In the first of a new series of guest blogs from LTTM friend Haydon Spenceley, we join his newly formed band Ghost Tree on their journey to record an album in Nashville. Consisting of members of former British band Freeslave, Ghost Tree will keep us in the loop as the album progresses.

So, my name’s Haydon Spenceley, and I sing, play keyboards, and write the songs for the new worship band Ghost Tree. We’re in Nashville right now, recording our debut EP. The other members of our band are Ben Lewis (bass), Mark Halliday (drums) and Allie Kelly (guitars). Ben, Allie and I used to play in the band Freeslave, and I’ve done a couple of solo records too, but this is the first time that we’ve stepped over to this side of the Pond to make a record. Dave and Jono from LTTM asked me if I would blog about some of our experiences, so here’s my first attempt….

Howdy y’all. It’s July 4th here in blistering hot Nashville, TN. I had hoped that we would celebrate the day by watching Team America: World Police, but that idea was vetoed by the other guys in the band. As it is, we appear to have spent a lot of the day watching Bob The Builder with Jack, who’s the son of our producer Kevin Bruchert. In America, Bob is American. This is wrong.

We’ve been here for five days now. These five days have mostly involved: recovering from the stress of clearing immigration, recovering from the stress of a lost guitarist, 2 of the longest rehearsal days any of us have ever experienced, some cracking moments when the songs started to come together, and some brilliant learning opportunities from Kevin, and his co-producer, Brandon Perdue. We’ve spent some time teaching them our language, and they have reciprocated. Everything is now “awesome.” I would also say that we’ve all put on some weight too. The food here is amazing, and cheap. A bad combination when you like food as much as I do! So far the clear winner is Thai Phooket (it made us snigger too). You should go if you’re ever in Nashville. (can I get a free meal now?!)

I’m excited to be here, it’s been a long journey, and it’s amazing to see how God has moved and orchestrated things to bring us to this point. It’s such a blessing to be given the opportunity to see music, and business, from a completely different angle than what we see at home. I, for one, am having to modify my view of Nashville “Christian Music” and all the stuff that goes with it. There’s a lot of awesome stuff here. We in the UK could actually usefully learn a lot from the scene over here.

Had a great day yesterday (which was also my birthday) which culminated in playing keys in the band at Anchor Nashville. A great experience, but also highly stressful. Everyone here is a musician, and most of them are amazing. Never played in a Church band like it! We’re here for two more weeks, recording five songs, and then we’ll be into the process of trying to find the right route and partners for releasing the album, and getting the songs out to Churches and to radio and all the other stuff that comes with making a record. I’ll be blogging again through this week and next, and next time I’ll talk about some of the songs and how I wrote them, and what they’re about and all that. If you think of it, pray for us, we need it!

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