a national university movement called the Reformed University Fellowship that has spawned a record company that promotes depth of theology in music called Indelible Grace Music The importance of music being shaped by a Biblical worldview The sacredness of all of life and how this influences her songs and songwriting Why sacred music was never intended to be held within the four walls of a church The wealth of hymns lost on the world that must be revitalized through current melody writing The challenge of "me-ism" in contemporary worship songs that are self-centric and how to go deeper in exalting God in music Finding "sabbath" as a songwriter and how to tap into a deeper well of words, theology, and the Holy Spirit Not settling for "transactional relationships," but transcending the culture to become an important songwriter Why technology shortchanges our ability to be filled up and nourished by God, thus affecting our creativity and relationships Who she's reading now and the authors she returns to time and time again for inspiration and great song ideas Her new CD/DVD called "Steadfast" recorded at Art House (Nashville) with the film version produced by Zach Prichard and featuring Gospel vocalist Liz Vice, as well as Leslie Jordan and David Leonard (All Sons & Daughters) Why songs are new each time you play them, no matter how familiar they may be How God can use suffering to increase our courage as artists and songwriters How "disruption" contributes to creativity and how you can use it to boost yours The "emotional leads" that put her in the songwriting zone and why historical hymns continue to speak to her heart Writing out of "emphasis" and the needs in specific communities, especially in an era desperate for social justice How to be the "unfiltered version" of yourself as a songwriter to discover your true voice and songwriting style And more... Sandra's "Steadfast" press release says of her, "Sandra McCracken's prolific contributions as a songwriter, modern-day hymn writer and record producer has brought grace and clarity to her soulful, folk-gospel sound.Whether in a theater or in a chapel, she is a dynamic performer who blurs the lines of what church music sounds like, captivating and inviting audiences to sing along.While many of her songs like "We Will Feast In The House Of Zion"and "Thy Mercy My God"have settled into regular rotation in Christian worship services internationally, she has also had songs recorded by All Sons & Daughters, ABC's Grey's Anatomy, Audrey Assad, BiFrost Arts, Caedmon's Call and others. She is further a founding member of Indelible Grace Music and Rain For Roots (children's music) and has been a guest writer for Art House America, She Reads Truth,The Gospel Coalition, Christianity Today, RELEVANT Magazine and more." Forall the latest information on Sandra McCracken, including her touring, free chord charts and more, go to www.SandraMcCracken.com, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and YouTube. For more information visit www.nashvillechristiansongwriters.com and join the Successful Christian Songwriters Group on Facebook! Be sure to join NCS MEMBERSHIP today at www.nashvillechristiansongwriters.com  for the finest songwriter resources, coaching, inspiration and information!

Previous Episodes

Few churches have had the global impact that Bethel Redding and it's spin off ministry of Jesus Culture Music have had over the past dozen years. 

Kim Walker-Smith, one of the original Bethel worship leaders, helped launch a movement of worship and intimacy with God that has touched the nations and spearheaded ministry through the wildly popular Jesus Culture movement... and she's not slowing down.

John Chisum has a candid conversation with Kim about worship, the struggles of leadership, managing family and ministry, and the traumas of her childhood that have made her a deep-feeling worshiper. Kim shares openly about childhood abuse and trauma and the miraculous healing journey God has led her through from her book, Brave Surrender: Let God's Love Rewrite Your Story (Zondervan: 2019).

Celebrating the release of her new solo album Wild Heart, Kim says, "My last record, On My Side, was a collection of songs written from a desert season of my life. I was processing grief, anger, and pain. God met me in the desert and brought life and healing. Emerging from the desert, ushered me into a season fresh with new life. This new album is a strong declaration of freedom and who God is. On the other side of a desert season is growth, deeper connection to Jesus, and a new authority. In the desert, all my doubts and questions came to the surface. I wondered if God was truly as good and as faithful as He says. I asked if He could truly bring the freedom I longed for and the healing I needed. He met me in that place and not only proved His faithfulness, but taught me in greater measure who He is." 

If you love Bethel Worship and Jesus Culture, don't miss this powerful conversation with iconic worship leader and songwriter, Kim Walker-Smith.

This episode is a must-listen to anyone seeking an insider's look into how a hit-making Nashville producer can maintain his faith while producing top mainstream artists. When you look beyond this amazing list of production credits you will discover that Sal Oliveri is an outspoken Jesus follower who carries his humble, authentic faith into every session.

Country/Americana: Chris Stapelton, Carrie Underwood, Garth Brooks, Kenny Chesney, Keith Urban, Sheryl Crow, The Band Perry, Brett Eldredge, Lee Brice, Randy Houser, Parmalee, Haley & Michaels, Ricky Skaggs, Faith Hill, Jo Dee Messina, Lee Ann Womack, Charles Kelly (Lady Antebellum), John Paul White (The Civil Wars), David Nail, Lori McKenna, Kip Moore, High Valley, Leigh Nash

Pop/Rock/Urban: P!NK, Billy Joel, Emily West (America's Got Talent 2014 #2 finalist), Brooke White (American Idol), David Cook (American Idol), Dia Frampton (The Voice), Jack Antonoff (FUN, Bleachers), Dan Wilson (Semisonic, Adele), Stan Lynch (of Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers), Daniel Powter, Lucie Silvas, B.Reith, Room for Two, Jaren Johnston of "Cadillac Black", Andy Davis, Kevin Griffin (of Better Than Ezra) David Hodges (Evanescence)

Raised in the shadows of Manhattan, Sal Oliveri developed a diverse musical background. Before long, he was performing as musical director and keyboardist at Harlem's famous "Cotton Club" and hitting the NJ/NY studio scene. Soon after, Sal relocated to Nashville where his musical efforts quickly earned him a co-written #1 single and a Grammy Nomination. Sal has earned multiple Billboard and iTunes #1's, with over 13 Million streams in 2017 alone.

John Chisum visited with Sal in his amazing Grand Central South Studio, frequented by clients such as Kathi Lee Gifford, Nicole C. Mullen, and mega country writers Allen Shamblin ("I Can't Make You Love Me") and Tom Douglas ("Love Me Anyway"), as well as many aspiring artists looking for his production help.

John and Sal Oliveri talk about the Pink/Chris Stapleton duet "Love Me Anyway" (Douglas/Shamblin) and how a writer's demo became a hit song years after the production was done. Singer-songwriters and up-and-coming artists in any genre get an inside track to Sal's musical influences and perspectives, particularly in how he coaches artists to reach their best performances.

Sal shares from his deeply biblical outlook how he believes great music happens and why, giving songwriters and artists many powerful insights into how they can "show up" as themselves instead of being an imitation of what others are doing. 

Jillian Edwards: Finding Herself In Heaven's Eyes

7/17/2020
00:40:00

"Tell me again a million times,Who I am in heaven's eyes," sings Jillian Edwards, a native of Texas now pro singer-songwriter living in Nashville with husband, Will Chapman, and daughter Willow Faye.

With songs placed on episodes of Nashville, Grey's Anatomy, Pretty Little Liars, and Citibank Ads, Edwards is in her fifth year as a signed songwriter to mega- publishing company Concord Music Group.

Her 2014 album, Daydream, topped iTunes' Singer/Songwriter chart and landed at No. 6 on Billboard's New Artist chart. 

Her new album "Meadow" was executive-produced by five-time GRAMMY® Award-winning artist, Steven Curtis Chapman, who happens to be Jillian's father-in-law. "Meadow" features newly co-written songs with other amazing songwriters; David Leonard, Jonathan Smith, Peter Groenwald, Josh Bronleewe, Tony Wood and Jessie Early.

In this episode, John Chisum and Jillian talk about the challenges of being a touring musical family (her husband, Will Chapman, is the drummer for indie rock band Colony House), whether or not the intimacy with God portrayed in her songs is a constant in her life, and how Jillian stays creative despite the demands of songwriting, touring, and building a family as a young wife and mother.

"Jillian is delightful," shares Chisum. "This episode will give any aspiring singer-songwriter a bird's-eye peek into what it's really like, even for someone as successful as Jillian and the Chapman family. I love this interview and I know it's going to be encouraging to a lot of people who hear it."

Jillian Edwards is a rarity you don't often find... a pure heart, a fresh voice, and someone who's transparent enough to share the real struggles behind making music as a career.

You can find Jillian Edwards on iTunes, Spotify, and at jillianedwards.com.

Phil Joel, bassist and vocalist with the iconic Christian band Newsboys for over a dozen years, solo artist, author, and frontman for the band Zealand has sworn off social media. 

No Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, TikTok, Youtube, Qzone, Weibo, Reddit, Flickr, Tumblr, Meetup or Odnoklassniki, which, by the way has 71 million active monthly users.

Joel can't be found on any of them. Zip. Nada. None

How can anyone who hopes to connect with listeners and fans as a musician possibly ignore all social media, and further, WHY would they choose to not participate in the billions of daily Tweets, memes, and posts that fuel the social frenzy of our collective cultural experience?

Well, the answers may surprise you, or, you may find yourself questioning your own obsession with likes and shares once you hear them from the totally Christ-centered and family oriented Phil Joel, a classy guy from Down Under New Zealand who says he's definitely not "anti-social media," but who has made a solid choice to trust God to be his best press agent and promoter.

Phil Joel's had the same blond dreads since he was 17 and he's not lost his youthful zeal for the Lord despite millions of miles and millions of fans. 

We talk about so many great things on this episode - - we have some laughs and go deep, as well, into his new book and Zealand's new album Liberated. I know you're going to really love this chat with my new friend from Down Under, Phil Joel.