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Transient Camp / HOPE! Review - ChristianMusic.com


Watch our Transient Camp Video

 

MISSION STATEMENT:

Drew Jessel: "To point others towards the grace of God through faith in the Lord Jesus Christ and to encourage and build up those who are already in the family of believers."

Chris Miuccio : "Also, to inspire other Christians to write their own songs of worship, praise and experience. We could all use the extra insight so if you're reading this....start writing!"

Psalm 25: "Show me your ways, O LORD. Teach me Your paths; Guide me in Your Truth and teach me, for You are God my Savior, and my hope is in You all day long."

Romans 8:24-25: "For in this hope we were saved. But hope that is seen is no hope at all. Who hopes for what he already has? But if we hope for what we do not yet have, we wait for it patiently."

Members of Transient Camp

Drew Jessel - lead guitar - song writer
Chris Miuccio - drums, guitar, vocals - song writer
Warren "Wood" Vitale - played drums on "He'll Set You Free", "Bleeding For You", "The Gift" and "If It Weren't For Jesus".
Jason Retana - played piano on “Jesus Loves You” and "Never Let You Go" (he also co-wrote "Never Let You Go” with Drew and me)
Walker Craig - played percussion and Djimbe on "Be Still and Know That I Am God".
Amanda
Miuccio (acapella solo on intro Amazing Grace, cut 1A)
Julene Jessel (Intro acapella solo on MY HOPE IS ON YOU)

ChristianMusic.com asked, Any favorite Bible verse or truth which is meaningful to you or influenced your songs on this CD?

Drew: Several, and many are directly incorporated into the lyrics. In all honesty, David, Moses and the apostle Paul deserve most of the lyric-writing credit on this CD!
“The Gift” - is based on Romans 6:23: “For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.”
“My Hope is in You” - is a combination of Psalm 25 and portions of the book of Isaiah.
“Be Still and Know that I am God” - is based on Psalms 46 and 22.
“Turn Back (Moses' Song)” - is essentially Deuteronomy 32, amazingly as applicable to the Church today as it was to the Israelites thousands of years ago.

REVIEW OF HOPE!

ChristianMusic.com asked Transient Camp: How would you describe your music?

Drew: "This may be pretty simplistic, but If Led Zeppelin and the Who had played Christian-themed rock with a few Beatle-ish melodies, Transient Camp would be the result. Chris, I’m sure, will have something to add… "

Chris: "Passionate at it's core. Our early stuff was more Rock/Pop with a Blues influence, but we are getting more experimental. I like bass, guitar and drums but have a new interest in progressive music due to the influence of a great band called Porcupine Tree."

Drew adds, "They’re not a Christian band at all, but their music, arrangements and production are stellar, and this influence is already seeping into our own writing."

Wow! They weren't kidding about being passionate for the Lord. This versatile collection of songs found on HOPE! proves that rock which has elements of edgier, rock/pop/blues/, with touches of progressive rock can be passionate for the case of Christ, staying true to its genre form in vibrant ways. Transient Camp takes it to the wall both musically and in presenting what a wonderful Savior we have in Jesus Christ in poignant spiritual messages. While being inspired by secular rock/pop/blues, and progressive rock genre, they truly have open hearts to the Holy Spirit to be able to effectively combine their unique form of rock with evangelistic messages, brought to life with just the right volume and style in the vocals, not afraid to passionately state the case for Jesus Christ.

Let's talk about these Spiritual Themes.....

Chris shares with ChristianMusic.com, "The main influence on the writing of this CD is the redemptive work of Jesus Christ on the cross. We wanted to remind everyone of Jesus' offer of "hope", to those who are depressed, up to and including the most fervent believer. Serve Him with all of your heart, soul and mind because He is worthy." 

Chris comments, "The themes (from “Hope!”) are all biblical in nature. We pray before each writing session, so I'd say they were all led by the Spirit. Drew and I are very careful to make sure the lyrics remain true to the Bible."

Jesus Christ as our loving Savior, dependable friend -

AMAZING GRACE intro, JESUS LOVES YOU * "In spite of all your ugly sins / I know Jesus loves you / It doesn't matter where you've been / Just know Jesus loves you / You might feel like you want to die or maybe sit alone & cry / But listen to the reason why. So you can be forgiven." /

HE'LL SET YOU FREE * "He set me free / He paid the fee / Opened my eyes / So I could see / He gave me light / And fought my fight / So tenderly / He set me free / When I was tired of being me / he set me free."//

BE STILL AND KNOW THAT I AM GOD * "My God / Where have you gone? / I've cried out for so long / Trouble is near / but You seem far and my faith's turn to fear / My heart, it melts away / And I can barely pray / I am so lost and lonely / My friends have all disowned me / I wish I could die"/

IF IT WEREN'T FOR JESUS *" If it weren't for Jesus / Our faith would have no reason / And everyone who sees us / Would mock and show disdain / He said He would complete us / In heaven He will greet us / Through eyes may not behold His face / He offers us His grace."/

We love and serve Him with all our hearts and share the Gospel to others because He first loved us -

BLEEDING FOR YOU * "We all go astray / Following our own way / But You are faithful & kind / Giving eyesight to the blind / All our gratitude is overdue / And our love we should daily renew / You were tortured and bled for us too / I feel we should be bleeding for .."

STAND UP * "The times are uncertain and all lines are blurring; How can we be still when so many are hurting? / They're looking for something and we know the one thing to heal them / To save them / How can we do nothing?"//

OH THE DEEP DEEP LOVE OF JESUS (Trad) / THE GIFT * Chorus:" Oh dear loved one / There's a gift for you / But your hands are holding tightly to your pride / God still loves you and gave His only son for your salvation / And He's the only one who can offer it."/

TURN BACK * "Listen up people / the time has come for you to hear what I say / Let these words get into your minds / And shower your hearts like rain / I will proclaim the name of the Lord / And praise the greatness of Him / he is the rock and a god of truth / Too pure to look on our sin / He is the father who created us / And brought us back to himself / And the way we repay Him for His grace / We corrupt ourselves."//

The Never-Changing Character of the Lord -

NEVER LET YOU GO * "My, My look how much you've grown / Let me hold your little hand in my own / I'll stand right beside you / I will be there for you, little one / I love you so and I won't let you go / And as you grow / I will never let you go."//

MY HOPE IS IN YOU * Chorus: "I will not fear for You are with me / You save me and You set me free / You are merciful and mighty, And You strengthen me when I am weary / Oh Lord / My hope is in You." //

LORD'S PRAYER * "Our Father who is in heaven / Hallowed be Your name / Your kingdom come / Your will be done / On earth as it is in heaven."/

HE'S GOT THE WHOLE WORLD *"He's got the whole world, in His hands!"/ He's got you and me brother, in His hands/ He's got you and me sister, in His hands / He's got the little tiny baby, in His hands / He's got brother and sissy, in His hands / He's got you and me, Daddy / And Mommy / And ME!"/

Let's Talk about the Compositions....

Concerning the musical content of the songs, Chris reflects, "Musically, the chords and melodies just seem to come naturally and we do our best to make them interesting. We made a point on this CD to try and fill each empty space with something interesting."

I couldn't as a reviewer agree more! All of the songs are not only performed with its own zip, zeal, feeling, and passion, with all the elements fused together by a dynamic energy with a clear mission, but also offer interesting combinations in the compositions, tempos, melodies and vocals, beginning with each song's effective, attention catching introduction, which get each song off to a strong start. A wide range of musical introductions range from the enthusiastic, poignant vocals of sweet little angels (AMAZING GRACE, MY HOPE IS IN YOU intro, & HE'S GOT THE WHOLE WORLD) , piano intro & vocals expressing parts of a hymn, to edgy, syncopated blues /rock rhythms, straight-on electric rock, soulful electric guitar riffs, flowing acoustic notes; sometime using a different meter than the meter used in the main body of the composition as well.

Variety rules on this CD, offering a variety of "musically interesting" sounds and tempos, featuring spirited electric / acoustic rock anthems (TURN BACK, JESUS LOVES YOU, BLEEDING FOR YOU), which showcase musical umph with syncopated rhythms, and even high flyin', edgy riffs with blues (HE'LL SET YOU FREE), and other musical surprises, which brighten the composition at hand.

A key element on any rock album, is the quality of the drumming presented. Kudos to the drummers who kept these songs humming along with spirit, without over powering the other musical voices. Just the right touch of percussion added so much to the mood of the song presented in each case.

Notes: (* * * * + + = Strong Favorites)

* * * * + + BLEEDING FOR YOU - 2nd favorite of this reviewer - This unusual praise and worship anthem, begins as a 3/4 meter, flowing acoustic worship song (electric guitar playing an acoustic part). In a somber mood, for the first verse and chorus, this song then segues up a notch or two in energy, into a joyous, spirited, straight 4 beat rock, peppy praise and worship anthem for the rest of the song. Truly an invigorating effort, with a solid, spirited and driving guitar ensemble in place, including an inspired bass part.

* * * * + + HE'LL SET YOU FREE - Favorite song of this reviewer, featuring a passionate, spirited, rock -blues with a touch of soul in the composition, with lively syncopated beats and doted note rhythms which add a edgy zest and are performed like they are so easy to play. (Right - I know better.) It reflects the skills and passionate musical style of the performers.

Begins with a catchy, quick 2 beat dotted note blues-rock electric guitar intro, which segues into a cooking rock-blues anthem, with soulful, edgy vocals which soar to the moon and back, expressing the truth about the gift of Jesus in a most refreshing way. Loved the syncopated, joyful, electric guitar jigs, which sail in the interludes, bringing the spirit up a notch or two - Great indie rock! Love the tag of the song. Soulful, bluesy acapella vocals,answered by a soulful bluesy electrical guitar, ending on a soft tone.

* * * * + + JESUS LOVES YOU - A truly spirited Praise and Worship rock anthem, with an easy to remember chorus, making it perfect for contemporary services, especially for the young and the young at heart! Infectious melody, soaring, dynamic lead vocals and great harmonies, and some great, spirited guitar playing, supported by a strong piano support! Features great effects from a slide guitar throughout, well played. Also enjoyed the energetic joyous electric guitar jig, in the interlude effort, including the syncopated rhythms!

* * * * + TURN BACK - An invigorating, acoustic driven anthem, written in a minor key, which cooks along with an invigorating, infectious spirit, with great dynamic build up, vocals sung with conviction and the usual great harmonies. Guitar ensemble is a driving force which keeps this song moving along in an urgent way, reflecting the spiritual message presented.

Another strong effort are the anthems and ballads which combine musically interesting, sometimes poignant compositions with a passionate call to action, with a sense of urgency for both seekers and believers alike. (OH THE DEEP DEEP LOVE OF JESUS / THE GIFT, IF IT WEREN'T FOR JESUS, STAND UP)

* * * * + + OH THE DEEP DEEP LOVE OF JESUS / THE GIFT- Third Favorite of this reviewer.

Notes: A Solid, flowing 6/8 metered, combined acoustic / electric rock / blues and soul ballad composed in a minor key, sung to someone near and dear who has rejected Jesus as Lord and Savior. Mood is somber. Begins in the intro as a dynamic piano ballad, playing a few measures of the spiritual hymnal chestnut, OH THE DEEP DEEP LOVE OF JESUS. The composition then segues smoothly into a guitar ensemble playing flawless, moving 16th note introduction of the poignant, dynamic ballad, THE GIFT. The driving 6/8 meter and minor key sound along with a poignant melody and passionate vocals, bring the seriousness of the spiritual message to life in a powerful way, using dynamics very effectively. Enjoyed the mournful, soulful electric guitar solos and accompaniment.

* * * * + + IF IT WEREN'T FOR JESUS - A spirited, musically interesting anthem reflecting the joy of the good news of Jesus. Sure to lift anyone out of the doldrums of self-pity and discouragement! Begins on a joyous jig of celebration, in the intro but quiets down for the first verse. Contrasts in the composition between the verses and the chorus are wonderfully dynamic and mood setting, adding to the song's build up into a joyous sound of praise and gratitude which finally explodes vocally and musically in the chorus! Another enjoyable electric guitar jig in the interlude,. Composition has interesting musical segues and modulations in the bridge, which builds in sound and intensity.

* * * * + STAND UP! - A rousing, straight 4 beat, call to action for believers to walk the talk, show God's love, and spread the Gospel. It's straight-on, powerful electrified rock sound is surely invigorating. Soaring rock anthem, with another terrific, edgy electric guitar riff in the middle is fantastic. Enjoyed the variety of vocals and the composition itself.

Lets not forget the soulful, poignant, refreshing acoustic prayer hymns (BE STILL AND KNOW THAT I AM GOD, THE LORD'S PRAYER), or a memorable piano ballad which expresses a parent's love and dedication to their children, and also reflects our Lord's love for us. ( NEVER LET YOU GO.)

* * * * + + BE STILL AND KNOW THAT I AM GOD - Solid accompaniment by a memorable acoustic guitar ensemble, supports the tempo ,poignant melody and the strong, heart-felt vocals, lovely harmonies, with touches of slide guitar and broad electric guitar sound. Wonderful slide guitar solo in the interlude.

* * * * + THE LORD'S PRAYER - Beautiful, well-composed, acoustic rendition, with some lovely two part harmonies, creating a ballad prayer hymn which would be welcome in any church service! Solid accompaniment by acoustic guitar ensemble, supports the memorable melody and the heart-felt vocals.

* * * * NEVER LET YOU GO - Lovely piano ballad, which is sung with feeling, expresses so well the heart of not only parents in this world, but our heavenly Father, who also loves us dearly.

Let's Talk about the Vocals........

Vocals and harmonies are most enjoyable, inspiring and perfect for each song, performed with just the right dynamics, poignancy, passion and style needed to showcase the lyrical messages and the mood of the composition as well. Chris Miuccio's musical instincts are right on the mark vocally, with the musical ability, pipes and breath control to carry out the desired effect needed for each cut on the album, covering any musical style needed for the genre of the song presented.

Edgy rock/ blues style - Is showcased in this reviewer's favorite cut on the album: HE'LL SET YOU FREE: The musical skill in delivery, performance and feeling truly excels, packing a punch in presenting the spiritual message in such a dynamic fashion!

Poignant, flowing, powerful vocals - Which soothe the soul and lifts one in the spirit of prayer - Give the right aura to the prayer hymns, especially BE STILL AND KNOW THAT I AM GOD.

They combine styles in such gems as BLEEDING FOR YOU - Following the transitional changes in the composition: Vocals begin in a smooth, poignant style, which flow right along with the swirling accompaniment. In the 2nd verse, vocals also transform into a joyous proclamation, expressing thanksgiving and gratitude for what Jesus did for us on the cross; feelings which come straight from a believer's heart. Great harmonies in the chorus.

Passionate and Dynamic Style - Is front and center in THE GIFT, TURN BACK, IF IT WEREN'T FOR JESUS and STAND UP!

They also have the talent to work with young children, directing natural performances of two of the song intros from their young daughters, (Amanda & Julene), which adds a special sparkle to the messages and feeling of the songs these young singers introduced.

Talent indeed runs in the family: Daughters of both Drew and Chris enthusiastically joined in on this CD, sharing their joy, faith and love for Jesus....

Amanda Miuccio - Begins and ends this CD. In the beginning of this CD, the spiritual tone is set immediately as one is treated to a sweet, innocent, expressive little voice of this little three year old, singing the first verse of Amazing Grace, with great feeling, innocence, and honesty.

Chris comments: "Originally, this CD was to begin with a very serious, acapella, version of "Amazing Grace" sung in multiple harmonies by me… and then the CD would end with this version by my 3-1/2 year old daughter, Amanda. During an early CD sequencing, I mistakenly put her version on first. Initially I was mad at myself for the mistake; then as I listened again. I realized the irony of an innocent little girl singing such a heavy song was the perfect way to start. Thank you Amanda, for your bold little voice!"

This acapella effort is the perfect introduction for the passionate rock anthem, JESUS LOVES YOU, which gets to work early stating the case for Jesus.

The last cut of the CD is an enthusiastic rendition of HE'S GOT THE WHOLE WORLD IN HIS HANDS, sung by Amanda, which ends the CD on a statement of faith - God is in control!

Julene Jessell - People blessed with musical gifts often begin at a very early age! Julene Jewell was only 4 when she sang the chorus of the title song, as its introduction: MY HOPE IS IN YOU! She is not only on key during this acapella effort, but sings out with confidence and style, catching the spirit and dotted note rhythm of the tune, expressing an enthusiastic, faith which is refreshing!

Chris comments: "There's no way we could have my daughter on here and NOT have our little "Jeany" as well. Yet another little girl stealin' our thunder! Praise God!

Drew comments: "Got to hand it to Julene... she nailed it within the first one or two takes!"

Let's review why this gem of an album deserves a spot in your Christian music collection. It has earned a place on my WOW! What a Christian Rock album list for a variety of reasons.

Meaningful, spiritually lifting, sometimes convicting lyrical messages are paired with just the "right musical vehicle", ranging from edgy alternative rock to straight -forward acoustic to even a memorable piano ballad. They present Jesus as the hope of the world, bringing an encouraging message to not only believers, but people who need a Savior.

The delightful variety of not only memorable melodies, but rhythms, tempos, transitions, musical texture, mood and dynamics are creatively used throughout this collection of songs, giving Christian Rock, indie style a terrific standard to live up to in the creation of CDs!

Level of musicianship excels in the musical accompaniment, by people who show their passion for the Lord through their considerable gifts.

Vocal deliveries are performed with great spirit, skill and heart, following the mood and dynamics of the song presented, which showcases the considerable talent of the vocalists, and their passion for the Lord as well. Their ability to use dynamics, and their natural skill and breath control to jump hard intervals, hold long notes, presented in just the right vocal style for each composition is truly an enjoyable and uplifting listening experience!

Production Values - Brings every sound to life in a real and balanced fashion, to great effect, which points to excellent mixing and production values!

HOPE! is highly recommended for anyone's Christian Music collection, and a MUST for contemporary Christian indie rock with an edge lovers, looking for musical diversity and strong Christian themes as well.

Chris Miuccio

More about their Music - ChristianMusic.com asks Drew Jessel and Chris Miuccio.....

How do you compose? From a keyboard? Guitar? Do the lyrics come first? From jamming together with a co-writer or musicians?

Drew: "On most songs, whether the origin is with Chris or me, I believe we each put an equal amount of effort into ensuring that they’re the best they can be. As far as specific contributions, again, there really is no set formula."

Chris: "We both write lyrics and music and then show the other one what we have and then make suggestions. Many times, Drew's choruses sound like verses to me and his verses sound like choruses; but either way, they are always good."

Drew: "When I compose alone, it can be on guitar, keyboard, or sometimes just a tape recorder and my voice. When Chris and I write together, it’s kind of the same thing. Sometimes he has a riff and chorus and I’ll add verses, sometimes I’ll have a good deal of a song finished and he’ll change up some of the lyrics, add a bridge or whatever… there really is no set formula. I need to stress, though, that we go through a great deal of refining together, especially of lyrics. I do believe we’re at our best when we’re working together… that two heads are better than one."

Chris: "I always compose on guitar but I have come up with melodies and riffs in the car and tape them on a cassette so I remember them. NEVER assume you will remember a melody or a riff because it's too easy to forget! Mainly, a riff or a chord progression comes from me, fooling around on the guitar, but some have a title or short lyric idea. Some have come from jam sessions - the best one from a jam was called, 'Find Your Faith in God', from our concept CD: 'It's A Wonderful Life'.

Are responsibilities divided?

Drew: "On most songs, whether the origin is with Chris or me, I believe we each put an equal amount of effort into ensuring that they’re the best they can be. As far as specific contributions, again, there really is no set formula."

Chris: "We both write lyrics and music and then show the other one what we have and then make suggestions. Many times Drew's choruses sound like verses to me and his verses sound like choruses but either way, they are always good."

Lyrics: Any comments on the themes of the songs. Any favorites, and why? Any stories on what led you to compose the lyrics?

Drew: "Thematically, I believe there’s been kind of an evolution over time, as referenced above, whereby we began writing “searching” types of songs, then once our own spiritual destinies became settled we wrote more blatantly Christian lyrics. In fact, our CD, 'It’s a Wonderful Life', is sort of a microcosm of this evolution on a single work. It follows a character’s search for life’s meaning and progresses through to his conversion to Christ and beyond."

"As far as favorites, I think that 'The Gift' (from “Hope!”) captures in one song a lot of what we’re trying to do as a band… it’s a plea to an unbelieving loved one to stop rejecting the only true God and to receive His free gift of salvation through faith in His Son. I like its progressions musically as well. It’s got a lot of passion."

"Stand Up' is another favorite… a message to encourage and stoke believers to go all out for Christ… and it rocks.

Chris: "My favorite song is on "Hope!" and is called "Bleeding For You."

Drew comments: "As far as favorites, I think that “The Gift” (from “Hope!”) captures in one song a lot of what we’re trying to do as a band… it’s a plea to an unbelieving loved one to stop rejecting the only true God and to receive His free gift of salvation through faith in His Son. I like its progressions musically as well. It’s got a lot of passion."

Spiritual Content of Songs - Are the songs based on what has been learned spiritually, or life experience or leadings of the Holy Spirit?

Drew: "That may take awhile because so many of them are based on one or more Bible passages. Many times we’ll even list this as part of the song title (i.e.'At War With Myself' [Based on Romans 7:19-25]). Earlier songs are more life-experienced based. Of these, my favorite is one called, 'You Can’t Hide from Yourself, (from our earliest CD, 'Unchained from Mankind'). No direct God references in that one, but a good chunk of truth nonetheless."

More Song Comments, Notes, Lyrics....

Drew: A slightly interesting side-note... In around 1997, Chris came over to my condo... I don't believe we'd done any writing together since we completed "It's A Wonderful Life" in 1995. Each of us had a new song to show the other (and of course, lyrically, neither was quite done). With my 12 string acoustic guitar, he played me "Jesus Loves You" and I played him "My Hope is In You"... the two (non-acapella) tracks that now bookend this CD. So we're talking SEVEN years it took to give birth to this baby!)

Chris: These songs wouldn't exist without the musical gifts God gave to us! Without Him we can do nothing. This CD is dedicated to our Lord & Savior Jesus Christ… and to anyone that has lost their hope along their journey. May the Lord bless you richly and fill you with HOPE!!!!!!

More Song Notes, Lyrics....

1A AMAZING GRACE (traditional- words and music by John Newton )

Lead Vocal: Miss Amanda Leah Miuccio

Production note: "Amanda’s vocal took about 2 minutes to record while Drew and I spent 2 YEARS writing, recording & producing all of these songs! My friends always make a point to say how cute my daughter sounds but only a handful have given Drew and I any comments on our efforts! We’re not jealous or angry, but it proves a good point that while a lot of hard work has merit….a small innocent voice speaks volumes."

Amazing Grace / How sweet the sound / that saved a wretch like me / I once was lost / but now I'm found / Was blind but now I see //

1B JESUS LOVES YOU - Words and Music by Jessel-Miuccio

Chris comments: "I used to REALLY hate the popular slogan from the 1970's "Smile, Jesus Loves You". Even after I accepted Jesus as my savior in 1987, it took awhile for me to hear those words and KNOW they were true. Eventually I had a desire to resurrect this phrase and put it into a context I felt it deserved to be in. Should this phrase strike you as a phony slogan, I humbly ask you to read the lyrics (on our website) and hope you see the truly joyous message it is intended to be: Jesus loves YOU in spite of you !!!!!!!!!!! To quote the Beatles, 'She Loves You' : 'With a love like that, you know you should be glad'".

Scriptural References: (Ephes. 3:16-19)

In spite of all your ugly sins / I know Jesus loves you / It doesn't matter where you've been / Just know Jesus loves you / You might feel like you want to die or maybe sit alone & cry / But listen to the reason why. so you can be forgiven /

Jesus loves you!!/ Jesus loves you!!/

Don't let the devil bring you down / Just know Jesus loves you / New Christian friends will gather 'round / Because Jesus loves you / You might feel lonely in a crowd or maybe act just a little too proud / But there's a Friend who'll help you now / So you can rise above it //

Jesus loves you!!/ Jesus loves you!!/

Why would you deny so great a love / And what on earth are you dreaing of? /The world is so full of hate today / But God's Word is right here to stay / Who will you follow?//

Tag: Open up your heart today / And let Jesus show the way /oPEN up your heart today / And Let Jesus show the way /

HE'LL SET YOU FREE - Words and Music by Drew Jesse & Chris Miuccio

Chris: "And only HE can! Next to "Stand Up!" and "Turn Back (Moses’ Song)" heard later in this disc, this song is one of our boldest witnesses lyrically and musically."

Musical note: "Drew's lead guitar playing on this song sounds like he is literally being 'set free' and to me it's his musical equivalent of my lyrical testimony. 'You tell ‘em, Drew!' Solid drumming from Wood."

Drew: "And if the Son sets you free, then you shall be free indeed!"

Scriptural References:{1Cor. 6:19b-20, Romans 6:18& 8:1-2)

Partial Lyrics

He set me free / He paid the fee / Opened my eyes / So I could see / He gave me light / And fought my fight / So tenderly / He set me free / When I was tired of being me / he set me free.//

You may be down and on the ground / With many tears for many years / He is the key so you can see the real you that you're supposed to be / So if you're tired of hearing me / Get on your knees / He'll set you free. //

It's getting close to the end / Open your heart and let Him in / There is no one greater than He / Laid down His life for you & me / So if you are ired/wih what you see / Get on your knees / He'll set you free. //

He set me free / I'm on my knees /

Tag: He'll set you free / He'll set you free / He'll set you free /

BLEEDING FOR YOU - Words and Music by Drew Jesse & Chris Miuccio

Chris Comments: "These are simple guitar chords but they always soothed me whenever I played & hummed along with them. The musical structure of this song was inspired by a little known '80's band called "Rhythm Corps" from their song "Solidarity". The lyrics were my attempt to acknowledge the amazing sacrifice of Jesus on the cross for me. ALL my thankfulness is OVERDUE!"

Musical note: The bass part was played by Jason Retana AND our faithful engineer, Marvin Sperling, due to me wanting to have 2 different interpretations. I got the best from both of them and can't thank them enough for making this song groove and emote just the way I heard it in my mind. Another fine drum performance from Wood! Drew: Can¹t say too much else about this one other than it never sounded good when we played it live, but somehow is now turned out to be one of the better ones in the studio.

Scriptural References:( 1 John 4:19, Is. 53:5)

Partial Lyrics: First and Second verse only

You gave up your life / Crushed for our misbehavior / You suffered and had strife / To be our one and only Savior / You suffered and had strife / To be our one & only Savior / All my thankfulness is overdue / My love for You / I should daily renew/ You were tortured and You bled for me, too / But I feel like I should be bleeding for you, Oh my Lord & Savior / You, Oh my Lord & Savior. //

We all go astray / Following our own way / But You are faithful & kind / Giving eyesight to the blind / All our gratitude is overdue / And our love we should daily renew / You were tortured and bled for us too / I feel we should be bleeding for

You / Oh my Lord & Savior / YOU...Oh my Lord & Savior / You / Thankyou my Lord & Savior / You ..are my Lord and Savior

Hook: Lord and Savior / Lord and Savior / Lord and Savior / You ..are my Lord and Savior / My Lord

INRO: OH THE DEEP DEEP LOVE OF JESUS (Trad) /

THE GIFT - Words and Music by Drew Jesse & Chris Miuccio

Chris: "Plain and simple...Drew & I wanted to write one for relatives and friends of ours that are nonbelievers. It's really hard to express your faith to a cynical, non-believer, especially if they're in your immediate family...but we are called to do so and will continue to do so. Hopefully this will be heard as the loving "gift" from God it was intended to be....and not an offensive 'holier than thou' insult. 'Oh dear loved ones....I know you're special, VERY SPECIAL, IN OUR FATHER'S EYES'".

Drew: "An impassioned plea, from a believer in Christ to a loved one who does not believe. "For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of god is eternal life though Jesus Christ our Lord". More directly and personally (for us), we wrote the lyrics of this song with my Mom and Chris' Dad specifically in mind. Not that a song in and of itself will necessarily change someone's mind, but it's what I (we) would say if given the opportunity and listening ears. Maybe the Holy Spirit will choose to use it. Meanwhile, it's up to all of us to 'pray continually' for our loved ones who don't know Christ."

Scriptural References: (Romans 6:23, Ephes. 2:7-9, 1 Cor. 6:19b-20)

Partial Lyrics:

Now is the time for you to be changing your mind / Your strength has diminished & all of your words have run dry / You bought the lie that blinded your eyes / You chose your own way & rejected Jesus Christ. / /

Chorus: Oh dear loved one / There's a gift for you / But your hands are holding tightly to your pride / God still loves you and gave His only son for your salvation / And He's the only one who can offer it /

No one can force you to open your heart & receive / But the gift is still offered / Though you might not think that you need it / Don't be deceived! / If you continue the way that you've been / There'll come a day when you will die in your sins. //

Chorus: Oh dear loved one / The gift is free for you / But the price was high & cost the Son his life / God still loves you but the end is near / Your destination is certainly unclear and that is what I fear. //

You will regret it if you turn your back on the Lord / His words are sharp and divide like a double-edged sword / Come on, What are you waiting for? / He said the fire of hell is for real / Please change your and or your fate will be forever sealed. //

STAND UP - Words and Music by Drew Jesse & Chris Miuccio

Chris: "I had this riff in my head for about 3 years and all I knew was it would be called "Rise Up", "Step Up" or "Stand Up" . When I first played it for Drew, he said, "That's the single!" He went away and wrote 90% of the lyrics in 2 days! Nice work, Drew ! In the studio this song was the toughest birth I've ever gone through and I hated it until the last few overdubs. Now it's the anthem I always wanted! With all that unimportant "blah-blah-woof-woof" out of the way, let me emphatically quote it: "STAND FIRM IN THE LORD AND BE STRONG IN HIS POWER! STAND UP!!"

Musical note: This riff came from me humming along to "Tomorrow Never Knows" by the Beatles. The phrase “Do it, Robby, do it” that precedes Drew’s innovative lead guitar part is a reference to Jim Morrison’s encouragement to Robby Krieger in The Doors “Roadhouse Blues”.

Drew: "A song written specifically to believers: the battle's all around us, every day. We all enlisted once we believed. "For though we live in the world, we do not wage war as the world does. The weapons we fight with are not the weapons of the world. On the contrary, they have divine power to demolish strongholds. We demolish arguments and every pretension that sets itself up against the knowledge of God, and we take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ." (2 Cor 10:3-5). (Now, if only I could consistently follow the exhortations put forth in this song!)"

Scriptural References: (Ephesians 6:10-18, 2 Cor. 10:3-5)

Partial Lyrics:

Calling God's soldiers, "It's time to get bolder....to put up or shut up / Stand shoulder to shoulder"/ Come out of hiding / begin uniting / The cause is eternal / And it's worth fighting for / STAND UP!

STAND UP! STAND UP! brother, STAND UP!

The times are uncertain and all lines are blurring; How can we be still when so many are hurting? / They're looking for something and we know the one thing to heal them / To save them / How can we do nothing? /

STAND UP! STAND UP! brother, STAND UP! Don't sit down / Stand up my sister / Stand up and be optimistic //

STAND UP! STAND UP! brother, STAND UP!

The battle is raging / The lies are engaging / His Word is our sword for the war we are waging / Pray for direction / Teach for correction / Break down pretensions & preach resurrection. /

Stand up!brother, STAND UP! STAND UP! Don't sit down / Stand up my sister / Stand up and be optimistic //

STAND UP! STAND UP! brother, STAND UP! Don't sit down / Stand up my sister / Stand up and be optimistic.//

BE STILL AND KNOW THAT I AM GOD - Words and Music by Drew Jesse & Chris Miuccio

Chris: "The whole point of this lyric is that we all get so stressed out with our daily lives that we forget that being literally "Still" for a period and focusing on God’s word can bring us great peace. Ironically it was very hard to mix this song and I actually got very angry in the studio when I couldn’t get it right and stormed out of the studio like a little baby much to the surprise of our engineer!"

Musical note: "Drew played me the chords for this song and they made me very tense so this song was known as "Tension" at first. It was his baby from day one but I helped raise the child by spending a lot of time on the vocals until it started bringing me peace (versus tension). This song has my favorite outro of all the songs we’ve done with the possible exception of our 1992 song “Die In This Kiss”. Nice Djimbe from Walker".

Drew: "Based on Psalms 46 and 22. Even Christ himself, while on the cross, knew what God¹s seeming abandonment felt like. Though there are times when we, too, may feel He’s forsaken us, we can be confident that He will NEVER leave us and that He WILL accomplish His purposes in and through us."

Scriptural References: (Psalm 22:1. John 15:16, 1 John 1:9, Psalms 46:10)

Partial Lyrics:

My God / Where have you gone? / I've cried out for so long / Trouble is near / but You seem far and my faith's turn to fear / My heart, it melts away / And I can barely pray / I am so lost and lonely / My friends have all disowned me / I wish I could die. /

I'm a slave to sin / There's no way to win / I need victory / I can hardly see / Won't you please help me / My Lord. //

You gave me life renewed / And made me trust in You / You've chosen me / Opened my eyes and caused me to see/ My sins I have confessed / I know I have been blessed / There is no peace like this / Knowing and known by Him / And if I die? / I'll be by His side / And those who know their God will stand against the tide / And though the earth give way / Our God will still remain. //

Slide guitar interlude

Be Still and know that I am God / Be Still and know that I am God / Be Still and know that I am God / Be Still and know that I am God /

IF IT WEREN'T FOR JESUS - Words and Music by Drew Jesse & Chris Miuccio

Chris: "Drew & I take it as a given that Jesus existed AND is the promised Messiah of the Old Testament so I always think of this lyric as a fantasy...but it works because rather than be like our typically blunt lyrics, it presents a new angle on looking at Jesus. If it weren't for Him and the HOPE He gives...this world would be even darker than it is. It’s always appropriate to “get down on our knees and give HIM all our praise”.

Musical Note: E!

Drew: "There are those who discount Christianity because of supposed "Christians" who, down through history, have dragged Jesus' name through the mud (think self-righteous murder "in the name of Christ"). Originally intended to answer these criticisms by painting a picture of what the world and heaven would really be like without Jesus, this song took a slightly different, more general direction. Hopefully, the result is as satisfying to all who hear it as it is to us. Musical note: Nice percussion work by Walker, and kudos to Chris for saving the bridge with the great backing vox! Also, my all time favorite bass note is played by Marvin in this song!"

Scriptural References: (John 3:16, Heb. 9:11& 28, 1Cor. 6: 19B-20)

If it weren't for Jesus / No one could redeem us / His death guarantees us / We're saved if we believe / There's hope for every sinner / A way to be forgiven / But you have to realize / He is who you need /

Sin wants to master us and Keep us as it's slave! / But we all have a choice: Eternal life or grave? / Only He can save you! /

If it weren't for Jesus / Our faith would have no reason / And everyone who sees us / Would mock and show disdain / He said He would complete us / In heaven He will greet us / Through eyes may not behold His face / He offers us His grace /

His patience is a gift but will not last for long / Deep down we all know what is right & what is wrong / Sin's crouching at our door / And we always need to pray / Without Him there'll be no help on judgement day //

Electric guitar riff interlude segues into a key change modulation into riff 2.

Bridge: Will YOU trust Jesus? / Will YOU trust Jesus? / Will YOU trust Jesus? /

If it weren't for Jesus / Love would lose its meaning / But his love surely frees us / And I'm so glad He came / If it weren't for Jesus / Satan would defeat us / Time to get down on our kness and / give Him all our praise!//

TAG: Give him all our praise! Give him all our praise! Give him all our praise!

NEVER LET YOU GO (Father Knows Christ) - Music: Drew Jessel, Chris Miuccio, Jason Retana
Lyrics: Drew Jessel, Chris Miuccio

Chris: "This is a very loving song from a Daddy to his little girl. I thank God for my daughter and wrote these lyrics for her so she’ll always know where she stands with me, even if I am not around! (Special thanks to her mommy, Valerie, for being a great Mom!). Musical note: I was late to practice one night and found Drew & Jason jamming on this special piece of music. I sang along to it and got very passionate towards the end, even though I was just singing what I call "dummy lyrics". This is a very special Piano performance by Jason Retana and was a joy to sing along to. (He played Bass on it, too!)"

Drew: "As a Dad, my prayer is that my girls will grow less and less dependent on their parents and more and more dependent on Him."

Dedicated to little angels: Amanda leah Miuccio, Autin and Sara Champlain, Julene and Autumn Jessel
And to all Christian parents.

Chris comments, "Fatherhood inspired "Never Let You Go" (from “Hope!”), and once it was finished it made me realize that as much as I love my daughter, God loves each of us even more, which is pretty amazing considering our sinful nature! To quote our lyric: "In spite of all your ugly sins, I know Jesus Loves YOU!"

Scriptural References: ( John 10:27-30, Heb. 13:6, Joshua 1:9)

My, My look how much you've grown / Let me hold your little hand in my own / I'll stand right beside you / I will be there for you, little one / I love you so and I won't let you go / And as you grow / I will never let you go //

You'll find a lot of ways to go / There's a lot a different roads and I know you're going to have to make a choice / I will pray that you will choose the road that leads to Him//

You may want to stray / Like everyone someday / And think you're gonna find your way without Him / But when you start to see how loving He will be / I know you're gonna trust in Him //

TURN BACK - Words and Music by Drew Jesse & Chris Miuccio

Chris: "In a nutshell, this is almost lyrical plagiarism and Moses may come looking for us for royalties. This by far, is the harshest lyric we've ever put to music and if it makes you uncomfortable...it's supposed to! FYI - it makes ME uncomfortable and I co wrote it and I'm singing it!"

Drew: "Deuteronomy 32, amazingly as applicable to the Church today as it was to the Israelites thousands of years ago."

Musical notes: "This is actually a remake of a song originally recorded in 1999-2000 (and written about 5 years prior to that!). Look for the original version (which has an extended, rising intro, a tastier lead guitar solo and a brilliant slapping bass part by Wayne Schmidt) on a “Rarities” CD at some future date. As for this version, another excellent one take bass part by Marvin, our relentless engineer."

Scriptural References: (Deuteronomy 32)

Partial Lyrics

Listen up people / the time has come for you to hear what I say / Let these words get into your minds / And shower your hearts like rain / I will proclaim the name of the Lord / And praise the greatness of Him / he is the rock and a god of truth / Too pure to look on our sin / He is the father who created us / And brought us back to himself / And the way we repay Him for His grace / We corrupt ourselves //

Remember the great things he has done / look at the days of old / He gave us the land and protected us / Led us & called us His own / / but we grew fat and abandoned Him / To worship things that aren't real / Neglecting Him and rejecting Him / Forgetting the God we have known / We do what we want and tomorrow we'll reap what we've sown /

Turn Back / Turn Back / I'm talking to you / Let us return to the Lord /

Turn Back / Turn Back / I'm talking to you / Let us return to the Lord.//

MY HOPE IS IN YOU - Words and Music by Drew Jesse & Chris Miuccio

Chris: This is the theme of the whole CD. Our HOPE is in Him and Him alone. Every song is an attempt to give our Lord glory and address Him in His rightful position... as our Savior!

Musical note: This is a fantastic riff by Drew and the lead guitar would make a Yardbirds period Jeff Beck proud.

Drew: This is the praise song on the CD.

Musical note: This is another remake of a song originally recorded in 1999-2000, and written well before that. For the record, the guitar solo on this new version was recorded as a guide track and was never intended to be a keeper. I never really liked it, much preferring the triple-slide, wah-wah madness on the original. As I recall, I only agreed to keep it after much persuasion (and a little bribery) by Chris!

Scriptural References: (Combination of Psalm 25 and portions of the book of Isaiah.)

Your kingdom rules over heaven / You rule the earth, sky & sea / Your mighty hand reigns forever / And You've a purpose for me / When I am weary and Burdened / I get my strength from You, Lord / I put my trust in Your promise / On eagles wing, I soar. //

I will not fear for You are with me / You save me and You set me free / You are merciful and mighty, And You strengthen me when i am weary / Oh Lord / My hope is in You. //

My hope is in You / My hope is in You / My hope is in You.//

To whom can any compare You?/ You are Creator of all / You put the stars into place, Lord / By name each one You have called / And from the earth's farthest corners, I heard Your voice calling me / To bring You glory forever / And praise through eternity. //

I will not fear for You are with me / You save me and You set me free / You are merciful and mighty, And You strengthen me when i am weary / Oh Lord / My hope is in You //

I will not fear for You are with me / You save me and You set me free / You are merciful and mighty, And You strengthen me when i am weary / Oh Lord / My hope is in You. //

My hope is in You / My hope is in You / My hope is in You.//

Bonus Tracks:

THE LORD'S PRAYER - (lyrics -The Lord / Music: Jessel-Miuccio)

Chris: "Beautiful piece of music from Drew! I always thought it should have a prayer sung over it and the Lord provided AGAIN!"

Drew:" Lyrically our strongest song yet because absolutely NONE of them came from us! (I’m a little concerned, however, about the royalty splits on this one.)"

Scriptural References: (Matt. 6:9)

Our Father who is in heaven / Hallowed be Your name / Your kingdom come / your will be done / On earth as it is in heaven / Give us today our daily bread / Forgive us our sins as we forgive those who sin against usr / lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil. //

Our Father who is in heaven / Hallowed be Your name.//

HE'S GOT THE WHOLE WORLD IN HIS HANDS - Traditional - (Adapted a little by Amanda, making it personal. One can tell she really likes little babies!)

Chris: "This is MY personal favorite and I didn't sing it or write it so it must be good! Special thanks to Ms. Pat Henkel for teaching this song to Amanda during Sunday School!"

"He's got the whole world, in His hands!"/ He's got you and me brother. in His hands/ He's got you and me sister, in His hands / He's got the little tiny baby in His hands / He's got brother and sissy in His hands / He's got you and me, Daddy / And Mommy / and ME!"/

Reviewed by Julie Carr for ChristianMusic.com

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