This is a place for me to share and document personal interests such as music, technology, and other writing. Please enjoy; I love to receive comments and hear back from you! And if there is something you'd like me to record or a tech question, please let me know!

Arts

Creative Arts and the Ministry of Encouragement

Two of the things that bring me the greatest joy are music and encouraging the gifts of others.  One way those two joys have intersected in my local church has been through the development of songwriters and performers in the congregation and nearby community.  With their permission, I'd like to share some of the music that has come out of the Good Shepherd creative arts ministries.  The downloads are free and you are welcome to share them.

If you are interested in songwriting or this kind of creative arts ministry in the local church (or any other topic!), I'd love to talk with you more.  You can reach me any time in the future at my permanent address: robert.austell@gmail.com.

Click play button or title title to play; right-click and 'save as' to download.
"Run" (live) - by Maddie Shuler
"Running Back" (live) - by Maddie Shuler
"Little Light" - feat. Tiffany Hinton (arr. Austell)
"Kum Bah Yah" - feat. Tiffany Hinton (arr. Austell)
"That's Who You Are" (live) - by Mike Slade and Maddie Shuler
"When I Get in the Way" (live) - by Mike Slade/arr. Austell
"On My Knees" (live) - by Billy Howell
"Whiskey Before Breakfast" - feat. and arr. Rebecca Stevens, fiddle
"Come Thou Fount" - arr. and chorus Austell
"Amazing Love" - arr. Austell ("And Can it Be?"); feat. Rebecca White, fiddle
"Perfect Love" - by Robert Austell [kind of retro take on 1Cor13]
"Home Together" - by Robert Austell
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Maddie Shuler
Maddie Shuler is a talented multi-instrumentalist who started writing and playing original, heart-felt music from a very young age, both in church and in the Charlotte community.  We first started collaborating and performing when she was 10 (she is now 17)!  I was privileged to work on several demos and then her first studio release.  You can find more of Maddie's music on ReverbNation (newest), Facebook or on CD Baby.  She plans to head to the studio this summer and release her next CD this Fall.  Maddie is singing and playing guitar on "Run," "Running Back," and "That's Who You Are."

Billy Howell II
Billy Howell II grew up at Good Shepherd and has served as a youth advisor and worship team member. He was diagnosed several years ago with multiple sclerosis (he is now 30). He writes a phenomenal number of demos (I can't keep up with him!)... you can hear some of those on his YouTube Channel, as well as some of the songs he has shared in worship.  Billy is playing guitar and singing on "On My Knees."

Mike Slade
Mike Slade has served as a ruling elder and on the worship team at Good Shepherd. Though he had no formal music training, we discovered he had an amazing ear and voice for music. He enjoys writing music and has been an encouragement to younger writers and performers in the church. "When I Get in the Way" is a testimonial song and "That's Who You Are" is a song Mike wrote that Maddie Shuler sang in worship.  (Mike wrote it to go with one of his first sermons at Good Shepherd!)  Mike is singing on "When I Get in the Way."

Tiffany Hinton
Tiffany Hinton is a member of Good Shepherd who serves on the mission field with her family through Youth With a Mission.  On one furlough she wanted to record a CD about "A Father's Love" - two of the tracks are included above and you can hear more by e-mailing me at robert.austell@gmail.com. Tiffany is singing on "Little Light," and "Kum Bah Yah."

Rebecca Stevens White
Rebecca Stevens White was in youth group when I was an Associate Pastor and has become a fine professional musician in her 20s.  The bluegrass track, "Whiskey Before Breakfast," was a demo we did to showcase her fiddling skills for her website.  She has toured with regional funk-folk group, Thacker Dairy Road, played locally in NC, and founded a company for artist management.  She has recently moved to New York City to pursue her musical career.  You can find her online at Rebecca White Music.  Rebecca is playing fiddle on "Whiskey Before Breakfast" and "Home Together."

Robert Austell - I included a few of my worship and other songs as well.  All the other instruments (piano, guitar, bass, drums) you hear throughout are me.  Katie Meeks (Good Shepherd worship team) is singing with me on "Home Together."  Mike Slade and Katie Meeks sing backup on "Come Thou Fount" and "Amazing Love."
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These are just a few of our musicians, we have a whole generation of songwriters, artists, dancers, actors, musicians, dancers, playwrights (and screen), and more growing in our congregation and community!