Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Stand Up! Praising God With Music

Recently, when I was given the opportunity to review a collection of Big Band Praise songs, I have to admit, I was intrigued. I am an old-fashioned girl at heart. This is reflected in the aprons I wear when cooking, by the milk glass and old needlework I collect, and the style of furniture in my "parlor" (as well as by the fact that I even call our front room a parlor!)

Big Band music is another one of my particular nostalgic favorite things, along with old movie classics and "real" dancing (like good old Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers used to do). I have very fond memories of dancing with friends to Glenn Miller songs during college, and have several collections of Big Band music I listen to from time to time when my heart needs a lift, and my feet need some encouragement to get on the move.

If you are a fan of Big Band era music, too, and also love listening to hymns and praise music, then this is one cd you are going to want to go out and buy right away. It is awesome! The first day I received it, I stuck it in the player in my kitchen, and almost immediately, every one of my kids was in there asking me what the good  music was. Within moments, the Amigos were dancing and laughing, smiling at each other as they hummed along with the new take on the timeless hymns we all love so much. I think we played it three times that first day. Twice while we did our chores and school work, then once again at dinner time.

I do enjoy traditional hymns very much. Their messages are so full of Biblical truths and you probably know how much more easily most of us remember things when they are set to music. It can be both a blessing (like when your child memorizes scripture in the guise of a song) and a curse (like when that annoying commercial tune gets stuck in your head). Anyway, one of my favorite Christian radio programs was an all hymn show on Sunday mornings which featured classic hymns played by more contemporary bands, usually true to the tune of the song, but with a slightly updated take. I love the classic sound of many of the old hymns, but sometimes the energy level of the newer versions helps me to get out of a slump in a way a more traditional tune does not.

If you are ever in need of something that will help you scrub your floors with a more cheerful heart, or are simply seeking an innovative way to get your kids to want to learn the life-changing lyrics of some of the best classic Christian songs, then you are going to love this collection of instrumental hymns and some newer praise favorites played with Big Band flair and verve.

From the very beginning (Just a Closer Walk With Thee), you will find your toes tapping, your lips curving in a smile, and your heart more merry. Other tunes include: Fairest Lord Jesus,  Joshua Fit the Battle of Jericho, Hosanna, God Will Take Care of You, Stand Up, Stand Up for JesusIndescribable, and four others. Not a single one of them is a song I would skip. In fact, I am going to be checking to see if the Swing Low Praise Band offers any other titles, and if they do, I will be adding them to my Christmas wish list. Every one of my kids, from ages 20-2 LOVES this cd and regularly asks me to pop it in when we are making dinner or doing kitchen chores. I love the fact that as we are doing our work "as if for the Lord," we are praising Him in our hearts through our enjoyment of this music and our renewed positive attitudes.

Another of my favorite things about this cd it is that it gives me the pep I sometimes need to get moving, along with the message (of the Good News) my heart always craves, yet because the songs are instrumental, it is not so distracting that it cannot be on while the kids are doing schoolwork or I am doing something like typing up a post or visiting with a friend. Another BIG benefit is that these songs DO get stuck in your head, in a very good way! I noticed the other day that I do not mind when my mind plays the strains of one of these wonderful tunes over and over again the way I do when it is a song of nonsense, or offense (as you sometimes run across on television or in movies). All it is doing is focusing me back on the Lord, as my brain fills in the words I know go along with the catchy, toe-tapping tunes.

This one is a keeper, folks!! Plan to buy it for your loved ones this Christmas. I know my grandmothers will love it, so I guess if they read my blog they know what they can expect to be in the boxes from us under their Christmas trees this December (I hope you like it!!). I would highly recommend this cd to anyone. The only folks I think should pass on this excellent collection of tunes are those folks who do not approve of dancing. If that is you, don't order this one because it will tempt you too much. For my part, I am glad that I don't mind dancing when it is meant to be an expression of praise to God and a reflection of a joyful heart, because watching my little ones' faces light up when the first song begins to play, and seeing them turn happily in circles in the kitchen with their hands raised high, is a real heart-warmer for me.

You can pick up a copy of this cd from the publisher, Discovery House and if you click on the song titles, you will hear a portion of the music(though I think you are safe taking my word for it on this one!),.


I received a copy of this cd from Discovery House Publishers for the purposes of offering my honest review here on my blog. The opinions you read here are a reflection of our true experiences with this product. If you have any questions about what I have said here, please feel free to contact me.

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