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James Jessey Joseph

What a privilege it was to meet Haitian Guitarist, James Jessy Joseph some years ago. His passion for music, his passion for God we have enjoyed many events together.
It was an easy choice for selecting James to play on the Gospel of Romance Project EP. #gospelofromance #gospel #romance #trinidadandtobago #music #musicforlife
#sj #stephenjohntt #stephenjohnmusic #mowtown #soul #indie #indiemusic #independentartist #caribbeanmusic #singersongwriter

I had the awesome privilege of working with some very talented humble musicians and just general human beings while recording the Gospel of Romance EP. Here is my friend, mentor, sounding board and saxophonist Jesse Ryan.

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Studio Day (Band)

Hey family, thanks for following the story so far. We got in early on this day set up go a bite and then we recorded. We did two track that night. Let enter and see what it’s like while the guys set up. Stay locked for more information as the EP comes in 2019.

Studio Day “Band Session”

It was another day in the kitchen cooking up a fine dinner. I think we left the studio around midnight. Was so much fun tracking Whoo Hoo “So Beautiful”. What was even more fun was watching Tamba track the percussion. Stay locked for more clips of the process. Gospel of Romance EP due 2019.

Studio Day “Tracking Horns”

I am eternally grateful to my friend Jesse Ryan for the amazing arrangements on the horns for the EP. Here we are tracking horns for Whoo Hoo (So Beautiful) at the beautiful GMP Recording Studio in Canada.

Studio Day “Band Session”

Hey, family another day at the studio with the crew. Here we are setting up with percussionist extraordinaire Tamba Gwindi. Stay locked for more clips and news about the EP coming in 2019.

Studio Day Tracking Horns

Recording Session for my up coming EP of the Gospel of Romance Project. With Andrew McAnsh on Trumpet and my bro Jesse Ryan on Alto Sax tracking horns for Naked and Not Ashamed. Stay tuned for more clips and info about the EP coming in 2019

Belly Full

Burpp!!

Excuse me as I wipe my mouth, I just eat ah food. My sweet “blue” food notes and curried “grays” have satisfied my hunger…till…my appetite growls again. Until I allow the acid to burn the lining called my conscience.

 

Then I eat a food again. This time a little heavier, left-hand dumplings with some “greens” and some sliced “reds” on the side please, and to wash it down how about a tall beastly cold “50”.

 

But how long before the acid burns all my conscience away, then, the ulcers one by one appear. Slowly, I cringe at first, bending over in pain. Maybe it was the dumplings, maybe the curried “grays” or the sweet “blues”. I’m… not cer..tain but it pains.

 

I’ve lost it my birthright, my good name, my character, my conscience eaten away by the food. Food that should have strengthen me, developed my muscles, food has become my poison.

 

Must I eat ah food? oh yes! but not all food must be eaten.

Copyright 2013

Weeds In My Garden

I recently visited the airport to see a friend off. While he was checking in I looked out through the glass wall into a well-manicured garden. I soon recognized that there weren’t any visible weeds. This then got me to thinking, what exactly is a weed?

A quick check of the dictionary revealed several things to me – some more poignant than others. A weed is

  1. A wild plant growing where it isn’t wanted
  2. An undesirable plant in a particular situation or in the wrong place
  3. A plant that is not valued where it is growing.

 

I thought to myself that any plant can be a weed if it is growing where it is not wanted and valued. Imagine a rose growing in a tomato field. The rose doesn’t belong there it is not wanted, it is out of place. It might be beautiful to look at but it is a weed. Think about a grapevine growing in a rose garden. Getting in between the branches and the thorns… a sticky situation.

The beautiful scenery I saw caused me to reflect on my life. Are there weeds in my life? Maybe there are beautiful traits that are out of place or undesirable. Or maybe there are attractive things that are adding no value to my well-being or progress.

My wife often tells me that I am too patient. Is she right? Yes, she is. Now, don’t get me wrong, patience is a good thing but used incorrectly or in the wrong place, it becomes undesirable and like a weed. Being overly patient when you should be acting is just as bad as acting when you should be patient.

Since then I have been doing some self-evaluation. What weeds am I allowing to grow in my life? There may be good things that no longer serve a purpose for where I am heading or habits that need breaking and removal.

Whatever it is, as beautiful as the garden may be in your life anything that doesn’t fit, or doesn’t serve a purpose, or is uncultivated is a weed.

 

Bless

Pulpit of Embarrassment

 

As I sit here to write this I struggle to even piece the thoughts together. Should I be totally open? Should I polish it? Should I be tactful? I think openness is healthy, so I will let you all into my world.

One of the most painful experiences I have ever had was seeing the congregation of my church walking out on me as my band and I tried to engage with them at the end of a Sunday service. Was I preaching heresy? No. Was I doing some ungodly act? No. Was I being disrespectful to the pastor or members? No. My “sin” was presenting some original works, promoting my concert, and asking for support. In five minutes, the congregation went from approximately 500 people to about 15. Needless to say, I was totally embarrassed as I stood standing asking for their attention, asking for silence so I could make the announcement and do a few songs. Like in the parable of the sower and the seed, my plea fell on stony ground and the birds gladly swooped it up.

I learned quite a few lessons that day. Here are some of them.

Core support is never in the masses:

Having lots of people around you and cheering you on feels good. However, when the next trend or hip thing comes along, the masses will be gone in five minutes or less. The 15 people that remain are the ones that will support you in the good times and in the bad times. Whether you’re hip or unknown, look for the 15 people and keep going. Ask Gideon, heading off to battle the Midianites with 20 00 men, he followed God’s directive and reduced his army to 300 hundred. Guess what? He won.

Even at church, not everyone around you is for you:

Some will smile, maybe even compliment you, but they may not be for you. After that experience I asked God for discernment; in my naivety, I once thought every member of my congregation was “for me”. Well, the reality of life is different. Some will do things to malign your name as well as undermine your work and credibility. I have not and endeavour not retaliate in kind. I keep my peace by allowing God to renew my strength. I also continue to pursue a genuine relationship with Christ, and to engage in fellowship with believers who sincerely care about me as a person and who wanted to live out God’s word daily. Not everyone that calls you ‘brother’ thinks of you as a brother.

You are stronger than you know:

It was ironic. In the face of humiliation, my bandmates questioned why my “own” would treat me that way. Yes, I felt hurt, yes I cried, my wife was upset; we both wondered, “Why?” Faithful member, worship leader, keyboardist, former choir director: Why? However, after searching myself and dealing with the pain, I found a strength I didn’t know that I had. One that allows me to smile with the Judases knowing they will eventually betray. A strength to pursue in the face of challenges. The strength to cry out to God, to praise Him – even when I didn’t feel to. I am quite a skinny guy, so my muscular strength isn’t that much, but I found out that real strength is not measured in muscles but in heart, in passion, and in mental and spiritual resilience.

 

 

 

Passion can be a lonely road:

When you’re passionate about something, it can be a long, lonely trek. Your passion will be questioned and misunderstood. Your passion will be used as the barometer and thermometer of your walk with Christ. The thing that you are passionate about, some will consider it your idol because of your discipline and dedication to learn and improve. In my case, it is music. Needing to learn and grow in an environment where many are less passionate is quite disheartening at times. My passion and drive have been and at times probably are easily misinterpreted as “you love that thing more than God”. However, as lonely as it is, only God knows my heart and commitment to him. He will reward in due time.

 

So there you have it, a few things I learned from that experience, as painful as it was. I believe, and I am convinced, I have come out better. God indeed does work all things out for your good.

 

Bless