Covenanters Gaining Recognition for CD Albums

Post a Comment » Written on May 12th, 2006     
Filed under: News
CHICAGO, IL (May 12, 2006) – Two worship leaders in local Evangelical Covenant churches have released their first worship CDs. Meanwhile, a Covenant pastor’s CD continues to rank highly on a popular website for independent artists.

Matt Nightingale recently released Still Standing, a collection of pop-based worship songs. He is the pastor of music and creative arts at Peninsula Covenant Church in Redwood City, California.

Nightingale wrote the music and lyrics for most of the tracks. The songs are a blend of his diverse musical influences, including Joni Mitchell and Rich Mullins.

He recorded the project over nearly four months, squeezing in days between his duties at the church. “Some of these songs date back seven or eight years,” Nightingale says. “It was time for them to be born, to be laid out there, for better or for worse. I don’t know that I have some grand mission. I just hope that my songs will strike a chord with someone.”

Members of the Christian band “The 77’s” provided musical backup for Nightingale and the band’s leader, Mike Roe, produced the album. Nightingale has been singing in church since he was six years old. He has been using the arts to lead worship since 1995, when he graduated from Grace College in Winona, Indiana.

His music is starting to be recognized nationally. The song “God of All Light” is ranked 20th on the Indieheaven play charts. Indieheaven is a popular outlet for artists not signed by major labels. Clips of several songs can be heard at Nightingale. The CD also can be ordered online at the site.

Rita Ruby, a worship leader at Grace Covenant Church in Chicago, also took several years to record In Ruth’s Kitchen. The album is a collection of Southern gospel songs, including “Unseen Hand,” “Leaning on the Everlasting Arms,” and “Where Could I Go but to the Lord?” The project’s title references the hours Ruby would sing hymns in the kitchen of her grandmother.

“My background in music is a life, it seems, and not a piece of it,” says Ruby, who grew up in Kentucky. “One of my great-aunts showed me an octave on the piano when I was five. From then on my hands would nearly tremble when I got near one.”

She would teach herself to play over the next 12 years by learning hymns. “Those were the only books around with music in them,” she explains, “and it’s the stuff I knew.”

In addition to leading worship, Ruby has been involved at Chicago’s widely respected Old Town School of Folk Music and was part of a traveling summer music camp in England.

Several clips from the album can be heard at Rita Ruby, where the album also can be ordered.

Although Jim Black’s album ‘Til Then was released three years ago, the song “Face to Face” continues to remain in the Top 40 of Indieheaven. Black is the bi-vocational pastor of Hope Community Covenant Church in Boynton Beach, Florida. Proceeds from the CD help support the church’s ministry.

The CD is backed by musicians who have played for Billy Joel (bassist) and Trisha Yearwood (drums). Black expects to have a six-song demo of a forthcoming CD, Deep, Deep Love, placed on Indieheaven soon. He expects to enter the studio in several months to work on his second album.

Copyright © 2011 The Evangelical Covenant Church.

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