Tuesday, June 16, 2015

“Living Waters” on…“Living Witnesses”!

 “Living Waters” on…“Living Witnesses”!

Living Waters on Living Witnesses - link



https://www.reverbnation.com/playlist/view_playlist/3553822?page_object=artist_866715


Living Waters on Living Witnesses - link


Mary Graham has been a friend of Living Waters in the past; she had played some of our music in the original incarnation of “Adoration Radio”.  She has since pioneered a new show on Real Live Radio, entitled, “Living Witnesses”. (It is a broadcast, but, also, podcast; you can go anytime & click on the link & listen to an episode at any time.) The focus of the show is to allow Catholics to recount faith stories & blessings in an easy, conversational way. (I had the privilege of using this service when I followed their “33 Days to Morning Glory” Consecration series.)

Well! Mary contacted me and asked me to be on the show, to share some of the faith stories which I had shared on our band blog. She called me on a Monday morning and we did the recording over the phone. I talked about my conversion experience as a teen, a couple of miracle stories, and how I got the song “Make Me Free”. I then told how I met Julia and how she encouraged me to send “Peter the Rock” to John Paul II. In the last section of the hour, we talked about my recent experience with “Do What He Tells You to Do”, and how it tied into my consecration and Matthew’s health issues. Finally, I remembered back to 1974 and how I got the song “Jesus”. The basic theme was the immense Mercy of God to a poor teen, and how Our Lady, given to us as a mother from the Cross, has been so merciful in leading me and mine to The Source of Mercy, changing my water into wine. It was a wonderful conversation, and Mary Graham made me feel very comfortable.

At the head of this article, I have a link to a playlist on ReverbNation of the four songs played during the show in the order they appeared, as well as a link to the show. EnJOY!

Peace & Love & JOY,

Mark LaJOIE!

Tuesday, April 28, 2015

Alive Again

Worshipsong.com has published the two songs from our latest album! The Living Waters of the Holy Spirit is FLOWing! Alive Again

Download our album on major sites like iTunes or go here on Amazon:  AliveAgain/DoWhatHeTellsYoutoDo

Tuesday, October 7, 2014

“When Did You Record That Song?”

“When Did You Record That Song?”
We’ve recorded live shows AND done multi-track….

The question keeps coming up: when and where did you record that song? Well! I don’t really have time to give a totally complete answer for everything we have. BUT I can give you some good and interesting information. For one thing, we are STILL recording as of this past summer. It’s the most professional sounding stuff we’ve ever done, and with brand new songwriting from Mike and me.  Go, sample “Do….” & “Alive Again”. This is the era of Josh Loell coming into his own as a producer. So put the date of 2010’s on those two, “Save Me From Myself”, “Booze Blues Cruise”, “Take Me” and “Good Samaritan” for one thing. We also did newer versions of “Let Me In” and “Jesus” in this time.  I produced a lot other tunes on GarageBand myself, including re-makes of “Forever”, “Streetwalker”, “Tell the Whole World”, “Song of Love”, a Reprise of “City of Joy” and “Time to Grow”. I also recorded some non-band tunes like “Stand of Courage”, “We All Did It”, a “Credo” and “Ring the Judas Bell”.

Our official scrapbook has well over a hundred songs. For many of the early ones, we simply have no recorded versions of them at all. Some notable examples from the earliest days: “The Introduction Song” written by four of us, my “Do You Have a Song in Your Heart”, Danny’s “The Lord Will Come”, my very early meditative songs like “This is My Body” or “The Redeemer”. We did record some of those earliest shows, but who knows where they are now? Jim Babish did have some of the early live stuff – a lot of those are on our ‘Living Waters Classic Tracks’ site, but the quality isn’t always the best.

Our first real attempt at multi-track recording was our Christmas cassette in 1984, down in the cellar of the 505 Pleasant across from the Marists. (Sadly, we learned that house was torn down recently.L) This included the title track by Mike “Love’s Beginning”, “Glory”, “God is With Us” and “The Joy”. We recently put out a Christmas album including those with some later live tracks.
After Mike left in 1984 or so, I remember we had a rough transition at first; it just wasn’t the same. But we soon hit our stride as a guitar band in our own right. Circa 1985 or so, we were at the height of our powers, I think, when we did our second major multi-track session in that same cellar. We produced three wonderful tunes: “Nobody Else”, “It’s Not the Same” and “There’s a Woman”. Our constant live shows had honed us to a fine edge and these recordings, in turn, informed our live presentation. I included these three on our digital release, “Refresh”. The feeling of making those songs was incredible – we knew it was special.

Another major source of what we have on line now was another multi-track session in the early 90’s in the hall at Sons of Mary, Framingham. Probably the best track we did there was “Love’s in a Name” – now THAT was special. Also, there was “Let’s Stay”, “We’re Gonna Stay”, “Fight For Me” and a live take of “I Will Go”. The multi-track version of “City of Joy” that we did pales in comparison to the later live version. "Peter the Rock" was done shortly after this at Jim's house with me, Greg and Denise. That was sent to John Paul II and blessed by him in 1994.

Other songs you hear on our main site were taken from later live shows, notably several Sheepgate Coffehouse shows in Marlborough. We have Joe Prunera to thank for salvaging some of those. Notable sources were shows in 1987, 1995 & 2004. Some gems captured there were “Carry On”, “You Were There”, “Step Down”, “Don’t Run Away” & “Home is Where the Heart Is”.
Another very notable live source was a Christmas show at the Sons of Mary in the early 90’s. I believe Jim recorded straight off the system that time. We’ve done scores of Christmas shows, but that one stands out as being amazingly special. I remember how it felt like a one in a million night – it was one of the best concerts we ever did in many ways. From that show we got that stellar live version of “City of Joy” you hear on our site, plus “Greatest Story”, “O Little Town…” and “O Holy Night”.

In recent years I salvaged the cassette tapes from all these sessions, and put them on digital as you hear them now, alongside all the newer stuff we are making now. I think it’s fair to say, we have, and do, have something special, known as “Living Waters”….

Peace & Love & JOY,
Mark LaJOIE!

Sunday, August 31, 2014

LET ME IN!


Click http://www.reverbnation.com/q/51ai1r for the ultracool new version

The song “Let Me In” has a long history in Living Waters. It was a staple of our concerts for several years when we were active out there. I’ve always loved it. That live way of doing it is captured on our main site from back then. Greg’s live lead is superb on that version. We also have a live video somewhere featuring Joe Prunera on lead; hope to post that someday. But now, Mike has come up with an ingenious modernized version which features running WATER coming in and out – you’ve got to love THAT! I’ve placed the new and old versions back-to-back on the ReverbNation playlist at this point so you can compare. And now, I’ll let Mike speak for himself! I myself never knew he had started it so early:

I started writing “Let Me In” when I was about 12.  I remember sitting on the picnic table out front of our house in Waterboro, ME, playing it over and over again on my acoustic guitar.  We didn't live there long, maybe a year, and from there joined the Oblate Community in Natick, MA, where Living Waters was born.  So, I had some tunes brewing before we started Living Waters.  I was likely influenced by my exposure to Fr. Bob Vaillancourt , Mark Lajoie and our participation in the Maine Catholic Charismatic Choir.
 
I held on to the first verse and then struggled with completing the song for several years.  By the time I was around 20, the "I have been with you..." part (the Jesus verses) inspired and completed the 7 minute version that LW performed live, with Dave Bourque singing the Jesus verses.
 
When I was in grad school my friend Joan Hastings and I would perform this song at different events.  We would turn off all the lights and sing in the dark.  Some people didn't like the "I am Jesus" peak.  How can someone sing, "I am Jesus"?
 
These days I am inspired to write more, and faster, than ever before.  So, while we are recording all these new songs, "Let Me In" was tugging at my heart.  I kept playing it on the piano, which we never used on this song.  Finally I told Josh that I would like to record a newer version.  He was in.  
 
This song has been with me for a long, long time!  And over the years it has kept me focused on my own spirituality, always reminding me to let Him in.  This version does not say "I am Jesus", not because I think it shouldn't be sung, but because I know it does not need to be said.  I really wanted "I am the way, the truth, the life" to be the peak.  Josh's engineering really help make that happen.  Also, for the first time in my life, this seems like a sad song.  But, it doesn't have to be.  It’s all up to the listener. 

And now, ladies and gentlemen, I present to you “Let Me In”!
Mark LaJOIE!

Sunday, August 24, 2014

Peter the Rock Bible Study

August 24, 2014 "Peter the Rock" Bible Study





In view of the Gospel for today, it's only right that Living Waters should rejoice in the great grace the song "Peter the Rock" has been for us. Of course, it was personally presented to John Paul II by Ambassador Raymond Flynn. Greg and Denise and I had recorded it at Jim's house, and Julia was the one who insisted we try to give it to John Paul. Also, Joyce Drahos had created that beautiful dance for the song that we performed in concert in the picture here.  We have posted it on this blog before, but I had never posted the Bible Study about it.  Long after I wrote the song, when I had become a teacher, it occurred to me that the lyrics are all Scripture drawn from all over the Bible. For instance, Our Lord was using imagery drawn from Isaiah 22 (the first reading today) in order to explain to Peter his role. Here is part of the handout I give my students. The place Jesus said these words was significant as well. There was a pagan shrine to the God Pan near the place he spoke where great evil was done in a cave called The Jaws of Hades, or the 'gates of Hell': a pretty good audio/visual He used for that lesson! Here is part of the handout for for your learning pleasure:

 “ P E T E R   T H E   R O C K ”
By Mark A. Lajoie
(Presented by Ambassador Flynn to, & blessed by John Paul II!)
Song Analysis & Bible Study
http://www.youtube.com/v/dlUXHI-URx0 (lyric video created by a friend)

                           A                                     G                              Em  A                      G-Em
1.          SIMON, ALL NIGHT THROUGH, ON THE MOUNTAIN, I PRAYED FOR YOU
            [Luke 6:12-13; Luke 22:32]
                            A                                         G                             Em  A                  G-Em
            AND I PRAYED FOR ALL WHO’LL COME TO KNOW & BELIEVE THE TRUTH
            [John 17:17-21]
                        Am                                                                                                      E7
            BUT HOW CAN THEY KNOW WHAT’S REALLY TRUE THROUGH THE TEST OF TIME?
            [John 15:26; 16:12-13]
                        Am                                                                                                      E
            I WILL CHOOSE FOR THEM TWELVE AND FROM THE TWELVE I WILL MAKE YOU MINE
            [All NT lists of Apostles begin w/Peter; his actions show final authority]

            PETER…

                                                A                                 D                                 A
CHORUS:       YOU ARE ROCK AND ON THIS ROCK MY CHURCH WILL GROW
                        [Matthew 16:18-19; cf. Isaiah 22:20-24, especially verse 22]
                                                F#m                                           D                   Bm                   E9-E
                        YOU’RE MY VOICE AND THROUGH YOUR MOUTH MY WORDS WILL FLOW
                        [Matthew 10:40; Luke 10:16]
                                                A                                 Dmaj7
                        WHEN ON EARTH YOU BIND AND LOOSE
                        [Matthew 16:19 again]
                                                A             Amaj7          F#m – F#m (F bass)
                        I’LL DO THE SAME IN HEAVEN TOO

                                    A            F#m              Bm           E                  D         A
                        AND ALL WHO LISTEN TO ME WILL LISTEN TO YOU
                        [Luke 10:16 again]

2.          SIMON, ALL NIGHT LONG, I PRAYED FOR YOU THAT YOU MIGHT BE STRONG [Lk. 22:22-32]
            FOR SATAN HAS WANTED TO SIFT YOU, TO TEMPT AND TEST YOU ALL
            BUT WHEN YOU GET UP AGAIN, GO TO YOUR BROTHERS AND STRENGTHEN THEM
            I WILL GIVE YOU HEAVEN’S KEYS TO TEND MY SHEEP, TO FEED MY LAMBS
            [Mt. 16:19 again]                                                                      [Jn. 21:15-19]
            PETER…(CHORUS)


3.         MY SHEEP AND MY LAMBS, I’VE PRAYED FOR YOU THAT YOU MIGHT BE ONE [Jn. 21]
            ONE LORD, ONE FAITH, ONE IN HEART AND MIND IN THE SON [Eph 4:1-4; Phil 2:1-2]
            SO FLY TO THE ROCK FOR THE GATES OF HELL WILL NOT PREVAIL! [Mt. 16:18-19]
            AND LISTEN AS I TALK THROUGH MY SHEPHERD WHOM I WILL NEVER FAIL
                                                                                                                        [Lk. 12:41-48]
            JOHN PAUL…(CHORUS)


Wednesday, August 6, 2014

"Alive Again!"

 

Mike's looking pretty snazzy in those shades, eh?
“Alive Again!”
 Click this to hear "Alive Again"!

I think we have a ‘flow’ going here!  Mike has written another new song that is pretty obviously inspired. And there is a definite thematic pattern happening in Lajoie & McBride songs here. It is a joyful hope & perseverance through real life trial, fed by the certainty of final victory, at death, in the Lord’s all-powerful Mercy! This song is something beautiful that can really reach into souls with the Sword of the Spirit.

This song has a lot of amazing textures that remind me of a lot of things. Josh said that it has a Coldplay-type instrumentation; it’s a textured weave that rivals ‘what’s out there now’, yet remains true to our Living Waters roots. It also reminded me in tone of my songs “City of Joy” & “Glory”, a cry of pure joy. It is full of genuine, mature emotion. Greg’s lead coming out of the bridge – he’s just plain outdone himself again; it has the melodic arch of the Edge with the dexterity of any number of guitar heroes. Yet the bare simplicity of his intro playing perfectly fits that gentle entrance. I am just so proud of this song.  Thematically, it reminds me of Paul's advice, "Be imitators of me, as I am of Christ" AND, of course, that the same Spirit that raised Christ from death is at work in us!



Mike had these very personal comments on the experience of writing this:

Alive Again is yet another song and idea that came so quickly that I thought it too simple.  The preacher’s words were a work on, but the basic message of the song was there at the start.  At first I could not make sense of the completed song.  Soon after I had finished it, I went to a church meeting with the Loells where we met and listened to Barry Kingston talk about his life changing visit to Medjugorje.  All of a sudden, I thought, Barry would sing "Alive Again".  
 
I felt my mother beside me while writing this, literally, to the right of me while I played the piano.  Several years ago, after she died, my brother had a dream about her.  She came to him and said, "I am okay, it's not what I thought it would be, but it's good and you'll be here too."  We channel spirituality differently, but we got the same message.  His is a dream, mine is a song.  In the past few years, I have seen more loved ones die than in my entire life.  All of my recent compositions have addressed the inevitable.  We will not escape death here on earth.  But I know, with all my heart and soul, that there is so much more, this is a journey.  Learn, grow, move! 
 
A friend of mine listened to this demo and said, "That's what it's like to be in Alcoholics Anonymous."  We struggle with pressure from expectations, responsibilities, mistakes, misunderstandings, regrets, dependencies, delusions.  There are so many times in life that we need a second chance, to change the path we're on, to stand up, dust ourselves off and say, "I know who I am and what I am supposed to be!.”  
 
What did Jesus do?  He carried the greatest pain; rejection, beating, with the burden of all of our sins.  He thought that God, His Father, had abandoned Him.  They killed Him.  But, He rose from the dead.  He is alive again.  And because of Him, I am alive again.


I actually kidded with Mike because he was calling this song “AA”, but that is more than coincidental, isn’t it? I used to work at a detox for alcoholics. Yeah this meshes pretty perfectly with “Booze Blues Cruise”, “Save Me from Myself” and so on. We are all addicts and sinners. Thank God for his Good News.

Mark LaJOIE!

Monday, July 28, 2014

“Do What He Tells You to Do”!

“Do What He Tells You to Do”!

Detail from “The Wedding at Cana” by Veronese


Julia and I and a couple of the boys were driving down to the Christmas Party at Tony & Denise’s this year.  It was pretty lively all the way, but, despite the noise, throughout the drive, this song just kept coming into my head: a ‘bluesy rocker’, perfect for Living Waters, and with a strong message. (And, of course, it fit in perfectly with my faith journey at the time.) I showed Dave the song when I got there.  It was so catchy and yet so meaningful!  I used the chorus in my class when we prayed that Mystery, and the kids just loved it so much.  When I first showed the song to the group, Tony very astutely observed, “Hey, that’s the second Luminous Mystery!”…yeah, that’s right!

When the Mellos asked us to do a concert this summer, I thought this would be PERfect! We learned this song, and “Save Me from Myself” by Mike, as brand new band songs for the concert.  We learned it very quickly, and it came out beautifully live.  It really is a great Living Waters ‘band’ song! Jim recorded part of the concert version; it is posted on YouTube here:  Do What He Tells You to Do VIDEO

It became clear that we needed a studio version of this. Josh and I got together on Tuesday, June 22, 2014, and spent most of the day working – it was ‘flowing so easily’ as it says in “Love’s in a Name”.  It was so great! It only seemed like a few minutes. Mike was there in the morning as support. I was so glad to see him. We actually got most of it done on that day! Greg & Josh tweaked and added some more and? Voila! I think this really does the original vision of the song justice.  [We put out a first mix and will probably add some more in coming weeks.]

One group history story: You may notice I yell “Change!” a couple of times in this song. I do that on purpose. Back in the 70’s & 80’s, when we were doing so many shows, we used to wear these awesome costumes, like the dashikis and the blue ruffled shirts. Well, when it was time to change for the show, I used to yell, “CHANGE!” and then I would freeze into a distorted body tableau…and then another – “CHANGE!”! (Tony especially enjoyed these performances!) It was a visual pun! (Love those!) And then we would change into our clothes. This song is all about the Lord changing our hopelessness – I just had to take this opportunity to yell “Change!”….


The message is a crucial one for right now, I think. The 'beloved disciple' represents US throughout his Gospel, and that is true of this story. The Miracle at Cana was the first of Jesus’ signs and the one which first caused the Apostles to believe; and, He, Himself, is the orchestrator of the Church’s mission of love.  If we do what He says, there will be REAL change that people will see for themselves; they will be able to choose the Kingdom for themselves.  And, there IS such a thing as a “household of faith” and a “communion of saints” (a phrase from the Apostles in the earliest creed), and this truth is modelled for us right from the start in this incident.  The Apostles are brought together with Mary and Jesus by a common, living faith in the Eternal Power of Christ.  It seems Mary knew this instinctively (that happens when you’re full of grace, I guess), and that’s why she said what she did.

Further, like John 6, John 2 is very Eucharistic.  In the early catacombs, the most popular triptych of murals, seen in many places, had the Last Supper in the center flanked by the Miracle of the Loaves, and the Miracle at Cana.  This imagery was preaching the Presence of the Risen Christ when we “DO THIS” in memory of Him. When we ‘do what He tells us to do’ in this case, a miracle happens & the Risen Christ is there!  If He can change water into wine, can He not change the wine into Himself to commune with us? If He can multiply regular bread to feed so many, can He not multiply His own Body to all times and places to feed us all spiritually as we need our “daily Bread”? 

One more interesting fact is about the very unique word for “woman” from Gen 3:15, a verse sometimes called the Protoevangelion or “first Gospel”:
I will put enmity between you and the woman, between your seed and her seed.  She will crush your head, and you will lie in wait for her heel. (DRV)
This very singular word is used here in John 2 when Jesus says, “Woman, my hour has not come” AND from the cross in John 19, when he says, “Woman, behold your son”.  The “hour” when Jesus, “the seed”, and “the woman” crushed the serpent’s head was precisely on the cross! By performing his first miracle, Jesus was consenting to begin this journey to the cross! Jesus uses this special word to definitively link the Protoevangelion prophecy with the beginning and end of his mission. Of course, St. John is the perfect person to make this connection!

Well, that’s enough theologizing for one post! Bottom line? You really ought to follow Mary’s excellent advice for real in your life! “Do what He tells you to do”.  And then? Watch what happens!!

Peace & Love & JOY,
Mark LaJOIE!