Thursday, June 30, 2011

"Talk to Chuck!"

“Talk to Chuck!”  for "We're Gonna Stay"

The title is a recent ad campaign slogan I saw that made me think of my very good friend in the group, Chuck.  I can’t count all the times Chuck has stepped in to help not just me but so many other friends I know.  He’s done it again in recent days.  I was trying to get us organized for our upcoming Reunion Concert since I have some time. Pretty soon, I felt like I needed some help.  (I am pretty good at some things and I can persevere my way through my lack of ability, but anyone who knows me at all knows I couldn’t organize my way out of a paper bag.)  So who was I going to talk to?  Obviously, “talk to Chuck”!  He helped immensely like he always does.

Last night, I actually lost sleep worrying (darn, should never do that!).  What about?  I’ve been nervous about how the sound system is going to work for our upcoming concert.  I had sent an email out about it.  WELL, today Dave wrote back to say not to worry.  It turns out his brand new job is right near, a few hundred yards away, where Greg, our guitarist, works! (Dave didn’t know this before he got this job.)  Guess what?  Chuck had thought to arrange a meeting with Dave & Greg there today!  Part of the agenda was finding out what questions to ask about the sound system when he goes up to the venue in Maine tomorrow.  Can anybody say ‘Providence’?!

Way back when we were teens, so many of us used to go to Chuck’s family’s house up at the old dairy farm in Waterville; we just loved that family.  Chuck helped bring me to faith and is one of my oldest and dearest friends.  And we started playing music together at St. Paul’s Center and in the Maine Catholic Charismatic Choir back in the 70’s.  That’s when we encountered the fruity, mellifluous tones of his horn.  It’s actually a ‘marching valve trombone’.  (You can hear it in some of our songs like “We’re Gonna Stay”, the video of “Roll the Rock Over” or “Let’s Stay”.)

Chuck was sort of a godfather in the birth of Living Waters as we know it, leading practices, helping Omer or Jim in all sorts of leadership tasks.  And who can forget those oh-so-serious auditions we had early with the elaborate American Idol grading system!  Even when he and Joyce ‘left’ the group for a while, they were still driving our St. Valentine’s Day gatherings & other ‘family’ business, prayer and social life.

More than that, I know we all treasure Chuck’s jovial demeanor and joie de vivre.  He lights up the room with his silly, suave goofiness.  Recently, he served as the Master of Ceremonies at the reception for Jon and Caroline’s wedding, ably aided by his fine son, Chris.  Plus, he is a man of prayer, filling his trips with Paters and Aves.  Wonderful husband to Joyce, adored by daughter Jacqui, whose hands are filled with good deeds, just as his have always been.

I’ve written tributes to many of us in our faith family and it’s clear how much we value and treasure each other.  But I am especially glad to honor this man who strives so much not to let the left hand know what the right is doing.  He loves being the center of attention for our joy and entertainment, but he acts like a "hidden center", like John the beloved disciple behind the scenes when he is doing his work of charity.  He likes to “step down” for the sake of others.  He is now striving to attain the Permanent Diaconate.  Makes sense for someone who has such a heart for the Body of Christ.

Thursday, June 23, 2011

IT'S OFFICIAL! LW Reunion Concert August 13th!

PLACE:     Sky-hy Conference Center
                   32 Sky-Hy Drive
                   Topsham, ME 04086-5772
                   (207) 725-7577
                   Contact: Norm Houde; for LW, Chuck Rossignol

TIME:         7 PM  August 13, 2011

PRICE:     Free will offering

The group is actually doing a weekend retreat together that Saturday & Sunday.  I believe you can call the conference center about attending for the weekend if you wish.

Here's a preliminary flyer:

7 PM, Saturday, August 13, 2011
Sky-hy Conference Center
 Reunion Concert
One of the top 50 Christian bands in the world on  REVERBNATION

“Living Waters Music should be known by all Catholics….
"Never heard any better Christian rock...."
“Love the beauty you are giving to the people of the World.... "
“Most of the instrumental nuances (in all the songs) are genius!”
Refresh [is] a stirring collection of…songs” – published review
Come and Get ReFRESHed!

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Boston’s Original Name? - “Living Waters”!

Boston’s Original Name? - “Living Waters”!
William Blackstone, founder of 'Shawmut' or Boston
[  for “Love’s in a Name”]
My wife and I got “The Complete Guide to Boston’s Freedom Trail” out of the library in anticipation of one of our planned family summer outings.  I dropped my wife off at the Dollar Tree store for some ‘good stuff cheap’.  While waiting in the car, listening to Living Waters on the CD, I started reading the pamphlet, when what to my wondering eyes did appear but the following passage about the Boston Common:
“This was once the pasture of Boston’s first white settler, William Blackstone…When [his first] settlement…failed, Blackstone moved north to what the Indians called Shawmut, or ‘living waters’.”
Soon after the Puritans arrived and renamed the place “Boston” after a town in England from which many of them had come (St. Botolph’s town).
WELL!  Guess where our band Living Waters started and flourished? in the Boston area, of course.  Who knew Brad Delp & Tom Scholtz weren’t the only band to name their band after “The Hub of the Universe”?!
What’s in a name, you ask?  In the history of faith, names have always been important.  They often say a lot about who you are and what your mission is.  This coincidence makes the name of our band roll more easily off my tongue now.  As our song “Love’s in a Name” says, “…it’s flowing so easily”, just like “Dirty Water” & “Sweet Caroline” at Fenway!

Monday, June 20, 2011

"Wedding Day!"

"Wedding Day!"  for "We’re Gonna Stay” [on LW’s “Refresh”]

June 18, 2011:  Living Waters played for the Wedding ceremony of Jon & Caroline.  It was very special for Julia and me because Caroline's parents, John & Joyce, had chosen us to be the Godparents, even though we are not technically family; but we were part of the Living Waters ‘family’.  We were bursting with joy and pride and happiness that she graduated, is getting a house, is so talented and accomplished, but mostly this wonderful man, Jon, that the Good God has provided for her in her life, despite all those crazy troubles she’s had that none of us can escape.  Just so proud and pleased!
I dare say, the music was “anointed”, as God always seems to do; I don’t know why I’m so surprised every time.  This despite massive confusion, lost music, contradicting directions, tough logistics – none of it mattered, it sounded beautiful.  The blending of voices, the beautiful melding of instrumental poetry simply makes me glad I’m alive.  Originals Mark, Dave, Denise, Greg & Tonester on drums (YES, drums in church; it was holy & wonderful) were joined by children Dan, Matt & Josh.  These three young men pulled off an extraordinary acoustic version of Pachelbel’s artillery Canon.  Greg & his son transformed an Eddie Vedder instrumental into a perfect Bride’s entrance.  Caroline’s mother processed to the very same song that HER mother had processed to (played by Living Waters at her wedding 25 years ago)!  John, the father of the Bride came up to sing the Psalm “Set Me Like a Seal” (from the Song of Songs); that was awesome; perfect.  But the clincher was when the Bride & Groom came over after Communion to join us for “We Are One Body” by Dana.  [Caroline’s always been a great singer and Jon knows his music and played guitar.]  Not only does this express that they are being joined but also that we are all joined to them and supporting them in the Body of Christ!  Absolutely profound and touching for everyone, I think.

Then there was the reception.   One extraordinary moment was when Joline walked in, what should come on over the loudspeaker but “We’re Gonna Stay”, the song celebrating marriage from our CD “Refresh” in which she sings the part of the wife (sounded great, btw!).  Joline was able to turn to her son and say, “That’s me singing”!  Jon & Caroline had thought everything through so well in terms of hospitality and charity:  dedications for each of the party, 45s on each of the tables with pertinent love songs.  And the couple exudes beauty that is more than just surface; look at the picture:

Jon told us a story that was pretty amazing.  He had gone to see Eddie Vedder (the same night the Bruins were going for it – that’s dedication.)  Vedder played the song Jon & Caroline were using for the First Dance.  Apparently, Vedder hadn’t played the song since the FIRST time Jon had seen him!  (Jon, correct me if I have the details wrong!)  At any rate, cue the Twilight Zone music….isn’t it odd that he should play that song again this week after never doing it for so long??  I don’t know, seems like Providence to me.
And everybody had such fun at the reception.  We were so proud of our kids having a GREAT, funny time without anything inappropriate.  At the end, Jon officially became a member of the LW ‘family’.  The Living Waters ‘puddles’ are turning into new Oceans of God’s powerful Mercy and Grace.  Can’t wait for the next wedding!

If anybody else has impressions or anecdotes of this wonderful day, feel free to leave them!

P.S.  For the record...or should I say for the compact disc?... the First Dance was  "Forever Young" by Bob Dylan.  Perfect First Dance for them. Jon just sent me the Youtube for Eddie Vedder's first version of this in Boston in '06.