Over the course of years, I have written a number of arrangements that are instrumental hymn settings. It has been a blast to perform them at church. But, it's one of the hazards of the job, you play them once, and when you're finished they can get placed on a shelf to never be heard again. This just seemed like the right thing to do! I am so blessed to have so many extremely talented friends, and I asked them if they'd be willing to help. All said yes! Thanks guys & gals! What a blessing you have been to me!
So, I packed up my stuff, and headed to Montana! My dear friends, Kay & Randy Creech have an incredibly beautiful ranch in the Bitterroot Valley, and some space that was perfect to start the whole process. I spent the first two and a half weeks writing, arranging and recording my parts.
When I got back home the process continued. I had done some consulting work for Optical Disc Solutions in Richmond, which I bartered for recording time in their studio. My buddy Jeff Ervin is the engineering genius behind the faders. So, we started calling in all the other players to record their parts. We started with drummer Kevin McDonald. Kevin and I have known and played together for nearly 30 years (ouch). What a joy for him to join up with the ShadowLand team. Jeff not only engineered the project but played electric guitar on many cuts. What a talented guy! Also joining the team was the entire Pike family. Barry joined on several cuts with his electric guitar, Jordan played keys on "Amazing Grace," and Nancy added her beautiful vocal stylings to an original tune I wrote called, "Phileo." The talented Kate Wogoman graced the ivories on several cuts. We we're also honored to have my buddy Jason Webb put his signature on a couple of tunes. My dear friend Pat O'neal added some saxophones, and the talented Heidi Thurston played flute. (By the way, the longest note in history is at the end of Piggy Tails & Puppy Dogs-check it out-no breath). My long time pal Chris Robinson played drums on Amazing Grace. (I say long time, he started playing with me when he was 13 or 14.) Amazing Grace was one of the most fun tracks for me to cut. First of all, I had an old arrangement of that great old hymn, but it just wasn't getting it done for me. So, for Easter this past year I decided to write a new arrangement. On the recording, it's three young guys and an old guy. I was the old guy, all the three other guys were under 25! I met and asked my now new friend, Casey Randall to play guitar on that one. All I can say is, Whew! What great young talented guys! I've been ministering with my brother Lee Behnken for over 20 years, and it would have been sad to not have him join us. So, he added his beautiful voice to "Faith of Our Fathers." (How appropriate is that?) I also got to do one of the things I've always wanted to do. I got t0 record my girls! My daughter Katie's husband, John flew her home for the recording session! My wife Linda, and daughter's Laurie and Stephanie added an incredibly haunting vocal to "For the Beauty!" We also were graced by the trumpet/flugelhorn stylings of my friend Don Smith.
As the project was being recorded and mixed there was another team putting together the other side of this project. It was apparent to me that it would be nice to do a recording, it would be great to do something that could be broader than that, and impact lives. So, per the advice of Derek Williams in his book, "Worship Revolution;" we structured a leadership team to birth a ministry. The ministry was recently born and is called, Shadowland Project Inc. Shadowland Project Inc. is the reason ShadowLand-For the Beauty exists. The early plan of the SPI is to help students with finding musical instruments. Hopefully, writing scholarships for music and art students. We believe that all real beauty comes from the Creator. We also believe that we-his creation are in part, created to be creative. It's in our DNA because we're created in His image.
There will be so much to come! You can now go to our web site at: www.shadowlandproject.com. The cd will soon be available on iTunes, CDbaby, and many other internet providers. You can also contact me or buy from our website.