March 2014 Newsletter

Hey Steady On fans!

The  big news this month is we’ve launched a Kickstarter Campaign to get CD pressed for our album “Through The Darkness”. Rewards include free concert tickets, posters, CDs, or even a live performance from Jenny and Jeff! Please consider pledging for this and/or sharing with your friends.

We’ve been practicing with the full band and cannot wait to play for those of you in the Atlanta area. We’ll be leading worship on the 30th this month at Christ Church Suwanee with the full band, so if you are in the Suwanee/Buford area, we’d love to see you visit and worship with us!

We’re also gearing up for the Boudreaux’s concert on May 18th. Remember that tickets are $10 for single entrance, or $15 for a group pass. You can also get a free group pass by pledging to our Kickstarter Campaign.

February Bog Articles

Jeff added four blogs this month:

Teaching The Rebellious To Rebel: Checking our motivations. Are we really interested in transformation, or is apparent “righteousness” just another manifestation of a rebellious spirit?

The First Act Of Grace: Considering our created need for vulnerability.

The High Cost Of Free Will: When the people we love make bad choices.

Stage Diving Without A Net: Jeff is inspired by the rash act of his four year old!

Final Words

This is newsletter #4- thanks for supporting the band. We hope you too see you at the blog and our shows!

February 2014 Newsletter

Hey Steady On fans!

Already 2014 is flying by. It seems like we just did Christmas and already we are gearing up for Valentine’s day! (quick random fact: February 14th is Jeff’s Birthday!)  We didn’t play out this month, but we did practice for some new shows we’ve booked, including one with the full band. We’re really excited about being able to do some of the songs the way they were recorded on the CD.

We also got some of our photos back, and it’s safe to say that Jenny is overjoyed to have a picture where she’s smiling! Those of you who have seen us play live know that original pic we were using from the video doesn’t characterize her bubbly personality at all. So now we have some better photos. And coming soon: a poster! We’ll let you know when that’s available.

We are still working out plans for printing physical CDs for those who are interested, which may include creating a small Kickstarter campaign. Be on the lookout for more info on that in the next month or so.

New Dates On The Calendar

We have two new dates coming up. The first is that we will be leading worship at Jeff’s church on March 30th.

The second date is a the full band concert mentioned above at Boudreaux’s on May 18th. For more info check out the event on Facebook. Please share and invite your friends: tickets will be $10 or $15 for a “group pass” (for couples, families, or whoever wants to come in as a group).

More Blog Madness

Jeff continued to write weekly, this time writing a little bit about the joys and challenges of being a musician along with examining some trends in the evangelical church. Here’s brief recap of the last month:

Why I Love Being A Musician: Jeff talks about the great joy he has writing and performing music and why it’s so important to him.

When Worship Is Great: Reflecting on his experience as a worship leader, Jeff discuss our focus in worship and the struggle to keep the main thing the main thing.

Good Vs. Godly: Stemming from a conversation between friends, this post explores whether “good” and “Godly” can be opposing ideas.

Marriage And Children: Idols?: The most popular blog entry thus far, Jeff questions the focus of the church on family to the point that people who don’t fit the profile can be left out.

What’s Coming February 

We hope to finalize plans for printing CDs as well as start promoting our concert in May. Also more rehearsals with the full band, so we’ll try to post some pics! Posters might possibly be coming, but we’ll be sure to let you know if/when that happens.

Final Words

This is newsletter #3- we’ve seen a few more visits and shares for the Steady On Blog, so keep em coming along with the comments.

January 2014 Newsletter

Hey Steady On fans!

Happy New Year! We hope you had a great Christmas and are looking forward to 2014.  2013 was pretty exhausting for us as we recorded and released the new album, but we have great hopes to see some more live performances and promotion for Through The Darkness in the coming months. We also hope to create some more merchandise so you can support the band, so be looking for posters and physical CDs soon!

Christ Church Suwanee’s Christmas Party

We had a blast playing (along with many other musicians) at Christ Church Suwanee’s Christmas Party. For a small church, there sure is a lot of talent running around! We played a few of our tunes, but also Andrew Peterson’s “Labor of Love” which was such a treat to do.

The Blog Is Chugging Along

We hope you’ve enjoyed Jeff’s thoughts this month as he’s put out a new blog weekly. We know they aren’t exactly Steady On related, but as Jeff likes to write about struggles and victories in the faith in his music, the blog is following suit. If you have an suggestions or questions you’d like he or Jenny to answer, feel free to drop us a line and ask! In case you missed them, here are some brief summaries of what Jeff wrote this month:

The Evangelical Attack On Self : Jeff recounted his struggle with the ideas of “self” and “selfishness” and how often the evangelical church can feel like it is attacking the former in persuit of tearing down the latter.

What Makes A Great Pastor?: Bringing it close to home, Jeff talks about his own pastor and why he is such an encouragement

Celebrity Pastors: A discussion of the modern phenomenon of “Celebrity Pastors” and the good and bad that comes with it.

My Thoughts On Duck Dynasty: What blogger didn’t talk about this topic?

Dealing With Tough Cultural Issues: Jeff writes about his view of how to react when the culture and scriptural ethics do not align.

What’s Coming In January

We hope we’ll finally new promo packs with our music video and new photos from our recent photo shoot. We admit that we are not marketing geniuses, so we look forward to seeing what Chip Orton (who did our cover art for “Through The Darkness”) of Stellar Dog Media comes up with and hope that the new packs will help us book some live shows around the Atlanta area. We also plan to make them available to fans who are interested. Chip is also designing some posters, so look for those as well. Finally, we hope that soon we’ll be able to produce some physical CDs for “Through The Darkness” for those of you who are interested.

Final Words

Well, we’ve successfully put out our second newsletter; we hope you are enjoying the updates. As always, we love it when you comment and give us feedback, so head on over to the Steady On Blog to say “hi”!

December Newsletter

Hey Steady On fans!

We’re going to try something new, so let us know what you think: a monthly newsletter to let you know what’s going on with the band and keep in touch. We’ll publish it on the blog and email it out to our fans, so if you want to comment on the goings ons, you now have a place to do it.

New Blog

The first exciting bit of news is the new blog. We transitioned Jeff’s old blog entries off the steady on website and onto WordPress because we just think it’s a better platform for exposure and interaction. It’s mostly going to be Jeff’s thoughts and not strictly related to the band, but it will probably center mostly on topics of Steady On, Christianity, and music.

New Addition For Live Shows

Meagan Shaw has been joining Jenny and Jeff for live acoustic shows adding her talented voice and percussion abilities. Meagan is a fantastic musician and songwriter, accomplished on many instruments, so make sure you come out to hear her; we might even be adding some of her songs to our show! She’s also an accomplished guitar player, so if we get a chance to do any full band gigs, she’ll be playing guitar. All around just a neat person, Jeff and Jenny are thrilled to have her around and part of the Steady On family!

Looking Back At November

We played at two coffee shops during November, Abundant Grounds Cafe and Boulder Creek Coffee, and had a blast at both. It was neat getting a chance to connect with some new folks as well as hear some other local (and not so local) musicians. We hope that those of you who are near us will get a chance to come out and see us the next time we play. If you do, make sure to introduce yourselves. We always want to connect with our fans.

We also created a page on Reverbnation, quickly ascending to the top spot on the Suwanee Christian Rock charts, and are very pleased with that. Hopefully that will be another opportunity for people to hear our music.

What’s Coming In December

We are excited to be performing at Boudreaux’s in Duluth for Christ Church Suwanee’s open mic night. It will be a great time with many different acts from Christ Church, including Laura Sully. Meagan will also be performing some of her own songs (as well as playing with Laura and us- whew!). For our part, we’ll be playing a couple of originals along with some Christmas music.

We are also printing out press kits to send to local churches to make them aware of our performance and worship ministries, so if you know of a church who might be interested in having us out to play some of our music or lead worship (or both!), make sure to let us know.

We pray that you all have a happy holiday season and a very blessed Christmas!

Steady On

Is “Steady On” A Christian Band?

I guess the answer to this question is pretty obvious- there’s no mystery that the music of Steady On is faith based. But the better question might be, WHY is Steady On a Christian band? Or maybe even what is it that makes it such?

In some respects, it is only because there are lyrics and lyrics have the potential to speak truth that this question even somewhat pertinent. Music is an art form, but certain kinds of art can be more didactic than others- some Christians insist that music be very specific and obvious or it isn’t worth much at all. These folks want clarity and to know that the songs are about Jesus. Can the same person enjoy other forms of art that are less clear- like say an abstract painting, or do they insist that every painting obviously be about Christ? And for some, the goal of listening to Christian music is because they want to enjoy art that is “safe”, a line of reasoning that I will write about later in a separate post.

In my opinion, art exists for its owns sake. It does not need to be about Jesus to have worth. Music is one form of communicating emotions, and when combined with lyrics it can be a powerful way of expressing concrete ideas fused with feeling. Such a wonderful gift it is that we can do this- and by “we”, I mean human beings, not just Christians. The ability to make music is truly a treasure whatever we may choose to write about.

A lot of Christians see the content of a faith based song as the primary reason for singing it, and the “artistic” value as secondary. But I’m a firm believer if an artist isn’t driven to make the art, then it will not be a compelling experience for the intended audience. Art is about touching people in a way that mere words cannot do– and while there may be concrete ideas in a song, there is always some part that is abstract, subjective, and emotional. If those less concrete aspects are manufactured to serve the transmission of the didactic, then the song really just becomes a vehicle for ideas, not something birthed from genuine passion.

Honestly, if people want to understand what I think is true, then they can come to my blog or just ask me questions. The naked written or spoken word is more than sufficient for that goal. I need not construct a clever argument with an emotional component to try and convince someone of what I think or believe. But when you listen to a Steady On song, you are getting more than just ideas- you are getting that abstract creative side of me too. That creative side is connected with the ideas in the lyrics, even if the point of contact isn’t completely defined– and that’s what makes it art.

I said up front that Steady On is a Christian band– so obviously we have an agenda here, right? Not really– it’s not a goal, it’s a description. Because I am moved to write music about faith and as performers we are compelled to sing about such things, it’s an outflow of who we are, not a goal we are trying to reach. In fact, I LOVE writing about my faith and I’m glad that what I do has more significance than just a tune I sing. When some truth about God is communicated to someone through song and they see it in a new light, then there is nothing more satisfying than being a part of the communication of that truth. But in the same breath I can say I’ve never committed to not writing about a beautiful meadow, a love song, or even a political statement: those types of songs are not off limits. Thus far, they are just not the passions I’ve had inside that needed to be expressed in song.

I write Christian songs because I am a Christian and my faith is important to me. I write Christian songs because I believe music can be encouraging to believers, and encouragement is a passion of mine. And I write Christian songs because I really don’t have a desire to write anything else. I have no problem wearing that label, but I hope as long as I do it will be a description of the art I’ve chosen to make, not a constraint I must obey– or even worse a marketing strategy.

When you listen to a Steady On song, it might not be the best art or about the most earth shattering truths. It might not have the best guitar solo, most impressive melody, or compelling phrases. But however it measures up, the one thing I can promise is that it will always be honest both as a form of art and as an expression of what I think and feel. Steady On may be labeled as Christian music, but it gets its identity honestly, and you can trust me for that.

What This Is All About

Many of you know me from my blogging on A Cry For Justice and may have noticed that I haven’t posted any articles there recently. Don’t worry, I haven’t left that blog, I’ve just been incredibly focused on the work of Steady On. Also, I must say with the narrow focus of domestic abuse on ACFJ, sometimes I think we all need a break and time to think about other things. Fortunately Jeff and Barbara, along with some guests, have plenty of articles to keep things moving along.

Steady On has always been intended to be music of encouragement, and I think the old songs still have the power to do that. And the new songs, well, they really fit right in and carry on the legacy. You see, I have been through a VERY dark place and felt pain from those I never thought could hurt me. I’ve learned that the church isn’t always a safe place, but I’ve also learned that the TRUE church looks much different than I ever thought- and it is a glorious tool of God. I’ve learned that there were a lot of things I accepted about both God and myself that needed to be purged- and they have been. And I learned that God just doesn’t let go.

As I’ve blogged on ACFJ I’ve never intended to teach or bring wisdom- I’ve tried to be honest about where I’ve been and what it has felt like to be on the wrong side of some very bad teaching about divorce. I’ve told my story and hoped to validate others who are going through the same things. But most of all I’ve listened and learned about how much pain earnest believers in the body of Christ have gone through because of some very bad teaching and ideas that really should have nothing to do with Jesus. My involvement with ACFJ has pricked my heart and in a lot of ways the fight against the mishandling of abuse in the church has become a primary mission for me. But even as I’ve participated on that blog, I’ve always known that my main voice will never be as a writer, but rather as a musician. Music is how I tell my stories, the stories of others, and testify to what God has done around me. So I wrote new songs- songs that come from my story, but also of the stories I’ve read on ACFJ.

So I hope to use Steady On to bring encouragement, to honestly tell of the dark places, to remember what it was like to be built up stronger than I was before, and sound a call to not leave anyone else behind, because we are all in this together.

Having said all of that, these messages are not only for victims of abuse- whoever has been through a dark place, whoever has questioned if God was pleased with his or her suffering, whoever has struggled with sin and the frustration of not being the person he or she ought to be: these are your songs too. I hope they will encourage you.

As for this blog, I plan to cover the kinds of musings that just don’t fit on ACFJ. My thoughts about worship, music ministry, Reformed theology, or just whatever comes to mind. This is a journey of faith we are all in together, so I hope to shine what little light I’ve been given to others.