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Christian rock albums w/ sweet bass tone or playing

Discussion in 'Miscellaneous [BG]' started by DigMe, Nov 17, 2002.


  1. DigMe

    DigMe

    Aug 10, 2002
    Waco, TX
    Hey Christian rock fans. Lately I've heard some albums with some really nice bass tone or playing on them that are worth mentioning and I was wondering if you guys have any other recommendations.

    Here are a couple that I've heard recently:

    Don Chafer+Waterdeep - Whole Nother Deal
    Waterdeep is one of my favorite bands and lead singer/songwriter/guitarist Chafer has really put out a fine album here. He got together some past and present members of the 'deep and they put all this equipment (a lot of it vintage) in a circle in this big recording room and kicked out a fantastic album in about a weekend. The bassists here are Nathan Copeland and Travis Brockway. One cool thing about this album is that they list out all the instruments used on the recording and by looking at numbers and letters listed next to each musician you can find out exactly what is being played on each song. Some notables are "On Our Way to Crazy," and "O Virginia" (which has a SWEET fretless tone from a P-bass with Moses fretless graphite neck). There's one song that Travis plays a Warrior on that has a nice tone. Basically there's nice grooving bass playing and sweet tone all the way through.

    Another album is by a band called Pepper Shaker
    This is basically a project started by the drummer of Waterdeep, Brandon Graves. He's a big fan of funk-groove jam bands such as Galactic and that's the style of album this is. Nathan Copeland also plays bass on this and the tone and playing is pretty nice once again. If you like Galactic then check this out ASAP!! It's all instrumental and the instrumentation is drums, bass, guitar, sax and some very nice, funky Hammond and Rhodes playing from Brandon's wife, Christena.

    Lastly Sixpence None the Richer's latest album, Divine Discontent, is worth checking out. It's not as grooving and masterful as their last album (self-titled..their masterpiece IMO). If you were a fan of the last one though you'll probably dig this one. This one isn't particularly bass heavy but they've had some nice bass playing on their albums in the past and the playing is solid on this one. Also they do a cover of Crowded House's "Don't Dream it's Over." :) That took me back.

    So...have you guys heard any of these albums? What are some other good ones that you've heard lately.

    brad cook
     
  2. DigMe

    DigMe

    Aug 10, 2002
    Waco, TX
  3. Hey how about the bass solo on Come to me. I've been trying to figure it out. Though wouldnt do much good since no one around here knows who Waterdeep is:( Ahh well.
     
  4. DigMe

    DigMe

    Aug 10, 2002
    Waco, TX
    Yeah...Live at the New Earth is a great album. I haven't tried to figure out that bass solo yet. Anthony Case was the greatest of the numerous Waterdeep bassists IMO. After him Kenny Carter was a bit dissappointing. The current bassist who is on tour with Waterdeep, Steve Snyder, is a good fit. I saw them twice last month (for the 6th and 7th time) and he played some nice stuff using a Stingray 5 string, Don's Telecaster reissue bass and a Yamaha fretless all through an Eden Metro combo. Sounded good and I detected a bit of Motown influence in his playing. He told me he's been influenced by Marcus Miller, Nathan East and Leland Sklar among others.

    Anyway...whenever I get a practice amp maybe I'll take a shot at the Come to Me solo. My rig just doesn't go quiet enough to play in my apt without disturbing the neighbors. I'll put that in my stack of other things I want to learn. Don't know if I'll be able to pull off some of Anthony's licks anyway. That's a VERY nice solo...very musical, very fitting to the song and grooving. Seems like there's some definite Marcus Miller influence in there. When he was still playing with them though he told me his biggest influences were gospel guys such as the bassist for Hezekiah Walker etc... I also dig the nod to Bootsy (Flashlight riff) in the middle of the solo.

    Nice to come across a fellow 'Deep fan. :)

    brad cook
     
  5. cassanova

    cassanova

    Sep 4, 2000
    Florida
    Although its not exactly christian rock, it is still christian music, so Im going to say:

    Clint Brown - Live in Pensacola, very good bass playing, a little slap happy at times, but none the less very good bass playing.
    And alot of it is oh so funky
     
  6. Ok im not to fond of Michael W. Smiths music but who ever was chosen for a bass player, id like to find out who it was. The song that stands out would be Secret Ambition. That guy just tares it up! Yeah its rare finding people who have heard of Waterdeep, and they are so good too!! I wear my waterdeep t-shirt sometimes, and I get people saying they saw them, well they described the band, and its not them, unless they went like metal. Anyways, yes they have had quit a few bass players. I saw them at cornerstone in 2000. I think the guy was new, becasue he didnt really know the songs. I havent seen them since, but ive gone to thier web site a few times.
     
  7. DigMe

    DigMe

    Aug 10, 2002
    Waco, TX
    When I wear my Waterdeep shirt people always confuse them with Watermark. WAAAAY different. Watermark is somewhat saturated poppy type stuff.

    If you saw them at 2000 Cornerstone and it was a black guy on bass then it was Kenny. If it was a white guy then it was probably Travis Brockway who would have just joined. Can't remember the exact date in which Travis took over bass duties but he's not a bad player. You really gotta check out Whole Nother Deal if you haven't already. You'll like it.

    brad cook
     
  8. Steve Lawson

    Steve Lawson Solo Bass Exploration! Supporting Member

    Apr 21, 2000
    Birmingham, UK
    check out just about anything that Charlie Peacock produced in the mid-90s for awesome bass playing - his own stuff, Margaret Becker, Out Of The Grey - loads of Tommy Simms, Jackie Street and Jimmy Lee Sloas all over that stuff... same goes for Gordon Kennedy's productions around the same time...

    ...sadly, for a scene that came out of a vibrant new sound, it all got incredibly formulaic and bland later on, and once he was no longer flavour of the month, Charlie's genius was ignored... he's now back playing Jazz with guys like Jeff Coffin and Ravi Coltrane!!!

    Still, Tommy Simms playing on Charlie's 'Love Life' album is outstanding...

    Also check out the late great Vince Ebo's only solo album - even got Victor Wooten on one track...

    Steve
    www.steve-lawson.co.uk
     
  9. DigMe

    DigMe

    Aug 10, 2002
    Waco, TX
    I agree about Sloas and Simms. They play some lines that made me listen on some of those older albums. Peacock definitely had some good stuff.

    You're right about that...a lot of Christian music became pretty formulaic for a while after that but I feel like now there is some REALLY diverse stuff out there. Christian music had some pretty solid boundaries placed on it at one time (probably placed there by Nashville kingpins) but those don't apply so much anymore unless you're a band whose biggest desire is to "hit it big."

    brad cook
     
  10. Steve Lawson

    Steve Lawson Solo Bass Exploration! Supporting Member

    Apr 21, 2000
    Birmingham, UK
    Brad,

    it does seem to be improving in some areas, though it has to be said that the most interesting music coming from people of faith still operates outside CCM - Bruck Cockburn, King's X, Lifehouse, John Patitucci, Abe Laboriel, Jughead, Martyn Joseph etc. etc...

    I guess it's the constriction that comes from having to work within a pretty strict aethetic and theological frame-work that just makes it very difficult to stretch it in any direction...

    Steve
    www.steve-lawson.co.uk
     
  11. DigMe

    DigMe

    Aug 10, 2002
    Waco, TX
    That's an interesting theory. I'd never considered that the reasons for Christian music not pushing many boundaries musically might stem from theology and I'm sure there's SOME connections there. I personally felt like a lot of the problem in the late 80's and early 90's (and this still persists today) was that instead of trying to be creative musicians a lot of Christian pop and rock artists were just trying to create Christian versions of other bands out there. It seems like at that time you either had two choices... "the CCM sound" or to be in what basically amounted to a tribute band with Christian lyrics. They wanted to give the kids some alternative to say, Def Leppard, so Stryper came to be. And so on and so on... No one was really going "Let's create something original." Those were sad times for CCM.

    I agree about the most creative music coming from artists that are believers operating outside of the CCM world. Some artists that are really creative and seem to be sticking with their own thing within the CCM framework include Soul Junk, Danielson, Waterdeep, Dighayzoose (no longer around but they were cool), etc... I also have enjoyed releases from Burlap to Cashmere, Jars of Clay and Sixpence None the Richer but they don't stray as far from that CCM ideal. Not as broad a list as yours definitely but there are a few out there that I felt were worth recognizing.

    brad cook
     
  12. TWISTED

    TWISTED Guest

    Sep 8, 2002
    Perth, Australia
    P.O.D. these guys are a play alot of different styles rock/rap/reggae and more but bassist Traa Daniels is a tone freak and the music carries a good message.
     
  13. Philbiker

    Philbiker Pat's the best!

    Dec 28, 2000
    Northern Virginia, USA
    Burlap to Cashmere - Anybody Out There?

    Buy it right now if you don't have it.
     
  14. I've had a little convo with some friends about Christian music today. It seems, and we all agreed, that it does in fact try to make a carbon copy of what is popular today. But, they are usually to late, in that the "trend" is over. Take for inbstance, the boy band thing. That was really big for a long time, then towards the end(thank God it ended) ALl of a sudden these christian boy bands pop up. And they are even chessier then thier secular counter parts. I really dont listen to alot of christian music, mostly nothing really impresses me. OK yeah there is waterdeep, salvador, burlap, and cant forget old Cademons call stuff. Is their any hope? Did someone say John Pattitucci was a Christian???
     
  15. JohnL

    JohnL

    Sep 20, 2000
    Grayson, GA
    Someone else beat me to suggesting Jimmy Lee Sloas and Tommy Sims. They are BOTH on Margaret Becker's "Soul", and that one has some of the best of both those guys. In a Yes-meets-U2 kind of sound, Tommy Sims has some great stuff with Whiteheart on "Freedom", and Jimmy Lee is one of the best players no one knows, but he is all over a lot of the stuff coming out of Nashville now.
     
  16. JohnL

    JohnL

    Sep 20, 2000
    Grayson, GA
    ...and if I may, add a little to the discussion about Christian music "styles" available. I have been playing in Christian rock bands since (cough) 1983, with my current band since 1989. A lot of the Christian music labels are afraid to stick their neck out for something that is not a proven formula. Believe me, they are MUCH more open now than just 10 years ago, but it's still tough to break in with something that's off the beaten path. The problem is, that by the time the Christian record companies SEE a style or genre working elsewhere, by the time they actuall sign, record, and distribute someone, it's already yesterday's news. Nowdays, money is so tight, record companies are reorganizing and downsizing, and they're not going to throw money at anything unless it's close to a sure thing.

    That's why our band has refused to change styles all these years, and when Avante-garde New Age Orchestral Celtic Polka Rap comes back in style, we'll be ready! ;)
     
  17. DigMe

    DigMe

    Aug 10, 2002
    Waco, TX
    The interesting thing about all this is that the Christian music industry is now prospering BIG TIME while the mainstream music industry is floundering and seeing sales go down.

    brad cook
     
  18. embellisher

    embellisher Holy Ghost filled Bass Player Staff Member Supporting Member

    Yes.
     
  19. Philbiker

    Philbiker Pat's the best!

    Dec 28, 2000
    Northern Virginia, USA
    I agree. The so-called "Christian Music" industry has always worked like this since I got into it in the early 80s. It is as bad or worse than the mainstream companies IMO. The whole industry is a business run by businessmen, not a "mission". Not that there's anything wrong with that mind you, it's just that many "Christians" don't know that. There is tremendous pressure on artists to stay "safe". It's a bad scene. Many of the best artists purposely stay ont he sidelines. I'm talking about people like The Seventy Sevens, Daniel Amos, Sam Phillips, and Larry Norman (who invented the genre). (all of which are brilliant and worth buying CDs from unheard)

    There is some really good stuff in the catalogs of these companies if you're willing to dig deep. When it comes to songwriting, Phil Keaggy is often amazing, sometimes pedestrian. Mostly amazing. If you can find the three-albums-on-two-CDs release of "Ph'lip Side"/"Town To Town"/"Play Thru Me", pick it up. Also his "Sunday's Child" project is amazing, as is "The Master And The Musician", one of the best records ever made in my opinion. Anything by Rich Mullens is going to be a winner, he was one of the most amazingly talented songwriters I've ever heard.

    Also, the amazingly talented Bruce Cockburn is Christian, and faithful themes creep up in his music often. Very much OUT of the "Contemporary Christian Music" scene though.
     
  20. cassanova

    cassanova

    Sep 4, 2000
    Florida
    This might be a stupid question, but I've gotta ask to satisfy my curiosity. Is this the same Phil Keaggy that was the drummer for Night Ranger?

    One thing Ive noticed about christian music stations at least the 1 or 2 we have here, is that it's no different than main stream radio, they pretty much play the same stuff over and over again. Its all pop/rock type stuff. What I dont get is why I dont ever hear any of the stuff our pastor gives us. The Brownville, Clint Brown, type funk stuff, theres tons of other stuff we do thats really great music and I hardly ever hear any of it, if even hear it at all on the stations here.

    Sorry I dont know many of the artists names, just the songs. Im just handed a load of cd's and said learn whatever tunes I need to learn.