This collection of
songs represents a musical offering of thanksgiving to the Lord. Songs
were written in honor and remembrance of all the women that the Lord put in Bruce's
life which blessed him in some way, playing an important step in his development
as a human being.
James 1:17 -
Every good and perfect gift comes from the Father of heavenly light, who does
not change like shifting shadows.
3:27 - A man can only receive only what is given him from heaven.
the Artists involved....
Bruce Gaitsch; Composer - 4.0 and 4.5 MG McPherson guitars.
Clewer - Lovely vocal harmonies: SALLY'S PRAYER * COVINGTON'S
CLASS * MIA'S DAY * JANEY AND I.
Samantha Gaitsch - Flute
Levy - Standard tuning Hohner
Marine Band Harmonica.
customized by Joe Filisko.)
asked Bruce Gaitsch, "How would you describe your music?"
replied, "Emotional soundtracks to my life."
talented, inspired vocalists are known to add an inspirational quality of emotion
and expression when they perform, often inspired by the Holy Spirit, instrumentalists
also have this same gifts of not only playing their instruments, but also put
their heart, soul, and spirituality into their compositions, expressing a wide
range of emotions and moods, in their musical performances; being able to think
and feel through their art form musical genre.
It is no wonder that this collection of songs truly is "A guitar record for
guitar lovers." One finds a terrific combination of Bruce Gaitsch's considerable
talent, experience, and inspiration from the Holy Spirit in spirited to moving,
poignant guitar compositions, spiced and complemented by some fine vocal harmonies,
effective musical embellishments and counter melodies from flutes and an edgy,
spirited harmonica. The marvelous instruments' sound quality & vocal harmonies
come all together to create a truly inspirational listening experience; perfect
to listen to when working at the computer or desk, or doing work around the house
or just sitting in your favorite chair for some quiet time or a moment of decompression!
talk a little about Bruce Gaitsch... Background and Talent...
Gaitsch has been involved with music and the guitar for most of his life, being
raised in a Christian family in Des Plaines, IL, located near the great music
center of many genres, Chicago! Bruce was the son of a performing pedal steel
player and music store owner: (in both Chicago & Arlington) who had a lot
of up and coming musicians as customers; including Ted Nugent, The Shadows of
Knight, The Buckinghams, and Chicago.
Bruce told ChristianMusic.com, "I worked for him from
age eight on, helping out at the store and eventually giving guitar lessons."
an early age, Bruce played guitar throughout elementary school, high school, and
college, getting a world of experience in learning his craft. After college, he
continued to expand both his guitar skills, evolving as a musician and composer,
working on many projects and recording with many other well-known artists, including
such as Madonna, Timothy B. Schmidt (Eagles), Peter Cetera, Chicago, Kansas, The
Fixx, Restless Heart, Poco, Phillip Bailey, Tom Scott, Agnetta Faltskog (ABBA)
and Lara Fabian, to just name of few!
talented with musical gifts and having a spirit of thanksgiving to the Lord for
all his blessings, surely comes through loud and clear, in this collection of
songs. It is no wonder that he has created such interesting compositions, and
exhibited such great technique and skill and depth of expression, making great
use of dynamics, and composition build up, beautifully heard in his playing of
both guitar parts in these songs; For
the basic chordal/groove tracks, on the the 4.0 Macasar
Ebony guitar (ROSLYN'S DANCE) and the
melodies and solo work on the 4.5 Flamed Walnut guitar (JANEY AND I * FOR LYNETTE).
great example of the sound which both guitars can create together can be heard
in: POPCORN WITH DAISY- One can hear clearly the rich rhythmic
tonal quality of the precisely played, lively, spirited dotted note rhythm providing
basic chordal foundation (on the 4.0), which sounds so good when combined with
the singing, soaring slightly jazzy melody carried on the 4.5, and some help from
the always interesting harmonica, which brings a touch of Chicago soul /jazz to
the song. Nice contrast in the melody in the refrain / chorus part.
not forget the spice, color, and edge added by the wonderful harmonica sounds,
courtesy of the talented Howard Levy, who provides a wide variety of sounds and
contributes to flavored embellishments, counter melodies, helps to carry the melody (MRS. ANDERSSON * SWAMP THANG ) or participates in
a duet with the 4.5 Flamed Walnut guitar (POPCORN WITH DAISY * ROSLYN'S DANCE ), with a quality
of performance which is truly delightful!
song showcasing Howard's harmonica has to be SWAMP THANG -
Against a driving fast 2 beat rhythm of a spirited, dynamic guitar ensemble, Howard
Levy's, harmonica portrays musically in wonderful ways the questionable character
of a swamp thang or someone who turns out not to be very nice: conniving, untruthful,
self-serving..... Howard Levy has no problems with syncopation, or fast 16th note
runs and creates some really interesting sounds.
can truly think and create with his music, letting his feelings and inspirations
color the overall sound, transcending the written notes, making the songs truly
personal and creating an aura in a variety of tempos / rhythms, expressing his
love and thanksgiving in the lovely, expressive compositions:
MOM AND DAD * The tender lullaby; SALLY'S PRAYER * JANEY AND I * FOR
LYNETTE * MR.
LUCKY * MIA'S DAY * And for his daughters: MISS SAM & JENNY'S
songs have no lyrics, there are wonderful vocal harmonies on several of the above
songs, courtesy of Janey Clewer, Bruce's wife, which bring another level of musical
interest, blending well with the musical theme and mood.
talent flows through the family. Young Samantha contributes her flute playing
which adds a very nice, full sound to MIA'S DAY(granddaughter of Bruce) and to
the song of remembrance to first love, FOR LYNETTE. The flowing, memorable, lovely,
sweet melody is carried by Samantha's expressive flute in solo and in concordance
with 4.5 Flamed Walnut guitar.
to say, this guitar-loving reviewer was in 7th heaven, listening to a delightful
collection of well composed guitar compositions, complements of the beautifully
built and designed McPherson guitars in the hands of a skilled and inspired player,
playing interesting, balanced compositions with other interesting instrumental
voices (flute and harmonica) and vocal harmonies in some cuts as well, which so
nicely describe musically the personality or essence of a person who inspired
The icing to this musical
cake of delight was that all the songs were recorded in ideal circumstances, truly
allowing the full beauty and essence of this musical ensemble of guitars, flute,
and harmonica to shine forth; offering something to treasure and value, a blessing
to have in anyone's Christian music collection.
these compositions, though they have no lyrics, do take the listener away to a
much better place, floating one's being up and away from the hassles and pressures
of human existence, lively enough not to get the listener too relaxed, but have
a calm but interesting flow & aura to offer balm to the soul, and spirit to
the mind, with offering a variety of tempos with interesting rhythms and musical
themes, unique to each cut on the album.
songs are perfect for a much needed time of relaxation and mood uplifting, helping
the mind to focus on whatever is true, noble, right, pure, lovely, admirable,
praiseworthy, and excellent (Phil. 4:8). This can lead and inspire the listener's
own reflections on personal blessings received from people who were put in their
life experience by the Lord for a reason; to bless in a variety of ways, perhaps
causing a personal thanksgiving as well.
Gaitsch's musical offering of thanksgiving and praise, SINCERELY, for the blessings
he have received through these important people in his life will also be a blessing
to any human being living in our secular society today, where we all have to deal
with troubles, hassles, storms and annoyances. Music which ultimately encourages
the listener focus on the good blessings we have received from the Lord, is a
valuable tool to have in one's struggles with appreciating the blessings we have
and maintaining the internal joy the Lord blesses us with, despite the hassles
and troubles of this world.
highly recommend SINCERELY to anyone's inspirational Christian music collection
and is a definite MUST for clean, contemporary acoustic music enthusiasts.
Dig Deeper, shall we?
Closer look at the songs: Individual compositions and who inspired their creation......
stated above, the goal for this collection of songs is to be a musical offering
of praise and thanksgiving for the blessings the Lord gave Bruce Gaitsch through
these special people which entered his life, influencing his growth and development
as a spiritual, caring human being.
graciously explained to ChristianMusic.com, about these special people who inspired
* * *
* ++ MISS SAM: (BLESSING OF A DAUGHTER)
Bruce comments: "Samantha is my 14 year old daughter. She is a genius and one of
the sweetest humans even placed on this earth. I am so blessed to be her father."
Scripture References: (Psalm 127:3, Gen. 33:5)
strong favorite of this reviewer. Composition: Sweet, upbeat,
positive melody expressed so well by the guitars. Sound builds to the bridge and
dynamically softens once again through the main melodic line, which again builds,
adding some nice variations to melody by solo work of 4.5 guitar. Lovely sound
of broken chordal support of 4.0 guitar, while the 4.5 gives a bright, inspiring
musical description of a young woman / daughter dear to Bruce's heart! The ending
stanza modulates up a key, which can represent the fact that children are always
evolving and growing!
* * * + + POPCORN WITH DAISY: (BLESSING:
AN EXAMPLE OF PERSEVERANCE, SPIRIT, and WORK ETHIC.) -
Bruce comments: "Is a groove dedicated to Madonna (Daisy was her nick name)
whom I recorded with in 1986-89. She is one of the hardest working most intelligent
people I have ever met. People who put her down don't know her heart, spirit, and
incredible work ethic. I will always be a fan."
Scripture References: (Ephesians 6:7, Col. 4:23, Prov. 16:3)
strong favorite of this reviewer. Composition: Delightful beginning
gets the song popping and cooking along with a sharp, precisely played dotted
note rhythm by 4.0 guitar. Soaring expressing melody and soulful harmonica add
further spice and life to the sound, with touches of syncopation and other interesting
embellishments. Music reflects the perseverance, spirit and work of this musical
artist which inspired Bruce.
* * * + MIA'S DAY - (BLESSING OF
comments: "Mia is my first grandchild. She is now 3 years old and
a wonderful little girl. So full of energy and such a joy to her parents and grandparents."
Reference: (Prov. 17:6)
Composition: Broad, memorable, joyful, innocent melody which builds beautifully, beginning
with the guitar ensemble, with the lovely flute entering with great effect. Second
melody line enters with guitar base & melody, then segues into first melody
line with the flute again helping, and softens using a chromatic scale, retarding
slightly. Soft, smooth vocal harmonies support the chromatic scale, blending very
nicely with the flute and guitar, helping to describe a sleepy little girl.
to this song, I can see a sweet little 3 year old girl going about her busy day,
exploring her world, and then winding down for a nap!
* * * * + + MRS. ANDERSSON (BLESSING: Handling FAME sensibly and the IMPORTANCE
comments: "Song is an ode to another very
famous blond whom I had the pleasure of working with back in 1987-88. Agnetha
Faltskog, who was the lead singer in the super group ABBA. Mrs. Andersson
was the nickname that she would use when checking into hotels or for dinner reservations.
She is a wonderful person who taught me a lot about what it is like to be famous,
talented, rich, and how important your family is to your happiness."
Scripture Reference: (1 John 2:15-16, Matt. 6:33, Luke 12:34)
favorite of this reviewer: Composition: Another upbeat, flowing delightfully dynamic moving melody, making good use
of the expansive harmonica paired with a memorable guitar sound. Love the dotted
note melody and strummed chordal support. Harmonica just sings the melody! Love
the dynamics and bridge melody as well. Describes a wise and straightforward,
even-thinking person with a heart.
* * * + SALLY'S PRAYER - (BLESSING:
Being able to offer a comforting, peaceful musical response to a DEATH of an INNOCENT,
to comfort others who still have a whole in their heart from loss.) -
Bruce comments: "Sally was a baby that died at birth. A very long time ago. This is a prayer
Scripture Reference: (John 16:20-24, 2nd Cor. 1:3)
Composition: A 3/4 metered, sweet, rolling and flowing sad lullaby composed in a minor
key, with a poignant, dynamic melody, which again builds dynamically, with soft
singing in the background. Two guitars really complement each other. Love the
moving broken chords of 4.0 against the expressive flowing melody of 4.5 guitar.
One sees a sweet little baby being rocked to sleep by the angels. Vocals are added
for nice effect, giving song a heavenly aura.
* * * + + ROSLYN'S DANCE - (Blessing: Gaining understanding of someone else's PAIN & LONELINESS expressed in a dance.)
Bruce comments: "This is a song for Marilyn
Monroe who was a character named Roslyn in a movie called 'The Misfits.'
She did a little dance in one scene, all by herself and it touched my heart because
it seemed so real, her deep loneliness was very evident."
Scripture Reference: (2nd Cor. 1:3-4, 1 Peter 5:7)
strong favorite. Composition: Edgy, lightly dissonant, written in
a minor key, propelled by a strong dotted note rhythm, which begins the song on
a strong, desperate note. Has several interesting musical changes. Soulful, edgy
harmonica carries the sad, bluesy melody. Three distinct melody lines add variety
and interest. Beautifully sad moving guitar part complements the blusey harmonica.
In parts, composition segues into a major key, such as in the bridge, but segues
back into minor key. Captures the feeling of pain and loneliness very well.
* * * + + COVINGTON'S CLASS - (Blessing:
RECEIVING ENCOURAGEMENT to LEARN and Example of KINDNESS.) -
Bruce comments: "This song is dedicated to my second grade teacher, Mrs. Covington, at Immanuel Luther School in Des Plaines Illinois. (The school is still
there). She was the best teacher I ever had. Sweet, kind and very intelligent.
She made me want to be smart too."
Reference: (John 15:16, Romans 12:6-8, 1 Cor. 13:4)
strong favorite. Composition: An upbeat, full of life, positive,
driving rhythm, and spirited melody themes and variations which add sparkle and
variety. Inspiring addition of vocal harmonies, which add another dimension! Nice
key modulations & some syncopation in the bridge. Driving, full chordal support
from 4.0 adds umph to the song's spirit. One sees an energetic, dedicated teacher
at work in her classroom.
* * * + + JENNY'S DREAM - (BLESSING
OF A DAUGHTER.) -
comments: "This song is for my elder daughter Jennifer Aguirre' (mother
to Mia) It represents to me her depth of grace, intelligence, beauty and thoughtfulness."
Scripture Reference: (Prov. 22:6)
strong favorite. Composition: Haunting, poignant, beautiful melody
which flows along creating a beautiful aura for the listener, courtesy of the
inspired guitar ensemble. Lots of interesting key modulations, featuring both
lovely rhythm parts, main melody, and solo part. One sees a beautiful young
woman with a gentle spirit inside and out.
* * * + + SWAMP THING - (The Blessing
in disguise of LEARNING WISDOM and DISCERNMENT through experience with despicable
comments: "Isn't about one
person but represents the way I feel about all the bad people you meet in the
course of your life that appear wonderful when you first meet them and then their
true motives and evil nature come out as you get to know them."
Scripture Reference: (Matt. 7:16, Luke 7:43-45, Psalm 5:9, Ephes. 5:15-16, Romans 8:28)
song of this reviewer! Composition: A driving, absolutely cooking with
spirit, truly inspired, most creative humorous ode to bad apples everywhere which
this reviewer most enjoyed, reminding one of people which unfortunately have caused
trouble, deceit, and betrayal, causing bumps of pain in the road of life, but also
opened up opportunities to grow spiritually. Soulful,
bluesy, movin' syncopated melody is carried by the marvelous harmonica, representing
Chicago blues and soul at its best. Equally wonderful is the cooking, spirited
guitar accompaniment, which adds a driving spirit.
sees in one's mind an ugly swamp thing dancing it's jig of what it thinks is a
victory dance on the side of a swamp bragging of its accomplishments for self.
In the bridge, the swamp thing even squawks out a rationalization for its bad
* * * + + MOM AND DAD - (BLESSING
OF HAVING SPIRITUAL, LOVING PARENTS.)
Bruce comments: "This
is for the two people who gave me everything I needed in life and so much more. Their faith based lives are an inspiration to me and have always been. They taught
me that being a Christian is a deep daily commitment and yet also an amazing joy.
Their love for each other and care of their marriage has shown me just how deeply
two people can be connected and that love is all you need."
Scripture Reference: (Prov. 22:6,
Romans 12:2, Matt. 6:33, Ephes. 3:16-18)
easy listening song. A great mood mellower! Composition: Truly
a gloriously beautiful, flowing poignant melody of remembrance, which make great
use of expressive guitar parts and an inspired harmonica, which offers both melody
and counter melody. Musically, paints a wonderful picture of two loving, supportive
people who loved the Lord and each other, who provided for their children to the
best of their ability.
* * * + + JANEY AND I - (BLESSING
OF HAVING THE LOVE OF ONE'S LIFE.) -
comments: "Song is for my incredibly talented, beautiful, thoughtful,
sincere, unbelievable wife, Janey. Who sings all of the vocal beds
on the record as only she could have. The most talented person I know...and I
know a lot of talented people"
Scripture Reference: (Song 2:16, Ephes. 5:25-28, 31)
strong favorite. Composition: Another blend of poignant
melodies, played tenderly and with feeling, creating a song of thanksgiving and
love, truly a romantic effort, which is soothing to listen to and be lifted up
by, in a musical package which has an upbeat tempo paired with such a sweet sound,
enhanced by vocal harmonies! Guitars and the nice touch of soft choral singing
builds in dynamics throughout and then nicely quiets down again, adding fine support
to the composition.
* * * + + FOR LYNETTE - (Blessing
received in a LEARNING EXPERIENCE of the JOY and PAIN of FIRST LOVE.)
comments: "Lynette was my first real girlfriend and
the only one to really break my heart. So I will never forget her. I sent her
this CD and her daughter (After Listening) said to her, 'Mom, he still loves you.'"
Scripture Reference: (1 Cor.
Composition: Another lovely guitar inspired, broad anthem with a nice medium-easy tempo,
which is a sweet, flowing remembrance of first love, composed in a major key,
with a few minor key accidentals. Delightful addition of the flute adds a purity
to the sentiment so well expressed by the guitar ensemble. Nice additions of triplets
in bridge. Guitar ensemble and flute additions together are most enjoyable.
* * * MR LUCKY - (BEING
BLESSED BY A LOVING FAITHFUL LORD.)
comments: "Represents how I feel about my life so far and
on getting to do this CD. I have been called 'The Luckiest Man in the World' by
many people and I have to correct them and tell them, 'No, I am one of the
most blessed people on the planet.' Luck is for gamblers; Not me."
Scripture Reference: (Romans
8:28, 31, 38-39, Ephes. 3:16-18, Prov. 10:22)
Composition: A song which is a strong statement of thanksgiving and faith, which begins
lightly with a strong, forthright melody, with nice, full strummed chordal support
and the lighter melody sitting nicely on top. Sound and intensity builds dynamically,
which must represent a heart of gratitude and appreciation for all the blessings
the Lord has blessed Bruce Gaitsch with in his life.
about the heavenly guitar sound heard in this special collection of songs.
asked Bruce Gaitsch, "Why does the guitar sound so heavenly in this collection
explains, "The guitar sound is so heavenly because Mr Matt McPherson has
created the finest acoustic guitars ever made. He made me the main guitar that
I used for this recording after my daughter Samantha and I hand picked the wood
for it up at his factory in Sparta Wisconsin."
by guitarist and Christian Music artist, Matt
McPherson, his McPherson guitars have revolutionary qualities built into the
the soundhole to the edge of the instrument - Increases the flexible surface
area on the central part of the instrument.
Innovative, state-of-the-art bracing - Maximizes top vibration and resonation.
Unique cantilevered neck /fingerboard - Creates a "no-touch" design which
allows "the top to vibrate and resound to its fullest potential."
Bruce chose what guitars he wanted for this project is fascinating, as he explained
to ChristianMusic.com factors that the average layman doesn't have a clue about;
but truly effect the quality and loveliness of the resulting sound.
explains patiently, "I had played every guitar he had up there and decided
that what I wanted was a 4.0 Macasar Ebony back and sides and a light Spruce
top because of the depth and brightness of the Ebony sound. This guitar represents
the finest elements of any guitar I have ever played. Any larger and the ebony
would have made the guitar too boomy for recording. This 4.0 Macasar was
used for the basic chordal/groove tracks."
guitar I used for the melodic ideas was my Flamed Walnut guitar that is a 4.5.
Slightly thicker and has more midrange which is what you need for melodies."
ChristianMusic.com had to know: What is the difference in sound between
a 4.0 and 4.5 MG McPherson guitars? and why?
depth of the guitar makes a difference as I mentioned before in the low end of
the sonic spectrum. If you have two guitars that are made of the same exact types
of woods, with the same bracing pattern and laminations then the 4.5 would have
a little more low end to the sound than the 4.0. It could be louder too."
Closer look at Bruce Gaitsch, and his Discography ....
Gaitsch graciously shared about himself in an interview with ChristianMusic.com
you grow up in a Christian home?
shares, "Yes, we were a devout Lutheran family, growing up with my mom, dad,
and two brothers Dave and Tom. I went to a Lutheran private school from kindergarten
until high school, Immanuel Lutheran in Des Plaines. Attended Church every Sunday
and religion class every day with Pastor Fedder."
Who in your life as been a source of guidance, reinforced your character, taught
you your important values?
reflects, "My father and mother have been my primary mentors. They taught
me to have faith, to be self reliant, and to serve others. My father taught me
how to live as a Christian man, not so much by telling me with words, but by showing
me by his example."
talents or attitudes / character qualities were you encouraged to develop?
shares, "By working with other musicians since the age of ten, I learned
how to get along with just about anyone."
Influences: What has helped you grow spiritually? As you grew up? In your adult
"Spiritually, I have maintained my earnest desire to trust the Lord and to
serve by remaining involved in every way I can."
was your early musical experience?
recalls, "My father played steel guitar and always needed someone to play
rhythm for him. . .And that was me. My mother was into Opera and every Saturday
everything would stop so we could enjoy the Metropolitan broadcasts brought to
us by Texaco."
About his first
compositions and performances: "I started writing songs in high school. My
first performances were at parties and grade school battle of the bands contests."
Influences: Artists ( secular and Christian) which influenced you growing up or
now which have influenced your singing style, performance skills and / or composing?
Bruce shares, "My
main influences on guitar were Jimi Hendrix, Andres Segovia, and Chet Atkins. My
main composing influences were The Beatles, The Eagles, and Joe Walsh."
were you led by the Lord to use your musical gifts to write songs?
shares, "I thank the Lord for each song that He passes through me. Inspiration
comes from many places, but the truest inspiration comes from God. I’m thankful
I’ve had so many outlets for the music I’ve written. I’m grateful to have the
time to devote to writing, recording, and doing my best to see that the music appropriately
represents the Inspiration."
life-molding experiences you would like to share with us, which were pleasant
or were difficult, but molded your thinking, music, Christian walk, outlook on
"I’ve had too many life-molding experiences to point to any of them specifically.
I am one of the most blessed humans on this earth. People call me the Luckiest
Man in the World, and they are not too far off. I’m blessed, not lucky. I was
blessed with good parents who gave me a proper upbringing, I’m married to the
love of my life, and somehow, always…I’ve had great opportunities presented to
me just when I needed them. . . . Over time, you figure out where the opportunities
are coming from. The list of blessings goes on and on."
personal testimony you would like to share to encourage others, what the Lord
has done for you?
shares, "Be grateful in every situation and don’t worry. The Lord will give
you everything you need."
Other Discography ....
IN A WINDSTORM - "My first solo record. Some of my favorite songs ever, HAUNT
ME TONIGHT, EVERYDAY THING, and 2 KINDS OF LOVE still kill me."
APHASIA - "My second record; A very scattered project, just who am I ? I ask myself when
I listen to this one. But at times the music take me away to a better place. There
are some great performances on this. Bill Champin's vocals on "Aphasia", Jim Beard's
piano on everything he plays on, the late great Randy Howard's fiddle solos, Randy
Waldman's string arrangements and piano solo on 'Ten below Zero' are just a few
of my highlights. John Patitucci's bass parts could be soloed for me and I could
listen over and over."
- "A duo record made 5000 miles apart. A wonderful ride! Driving music for
the millenium! Tommy Denander is a genius."
ON ONE - "This is a record made by the two of us. We spent many hours
getting every note just right; And we still are crazy about each other. I admire
Janey so much for her love, beauty, and many talents. It was an honor to be included
in this labor of love."
NIGHTENGALE - "My most cohesive recording. Lots of mood and space on this one. My favorites
are CANCEL APRIL, VILLA LOBOTOMIES, and CRYSTAL"
-"I can tell I'm a guitarist when I hear this one."
by Julie Carr - For ChristianMusic.com
out Bruce Gaitsch's Web-Site to hear
include: Material from McCain & Company * BruceGaitsch.com * ChristianMusic.com Interview