Sunday, February 18, 2018

LW St. Valentine's 2018

LW St. Valentine's 2018

L. to R.: Mike & Sharon, Tony & Denise, Greg & Anne, Chuck & Joyce, Mark & Julia, Dave & Kathy, John & Joyce

Living Waters' annual St. Valentine's Day get-together! Most of the main original couples are here.Dave said that since we call our children the "puddles" and their children the next "wave", perhaps, at this point, we should be called "old drips"? They are a handsome - albeit old - lot....

Picture above taken by our stellar waitress, Natalia!
What a marvelous time we had together! One of our main topics was the miraculous power of prayer so evident in so many ways in our lives. Many of us pray every day for the others, not for deliverance from trouble but for grace & strength in its midst, enough for true spiritual victory. No wonder the music we've been given is as it is. Here are more pictures:
All the couples! (You can see Mark taking the picture in the mirror!) Joyce D. is in the foreground....

From the other end of the table

Tony's back! Sharon, Denise (Bill), Annnnnne, Joyce, Julia

Joyce, Julia, Kathy

John, Dave, Chuck (Sergeant-at-Arms)

Greg, Tonester, Mike
We are truly blessed beyond measure. Please, do us the honor of supporting our music.

Peace & Love & JOY!
Mark LaJOIE! for Living Waters

Saturday, February 10, 2018

St. Valentine's Music Package (including a new love song!)

St. Valentine's Music Package

(including a new love song!)

 from Living Waters

We have to talk about the meaning of the day, don't we? There were actually several martyrs named Valentinus, but only one gave his life on February 14, 270 AD. In the Lord's name, he gave sight to the jailer's blind daughter, Julia. (Julia is my wife's name, so I particularly love this story!) He sent her a signed note and pink almond flowers bloomed at his grave, the start of a couple of things we do on this day.

Living Waters has been a marriage factory! Of the original band, we've produced at least ten marriages in the first wave alone, I believe; and the 'puddles' have been very busy getting married, and even the third 'wave' has already begun years ago. Our Creator, after all, made the holy bond of Matrimony as his model for human community right from the beginning, right? We have always LOVED this day way back in the 80's till now. Joyce Rossignol has usually been the organizer of our annual St. Valentine's Day get-togethers. I remember one year, my relative, Marist Fr. Roland Lajoie joined us in a renewal a vows. As I recall, at least one child resulted later from that meeting!

One of our annual St. Valentine's get-togethers
late 80's at 505 Pleasant, when many marriages started

Stories are nice but 'our gift is our song' and I thought it would be nice to put together a package of our love songs, especially a brand new and beautiful new one from Mike. Mike has outdone himself this time. Just listen to this:

"You" by Mike McBride

Isn't that gorgeous?! You ought to tell him how great it is. Go to his ReverbNation site or the LW site and tell the truth about it.

And now some of our love song videos:

CLICK this LINK! for "This Loving Stream"

CLICK this LINK! for "Stay!"

And, finally our perennial favorite, 

"We're Gonna Stay"

Happy St. Valentine's Day, especially those of you who have actually listened to and appreciated music we have produced over the years! OverFLOWing blessings in this life unto life everlasting....Peace & Love & JOY,Mark LaJOIE!

Friday, February 2, 2018

"Alive Again" Selected On MusicXRay!

"Alive Again" Selected On MusicXRay!

Music Free Screen is a new platform just launched to allow people to hear and review music. We were selected! Here is a link to the group outpost they have created for us: 

Plus we have been included on a playlist:

We are very grateful for the opportunity!

Tuesday, January 23, 2018

Feature Article on Living Waters!

Feature Article on Living Waters!

It's been seven years since we did our first interview with Lisa Hendey at Catholic Mom. Here is a follow-up article they are now featuring on their site!

Many thanks to Barb Szyszkiewicz for publishing this. She said she has been listening to us on Spotify, and really enjoying it!

Peace & Love & JOY,
Mark LaJOIE!

Saturday, January 13, 2018

Chord, Key & Covenant....

Chord, Key & Covenant....

"Covenant Love" CLICK to PLAY!

Our newest recording, "Covenant Love", was written by me, Mark, back in the 70's as part of our commitment to Covenant House. We performed it many times through those years, but it fell out of the rotation for the most part by the mid-80's. Recently, it has been revived and re-produced in a marvelous way. I thought it would be interesting to look at the song structure a little bit, in terms of chords, key changes, and, also, at the arrangement we used traditionally and here. 

Intro/Outro? It's interesting that we used an intro and outro that is not a direct musical quote from the melody in any part! That gives it a sort of wistful quality, perhaps. Back in the day, we used to use the ARP synthesizer to play over this little guitar intro. On our recording, Josh has added something similar. (By the way, the bass part was transcribed by Dave himself, reflecting what he used to play in concert.)

Chords & Keys Let's look at the key changes or modulations. The song opens in the key of G with the lead vocal in a low register and a sparse arrangement, and it actually ends up in the key of G at the end with the lead vocal an octave higher, building up in key and arrangement to a rousing finish and a gentle outro. After, the plaintive "can you hear me" echoes, it modulates up to A, using the fifth or D chord, into the "not much I can do here" verse. When it goes into the first chorus, it modulates to E in the same way as before, using the fifth. Each chorus has a 1-7-4-5 chord pattern. The modulation out of the chorus is achieved by a C#-B-F-G chord pattern going into the key of C, finding a positive place for the kid in the story. This is the part that includes the little guitar obligato. Then it uses the D to switch back into the G key. We vamp a little bit on a G octave towards the end until the background vocals hint at the chord changes and finally all the instruments come in and play G-Em-D-F-G, finally ending with the same tune for the outro as the intro.

Guitar Lead! I say I wrote the song, but, you know what? Most every song we did had parts 'written' by different members in the group. The guitar solo for "I laid it on the cross for you...." is a case in point. Greg really 'wrote' this originally. On our Classic Tracks site we have a really early version of this where Greg had still not entirely worked it out; on there he played high first and then low. But what I'm playing there is how Greg finally 'wrote' for us, starting low and ending high, bending ever so slightly. It is SO sweet, isn't it? It talks and sings like a six-string angel. Thank you, Greg!

VocalsIt was a great experience for me to sing this one again - in my closet! We used to have extra female vocals in the early days, including Marcelle Foucre, Celine Vachon, Kathy Hilliard, Barbara Mulholland and many others. Not having any of them on hand, for these tracks, I sang the very same notes they used to sing, singing in my closet. I have actually sung female parts on our recordings before, but let's face it, my voice is not ideal for THAT! BUT, Josh made them sound pretty good! The entire arrangement is pretty true to the early days, perhaps missing a few good turns by Mike & Greg, but, nonetheless, a nice clean modern take that does justice to the song's origin and to great modern techniques.

Mixing Josh's contribution is high-quality mixing and some great choices for sound. I just love the piano tone he chose for all the Mike-type twinkling. The soaring organ on the last chorus is absolutely perfect. I played the guitars, but Josh made them perfect. He made that rhythm guitar perfectly chunky and strong, especially as it comes into the positive lyrics from the negative.

In the end, I hope you can hear Him yourself, pleading to reach these poor kids, yes, but to also reach every single one of us. He has "prepared a place" for us, in this life, in His Eucharist and Church, and the room and mansion we have reserved in eternal life. Can you hear Him? Can you hear Him.....?

Peace & Love & JOY,
Mark LaJOIE!

Friday, January 5, 2018

"A Brand New Mix of A Brand New Covenant Love"!

"A Brand New Mix of A Brand New Covenant Love"!

*As of January 5, 2018 there is a newer mix of this song with more keyboards - "can you hear me? can you hear me...."

An earlier symbol used by the Covenant House ministry to runaways

Click this line below to listen!

"Covenant Love" New Studio Production

We are very pleased to present to you a new version of one or our classic concert songs, “Covenant Love”. I originally wrote out all the parts on Noteworthy Composer. Dave edited this along the way, and added his wonderfully authentic bass line. I spent a few days recording in my closet this summer; I tried to give some idea how it sounded to hear this song in person back in the day. Josh added his wonderful mixing skills, and the result is a true Living Waters treasure. I don't think there is one of us who can hear this song and not remember the amazing 'anointing', power and joy we had back in those days. There was one church in Worcester, in particular, that I was remembering, where the hospital walkie-talkie kept breaking into our show all night! The local paper was impressed with us during this show and quoted this song and “Light of the World” in particular, at some length. (A new version of L of the W is coming soon, by the by!) Below, I reprint a previous discussion about how and why we became involved raising money for Covenant House in New York. Please, enjoy!

We were wearing these t-shirts at the time we visited Covenant House & raised money for them
Early on, the group was invited to play at St. Anselm College Chapel for a talk on behalf of Covenant House. [Ironically several LW kids have later gone to St. Anselm for school.] We were impressed by the plight of runaway kids in New York City. Many of them are snatched up by pimps and others into a world of white slavery, drug addiction and disease (something we call “human trafficking” today). Some of us especially Chuck Rossignol and Tony Vassel strove to make contact and see if we could help. (After all, kids and teenagers were our ministry as well with our Confirmation days and youth-oriented concerts.) They met a fantastic guy with Covenant House named Joe Donnelly, who was a highly effective advocate and organizer. Chuck remains friendly with to this day as he works at the UN). We ended up doing fund-raisers and benefit concerts. Then, we went to stay at Covenant House right in Times Square [when it was really bad, pre-Giuliani]. We gave a concert there in the late 1978; this was when Omer Bourque was managing the group. I remember sleeping on the floor in the Chapel there and I actually lived there for two weeks. We did an early version of “Rock and Boat” (or “Boat of Peter”) with my guitar hooked up to a phlanger! Julia’s friend joined up with them and went to the Covenant House in South America for several years; they really do some great outreach.
St. Anselm where we first found out about Covenant House
Later, we came again and gave a concert right in the lobby of Covenant House for the kids. I had written a couple of songs specifically with them in mind. We performed “Covenant Love” there and we did it a lot in concert at that time. “In the streets of New York City, you’re a kid without a home…” This is one of which I’m pretty proud – it draws an analogy between the ‘covenant’ offered by the workers to the kids and the New Covenant the Risen Jesus makes with us in the Eucharist, His Body, Blood, Soul and Divinity. This is also one of the few times we performed “Streetwalker”, which pictures one of these kids out there stuck in prostitution. The song got limited, I think, because it could be so easily misinterpreted if the context of Covenant House was not understood.

Later on in 1984, we were doing that big show at Providence Civic Center (when we had that whole “Prodigal Daughter” production going on). We were standing outside (waiting for the Union workers to carry our things a few feet further in order to wait for the next Union worker to carry it a little further!) Chuck heard us jamming unplugged on “Streetwalker” and he freaked, “That’s fanTAStic! It fits the theme of what we’re doing so well and it’s AWESOME…” or something to that effect. But then he had us play it through some more and decided we shouldn’t do it. I remember two reasons: it was ‘too upbeat’ and – once again – it could be misunderstood. So, it went by the boards and, probably, rightly so. But it sure is one cool, happening piece of jive.

(Mike McBride also did many related songs like “Prodigal Song”, "I Will Not Stay", or "Don't Run Away" which formed the backbone of the Prodigal Daughter show.) Here a couple songs mentioned in our story:

"Covenant Love" New Studio Production

Thursday, December 14, 2017

A Story About "O Holy Night"

A Story About "O Holy Night"

O Holy Night (live) Click and listen!

Living Waters just LOVES Christmas! For decades, starting in the 70's, we did Christmas concerts every year, increasingly featuring our original Christmas songs. We loved doing the carols and our crowd-involving "Twelve Days of Christmas" with the placards. 

We kept it going all the way into the 90's, when we stopped 'touring' in a regular fashion. A couple of years ago, we did it one more time with all the trimmings; how glorious that was! It was just SO awesome! Here are some pictures:

One time in the early 90's we were going to do a really big Christmas show at what was our home base at the time, the Sons of Mary in Framingham. As I recall we were doing the concert with our good friend Jon Polce. Jim had set up off-the board straight recording lines that night, so it really captured our live performance well. I also remember it as one of the most electric-feeling concerts we've done. Something special was going on! Many of the live Christmas songs we've posted to our online sites and on our album are from this night; that's how good it was.

We had another guest, a married couple who performed through stylized actions and dance, like St. Francis. They came up to me right before the concert and asked me to play "O Holy Night" for them to perform to. They wanted to do two verses and then add the end of another verse. I loved the effect of this choice. Without any prior preparation on my part, the time came during the concert, and I just began to sing. A lot of times you can't really tell how well you're singing on a given night; you just trust and do the best you can. But this? This was special. I knew it was something special right from the start. I really meant every word of this wonderful carol with every fiber of my being. I think the lyric choice they made had something to do with that. It is on our album.
So, sit back and tune in to this. A Blessed Christmas to all of you....

O Holy Night (live) Click and listen!

Peace & Love & JOY,
Mark LaJOIE! of Living Waters