"Just As I Am" Branches Out

Posted by AJ Harbison at 12:32 am

First off forgive me for not posting over the weekend–your favorite listening blogger came down with a cold; but I’m feeling much better today and we’re back to your regularly scheduled posts!

Second, I want to thank everyone for the proliferation of comments recently. As I’ve mentioned before, I love getting your thoughts and opinions and dialoguing with you on the site here, and I appreciate the consistent comments I’ve been getting on the last few posts. Keep it up!

Third (now that I got those things out of the way) I wanted to inform you all of an exciting development for me. I’ve written several times about my arrangement of the hymn “Just As I Am,” and how the Jeff Mercer Band has been playing it pretty regularly at their River of Worship services. (Incidentally, I drove up to Redlands to record my acoustic guitar parts and vocals for the Jeff Mercer Band CD two weeks ago, and it’s now entering the final stage of production. I can’t wait to share the version of “Just As I Am” from the CD with all of you; it has a full band behind it and it sounds really cool.) One thing I haven’t written about yet is that I also shared the song with the worship director at my church, and he’s been playing it on Sunday mornings for several weeks now. I’ve gotten great feedback from members of the congregation, and one of my musically-inclined friends suggested I try to publish the song.

Since I’ve never published anything (yet) and didn’t know quite how to proceed, I sent an email to the CFAMC Yahoo group and asked their advice. I got a number of excellent responses, which were all encouraging but also noted that “publishing” (in the sense of finding a company to print sheet music) is not necessarily a profitable way to go in regards to worship music, since most worship bands learn new songs by imitating recordings rather than reading sheet music. However, several of them said they really liked the song and wanted to pass it on to the worship leaders at their respective churches. Based on the latest emails I’ve gotten, it was already played by one church in Ohio yesterday, and is in the process of being pitched to churches in Canton and Granville. It’s exciting to know that a song I’ve written is being played in at least two churches literally 2400 miles apart, with more likely to come!

If there are any CFAMCers who read this blog, I want to thank you for your group’s thoughtful and encouraging response. (And I’d love to hear from you and know you’re listening!) And for everyone else–I’ll keep you posted on the continued progress of the song!



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    ryan fleming on 01.13.2009

    That is amazing! It is crazy how far a song can travel if it is a good one. Congratulations!

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    Darth_Harbison on 01.14.2009

    That’s awesome! Congratulations!

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    rumcreeters on 01.18.2009

    Congrats, dude! That is highly awesome about your song. Also, I’m glad to hear you’re feeling much better. I definitely know how the cold thing goes, I haven’t been updating my blog for the same reason.

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