Tag Archives: alli rogers

Amy’s Christmas Playlist

21 Dec

Every year I make an iTunes playlist of my favorite Christmas songs–some have been on the album every year since its inception, while others are happy new editions.  There are several versions of my playlist before choosing the 20 or so songs that will fit on a CD for the enjoyment of my friends and family.  (And I make like 6 copies of the epic mix album for people.  Don’t get the piracy police after me!)

So, here it is…my 2011 mix, which I call “Joy Is Born.”

Joy Is Born Christmas Mix 2011

1. “Star Of Wonder” – JJ Heller, Wake Up The World [My good friend, Shari, told me that about JJ’s Christmas album and we both love it!  JJ’s version of “Star of Wonder” is the perfect lead-in to any album.  She imagines to capture the wonder of seeking Christ–“Messiah was worth every mile.]

2. “Heaven’s Got A Baby”-The O.C. Supertones, Happy Christmas Vol. 3 [This song is a cheery proclamation and it’s on the mix every year.  Sometimes it’s first, but I’m going for awe and wonder this year, so I needed something a little more subdued.]             

3. “Born to Die” -Bebo Norman, Christmas: From the Realms of Glory [As if I would ever make a playlist without a Bebo song.  That would just be ridiculous! I assume you already own this album, so I’m not even going to tell you to buy it because you already know how awesome it is!]

4.  “Adorn” -Alli Rogers, The Silent Stars [If you don’t own The Silent Stars or anything by Alli Rogers, you need to rectify that RIGHT NOW!  Go, buy, download, and prosper!]

5. “Ring The Bells” -Travis Cottrell, Ring The Bells [Did you know that Travis Cottrell is the worship leader at Beth Moore’s church?  Or at least he was.]

6. “I Celebrate The Day”- Relient K, Let It Snow Baby…Let It Reindeer [Relient K’s Christmas album is one of my favorites, so this song is ALWAYS on my playlist.  Let It Snow Baby is available as a $5 download on Amazon right now!]

A bunch of fans made this music video for “His Favorite Christmas Story.” Love it so much I had to share it here!

7. “His Favorite Christmas Story”- Captial Lights, X Christmas- Various Artists [I haven’t heard anything from Capital Lights since their debut album.  This song tells a cute story that make me tear up.  Every. Single. Time.]

8. “You Gotta Get Up (Christmas Song)”- Rich Mullins, A Liturgy, A Legacy & A Ragamuffin Band [I play this song as soon as I get up every Christmas morning for as long as I can remember.]

9. “Feliz Navidad”- David Crowder Band, X Christmas- Various Artists [David Crowder Band + silly Spanish = mucho bueno.]

10. “A Christmas Song For All Year Round” Aaron Sprinkle, Happy Christmas Vol. 3 [I wanted to marry Aaron Sprinkle so I could be “Amy Sprinkle,” as it turns out Aaron is already married.  I suppose I could legally change my name to “Amy Sprinkle” anyway.  Santa, bring a name change for Christmas!]

11. “How Many Kings”-Downhere, How Many Kings: Songs For Christmas [I’ll be talking more about this song on Friday Faves.  I. Love. It.  So much that each word was its own sentence.  I played this at my small group’s Christmas party “reflection time” and they loved it, too.]

12.  “Welcome To Our World”-Chris Rice, Deep Enough to Dream  [What is Chris Rice doing these days?  Has anyone heard from the guy since he got married?  He needs to make more theologically relevant music for the masses.]    

13. “The First Noel (Instrumental Version)”-Josh Wilson, Sing: A Christmas – EP [Josh Wilson + instruments of any kind = magic.]

14. “Hallelujah (Light Has Come)”- BarlowGirl, Home For Christmas [The Barlow sisters are always wonderful, and this song is exceptional. Their vocal arrangements make my heart happy.]

15. “What Child Is This”- PLUMB, (Free Download) [Sometimes the best things in life really are free!  Plumb’s version of “What Child Is This” is an older version than the one we usually sing.  Personally, I prefer this version.  It was prettied up to celebrate the birth only, and completely revised of the implication of the cross Jesus was to bear.]

16. “Bring A Tourch, Jeanette, Isabella”-Downhere, How Many Kings: Songs For Christmas [It’s Downhere again!  Their version of this classic makes me want to grab a torch and look for the Christ child myself.  I mean, there is a plastic Baby Jesus in the nativity down the street.  But I just don’t that elicits the joy of the actual event.]         

This is the version from his self-titled album, not the Christmas EP.  I put the Christmas version on the mix. Josh makes the best facial expressions when he sings.  Love, love, love his guy and his beat-up gee-tar!

17. “Sing”- Josh Wilson  Sing: A Christmas – EP [What a shock!  Another song by my friend, Josh Wilson.  I played this at small group two weeks ago when we talked about the LONG-AWAITED joy and expectation of God’s timing.  “We could never get back home with broken hearts, so Home has come to us.” Lyrical genius!]

18. “Snow Globe”- Matt Wertz, Snow Globe [We had a whole Friday Faves dedicated to the hilarity that is this song.  See “Friday Faves: Snow Globe Living Edition.“]

19. “Mary Did You Know” – Spoken, Happy Christmas Vol. 4  [All punked up like it should be.]      

20. “Drummer Boy”-Jars Of Clay, Christmas Songs [I never truly appreciated this song until Jars of Clay recorded their version.  Then I researched how the drummer boy is the lowliest of all shepherds, and still he came, and offered what he had–the gift of his playing.  I mean, I’m not sure how drumming helps a newborn baby.  I would think that would elicit much screaming and sobbing. But I still like the song.  It’s not like Baby Jesus didn’t cry either, so “Silent Night” is a farce, too.  And  yet I enjoy both songs.]

21. “Jesus, King Of Angels”- Fernando Ortega, Christmas Songs [Oh, Fernando, I love your music.]

This is the video that launched Straight No Chaser into a music career years after graduating from college.

22. “The Christmas Can-Can”-Straight No Chaser, Christmas Cheers [Because I like to end things on a hilarious note, I included this song from acapella group, Straight No Chaser, who became “famous” after their “12 Days of Christmas” video from college re-emerged on YouTube years later.  So they recorded a second album, Christmas Cheers.]

I was going to tell you why I chose each and every song, what the song means to me,but that’s entirely too much work, so I added a few notes, a bunch of links, and a handful YouTube videos for your viewing enjoyment. 

Have a question about why I chose a song, leave a comment!  Tell me what songs are on your “list.”


Christmas Un-Wrapped with Alli Rogers

17 Dec

Since giving birth to a bouncing baby boy, life has changed for singer/songwriter Alli Rogers travels with a guitar in one hand and a diaper bag in the other.  Still, Alli wouldn’t change it for the world—dearly loving music and her family.  Alli’s newly released Christmas album, The Silent Stars, is a beautiful addition to her body of work.  The album is true to Alli’s singer/songwriter style and includes original material and a new spin on favorites.  The Silent Stars is my favorite album of the holiday season, so I am thrilled that Alli is Un-Wrapping Christmas here at Backseat Writer.  Also, head over to NoiseTrade to download Alli Rogers’ music by paying what you want or telling five friends about how cool Alli is.

Being a new mom with a beautiful baby son, have you thought differently about the story of Jesus’ birth this year?

When I was pregnant last Christmas I saw everything through the eyes of Mary.  I suppose I will this year as well, after having met the little life that grew inside me.  I can’t imagine what it was like for her and I hope we can sit down and have coffee one day. 🙂  I have a few “Mary” songs that I started for the Christmas record that didn’t make the final cut; they were fun to write for myself I suppose.  Every baby is such a miracle; I love thinking of Jesus as a little baby and wonder what he was like.  I reference this is one of my songs called “Adorn”.  What a mystery!

Why did you decide to release a Christmas album this year?

I’ve always loved the holidays because I love spending time with family and coming together to remember why we have hope.  I also know there are plenty of people who dread the holidays, or who have lost loved ones and their absence is louder than ever at Christmas.  I wanted to write some songs that would speak to everyone, the traditionalist, the cynic, the heartbroken.  I didn’t want to just write a bunch of happy, shiny songs to listen to while you throw tinsel on the tree.  Not that there is anything wrong with happy songs!  I just wanted to put my spin on it I suppose, look at the idea of Christmas music from a different angle.  Make people think.  Shed some light, hopefully.

Which of the songs on THE SILENT STARS is particularly special to you?  (You can name more than one!)

It changes.  Today, as I’m answering these questions I’m thinking of “Adorn” and am really happy with that song.  It speaks of the great mystery of the incarnation and wonders at what really happened at the moment Christ was born.  It’s so crazy to think about!  The Creator–entering creation.  I also really loved writing a new melody and arrangement to the song “I Heard the Bells on Christmas Day”.  The lyrics of that old hymn are very relevant and speak to me everything time I sing or listen to it.  I need reminding, that as Frederick Buechner puts it, “What’s lost is nothing to what’s found, and all the death that ever was, set next to life, would scarcely fill a cup.”

Describe one of the biggest Christmas-related catastrophes that happened.

No catastrophe comes to mind at the moment, but I am remember a year when there was so much snowfall that our garage was covered and my brother and I jumped off the roof of our house into the snow!  That would never happen in Nashville!

What’s your fave Christmas song/Christmas movie or cartoon/Christmas cookie?

A family favorite Christmas album is the Alabama Christmas album.  Listen to it every year!  As well as Amy Grant, gotta have some Amy Grant Christmas.  Favorite song might be:  “Have yourself a merry little Christmas/ Let your heart be light/ Next year all our troubles will be out of sight” With those three lines and instantly I’m 8 years old in my plaid flannel nightgown watching the snow fall before we go to bed on Christmas Eve.

The BSW Raven Awards:: Where Everyone Wins!

24 Apr

Now that GMA Week is over and the Dove Awards have been handed out, I can finally announce the winners of the Backseat Writer 1st Annual Raven Awards.  Here’s the thing with the Raven Awards, if you’re nominated, you win!  Of course, our winners don’t get a cool looking-trophy (maybe next year). Heck, half of ‘em won’t even know they won a Raven Award…but that’s not really the point.

The point, dear friends, is to nominate songs that have impacted my life and the lives of those around me throughout the past year.  Whether these are artists who are making it big or who are rockin’ the indie scene, they have all been meaningful to me.

Originally, I thought it would be funny to have my own awards to rival the Doves…and what’s the opposite of a white bird of peace?  The black bird of death!  Then I thought to myself, that’s not really the message I want to send.   But then I realized why ravens are among my favorite birds.  The book of Kings speaks of the prophet Elijah’s flight into the desert when he was fleeing for his life from Queen Jezebel, who promised to kill him.  While sitting under a broom tree, God provided His messenger with food delivered to him by ravens.  In this instance, ravens were used by God to bring life to His Child, who was in a very dark place (read my post “Fed by the Ravens”).  To me, being fed by ravens is be given a message from God Himself, delivered by a third party.

Thus, these are my “Ravens.”  Feel free to nominate anyone you think deserves a BSW Raven Awards in the comments section. You can share how this artist or song has impacted you.  Sorry, I just don’t have the energy to put links to everyone–do a Backseat Writer site–chances are that I’ve written about these artists. Oh, and we definitely needed some side art; I’m not favoring the artists whose pictures appear on this post!

(Artist pics from top to bottom:: Seabird, Tara Leigh Cobble, Josh Wilson, This Beautiful Republic)

Song of the Year

“Cinderella”—Steven Curtis Chapman
“For the Life of Me”-This Beautiful Republic
“Learning How to Die”—Jon Foreman
“Don’t Wash Your Hands of Me”—Alli Rogers
“Britney”—Bebo Norman
“Savior, Please”—Josh Wilson
“Listen Up”—Brandon Heath
“Hold My Heart”—Tenth Avenue North
“Still Young”-Shirock

Male Vocalist of the Year

Bebo Norman
Jon Foreman
Josh Wilson
Brandon Heath
Fernando Ortega

Female Vocalist of the Year

Alli Rogers
Francesca Battistelli
Dawn Richardson (Fireflight)
Tara Leigh Cobble

Band of the Year

This Beautiful Republic
The Myriad

Album of the Year

Til We See The Shore—Seabird
Limbs & Branches—Jon Foreman
Empty and Beautiful—Matt Maher
Perceptions—This Beautiful Republic
Bebo Norman—Bebo Norman
Trying to Fit the Ocean in a Cup—Josh Wilson

If any of our winners want the world to know about his or her or their amazing award, please feel free to use this cool award jpg I designed!  It’s not a statue, but it’s pretty darn close. Congrats to all our award winners!

Power in Weakness & Exceptional Songwriters

7 Aug

What your $7 can do if you join the Mocha Club

I’ve had a fairly busy week with meetings and interviews and all friends popping over. Anyway, despite my pounding sinus headaches that make me want to rip out my cheeks and that nagging anxiety, I’ve managed to press on but only because of God’s power being made perfect in my weakness.

Yesterday I talked to a very energetic singer/songwriter named Amy Courts, who shares not only a fantastic first name with me but a love for Derek Webb and his music (and Harry Potter!) Refreshingly honest and lively, the interview was lively. We are definitely outgoing, kindred spirits. It was like talking to an old girlfriend about her life and her music and her dreams. By the way, she would beat me up (not really) if I didn’t mention that for a mere $7 a month, you can be a part of THE MOCHA CLUB, and if you sign up now you can get Amy’s latest album and a t-shirt FOR FREE! Free stuff and making a difference = good deal.

Alli Rogers, a thoughtful, artistic singer/songwriter, was today’s interviewee. I got the idea that Alli wasn’t absolutely in her element being interviewed, that she would rather sit in her living room and write a song…and I liked that about her. As Alli told me the stories about how her songs came about, I was amazed…like a little girl sitting at the feet of a great storyteller. One song in particular, “Don’t Wash Your Hands of Me” hit me straight in the heart and brought tears to my eyes. I will definitely post more about this song in the next few days. She also has an amazing blog; check it out here.

Tomorrow I talk to Justin McRoberts, who is mad talented. I blogged about his song “Done Livin'” a few months ago (read post). I’m pretty psyched about the opportunity to chat with Mr. McRoberts as well. His blog is really, really good, too.

So, that’s a bit of what I’ve been up to this week and why I haven’t been my usual blogging self. Look for all these interviews and more on Backseat Writer.

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