Tag Archives: music

Spotlight on PJ Anderson and New Album RISE

27 Sep

pjandersonrise

For those of you who have been reading my blog for awhile, you probably know by now that I love sharing about people who are using their talents and living God’s will for their life. I also love meaningful music and catchy melodies. Today I get to combine these passions by sharing about Catholic artist, PJ Anderson!

Recently, I was fortunate enough to be able to listen to PJ’s yet-to-be released fourth album, RISE. What I kept coming back to while listening to each track was that these songs come from such an authentic, truthful, and passionate place. It’s a combination that can be rare to find, even among Christian artists. I love how the album kicks off with the anthem title track, “Rise”. It really sets the tone for the rest of the songs to follow. I’m excited for PJ, because I think this album is going to launch him to another level in the music world!

Earlier this month, I had the opportunity to get to know a little more about PJ and what inspires his music. He generously answered some questions for me, but, first of all, I must share that he’s a fellow midwestern native and Notre Dame fan! (GO IRISH!) He and his wife and two children also reside in Nashville, so I look forward to hopefully meeting them soon!

1. Your 4th album, RISE, will be released soon, so the fall is going to be a pretty busy time for you! What does the rest of 2014 have in store?

2013-2014 has been such a blessing! I started writing a song a week last year and that is where the songs for RISE and my last album, Let Your Light Shine have come. I played a mega-workshop at NCYC (National Catholic Youth Conference) in November where 25,000 come to grow in faith and spent the year traveling for concerts, youth conferences and retreats.

This past summer I lead worship and music at Catholic Heart Work Camp for 7 weeks. I’ve spent the last 6 summers working with CHWC leading music at mission trips across the country. This fall has been packed with logistics and promoting RISE. 1400 copies have pre-sold prior to the official release mainly through pre-sales at CHWC, an exclusive release with http://www.lovegoodmusic.com. The first single, “Beautiful Mess” debuted at #40 on iTunes Christian Charts.

The album releases October 7 and is currently on iTunes Pre-Order for special pricing of $7.99. The album release show will happen in Nashville at The Axis Church in Germantown (1423 2nd Avenue North) on October 10 with doors at 6p and show at 7p. Perfect opportunity for people to come listen and praise and then head over to Germantown’s Oktoberfest.

After the album officially releases, my year consists of traveling the country for youth conferences, concerts and retreats.

My wife, Rachel, and I also lead pilgrimages to Rome and Assisi for youth and adult church groups. I studied in Rome for a semester and returned for a year to work as a Resident Assistant at Loyola’s John Felice Rome Center. Since then, my love for Rome has led us to take others and hopefully encourage a love for Rome in others. Here is a link to a video from our last trip! Spoiler alert, our two kiddos were kissed by Pope Francis!!!! It was AMAZING! Here’s the video.

We will return to Rome in April and then Catholic Heart Work Camp will start again in June.

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2. How did you experience God’s call for you to pursue music? Any significant obstacles or “God moments” on your journey so far?

God was laying seeds to write and pursue music, but I wasn’t always listening. I was actually the kid who got in trouble with my Mom for not singing at Mass! I started playing guitar when I was in 5th grade where I learned from a nun, Sister Charita. I played from 5-8 grade at school Masses but stopped playing in high school to pursue my dream of being in the NBA! I put all my eggs in the basket of playing basketball. I’m not exactly built for the NBA, but I thought I was! But, I picked the guitar back up in college and started writing songs then. Many of my first songs came while I was studying abroad in Rome. I didn’t start out exclusively writing worship music, but God was always a part of my music. I have now found a musical home in writing worship songs that lead the listener, the worshipper, into a close, personal space with our loving God. I am thankful for where God has led me. The path wasn‚Äôt always easy, but he equipped me with the faith, inspiration and relationships to create an album that will lead others to closer to Him.

I was a Youth Minister for 6 years near Chicago with my wife, Rachel. Long story short, but when we were expecting our first child, Rachel had some serious pregnancy issues and had to be rushed to the hospital and she was put on hospital bedrest for 3.5 weeks. Trey (Paul John III) was born 6 weeks early and was in the NICU for 2.5 weeks. It was a very difficult season filled with fear and joy at the same time. I also lost my job as a Youth Minister because I was not able to be in the office as I was staying in the hospital with my wife. As difficult as it was, God led us through the darkness of that season and opened up many doors in music, especially in Nashville. Phone calls started coming in from groups that I had met at CHWC mission trips and they started asking me to come to their parishes and youth groups for concerts and retreats. Relationships with producers, musicians and youth ministers started blooming and gave us the courage to make the big move to Nashville. God made it obvious that my time as a Youth Minister at one parish was done, but that He wanted me sharing music with many people across the country, if that makes sense. So, I now joke that I get to be like the uncle that comes in and riles up the kids before they go to bed. I’m now the traveling “Youth Minister” who comes in plays music, shares stories and talks and then I go home! No paperwork here! Ha!

We are so blessed with the life we have in Nashville and thankful that God led us here to continue to minister and lead others into relationship with Him. I mean, I get to write and sing songs, travel the country sharing those, take care of my kiddos during the week and call that work. It’s awesome!

3. What draws you to working with, and motivating, teenagers and young adults?

I love working with high schoolers and young adults! It’s the way God built me! He created me as an outgoing, extrovert that loves to interact, build relationships and laugh and love. Part of what draws me is the desperate need for hope amongst teenagers and young adults. There is a great sense of hopelessness at times in our world, especially at those ages. I was at a retreat where 3 witness talks in a row by 3 high school girls were all attempted suicide stories. That breaks my heart! That emptiness, that brokenness says there is no hope and that is the biggest lie of our generation. There is ALWAYS hope. And my goal and prayer is to make sure those that I minister with and to truly realize that. That “God loves you” isn’t some cheesy thing your youth minister says, but that it’s truth. He loves us so much that He has given and continues to give us everything. And we are called to give Him our everything. And that no matter how dark things get, how broken we are, God doesn’t love us any less. One of the songs from RISE called “Grace Is Hope” says, “No sin is more hopeless than my Savior has grace. My Savior is grace.” There is no sin, no brokenness, no pain that is too great for God to conquer. He is our grace. He is our hope. That is what draws me to working youth and young adults.

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4. Do you have any favorite songs, books, Bible verses, etc., that you find inspiring?

Ooooh! Tough one. Favorite songs right now are:

“Lord, I Need You” by Matt Maher. This song is just a great reminder of our need for God, for the Lord. In a world that tells us that independence makes us strong, I think we forget that our dependence on God makes us even stronger.
“All The Poor and Powerless” by All Sons and Daughters. Oh man, this song! It’s been making me cry listening in the car! Ha! The need and calling for all of us to rise to God’s call to love and serve. That’s the theme of RISE and this song articulates that perfectly. “All will sing out hallelujah, We will cry out hallelujah” We serve and love the poor and powerless because that’s what Jesus did and calls us to do.
“Losing” by Tenth Avenue North – This song has helped me get through those dark seasons.
“Closer” by Bethel Music – Our desire and love Him more and to be closer to Him. That’s always my prayer. I stray from Him but want to be close.

Favorite bible verse is John 3:30. “He must increase. I must decrease.” This verse keeps my desire to serve the Lord close.This verse keeps me humble. This verse is how I try to live my life, not for myself, but for Him. Now, do I always do that? I fail everyday. That is why I need Him. That is why He must increase.

Thanks so much to PJ for answering some questions! I’m looking forward to attending his album release show in a couple weeks! Maybe I’ll see some fellow Nashvillians there, as well!

If you want to keep up with PJ’s music, check out his website and be sure follow him on Twitter and Facebook!

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Freak-outs and Faith: Learning to Trust in Uncertain Times

8 Sep

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Hello, family and friends! It’s good to be getting back into the blogging world! I kind of took an unplanned break for most of the summer, so I figured I’d catch everyone up on a little bit of what’s been going on…

The following paragraphs were actually written about two months ago and I never clicked the ol’ “publish” button. I think it’s worth sharing to see the mental roller coaster I’ve been riding in my head!

Every 2-3 months, I tend to get stressed and overwhelmed about finances and other circumstances. About 90 percent of the time, I’m genuinely feeling like, “Life is good. I’m blessed. Things are great,” and then I have a few days or more when my mind goes into overdrive. I’m suddenly aware of ways that I’m “not enough.” The house isn’t clean enough, my face isn’t clear enough, I don’t make enough money, I don’t have enough time, etc. My jaw sets into a semi-permanent clench for a couple days and my neck and shoulder muscles tighten. It’s no wonder that I have a history of TMJ and migraines.

These short-lived, usually minor, quarterly freak-outs have resulted in various outcomes ranging from the start of my coupon obsession to pre-term labor. Yes, I actually started bleeding and had contractions the very next morning after a teary-eyed Sunday stressing about our family’s financial situation with a new baby on the way. Fortunately, my early labor was stopped during a 3-day stay in the hospital, but it resulted in over two months of bed rest in 2011. I can’t help but think that the two were related.

This stressful patch is lasting a little longer than usual, although I’m learning to try be patient, trust, and sit in the “uncomfortable.” I really feel that God is using this time of transition for a purpose, as He often does! We’ve made it through many times before, so I know this time will be no different. With our oldest starting Kindergarten this fall at a Catholic school (as if tuition isn’t already outrageous, the darn cost of uniforms is going to put me over the edge), looking at our futures career-wise, and brainstorming opportunities for additional income, there doesn’t seem to be a quick solution. I do kind of feel that Adam and I are at a crossroad moment in our lives. There’s no way we can continue much longer the way things are right now. Coupons aren’t cutting it anymore.

I do have to take a time-out for a minute, to recognize that we really have been blessed with our current work-family situation. I work at a faith-based agency with a lot of great people. Adam has been able to work second shift and partial weekends to be with our girls during the day. While this has been amazing during this phase of our lives, we’re starting to look towards the near future and how we need to adapt to the next phase that includes a Catholic school education for our girls. I understand that this is our choice, but after much prayer and discussion we feel it is the best one for our family and we are willing to look at what we can do to make this happen long-term.

My mind has been swirling with ideas and possibilities. Pursue grant-writing? Take classes to get a paralegal certificate? Start one of the website concepts I’ve been pondering? Find a higher paying job in my field? I don’t just want to make money, though – I want to do something that’s meaningful. Adam is looking into getting more jingle work and waiting on a possible promotion and shift-change in a year or two at his job. What direction is the right way to go?

Now you may know why I’ve been a little quiet on the blog the past month or so… Most of my time in the evenings has been spent brainstorming, researching, and tv-watching to reduce stress. I didn’t even fill out a monthly goal sheet for June! ūüė¶ I started out the year so full of intention and I have accomplished a lot of the goals I set for myself for 2014, but sometimes, er, maybe often times, I have to let go of my plans! And, I’m trying to be okay with where I am. God does have a plan, and right here, right now is part of it.

Although, I must say I can’t wait to be able to look back and say, “Ah, that’s what that time was for!” But for now, I’m listening! God, my ears and eyes are open! Holy Spirit please show me the path to follow and give me the courage to do your will!

Well, fast forward another couple months and I’m brimming with excitement and joy over a new project passion that I’ve been wanting to jump into but kept finding reasons to prolong (time, money, lack of experience, doubt, fear, insecurity, etc.). After reading Dr. Gregory Popcak’s book, The Life God Wants You to Have: Discovering the Divine Plan When Human Plans Fail and starting Holley Gerth’s book, You’re Made for a God-Sized Dream: Opening the Door to All God Has For You, I feel re-energized and confident to take some steps in faith. Take that, fear and doubt! A good rule-of-thumb that both authors point out to keep in mind when considering a dream, is to contemplate if it is helping others. (I highly, highly recommend both of these books by the way!)

What’s the project, you may ask? I don’t want to give too much away yet, but it has to do with music. And let’s just say, many things have been falling into place ever since I made up my mind to take this path that I feel called to pursue. Things like, Catholic artists contacting me to review their music, Adam being given a professional recording desk for free and getting a great deal on the recording gear that he needs and paying for it all from ebay profits (nothing out of our bank account)! Also, a Catholic father, who stumbled upon my blog, just reached out to us a few days ago about Adam possibly recording a song that was written about his beautiful 4-year-old daughter who died last year. (More to come on this family’s tragic and touching story at a later date.) There are some other things that have had the Holy Spirit’s “fingerprints” all over them, as well, and I’m absolutely overwhelmed with it all – in a good way!

I have a lot of work ahead of me, but I am looking for opportunities, not excuses! There’s just no way that I can’t not do it! I’ve waited a long time to truly find a passion and a niche. I think I’ve found it and the best thing is that it overlaps with my husband’s gifts and calling. I have no idea where exactly this is all going to go or what’s going to blossom, but with God leading us, I know it’s the best thing. I hope to be unveiling the start of this journey very soon!

It’s good to be back to writing again. Please fill me in on what you’ve been up to this summer! I have a lot of catching up to do and I’d love to hear from you!

Be a Sheep

14 May

Shepherd with SheepSource

Last Tuesday, Adam excitedly called me about a Catholic Answers Live podcast episode he was in the middle of listening to. Host Patrick Coffin was interviewing Catholic country artist, Collin Raye, about his new book, A Voice Undefeated, and the state of the music industry in Nashville right now. It was so refreshing to hear him speak on a lot of the same things that Adam has expressed frustration about, like how hard it is to get any songs of substance cut right now!

To listen to this podcast with Collin Raye that originally aired May 12th, click here.

Later that night, after I had an opportunity to listen to it myself we talked on the phone about it and, again, about figuring out what steps God wants us to pursue… It’s easy to get overwhelmed when looking at the big picture and the work and time a music ministry would take, especially when we work opposite schedules and have two young children. Things seem impossible to even think about. We ended with the conclusion that we need to keep bringing our fears honestly before the Lord and continue to pray and be open to God’s will. We need to focus on one step at a time. Listening to this podcast, though, was definitely some sort of step on the journey.

Before I went to bed, I read the gospel reading (John 10:22-30) and meditation for the day in The Word Among Us. No surprise – it totally went along with what we had just been discussing. Here’s a little snippet of the meditation for May 13:

…he wants you to become more sheeplike: more single-minded in faith, more reliant on him, more “helpless.” He wants you to learn to rest in his salvation and trust him more fully…

Spend some time today thinking about being a sheep. Watch and listen for messages from the world and from your own heart that urge you to be independent, to take care of yourself. Are you listening to those messages more than to the messages that come from the Good Shepherd? He truly does love and care for you so let him make you more and more like one of his trusting, obedient sheep.

Often times, I think we feel like we need to do something- anything- to make our dreams happen. Yes, we need to put forth a lot of effort, but sometimes we are just spinning our wheels. Being busy makes us feel like we are making progress, but it is just wasted energy if we’re not following and trusting God’s path for us.

I love the image of being a sheep! It can be so hard to let go of the illusion of control, but there is so much peace and freedom in letting our Good Shepherd lead us! He wants what is best for us and will not lead us astray!

We are working on knowing when to wait for God’s hand and when it may be fear that is holding us back. I pray that the Lord will lead these two aspiring sheep to what he has called us to do and that we may follow! I also pray for any of you sheep who are reading this! I’m so inspired by the commitment and example of so many who are responding to God’s will for their lives! Thank you for your courage!

Adam Shick at Nashville Catholic Underground: Recap

1 May

20140501-210701.jpgAdam accompanied by Jon Conley (Guitarist for Kenny Chesney)

This past Saturday, Adam played a set at Saint Mary of the Seven Sorrows for the monthly Catholic Underground event in downtown Nashville! He hadn’t played a show for awhile and was a little concerned about whether or not his voice would last for an hour-long set, especially after doing an afternoon rehearsal with amazing guitar player, Jon Conley. (Adam played with him while on the road in Emma Jacob’s band a few years ago.) Fortunately, his voice was just fine! I’m certain the Holy Spirit was helping him out! ūüôā

20140501-210722.jpgBustin’ out a note… and, yes, he got to sign the backdrop! ūüôā

Adam sang mostly originals, but mixed in a Coldplay cover and a NEEDTOBREATHE cover. He wrapped up the night with a Lean on Me/This Little Light of Mine/You are My Sunshine Medley! Everybody was singing and clapping along, so it was a great way to end! Here’s the link to the video! Oh, and you have to hear what he did with the last note, because it totally caught me by surprise. Dude is awesome!

20140501-210711.jpgSitting on Grandpa’s lap, watching Daddy sing one of her favorite songs (with favorite stuffed animal “Monkey”)!

We let our almost-five-year-old stay up that night to watch her daddy perform! She loved it, although she was exhausted! We’re so excited that a good number of our family and friends could come out! Even one of our high school friends who was in town for a bachelor party stopped by!

As usual, we’re contemplating how God wants Adam to move forward with his music… first thing is to get his record done!!! At least we have the website up-and-going: adamshickmusic.com! It’s a start!

Woohoo! Almost TGIF! Have a great weekend, y’all!

 

An Update: Adam’s Musical Journey

26 Feb

Day 3 of 7 Posts in 7 Days with Jennifer Fulwiler of Conversion Diary!

7 day blog challenge 7 posts, 7 days

I haven’t talked much about Adam and his music on this blog lately, and since I have to write everyday this week it’s probably a good time to touch base on this topic! This is called A Dreamer’s Wife after all!

Honestly, I’ve thought about whether I should even keep that domain name, because it probably seems a little misleading to visitors who pop in and check out this site. My husband hasn’t toured for over two years. Is Adam still going to pursue music? When? On what level? How come he doesn’t have an active website? Why is he a social media hermit right now? How can someone be a successful musician with a family?

I think my husband fits the title of “dreamer” perfectly, though. He has his priorities in order and is making sure that he feels led by God to really pursue this path before diving in. In his own words, “I’m an all or nothing person”. He has been very focused on being a father, husband, and full-time engineer at Soundcheck. Obviously this leaves little room for an essential thing called TIME! I know that if God is leading Adam to share his music, it will be in a way that will not jeopardize our family.

About a month ago, though, Adam did have a sort of revelation about what motivates him. The idea of recording a CD of his songs as a legacy for his daughters inspired him to really focus on getting his project together. What a tragedy it would be for these amazing songs he has written in the past few years to go unheard and be lost forever if something were to happen to him in the near future! Whatever happens with his music outside of that, is up to God! Although we both think it would be cool for him to play Catholic conferences and events like that on occasion.

Adam is no longer motivated by getting validation from strangers about his music. Many musicians and artists are desperate for fan feedback to reinforce their worth. This is why music often overshadows anything in a musician’s life – why so many marriages fall apart. Adam finds a strong purpose and mission in his vocation of fatherhood. (Disclaimer: I know that there are amazing individuals who are evangelizing and using their gifts to spread God’s message -Adam is one of them, but many more are seeking their own self-interests.)

So, right now, Adam has begun recording his EP/album (whatever it’s going to be!) in his home studio. Gotta love Pro Tools! I absolutely cannot wait until the day comes when I can start sharing some of these songs with you all! I know that it is all in God’s timing, though, and I’m trusting in Him. He is also rehearsing for his one-hour set for Catholic Underground in April. All of you Nashville people need to mark April 26th on your calendars! We’re going to bring our oldest daughter along so she can listen to her daddy play the songs she loves!

Any prayers you can throw my husband’s way as he discerns God’s plan for him in regards to his music would be greatly appreciated. Thank you!

Find Your Dream

6 Dec

I’ve watched The Sound of Music a million times, but hearing the lyrics for Climb Ev’ry Mountain on last night’s The Sound of Music Live show on NBC totally got me excited in a whole new way! It’s such a beautiful song!

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Climb every mountain, search high and low.
Follow every byway, every path you know.
Climb every mountain, ford every stream.
Follow every rainbow, till you find your dream.

A dream that will need
all the love you can give,
Every day of your life
for as long as you live.

Climb every mountain, search high and low.
Follow every byway, every path you know.
Climb every mountain, ford every stream.
Follow every rainbow, till you find your dream.

-Richard Rodgers and Oscar Hammerstein II, The Sound of Music

I love the middle part of the song, especially! Following God’s will always requires sacrifice and love. What a beautiful way to describe a vocation! I’m thankful that I’ve found my dream of being a wife and mother!

Did you catch The Sound of Music on TV last night? What did you think?

Wayne’s Keyboard Studio {October’s Dreamer in the Spotlight}

25 Oct

One of the great things about having a personal blog is that you can, of course, write about whatever you want! I get to feature my friends and family and promote their endeavors, in addition to other dreamers and bloggers that I love!

My father-in-law, Wayne, just opened his own business in Mishawaka, Indiana – Wayne’s Keyboard Studio. It’s just minutes from the campus of the University of Notre Dame. He has been selling organs and teaching classes to seniors for years and now is expanding to teach keyboard and piano lessons to kids and families! I wish we lived closer, because I would love our girls to be able to get regular instructions from their grandpa!

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Wayne and his youngest granddaughter playing side-by-side!

My father-in-law’s big emphasis, that sets him apart from other traditional instructors, is that he really focuses on making music fun! He wants people to be able to play the kind of music and songs that they want to learn! I’m sure this attitude helps to keep kids, especially, motivated when it comes to music lessons!

I asked Wayne a few questions about starting his own business, and thankfully, he had some time to answer them for me! Here’s some more about the man behind Wayne’s Keyboard Studio!

1. Music has been a big party of your life for a long time. What first sparked your interest?

My interest in music I guess began when I was around 5 or 6 years old.   My folks brought home a small keyboard instrument  called a Pianorgan.  It was electronic and produced a sound similar to an accordion produced by air blowing through reeds.   It had about 37 keys, (a piano has 88), but it was enough to play some melodies and just fool around with.  Of all of us boys, I was the one that spent the most time playing on it. 

I guess my parents felt I might have some potential so they asked me if I’d like to take some lessons.  I started taking lessons and eventually my folks bought a used piano so I could advance to more complex music than I could do on the Pianorgan.  After about 3 years, and a couple of different piano teachers they realized that I was not reading the music as much as I was playing it by ear.  I really didn’t like a lot of the songs in the lesson book so when I practiced I played around with music I had heard on the radio.  When I went for my lesson I would struggle to play the song until I asked my teacher to play it for me.  Once she played it, then I could play it.

2. What is one of your fondest memories of playing music?

One of my fondest memories of playing music was with my first piano teacher. I was composing little musical pieces at that time and she would write them out for me in a little music book. I had several songs in it by the time she married and moved away, and I moved on to another teacher. I don’t know what happened to that little book of music but that meant a lot to me that she would take the time to write that music out for me.  

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Wayne with wife Laurie (Adam’s parents)

3. What does Wayne’s Keyboard Studio currently offer? And what plans do you have for the store in the near future?

Wayne’s Keyboard Studio currently offers classes for Adults & Children who want to learn to play music more for fun, rather than the more traditional approach that a more serious student might take.  We encourage families to enroll together in the classes, and up to 3 family members can take the classes for the same low price of $12.50 per class. Husbands and wives, parents and children, grandparents and grandchildren can enjoy the hobby of making music. Children 8 and 9 years old can take the classes when enrolled with an adult family member.  For those ten and over there is the Kids Keyboard Classes where up to five students can learn the basics together, then choose the songs they want to play. Private lessons are available for those who want to progress a littler faster, and have the time to put into a more in-depth study of left hand chords.

The plans for the future will involve building a performance stage with sound and lights to provide an entertainment venue for professional Lowrey artists when they visit and to allow students an eventual opportunity to perform once¬†they’ve¬†reached a certain level of accomplishment. And, if they like to sing we could incorporate that, also. ¬†

4. What is the best part of owning your own business? The most difficult?

The best part of owning my own business is that I can establish the priorities for everything from recruiting new students, to expanding the programs that will maximize my efforts,  to choosing the right inventory for the current and future student base. 

The most difficult part is developing the necessary systems to streamline the record-keeping aspect of the business.  

5. Do you have a favorite movie, quote, or book that inspires and motivates you to dream?

I don’t know necessarily that there is any one movie, quote, or book that inspires and motivates me to dream.  It’s more the influence of my dad, who even though he had a rough childhood and never attained everything he wanted to do, always kept on trying different things. Even though during the day he worked as a welder for different companies, he always had some side business that he dabbled in to bring in extra money.  From raising strawberries and raspberries, which he sold to the local grocery stores, to raising irises, a common flower, he had something going on.  Even in his retirement he raised red worms and sold them to bait stores.  That has inspired me and motivated me more than anything else in my life to want to find something that people need, that I enjoy doing, and that I can make a decent living at.      

***

Thanks, again, to my father-in-law for taking some time to share more about music and his new business!

If you live in the South Bend area, be sure to check out Wayne’s Keyboard Studio!

What the Heck Has Adam Been Doing in Nashville These Past 11 Years?

6 Sep

I found one of Adam’s recordings from 2006 in my car¬†the other¬†week. It made me reflect on all of the ups and downs in Adam’s Nashville journey thus far. Mid-July actually marked eleven years since Adam moved south from Elkhart, Indiana at the age of 19 to pursue his dream.

While listening to this CD, I also realized that for more than half of the duration that I have been blogging (I started in May 2011), Adam has been on hiatus from his music career. Like, he RARELY gets on Facebook or Twitter anymore. He’s practically fallen off the face of the earth!

Many of you who have started following A Dreamer’s Wife¬†in the past several months are probably like, “So, her husband is this dreamer musician guy, but what has he even done?!” Or, if you knew Adam in high school, you’re probably wondering, “Where the heck is Shick?” So, I’ve decided to put together a very rough timeline of Adam’s musical history since being in Tennessee.

Adam Shick’s Nashville Timeline

Photo Credit: Tommy Gravelle

July 2002

Adam moves to Nashville and shares a house with three other guys. Adam gets a couple of long-term full-time temp gigs to pay rent and the bills. Adam attends Nashville State Tech (now Nashville State¬†Community College) for music technology. He quits after one semester because he doesn’t have enough money to continue with classes.

My attempt at being a “professional” photographer – ha! (2002)

2003

Adam rents a bedroom from a chronic smoker. He stuffs t-shirts under his door to limit inhalation! He lives here for the next couple years.

May 2003

Adam gets a job at Soundcheck¬†rehearsal facility doing cartage¬†(delivering, setting up, and picking up gear for session musicians at recording studios). Long story short, Adam met the owner a couple of years¬†before moving to Nashville, because¬†the¬†father of the¬†owner’s wife¬†took organ lessons from Adam’s dad. Adam decided to follow-up on this contact after a temp job at Dell ended. It just so happened that someone was just fired that day for being drunk on the job! I think this was more than a¬†coincidence!

It is shortly after this time that Adam becomes good friends and songwriting buddies with co-worker, Mark Hull. For the next seven years, they write together regularly.

Due to having a small staff at this time, Adam often works an average of six nights per week for the next couple years. This doesn’t leave much time for getting in the Nashville scene.

June 2005
Adam and Stef wedding

Adam marries me. ūüôā

Later in 2005?

Adam auditions for Nashville Star – makes it past the first two rounds.

He also writes Make Your Way Back.

A song that opens doors with some of the industry professionals named later in this post.

April 2006

Adam is welcomed into the Catholic Church!

2006

Adam records some demos for Dean Sams of Lonestar. Dean introduces Adam to Glen Mitchell, a guitar player and aspiring artist. They hit it off and write a little bit, and Dean draws up contracts for him to produce them as a duo project. Nothing was signed by either party as this was a¬†kind of manufactured arrangement and wasn’t really destined to work out.

Also, a session musician (who will remain nameless)¬†who Adam met through Soundcheck¬†takes an interest in producing Adam. He tries to get Adam and Jason Aldean’s three original band members together for a project. There is some mild interest, but Jason’s career takes off and the rest is history!

Fall 2007

adamemma

Adam gets a guitar gig with a young, aspiring country singer, Emma Jacob, through a referral by a Soundcheck client.

This gig lasted through 2011. During that time, Adam became production manager and band leader. He got to travel all over the country, do radio tours, and open for acts like Charlie Daniels and Jason Aldean.

Adam, Mark, my cousin Tommy, Mark’s childhood friend Mike, a guitar player, and a keyboard player create DoubleTake, an awesome 80’s cover band! Adam and Mark were both lead singers and guitar players who would each sing a song by whatever 80’s bands or artists they had on their set list. For example, Adam sang Bryan Adam’s Run To You and Mark sang Cuts Like a Knife or Adam would sing Foreigner’s Double Vision and Mark would sing Jukebox Hero.

20130719-221753.jpg

Here’s their promo video.¬†(Thanks, Adam, for re-uploading it!) The plan was to do corporate parties, but this fizzled out for some reason and instead they pursued an original band so they wouldn’t have to worry about paying a keyboard player at downtown gigs anymore when nobody else was making any money!

2008

Adam quits working full-time at Soundcheck.

Longshot Rocket

Photo by Rick Malkin

Longshot Rocket is formed. It consists of some of the same members of DoubleTake. Adam and Mark alternate lead vocals and guitar. Brent Rowan (produced Joe Nichols, Julie Roberts, and Blake Shelton) becomes interested in Adam and Mark’s songs and their project. He questions the stability and longevity of the band. Thus…

The duo, 2AM, is born. Adam and Mark play acoustic sets around town, but yet again this project dies, too, when Mark chooses not to come out on the road to play some dates on the Nashville To You 2010 summer tour. Brent Rowan becomes busy with other projects and his interest fades when an attorney gets involved and tries to encourage 2AM to negotiate different percentages on publishing and what not. (Adam majorly regrets this, as he really wanted to work with Brent!)

Adam makes the decision to try to pursue a solo career.

Adam Shick

May 2009
Holding Daddy's finger

Oldest daughter, C, is born.

Summers of 2010 and 2011

Adam on tour

Adam plays and sings for Emma and also performs as a solo artist on¬†the Nashville¬†To You Campground and NASCAR Tours. On this tour he gets to know THE LiNE (on The Voice in 2012) and Jenn Bostic (April’s Dreamer in the Spotlight).

Here’s a video of Adam singing his original song, Liar, with THE LiNE on the tour.

Spring 2011

Little A Coming Home

Little A is born.

Adam is still a road musician at this time and supplements by working at a relative’s gold-buying store until the tour begins.

Adam gets a wake up call about his motivation as an artist when talking to an acquaintance in the music industry. He asks Adam, “What do you want to do with your music?” Adam responds, “Make money.” He’s pretty embarrassed by the answer, but at the time, we just had our second daughter and he was thinking about supporting his family, but this was a turning point in discovering his true motivation for pursuing music.

Fall 2011

Adam starts rehearsing new material with my cousin, Tommy, and his friend, Ed. They play a couple of¬†shows, but due to lack of time and Adam’s continued struggle with finding his right purpose, he withdraws from trying to “make it” in the music industry.

Adam, Ed, and Tommy 2012
2012

Adam begins working full-time at Soundcheck again as an engineer for rehearsing acts. He decides to spend more time focusing on his own career, rather than go out on the road with another artist. He also wants to be home as much as possible with our family.

2013

Adam continues to write songs, mostly by himself. (He feels that not a lot of other musicians are on the same page spiritually and priority-wise.) This new material is hopeful, positive, and truthful.

Adam also sings demos and jingles for extra income. His voice is on the radio somewhere in the country singing about eye banks in South Dakota. Yes, eye banks! True Story!

Adam is focusing on raising our young daughters while working a full-time job. He has dreams of playing/speaking at men’s conferences and championing fatherhood. He feels the time is getting close to jump back into music, but he isn’t quite there yet! Adam truly enjoys and loves our family and I’m so thankful to have this man as my husband!

~

Whew! This post took a lot more time than I had anticipated!

Thanks for hanging in with us! I hope you enjoyed this time traveling down memory lane!

While browsing YouTube vids, I ran across this impromptu throwback of Adam doing a cover of Stormy Monday¬†at a hotel room while on the road. I’ll let this close out the post!

Have a good weekend!

Tori Harris: Music Missionary {August’s Dreamer in the Spotlight}

30 Aug

tori harrisI am really excited to feature this month’s Dreamer in the Spotlight – Catholic musician,¬†Tori Harris!¬†This “music missionary for a new generation of faithful”¬†is definitely using her gifts for God and inspiring others to do the same!

Over the weekend, Tori found time to answer some questions in the midst of speaking and singing at Immaculee Ilibagiza’s “Treasures of our Faith” retreat. (Side note: If you haven’t read Immaculee’s book, Left to Tell, about her experience during the Rwanda genocide,¬†please do. It is a life-altering read!)

1. You released your beautiful EP, Adoremus, earlier this year. What does the rest of 2013 have in store for you and your music? 
Thank you so much! This year has been such a whirlwind of blessings and surprises. It seems that everything is moving so quickly, it’s hard to keep up. I’ve got a few big media events happening in the Fall. National Worship Leader Magazine is featuring my song, “Face to Face” on their songDISCovery disk, I’ll be interviewed on Catholic TV at least 3 times, and there is a bunch of radio lining up. This summer I took a leap of faith and began playing music full-time, so, by the grace of God I’ll continue to stay on the road with a heavy tour schedule and this Fall, the hope is to take a few weeks off to go back into the studio and start putting together the next project. Over the past 2 years I’ve had the honor of writing with some INCREDIBLE songwriters and I can’t wait to give these songs some legs and watch how they do on a CD. But ultimately, providence determines what I’m doing and where the music is going. So, the hope is to do these things, but the reality is that, at all times, God is in control and I can only do that which He permits.¬†
2. Since beginning your journey of pursuing Christian music for the New Evangelization, do you have a favorite “God-moment” that stands out?¬†
That’s a hard question because there have been so many. One that really continues to teach and speak to me was this Easter. At the time I was really struggling to financially stay afloat and still do music, but I had a bunch of shows lined up and my only opportunity to earn money would be through CD and merchandise sales. I didn’t have any money for merchandise, so we charged the credit card. All in all, the expenses totaled about $2000. I had no plan for how I was going to pay off the debt, I was just confident that this was an investment I needed to make. A week later, just as I finish praying with my mom on the phone about where the money is going to come from, I met some friends for lunch. When I walked into the restaurant, there was a check for $2000 sitting on my plate. The wife of the couple looked at me and said, “Now what you see before you isn’t a gift from me, but from the Holy Spirit. I don’t know why you need this money, but I’m certain you need it. Jesus wants you to have it.” I held my composure through the lunch, but as soon as I got back to my car I wept for about 30 minutes. To be loved so lavishly by Christ touches one of the deepest longings of the human heart – and my God loves each of His creatures that much and more.¬†
Tori Harris/Courtesy of toriestories.com
3. I love your guest post on Ryan Eggenberger.com where you shared your story of facing fear and discovering God’s purpose for you. Please elaborate on how you use fear and insecurity to guide you.¬†
When I talk to young people I find myself repeating, “the battlefield for the soul is fought in the mind.” Extraordinary circumstances aside, the devil most often attacks us through our thoughts, especially the thoughts and stories we tell ourselves. Scripture is very clear that the emotions of fear, doubt, insecurity and anxiety are birthed in Hell and thus NOT from Heaven. When you apply this knowledge to the fact that the devil attacks that which is most Holy and most good – you quickly realize that if you are feeling doubt, fear, anxiety or insecurity, that you are likely in thought or action, doing something very good and very holy. You see, our God is SO good. He desires to pour into us the deepest desires of our heart. He has organized the universe very intentionally and very exactly so that He can present to us our hearts deepest desire. The devil knows this and can’t stop it. He can’t change the universe… but he can cloud our thoughts with lies. Lies of fear, insecurity, anxiety and doubt. When the devil does this, it isn’t the universe that ceases to move, but us. We cease to move. And when we cease to act, we cease to have faith, because what is faith but our RESPONSE to love. I’m learning again and again, that fear is affirmation that I’m doing something right, that I MUST keep moving. And every time I recognize it and walk forward, stepping into the fear, I watch as God’s perfect love casts it out, and another part of my soul heals, and I am able to know love just a little more intimately.¬†
4. I read on your website that you give a 40-minute talk titled “Discerning God’s Call in Your Life.” What advice do you have for those of us who are searching for our passion and purpose?
I’ll give you discernment cliff notes:¬†
1. Make a list of all the things you’re insecure about, all the things you’re afraid of. (I’ll never be thin enough, No one will ever marry me and I’ll end up alone, the ladies at church judge me and don’t want to spend any time with me)¬†
2. Make a list of your hearts deepest desires. (This is the most difficult of all the steps. If you feel stupid, dumb, afraid and hope no one ever sees this list, then you’re doing it right)¬†
3. Go through the second list, your heart’s deepest desires, and ask yourself “do any of these desires violate God’s law?” If it violates God’s law scratch it off the list.¬†
4. Compare the two lists. If you see any parallels (For example, I am insecure about my singing voice and my deepest desire to stand on stage at Church and cantor) then prioritize those desires first
5. Act. Face your fear, step into your insecurity, and act. Follow the desire. Just do it. 
6. Marvel at what God does next. Because what He will do will change your heart and life forever. 
 
In the words of St. Teresa of Avila, “if you become only what God intended you to be, then you will set the world on fire” – I think it’s about time we had more souls setting the world on fire.¬†
Photo by Joy Williams/Courtesy of toriestories.com
5. Do you have any favorite songs, verses, books, or movies that inspire and motivate you?
Good art and culture always inspire. The book that changed my life was “Abandonment to Divine Providence” by Jean Pierre de Caussade. I read and re-read that book and every time, the truth it contains etches itself more intimately upon my heart. If you’re afraid of making a radical change in your life, this is the book that will give you the courage to leave everything you know, take up your cross and follow Christ.¬†
Thanks, Tori, for taking the time to share your journey and your wisdom with us! Great stuff!
***
 Adoremus - EP, Tori Harris
For more, be sure to…
Checkout Tori’s website.
Download her music on iTunes.
Follow Tori on Twitter.
Like her Facebook page.
Watch the Face to Face music video on YouTube.

Has It Really Been Two Years?!

17 May

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Today¬†marks two years since I wrote my first post for A Dreamer’s Wife!¬†Woohoo!¬†

What a journey so far! Adam and I have both grown so much in our faith and trust in God! Those who have been following along since the beginning have witnessed how our dreams regarding¬†Adam’s music career have been shaped and molded into aligning with what God wants.¬†It’s been a fun ride so far and I believe it’s just going to keep getting more exciting!¬†Adam will likely start to come out of hiding in the coming months! He’s been¬†consumed (happily)¬†with being a daddy and working, but he¬†is starting to feel that the time is getting close to put an album together and get the¬†official¬†website up-and-running.¬†I cannot wait to share his latest songs! I CANNOT WAIT! ūüôā I know that I am biased because he is my husband, but seriously, y’all! He’s so freakin’ amazing!

I’m also excited about all of the Dreamers’ stories that I’ve been able to share, and will continue to share each month! I’m so passionate about seeing others use their talents to make a difference in the world.¬†I look forward to getting to know more dreamers and bloggers! There is definitely not a shortage!!¬†

Speaking of dreamers, be sure to check out¬†this month’s¬†Dreamer in the Spotlight¬†in two weeks! This entrepreneur will be sharing some great tips regarding the New Evangelization!¬†Don’t miss it!

Something special about this week marking the anniversary of my blog, is that I was given a few awards¬†all within the past few days¬†by fellow bloggers! One of those is the Very Inspiring Blogger Award given to me by Cindy at The Veil of Chastity! If I could, I’d nominate her, as well, but I basically already did a¬†few months ago!

Very Inspiring Blog Award

The rules of the blog award include:

1. Link back to the blogger who nominated you. (Done!)
2. Post the award image to your page. (Done!)
3. Share 7 facts about yourself – fun things, favorite things, humorous things, or things that inspire you.
4. Nominate up to 15 other blogs and invite them to participate. (This is the fun part for me!¬† And some of these¬†are repeats of blogs that I have highlighted before! Like Cindy, I’m going to nominate 7!)

FUN FACTS ABOUT ME

1. I like to eat chocolate chip pancakes in stacks of three!
2. I love to read life-changing books!
3. My confirmation name is Bernadette.
4. In less than three months time, at the age of 21, I graduated college, got married, moved to another state, and found a job! 
5. Even though I’ve lived in Tennessee for nearly 8 years, I’ll always feel like Indiana is home.¬†GO IRISH!
6. I put on a comfy pair of flannel pajama pants as soon as I get home from work every evening!
7. I carry around a little notebook in my purse to¬†scribble down ideas, quotes, etc. (Sometimes typing on an iPhone doesn’t cut it!)

BLOGGERS WHO INSPIRE ME!

1. Erin at Humble Handmaid One of the first blogs I started following! She keeps it real and writes great reflections!

2. Leanne at Life Happens When She’s¬†inspired me with her journey of healthy eating and avoiding processed foods!¬†

3. Stephanie at Captive the Heart РCindy nominated her as well, but I have to give her a shout-out, too, because her blog is LOVELY!

4. Melissa at For Better or Worse – I¬†recently came across¬†Melissa’s¬†blog via Catholic Bloggers Network.¬†Her family¬†is an absolutely¬†AMAZING example of completely trusting God’s will IN ACTION!

5. Cecilia at Dance Immaculata – I featured Cecilia as one of my Dreamers last fall! Read this post to find out more about her!

6. Patty at Tales of Me and the Husband –¬†Patty is¬†a youth minister and a newlywed.¬†I love her honest posts!

7. Stephanie at I Found Him Whom My Soul Loves РFirst of all, we have a lot in common, and second of all, her posts are beautiful and heart-felt!

~

Thanks to all who have followed my blog or have checked in with me now and then!¬†I appreciate your support and encouragement! I love how we¬†all inspire each other to be the best versions of ourselves! Have a great weekend, y’all!

P.S. I may¬†take a tiny break¬†next week from blogging, but I’ll be right back the following week for sure!