Genre – Christian Contemporary
I couldn’t think of a better place to start my journey of writing about independent artists, then to start with someone who’s music is so uplifting and whose voice is very solid and beautiful. Bruce is a Christian Singer/Songwriter whose passion for his songwriting is strongly rooted in his faith. Bruce and I met through the Broadjam 6-Pack competition back in 2007. Immediately I fell in love with his style and writing.
Christian music is such an under-heard genre. There’s more about this category than meets the eye. Greatly it is a genre that does have a lot of praise and worship music to it, but there is also a great deal of life lessons being learned in the lyrics of a lot of Christian artists. The artist always is grateful for God’s support, love and understanding and the music lifts you up, no matter what state you are in. Sometimes the songs are so beautiful that they bring you to tears. Bruce has a couple of these songs. You know someone has deep emotional roots to their faith when they write music like this. Life experiences tend to make us stronger and heal faster through the things that touch us emotionally. You can relate to an artist who’s been through rougher times in their life and also relate to someone who has been through blessed times. Bruce gives us both in his writing style.
First song I’d like to point out is “A Soldier’s Request (Please Pray For Me)”
Simple in its playing style, but very strong in its voice and lyric. I love the mandolin on this song and then the incorporation of the guitar in the second verse. But I love these lyrics. Bruce is a strong supporter of our troops, as am I. And we both believe in praying for their safe return and the strength that they need to carry our country forward. The hook in the chorus is so perfect for this song, “I’ll fight for you. Please pray for me” A simple request, but a strong image it portrays.
Bruce had contacted people on his list a while back, asking that if we bought some songs, he’d donate the earnings to an organization that helped the troops. I bought this song and several others, because I really do love his music and thought “what a great way to give back.”
One of the last verses of the song says “God help me carry this heavy load as I am walking this rocky road I know I’ll make it if keep pressing on.” This is a great prayer to give strength, even in the hardest of times and makes this song so much more deeply powerful in its statement.
Second song I’d like to point to on his page is “These Streets of Gold”
When I first heard this song, it was via the 6-Pack contest at Broadjam this last year. I knew it was Bruce by his voice, but I had to listen to the song about four times before I could let it go off of my page, because it was just so beautifully sung and played. What a great song this is. A picture of Heaven is drawn early in the lyric, but the song is about meeting your loved ones in Heaven after you pass. I just love the imagery that Bruce paints in this song, but more over, I love the music and the hook he has written here. This song stays with you when you first hear it; it is simple again in instrumentation, but powerful in voice. This is one of the many things I love about Bruce’s music. His voice is so powerful and beautiful, that it can carry his message that he is trying share with us.
Not very often does an artist have a powerful enough voice to walk away from their instruments and do a cappella style vocals, especially handling their own harmonies. I will leave you with the last song on my list of tunes to check out on Bruce’s page.
“Be Still My Soul”
Lyrics by: Katharina A. von Schlegel (public domain)
Music by: Jean Sibelius (Public Domain)
It’s a short and sweet song that has only been done by a few modern artists. The first time I heard it was from Paul Schwartz who is behind the State of Grace CDs. He incorporated this in the very first State of Grace CD. A beautiful Christian singer by the name of Lisbeth Scott, who has now gone on to write choral arrangements for productions like “The Passion of the Christ”, was the person who sings on his projects. Lisbeth sings it solemnly, like Sarah McLaughlin would, but Bruce sings it from the bottom of his soul, which sent shivers down my spine when I heard it. I just love this poem and this song and I think that Bruce just took ownership of it with his powerful voice.
You’ve now heard my take on three songs by Bruce Niemchick. There are many more good songs on his page, so please visit his site, listen to his music and if you like what you hear, purchase from his page. Whether or not you like Christian music, you have to give it the respect it deserves with the positive message that it sends. There is always hope in this world and the music portrays that in many ways.
Today is also Bruce’s birthday and I would like to wish him a very happy one and to let him know that his music has always touched my heart in many ways. Sometimes artists don’t know how people react, or like their music after they have listened to it. I think it’s great to have this forum on the net to give back and share with the world, just what we think of artists we like to listen to. So, Happy Birthday Bruce! May this be a wonderfully blessed year for you!