Rather than clog up the online form with too much stuff, I thought it might be better to simply create a private-URL web page encompassing the Form and some additions that I hope might be useful. I deliberately did not add images or other window-dressing as the Form was information-oriented only. Whatever happens, thank you very much for your kind consideration. In our Shared Faith, Bob Bennett.
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Band/Artist Name: Bob Bennett
Contact Name: Bob Bennett
I’ve been playing music since age ten. The first of a dozen or so albums (the latest in early 2017) came out in 1979 on Maranatha! Music. I’ll be 63 years old on March 21st and, thus, ancient by the standards of the youth-obsessed pop culture that I helped build. Nonetheless, I still write, record, and tour mostly in the U.S. where I live. I still love my job very much!
In 1977, I eagerly started attending a Calvary Chapel-affiliated Church in Southern California and began writing songs reflecting my new Faith. I started singing at Bible studies, Church services, and concerts. Soon I became associated with Maranatha! Music, who released my first album. Later albums were released through CBS and Capitol-CMG (formerly EMI) affiliates. A lifetime ago in 1982, CCM Magazine named Matters of the Heart “Album of the Year”. I had some fine times touring with Amy Grant, Michael Card, Bruce Carroll, and Canadian artists Steve Bell and Carolyn Arends.
Email Address: email@example.com
Cell Phone [Voice/Text]: 00 1 (714) 206-3566
Genre (Musical Skills):
Acoustic/Singer-Songwriter. Although my recordings feature other musicians throughout, almost all of my concerts are solo acoustic.
Depending upon flights/accommodations, etc. … any of the dates might be workable.
Music Best Suited For:
Main Stage or Cafe/Acoustic Stage
What? A solo acoustic guy on a Main Stage? No light show? No rocking band? No interpretative dancers? No lyrics flashing on a screen? No star-power? Yes, that’s the idea. What is sometimes lost in our worldwide obsession with perpetual distraction and what’s-the-next-spectacle is the power of the quiet, the subtle, the nuanced. I would appreciate the opportunity to serve the Body (and all) gathered there in this way.
Personal Faith/How Reflected in My Music:
Although raised in the Catholic Church, I didn’t really become very serious about living the Faith day-to-day until age 22. This was during the Don’t Miss the Rapture ’70’s and that initially got my attention. However, the faithful Bible teaching I was exposed to eventually taught me that the Second Coming, while certainly important, was not the first concern of Scripture or my first priority as a Believer. It’s to be less about when Jesus might return and more about whether I would keep the Faith and be about His business should that Great Day come on my watch. So, when Jesus didn’t come back in the ’80’s or ’90’s, I really didn’t panic at all. I didn’t have to re-think much of anything and I simply figured it was just more time for more people to come in to the Fold.
Artistically-speaking, I think I can best be a witness for the Gospel in telling musical stories. This sort of songwriting used to be quite commonplace in many quarters of the Church but now seems to be a little harder to come by. While the culture is binging Netflix for hours at a time and sending the strongest possible message that “story” is still the coin of the realm, we Church folk seem to be content with only singing to and for ourselves. There is nothing inherently wrong with “among-us” music … “worship music”. But I think our mandate as Christian Artists is broader than we teach to aspiring artists in theory and allow in practice. There’s an old saying that people sometimes “vote with their feet”, indicating support by their presence or lack of support by their absence. In a similar way, many congregations are “voting” with their bulletins and events calendars that are almost fully devoid of musical storytelling (testimonies is song). My contention is that it’s not either/or … but both/and.
In addition to trying to keep my own advice in this regard, I love the opportunity to encourage those who are behind me on the timeline. Artists in the orbit of Church not only need pastoral encouragement and inclusion but also cheering on and equipping from those of us who literally need them to grow into the Faith-and-craft-committed artists who will rightfully take our places.
If I can help anybody to write and sing songs of deep imagination and creativity … to offer songs that will not only matter when the lyrics are projected onto a screen but when they’re sung in the pub, the coffeehouse, the living room, the hospital, the prison. Songs where the lyric does not describe worship in an almost recipe-like fashion. Songs that, when heard and interpreted by the listener, invite worship as a response. Respect for and attention to the imagination of the listener is my goal. And, of course, I dearly hope that what I do is useful soundtrack music for what God’s Spirit may wish to do in the mind and heart of those who I sing for.
I live in Southern California, so I would hope to be able to cover airfare and basic expenses related to my visit. I would also hope that the “anchor” of a scheduled appearance at the Festival would lead to other dates in the UK.
Links to Pages and Music:
Apple Music (Ignore Incorrect Books, Scroll Down to Music):
“Joy Deep as Sorrow” – – https://youtu.be/rzFiAIJWovQ
“I Saw Three Ships”- – https://youtu.be/pFe03Ck-tkg
“(I Know That) My Redeemer Lives” — https://youtu.be/BcFrN9EPzuc
“Come and See” — https://youtu.be/MGyrUmeP8ME?t=12m44s
Thoughts/Comments for Leadership Team:
Not too many grey-haired people are pictured on the Band/Artist page and only a few on the Speakers page. You know, I would love to totally help with that! Also, if workable, I would love to do a workshop to encourage artists/musicians. Songwriting, Being a Team Player in Church, Creative Permission for Christians, etc.
Over the course of a lifetime, I’ve never felt wholly comfortable with self-promotion. Truthfully, that’s less a matter of virtue and more the case that i’m just not very good at it. So IF all of this seems a bit of overkill and an ego-fest, please pardon my throw-everything in approach and try to see past if you can.
CCCM Pastor Brian Broderson and Worship Pastor Scott Cunningham have worked with me in the past.
Positive Spin Quotes:
Some other folks who I’ve worked with who know me, and if asked, may still say something reasonably nice …
“I first discovered Bob Bennett in the mid-80’s, became a huge fan, and was later honored when he appeared on my album “Chase the Buffalo” for Windham Hill. He is a national treasure and I know his music has influenced my own.” — Pierce Pettis (recording artist)
“Bob Bennett’s music is about being human, and his songs are trustworthy songs. Calling him a ‘Christian’ songwriter is kind of like calling Richard Thompson a ‘Sufi’ songwriter, Linda Waterfall a ‘Hindu’ songwriter, or any of my favorites a ‘your religious hot button here’ songwriter. The songs are skillfully crafted, the eye is keen, the heart is open. If Bob or any of these other folks edited out their religious traditions, my guess is that the songs would not be as deep or nourishing as they are.” — Bob Franke (recording artist)
“Bob Bennett is the best singer-songwriter you’ve never heard of — bar none. His songs are the soundtrack to some of my most precious memories. He is both a hero and a mentor, and writing with him was a truly special moment for me. I defy you to listen to ‘Mountain Cathedrals’ and not hear it in your head the next time you drive through the Rockies!” — Tom Prasada-Rao (recording artist)
“At last, someone for whom the term ‘artist’ truly applies! Creativity “hums” in Bob Bennett like those big old transformer boxes up along the power lines. High voltage grace and artistry flow from his great heart whatever the musical setting you’re lucky enough to experience. A poet of a songwriter, words are never wasted, notes always hand picked and perfectly positioned. A full range acoustic guitarist, Bob flows up and down the neck with a jazzman’s efficiency. He has a killer voice and an on-stage, off-the-cuff witty banter that makes every performance a delightful one-of-a-kind wonder. Bob’s one of the few treasures you really shouldn’t miss if he’s playing your hometown. Oh … and if your hometown is the same as mine, I’m the gray bearded leprechaun going nuts in the front row!” — Michael Kelly Blanchard (recording artist)
“Bob Bennett’s music connects to so many, including me, because he puts into words the range of real life emotions we all feel at any given time. A true artist, amazing guitar player and one of the nicest men on the face of the planet. If you like Shawn Colvin or David Wilcox, you will love Bob Bennett.” — Bruce Carroll (Grammy award winner)
“With huge reserves of wit and insight, and with scant sentimentality, Bob Bennett writes and sings his life and mine also. Rare and potent – don’t miss him.” — Billy Crockett (recording artist/Producer at Blue Rock Artist Ranch & Studio)
“I am pretty spoiled with my job of building guitars for, and rubbing shoulders with, many of the finest guitar players in the world. Maybe even a little jaded at times. But Bob Bennett’s music makes me remember the wonderful enchantment that music can weave over us. It is poetry and songwriting of the first order. He draws us along on a journey with him. No one does that like Bob Bennett. It is a journey worth taking…Bob is my favorite singer-songwriter!” — Kevin Ryan (world class luthier)
“I realized not long ago that Bob Bennett has become a companion in my life. Albums come and albums go but in my car and in my suitcase when I travel, there are always Bob Bennett CDs. I seem to never replace them. There is integrity to Bob’s music that delights me. I never want to be far from it.” — The Late Rich Buhler (broadcaster, author)
“Whether it’s a personal appearance on my show or playing his songs on CD, Bob always brings incredible listening experiences to my radio audience.” — Brian Mason (Nashville Radio Host)
“I put Bob Bennett in the same category as Bruce Cockburn and David Wilcox: an extraordinary singer-songwriter whose songs inspire, provoke, move, and entertain. He’s a great storyteller both in and between his songs. And his guitar work is sparkling!” — Brian McLaren (author)
“Bob Bennett is one of the most gifted songwriters any of us know about. He is able to listen to the parable of his own life and share with us what he hears the Lord saying to him and to us all.” — Michael Card (recording artist)
“When I hear Bob Bennett’s music, I’m reminded that there are still songwriters and artists among us who wear honest hearts on their sleeves.” — Phil Keaggy (recording artist)
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Thanks for slogging through all of this!