Songs from the Wilderness
Jim Rearick is excited about the release of his first CD' Songs from the Wilderness'. The title has a double meaning as he explains in the liner notes. When he first decided to build a system to arrange and record his songs, he didn't get very far before the company he worked for shut down and moved to Malaysia. Less than a month later came Sept 11 2001. The resulting economic crash practically shut down the tool and die trade in Western Pennsylvania, cutting the family income in half. We persisted, he says learning and doing whatever we could. Jim played Christian coffeehouses, some festivals, and continued to write songs. Eventually I found work in my trade, he says two and a half years later!! During this time a number of Christian friends passed on unexpectedly, making this a particularly puzzling and discouraging time. But things began to change, obviously, or there would be no CD to write this about. The other aspect of the title is that the whole CD was recorded on the family farm, twenty minutes from town in any direction. Jim did all the engineering, wrote all the songs, and played all the instruments. It's a lot better out here than it used to be, Jim says, my great granddad had to have his appendix taken out on the kitchen table here in the late 1800's!! The remarkable thing about my credentials is the lack of them, he says. Halfway through elementary school I heard the Beatles on the Ed Sullivan show. That gave me a new attitude towards music. My two older brother's had played in a band mostly for square dances which for a kid my age at the time was square indeed. A guy who grew up near by had come home from the service with a new wife. She had taken piano lessons from a music professor in the Boston area. Joan offered the local kids piano lessons, and I was a student of her's for about six years. My brother Bill taught me how chords and scales relate to each other, a good base for music creation. The combination of classical piano and music theory worked out well, along with learning guitar along the way. I had committed myself to Christ at the age of about 15, Jim relates. I ran in to a group of kids in college that had a Christian Coffeehouse which really solidified my faith. I have geat memories from that place!!Most of the same people had a fellowship which met at the YMCA in Kittanning later.There I met my wife. A guy named Bill Yount,who had written a number of songs, offered to pray for me that I might have the same ability. It was an odd thing to say, but I date my songwriting from then!! My studio now has 'Sonar' software that is used by quite a few major artists, five different guitars, a Marshall amp, a Yamaha P100 digital piano,a state of the art software synthesizer system, and gigabytes worth of audio loops. I hope folks like this CD because I have another partially written. Right I'm still learning the software synthesizer thing, and have picked up an interest in Celtic instruments, so I should continue to have a great deal of variety.