09.21.2008

The Jeff Mercer Band

Posted by AJ Harbison at 5:00 pm

Jeff Mercer, my good friend from Redlands (although he actually lives in Beaumont now), leads a monthly worship service at his church, The River CRC, called River Of Worship. While I was living in Redlands I got the chance to go with him and some members of his ROW team out to Harvest, Greg Laurie’s megachurch in Riverside, to lead worship for their singles group. Thanks to a terrific sound tech (his name was Shea although I’m not sure of the spelling), we got a recording of our playing for the night, which actually turned out very well for a live recording. Jeff cleaned it up using GarageBand (insert shameless plug for Apple products here) and it turned out even better. You can hear the recording at the ROW Myspace page: http://www.myspace.com/riverofworshipmusic. Jeff plays the piano and sings; the acoustic guitar is me. My favorite tracks are “He Is Exalted” and “That’s Why We Praise Him.”

I recommend you go check it out for several reasons. One: Jeff is a great singer and a great pianist, and it’s just fun to listen to him. Two: His band is terrific, particularly the two female singers (Courtney and Teri) and the bass player we had that night (Mike; check out his bass solo on “He Is Exalted”). Three: It’s good worship music. And four: It’s an original style. Jeff leads from piano, whereas most of the songs as originally recorded are led from guitar, and his playing style is unique, creative and effective. Most of the musicians of his band and the singers, although they change from time to time and from gig to gig, have been playing together for a long time, so they know how to play together well; and at the same time Jeff is a great leader who knows what he wants musically, and knows how to get what he wants out of his musicians. All this to say, it’s good, it’s interesting and it’s worth listening to.

Rumor has it he’s planning a studio recording for the Jeff Mercer Band, possibly including some of my original music. I’ll keep you all posted.

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