About the BLUD BROS.
Loving Jesus and loving the blues brought them all together in
a music ministry for Jesus Christ. The BLUD BROS. band is really
the result of God working through this musical connection and
then supplying the right folks in each position.
Front man, Alan "Large Al" Harvey - Guitars, Vocals, Songwriter,
Vision, and Direction. --"If I'm crazy, it's for God." 2 Cor.
Alan Harvey; better known as Large Al - is known for his presence,
energy and powerful voice, and also I think for his large, giving
heart. "His music shows his passion. His passion is in his
belief in God and his belief that all people have the same deep
basic needs; the need to hear the Truth, the need to be set Free
and to become all we are designed and destined to be."
Rich Cook - Plays the Drums exceptionally well, is an expert
coffee maker, has a PHD in psychology, and keeps Large Al on his
Roscoe Hoffman - Keys, Vocals, and Youth. "He loves the
Blues and he loves Jesus. He brings joy with him wherever he goes,
he has not been spoiled by the often cynical culture of the USA
and he relates easily to anybody, regardless of their background."
Dan Kelly - Known for his Harp, Trombone, humor, and likes new
toys!! "Playing blues is great fun and to be able to have
fun and proclaim the Good News at the same time is 'unbelievable
Bob Frank - Bass, Vocals, and Weather Reports! "Bob is a
man who can be trusted to make the kind of contribution that glorifies
God, no matter what you ask him to do."
Note: (While Denny Brubaker was the fine Bass player heard
on this CD, I look forward to hearing Bob Frank play on the BLUD
BROS. next CD being planned as I tell you this)
Our mission is threefold: Reach out to those
who need Jesus but probably will never darken the door of a church.
Reach in to our brothers and sisters in the church with a whole
new excitement about God's work. Reach up to bring honor, glory
and delight to God.
A Closer Look...
The Lord has worked in all of their lives to prepare them for
this music ministry; seeking them out, helping them through trials
and life experiences, developing gifts which all helps to produce
the spiritual and musical power found in their first CD together,
NOT WHAT YOU THINK.
Rich Cook - married to Mary Jean - Though raised in a Christian
home in northwest Indiana, Rich was a troubled teen whose flirtation
with drugs turned into an addiction which led him downward into
a dark abyss until he hit rock bottom. The Lord reached down and
helped him through all 12 step programs; AA and NA.
He has been clean and sober for 20 years, has run an Expresso
Shop, and earned a PHD in psychology.
Roscoe Hoffman - He is the son of missionaries from South Africa,
and grew up participating in his family's Christian ministry in
the United States. At age 15 he began learning the keyboard, in
order to help his father lead an exciting music worship program.
Young Roscoe won a full scholarship to attend the University of
Tennessee, where he further broadened his musical ability, developing
strong interests in Jazz, Blues, and classical music. "He
truly is a blessing to anyone who comes in contact with him, his
ready smile and his excitement for life are contagious."
Dan Kelly - married to Sue & has 3 kids - Dan Kelly hails
from Kankakee, IL. His father was a Christian Pastor and his mother
was the choir director for his father's church. Dan grew up participating
in the church music program, singing in various choirs, and learned
to play the mouth harp in elementary school. He followed the good
example, set by his parents of being the Lord's servant, and was
called to serve the Lord through music. A trombone player for
nearly forty years, Dan has played with numerous worship teams,
concert bands, brass choirs and orchestras. Recently, he began
to play the mouth harp again when his church did a blues number,
much to the delight of the rest of the band members.
Bob Frank - married to Chris & has 4 kids - Growing up in
the greater Chicago area, Bob Frank started his musical career
as a guitarist playing in various bands during his youth. As an
adult, Bob held down normal full-time employment as a salesman,
but still played in various bands in the Chicago bar scene every
week. Bob Frank enjoyed doing regular guitar work and vocals,
with some bass guitar gigs as well, on occasion. He married the
love of his life, Chris. When it became clear that Bob Frank had
developed a problem with alcohol, a common obstacle for many in
the music industry, Bob went into a church program and with the
Lord's help, was able to kick his alcohol habit. He decided to
remove this ugly temptation by stopping his weekend music gigs
in the Chicago Music scene. After being alcohol free for nine
years, the Lord called Bob to once again play in a band; a Christian
band, in a music ministry to the Lord. In February 2003, Bob Frank
became the Bass player for the BLUD BROS., after Denny Brubaker
left the band to pursue another calling.
"Large Al" Harvey - Married to Brenda. - Large Al's
musical talents surfaced early in his life, as a vocalist. He
first began singing at the age of 8, often performing at his father's
Farm Bureau Meetings. His interest in guitar took hold when he
was 12, and he began lessons. As Alan was "raised in a culture
soaked in Blues music, being able to sing the Blues style music
was a requirement for those gifted in music."
"Having come to God for salvation and forgiveness in his
late twenties, and having lived in the joy of that discovery ever
since, singing the Blues for Jesus is just the right thing to
do for 'Large Al'."
"Large Al" Harvey's thoughts about his spiritual journey,
and how the Lord led him into this musical ministry with the BLUD
ChristianMusic.com asked Large Al Harvey: "Could you share
in more detail how the Lord prepared you for your music ministry,
how he got you as a band all together, i.e. - any reflections
on your ministry, how you got to this place in your lives - Any
experiences you wish to share?"
Alan comments, "I have been a musician and vocalist since
I was a child. I come from a musical family, especially my father
whose band helped give Gene Autry his start. I grew into my teen
years to be a somewhat accomplished folk and bluegrass musician,
but my real joy was playing and singing blues based Rock & Roll."
"I had no clue about Jesus, except to use his name as a
swear word until I was 27 years old. By that time I was already
a fairly established musician, and because of giving my life to
Christ, that sort of made me a Christian Artist automatically.
During the time that the Holy Spirit was in the process of reaching
me, I made a vow to be involved in some of the most beautiful
music that God has ever heard. I guess I have always been a person
of lofty goals!"
"Over the years of walking with Jesus I continue to learn
what "beautiful music" means to Him. I take responsibility for
the quality of my musicianship, because I don't want to offer
God anything but my best (He deserves so much more than my best).
At the same time I also understand that what is really beautiful
to my Lord is music that draws people closer to Him, regardless
of the technical competence of the performance."
"So I have been blessed to operate as a worship leader,
a musical evangelist, and a tool for the building up of the body
of Christ all at the same time. The BLUD BROS. ministry is one
part of a multifold music ministry that God has given me. Another
wonderful part of that ministry is encouraging the strength and
growth in Christ and musicianship that is so evident in all the
members of the BLUD BROS. band. We continually encourage each
other in fixing our eyes on the goal of being God's instrument
to all types of people from all walks of life."
The BLUD BROS. began ...
When Alan Harvey and Rich Cook "ran into each other due
to a mutual interest in music and coffee. Their discussions ran
over many topics, but mostly came back to music and God. They
started playing together for the 'sheer joy' of making music,
and soon that branched out into multiple groups including worship
teams, and bands that did festivals, parties, benefits, and dances."
About Their Music.... On NOT WHAT YOU THINK CD
These gifted and talented musicians' musical sound, created in
the genre of Chicago Style Christian Blues, can best be described
as "Faith Based Blues, Roots, Gospel, Jesus Music."
One wonders, how is this accomplished? Large Al Harvey graciously
answers the questions of this Chicago Style Christian Blues music
novice, who is trying to explain what is so unique and enjoyable
and uplifting about their special form of music on this remarkable
CD which proclaims the Gospel so well through the musical talent
of Large Al Harvey and the BLUD BROS.
Their Music is created in the Chicago Style Christian Blues Genre,
Al Harvey explains."Well, blues is designed to be simple,
it's more about leaving spaces for creative freedom both vocally
and instrumentally than it is about structure. There needs to
be just enough structure for the band to know what should happen
next along with enough freedom to seriously express deep emotions."
ChristianMusic.com asks Al Harvey; "How do your describe
the different meters? I recognize the blues patterns, but don't
know what their official names are."
There are some primary blues chord progressions like the twelve
bar blues which is a repeating 12 bar pattern of the 1st, 4th
and 5th chord of the key (usually referred to as "I,IV,V") and
certain musical signatures like the "II-IV turnaround" which adds
the 2nd chord of the key signature before the fifth chord to create
an expectancy of resolution. Let me add that if you said the words
"expectancy of resolution" to Albert King he would laugh and say
"blues ain't about 5 dollar words" and he'd be right!"
"Finally, one of the major things that sets the blues apart
from most other music is the pentatonic scale (another word that
Albert King would probably laugh at). This scale is a cross between
a major scale and a minor scale and only uses 5 of the 7 notes
in a key. This scale pattern reflects deeply felt pain of the
soul, and was originally imported to the united states in slave
ships. A good example of a pentatonic scale is to play only the
black keys on a piano, melodies based on the use of those keys
generate the same feeling that blues music is designed to convey."
Okay, so while Chicago Style Christian Blues is a genre that
has some unique structure and characteristics in its composition,
there is a lot of room as well for self-expression in its delivery,
and the BLUD BROS. can create their faith-based Blues, Roots,
Gospel, Jesus music, much to the entertainment of the listener
and to the Glory of the Lord.
The BLUD BROS. excel in their special musical form of self-expression
and delivery of the Gospel message, using their collective talents
to offer the listener a nice variety of songs written in their
most interesting style, rooted in the Chicago Style Christian
Blues genre. Every musical selection on this CD is unique in composition
and message, giving the listener a variety of the blues styles
explained above, and meters, major and minor keys, with a healthy
dose of their own musical creativity, which is both a delight
and results in an inspirational music listening experience. All
the songs offer strong counter melodies, rhythms and excellent
vocals. Vocals are always clear, whether energetic or heartfelt,
passionate or smooth, carrying the melody and song's message loud
and clear to the listener, all which is strongly supported by
a group of talented musicians also called to express their love
for Jesus through their own unique talents.
ChristianMusic.com. asked Large Al, "How do you as a band
put the songs together... in a joint session, everyone contributing
their part (improv jamming?) or is it more formal - composed beforehand?"
Large Al answers, "As far as song writing, it is difficult
to sum up the approach we use, it tends to be different from song
to song. I am the primary songwriter for the group, although Roscoe
is quite skilled at it also, and so is Bob Frank although he really
hasn't had the opportunity to bring any of his original music
to fruition. As lyricist I also receive great help from my wife
(who is quite the wordsmith) and other friends in the industry
(John Sellers for example of "Come Into The Holy Of Holies" fame
made a significant contribution to "Dead Man Walking", as did
my hunny). "
"We do a lot of jamming, it is a prerequisite to being a
blues artist. Sometimes those jam sessions bear fruit in rhythm
arrangements and riffage that are later used with lyrics that
fit the sound we are making. Sometimes we are looking for a particular
"feel" in the presentation of a song, and we try multiple beats,
approaches, break patterns, chord structures, etc. until we find
the right combination to support the message. A long time ago
I was taught that in a good song, the music and the lyrics work
together to present a message to the whole person. Words are language
to our minds, music is language to our hearts, the music needs
to say the same thing to our hearts that the lyrics say to our
minds. We work hard to get that to happen."
Christian Truth and Other Themes Found in their Music.....
The song lyrics themselves and their vocal delivery on NOT WHAT
YOU THINK reflect the strong witness of Large Al Harvey and his
love for the Lord.
"Alan's life is about Jesus, passion, and truth, period.
Alan's songs reach to the heart with a different appeal than what
most people have grown to expect from 'Christian Entertainers.'"
Large Al Harvey's song writing gift and vocal talent brings the
hope, joy, love, and faithfulness we have in Jesus Christ, to the
listener in lyrical form, in songs given to him by the Lord. While
Large Al Harvey's songs found on this CD explore the truth about
our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, they also at the same time blend
in life truths that most people, believers and seekers, can already
relate to, and apply in their lives, and be spiritually enriched
and entertained at the same time!
Some of these life truths include: "There is such a thing
as right and wrong. That living right and "believing in God" ought
to fit together. That no human being has any more or less value
than any other human being. That God's gonna be there for you,
no matter what. That He loves you, no matter what. That He's proven
His love by kicking the gates of hell open from the inside out.
And finally, most importantly, that not one single human being
has got it all together, or has got it all figured out. Those
who think they do are the biggest liars of all, because they are
lying to themselves."
What a combination of meaningful lyrics, strong, expressive vocals
and combined musical talent of Large Al and the BLUD BROS.! The
vocal talent of Large Al, his range in delivery and his passion
for Christ all work together with this talented group's considerable
combined gifts to create these lively, musically interesting and
diverse Chicago Style Christian Blues compositions on this inspiring
Christian music CD, NOT WHAT YOU THINK, that really blessed this
reviewer, as well as being a wonderful introduction to a genre
new to me; Chicago Style Christian Blues, done the BLUD BROS.
I highly recommend this CD of well-performed, well put together
Faith Based Blues, Roots, Gospel, Jesus Christian Blues songs
which will uplift the listener, help put the right heart attitude
in the soul and bring the listener to a better place spiritually,
all while having a good time listening to great music at the same
time! It is the perfect addition to the believer's Christian CD
collection that will bless and encourage a closer walk with the
Lord and is also the perfect answer to the seeker as well looking
for meaning, joy and peace, which can only come from Jesus Christ.
CD Dedication: Always remember . . . "the Truth will set you
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