They say you should never meet your heros because you’ll be let down. I’ve been a big Michael W Smith fan for 22 years now since ‘Secret Ambition’ on the ‘i 2 (eye)’ album. (wow, writing that makes me sound old) I could list here a myriad of superfan things I’ve done over the years – but that would only highlight how lame I can be. I am not ‘like that’ though with anyone else. He’s just always been my favorite. Most often when someone comes to my merch table after a performance and starts their sentence with “He really sounds a lot like…” My wife can complete the thought for them: “Michael W Smith” In some ways I suppose its intentional on my part and in other ways it’s not, its just me. But suffice to say he has been a big influence in my life and music – consciously or not. Personally, I think he’s a musical genius with incredible longevity. He’s coming up on a 3 decade career and his newest CD ‘Wonder’ (Sept 28, 2010) which I was blessed with an advance copy of, is as good as any he’s done! (you need to get it!) So even a fleeting comparison to him – I’ll take it, with thanks.
I recently had the honor of working on a track for my upcoming album with Smitty and producer/engineer extraordinaire, Bryan Lenox, who Michael teamed up with on ‘Wonder’ as well as ‘Go West Young Man’, ‘Freedom’, and ‘This Is Your Time’. Wow. What a day. Living out Psalms 37:4 “Delight yourself in the Lord and He will give you the desires of your heart.” This had always been one of mine. I chose to cover a favorite Smitty songs that I’ve always wanted to cover. Michael played /programmed /produced /arranged it and I sang.
Now, the first time I ever met Smitty years ago I could hardly string words into a sentence. But this time I actually managed to sing – even with him filming me! Growth! We’re thrilled with the result and can’t wait for you to hear it.
All in all it was an amazing experience. Michael and his team were gracious hosts, exceeding expectations on all levels and treating us like gold well outside the bounds of our arrangement. Not saying he’s perfect based on that. He’s a man – none of us are. But we only ever hear great things about Michael – can’t say that about everyone. After 20+ years in a business based on relationships you have a reputation. Good bad or ugly. “A good name is more desirable than great riches; to be esteemed is better than silver or gold.” (Pr 22:1 ) Props to Michael for managing to do it all. So let me just add our experience to his credit and give honor where honor is due. Fabulously talented and quality person simultaneously. Rare. We broke ‘the rules’, met a ‘hero’ and were far from disappointed. Probly bigger fans than ever now – in a new way!
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