09.23.2008

"Just As I Am" Is A Hit!

Posted by AJ Harbison at 11:50 pm

I traveled to Redlands this past weekend to play in the River Of Worship service with my friend Jeff Mercer and his Jeff Mercer Band. I wrote in my last post that he and the band are working on a recording, which we hope to have finished by the end of the year, and I had told him a short time ago of my arrangement of “Just As I Am” (written about on this blog here). It will likely be on the recording, now, and he agreed to add it to the set for Saturday night as well, so the band (led by me on guitar and vocals) played it for the first time in the service. It was very cool to hear it done with a full band; being a song with little structural variation (it doesn’t have the advantage of, say, a bridge or a chorus to break up the repetition of the verses), it was a great help to have the band to add variation in other ways: different rhythms, more or fewer instruments playing on different verses, differences in dynamics.

Of course, as a worship song, the point is not for people to like it or to get praise for myself; but it went over very well. I was hoping that Jeff wouldn’t bring attention to the fact that I had done the arrangement, but he did, and I got a number of compliments afterwards on it. One friend in particular (who may or may not be named Nate) told me he really, really liked it; at a later point in our conversation, I told him as I often do, “I like you a lot,” and he responded, “I like you a lot too–and I like you even more after tonight!”

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