Fire & Flood by J. Reynolds

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For singer-songwriter J. Reynolds, the release of Fire & Flood has been all about timing.

“This whole project was a lesson on God’s timing,” says Reynolds from his home in western New York State. “Honestly, I think it’s the first time I truly trusted him with something like this—these songs, the recording, the release—and just let go of my own agenda.”

When asked what brought him to this place, Reynolds is quick to cite the hardship that he’s experienced in life. “It’s really because of trials in my personal life,” he says. “I had no choice but to give this project to him from the start. Which isn’t that what a worship album should be about anyway?”

Any sooner or any later and it may not have worked.

The songs for Fire & Flood began when Reynolds started co-writing with longtime friend Brennan Blowers about 8 years ago.

“We started with We Lift You Up and Palm of Your Hand, which we played at our home church. The songs were so well received that we kept thinking we should write more and record them. It took seven years to get to a place where that made sense in our lives and our experiences. But any sooner or any later and it may not have worked.”

The album artfully marries organic with synthetic, drawing from Reynolds’ mastery of rich ambient tone combined with digital precision.

“There are acoustic guitars and other vintage instruments, but a ton of synths and programmed loops,” he says, pulling up a sample of Your Kingdom Come on his laptop. “I am very entertained and enamored with layers of sounds, so I and wanted to make a record that I would actually listen to as an artist.” True to Reynolds’ self-assessment, the song’s guitar parts dance effortlessly upon deeply layered pads. “However, at the end of the day, we wanted every song to be approachable enough for a solo guitar or piano with a room of worshippers.”

I lived a pretty safe and comfortable life, but going through some fires in the last year or two broke me down to where I knew I needed Jesus.

Reynolds notes that the record’s theme is about Christ carrying believers through life—through the fires and the floods of a broken world.

“This means some of the songs are dark musically,” he explains, “but that comes from a place of asking ‘Who am I, God, that You would know my name, and lift me up out of despair, and walk with my hand in Yours?’” But he insists that it’s those very same fires that help to refine Christians and deepen their acknowledgment of needing God. “I lived a pretty safe and comfortable life, but going through some fires in the last year or two broke me down to where I knew I needed Jesus if I was going to move forward.”

“The bridge in ‘Shelter’ sums it up for me every time,” he adds. “It says, ‘Every word that You have ever said is true / You are the rock that I have held onto / I know You hear me when I call upon Your name / You are my shelter’.”

When asked how he hopes the album will connect with people, Reynolds points out that “there are certain people for whom music is the best way to connect with God, but that they may not be satisfied by the usual flavors on the menu.”

“My hope,” he concludes, “is that the band and I were able to bridge a gap between the singable corporate worship songs that we all know and love with unconventional elements of surprise and wonder.”

Fire & Flood is available October 13, 2017 from online retailers everywhere. Visit jreynoldsmusic.com to listen and purchase. •

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Sprig Signs Worship Artist J. Reynolds

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Sprig is pleased to announce its partnership with worship leader, songwriter, and producer, J. Reynolds, who has signed to the Sprig Worship imprint.

“J. is one of those prolific creators who just makes all this incredible music, dumps it in your lap, and says, ‘Here you go. Think we should do something with this?'” says Christopher Hopper, label executive. “My answer was, ‘Uh, yes!'”

“He’s an incredible writer,” agrees Anthony Hoisington, co-executive and head of the Old Bear imprint. “He’s just so good at grabbing ideas out of thin air and making them work, whether for himself or the other artists he writes for. For us, [signing him] was a no brainer.”

A long-time friend and collaborator of Brothers McClurg, J. is no stranger to the stage or the studio. “This just felt like the right time to make him more visible,” says Hoisington, who also helped produce J.’s upcoming debut release, Fire & the Flood, slated for a Fall 2017 drop.

“His years of faithful service to the local church combined with his seasoned repertoire make him a valuable addition to our growing family,” says Hopper. •••

Old Bear Records and Sprig Worship as Imprints

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We are pleased to announce the creation of our first two imprints, Old Bear Records and Sprig Worship. These imprints are meant to serve as musical homes for songs within the larger Sprig Music record label that help identify the art’s unique missional values. We believe that these imprints not only serve artists more faithfully but give audiences a sense of what to expect from each ‘house.’

Old Bear Records will serve general market songs and projects, paying special attention to folk, Americana, blues, and jazz. Sprig Worship will house Christian worship songs and projects, most of which work best as congregational resources in churches through CCLI’s SongSelect. Both imprints, however, work together to serve the larger Sprig Music goal of using the musical arts to bring hope, beauty, and life to humanity.

Listeners may observe our artists releasing songs under both imprints; this is intentional, as many of our artists do not write and record just one style of music, nor is there always a singular categorical aim. It’s this diversity that drove our decision to create imprints in the first place. Having multiple imprints gives our artists more freedom to write outside of conventional restraints and broadens their voice to speak to areas that they may otherwise have been kept from.

Thank you for growing with us and embracing the music-makers who are painting pictures of life the way it should be.

Sincerely,

Christopher Hopper & Anthony Hoisington

Ian Zumback Signs with Sprig Music

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For Immediate Release

October 26, 2016

Ian Zumback Signs with Sprig Music

Watertown, NY – Sprig Music is pleased to announce the signing of Nashville-based singer-songwriter Ian Zumback to its label roster. With his long music history and profound faith journey, Ian brings a wealth of seasoned life experiences and a rich songwriting and performance craft that embodies the Christ-altered life of the believer.

At the heart of Ian’s music is a desire to refresh and comfort others and to reconcile people to God.

“Sprig is very passionate about adding a dimension that serves a niche, if you will, of people that are yet to hear the Gospel,” says Zumback. “Meanwhile, other listeners may already be Christians but desire to hear a sound that’s a bit different than some of the other genres available.” And it’s this heart that label president, Christopher Hopper, is capitalizing on.

“Ian is bringing something to the table that’s fresh and tangible,” Hopper states. “His sound and his lyrics resonate with people. They’re raw, truth-telling lines that evoke this sense of, ‘Oh yeah, I feel like that too.’ It’s that kind of honesty that’s really made us fall in love with what he’s doing.”

Sprig is releasing Zumback’s first single, Murderer a Messenger, on November 18 complete with a new music video directed by Luka Iverson. The single will be available worldwide through major distribution and precedes an LP release slated for the summer of 2017.

“I couldn’t be more excited than I am to be joining the Sprig Music family,” says Zumback. “We share a vision consistent with each other, and I feel so privileged to share a place on the artist roster with my friends Brothers McClurg and Weston Skaggs.”

Zumback currently resides in Nashville with his wife, Susan, and their son, Jonah.

For booking requests, please contact Daniela Piña with Sprig Music Booking at (315) 788-0825 or fill out Sprig Music’s Artist Booking Form. •

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Weston Skaggs Signs Deal with Sprig Music

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WATERTOWN, NY – Sprig Music is pleased to announce our partnership with recording artist and worship leader Weston Skaggs. As the newest artist on the Sprig roster, Skaggs comes with a long history of ministry to the church, as well as a deep reservoir of powerful songs that we believe the world needs to hear.

“I am so glad to be a part of the Sprig music family,” says Skaggs. “This team is full of incredibly talented and Godly people who have made me feel welcomed and encouraged.”

Hailing from Cleveland, Ohio, Skaggs is known for his unique blend of indie folk music and American roots. Add to that his heart for the local church, and what comes out is a worship leader who’s able to paint pictures of the highs and lows of the human experience. His songs are deeply authentic and accessible, drawing from situations like the dramatic birth of his daughter.

“My wife, Amy, nearly died in childbirth with Paisley,” recounts Skaggs. “She lost 10 liters of blood due to hemorrhaging, and underwent a hysterectomy during a 4-hour life-saving surgery.” The implications of the surgery are far-reaching, as anyone can imagine. But Skaggs insists that God used the experience for good. “Some extraordinary things happen to someone who holds on to the love of God when the odds are totally against them. Only one thing can account for it all—the love of God in Christ Jesus.”

And it’s precisely from this sort of place that Skaggs penned the lyrics to of his upcoming LP Joy & Sorrow Meet. “Out of the wreck I rise,” he says, “every single time.” The album pre-releases on Friday July 22, 2016 exclusively at Kingdom Bound at Darien Lake, NY with a full release the following Friday, July 29 on iTunes, Amazon, Spotify, Google Play, and physically at Sprig Music Store.

“Being a church-founded, artist-centric label means that Sprig has no conflict of interest to tamper with their artists’ songs and personal calling,” Skaggs adds. “This has allowed me to feel very settled and free to create the most true expression of my art in the studio.”

For more information on Weston Skaggs, please visit sprigmusic.com/artists. For media interviews and booking, please contact Daniela Piña (315) 788-0825. •

Brothers McClurg to Release Christmas Album

WATERTOWN, NY – Sprig Music is pleased to announce that Brothers McClurg will release a new Christmas album entitled “Goin’ Back To Bethlehem,” on November 27, 2015, featuring a collection of brand new material as well as revisiting some old standards.

In conjunction with the full-length album, we’ll be releasing six music videos over six weeks, beginning this Friday, November 13th. Make sure to follow us on Instagram, Twitter, Youtube and Facebook for up to the minute updates.

From the entire Sprig Music family to yours, Happy Thanksgiving and Merry Christmas!

Sprig Music Signs Drummer Sam Widrick

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WATERTOWN, NEW YORK – Sprig Music is pleased to announce its management partnership with drummer Sam Widrick. Widrick is best known for his current tour status with husband and wife duo Christopher and Jennifer Hopper, as well as for his studio performances on their current worship album Awaken. He’s also a weekly live drummer for New Life Christian Church in Watertown, New York.

Widrick’s attention to detail, dedication to excellence, and impeccable sense of timing make him one of Sprig Music’s favorite drummers. His playing is hallmarked by consistency and a keen ear for artistic nuance.

“Plus,” says Christopher Hopper, “he’s just a likable, easygoing guy. And that’s not as common as you might think, especially when under pressure on stage or in the studio.”

With specialities in rock, hard core, and pop, as well as a growing interest in jazz, R&B, and country, Widrick’s wide dialog of genres makes him an asset to studio and road acts alike. He’s highly prepared, diligent, and always brimming with creative interpretations and insights. He’s also versatile in large and small venues, able to adjust dynamically to environmental contexts.

“We couldn’t do what we do without Sam,” says Jennifer Hopper. “He’s the glue that holds us together.”

Please visit Widrick’s Sprig Music page for booking and endorsement inquiries.

Press Release: Sprig Music Signs Artist Michael Bahn

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Photo by Sabina Magdalen-Hillman

Watertown, NY – Sprig Music is pleased to announce its partnership with singer/songwriter Michael Bahn of Grants Pass, Oregon. Bahn is a prolific writer and worship leader who serves as pastor of worship and administration at River Valley Church (RVC). Along with multiple albums of his own original music, he’s worked with numerous notable national artists, including Lincoln Brewster, Logan Martin, Chris & Conrad, Phil Stacey, Don Moen, Brandon Bee, Kate White, and Brothers McClurg.

Bahn is currently recording his third album, his first with Sprig Music, slated for a fourth quarter 2015 release. The album, produced by Chris and Anthony Hoisington of Brothers McClurg fame, will be prefaced with a new single “Rejoice” for airplay during the Christmas holiday.

Sprig Music is excited to produce and promote Bahn’s songs, all of which are designed to be easily accessible to worship leaders serving churches large and small. His modern vocal stylizing, instrumental proficiency, and dedication to song craft make him a musical inspiration. Bahn himself is a valuable addition to the Sprig Music family of artists as his love for people and desire for excellence are abundantly apparent in his work, as his his love for his wife and children.

To learn more about Michael Bahn, or to book him for dates in 2016, please visit his artist page for more information. •

Artists at Kingdom Bound 2015

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We’re pleased to announce that two of our artists, Brothers McClurg and Christopher and Jennifer Hopper, will be performing next week at Kingdom Bound at Darien Lake Amusement Park. Both bands will be playing in the Worship Tent, and Christopher will be speaking and MC’ing as well.

Scheduled events:

Wednesday, July 22nd
PAC Stage / 6:00 pm
Christopher Hopper as MC

Friday, July 24th
Worship Tent / 8:00 pm
Brothers McClurg (Band)

Saturday, July 25th
Worship Tent / 11:00 am
Brothers McClurg (Band)

Saturday, July 25th
Thrivent Financial Galaxy Theater / 3:00 pm
Christopher Hopper speaking on “Kingdom Business”

Saturday, July 25
Worship Tent / 5:45 pm (but come early!)
Christopher and Jennifer Hopper (Band)