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Signs & Wonders

Signs & Wonders

  • By Bob Young
  • Release 17/10/2006
  • Music Genre Gospel
  • Media Format CD
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Price: £10.79

Product Notes

Signs & Wonders picks up where our previous CD 'Shine' left off. It is another collection of road-tested songs that have inspired and helped many. It revels in the mysteries of creation and the mind-boggling concept that the God of the universe has befriended us and is actually on OUR side and loves us in spite of ourselves and our failings. About The Song Order Some have asked if there is any particular rhyme or reason to the order in which the songs are presented. The answer is yes, though some of it was again a "happy accident". I always am concerned about the emotional flow of the songs, but in it's entirety this collection actually walks you through a cycle of growth in Christ. Old Man Blues frames the entire conversation by reminding us of our duality. We are indeed fallen beings, and for that we have great reason to sing the blues. But we Christians are also new creations in Christ Jesus, and that gives a joyful note to the blues (common to many blues forms, contrary to uninformed opinion). There is a joy that follows alongside the pain, and that informs what is to come. Signs & Wonders is the main thesis - God has revealed himself marvelously through his word (holy scripture) and his creation, as well as through events he sovereignly ordains for my life. They are both signs (revelations, clear communications from God) and wonders (marvelous beyond comprehension, leaving me only in dumb amazement). Everything (In My Life) is the response to a God who provides such signs and wonders: "God, you are awesome, and I want everything that I am to be dedicated to serving and glorifying you, without hypocrisy, self-deception, and without reserve. May I be fully and totally yours." More is a further meditation on the awesomeness of God in the person of Jesus Christ. It begins simply and ends in ecstasy, with so many interwoven parts happening simultaneously (like inspired thoughts of God crashing through your mind or like a beatific vision) that you end up numb in amazement at his glory. How Could You Love Me is the coming back down to earth, wondering how such an amazing and awesome God could love the likes of a bent, twisted, unholy mess like me. Honest introspection can only leave you dumbfounded, yet appreciative that God loved us "while we were yet sinners" and that true love is him love us, not the other way around. On My Side is the logical response to God's love in spite of my humanity: if God be for me, who can be against me? Who can separate me from the love of God? NO ONE. The text is lifted from Psalm 56 in the God's Word version of the Bible. It's good to be on God's side and it's GREAT for him to be on MY side, too. Free Today carries on the same theme - if the Son has set me free, I am free indeed. Free to live for him, free to look at everything (good and bad) and cling to what is true, and set free to show the way of Christ to others through his power. I am no longer bound by the law, by the devil, or by my sin; I've been set FREE. That's What You Do stresses the idea of risking it all based on faith in a God who cares for me, is on my side, and has set me free from all that held me back. Faith (confidence) is a reasonable response to an all-powerful God who loves me. I Know The Plans is God's echo of re-assurance that, despite what he may lead me through, he does indeed know where he's taking me and I need to be confident that he is working all things together for my good in the end. Every Season is my response to God's re-assurance: since you have plans for my good, since you are trustworthy and love me, then I choose to love you, trust you, and know you more and more through any of the ups and downs of life. Too Soon is the test; what will you do in the face of devastation? Will the promises of Every Season hold true in the coldest winter? Will I cling to God in the face of loss and death? Will I trust him even then and believe he still is working all things, even this, for my good? You Are The One is the final resolution - yes, Lord, I will trust you. You are the only one that I CAN trust. You are the healer. You are the bringer of peace. You were the one who so amazed me at the beginning and comforted me along the way. I simply must trust you and bow once again in worship. I really do want you. I desperately need you. Be with me right now as I worship you and try my best to love you for who you are, for what you've done, and what you've yet to do. Treize is the follow-up exercise of one of the spiritual disciplines that is less practiced in our culture. It lasts about as long as we tend to engage in that discipline. No, I'm not talking about fasting, praying, giving, or serving. If you can't figure it out, you might need to listen to this song a few more times. Old Man Blues (front porch reprise) brings us back around to where we started, to the foundation that in spite of the ups and downs of life, in spite of my flesh, in spite of sin warring in my members, there is joy and peace and love and fullness and beauty and release in the arms of God. No words are necessary. More Notes About The Songs Old Man Blues The beginning of the song is SUPPOSED to sound that way... it's simulating an old, broken 1950's AM radio, then morphs to a monophonic 1960's sound, then to full 1970's stereo. The hidden track reprise reverts this order so the CD forms a full cycle, with blues harp at the beginning, in the middle, and at the very end. It's actually a serious theological treatment of Romans 6:1 - 8:1. The bulk of it was recorded live in one take, while the slide guitar was added later. Signs & Wonders Tyler's bass work really propels this song forward, along with Greg's usually intense drumming. Dave's lead guitar work provides that extra touch that really completes it. Tom is solid on rhythm guitar as always. Subtle shakers and other percussion (ever hear of Gojo bags?) also add some nice highlights to the mix. But the nice thing is that it also works well as a simple solo acoustic number. Everything (In My Life) This song quickly became a favorite at Lake Pointe Bible Church (though the album version has a lot more oomph with the addition of the electric guitars and lacks the sitar/tablas loop we tried at LPBC). In a live setting, all verses are done as "call-and-response". Dave used my e-bow on this one (I tried it on Too Soon and You Are The One) - what a COOL device! Next stop: talkbox. More Several of us feel that this is the peak of the entire collection, but we couldn't put it later because it was too important of a song. This is one of those songs you can't take credit for, it just happens and you stand back in awe at what the thing has become. Dave really rose to the occasion on this one with lead guitar work that is melodic, powerful, yet not overpowering to the core focus of the song. How Could You Love Me? Special thanks to Ray Martinez for the encouragement on this one and for the acoustic guitar ideas that we never quite got around to recording (but that Dave WILL do live). A djembe doesn't normally sound quite so HUGE, but with a little effects processing it's amazing what one can accomplish. Thanks to Steve Norman for encouraging us to do this live - I almost let it drop. On My Side This is the first song we recorded (about 18 months prior on our last Sunday leading worship at Faith Bible Church). It's amazing to hear what Tyler could do on the bass at only 14 years of age. Other than the drums and bass, though, everything else was re-recorded in our home studio. This should be really fun to play live. It's another call-and-response song, but we didn't record the responses. Free Today The liner notes tell the tale. There was much initial disagreement over how much blues harp if any to include on this song. Originally, That's What You Do was supposed to be the one with blues harp. In the end, everyone in the band thinks this version is the best. Yes, this is another call-and-response song (verse only). It was heavily influenced by the writings of John Eldredge, especially "Wild and Heart" and "Waking the Dead". By the way J.R. - it's AMERICANA, not country. That's What You Do This is the song we were most afraid of recording because it was so demanding. I mean, wow - I actually wrote a song with a RIFF - an unusual feat for a fake guitar player who uses a weird open tuning. Dave's lead work once again wraps it all together, while Tom's acoustic highlights help it retain a natural feel. The original opening line began "I skate upon the surface...", an allusion to my wife Joyce who loves ice skating. I liked the alliteration, but thought it was kind of distracting compared to the word "glide", since "skate" provided too strong of mental picture and worked against the thought it was attempting to convey. I Know The Plans This is the first song that Dave added lead guitar to. It feels like Neil Schon spoke directly through him. It has a kind of gospel feel that I think will come out more in live settings (especially at the Detroit Rescue Mission). The words are straight out of Jeremiah 29, but should be applied personally only very carefully - I'm not one to simply equate spiritual blessing with material abundance and ease. And God's plans are often very long-term. Every Season This is our kitchen sink mix - thunderstorms, wind chimes, bells, and more give it the feel we had hoped for. This song above all others evokes the autumnal cover photo for me and is the heart of the original sound we were hoping to capture for this collection prior to hooking up with Dave who subsequently electrified many of the tracks. The first time I introduced this to the band is probably the best we'll ever perform it - it was magic. But this recording is close second. Too Soon I played all of the instruments and vocals on this song as a personal gift to my dear friends the Fillmores. I had the sad honor of playing this at their daughter Ashley's funeral, and it was a comfort to many of us there. At the end of the service they had a balloon launch - the first I've ever experienced. The end of the song tries to capture the feeling I had as I watched my balloon ascend to the blue Phoenix sky and imagined Ashley being released into the very arms of God. The reverb on the vocal is supposed to sound like you're in a large, lonely room. The tremolo guitar is intended to be the cold, chilling feeling of loss, while the e-bow guitar layers glide along like the Spirit of God that gives grace in difficult times. Several months later a new friend of ours, Carolyn Bartlett went to be with the Lord as well; it's amazing how well this song fits her situation as well. You Are The One This was recorded the same day as On My Side during our last time at Faith Bible Church. I remember that Tom sang one of the vocal parts that day; I look forward to seeing him do more of that in the future. But hopefully next time he won't sing Styx's Lady when I do the piano intro... good thing I deleted that! Though unrelated, I like how it connects with Too Soon, almost like it's part two: "Jesus, you're the have the words that heal my heart". The instrumentation (piano, e-bow guitar, etc) accidentally matched Too Soon, as does the back-and-forth two chord pattern of the verse (though in a different key). BTW, "Source & Destination" is the title of a collection of poems I published at one time; "The Moon" was the name of a pivotal band I was in back in 1990..."reflecting the light of the Son". If I didn't tell you this, only J.R. would be in on it, and that wouldn't be fair... Treize (or Variations on a Theme by John Cage) - hidden track This is perhaps the best homage I've ever had the privilege of composing and playing. The melodic and harmonic strains that I borrowed from Cage's classic work 4'33" feel almost as inspired as his original work. For the uninitiated, you'll find it worth your while to find 4'33" on Wikipedia to better grasp the connection between the two works. You may also wish to look up the French word "treize". This is probably the only song for which we'll publish a score and MIDI file. Old Man Blues (Front Porch Reprise) - hidden track Tom finally tried out an open tuning (G in this instance) and it worked perfectly with a steel slide for this one. We tried to evoke the sound of a couple old buddies on the front porch of a Mississippi shack, like something out of Steve Martin's "The Jerk" (or better, if that's possible).


Artist: Bob Young
Title: Signs & Wonders
Genre: Gospel
Release Date: 17/10/2006
Label: CD Baby
Media Format: CD
UPC: 634479402401