Stangl Family Music CD Receives Fine Review

Stangl Family CD Cover
CD Cover
Last year I received a call from the Stangl family inquiring about making a Gospel recording. Well that CD has been out for a while now and I recently had the opportunity to have Bob Everhart of the National Traditional County Music Association review it. Here’s what he had to say.

“I’ve been reviewing CD’s for a long time now, and I never cease to be amazed at the dedication and absolute strong desire of young family groups in taking the music of the Lord Jesus to another level. In the case of the Stangl Family from Fort Calhoun, Nebraska, this is a pre-ordained desire. The entire family, mom, dad, and ten kids make up an amazing group of musicians dedicated to bringing the word of Christ to a new audience. They really do it well, from several stand points. They are all really good musicians, and they have the sense to keep their music beautifully simple and easy to understand. They demonstrate their musicianship very masterfully on “Wayfaring Stranger.” I was impressed, and I’ve heard this song done by many professionals, but this version is totally instrumental [and] really stands out. One of the major differences this dedicated family is able to do, and do it well, is frequent tempo and rhythm changes. Not expected, but once into the song it’s a beautiful version of a great song. All of their major instruments take a lead in the song, the fiddles are exceptional as is the slide guitar. The slide guitar also takes some very interesting leads in “Come And See” and “Tell Me The Story of Jesus.” This family is also a very practiced harmony singing group. Everybody pitches in. Everybody enjoys what they are doing. I liked the mandolin on “Wayfaring Stranger” but I also liked it in “Did You Ever Talk to God Above.” This song also has a very likable child’s voice with delightful harmony from the rest of the family. “I’m Blessed” probably [best] demonstrates the harmony singing ability of this family, it’s acapella. Super nice. We hear fiddle throughout this album, all of it done well, I especially liked it on “I Just Want To Praise Jesus.” That’s exactly what this beautiful family does. They praise Jesus in all they do. I’ve heard several good family group recordings, but this one is a strong indication where this family is headed with their music, and I foresee a wonderful ‘praising’ in their music for our Lord Jesus Christ. This album is a wonderful response to the music we need to hear more frequently. It shall be forwarded to the Rural Roots Music Commission, with my admonition ‘please listen carefully, this is fragile and wonderful music.’ My good friend Tom Sharman is the mover and shaker at Tesco Studios in Omaha, where this delightful album was recorded. Tom did a super nice job in the studio. It is mixed just right for me. That [wouldn’t] necessarily [be] the rule of thumb for everyone, but it sure works for me. I love the way the instruments glide in and out. Just right, Just right.”

Job well done and commendation for using your God-given talents to honor Him, bring His message to others, and in the process enjoy each other. This family, by the way, dropped by during the Christmas time and serenaded my wife and I with Christmas songs at our front door. It was a very encouraging blessing. Thank you.

Tesco Productions Assists 20th Annual CIOH Christmas Program

Paul Falkowski plays sax at CIOH 2016 program.
Paul Falkowski opens the program.
Community 360 once again brought Christmas to the hearts and ears of older folks who sometimes don’t find much Christmas otherwise. A gathering of volunteer musicians and singers presented a variety of Christmas music that brought smiles to the faces of people now living in elder care facilities as far away as Avoca, IA. These folks were transported to the Salvation Army KROC Center in SE Omaha for the annual “Christmas In Our Hearts” program. There were one or two presenters who have participated since its inception, a number like me who have been there a lot of years, and a few additional newcomers this year as well. Tesco Productions did the audio support for the event. Professional lighting was also provided and it even managed to “snow” inside once again. Community 360 makes it their mission to connect trained volunteers with people living in retirement communities and provide support for the facility’s staff as well. Paul Falkowski and his wife founded this organization over 20 years ago (known originally as Desert Ministries) as God tugged their hearts to show His love to those often forgotten or at least not regularly (sometimes never) visited. With some of us having aging parents and also knowing we’ve more than halfway crossed the center point of our lives, it’s good to know that besides family there’s persons who will hopefully still come by to pay us the respect and honor of a visit now and then, and bring some additional cheer to our lives as well. I guess that’s what the first Christmas was ultimately all about – God displaying His love to the least of us through the birth of His Son who was destined for the cross.
Tom Sharman behind gingerbread man at CIOH event.
A little “gingerbread” fun.

Students Write Music for Christian High School Program

Tesco Productions was recently called on to help out with a music project for several high school students attending an area Christian High School. The instructor has been a long-time client and family friend who wanted to help her students expand their learning and challenge their creative skills by writing their own songs. Each student wrote their lyrics and then with the collaboration of the instructor these were set to music. With that part of the process completed she came into the studio and laid down the keyboard parts along with some additional enhancements as well as a practice vocal line. I then added a few more keyboarded and drum machine elements to round out the songs. Mixes were then provided with and without the vocal so each student could practice their song. A concert was held during which each music piece was presented and I’ve heard it went well. I’m glad we all had the opportunity to participate in this creative process and I hope and pray each one involved will continue to glorify the Creator in all areas of life.