ALL THE SAINTS – Live from the CentricWorship Retreat – No. 1

I don’t believe I’ve ever used by blog to promote projects that I’m working on, but this is one I’m very excited about and wanted to share with you.  Releasing March 11th!   Hope you enjoy…

In September of 2013 we invited 12 worship leaders to join us for our first ever worship retreat in the beautiful Methow Valley of Winthrop, Washington. It was to be a week of worship, refreshing and new friendships. Our retreat was filled with both tears and laughter as we dug into the Word of God each day and spent time in the presence of our Lord. By the end of the week, we had written 18 new songs and recorded 21 during our morning and evening worship times! This first EP is our way of sharing a small part of that experience with the world. Our prayer is that these new songs will assist you in your prayer and worship as you continue the journey with us, closer and closer to the heart of Jesus. – Steve Rice, Executive Producer / VP CentricWorship


Songwriting Tip of the Week with Matt Redman

Award winning songwriter, Matt Redman shares a one-minute quick tip on writing melody for the congregation…

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Matt Redman has been a full-time worship leader and songwriter since he was 20 years old and his journey has taken him all over the world.  He is known for modern day classic church songs  like ‘The Heart of Worship’, ‘You Never Let Go’ and ‘Blessed Be Your Name’.  His more recent compositions include the Grammy-nominated ‘Our God’, and the double-Grammy winning ’10,000 Reasons’.  Matt is also the author of several books, including The Unquenchable WorshipperFacedownMirrorball,Blessed Be Your Name (co-authored with Beth Redman) and Indescribable (co-authored with Louie Giglio).  Visit Matt’s website at

This video is from Premier Christian Radio of London.  You can find them on the web at

HAPPY NEW YEAR! Songsphere 2013 in Review

Wow!  Thanks to all the SONGSPHERE Songwriting Tips readers for a great 2013!Screen shot 2014-01-03 at 11.47.05 PM

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Tip of the Week from Producer / Songwriter IAN ESKELIN


At the first of the year I usually find myself going through papers and files… cleaning out the old and making room for the new.  This year my hope is to get one step closer to digital everything!  In going through old papers tonight, I ran across notes from a brief 2013 interview with Ian Eskelin, my friend and former neighbor.  Today Ian is known to work quickly.  That’s how one guy can accomplish so much great work.  And I have to say, the interview was no different – quick and to the point, but filled with good stuff.

I asked Ian one simple question, “What’s the best advice you could give young songwriters?”, and here’s what he said…

“Dare to Suck!”, and then he laughed.  As is typical with Ian, he jokes but he’s serious at the same time, and I knew it.  So I asked him to expound on that a bit.   Ian explained that early in his career he was concerned about what his co-writers might think of his ideas.  This, he says, inhibited his writing.  In collaborative songwriting, you’ve got to throw your ideas out there no matter how silly they may seem.  “Dare to suck”.  Looking back, he says it’s funny how some of those ideas he might have been embarrassed of, actually made it into the songs.

Ian also shared some wise advice on finishing a song.  He said he used to have about 50 half finished songs just sitting around at any time.  He wanted to finish them right, and thus they just never got finished.  But over the years Ian has learned how to finish and finish well.  In fact, he’s known for that and is often called on as producer/writer to help artists finish out their ideas.  Ian’s advice is to “go with your gut in the moment.   Finish fast.”   It’s best to get it done in the moment while the idea is fresh.  If you stop short you may never go back.  He says, “You can always change it later” if it needs it.

One more piece of advice from Ian…  Ian said he used to be “selfish” and wanted all “100%ers”.  He didn’t want to give away any of the song.   The he hit that “sophomore slump” as he called it.  He opened his mind to collaboration with others and found that the input co-writers had on the songs  totally “turned his world around”.  As a music publisher, I see this all the time and I’ve commented on the many benefits of collaboration in more than one blog post.  You can search the co-writing tag on the right or go to this post to read more on this topic.

Ian Eskelin is a producer, songwriter, solo artist, and founding member and lead singer of the Grammy-nominated Christian Rock band All Star United. He won the Dove Award for “Producer of the Year” in 2011 and 2008, and was nominated for the same award in 2007, 2009, 2010, and 2012. Eskelin also has received multiple Dove nominations for his songwriting and production work with artists such as Francesca Battistelli, Sidewalk Prophets, Stellar Kart, and Remedy Drive. As an artist and writer Eskelin has had more than thirty Top 10 singles in the United States, including 12 #1 charting songs. He has additionally had international #1 songs in various countries including Japan, Singapore, and Australia. Ian’s songs have been licensed for use on ABC, Spike TV, Style Network, the movie Soul Surfer, the movie Saved!, the trailer for the film Superbad, NBC promotionals for the show Heroes, and multiple CBS network imaging campaigns to name a few.  You can learn more about Ian at