Meet Steve Green
On Woven in Time, the contemporary inspirational vocalist traces through the Bible a steadfast thread of scarlet, which is the gospel, says Green. He insightfully ties it together with the continuing story of God's constant and glorious presence in human history. Although the title draws out the gospel in human history, the metaphor Steve says, also depicts his own story. "It's the theme of God's grace in my life."
"I know it takes life and time for God to do His work in us. As with all believers on this sacred pilgrimage, I am learning things about God that I didn't know a year ago or two or three years ago. Life changes. Circumstances alter. God's has promised and determined to change His children more and more into the image of His Son. So, this recording is a tracing of the thread of the gospel through history but also a testimony of God's gracious working in my life."
Because of God's saving grace through Christ, Christians are moved to respond with obedience and celebration with their own lives through communal praise to God, personal acts of prayer and devotion, and finally, acts of ministry to their communities. Such responses are illustrated in the 11 songs of Woven in Time.
"If this life, as depicted by Bunyan in Pilgrim's Progress, is filled with pitfalls and dangers and snares, then, as the writer of Hebrews said, we need to consider how we can encourage one another and remind each other of those things that are most important. I see my role, through the music I record, as an opportunity to do just that. This is a sacred trust," he says.
There's another consistent thread worth noting: The more one talks with the soft-spoken, two-time Dove Award Male Vocalist of the Year, the more there's a refreshing kind of whimsy he exudes talking about Woven in Time. So happy is he about his latest record, one wonders if this characteristically serious, well-read student of the faith might just bust out in stitches.
"I am still growing and learning. I think I am relaxing more in the recording process, and while I can't remember ever enjoying it more, I want to push myself to be the best musician I can be," says Steve. That's a refreshing statement for a veteran recording artist with to his credit more than 17 years of experience, 24 albums (both English and Spanish-language projects).
"Someone asked me what the record sounded like, and I told them it contained all the kinds of music I like," Steve laughs with just a hint of mischief in his voice. "It goes all the way from a song with Out Of the Grey's Scott and Christine Dente to a Gregorian chant from the movie Henry V, which is also one of my favorites!" says Green. "I even made an attempt at a little bluegrass, reflecting my appreciation for artists like Ricky Skaggs and Buddy Greene."
But that's the beautiful tension that stretches from beginning to end on Woven in Time. Two years in the planning, Woven in Time is serious at times reverently honoring God as King, Maker and One of all Wonders. Yet the joyfulness, portrayed best in the album's eclectic sound, celebrates the overwhelming goodness of the gospel's delightful message of salvation.
The album begins and ends with songs praising God, but in musically diverse ways. Opening the record is "Pleasures of the King" a bold inspirational track depicting that which pleases God, culminating in the manifestation of Christ. To close, Steve chose the breathtaking "Non Nobis Domine," from the Kenneth Branagh movie Henry V. "The lyric is taken from Psalm 115" explains Steve. "'Not to us, O Lord, but to Your name give glory.'"
A triad of songs-"Wonder If We Answer," "I Will Go," and the Celtic-influenced "Sacrifice of Praise"-consider the daring internal dialogue and sometimes unnerving struggle humans experience while moving to respond in meaningful ways to the gospel in their lives.
Wonderful gospel influences shine through on "Grace & Nothing More," a song simple in message reminding of our helplessness and total dependence upon God for every aspect of salvation and life.
The touching ballad "Holding Hands" traces the life of a couple and how their marriage changes over the years they are together. Married to Marrijean, and father of Summer, 21 and 16-year old Josiah, this song is particularly meaningful to Steve. "I have the privilege of living right next door to my parents and along with my other siblings, helping care for their physical needs. My dad is in the last stage of Parkinson's and my mom has devoted herself to joyfully attending his every need. Marijean and I have been impacted by watching mom live our her marriage vows and very tangibly demonstrate what true love looks like."
Finally, the music scene is right for Steve to express another style of music he's long appreciated, bluegrass. "O Pilgrims Come" will be a select track for fans of traditional American folk music, especially as interpreted recently by the sleeper hit album O Brother Where Art Thou? and by Alison Krauss & Union Station.
"I find that the best way to communicate is to sing songs that move me, first of all finding a lyric that resonates the truth, and then wrapping it in music that not only best conveys the message, but is also a delightful and pleasing expression."
As with many of Steve's previous albums, at the helm for Woven in Time was Phil Naish. The contributors to Green's record are as diverse as the styles of music. A former road manager, a Ukraine missionary friend, and Christian music veterans Naish, Wes King, Scott & Christine Dente and arrangers Rob Mathes, Bernie Herms, and David Hamilton all contributed to the making of Woven in Time, reflecting Steve's passion of working in community.
Steve has spoken often as an advocate for the biblical idea of community, and he holds himself to those standards as he works. "I can't write all the songs and often ask several people to try their hand at a particular theme. The song that best communicates the idea is recorded, even if it isn't one I wrote. I think in that, too, there is a picture of the body of Christ. We need each other, we depend on each other. Someone else's strength will cover my weakness. The project turns out to be bigger and better than what I could do alone."
"Recordings are ammunition for concerts. I tour on a consistent basis throughout the year, usually two days a week. This is material I am going to use in concert settings. When we choose songs I am looking for arrows, arrows that are sharp and specifically designed to address spiritual issues within the human heart. I want them to find their mark so that by God's enabling each message will have accomplished its intended purpose."
Performing live music is a cornerstone of Steve Green's career, a tradition he's maintained since 1984 when he established Steve Green Ministries. His music has been honored with four Grammy nominations, 13 No. 1 songs and six Dove Awards, Christian music's highest honor. With 24 recordings to his credit, including children's projects and Spanish-language albums, Green has sold over three million albums worldwide. Before performing solo, Green contributed his vocal talents to well-known groups Truth, White Heart and the New Gaither Vocal Band.
Steve has been tapped for high-profile occasions like Promise Keepers and Billy Graham Crusade events. Green has worked to raise believers awareness of persecuted Christians around the world and has performed worldwide in 44 countries, including various Spanish-speaking countries, as well as South Africa, Korea and the Philippines.