Seven-time Dove Award-nominated singer/songwriter, producer, author and television/podcast host, Andrew Greer has released his brand new album Andrew Greer & Friends' Tune My Heart 2...Songs of Goodness & Love (Lucid Artists/MA'M Recordings). The set follows last year's Tune My Heart...Songs of Rest & Reflection-which debuted at #1 and spent 23 weeks atop Parable Christian Stores National Retail chart.
Helmed by the Dove Award-nominated production team of Andrew Greer, Travis Patton and Kyle Buchanan, and executive produced by Greg Lucid and Greer, Tune My Heart 2 is a thematic tapestry of instrumental and vocal selections showcasing guest turns from five award-winning artists spanning multiple genres.
We are honored to be able to catch up with Andrew for this exclusive interview.
Q: Andrew, thanks for doing this interview with us. I must say I love both volumes of your "Tune My Heart" albums. What's the heart and vision behind these two records?
A: This is my pleasure, Timothy! When we were considering the song selection for the first volume of Tune My Heart early in 2020, my co-producers, Travis Patton, Kyle Buchanan, and I kept circling around the theme of "peace." Though thinking through the idea of peace, or the use of music to message peace, is nothing terribly original, the songs we were drawn to record at that time, and the sounds we were compelled to record them with, all pointed to peace. And so we subtitled the record
So when we released the record just a week after our worlds were quarantined last March, the timing of a record themed by peace and subtitled, "Songs of Rest and Reflection" seemed strangely serendipitous. As our world began to shrink, and our mind and hearts began to cave to fear, we were in great need of peace.
As we began playing through, writing, and arranging songs for the sequel we wondered how we could extrovert from the contemplative spirit of the first volume into a track listing of a bit more cheer, while still embodying the reflective sounds and calm demeanor of the first volume. And so Tune My Heart 2 ... Songs of Goodness and Love was born.
A second tier hope for these "Andrew & Friends" records is expressing unity through collaboration -- hence all the brilliant guest musicians who are also friends.
Q: You have included some gorgeous hymns as well as newly written songs. Of all the countless hymns, how did you choose which hymns to include?
A. Choosing just the right hymn for any project is much like choosing a favorite child -- it's impossible! But it must be done. And so we began with a list of hymns that melodically really "sing" with the instrumentation we use on these records -- acoustic stringed instruments, a piano, Applachia-styled strings, and so on. Then we waded through that list to find songs with lyrics that spoke to the theme of "goodness and love" that themes Tune My Heart 2.
Of course a record only boasts 10-12 tracks, so suffice it to say there is never enough room for all the gorgeous hymns that have graced the history of the Church.
Q: One of the album's highlights is the new song that you co-wrote with Joel Lindsey "What Love Can Do." How did this song come about?
A: Joel is an incredible writer, who's name is listed on many songs that have stood the test of time in Christian music. Needless to say, it is always an honor to co-write anything with Joel. Originally, this song was written for Michael English to record. We thought about Michael's life story, and then thought about our own life stories, and how the unconditional grace of love was so instrumental in saving each of our lives in different ways. For me, it is love -- God's love, the love of my family, the love of my neighbors -- that keeps me from falling over the edge of depression into despair. As the lyric sings, "Regret and shame was all I knew / Until I had seen what love can do."
Q: Why and how did you get Anthony Evans to sing on "What Love Can Do"?
A: Anthony was recommended for this record by Greg Lucid, a mutual manager friend of ours in Nashville, and the executive producer of Tune My Heart 2. As Anthony and I were discussing what song he might want to sing, we tossed around some ideas of hymns, as well as some original tunes. I really wanted to hear his incredible voice express some new thoughts, and I remembered "What Love Can Do" had not yet been recorded. So I texted it over to him, and to my delight, he loved the song and felt it was a story he could sing and share personally. We then tagged on one of Anthony's favorite hymns, "It Is Well With My Soul," on the end.
Anthony possess' an incredible vocal and is gifted with the ability to really communicate, not just sing, a lyric. I think the recording turned out quite beautifully.
Q: Point of Grace and Selah's Allan Hall have been two of my favorites, what was it like working with them?
A: They are two of my favorites, too! I have known the Denise, Leigh and Shelley of Point of Grace, as well as Allan for years now.
Point of Grace and I have had the opportunity to work on several projects together -- they guested on my Christmas television special several years ago, and I directed and hosted their first Christmas special that released and aired this past holiday season. Professionally we keep coming back around, so we must like each other! Sincerely, they are three of the finest women I have ever met and I am honored to be their friend. It doesn't hurt they are also incredible musicians.
However, Tune My Heart 2 was the first time Allan and I have had the opportunity to make music together. Allan is as salt-of-the-earth as salt-of-the-earth comes. He contains such a humble spirit, but such a huge passion for communicating goodness and love through music. So producing him on the hymn "I Need Thee Every Hour" was a delight. Of course, Selah is known for hymns, so it was truly tricky finding one he hadn't already recorded. I think we landed on a real gem.
Q: Will there by a volume 3 to the "Tune My Heart" series? And if there will be, who would you like to invite to sing for the record?
A. Now that's a question I have yet to be asked. If the music continues to resonate with listeners, to somehow soundtrack the journey they are on spiritually, and in all of life, I would consider it an honor to record a third volume. As far as what guests I would want to include, I would love to feature Michael W. Smith on an instrumental track, and Leigh Nash on a vocal tune. But that's daydreaming a bit.
Q: Besides your new album, are you working on a new book right now? And how are things with your podcast?
A: I do have the blueprint for a new book that would double as a resource for individual Bible Study, centered around the characteristics of God as expressed through hymns. I can't get away from hymnody. Hymns were the beginning of my relationship with God.
My podcast with Patsy Clairmont, a podcast called Bridges designed to celebrate intergenerational relationships, is wrapping its debut season and has done quite well. Thank you for asking! The TV show I co-host with Mark Lowry, Dinner Conversations, is entering a fourth season later this summer. Both projects remain a satisfying challenge for me in directing, producing and facilitating content.
At the end of the day, as long as all my projects, whatever I put to the grindstone, express love, I'm game.