Newworldson Finds balance
From a club in St.
Catharines, Ont., to
stages in Australia, the
roots of the band Newworldson remain in the
soul and R&B genres.
The group began
with drummer Mark
Rogers’ idea for a weekly
gospel music night in a
St. Catharines club. A call to Joel Parisien and a few other musicians led
to a gig that lasted two years.
“We all met for the first time at that gig,” says Parisien, who along
with Josh Toal and Rich Moore form Newworldson. Then, in a turn
usually only found in the movies, a video the band posted was seen by a
record company president who flew up to see the band play.
“I really chuckle when I think about it,” says Parisien. “It’s a career
scenario that so rarely manifests itself. To go from local heroes to be-
ing tiny fish in a big pond is almost cliché – but it’s our story.”
That story also includes winning seven Covenant Awards, including
Best New Artist and Group of the Year. The foursome has nine Coven-
ant Award nominations for their newest CD, Rebel Transmission. Along
the way they’ve learned to balance the needs of the record company
and their desire to play outside the box.
“We learned we can remain Newworldson, dial the eccentricity back
a couple of notches, be marketable and still make it palatable,” he says
of the formula that led to the band’s first hit. “It’s that balance between
listening to the call God has placed on our heart and creating songs
with commercial appeal.” –Robert White
Which is where Bowman and 145 Live Solutions come
in. Bowman spent about 15 years working with non-profits,
including about 12 at World Vision Canada, where his last
decade was spent working directly with artists and speakers.
“I was doing with the agency what I’m doing now,” says Bowman. “Event-based fundraising, mostly with music artists.”
145 Solutions is a “matchmaker,” he says. “It’s more a
matter of connecting the dots between causes and artists.”
Paul Kelly with robin mark.
Making the matches means bringing two different worlds
together. Musicians bring their audience to the charity. And
the charity brings its supporters to the musicians. “The musicians and charity are each extending their audience. It’s that
cross-pollination we’re trying to facilitate,” says Bowman.
Bowman used the 1- 4-5 chord progression, the primary chords used when composing songs, as the company’s name. “This 1- 4-5 chord progression is the basis
for thousands of moving songs, thousands of memorable
messages from songwriters. 145 Live Solutions Inc. is
based on three essential components for performing artists, businesses and not-for-profits: messenger, message
and audience,” reads its website.
Working with Canadian artists and ministries is important to Bowman. Over the years, including his time
at World Vision, Bowman has worked with artists like
High Valley, Starfield, Jay Calder and Jon Bauer. Some
of the ministries he’s worked with include Food for the
Hungry, The Evangelical Fellowship of Canada, Christian
Children’s Fund and St. Andrew’s Presbyterian Church
(Simcoe Street) in Toronto.
“People need to be aware of who the Canadian Christian artists are,” he says. “There are some exciting and
dynamic Christian artists out there.” FT
rObEr T WHi TE of Guelph, Ont., is a freelance writer with
a particular interest in the arts ( www.selawministries.ca).
Paying Tribute to Church unity
A movement to bring unity to the churches in their hometown
of Hamilton, Ont., helped birth The City Harmonic.
Lead singer/pianist Elias Dummer and guitarist Aaron
Powell had been leading worship together for about a decade
when they joined up with Eric Fusilier (bass) and Josh vander-laan (drums). Initially the group led worship for high school-and college-aged events focused on social justice.
“Then if felt like it was time for a new season,” says Dummer.
“When you write worship songs, there’s a lot of pressure to
write a certain kind of song – other wise it’s not a worship song.
We decided to throw away the rulebook and say we’re going to
write songs we collectively love – and if it moves us, we pray it
will move somebody towards worship.
“The irony is that more people are singing City Harmonic
songs than the songs we were trying to write for the church.”
The band has six Covenant Award nominations this year,
including Song of the Year for the title track of its CD I Have A
Dream (It Feels Like Home).
The band’s name pays tribute to music and Hamilton’s True
City movement. “True City is this grassroots church movement
where churches from across different denominations and
different traditions work together and share resources to be a
blessing in Hamilton,” says Dummer, adding band members
come from four different churches and denominations.
The band name has a double meaning, he explains. It’s
“both a play on the word ‘philharmonic’ and also the idea of a
harmonic city or harmonious city.” –Robert White