4Shared Plug and Jesus is Holding My Hand Instrumental

Hitherto, I have made use of Rapidshare as the site I use to share audio and video. However, I’ve been getting e-mails that my files are not going to be stored permanently unless I pay money to upgrade to RapidPro. I have therefore decided to open a 4Shared account, whose only restriction is that I visit the account once every thirty days, otherwise the account will be deleted. That beats Rapidshare.

The first file I’ve uploaded is my piano arrangement of “Jesus is Holding My Hand,” which some of you downloaded from Rapidshare when I shared it in my review of Doug Anderson’s project. Now that it’s much easier to get access to, I thought I’d embed it right here in a player for those who haven’t heard it yet. Ignore the pointless shapes show. I never could figure out the purpose of that stuff. Minimize if necessary and enjoy:


CCM Magazine features Doug Anderson

CCM Magazine sat down with Signature Sound’s Doug Anderson last month, and their interview with him has been linked to in the most recent digital issue. Here’s the Youtube, and I’ve also transcribed it for readers stranded with a soundless computer at the moment:


CCM: Hi, I’m Caroline Lusk, editor of CCM Magazine, and you’re watching CCM Magazine.com. Thanks for tuning in. We are chatting here with Doug, and he’s gonna tell us a little bit more about his brand-new solo project.

Doug: It’s called Dreamin’ Wide Awake, so excited, basically the whole project is about the journey of my life. Ups and downs, successes and failures. We took about 150 songs and narrowed them down to of course 10 on the project. We got a couple extra writers to come in and do it… But Wayne Haun and Joel Lindsey, which are two of my best friends in the world…

CCM: Amazing writers.

Doug: Wrote the title cut “Dreamin Wide Awake,” which is basically a story about my town and how God’s blessed me where I am and put me in the spot where we are, in our little “unfancy” hometown. That’s what we love… Talks about the ice cream store that we go to and of riding our bikes and things like that, and people have identified with that themselves, whether they live in a small town or not.

CCM: Sure.

Doug: And then I guess one of my favorite songs on there is a song called “I’ll Take What’s Left,” which…I mean, like everybody else, we’ve all been through our struggles. And God seems to take whatever we have left to give him, and he makes it brand new. So the CD takes you on a journey, and it’s got great response. And I’ve always been a quartet guy, a team guy, I’ve always played sports. So I’m used to having people around me.

CCM: What’s it like being in the solo spotlight?

Doug: It is different, but I’m enjoying it. To find out that people would actually want to just hear me as a soloist…humbles me, you know, from the beginning. So I’m enjoying it, it’s a different thing for me, course I’m still traveling with the group. But the group takes about 15 weeks off, and in that time my solo schedule is booking up crazy, but we’re gonna try to do about 20 to 30 dates in that time period, and in that time my family can go with me, which is what I’m all about anyway, is family. I’ve got two little girls at home.

CCM: What are their names?

Doug: Isabelle, Isabelle’s 10, and Emma is 7.

CCM: Oh gol, that’s a handful.

Doug: They’re busy, and they’re into the whole sports thing. And my wife’s a teacher. And she’s the volleyball coach at the highschool where we went… we were highschool sweethearts. So she’s a volleyball coach… And we’re, we spend time, we’re such a family that’s all we do, is we’re together. So that’s kind of my life, and the CD portrays that and shows that.

CCM: Well you and your wife were highschool sweethearts, and you’re very tied in, obviously, to the community and the town that you were raised in, and now you guys are giving back. You started a foundation, tell us a little more about that.

Doug: Yeah, we created a foundation called MAD34 foundation. MAD stands for Michelle (which is my wife’s name), Michelle, Anderson, Doug, which is MAD, and 34 was our highschool numbers, which I know is corny, but it worked. MAD34 foundation. And basically, everything that comes from this CD and my solo work, we will give a percentage back to our local schools to fund the education and music departments, because we were so blessed and they’ve given so much over the years, whether it’s supporting me or supporting my kids and my wife. We wanted to be able to give back so that our kids could have the same results and the same experiences that we had. So we wanted something to give back and we found an avenue to do it.

CCM: Well obviously a lot of your music has been within the southern gospel world. But you’re a lot more diverse than that, which we definitely hear coming through onto this [CD], and which has been recognized with your GMA Dove Awards nod this year for Male Vocalist of Year.

Doug: Well it’s a huge honor to be nominated, even nominated with those group of guys. Just to be mentioned in the same breath with Brandon Heath and Jason Crabb, I’m thrilled for that. Of course your family’s always like, “Do you think you’re gonna win, do you think you’re gonna win?” and my answer to that is “We already won.” Just to be mentioned with those.

The diversity of the project comes from a lot of different backgrounds. I mean, my roots are in southern gospel, but at the same time I was a huge 4Him fan, and a Steven Curtis fan, Michael W. Smith… Growing up, I listened to all different styles of music, which helped me be the artist that I am today, because you take all those different styles, and you put ’em all into one thing. I’m always going back and listening to old CCM projects and pulling things out—a lick here and a lick there, to something that they would have done. dcTalk, I mean who didn’t like dcTalk? MercyMe, Casting Crowns, you know, all those groups influenced me over the years. And you just go back and take things, and you’ll hear a little bit of all that in there. Even though my roots are in southern gospel, I still grew up listening to all that stuff.


It’s interesting to hear Doug talk about his CCM influences here (which makes sense, since it is CCM Magazine doing the interview). It seems to tie back to what many of us have observed, namely that we see a lot more SG singers acknowledging and borrowing from CCM than CCM singers from SG. Moreover, it often seems to be an older manifestation of CCM that’s being cited as an influence. Little surprise there.

It’s nice to see a southern gospel singer get a little bit of exposure/attention in the wider world of Christian music. One could wish for more with a singer of Doug’s caliber (quite frankly I can probably count on the fingers of one hand the number of currently active CCM singers who are as good or better), but this is something at any rate.

Video: Doug Anderson on TBN

I found some high quality videos of Doug Anderson’s TBN appearance. He performed some of the best songs off of his debut project, including the tender “I’ll Take What’s Left.” When I reviewed the album, I said this song was one of my favorites. It’s got a lovely old-fashioned ballad feel. Here Wayne and Doug do it with nothing but piano, and I think I like it even better this way. I hadn’t known that it was inspired by Doug’s own life story—he doesn’t say in what way, just that Wayne wrote the song specially for him. Wonderful:

Also check out lead single “Jesus is Holding My Hand” (which was uploaded by a different user in mono audio but has good video) and the title track, “Dreamin’ Wide Awake.” Kelly Vaughn plays a sweet electric guitar solo on the latter, reminding me why I’m SO glad they have added a guitarist to the band. It adds so much.

Behind the Song… with Lyn Rowell and Wendy Wills: “Jesus is Holding My Hand”

When I “reviewed” Doug Anderson’s solo album, I said that “Jesus is Holding My Hand” was easily the best song on the project. I said that even after hearing clips of all the other tracks, and I put in a later note saying that I still maintained that position after listening to the CD in its entirety. Fortunately, somebody out there agrees with me and decided to single the song. It’s enjoyed chart success and become a staple of Signature Sound concerts as Doug takes it around the country and the world.

I asked the writers if they would be willing to let me and my readers into the process of how the song came to be, then came to be recorded. They graciously agreed.


Me: What was your initial inspiration for the song?

Wendy Wills: I came to a chapter of a Bible study I was doing that focused on Psalm 23.  I was thinking about how the Shepherd Lord is with us in both valley and pastures, and “Jesus Is Holding My Hand” popped into my head.  I remember thinking what a nice little song idea that could be, simple and hopeful, certainly true.  I do remember specifically thinking of starting from the green pastures and still waters, because that’s where I was spiritually – I was experiencing no trials or tribulations at that time.  I also was thinking that it’s these peaceful times that God wants us to recall when we’re going through the hard times because he has shown us his faithfulness.

In my mind was a picture of the mountains I hiked around when I lived in western China.  Deep, cool valleys nestled in between forbidding mountains.  But, oh, the view from the top!  That is truly a mountaintop blessing!  Life is a chain of mountains and valleys and Jesus is with us in both places, leading us to the place where he restores us, and helping us climb through trials.

Lyn Rowell: Wendy and I had a writing appointment at BMI in Nashville, and she said she had an idea — a lyrical hook with a melodic idea, so she played and sang “Jesus is holding my hand.” I immediately liked it, and we started talking about what it meant to us personally. I told her I had been realizing that both mountains and valleys can be encouraging or discouraging, based on the specifics of the circumstances and exactly where we are at the time. A valley can be restful and inviting when there are green pastures, but when the valley turns dark, the main goal is to move through it as quickly as possible! Similarly, if we stand at the base of a mountain looking up, it can be imposing and challenging. But once we’ve reached the top of the mountain, it becomes a place of victory and peace. So those different perspectives were the inspiration for the verses in the song for me, but the one idea holding it all together was that “Jesus is holding my hand,” no matter what happens.

Me:  How did lyrics and music come together? Did one of you write music and the other lyrics, or were both a joint effort?

WW: I came to the appointment with a melodic and lyrical hook.  But after that, it was definitely a collaborative effort.

LR: Since Wendy had the initial melodic hook on the guitar, she took the lead musically. It did take more than one writing appointment, but the music and lyrics came together at the same time as we worked through what we wanted to say.

Me: How did Doug come to record it?

WW: Lyn was more involved in that process.

LR: Ray “Chip” Davis did a great demo for us, and we began to pitch the song. Then in June of 2010, Wayne Haun (who was producing the project with Ernie Haase) texted me to ask if “Jesus Is Holding My Hand” had been cut yet. I texted back that it hadn’t been and asked why. He said they were listening for Doug Anderson’s solo CD and loved the song.

Me: Did you expect it to find the kind of success that it’s had?

LR: I was surprised, but excited to hear that it would be the first radio single from Doug’s project. When they first put the song on hold, they said it had the classic sound they were hoping to find, so that may be one reason why it’s been so well-received in live concerts all over the US and in other countries they’ve visited recently. Doug’s YouTube videos show that he always makes that song a rich moment during the Ernie Haase & Signature Sound concerts. He has the perfect voice to bring the song to life, and he communicates the message beautifully.

WW:  I really had no idea what to expect!  Lyn really kept me in the loop. It went from:  “Wayne loves it,” to “He played it for Doug,” to “Doug loves it,” to “It’s going to be the first single!”  I saw Doug sing it live at his CD release concert in his hometown of Lapel, IN, in April.  He was awesome.  People were singing along . . . it was a sweet moment.


Thank you ladies so much! This is a great song, and I’m just pleased as punch that it’s getting such good exposure. When you put two gifted writers in the same room, good things are bound to happen.

Dreamin’ Wide Awake review updated

Hey guys, some of you will remember that I did a little “review” of Doug Anderson’s brand-new project before it actually came out. Well, now that I have my hands on it, I decided to add a few extra thoughts in brackets here and there. I really didn’t have all that much to add, but there were some more thoughts I had and details I picked up on in a full listen that I wanted to share. I have also assigned the album a rating: 4.5 stars. I thought the song selection could have been a tad stronger, but overall it sounds so good that it deserves a very strong rating. Doug truly can sing anything you put in front of him. He shows off some sweet falsetto work on the jazzy “Closer,” which actually wasn’t my favorite song, but is still notable for that little vocal moment. He actually sounds a bit like Wes Hampton briefly there. But he lays on the country real thick on songs like “Only Here For a Little While” and especially “Dreamin’ Wide Awake.” At heart, of course, he’s a pop singer, but he obviously had fun stretching his legs.

GMCTV Dove Awards Predictions for SG

The gmctv team has put up their predictions for this year’s Dove Awards, and several have put in their bids in the southern gospel category.

For vocalist of the year, senior editor Andy Argyrakis is rooting for Jason Crabb, saying, “He can sing country, soul, southern gospel and pop, nailing each note out of the park no matter what the style,” while managing editor Jenny Bennett has fingered out Doug Anderson:

I’m going out on the limb here to say that the artist who had everyone scratching their heads this year (simply because as one-fourth of Ernie Haase & Signature Sound, Doug’s name had never been front and center before), is going to take it. He’s coming out with a solo record early next month, which I take as a sign of things to come, and he’s hardly missed a note in nearly 11 years as baritone for one of southern gospel’s most popular and accomplished groups. Plus it’s just nice to see someone who’s used to blending in stepping out into the limelight.

In the group of the year category, Bennett is once again betting on a Signature Sound win: “Given the above rationale of a member of this group getting a nod in the Male Vocalist category, I’m wondering if that could be a clue as to the industry’s overall recognition of what has proven to be one of southern gospel’s most beloved quartets.”

And finally, senior content strategist Melissa Riddle Chalos says it’s high time Wayne Haun got his just desserts in the Producer of the Year category:

I know you don’t know his name, and unless you’re a die-hard southern gospel fan (which I am not), you probably don’t know his work either. But if you looked at Haun’s body of work, you’d have to ‘get’ the fact that this guy deserves the ‘Producer’ Dove, the one bird that’s eluded him. He’s had 60 nominations and 13 wins for various categories, but he’s never won this category. It’s time.

As would be expected, predictions were overwhelmingly CCM, but it is nice to see southern gospel getting some critical attention from an outside circle. Tonight will tell who walks away with what.

[Update @9:24: As of now, the Gaither Vocal Band has won in the SG song and album categories, while other SG nominees have yielded to CCM wins in all major categories that have yet been announced. Song, Group, and Artist of the Year are coming up.]

[Update April 21: As of last night when I went to bed, SG had also lost Group of the Year, but this morning I read Daniel Mount’s report to find that surprisingly, SG took home Song of the Year with “Sometimes I Cry.” Congrats to Jason and Gerald Crabb—this is significant!]

CD “Review”: Dreamin’ Wide Awake by Doug Anderson

This is not a normal album review, because I have not yet heard the album I am reviewing. It contains my thoughts on Doug Anderson’s upcoming solo album after hearing the lead single, hearing 30-second samples of the other songs, and reading complete lyrics. This gave me a good enough sense of what the project is like that I realized there were already a lot of things I could say about it. So I decided to share my impressions so far with my readers now. Naturally, this will not be quite as detailed as a regular review. However, hopefully I will still help convince people to go get it. I’m certainly planning to. Enjoy. 🙂

I want to start this “review” by focusing on something that doesn’t often get discussed in CD reviews: the front cover. It’s always interesting to see what kind of “look” is chosen for the main photo. Naturally, it requires a lot of planning, time and effort, since it’s the first thing to catch a prospective buyer’s eye. For one reason or another, I am often left unimpressed by album covers. One reason is the facial expressions artists are told to wear. It seems that the new “rage” these days, even within Christian music, is to take handsome guys and tell them to stare at the camera like thugs, surly teenagers, or used-car salesmen—sometimes all three if there are several promo shots. As someone who appreciates both good-looking young men and good photography, I am invariably left tearing out my hair in clumps when faced with the disastrous final results.

Not so here. And thank goodness. Doug is just about the sweetest looking guy you can imagine, and that’s exactly how he looks on the front cover. He looks like himself—kind, friendly, and very trustworthy. In fact, that goes for all the photos chosen for the liner notes. Particularly sweet are the shots of him with his beautiful wife and two little girls. It is obvious that Doug is a family man first and a singer second, as great a singer as he is.

Now for the music: Doug told me that the style would be “pretty eclectic.” I would broadly categorize this project as pop with country overtones. A couple tracks feel like they’d be at home on the latest Rascal Flatts, while others are more like your typical adult contemporary fare. The country flavor doesn’t surprise me, since Doug has expressed a strong liking for the genre. Country done right is a good thing, so from my perspective, this is a good thing.

The song selection, I will be honest, was a pleasant surprise. I was hopeful that “Jesus is Holding My Hand” was indicative of the rest of the project’s quality, but at the same time I wondered whether it would be. Although not every song on the album rises to the same level, the selection is solid overall with several standouts.

So let’s break it down:

1. “Jesus is Holding My Hand” (Rowell/Wills) has been a great choice for the first radio single and probably would have been my pick as well.  The lyrics are simple and moving, and the melody is sweet. For anyone going through a troubling time, this song carries a message that is sure to bring comfort. Doug’s delivery is characteristically warm and tender. I would say that this is the highlight of the project.

In fact, I liked this song so much that I felt like giving it my own spin on the piano. You can download an mp3 of my rendition here. (For those of you unfamiliar with Rapidshare, see a few helpful tips here.) [Update: I’ve decided to switch to 4Shared, which is much simpler than Rapidshare. Now all you have to do is simply click on the link to go to a page and hear the mp3 streaming.]

[Further thoughts after hearing the album: Even after hearing all the songs all the way through, I remain convinced that this is still easily the best.]

2. “Smile it Through” (Tharpe) is a bouncy gospel tune that will probably have you tapping your toes in spite of yourself. As the title implies, it also addresses the topic of walking through troubled times, though obviously with a far lighter touch than the last track. Of particular note here production-wise is the b-3 Hammond—very cute! This song features a guest appearance by Jamie Dailey of Dailey & Vincent.

[Further thoughts after hearing the album: This song was an instant favorite with me, and Doug was clearly having a ball. You can even hear him chuckling at the end. I like how they made this song continue seamlessly into the next one.]

3. “Some Say” (Haase/Haun/Lindsey) is another catchy song, but a different kind of catchy. This is 80s catchy. Come to think of it, it’s actually rather reminiscent of Steven Curtis Chapman’s younger days. It describes the various ways Jesus is seen by non-believers, and the lyrics really hit the mark. They sound all too familiar. You will constantly see people who describe Jesus as “a great teacher,” or somebody who left us with some nice morals, or somebody who meant well, but as C. S. Lewis says, he has not left that option open to us. He did not intend to.

4. “Closer” (Haase/Haun/Lindsey) strikes me so far as one of the project’s weaker moments. It has a swaying pop/jazz sound to it which doesn’t seem to complement the emotional lyrics. And heartfelt as the lyrics are, they lean a little too heavily on stock phrases like “feel so alone,” “beat of your heart,” “sadness…madness,” etc. This combined with the style of the instrumentation and the background vocals all keep it from having the impact it could.

5. “Only Here For a Little While” (Holyfield/Leigh) is one of those straight-up country tunes I mentioned, and it’s sounding like a definite highlight that should be one of my favorites on the project (it’s one of Doug’s, incidentally). The lyrics open by describing a funeral which gives the singer a new perspective on the brevity of life. He resolves to live every moment to the fullest, unlike the dead young man who was always “puttin’ off until tomorrow the things he should have done.” It’s an inspiring message that will encourage you to treat every day as a gift and an opportunity to carry out God’s work in this world. This track features a guest appearance from the rest of Signature Sound. (By the way, I could be wrong, but it sounded from the sample like Tim Duncan was singing the bass part. If so, this would be the very last thing he ever recorded with the group. I will have to confirm that when I get the whole thing. [Update: I asked Ernie, and he told me that the bass singer on this song is Matt Fouch of Soul’d Out Quartet.])

[Further thoughts after hearing the album: The production is really awesome on this one, with a sparkling harmonica part. Just one more reason why this is one of the best cuts on the album.]

Gonna hold who needs holdin’, mend what needs mendin’

Walk what needs walkin’, though it means an extra mile.

6. “That’s How Much I Need a Savior” (Lindsey/Wood) is another definite highlight (and another favorite of Doug’s). Good things happen when you have Joel Lindsey and Tony Wood in the same package, and this song is no exception. The thought-provoking lyric explores the magnitude of our sin and our need for redemption. I think songs like this are important, because in a world of “feel-good theology,” there can be a tendency to downplay things like sin and guilt. But to do so undermines the very purpose of the cross. As this song says, our faults, failures and mistakes could fill rivers and oceans. It is only by the grace of God that we are made new. This song features a sweet guest vocal from Charlotte Ritchie.

I thought this was previously unrecorded, but I just discovered that it was first done by the new trio Beyond the Ashes.

[Further thoughts after hearing the album: This track features some of my favorite production on the CD. The acoustic guitar and strings have a very tender, graceful sound together.]

That’s how much I need a Savior

To take the guilt that brings me to my knees.

7. “A Savior Saves” (Garinger) makes three highlights in a row (yet another favorite of Doug’s…) The 6/8 tempo gives the music an uplifting sound that matches the assurance of the lyric. The only misstep in the lyric is the line, “It’s just who he is.” That falls a little flat. But it wouldn’t stand out so much if the rest of the lyrics weren’t so good. This track features a guest appearance from the Collingsworth family.

Every beat of His heart pleads forgiveness

And every line of His scars offers grace.

8. “I Love That About Him” (Black/Rowell/Smith) is something of a guilty pleasure. Musically, it’s very catchy and fun to listen to, with a gospel twist. But the lyrics… well, if I can borrow an analogy from Simon Cowell, it’s a little like putting eleven spoonfuls of sugar in my coffee. They teeter rather too close to a “Jesus is my BFF” mentality for my preferences. But admittedly, it should make for great repeat singalongs in the car when nobody’s watching…

[Further thoughts after hearing the album: Thinking about the song’s main hook, “He loves that about me/I love that about him,” it struck me that the thing about a song like “Take My Life,” which also discusses trusting and surrendering to God, is that this is what we aspire to be like. It’s not always what we are like. To say, “This is what I’m like, and he just loves that about me” is number one a bit simplistic and number two comes off unintentionally like self-congratulation. To make an analogy, suppose I’m a housewife, and I do things for my husband that are really good housewifely things, like ironing and folding all his shirts, going to a lot of trouble to prepare his favorite meals, etc. How would it sound if I went around talking to my friends about our marriage by saying, “My husband and I have such a great relationship, and he loves that I do x, y and z for him. He just loves that about me.” Wouldn’t that sound kind of odd, even if I then also went on to describe the ways I love my husband? I’m not saying anyone meant for the lyric to sound like that, this is just some food for thought after further consideration on my own part.]

9. “I’ll Take What’s Left” (Haun/Lindsey) is another touching ballad about redemption. Anyone with a painful past should be able to relate to this song and be comforted by it.

[Further thoughts after hearing the album: This is easily one of the project’s prime cuts. It has a classic piano and a really heartfelt delivery. Just beautiful.]

10. “Dreamin’ Wide Awake” (Haun/Lindsey) finishes it off with pure country twang. It’s reminiscent of “Sundays Are Made for Times Like These.” Joel Lindsey and Wayne Haun have beautifully captured the story of Doug’s life, and his delivery radiates contentment. This is the sound of a very blessed man. My only quibble with the lyric is a curious grammatical slip: One line reads, “I wouldn’t trade a kingdom for my two girls and my wife,” when taken literally, this is actually saying the opposite of what it’s intended to mean. Of course, the intent is obvious.

I’m standing here in showers of sweet blessing

When the best that I deserved was a drought.

Closing thoughts: This album will definitely be a home run with folks who have followed Anderson’s work with Signature Sound, and that is a large part of what it was designed to be. Those who enjoy his energy (“He Made a Change”) will find energy here (“Some Say,” “Smile it Through”), and those who love his delivery on a sweet ballad (“Thank God for Kids”) will find many similarly sweet moments here (“Jesus is Holding My Hand,” “Only Here For a Little While,” title track, etc.). But this project could also be appreciated by non-SG/inspo fans. Granted, CCM fans who go for the really heavy, thudding stuff might be disappointed, but folks who appreciate a gentler, more substantial and old-fashioned kind of CCM could definitely get into this. I would certainly love to see it reach a wider market than just SG. There may not be anything by way of song selection that Informed Critics would call “groundbreaking” or “creative,” but if you’re like me you don’t really care about that kind of thing as long as it’s good music. Lord knows this is several notches and then some above your typical K-Love mush.

Vocally, Doug sounds very, very comfortable on this project. This is his style and his kind of music. As I discussed in my review of Wes Hampton’s solo album, it’s vitally important that a soloist find a stylistic niche that fits him well and brings out the best in his voice. In Wes’s case, there were some great moments, but overall the project fell short of what it could have been because the production tended to utilize a wall-of-sound CCM feel that overpowered his voice. But Wayne Haun has given Doug’s voice the perfect setting while still leaving that voice front and center. (As you can see, he was also involved in the writing process for nearly half of the songs.)

The bottom line is that Doug Anderson is  one of the best Christian vocalists on the road today, and I would put him against anybody winning awards in CCM right now. He’s one of the most critically respected baritones out there and easily my personal favorite. He certainly has fully deserved his Dove nomination for Male Vocalist of the Year. Will his solo career skyrocket on a Michael English level? Only time will tell, but at the moment my take is that he could certainly have a successful solo run, yet still belongs with Signature Sound. This is not to take anything whatsoever away from his extraordinary talent, but I just think Doug is at heart a quartet man. However, I look forward to following him wherever God chooses to take him.

A Different Kind of Album Review?

Okay guys, I’m contemplating something a little rad. At this point I have heard samples, read lyrics, and surveyed promo photography for Doug Anderson’s new project.

This means that I already have a good sense of what the album sounds and looks like even though I don’t have it in my hands yet.

So, how would it be if I wrote a review of it?

Granted, it wouldn’t be as fleshed out as it would be if I had, er, you know actually listened to the whole thing…but you might be surprised at how much I would have to say!

Would my readers rather I waited until I could write something more fleshed out, or would you be interested to read this new kind of “review?”

[By the way, Ernie, if you’re reading this, I’m kinda sorta fishing for a free review copy. Just so you know. :-D]

Doug Anderson’s Solo CD available for pre-order

You can now hear samples and read lyrics from Anderson’s upcoming project here. He also has a bare-bones website (to be fleshed out soon) where you can register for his newsletter.

I’m looking forward to this project. It’s interesting how many tracks have a country twang to them. I still think “Jesus is Holding My Hand” sounds like one of the best on the project, though several others sound very good as well. A few of them, depending on your taste, might feel a little too sugary, but it seems for now that there are enough substantial tracks to make it worth the investment.

Also, check out some great stuff from the album’s photoshoot on his new facebook fan page. Now THIS is promo photography done right!!

Catching Up With Doug Anderson

This past Saturday, I caught up with Doug Anderson in Grand Rapids. I also caught up with Ian Owens (look for that interview later!) Doug shared a little bit about his upcoming solo record, which I thought might interest my readers. (By the way, this sweet sepia shot is just one of many great shots I took from the concert. Look for a slideshow of those later—there are 60-some of them. [Update: See slideshow and concert review here.]  Some of my favorites happened to be of Doug—go figure!) Anyway, without further ado, here is my mini-interview with Doug Anderson.


Me: So I understand your debut solo project hits on May 3rd?

Doug: Comes out on May 3rd in all the stores and on all the tables—we’ll sell it at our concerts.

Me: That’s great. Can you tell us a little about that, like how long it’s been in the works, how you went about choosing songs and what we can expect it to sound like?

Doug: Well Wayne Haun and Ernie Haase are the producers on the project. We sat down in Chicago one weekend and played about a hundred songs, and we came up with ten that we really liked. Great messages, the style of it is pretty eclectic. There’s all different styles. And I’m excited about it. There’s a song out right now called “Jesus Is Holding My Hand…”

Me: I’ve heard it. It’s beautiful!

Doug: It’s on the radio right now, so…

Me: Now who is the writer?

Doug: Lyn Rowell and Wendy Wills—“Jesus is Holding My Hand.”

Me: That’s great. And that’s got a little bit of a country sound to it.

Doug: Yeah, and a lot of my stuff is more country sounding ‘cuz I love country music. But we did it with a gospel flare, with a good message.

Me: Yeah, you know when I heard it, I thought “That sounds like something from one of Gordon Mote’s solo projects.”

Doug: Yeah! Well I’ve always been a big fan of Gordon.

Me: He’s awesome. What can you say?

Doug: Of course, I mean yeah, Gordon’s a great talent, I love him… But we’ve got some great songs on this project, and hopefully the people will come out and buy it and support it!

Me: I sure will.

Doug: Well, thank you very much.