Hymns for the Young in Spirit

by Brent Holl

Released 2012
Shen Fine Music
Released 2012
Shen Fine Music
Songs for the young in heart and spirit played on acoustic instruments with sweet vocal harmony.
Hymns for the Young in Spirit is a project inspired by my work with the children of the Bridgewater Church of the Brethren in Bridgewater, Virginia. Over a period of several years, I've worked with the Children's Church program, the children's choirs and the Orff ensemble at the church.

The songs are arranged in acoustic folk style and feature several of my musical friends helping out as guest musicians. The highlight of the CD for me is Track 4, a song written by Steven Kennedy for his daughter Miri. Your Eyes features Steve on guitar and lead vocal and his wife Jessica Holl with back up vocals. Another highlight is the fine Galax dulcimer stylings of Phyllis Gaskins, a local musician and recording artist, on Joy, Joy, Joy. She and her husband Jim, who plays Blue Ribbon fiddle, are also part of the Joy Choir. The Joy Choir is an eclectic group of clients of the Electric Arts Studio. Bart Reardon invited anyone that had a session over a period of two weeks in November to add their voice to the refrain. The result is a community song fest and instrument jam that reminds me of real down-home music making.

Tallis Canon is a song that is used in Children's Church as a benediction each Sunday. This version features Steve, Jessica and Brent singing in four-part canon. (Jessica is the fourth voice.) The accompaniment is a tapestry of instruments including, 6 and 12-string guitars, bass, melodion, and octave mandolin. While the bass and 12-string guitar mark the harmony, the remaining instruments are all playing the melody, first in unison and later in four-part canon too. As the voices sing the canon the instruments are in double canon with entrances in the middle of the phrases, creating a surreal, densely woven tapestry of sound.

Most of these songs can be found in A Worship Book - the hymnal of the Brethren and Mennonites. Several of the songs that aren't in the hymnal are included because they are favorites of the congregation kids including: A Marvelous Toy, Joy, Joy Joy, A Place in the Choir, and Followers of the Lamb.

The lineup for the songs is as follows:

A Place in the Choir - Brent Holl, lead vocal, bass, 6-string guitar, banjo, octave mandolin; Steven Kennedy and Jessica Holl, backup vocals.
Followers of the Lamb - Brent Holl, vocals, bass, 12-string guitar, and percussion; Steven Kennedy, lead guitar.
The Marvelous Toy - Brent Holl, vocal, 6-string guitar, and bass.
Your Eyes - Steven Kennedy, lead vocal, 6-string guitar, lead guitar; Jessica Holl, backup vocal; Bart Reardon, lap steel and electric bass; Brent Holl, 12-string guitar and backup vocal.
Lord, Listen to your Children - Brent Holl, vocals, 6-string guitar, melodion, octave mandolin, bass, percussion.
Two Fishermen - Brent Holl, vocal, melodion, octave mandolin, 12-string guitar, bass.
Guide My Feet - Brent Holl, lead vocal, backup vocals, 12-string guitar, and percussion; Steven Kennedy, backup vocals, lead guitar; Jessica Holl, backup vocal; Bart Reardon, electric bass.
We Shall Walk Through the Valley - Brent Holl, lead vocal, 12-string guitar, bass; Steven Kennedy, backup vocal, 6-string guitar; Jessica Holl, backup vocal.
Joy, Joy Joy - Brent Holl, lead vocal, banjo, bass, 6-string guitar, octave mandolin; Phyllis Gaskins, Galax dulcimer, backup vocal, Jim Gaskins, fiddle, backup vocal; Bart Reardon, 6-string lead guitar, backup vocal; The Joy Choir, Francis Miller, Wendy Reardon, Mitchell Darrow, Steven Kennedy, Jessica Holl.
Tallis Canon - Brent Holl, vocal, 12-string guitar, melodion, octave mandolin, bass; Steven Kennedy, 6-string guitar, vocal; Jessica Holl, vocals.