Monday, June 19, 2017

“When He Came Into My Life" He set my heart on FIRE! 2017

“When He Came Into My Life" He set my heart on FIRE2017

c. 1978; left 2 right:  Mark Lajoie, Danny Gagnon, Chuck, Jimmy, Joline, Mike & Dave out of sight

"When He Came Into My Life" Click this to listen!

This is a VERY old song written by Danny Gagnon & Dave Bourque back at the very beginning in the 70's. Mike's been busy using GarageBand himself, so! I thought I should get off the snide and do something, too.

In the early days, Danny & his brother Jimmy Gagnon were in the group. Jimmy was our drummer for those first few years and also with our secular band which we called Siloam [another water reference; that became a problem to pronounce just like in that movie “That Thing You Do” where no one can figure out “The Oneders” is pronounced “Wonders” and not “O-need-ers”!]. Danny played guitar and sang and he really wanted to write songs, too. Dave Bourque seemed to help him every time (except for “He’ll Be There” which involved Beth Medeiros?) It’s funny because sometimes Dave and Danny could get testy with each other, too, but they did manage to write some good songs. The one song the group embraced totally and used extensively was “The Lord Will Come” and I sure wish we had that one on tape somewhere! It included an awesome bass line contributed by Dave and I think the dancers did something, too. I have one flash of memory of Danny singing that song for the Steubenville Youth Conference (1978?) and it was wonderful! It got quite a reaction.

I do have one song to offer in regards to Danny. I took one song he and Dave wrote and tried to write it up on the Noteworthy Composer midi program you see featured on this site. In the process, I altered the arrangement and presentation. I had always imagined a bass line in my head for this that was never actually done and that is what I put down here. In that regard it’s similar to “The Lord Will Come”: Gagnon melody, Bourque-like bass line.

I asked Danny if it was OK to use his song and he said it was. I like the simple emotion of the lyrics: ‘He really helped me when it was bad; He can help you, too’! That’s what Danny is still saying I guess in everything he’s doing now.

Enjoy!
Mark Lajoie

Mike & Mike Again!





Now...and then! Mike now with his daughter, Clio, & back in the day with Eddie McKay & co.

Mike & Mike Again!

Mike has been hard at work, not in the studio, but by himself now, using GarageBand. He is especially doing re-makes of our old Living Waters concert songs written by him. (Btw, Mark, now that he's done teaching, has also produced something new from something very old on GarageBand.) We thought it would be interesting to put the old and the new side-by-each and let everyone take a listen.

First, let's listen to one of my favorites, "You Were There". We have often - and recently - used it for our weddings. First, let's listen to a classic (shortened) concert version:


and, then, the new version! The lyrics are a little different:


Mike has also re-done "With You I Am" into a totally different style. Here, we have an old 'classic live' version from way back and the brand new creation!:


Mike has also done his own version of a "Hail Mary". He is on fire!! Stay tuned for more from him...and me!

Peace & Love & JOY,
Mark LaJOIE!


Friday, April 21, 2017

"Home is Where the Heart Is” [live] Redux!

{A re-print about the song that is on our latest album, "Still Flowing"}


Home is Where the Heart Is (live with the whole band) 

click this line above to hear the song


*a picture of my dad, who fought in the Solomon Islands during WWII; his conversion story is told in the entry entitled "Booze Blues Cruise" on this blog


This song was almost like a prediction.  I will explain that in a moment.  It’s a unique song in that I wrote it with no consciousness of Living Waters at all.  At the time, in my mind, Living Waters was moribund as a performance group. We had become inactive.  There was not the slightest expectation I would ever do the song with them.  Well, lo and behold, the 2004 Reunion happened and, while we were practicing and planning, as an afterthought, I brought out this song.  Someone must have asked if I had written anything in those past few years.  Well, this was it.  It gelled almost instantly.  I believe we were practicing in Tony’s cellar.  In our more recent jams this past year, this is one we’re going to every time.  We love it, and why not?  It doesn’t get anymore JOYous than E-ternal life, my friend!  The transition from the bracketing quiet intro and ending with that catchy, rejoicing cant in the middle alludes to both the solemnity and desperateness AND the total joy of the death experience.  I left the final chord unresolved on purpose to hint at eternity.

I remember walking outside in Hudson, MA when this song dropped on me like a rock.  This was a horribly stressful time when we were losing everything.  In the song, I felt deeply what it must feel like to be at the dying moment, feeling my trust in my Savior being stretched and tested to the ripping point as I struggled with accepting the process of what felt like dying.  It was amazingly real.  And then came the blessed answer:  the Heart of the Lord.  The pierced Sacred Heart is the ultimate symbol of just how much we can trust Jesus.  The answer:  make my heart like your own Heart.  As long as we give all we have in love, we are already at home with the Lord and dying is just a minor transition.

And now for the prediction part. The next year my father died with great suffering.  And then the following year, my mother died.  It felt like the song was a gift meant to prepare me for these two things. I was able to be with my mother and it was a holy death.  She had had an operation for water on the brain a few years back.  It was done by the man who invented it and he had a success rate of 99% or something.  Well, this was the 1%.  My mother lost most of her short term memory.  Do you know how bad people get worse as they age and good people get better?  With her filter gone, the kindliness and sweet charity my mother had built up came flowing out, the fruit of a lifetime of virtue.  All of the VA loved her so much.  She was a saint.  It was then in 2001, watching my mother die, that it fully struck me what the song had been about all along.  It had predicted what happened with my parents.  It was a perfect preparation for my experience with my mother.  I eulogized her at her funeral Mass and testified to everyone there about the fact that she and my dad had PROVED that to live in the love of God is eternally worthwhile.

This live band version captures classic Living Waters at its best: Dave, Denise & I blending  our vocals, Greg's stellar rhythm/lead driving us, Tony playing in his familiar and brilliant style. So vibrant! So exciting! I hope you like it!

Saturday, April 15, 2017

Timely Title! "Sunrise"

Timely Title! "Sunrise"





Well!




Mike has been busy making his own new music on Garageband. The Living Waters family rejoices in this tune, just in time for the ultimate Son Rise, Easter! It is beautiful. Enjoy it in good spiritual health.

Click the link!

Sunday, March 19, 2017

Water Words in "Still FLOWing"!

Water Words in "Still FLOWing"!


Water words doing in here? Obviously, that often present word, "flow" is included in the title! Here are some of the other 'water' references found in our newest album:

1.     Booze Blues Cruise     
(First, there are wave and wind sounds at very end if you listen closely!)
The whole song concerns a figurative ship in a bottle
"Let the Spir-it come in, let it blow a-way 
Let it wash me in the seas Let my ship out of this bot-tle With a gen-tle warm-ing wind Let the wind in my sails, let it blow a-way Let me be born a-gain"
[Sailing references remind us of our previous "Rock and Boat (Boat of Peter)"]


2.     Take Me
"So, steady ahead & we will get to end, & we will catch eternity"
(This is a sailing term, that connects to the previous song). It is about going home, which makes us think of St. Therese of Lisieux's "The world is thy ship and not thy home".

3.     Home is Where the Heart Is
"A tear rolls down my cheek as I lay dying" This continues the FLOW of the home theme from "Take Me".

8.     Let Me In
Rain and flowing water sounds begin and end the track!

9.     Forever
"You were born in blood & pain
my blood fell like rain from the Altar of my Love."
This connects to the sounds from the previous song! The Blood & Water referred to in John 19 and the First Letter of John point to Baptism & Eucharist.

11.   Tell the Whole World Lots of WIND in this one, which reminds us of Booze Blues Cruise, though water is not mentioned directly. Pentecost, though dominated by fire & wind, ends with the Baptism of thousands.

12.   City of Joy (Reprise)
"There is a place to go where joy will OVERFLOW"  This song connects back to "City of Joy" in both "Refresh" and "The Joy".

And our cover is the Falls of Songs, which resemble our Refresh waterfall, the flowing stream of "Alive Again"and Niagara Falls on "The Joy".

Written on March 19, 2017, Living Waters Sunday when the Gospel is John 4.

Mark A. LaJOIE!

Thursday, March 2, 2017

The FLOW in "Still Flowing": Forever in love....


The FLOW in "Still Flowing": Forever in love....


There is a LOT of thematic AND sonic flow in our new album, "Still Flowing"! We've noted some things already in recent posts. This album brings up a lot of the transitory difficult things we face in this life: the death of loved ones, the trap of sinful or addictive behavior and loneliness, and so on. And, yet, because of the Lord's Mercy from the Cross, precisely in these things we can hear the echo of "forever", the scent of heavenly incense. Listen to "Stay" (which Mike had thought of calling "Forever in Love"), and, then, "Forever". Married covenant love, and all its struggles, leads us to Calvary and....FOREVER! Listen to one and then the other, and find out what you hear and see.

Wednesday, February 15, 2017

The New Album: "City of Joy"...AGAIN

The New Album: "City of Joy"...AGAIN!



Our newest album has roots in our previous work. One of the strongest tethers of connection is our song, "City of Joy". It was partially inspired by the book of that name and also by the appearance of the Christ child to St. Francis at the first live creche scene in Greccio, Italy, in 1222. The live version we did was included on both "Refresh" AND "The Joy"! That is a little low in volume, but the performance was scintillating. The drive of bass, guitar and drums was perfect, and I don't think we ever performed the vocals better...and it all got caught on tape! Here is that version: 

"City of Joy (live)" on Spotify



In the early 90's, we tried to capture the song on multi-track. In fact, the album we never did quite finish at that time was going to be named "City of Joy". This version was definitely not as good in comparison with the live version, but I include it here for comparison purposes:


On that intended album, I (Mark) had had an idea of doing a short 'Reprise' of "City of Joy" at the end of the album. In recent years, I worked up exactly how that would have sounded, if we'd managed to record it. And now! We end our latest album with this very Reprise, only delayed by about 20 years! Here is that latest work!


This song has gotten quite a response. My favorite comment is this: "Listening to City Of Joy now, I hear a blend of vocal harmonies most of us can only dream of..." Thanks so much, guys!
— The Stonehouse Band

True joy lies in total sacrificial devotion to ever-flowing Mercy of the Lord's Heart. Nothing can be truer or more real or more beautiful. His Joy and Mercy are "Still Flowing" for YOU!

Peace & Love & JOY,
Mark LaJOIE!