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MP3 Steven Shade - The Angels In Us All

Go for a walk, or a drive, with this song, and you''re guaranteed to arrive wherever you''re headed in a better mood!

1 MP3 Songs in this album (3:49) !
Related styles: Spiritual: Contemporary Christian, Rock: Acoustic, Christian

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Steven Shade has been enamored with music from a very young age. Growing up in rural Ohio, he came up in the Brethren tradition, in a small community, of solid folks, the kind they almost don''t make anymore. “I remember the first musical thing I ever did”, Steven recalls. “There was this old, old upright piano in one of the Sunday school rooms. At the time it looked enormous, but that’s probably because I was ten years old at the time. A few of the kids my age were taking piano by then, but I wasn’t. I had no idea what to do on that thing as I heard them play little songs. Then one time when nobody else was around, I worked up the courage to approach this dark, wooden behemoth. After smashing a few awful handfuls of old, yellow keys, I hit upon what I now know was C, E, and G. A C major chord. Like I said, I didn’t know what it was at the time, but that sound just felt right.”

After convincing his parents to buy him his first Casio keyboard for Christmas, Steven began hunting and pecking out more sounds and combinations that “felt right”. Within a few months he was writing songs. “I just imitated the styles and sounds I heard on the radio at the time”, Steven said, “but I was lucky to have a music teacher who believed in me and nurtured my talent. I still can’t believe she let me play those early songs for other classes too.”

In high school, Steven refined his ear training and taught himself to play guitar, but even more important, he says, were his experiences at Woodland Altars. “It was, and is, a Brethren summer camp,” he says. “I was a camper at their Performing Arts Camp for, gosh, four years? Maybe longer. But it was there that I learned how to play for an audience. I listened to the pop songs on the radio all year, and learned how to play them all on piano. Some of my favorite memories are of sitting around the main lodge at night, playing and singing with dozens of other campers around me. I played and we sang not just what was on the radio, but songs of our faith. It was because of my experience there, seeing Christ in friends I saw only a week at a time every year, that I decided to become a baptized member of the Family of Faith. Those single weeks, even with so much space in between them, are among the most wonderful and powerful memories of my young life.”

By the time he graduated high school he had recorded two albums, never released publicly. Majoring in Music at Wright State University in Dayton, OH, Steven pursued and earned a degree in Music Education. During his time at WSU, he recorded another album (limited release), sang in several top choral groups, further refined his songwriting, made some incredible friends, met the woman he later married, and learned how to turn a PC into an effective recording studio. “Not necessarily in order of importance there,” he adds. Shortly after he began teaching, he started a contemporary worship service at the West Charleston Church of the Brethren; the same church that all those years ago housed the upright piano that started him on his musical journey.

Moving to Columbus, OH, for a music teaching job, Steven was fortunate to fall in with the New Connections Worship Band at Linworth United Methodist Church. “There really are very few coincidences in life,” Steven says. “I was playing piano at this church for some friends of mine who were getting married there, and…well first of all, they had this sweet Steinway grand, the likes of which no one had ever let me play before” he laughs. “So here I am doing what I do for weddings, and afterward the sound guy for the church said ‘Hey, you’re pretty good. You should come back tomorrow and hear our contemporary worship band. You might like them.’ So I did, and I was absolutely blown away with how great the music was! I joined the band, and have been a part of that group for seven years now.”

It was his experiences with New Connections that convinced him it was time to lift his talents up to God. He explains: “There are a lot of great Christian songs out there, and we play a good deal of them in the band. Essentially, we’re a really great Christian cover band, honestly the likes of which I’ve never seen before. And over time I became convinced that I was supposed to be in this band to get a good foothold on what makes Christian music truly great. It was working a different musical set of muscles than I had before, and God wanted me to get into shape so I could eventually starting writing my own music in His tradition. It’s taken more than a year to get to where I am now – and even now I don’t know if I’m where He needs me to be – but here I am, and giving it my best shot.”

After more than 20 years of songwriting, Steven is excited to be producing his first Christian work. The album, titled The Middle, is due out in late 2010. “It’s an interesting kind of project, because even while it’s definitely a Christian-inspired collection of songs, I think the music and the messages are still accessible to anybody, regardless of faith,” he explains. “I didn’t set out to write songs that go ‘Jesus! Jesus! We praise you! We praise you!’ Other people do that far better than I ever could. Rather, I see this collection as talking about things like the discovery, the warmth, the heartache, and the joy of life. I’m still in a deep examination phase of my personal faith, and some songs ask a lot of tough questions and make some serious points about that. My hope is that The Middle reaches other people wherever they are in their own lives – up down, or yes, in the middle – and maybe sheds some light on where they need to go next… or at least reassures them that they’re not alone.”

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