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!

Artists at Kingdom Bound 2015

Kingdom Bound Promo SMALL

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)

Brothers McClurg Featured on CCLI

Brothers McClurg on CCLI

We were super stoked to wake up over the July 4th weekend to find that CCLI’s Song Select website had featured Brothers McClurg’s song “Alive.” We’re continually blessed by the work that our CCLI family does in promoting inspiring worship music to bless the nations, and we’re proud to be a small part of the big picture. Congrats to Brothers McClurg! Here’s to many more souls singing the praises of our God and King.

Bringing Music Styles From the Past Into Our Present Worship

Bringing Music Styles From the Past Into Our Present Worship
By Chris Hoisington
Brothers McClurg

About two years ago, I started a search for new inspiration. You know, the sort of quest that any good songwriter will when you’re feeling dry and you’re seeking fresh musical inspiration. I wanted to find God in other forms of music besides the current modern worship music I’d become accustomed to.

I started by thumbing through my vinyl collection. It was in these beloved crates of aged musicology that I happened upon some old records that my parents had recorded in the mid 70s. The McClurg Family Singers.

I hadn’t listened to these records in over ten years, at least. But what I remembered of them sounded hoaky. The ultimate in cheesy, twangy southern gospel.

But I decided to give them a new listen. When I dropped the pin on their grooves this time around, the music hit my ears differently. I heard something in the sound that was fresh. It was old, but familiar. It was exciting.

I caught the scent of my inspiration, like a grandfather’s pipe smoke wafting in from the front porch.

From there, I began purchasing gospel records from the 60’s and 70’s, soaking in the sounds of Hank Williams’ “I Saw the Light,” Elvis Presley’s “How Great Thou Art,” and the Louvin Brothers’ “Satan is Real.” They reminded me of those old songs I grew up hearing in church like “He Set Me Free,” “There’s Power in the Blood,” and The Gaithers’ “Because He Lives.”

I thought to myself, where has that music gone to? That good ‘ole sound?

Sure, we hear them every now and again, done at church during a special music time or in passing a road-side tent revival. And they’re alive and well at southern gospel festivals. But what about the church as a whole?

Soon after this fresh rediscovery of music, I decided to play the song “I’ve Got a River of Life Flowing Out of Me” during a Sunday worship service at my church. The results made me smile. I found that the older folks perked up and remembered how to clap, and the younger folks turned their heads, wondering what this “new” sound was. It was a glorious moment.

I think there are times when certain songs, even certain styles of music feel tired and need a break. This can be true of any art form, but especially of music. But everything comes full circle, and eventually we find a way to make old songs and old styles feel fresh again.

When I think of gospel music from the past, I think of our heritage, of a deep faith to draw from and pull into the present. These thoughts, combined with what happened that Sunday morning, made me think, what would new writing sound like if we brought that older style back again?

A few years back, Glenn Packiam, of New Life Church in Colorado Springs, called worship leaders to take a fresh look at liturgy in our churches—the structured, intentional progression of a Sunday service. He challenged us to try and bring it back again as an element in our services. To some churches, this was a totally new idea, while for others it had been one they have continued to do. It was in this challenged that I felt renewed passion toward these old gospel songs and music styles from Christian music’s past.

I started to realize that many of the vintage gospel records I was listening to were telling Bible stories, and some of the stories in scripture that you don’t always hear sung about in church. In a lot of ways, I think worship leading is like being a pastor. We are called to shepherd people into a real, honest and heartfelt experience with God. That’s why telling the Bible stories through song helps us reflect on the stories in new ways. It breathes life into the story. To help us understand the stories and what they can teach us.

Like a pastor takes a scripture and expounds upon it, we are taking stories from the Bible and expounding upon them through song. Bringing the story into the worship experience. Singing the stories of Jesus and what He did and how He interacted with people can help us understand Him in a deeper way. It can also help us see our life in light of the stories, which is exactly what a sermon does. Sermons and songs need to intermingle more. Often, our praise and the preaching of a sermon completely isolated, treated as two separate disciplines, when really, they have far more in common than we realize. Music can teach theology in fresh and new ways. Old Bible story songs teach people about their heritage, about the rich legacy of faith that we’re still benefitting form today.

Keep in mind, I don’t think this will work in every church or with every worship leader. Each of us has a unique voice and style, and the Lord speaks to each of us on how we should lead our congregations. I just wonder if we added more of those old gospel tunes and a return to that style of music, we may pull the older generations together along with us. As worship leaders, we’re called to serve our congregations as a whole, not just with the newest worship songs but also giving a fresh feel to some of the older songs as well.

Brothers McClurg has done just this with our last couple two albums, “Home” and “Around the Mic.”

We’ve tried to write with that old gospel feel in mind and bring it into the present.

And we’ve found that it’s giving fresh voice, not just just to our own congregations, but to the congregations we visit around the country.

These old gospel songs may be something you might want to try implementing into your own set. I would talk to your pastor about it and try adding a song or two into your set to see if it’s something your people might enjoy.

We certainly need praise songs that are straight forward and simple, that don’t focus on us but look to God, and I’m not saying you should stray from that. What I’m suggesting, however, is adding journey songs that talk about the road of life we’re on and help people see that we are real and honest people who go through the highs and lows of life. Music is a powerful tool that can connect people to Jesus like nothing else.

To start, I would recommend playing one gospel/journey song as people walk into church, then lead them in three songs of praise. Or at the tail end of your worship set, have them sit and share an older song while the offering is being taken. You might even end your service with one so that you’re not taking away from your praise songs, but rounding out the entire service. These practices are things that are inspiring us, and it may inspire you as well. Below is a gospel playlist of songs, old and new, to consider for your church.

Have you had an experience with this type of musical style in your church recently? What’s the response been like? We would love to hear how God is shaping your set list in different ways to help each person in your congregation connect with God.

Here is a playlist of new and old gospel songs to check out and enjoy.

Meg Sutherland and Brothers McClurg CD Release Events

2015-03 McClurg Sutherland Releases V1B

March is a big month for us as we release three new albums from two amazing artists. Read below and come join us as we launch Courage, Dear Heart by Meg Sutherland, and Home and Around The Mic by Brothers McClurg.

MEG SUTHERLAND

SATURDAY, MARCH 21, 7:00 PM – Meg Sutherland will perform live from Sprig Studios, debuting the songs from her new record Courage, Dear Heart. Watch live from our online campus; no fee for virtual admission.

SUNDAY, MARCH 22, 6:00 PM – Meg will perform live in concert with her band at New Life Christian Church’s Main Campus sanctuary, 255 Gaffney Dr., Watertown, NY – (315) 788-0825, releasing the physical CD before it’s street date. Admission is free with limited seating available. Special guest appearance by executive producer Douglas Gresham.

TUESDAY, MARCH 31, 7:30 PM – Meg Sutherland will perform at Mary Moody Northern Hall, West Texas A&M University, 2501 4th Avenue, Canyon, TX 79016 – (806) 651-0000. Admission is free with limited seating available. Special guest appearance by executive producer Douglas Gresham.

TUESDAY, MARCH 23 – Physical release date of Courage, Dear Heart.

TUESDAY, MARCH 31 – Digital release date of Courage, Dear Heart.

BROTHERS McCLURG

FRIDAY, MARCH 27, 7:00 PM – Join Brothers McClurg live in concert at Asbury Hall, Buffalo, NY release both Home, their new full-length album, and Around The Mic, their new live seven-song EP. Tickets are $6.00 and available here.

TUESDAY, MARCH 31, 7:00 PMWatch live from our online campus as we host Brothers McClurg Live from Sprig Studios to celebrate their digital and physical release dates. No fee for virtual admission.

TUESDAY, MARCH 31 – Physical release date of Home and Around The Mic.

TUESDAY, MARCH 31 – Digital release date of Home and Around The Mic.

Brothers McClurg Signs Record Deal With Sprig Music

PRESS RELEASE
For Immediate Release
JANUARY 5, 2015

DOWNLOAD PRESS RELEASE PDF

__________________

Brothers McClurg Signs Record Deal With Sprig Music

By Victoria Peryer

WATERTOWN, NY – Henry Ford famously said, “Coming together is a beginning; keeping together is progress; working together is success.” And while Brothers McClurg and Sprig Music won’t be fabricating automobiles anytime soon, they will be making records together. Which, more than likely, will be played in plenty of automobiles.

Sprig Music is announcing its newest partnership with recording artists Brothers McClurg, signing a two-album record deal this month, as well as a comprehensive booking agreement.

“It feels like a very genuine and fresh approach to musical partnership,” says Brothers McClurg co-founder Chris Hoisington. “Partnering with Sprig is a natural next step for our season of ministry.”

The band, with four previous albums, is ramping up for the release of their newest LP (yes, it will be on vinyl too), entitled Home. The record was going to be independently released following the band’s amicable parting with Integrity Music, but now finds its home on the Sprig label.

Additionally, the band will be heading into Sprig Studios later this month to record a second release entitled Around The Mic. The project is anticipated to be a studio-capturing of their notable “around the mic” unplugged acoustic sets which fans of all ages have been requesting for years.

Producer and recording engineer Peter Hopper will be in the driver’s seat for Around The Mic—or at least calling shotgun to man the radio dials. With over 6,000 recording projects to his name, and a career spanning more than 50 years, his expertise is a perfect fit for the vintage sound the band is looking for. “We’re printing this to two-inch tape,” Peter says, speaking of Sprig’s two vintage Studer analog tape machines, which marry seamlessly with the studio’s Amek console and ProTools rig. “It doesn’t get any fatter or warmer than that. We’re just thrilled to be working with such wonderful guys to make wonderful music for Jesus.”

Paul Mitro, a fellow studio owner and live mixing engineer, will also be working alongside Peter on production for Around The Mic. Having worked closely with Brothers McClurg for years, his contributions will help maintain the sound and consistency the band has worked hard to achieve.

The deal takes the band/label partnership into 2016 complete with renewal options.

Anthony Hoisington, brother to Chris, expressed excitement over their new label affiliation. “Sprig Music is setting a precedent of how the music industry can function in the new age. It’s nice to have a grassroots approach and feel. Like making music on the front porch and drinking a nice sweet tea.”

Chris agrees, nodding with his iconic afro. “Our partnership works in a way that our handshake and friendship means more than the music that we’re making. It’s humbling to have people that believe in the power of music and the power of Christ.”

Both albums will release physically on Friday, March 27, hallmarked by an album release party in Buffalo, NY (venue TBA), while a digital release date of Tuesday, March 31 will be commemorated with a live streaming concert inside Sprig Studios.

“What we’re all involved with is a fresh and smart approach to ministry through the arts,” adds Jeremy Thompson, another of the band’s key members.

“Sprig is a liberating model of how a label, a Church and a band can come together and make Christ honoring music,” says Chris.

Subscribe to the band’s email list for news on the upcoming releases, and follow them on Twitter, Instagram and Facebook for a look behind the scenes as they record at Sprig Studios later this month.

And if you frequent an automobile, we highly recommend you add these upcoming tunes to your road-trip playlist.

Media:
Victoria Peryer
victoria.newlifenny@gmail.com
+1 (210) 452-1385

Booking:
Clarissa Collins
clarissa.newlifenny@gmail.com
+1 (315) 788-0825

Left to right: Christopher Hopper, Chris Hoisington, Anthony Hoisington, Kevin Bish, Peter Hopper, Jeremy Thompson.

Left to right: Christopher Hopper, Chris Hoisington, Anthony Hoisington, Kevin Bish, Peter Hopper, Jeremy Thompson.

Left to right: Kevin Bish, Jeremy Thompson, Chris Hoisington during final negotiations.

Left to right: Kevin Bish, Jeremy Thompson, Chris Hoisington during final negotiations.

Left to right: Peter Hopper, Chris Hoisington, Christopher Hopper, Anthony Hoisington, Jeremy Thompson, reviewing demo recordings in Sprig Studios’ control room.

Left to right: Peter Hopper, Chris Hoisington, Christopher Hopper, Anthony Hoisington, Jeremy Thompson, reviewing demo recordings in Sprig Studios’ control room.

Left to right: Peter Hopper, Christopher Hopper during final negotiations.

Left to right: Peter Hopper, Christopher Hopper during final negotiations.

Left to right: Anthony Hoisington, Jeremy Thompson, Chris Hoisington in Studio A tracking a test demo.

Left to right: Anthony Hoisington, Jeremy Thompson, Chris Hoisington in Studio A tracking a test demo.