I Dream of Heaven

Songs of Heaven and Hope

I'm thrilled to be able to tell you about my   newest CD! As you can tell by the title, this project contains 12 songs of Heaven, Christian hope, and also a few that deal honestly with loss.

Losing my parents and Carol within 17 months has been more than enough to turn my attention to Heaven. We've always known it was waiting for us after we'd accepted Christ, but now it's more than just an expectation for me. It's already the eternal home of the adults I've loved the most. I guess an album like this was inevitable. It has been a labor of love, and to me, there's just no question but that it's the best recording I've ever been associated with. I'm so grateful that the remarks confirm this. Thanks.

I recorded this project entirely at the Upper Room Studio in Lake Mary, FL, a suburb of Orlando. It required five trips, and 66 hours in the studio until it was complete. All of the recording was done using a ProTools digital suite. The musicians and singers are the best I've ever worked with. As people who have heard the album have said, no two songs are alike, which was my hope before I began. Credit an amazing producer, Rick Morris, himself a well-known recording artist and musician. Rick also did most of the ProTools engineering duties, played flugelhorn and trumpet parts, sang some vocal backups, and wrote or co-wrote all of the rhythm, background vocal, string, and horn arrangements. Rick dedicated himself to this project in such a way that this is about as much his project as mine!

There are several old hymns on the CD, a couple of which have refreshingly updated arrangements that continue to grow on me every time I hear them. Through this process, the Lord awakened my pen, and I wrote three songs for the CD. My brother Lin wrote a wonderful song for me, which looks at death from God's perspective. My daughter Shannon asked me to sing one song for her - the first time ever. And so, I  covered the amazing song "Homesick", by Mercy Me. This song was written by Bart Millard after 3 members of their group lost loved ones during the recording of their CD "Undone". It was the toughest song I've ever tackled, and very intense. But, as Shannon says, you can't write a song like this unless you've suffered loss yourself. Several other wonderful songs from the genre of contemporary Christian music are included. One has a delightful island calypso cadence! It's so happy, and positive. The album closes with Sara Groves' amazing anthem, "He's Always Been Faithful", woven around the old hymn "Great Is Thy Faithfulness". In all, 12 diverse songs. Unusual for me, the sounds range from bluegrass, country, sacred, contemporary, and other genres of music. Live horns, strings, and wonderful backing vocals add immeasurably to the music. Sadly, the original title cut, that Carol had
written the lyrics to, was set to a secular tune that eventually, after some confusion, we were denied permission to use. But, the Lord gave me a new song last November which I recorded the week before Christmas. It bears an unusual title - "Just Two" - a song of the fellowship we have in Him, even in times of hurt and failure. Hopefully it's a worthy replacement, although it about broke my heart to have to replace Carol's heart thoughts. Perhaps two weeks before she died, she begged me to record it, and I did....But, the Disney Co., who own the copright, ultimately denied my request to use the tune. One day I might post it for a free listen, as it's a favorite of many who have heard it. And, a real favorite of mine.

Several have told me that this is an "important" album. As I've thought of that, I realize that while it has been for me, they're right. Many still carry the pain of loss, and all of us need to refocus on Heaven. In some ways, it is a different type of CD for, and from, me. And yet, I've never recorded an album that I've wanted people to listen to more than this one. So...please visit my online store, and order one? Or better yet, several! We all have friends or family members who have suffered loss. I honestly believe that these songs will bring others the comfort that they've brought to me.

I can't wait for you to hear this CD! Thanks, in advance...and please write after you hear it, and tell me your thoughts!

The Meeting In The Air, On A Golden Street, More of Heaven, Just Enough Rain, Just Two, More Than We've Ever Dreamed, When We All Get To Heaven, Face To Face, Homesick, Day By Day, Some  Things, He's Always Been Faithful.

Blessings,

Alan

Album in the Making:



Three of the musicians: L to R: Ron Cangro - drums/percussion; Greg Wyard - Guitars, and on the floor, Mike Loman - keyboards.



The background singers: Randy Nichols, Sarah Moore, Michelle Lindahl. Big Rick Morris leaning down to get some more sheet music.



The girls and Randy, sharing a mike singing bgv's.



Discussing the arrangement of the song my brother wrote, "More of Heaven".



Doug Mathews, bass player extraordinaire.



Rick Morris, man of so many talents...Producer, ProTools Engineer, Trumpet and Flugelhorn player, Arranger, and background Singer.



Studio owner and amazing photographer, Tim Kelly, videotaping fiddle virtuoso/mandolin player Jason Thomas.