Tuesday, April 26, 2011

A Living Waters Connection at Steubenville

A Living Waters Connection at Steubenville

April 23, 2011 at 7:41 am

 Chuck sent us the following YouTube Video: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eec741O6GkY .
It is dedicated to Fr. Michael Scanlan, who is retiring after 50 years of priesthood. He is largely responsible, not only for the resurgence and dominance of The Franciscan University of Steubenville, but also for much of the resurgence in the Church through the Charismatic Renewal and more.

One of the main speakers in the video is Fr. Michael Higgins, the current leader in Rome of the TOR (Third Order Regular) Franciscans. He, of course, was one of the earliest members of Living Waters (on the crew), and a fellow classmate at Framingham State for many of us. My wife and I remember attending his ordination - it wasn't THAT long ago, was it?!? We are SO proud of him!!

Peace, Love & JOY,
Mark Lajoie![less]

Rocked Out Monks!

Rocked Out Monks!

March 30, 2011 at 8:51 pm
Two reactions from my kids today about my music. I was driving home with Stephen listening to the flow of songs on our album and I said, "You know, that really seems to flow pretty well" and Stephen reacted, "Well, Dad, ANY album is going to flow all right if all the songs are GREAT!" Excellent ingratiation wouldn't you say. That boy is GOing somewhere. Then, I asked the youngest Matthew what he thought, he said seriously, "Well, it's not bad or anything, but it's just not MY kind of music". Well, who do you think would like it?" "Probably some rocked out monks"!! Well, that's a pretty narrow market, but here's a blanket invitation to any & all "Rocked Out Monks" out there to listen to our music....

Click this ROCKER TunePak:

"Classic Live" version of "Tonight (He's Got the Power)"

"Classic Live" version of "Tonight (He's Got the Power)"

March 1, 2011 at 4:29 pm

[Twitter shortcut for "Tonight":   http://www.reverbnation.com/play_now/song_13650501 .]

We used to do "Tonight" in the very early 80's and it was part of a breakthrough of sorts along with songs like "Searching" and "Roll the Rock Over".  For a while, it was our opening song and the dancers had come up with a full-scale group dance for it.  This version is pretty rough around the edges (e.g. Greg double-clutching at the beginning of the bridge!) but you can feel the energy and enthusiasm.  The intro tells me this was when we first started doing the song.  I remember going to a workshop on alcoholism when I was working at detox and I brought my guitar; I was playing this and "Do You Understand" for everybody there, and they loved it.  They kept saying I ought to DO something with that; I guess we are now.

The structure of the song shows the effect of having gone to a Christian songwriter conference in Estes Park, Colorado.  I really put some thought into the lyrical contrasts:  sad - doing nothing; sad - doing too much; confrontation & personal contact; joyful recovery by ever so slightly altering a few words and from minor to major.  I later went to another conference at Estes with Mike and put this song in to be evaluated.  Their response was "Did you intend this to have a sexual connotation?".  I was pretty shocked and offended:  "Of course not!"  It was mostly the use of the word "ecstasy", I guess.  Looking back, I can see what they were saying, as thoroughly unintended as it was.  I prefer to think of it all with the innocence and enthusiasm of a young band of friends.

Quite recently, we all got together for one of our monthly pot lucks at Tony's.  I was intererrupted as I was leaving by a reporter who wanted to talk about our new album.  When we did get there the band went in the old cellar to jam; let me tell the world Tony still has hot smoking chops on the drums!  One of the first songs we played was "Tonight".  Wow, that felt just fine.  And then we took the band picture to give to the reporter.  Quite a span there, "flowing from our past" right into the vibrant present.  Whether we're too busy or feeling lonely, He STILL has the POWER to bring us together and bring us peace and joy on a night in February.

Peace & Love & JOY,
Mark Lajoie! for the band

Mark Lajoie (We also added Mike's "With You I Am")
March 1, 2011 at 4:46 pm
Charles Trella Oooh! Love both!!!
March 1, 2011 at 4:53 pm

Hey! Look at my Face on MugBook!...er...Look at my MUG on FACEBook

Hey! Look at my Face on MugBook!...er...Look at my MUG on FACEBook

February 6, 2011 at 9:32 am

We have new merchandise with the "Refresh" album cover on it!  We made a mug that does NOT have my face on it  (thankfully!).  It says "My Cup Overflows" and has the album cover on it.  Also, we made a new, less expensive T-shirt with just the album cover on a royal blue.  Isn't that coooool?!

Mark Lajoie Christine, I know you think this is cool. /Julia.
February 6, 2011 at 9:38 am
Mark Lajoie Julia helped a LOT with my mug....
February 6, 2011 at 10:09 am

'Classic Live' version of "Covenant Love" [Reprint and revision of "Covenant House Songs..."]

'Classic Live' version of "Covenant Love" [Reprint and revision of "Covenant House Songs..."]

February 1, 2011 at 6:07 pm

http://www.reverbnation.com/play_now/13606358  for new ‘classic live’ version of “Covenant Love”
http://www.reverbnation.com/play_now/5797863  for "Rock and Boat" [live 2004]
http://www.reverbnation.com/play_now/song_13650569 for “Streetwalker” [NWC version] 

Early on, the group was invited to play at St. Anselm’s College Chapel for a talk by Fr. Ritter on behalf of Covenant House. [Ironically several LW kids have later gone there 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. 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 when 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.]

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 related songs like "I Will Not Stay", "Don't Run Away" and so on. We'll try to get them here for you, too.)

Once again, I worked these up using the NoteWorthy Composer sheet music application, so there are no real voices, but, I must say, for what this is, I think got these two COLD. Dave edited "Covenant Love" and added his wonderful bass line. Because they’re NoteWorthy versions, make sure to click on “Lyrics” when you get to the Reverbnation player, so you can follow along.

UPDATE:  February 1, 2011, a new ‘classic live’ version of “Covenant Love” has been added!
Peace out
Mark L.

"Rock and Boat" after using the Google translator into Latin!

"Rock and Boat" after using the Google translator into Latin!

January 29, 2011 at 12:32 am
Video navis alto
Implet me tantam elationem
Est aurora, ortus
portans nova et speciali gentis
licet iam videor procellae
frange ut in mare
oritur usque navem Petri
est navigatio

Navigatio est! Navigatio est! Navigatio est!
Est aeternum navigasse mari

Bene INMERSABILIS em tibi saxo
ut 'quis fuit, cum ascendit
Placuit nimis credere plurimis
tamen suus 'quispiam Non possum non
Credo enim sumebant in aqua malae eram
omnes trahere usque sed usque navem oritur Petri
est navigatio

Navigatio est! Navigatio est! Navigatio est!
Est aeternum navigasse mari

Nauigamus! Nauigamus! Nauigamus!
Nauigamus in aeternum mari

Nauigamus! Nauigamus! Nauigamus! Nauigamus!



LW Christmas Party! 2010

LW Christmas Party!

December 19, 2010 at 11:18 am
LW Christmas Party!

Saturday, December 18, 2010 a bunch of us went to Chuck’s house for our annual get-together and it was really special.  Our Vermont friends were there as well as the engaged – and engaging – couple, Jon & Caroline.  There were several second- and third-generation kids along with their veteran parents.  We spent a lot of time in a prayer that had a real sense of joy to it, including singing “Jesus, I Love You” and “He is the Lord”.  We went Christmas caroling telephonically for a couple of friends who are ailing.  We had your classic Yankee Swap and then a hilarious “Living Waters Trivia” game, for which Chris & T did a great job as the MC’s.  We collected some coffee for our troops overseas, swapped some of the classic stories, caught up on all the family happenings, and had a wide variety of snacks!

Jim gave us all a great present:  a CD, entitled “Lonely Dancer”, with a ton of the older LW live classics.  You will be hearing some of those on the website as the New Year progresses, I should think!  Dave is now working on official copyrighting and I have put together a digital distribution release (like itunes, perhaps?) that should be coming out as soon as Dave is done.  Tony said he is going to help with a picture.  We’ll see.  It only took us several decades!

We are praying for all of you who have become associated with us through ReverbNation, IM Radio, Facebook and elsewhere that JOY, conversion, grace and mercy may FLOW powerfully throughout your lives.  And please pray for some special intentions, people struggling with severe illness.

Joy, JOY, JOY!
Mark Lajoie
Marcelle Foucre I wish I had known about it. I'm glad you all had fun.
December 19, 2010 at 12:32 pm
Mark Lajoie Talk to Joyce; I notice there were others not on their mailing list. The squeaky oil gets the wheel. By the way, you were the answer to one of our trivia questions...What all-female group opened for us at Marist and sang to tracks...The Outcasts?? Is that right?
December 19, 2010 at 5:34 pm
Marcelle Foucre Oh wow! I can't believe you remembered that! Yes we were the Outcasts.
December 19, 2010 at 7:47 pm
Charles Trella Wow! Looks like an awesome time. My love & prayers for a wonderful Christmas to all.
December 19, 2010 at 10:21 pm
Michael McBride Can we get the present if we were'nt there?
December 20, 2010 at 11:17 am
Mark Lajoie Jim's got one for you, I'm sure!! Talk to him right away!
December 20, 2010 at 4:27 pm

"God is With Us" [re-published with live version, 12/04/10]

"God is With Us" [re-published with live version, 12/04/10]December 4, 2010 at 9:28 am

Link to the multi-track version of "God is With Us"

Link to a live version of "God is With Us"

Here is an entry from July.  I discussed this song in the recent post entitled "Live Christmas Songs", also.

I am obliged to give credit to one man for this song. I was sitting at the piano at Our Lady of Fatima Shrine in Holliston working on this song. (Let me make it clear, I couldn't PLAY the part for piano I was composing, I was just working it out for Mike!) I was stuck; most of the song was done but it just didn't feel finished, and I was frustrated. Just then Reece McGilvrey walked up. (What fine people he and his wife were!). He asked what I was doing and I told him my frustation. I showed him what I had done. "Why don't you bring the shepherd back to his valley? Everything there is still the same humdrum life but now HE is changed, so it's all different." "THAT'S IT!" I said. That was an inspiration. He died very soon after this and I marvelled at what a farewell gift he had given me. Whenever we've done this song, I've tried to give him credit for helping me in that way.

When we were recording this, Greg and Dave used to laugh at me for the way I pronounced "just like me" - "just LAAIIKE me". HA! At the end Mike was adding a synthesizer track and he completely forgot the chords. He was screaming, "WHAT'S NEXT! WHAT'S NEXT". You'll notice he stays on one note for quite a while. Well, this turned out to be accidental GENIUS. The held note was very effective at setting the tone of 'being back in the valley'. He remembered what he was doing at exactly the right time! Serendipity!

I hope you enjoy it.

Mark L

"The Joy" & "Merry Christmas" {republished from "Christmas in July"...in July!}

"The Joy" & "Merry Christmas" {republished from "Christmas in July"...in July!}

November 29, 2010 at 6:10 pm

http://www.reverbnation.com/play_now/4609109  for “Merry Christmas”
http://www.reverbnation.com/play_now/4609214  for “The Joy”
http://www.reverbnation.com/play_now/13632562  for "The Joy [live]"
http://www.reverbnation.com/play_now/13633076  for "Merry Christmas [live]"

In 1984, we produced a Christmas cassette in that famous basement at 505 Pleasant. We spent hours laying down tracks especially Dave Bourque, Greg Loell and Mike McBride. We put most of our energy into doing “Love’s Beginning”, “Glory” and “God is With Us”. We added two previously recorded tracks that fit the theme “The Word”, and the “Magnificat”. And then we added two multi-track songs written by Mike, “The Joy” and “Merry Christmas”. Frankly, we kind of ran out of gas and time at the end. We rushed the tape out and that ‘rush’ showed in some ways. The comparative volumes of the songs varied widely and these last two tracks were a little uneven. You may notice the different parts in “The Joy” are mixed awkwardly. Mike accidentally erased “Merry Christmas” at one point (reminds me how Brian Eno almost erased U2’s “Where the Streets Have No Name”!) but he was able to salvage a version of the song.

All that notwithstanding, there are really nice things in these last tracks. Greg plugged into the central effects and added some great “wash” to the background of “Merry Christmas”. (In concert, I had the duty of approximating this on Greg’s electric with swells and harmonics!) Plus, Greg does a great turn on bass in it. There was a lot of switching off and unique additions by everyone on these. I did the “Jingle Bells” line in “The Joy” as an example. Greg’s little acoustic solo in that is sweet. There’s too much to mention, but I can’t leave without mentioning Sully’s (Kathy Sullivan Bourque) cute spoken section in the middle of “Merry Christmas”; that was awesome!

These two songs together eloquently shine with the joy of the “Reason for the Season” or “putting Christ back in Christmas” without getting at all overbearing, judgmental or preachy and they are attractive and inspiring.

I guess I could go on but as Chuck so aptly said at the Zoller House, “enough is enough”!Did the Walton’s over feed their cow? Fat Chance.



Live Christmas Songs!

Live Christmas Songs!

November 24, 2010 at 12:15 am
Live Christmas Songs!
As we celebrate Advent and Christmas, it occurred to me that we didn’t have live versions of some of the songs from our multi-track like “The Joy” http://www.reverbnation.com/play_now/13632562 or “God is With Us”.  I’ve decided to post some of them from time to time in the coming days.  (Of course, some songs fitting this title are already on here, like “City of Joy” that we did at the Sons of Mary one year; this actually far surpasses, in my opinion, the multi-track version we did.  We have put on “O Holy Night”, “Greatest Story”, “He Will Be”, John’s “Rejoice Now All Men” and “O Little Town of Judah”, also.)

Recently, I added “Christmas Time” by John.  [Here is the link:  http://www.reverbnation.com/play_now/13632827  ]  He wrote this when his eldest boy Michael was very little and looking “with wondering eyes” at the Christmas scene outside the window.  I really love this song; it’s got a beautiful, innocent feel.  Neither Dave nor I could remember who among us did the ‘chiming bell’ keyboard line in concert but it sure is nice.  Denise and I do a great job echoing on the vocals, I think.  [When Pepi was fighting with the squirrels in the walls and in his closet at 505 Pleasant Street, we would have fun with the opening of this song by adapting the words to tease him and sing to him:  “…deep in the walls you can hear the sounds of squirrels; Billy’s getting his gun, now look at them run….”!  We sure were silly in those days.]

So, we are going to add “The Joy” and “Merry Christmas” by Mike and “God is With Us”.  The way we did these songs live adds an extra dimension to them.  Like some of our other stuff, what we did live was improved and amplified by the process of recording, which in turn gave a whole new way of doing it live!  I remember I used to do the ‘ding dong’ riff on the acoustic (with Greg’s hammer-on harmonics) to start in concert and then I would put it down and come out to front the song which it really cried out for because of the “I leave my sheep in the valley” line (that’s why you have a much longer break between the first two verses than there is on the multi-track).  I would then go back up to the standing mike when I sang “I’m back with my sheep in the valley”; this made for a great audio-visual feel within the song.
“The Joy” was really fun to do live and you can almost hear the fun here.  We switch off the vocals so many times it was kind of hard for Pepi & Jim to mix, but it’s actually better balanced on this live one than on the multi-track.

We would usually END each Christmas show with “Merry Christmas” every time, and on this version you can actually hear Tom Prunera saying goodnight as we start!  [Here is the link:  http://www.reverbnation.com/play_now/13633076As I recall, Greg played Bass, Dave keyboards and I did swells and fills on Greg’s electric, trying to simulate the backwash Greg had on the recording.  From what Kathy narrated in the middle, this show was actually in early January after Christmas Day, which is what we usually did at SheepGate Coffeehouse.  Most other Christmas shows were during Advent.

Well, that’s enough for now.  Please enjoy all this music we’ve put together for Christmas.  Julia and I have been so blessed and happy to hear it all as I have been preparing.  By the way, there is a video of the dance for “Love’s Beginning”, also.  And, “IM Radio” has several of our Christmas songs in some of their play rotations.  We hope you are blessed this Season!

The ReverbNation Christmas Blog for 2010

An Early Holiday Present!

November 14, 2010 at 11:47 am

It’s Christmas Time Again!

[NOTE:  We are fully aware of the issue of “liturgical correctness” and I actually fully agree with keeping Christmas music for Christmas season in church AND it’s a GOOD thing to ‘feel the flow’ of the seasons of Advent and Christmas.  However, there’s nothing wrong with privately listening to sacred Christmas music during Thanksgiving and Advent and that it actually enhances a spirit of expectation.  Thanksgiving is next week and Advent begins November 28 this year.]

During Advent & Christmas this year, our website will celebrate in several ways.  We will feature Christmas songs at the top of the song list   We are posting a song we did with John Drahos, “Christmas Time” and a version of “O Holy Night!”.  And we are going to debut several LIVE versions of some of the songs that we already have on here, like “Glory”, “The Joy”, “God is With Us” and “Merry Christmas”.  We will also feature the tracks of Christmas songs without vocals that you can sing along with, in effect, “Christmas karaoke”!  [You can find these tracks right under the Christmas song section.]

We are also sending out to everyone on the mailing list a special ChristmasTunePak with all the Christmas songs including the karaoke tracks.  You can just click on it and it will automatically play all the songs.  It could be nice to have on while you are doing all your Christmas preparations!

We have already talked about how much Christmas meant to us as a group (for instance:  Christmas In July & O Little Town Of Judah &  Glory &  God Is With Us .)  But I thought we should talk more about what we did every year for a couple of decades.

Way back in the very beginning, we were doing an annual Christmas concert.  [We have a ‘thank you’ for a Christmas show we did for patients at a hospital in 1978.]  This continued pretty much every year for at least until the mid 90’s at Sons of Mary and Sheepgate.  I remember always being conscious of the Advent season.  In the early days, we often did “Prepare Ye the Way of the Lord” from Godspell and “A Voice Cries Out in the Wilderness”.  And, of course, we did Christmas songs.  We started the tradition of doing a Christmas carol medley, which in the early days went on for about twenty minutes (!), starting with “O Come Emmanuel” and culminating in “Joy to the World”.  At some point, we had the idea of doing the “Twelve Days of Christmas” with Chuck leading the way in his inimitably jocular style.  That was great fun for everybody and something we looked forward to every year.  {That song was a coded Catechism device for persecuted Catholics in 17th century England, in case you didn’t know.}

We were also doing Christmas concerts in the area.  For a while we were doing “Little Drummer Boy” with Dave’s little brother singing it.  One particular time, the girls never made it to the show wherever it was, so it was up to the guys to pull it off – and as I recall we really didn’t do half bad (we got it on tape).  {I think I recall someone suggesting that we lose the girls from then on, but, of course, they were only JESTing!}

Probably the best thing about these shows was how it spurred us to write so much original material.  Writing Christmas songs is such a joy in so many senses.  That night when Christ was born IS all about JOY JOY JOY.  I had already written “Glory” a few years before, but making it into a group song completely transformed it and prepped it for the laboratory of the recording sessions of 1984 and the wonderful Christmas cassette we made.  The rehearsals leading up to these shows were full of energy and excitement and the buzz of the actual night was something wonderful, almost like a foretaste of heaven.  Jesus Christ is the source of all this joy.  We hope He can be born into more hearts this season and help bring the Body together.

“Roll the Rock Over” (original style version)

“Roll the Rock Over” (original style version)

November 9, 2010 at 7:47 am

“Roll the Rock Over” (original style version)

We’ve already posted a video version of this song from the 2004 show.  In that version [ http://www.youtube.com/user/LivingWatersUtube#p/u/3/FiB7RHDLFIg ], I come out as the front man as I did for so many years.  I was going to post an audio mp3 of this concert, but I got to thinking:  why not find an earlier version when Mike played with us and I played a second electric guitar?  I thought it would be cool to catch the song in its original, earlier form.

Well, here is one of those versions.  Unfortunately, it gets cut off at the end, the sound is not so good and the mixing is uneven.  You can hear hardly any of Mike’s piano; it’s far in the background, which is an awful shame, because he really captured a wonderful bluesy feel.  (That’s the problem with these older tapes; they weren’t really made for posterity in mind.  Maybe someone can find other versions of these songs that highlight missing parts like this.)

There is plenty that is good about this, though.  I don’t know how Dave’s bass came out so loud.  It’s been a constant joke in the group that the bass always gets short shrift.  (In the very early days, it seemed like Chuck was ALWAYS telling Dave to turn down the bass during rehearsal.  One time, Dave had his bass completely off and Chuck STILL told him to turn it down!!)  Anyway, Dave’s catchy riff is right there in front.  The energy is palpable on this and we are approaching what Tony used to call “concert speed” (like “ramming speed” on those galleys in “Ben-Hur”)!  Greg’s early guitar prowess and promise is on full display.  You can actually hear my guitar in the background, although that’s where it probably belonged!  I had plenty of 50’s type reverb on it; there was a pick slide in the beginning and some bending into unison action going on.  Tony really shines on jazz-y type stuff and this is no exception.  I love Mike’s bass one-note singing on “Roll the rock over” on the chorus.  One thing I meant to mention on the other version is how strong Denise’s voice is on this and so many other things we did.

I wish you could see the video of this.  Unfortunately, the quality is not so good and it is unedited in one big chunk.  But the energy is unbelievable throughout this 1987 concert.  We had choreographed so much and everyone was moving and smiling and excitement was in the air.  It was if we had performed as a solid group just about every week for 10 years; of course, that was exactly true at the time!

The great thing about this whole process is how filled-in our picture of our past can become.  Memories naturally fade as time goes by.  But this slice of a vibrant spirit-filled past for the Living Waters ministry is a shining gift of God to our faith family.  If it helps us to be filled with thanksgiving and anticipates the glorious future and eternity the merciful Lord has for us, than it is a wonderful thing indeed.  As I cry out near the end of this song, REJOICE!  HE ROSE AGAIN!


Light of the World" LIVE!

Light of the World" LIVE!October 29, 2010 at 7:38 pm


Live version posted 10/29/10  http://www.reverbnation.com/play_now/13680897
http://www.reverbnation.com/play_now/13606935 for "Classic Live" version

{When we did our Reunion Show in 2004, we looked at some “classics” from the beginning days and tried to decide which ones to do.  “Light of the World” was an easy decision!  We decided to add this live version to the previous post about the song.  It’s a little rough around the edges – we hadn’t done it in a while at the time.  But it’s great hearing the familiar patterns and feeling the enthusiasm.  Enjoy!}

“Sing to Jesus” was the beginning of a series of new group songs. I remember learning “Light of the World” as a band in the hall that AA used to meet in at Oblates. What was that hall called? I do remember that a very young Greg Loell had joined us by that time and I was thrilled with the intro we came up with, something I just recently recalled. It was fortuitous that our big dramatic skit of the time had the same name.

I was trying to write up “Light of the World” on the Noteworthy Composer computer program recently when I realized I wasn’t totally sure how a lot of it really went! (Frankly, I remember that was the case when we were performing a lot of these, too!) Jim Babish sent me an old tape of LW doing this song and it surprised me how much I had forgotten. It helped me with the intro and where the choruses went and so forth. This song really has a lot of different stuff that made it hard to capture it on a midi program, but I have given a good effort, I think. I even put in a "Clap Track" to simulate the clapping we used to lead the people in during concerts.

There was one Protestant church we played where the local paper did a write-up on us, as I recall, that mentioned this song and "Covenant Love". They really liked that “Light of the World” was simple yet catchy and mentioned the ‘clapping thing’ we did on this one, if I’m not mistaken.  (Clap!  Clapclap!  Clap!  Clapclap!)   I believe LW got to the point where we really did do a good job at making it a good show and good, authentic prayer, too with songs like this.

Shine the light! Shine the light....!

Mark Lajoie

The "Living Waters" WAVE

October 24, 2010 at 10:20 am

 The “Living Waters” WAVE

The last couple of weeks have seen a string of successes for Living Waters music; pretty good for a band that isn’t consistently touring anymore!  One visitor recently commented that we seem to have a “rich history” and that is certainly true.  I am proud of the beautiful and copious music we have produced and, more importantly, the witness of the wonderful faith community we have built since we all married each other and formed families.  So many now are discovering that what we have is powerful and edifying and worth checking out.

We made a hit with Jim Logue, who put our song “Peter the Rock” on the October 3, 2010 version of his radio show, “The Catholic Music Express” http://www.bigcontact.com/cmexpress/october-3-2010 .  (That song was given to Pope John Paul II by Ambassador Ray Flynn and blessed by the Pope.)  He also linked us to his website, Grapevine Online http://www.gvonline.net/artists.html .

This week, special thanks to Neil Moody of ReverbNation and John Rigdon of Windows, we have gotten a featured spot on the Windows Media Guide Free Download page with our song “Nobody Else”. http://www.windowsmedia.com/mediaguide/us/music/freemusicdownloads  We have our picture featured under the moniker “Spiritual & Beautiful”.  This is the old picture of our ‘Guitar Brothers’ that they have out there [see below]:

I’ll bet THAT got some attention!!  (Some of my students were telling me it’s “cool” and “classic”; they’re probably just being nice!)  We’ve had hundreds of downloads in the last few days and continue to get lots of listeners coming to our site.
Coming up, we are going to be featured on the ReverbNation main page for the week of November 2 through November 9.  Do us a favor and check it out.
Are you curious what all this fuss is about?  Come to our site; play the music; watch the videos; read the blog.  I think you’ll find out.  Most of all, SIGN UP FOR THE MAILING LIST!  You will get a heads-up on new music or blog entries, or special features.  For instance, this Christmas we plan to feature our strong connection with the season and we will keep everyone posted through our emails, so get on the list.
Peace, love and JOY
Mark Lajoie

“Give Through Devotion”

“Give Through Devotion”

October 20, 2010 at 7:53 pm
http://www.reverbnation.com/play_now/13650538 for "Give Through Devotion [live debut]"

If I’m not mistaken, this is the only time we ever did this song as a group.  I play it every year at school for my students and I have done it solo at some coffeehouses.  This version probably suffers from being a trifle fast perhaps (and sounding like the first try it was right after being written).  But I think it’s worth posting since there are no other versions out there!  I tried to prime the crowd to join in on the final part here and I think this song could be a really good concert song through devices like that.

This was a song I wrote after I had started teaching when the group had stopped playing regularly.  It was my first job as I completed my Masters at Assumption.  Then as now I was teaching Freshmen on personal growth, giftedness and the meaning of love.  Together with my mentor, Meg Curran, I developed a lecture which I chose to call the “Feelings Lecture”.  This lecture tries to explain for the students the role ‘feelings’ plays in the normal moral life using C.S. Lewis’ Four Loves.  The new kind of unconditional, sacrificial love Christians saw among themselves was so novel in the pagan world they had to come up with their own name, “agape”.  The thing about this love was that, unlike eros or philia, it was not a feeling but a moral action.  Marriage Encounter says ‘love is not a feeling, it is a decision’, and this is what they mean.  A good word to describe this kind of love is “DEVOTION”.  The lecture strives to encourage the kids to build their conscience and act on principle not feelings.  “Devotion” is the key to happiness in life!

The actual impetus for the song involved this one particular kid.  Some of the adults were talking about him and they said something which in effect was giving up on the kid, “he’s never going to be the same’.  Well, my feeling is that God never gives up on so-called “failures”; he never gives up on any of us.

I do a little exercise where I describe how some famous person could be seen as a “failure”, until you hear the name, and you realize they refused to accept just being a failure.  I also tell the story of St. Mary of Egypt who started as a Christian-hating prostitute who specialized in seducing clergy in order to discredit the group she hated so much.  One day in Jerusalem, she decided to enter the Church of the Holy Sepulchre itself to seduce within that holiest of churches.  An unseen wall [like they had in Star Trek!] prevented her and she had to face her degradation and tailspin into hate and lust head on.  She decided to go to the desert and find the truth.  Eventually, she became so wise and holy that Emperors and Popes came to ask her advice.

This kid at my first school, as I recall, was helped a lot by a priest friend of his and really seemed to be trying to get on the right path.  As you listen to the song you can hear little scraps that allude to this kind of situation.  The whole idea sprang out of the overheard comment featured in the first verse.  If we can get enough kids to believe and love strongly, with “devotion” as advised by this song, I really DO think “the world will never be the same”!

“The Dead Will Hear” / “There’s A Woman”

“The Dead Will Hear” / “There’s A Woman”

October 18, 2010 at 6:54 pm


Here is a very different version of “There’s A Woman” done live in 1987.  What strikes you right off is that we used an ‘a capella’ fragment of another song, “The Dead Will Hear”, to introduce it.  This was done for a Christmas concert and we would use that song again more extensively for a Christmas concert at the Sons of Mary in the 90’s.  This was one of the very first songs I wrote in the 70’s, and I include the full lyrics on this ReverbNation post.  As a teen, I was excited about discovering the strong Biblical and patristic basis for the way the Church has always presented Mary’s role.  Reading the early fathers gave me a feel for how much a part of the birth of the Church Mary was, and how she has continued to be the spiritual mother Christ offered us from the Cross.  This fits perfectly with “There’s A Woman”, of course!

The recording isn’t the best but I say it’s worth posting for its uniqueness.  (The bass tom is overdriven near the beginning, but, hey, this is live, isn’t it?  They fixed it about 10 seconds in.)  It sounds like we were using the Roland Jazz Chorus amp to amplify the 12-string along with using a direct microphone.  This version is unusual in that you can make out some of Mike’s stylings on keyboard.  Dave’s fantastic and familiar, hooky bass line and Greg’s regular part and my 12-string carry the thing through with enough familiarity, despite all the variations.

The vocal arrangements are very different; we seemed to be lacking a second female voice for this and we adjusted, I guess.  I was holding the ending notes during the bridge part for some reason instead of joining in the lyrics with Denise and Dave like we do on the multi-track version [ here is the link:  http://www.reverbnation.com/artist/song_details/4776854 ] and the “O Maria” part has a lower instead of an upper harmony.  Most notably, Denise takes off riffing on “O Maria” near the end and I started responding back with ad-libs; I kind of like the idea of ad-libbing live like that.  Of course, for the coda (“Woman, there is your child…”) Pepi and Jim have the echo effects jacked up to maximum effect, which is easy enough when you’re laying down recording tracks, but tricky to do live!  Good job!

Denise has commented several times the last few years that she really misses singing, meaning how we all used to blend and bounce off of each other.  She really has been an indispensable part of the ‘LW sound’ and I think all of us are eternally grateful for her great gift, not to mention her wonderful caring and personality.  Maybe we’re all just going to have to get together real soon and do some more performing together again!

Denise Vassel thanks Mark!
October 19, 2010 at 11:59 am

“He Will Be”: Live with Mike!

“He Will Be”: Live with Mike!

October 16, 2010 at 9:25 pm

We had already posted something about this song and I will link you to that below, but I was listening to this and I just had to share it.  This 1987 version not only has Mike featured on vocals but we have his keyboard filling in the song nicely.  {As of June 2012, I have now added a snippet of video from 1993 of the version withOUT Mike.  It features Carole & Kris Prunera doing a liturgical dance for the song.  Enjoy this in good health!


Faith Story: The Noxious Weed and the Angel's Voice

Faith Story: The Noxious Weed and the Angel's Voice

October 16, 2010 at 1:48 pm
http://www.reverbnation.com/play_now/13643315  for "He That is in Us"

 My name is Mark Lajoie.  I've been doing all of the posting about Living Waters since we started our website and I was praying and hoping that others might want to make some contributions.  Well, lo and behold, Chuck Trella has stepped forward to witness.  He was with the sound crew back in the early 80's or so and he and his children have become musicians and artists in their own right.  He listened to an old song of ours that we just posted, "He That is in Us", and recounted an amazing story.  Here it is:

"Wow - I had forgotten about this song. Which is shocking because I had an experience out at UMASS that I don't think I've shared with any of you. I was feeling really down one night in the early Fall after moving out to UMASS for my first semester. A period of struggle with my faith and life in general. A guy on my floor and I had been hanging out and he convinced me to try a hit of his "finest" - umm - illicit weed substance. (Something I am really not proud of btw.)

Anyway - I went back to my room and decided to go to sleep. So I put Pink Floyd's "Wish You Were Here" on the turntable (remember those?) and laid down in my bunk. My roommate was out for the night. So I am lying there and listening and started to hear all these really high pitched counter melodies that grew louder and more disonant as it went on. (These are not there on listening now.) Anyway - it began to grow very irritating and I was going to get up and go turn it off but . . . I couldn't move. I started to get worried wondering if there had been something more in the ilicit substance than just nature? I started getting really scared. Then - I began to see shapes - shadows swirling around me - and felt like I was being pressed down into the bed - like something was holding me down. I felt like I wasn't breathing and like my heart stopped. Then suddenly I was outside my body - looking down and seeing myself lying there and all these dark shadowy shapes flying around me and the room spinning. I gotta tell you - I was REALLY scared and getting totally freaked out. I litterally thought I was dying and that I was being dragged down into the pit of hell.

Then - the line that Denise sings in this song broke though into my consciousness - "Oh yes - yes I know . . . resist the devil and he will go..." It was like the voice of an angel. I started praying the Hail Mary and Our Father - and suddenly I was back in my body, the music, motion, everything stopped, I could breathe, and move again. I prayed and praised God thanking Him for rescuing me and it was shortly after that - that I really gave myself over to faith in God and Jesus. Up till then I'd always been around it but was sort of going through the motions. I loved how I felt when I was with LW, and folk group at St. Zepherin's in Cochituate MA, but I was always struggling with my own inner prayer life and belief. LW - Mark in particular - but ALL of you in so many ways were one of the main influences that helped me stay Catholic and stay faithful to God. It helped lead me to the Newman center at UMASS - and eventually to my wife and many dear friends to this day from UMASS. THANK YOU for your openess to God's Love and to letting me (all too briefly) be part of it all with LW. Blessings and Peace to each and every one of you!"

And thank you, Chuck, for being brave enough to offer this story "so that you may believe"!

“Love In Arms” by Jim Babish & Mike McBride; Dedicated to Jim Babish

“Love In Arms” by Jim Babish & Mike McBride; Dedicated to Jim Babish

October 13, 2010 at 8:35 pm

written by Jim Babish & Mike McBride

http://www.reverbnation.com/play_now/5593077 for [live partial]  PLUS there is a "classic live" version

This has been quite a year for me and Living Waters music.  Over the summer, I started doing a whole bunch of Noteworthy Composer sheet music productions of our songs (like the "Credo" and  "A Stand of Courage"   among many that I’ve put on the site).  At the same time, someone got the idea of having a Living Waters potluck every month.  I showed up at one that was at Greg’s house and I was talking to a bunch of the guys about these music productions I had done.   A lot of the LW people were thrilled with these songs (if, perhaps, some were not so thrilled with my obsessive mono-mania and constant bugging!!)  Jim Babish, who has done so much stuff for the group over the years, was really happy about all the music and he asked me with great enthusiasm if I could work up Mike’s song “Love In Arms”; that was always one of his favorites. {I discovered from Mike after I wrote this note that Jim actually helped with the lyrics on this song!!  I never knew this!}   I fully intended to, but then having the old tapes converted and setting up the new ReverbNation website began to take up all my time, school started and I never got around to it.

But I think I got something better for Jim:  I got the real thing!  I got a hold of a 1995 show that had this version of “Love in Arms”!  Unfortunately, the video isn’t too good so I’m not putting that up, but I do have this mp3.  In this show, we invited all of our kids to come up on the stage and they were really young, mostly toddlers or young kids.  There is a gap in the sound and there is noise, but I think it captures the spirit we always had doing this wonderful, celebrating song.  It has that simple, joyful calypso feel to it.  It makes me want to say, ‘well can’t you feel the Lord’s arms around you’?!?

I’d like to honor Jim for all he’s done.  Way back at the beginning, it was he (and Tom Doran) who got us a sound system and helped us to organize into a full production, using talents he had honed with his beloved “Up with People” and with the Rascals.  [He used to joke that every group he left hit it big and that we were all waiting for him to leave!]  None of it would have happened without him.  His house, especially early on in Framingham, was like a second home for all the group.  I remember when we built all the boxes there to carry all the equipment.  Or there were the times we worked on concert tapes or looked at his toy trains or his map with pins that showed all the places we had gone.  What fun we had there.  He has been like a father, just like Ann has been like a mother starting the dance group.  For all of that we are all forever grateful.  I think we should let the Lord give us all a big HUG!!

Mark Lajoie After posting this, I discovered from Mike that Jim helped write the song!! This makes this particular dedication doubly a propos!
October 13, 2010 at 9:56 pm
Jim Babish Thank you, Mark. I appreciate that nice compliments.
October 14, 2010 at 1:32 am
Charles Trella Alright Jim!!! A songwriting credit.
October 14, 2010 at 1:37 pm

“Don’t Run Away”

“Don’t Run Away”

October 11, 2010 at 6:39 pm

I’ve talked some already in these notes about that stretch when we were supporting Covenant House in the early to mid ‘80’s.  At that time, we put together a series of songs and skits which told the Prodigal Son story from the viewpoint of a teenaged girl who becomes a runaway, the “Prodigal Daughter”.  Just from looking at the title of this one, you can see how it would obviously fit in with the theme.  Mike wrote it in February 1981 and it became a staple of all of our shows for a long time.  Later on, Carole Chatalian came up with an interpretive dance for it.

The original song was another one of those LOOOONNNGG songs that Jim used to kid Mike about.  Mike had a very long intro and another verse and chorus in there that were great enough to more than justify doing them.  However, for the 1995 Reunion (which is what we are posting now), we wanted to fit as many songs in the show that we could.  So, though we all wanted “Don’t Run Away” in the show, we figured we better cut it down some.  You may notice the intro is pretty short on this one, but if I hadn’t told you what I just did, you probably wouldn’t have noticed anything.

My contribution on this is a contrapuntal harmony, which I seemed to be doing a lot on Mike’s songs.  He told me several times in the past that I always seem to have just a little contribution that help make his songs feel complete to him.  I think that whole point is a general one musically about this group.  Many of our songs may be ‘carried’ by Greg or Dave or whoever and the songwriting by Mike or by me might be pretty good.  However, few of our songs would be quite what they are if it weren’t for this or that little finishing touch provided by all of us at one time or another.  The parts are lesser than the whole.

Maybe that explains why none of us has ever gone off into major ministry or performance by ourselves.  We are a faith family who has grown up together, supported and completed each other, a mini-archetype of the Church of Christ.  It’s never good to follow any one person too radically which is what the Lord meant when he said ‘call no one father’ [he didn’t mind the name ‘father’ as Paul made clear].  That’s why official ministry is so freeing; you’re obeying and following Jesus in the office not the person.

The song itself offers a brilliantly simple insight.  In our escapist world we are freed by being there for each other with a devoted love which is powered by the victory of Christ.  We often followed “Don’t Run Away” with “Let’s Stay” in shows for that reason!

“Jesus, I Love You”

“Jesus, I Love You”

October 10, 2010 at 4:21 pm
http://www.reverbnation.com/play_now/13648517 for "Jesus, I Love You" [live]
I remember playing this song in Bessie the Bus with Dave.  We were on our way to one of our many concerts in the very early days, around 1977. I’m not sure that I had ever shown the song to Dave and the others before this.  But I do know we all gathered around and started singing it together and that it was a great prayer experience.  It has stuck solidly in my memory through the years!  Of course, it ended up in our repertoire, especially those times we were ‘the music ministry’ for Charismatic conferences and such as opposed to our concerts.  It is simple and prayerful yet catchy and spirited.  One thing I used to do is provide music for Confessions or silent time on our Teen or Confirmation retreats and the others joined me on this occasionally.

This is as good a time as any for one amusing bus story.  We were on a long trip (was it one of the New York or Ohio trips?).  At any rate, Mike McBride suggested we play “Beetlebug”.  (Appropriate enough from him, in that I think the McBride’s had a VW Bug!)  Similar to “Punchbuggie”, it involves saying “Beetlebug” as soon as someone saw a Volkswagon Bug in order to score a point.  Well, in Connecticut somewhere, we passed what must have been the world’s BIGGEST Volkswagon Bug graveyard!!  There must have been thousands upon thousands of them!!  The whole bus load of us began saying “Beetlebug” over and over as fast as we possibly could until we all dissolved in full body-bending laughter!  The timing was just PERFECT!  Awesome!

This version is from the 1995 Reunion show.  In that show, we were trying to provide a snapshot of ourselves throughout our two decades and this song was done early in the show as an example of an early song.  I think it really came out great!  [Sorry it gets cut off in the beginning.]  At the end, we used to repeat “Jesus, I Love You” while some of us went into spontaneous praise and prayer or ad lib lyrics.  At this show, I did the ad-libbing and we kept it fairly short, but it really gives you an idea what it was like to do this song.  It’s a song that you almost can’t help praying, it has such a deep spirit of gratitude and hope.  I’m hoping any of you listening can be blessed with this same spirit in the midst of the worries and cares of your days and lives.  And may you learn to walk with and trust the Prince of Peace.

"Rock and Boat (Boat of Peter)"

"Rock and Boat (Boat of Peter)" [live video]

October 9, 2010 at 11:47 am
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ayGb3rlsFQQ  for video
http://www.reverbnation.com/play_now/5797863  for an audio mp3 version, posted 10/30/10

It was August in 1980. I had moved out on my own in a room at a roach-filled boarding house in downtown Framingham. It was very discouraging and my faith was shaken. I would struggle over the next few years. But there was a great interlude where I reconnected with my faith and wrote two songs at the same time, songs that I treasure. One was “I See His Face” and the other was this song. I think I was partially influenced by a song on the radio, “Sailing” by Christopher Cross; you can probably hear that in the intro. But I took this in another direction. I didn’t just want the swaying feel of the “boat” on the ocean, I also wanted the hardness, sureness and excitement implied by the word “rock”, both the object AND rock music. It was going to be about a Rock AND a Boat - hence, the title!

This idea came from a sense of what the Church is. St. Paul presents the Church as something we believe IN, in the same way we believe in Christ, an ‘object of faith’. This means we don’t have to be overly discouraged by the failings and humanness of the leaders or members. Jesus guaranteed the truth in the Church by the power of His Spirit, which is very reassuring in an ever-changing world with its storms and waves.

A main influence for the song was the famous prophetic dream of St. John Bosco. [A famous painting depicting it is below.] Writing in the 19th century, he foresaw that there would be a Council about the mid 20th century that would unloose a horrible storm within the Church and thus the world. He saw that the storm would not subside until the Pope, the Vicar of Christ, had firmly retied the “Barque” or Boat of Peter to the twin pillars of the Bread of Life and the Motherhood of Mary (given to us by Christ from the Cross). You can see this in the first verse: “Though it may seem so stormy now so as to smash it into the sea, up it rises the Boat of Peter it is sailing.”

Obviously the prediction about Vatican II was pretty amazing. I was convinced that John Paul II was the Pope to fulfill the recovery part of this; he had already written a beautifully Biblical re-centering of Marian Devotion at that point and he was obviously reviving and making Eucharistic devotion relevant. I think time has confirmed the truth of my opinion. He went on to pretty firmly tie the boat to the pillars, I think.

Further, I saw all this from a personal level: the Church had literally saved my life when I was a teen in a storm and I had seen its rock-like Apostolic truth save so many others: “it seemed too much for most to believe, but it’s something I can’t afford not to” A lot of people in this prejudicial culture just can’t see this, but I’m sure grateful and I’m hoping others can be saved from the storm of destruction.

When we first started doing this, I used an ancient flanger foot-shaped pedal that sounded a lot like Queen. It sounded like waves! We did the song in the first Covenant House show, the time we slept in the Chapel. Eventually, the more competent hands of Greg stepped in and we made it a two electric combo. The version we present here displays Greg fully and you may notice the nice applause he got coming out of the lead. I really love that part where Dave Bourque on bass and I form a back and forth rhythm-bed under Greg; we then roll over to that power chord part and then segue into the last full-throated unison anthem. This video was from the 2004 Reunion and, like some other LW kids, young Dave Babish shows his chops sitting in on drums. (This does get cut off at the end, but I think it’s worth posting as is.) The thing about this song is I think it actually accomplishes the goal of conveying the feeling I wanted to convey. I am rejoicing in gratitude for the gift the Church represents for so many and this song seems to sing that out with great joy!

Charles Trella Great write up and nice vid. Thanks!!
October 9, 2010 at 2:44 pm
Mark Lajoie Thanks, Chuck! Were we doing that one when you were around??
October 9, 2010 at 3:15 pm

Dual Dynamic Dance Demonstrations

Dual Dynamic Dance Demonstrations

October 6, 2010 at 5:49 pm

 Here are the links for live concert dance videos:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BwLKACz1YZA   for “Peter the Rock”
www.youtube.com/watch?v=CQjfxD5yTt4  for “Love’s Beginning”

One thing we haven’t posted to date on our site is an example of live dance in concert.  Well, thanks to Dave Bourque, not only are we doing that, but we are putting on TWO at once!  These are taken from Mary Gillis’ production of the 2004 Sheepgate Reunion Concert, as were “Roll the Rock Over” and “Parable of the Talents”.  There were so many dances we used to do.  My master list shows 22 original songs that had dances, not to mention so many others that weren’t original, like “The Penitential Dance” or “I Love You, Lord”.

“Love’s Beginning” is Mike’s song and we already have that beautiful multi-track on here, but this dance evolved fairly soon after we started performing it, as I recall.  It really is quite wonderful, don’t you think?  I think the ‘team’ feel of it is what makes it so wonderful.  The personnel of the dancers varied from decade to decade, but I’m glad this version has the best of old and new.  (It should be noted that several of the dancers and their own daughters have pursued ballet and other dance on their own.)  Here we have LW originals Kathy Bourque, Joyce Drahos and Anne-Marie Loell and Kathy’s daughter, Jackie – what a team!!  Jackie just said that she learned it the week before the concert – we couldn’t tell, Jackie!  You may also notice a great guest solo by Joe Prunera who now plays in a metal band out in Arizona.

“Peter the Rock” is the song I wrote for John Paul II.  The version I sent to him is also already posted on here, plus a photo montage I created, but it has upset me that we didn’t have video of the beautiful dance Joyce Drahos created for this song.  Joyce, Kathy and Jackie once again perform and I find the portrayal of ‘Jesus’, ‘Peter’ and us the ‘lambs’ visually powerful in conveying the message in the song, that he is praying for all of us who have come to believe through Peter, the Apostles and their successors.

Let these two examples stand as a grateful testament to all of the prayerful dancing done throughout the years of the Living Water ministry!