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MP3 Mike Renneker - Obstructed View

Contemporary Christian at it''s pop-rockin'' best.

13 MP3 Songs
GOSPEL: Contemporary Gospel, GOSPEL: Contemporary Christian

I have been obsessed with music and recording since I was a boy growing up in suburban Detroit. My first exposure to pop music was the great AM station CKLW, back in the early 70''s. "The Big 8" was actually a Canadian station, but held the rank of being THE pop music station in Detroit at the time. It was in those days, when Stevie Wonder, The Beatles, Chicago, Steely Dan and Alice Cooper all coexisted on the same station play list, that my musical foundations were formed. My later interest in recording was sparked when my Grandpa Harold let me borrow an album called "Sessions'', put out by JBL, the famed maker of studio monitor speakers. That album, basically a behind the scenes look at a Hoyt Axton session, was my first exposure to recording concepts like overdubbing, equalization, multi-tracking, mixdown and studio musicians. All of this peaked my interest so much that, at age 13, I actually wrote JBL a letter asking for clarification on certain points. Another pivotal moment came when my dear friend Steve Tocco made the mistake of showing me his Sony "sound-on-sound" tape recorder. "Wow, you mean I can record one part, then record another part on top of that? Cool!" Steve was kind enough to let me borrow it, affording me the chance to spend hours upon hours creating ridiculous overdubbed vocal harmonies. For me, it was more fun than a human should be allowed to have.

Life in Detroit was rich with musical experiences; basement jams with buddies, playing in church, my first paying performance (at a roller rink!), marching band in high school, teaching guitar and playing my first nightclub gigs. But by 1982, I was longing for greener musical pastures, so I packed up my Renault LeCar and headed for sunny California. My initial goal in heading west was to be an LA studio guitarist, but after about a year at GIT (guitar school in Hollywood) I discovered that I was much more interested in songs and production than in practicing the guitar. In LA, my first session as a guitarist came about when a singer friend of my wacky neighbor heard me playing in my apartment. The very next day, I found myself in a real studio putting down tracks to one of his tunes. I''ve been fortunate enough to have been working in this town ever since, doing gigs, concerts, sessions and jingles. Right now most of my time is spent writing and recording tunes, as well as composing music and commercial jingles for corporate clients and ad agencies.

I spent much of the 80''s and early 90''s playing original gigs in clubs and coffee houses trying to get signed to a label deal. When I reached my early 30''s and the "rock star" thing hadn''t happened, I figured it was probably time to shift my focus and reevaluate things. In 1995, after considerable resistance from me, my wife Rhonda and I began attending a small, friendly Lutheran Church in Sherman Oaks, California. In the beginning, I had no intention whatsoever of getting involved musically. Within weeks however, the Pastor, George Mather, found out that I was a musician and asked if I would be interested in bringing contemporary music into the church. I was intrigued by the idea, but knew absolutely nothing about modern Christian music. I knew who Amy Grant was, but that was about it! After a few days of prayerful consideration, I felt the Lord pull me in this new direction, and so with much excitement and anticipation, I agreed. I consulted the only two people I knew who were familiar with Christian "Praise & Worship" music, and followed their advice. I then started doing my own arrangements of Maranatha!, Word and Hillsong favorites, and leading the newly formed "Sherman Oaks Lutheran Contemporary Choir". Before long, the Lord filled me with inspiration and I began writing my own songs. I feel that I have now discovered my true calling; to use my God given musical talents in the service of the Lord. I work on music every day and will continually post it here and also on my MySpace site. If you like what you hear, please help spread the word. I thank God for the gift of music and for the opportunity to share it with others.

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