Swing-Country Gospel with a Groove
All about 'Swing' Audio Villa Music AV-7001 BJ (Bill) Bledsoe succeeds in infusing a warm, personable tone with masterful phrasing and one-of-a-kind vocal talents. His energetic style of 'Country Gospel with a groove' combines yesterday's time-tested lyrics with today's topical themes. Both old and new compositions share the unmistakable message of heaven's eternal promises. The resulting popular feel-good sound is a credit to BJ's ability to appeal to a broad spectrum of listeners. The Players Exceptional instrumentation was provided by renowned Nashville musicians: * Kelly Back: electric guitar (also appears on albums by Bill Gaither, The Oak Ridge Boys, and Randy Travis) * Shannon Forrest: drums (also appears on albums by Willie Nelson, Ricky Skaggs, and Brooks & Dunn) * Aubrey Haynie: fiddle (also appears on albums by George Jones, Trisha Yearwood, and has toured with Clint Black. Ricky Skaggs contributed vocals for Aubrey Haynie's album 'Doin' My Time') * Gordon Mote: keyboards (also appears on albums by Randy Travis, Billy Ray Cyrus, Rascal Flatts) * Brian Sutton: acoustic guitar (also appears on albums by Paul Overstreet, Jeff & Sheri Easter and various western swing artists) * Tommy White: steel guitar (also appears on albums by Joe Diffie, The Oak Ridge Boys, John Michael Montgomery, plus staff musician on The Grand Ole Opry) * Rex Bledsoe: bass (also produced artists Kenny Hinson, Karen Wheaton, David Baroni, Jerry Tlucek and appears on several projects for the Vineyard Music Group) Review of the Songs I Haven't Seen Anything Yet This song is an up-tempo, feel-good foretaste of the best that's yet to come in the afterlife. This is a borderline jam session where I encouraged the musicians to improvise their gift of music. He Never Changes With all the global changes, these lyrics reassure us that God remains the same, yesterday, today and forever. A get-down, driving 4/4 beat with Kelly Back's funky country guitar. Will the Circle be Unbroken? The players really captured the arrangement I had in mind by adding a new twist to a long-time favorite. This song has been interpreted many ways over the years. I hope this new version will be enjoyed by all. Leavin' On My Mind Inspired by the lyrics, melody and message of this song, I believe that country gospel fans will like this version. Aubrey Haynie did a fantastic job playing 3-part fiddles in this walking 4/4 arrangement. Gonna Be Movin' Gonna Be Movin' looks forward to when we make the big move from earth to heaven. This arrangement has a solid beat and a good-time feel. I'll Fly Away Another tried and tested song that has been popular for years. Traditional country meets R&B in this vibey version of an old standard. Contagious Contagious is a message of transformation from darkness to light, and thankfulness for God's forgiveness and acceptance. Once again, the band excels at creating a 4/4 groove. Hey, Flesh Hey, Flesh deals with the common struggle between the flesh and the spirit, a message that will preach all week long. Brian Sutton's solid rhythm guitar provides the backbone for this jazzy-flavored tune. Tommy White's steel guitar knocks me out. Sheltered in the Arms of God No safer place to be than within the arms of God. I love the way this melody flows. The tight moving beat from Gordon Mote's left hand inspired me to sing from the heart. Life's Railway to Heaven We need to keep our focus on the hope and promise of God as we travel through life. Shannon Forrest gave us the train we were looking for with his snare drum. BJ's Biography Early Days BJ was born in Missouri, the oldest of four siblings. He loved music as early as he can remember. After all, being born in Missouri, if you couldn't play or sing, they would shoot you! Some of his early influences were the Grand Ole Opry on WSM, and some of the pop big band sounds. BJ formed his first country night-club band in Idaho at the age of 22, and then later moved to Bakersfield, which was the west coast hub of country music at that time. Later Years He continued to play country music until a memorable night at a church revival service where he dedicated his life to Jesus. The resulting spiritual transformation directed him away from the traditional Country scene towards Christian Country music in church settings, where he has ministered in song ever since. BJ attributes his musical abilities to God's great love and mercy. 'When my wife, Ellen, and I accepted Christ in the early 60's, we were both entrenched in the night-life where I sang in clubs and Ellen was a professional card dealer,' says BJ. 'Because someone reached out to us with the Gospel message, we were both gloriously saved and realized that life was more than bright lights and fame. Shortly after, God called us out of that lifestyle to pursue Him - more than music, dreams and ambitions.' Current Information BJ has been happily married to his wife, Ellen, for many years. They are members of Christian Faith Center church in Nampa, Idaho, where BJ is actively involved with the music program. Their Pastor (and steel guitar player), Bill Wolfe, assisted with the arrangements for the new project, 'Swing.' From his home in Idaho, BJ continues to write songs as well as share the Good News in song through concerts, radio and recordings.