Tuesday, June 14, 2016


Steve Green was born on August 1, 1956 in Portland, Oregon.  MORNING LIGHT: SONGS TO AWAKEN THE DAWN (1999, Sparrow) was his fourteenth English language solo album.  His previous albums had included HE HOLDS THE KEYS, WHERE MERCY BEGINS, and THE FAITHFUL.  Of MORNING LIGHT, Steve shares: “This album is dedicated to my mom, whose love for the Lord shines bright every morning.  My earliest recollection is of you sitting in the kitchen with your Bible and a cup of coffee.  Forty years later, nothing has changed, except now it’s decaf.  This is for you, Mom”.  This album was produced by Phil Naish and executive produced by Peter York and Bill Baumgart.  A devotional entitled ‘Morning Light: Meditations to Awaken the Dawn’ was released to go along with the CD.

The first song, ‘In the Morning’, is a Steve Green composition.  It’s one of four songs that uses a choir whose members include: Lisa Bevill, Travis Cottrell, and Marabeth Jordan.  It is a beautiful inspirational ballad of intimacy with the Father: “In the morning, I bring my request/In the morning, each care is confessed/In the morning, You quiet unrest/In the morning/Hallelujah! (3X)/In the morning, I listen and wait/In the morning, faith anticipates/In the morning, You make my way straight/In the morning”.  Steve co-wrote ‘All that You Say’ with Wes King.  Twila Paris provides harmony vocals.  It expresses a sure desire to follow God: “All that is true, all that’s right/All that is pure, radiant light/All of Your heart here for me/All that You say is all that I need/And blessed are the ones who will listen/Blessed are the ones who will hear/Speak, Lord, while I am waiting/Speak while my heart is near/And Thy Word is a lamp to my feet/And a light unto my path”.

Michael Card and Phil Naish wrote ‘Morning Star’.  Darwin Hobbs is one of the vocalists on this light adult pop song that invites God in: “Come rise and shine in Your holiness/Oh, radiant Son of righteousness/And warm Your people both near and far/And shine through me, oh Morning Star/Shine through me, oh Morning Star/Your compassion’s new every morning/It fills us up so we can sing/So we can sing”.  Marty McCall of First Call sings harmony vocal on ‘I Offer Myself’.  It is a song that dedicates one’s life to the Lord: “I offer myself to You/Presenting every part/Pure and holy, set apart/I offer myself to you/I offer my hands to You/May labors great or small/Be done in answer to Your call/I offer my hands to You/To be holy, holy, holy like You (2X)”.

‘Doxology’ is a majestic inspirational anthem of faith that benefits greatly from the use of The Nashville String Machine: “Direct, control, suggest this day/All I do, design or say/That all my powers with all my might/In Thy glory may unite/Praise God, praise God/All creatures here below/Praise God, praise God/From Whom all blessings flow/Praise the Father, praise the Son/Praise the Spirit, Three in One”.  Next up is a wonderful acappella rendition of the Christian classic ‘Morning Has Broken’ featuring Steve and the choir.  Nature lovers will like these lyrics: “Morning has broken/Like the first morning/Blackbird has spoken/Like the first bird/Praise for the singing/Praise for the morning/Praise for them springing/Fresh from the Word/Sweet the rain’s new fall/Sunlit from heaven/Like the first dew fall on the first grass/Praise for the sweetness of the wet garden/Sprung in completeness/Where His feet pass/Hallelujah! (4X)”

Phil Naish co-wrote ‘Selah’ with Steve.  It is a pretty instrumental just a few seconds shy of four minutes in length.  Psalm 107:1 is the inspiration for ‘He is Good’, a simple song of praise penned by Frank Hernandez and Jeff Nelson: “He is good, He is good/His love endures forever/Give thanks to the Lord, for He is good/He is good, He is good/His love endures forever/Give thanks for He is good”.

Marty McCall is a backing vocalist on ‘Lord of the Dawn’, a cheerful adult pop song on which Phil Naish plays keyboards, Sonny Lallerstedt plays acoustic guitars and mandola, Jerry McPherson plays electric guitars, Mark Hill plays bass, and Scott Meeder is responsible for drums and percussion.  These are words of petition: “Lord of the Dawn, shine Your light/Chase the darkness where fear dims our sight/Make one more new day bright/Lord of the Dawn (2X)”.  ‘Awaken’ includes both English and Spanish lyrics and among other instruments used are marimbas, pantera, and shekere.  Fans of Ricky Martin and Gloria Estefan will enjoy this upbeat number.  Here are some of the lyrics: “I will awaken the dawn/Be the first voice of praise with a song/’Til the morning joins in and creation begins/To awake to the sound of this song/High as the heav’ns above/So great is the Father’s love/Love unconditionally/Rejoicing over me”.

Rob Mathes wrote and provides harmony vocals on ‘Listen’.  Buddy Greene provides a harmonica solo.  This is a ballad of spiritual resolve: “I will wait in quiet, earnest anticipation/And I will listen to You/Listen close, listen deep/Way beyond the silence/Listen to what You speak/I will pray Thy kingdom come/I will pray Thy will be done/And I will listen”.  Last up is ‘Breathe on me, Breath of God’, which makes requests of God: “Breathe on me, breath of God/Fill me with life anew/That I may love what Thou dost love/And do what Thou wouldst do/Breathe on me, breath of God/Until my heart is pure/Until my will is one with Thine/To do and to endure”.

MORNING LIGHT: SONGS TO AWAKEN THE DAWN is an excellent inspirational album, with influences of light adult pop music.  Steve Green’s vocals, as ever, are a delight to listen to.  On this particular project he sings quietly, tenderly, and reverently.  He does not belt it out (which he can do magnificently) because these songs simply don’t require that type of performance.  These songs here are ones that express and cry out for an intimate and personal relationship with God.  Clearly Steve wants to be in the center of God’s will.  He wants to be holy and to encourage us to aim for that as well.  Purity is greatly valued by God.  There are a handful of nice photos of Steve included with this project which I’m rating 93%.  For more info visit: www.stevegreenministries.org.