THE BAND BEHIND EYES ON YOU
Ruth Wood & Friends is a studio band from Eugene, Oregon. They have just completed their first project-Christian contemporary pop album, Eyes on You. The music explores a wide range of emotions-from brokenness, loneliness and fear to exuberant joy in worship. Ruth Wood, the driving force behind the album, is a songwriter whose vintage rock/contemporary pop writing style is in the range of Michael W. Smith, Fernando Ortega, Amy Grant, Mark Schultz, Kathy Troccoli, and Twila Paris.
Executive Producer Ruth Wood is a songwriter, worship leader, and piano teacher. She is the winner of the 2003 Great American Song Contest (1st Place Christian/Gospel Category for Broken) and the following Portland Songwriter's Association contests:
1999, 1st Place CCM category, Your Love
2002, 1st Place CCM category and Grand Prize Winner, Broken
2003, 1st Place CCM category, Stars in the Night
2004, 1st Place CCM category, Palm of His Hand
Ruth enlisted exceptional local talent to actualize her vision for the album:
Recording Engineer: Michael McDonald-Syntharts Studio.
Arranger/producer/background vocals: Neil Patton
Solo Artist: Dave Mertz
Solo Artist: Amy Weinkauf
Solo Artist: Brooks Rice
Solo Artist: Rachel Poetzl
Solo Artist: Liesel Alkire
Solo Artist: Lisa Morton
Solo Artist: Timani Reynolds
Background Vocals: Lori Wike
Accoustic Guitar: Mike Edsall
Drums: Kevin Lemieux
Guitars: Tom Teutsch
Bass Guitar: Pat Brand
Upright Bass: Mark Schneider
Cello: Dale Bradley
Saxophone: James Jones
Flute: Cathy Patton
Choir: Steve Maricle
THE MAKING OF A CD
By Ruth Wood
I never expected to be a songwriter. I didn't sing well--piano was my love. Life has a way of stimulating the muse, however.
As a young wife and mother, I often felt deeply inadequate and desperate for wisdom. Only on my knees before the Lord did I find my place of peace. Soon I wanted to comfort others with the comfort I'd received-by writing songs.
Our church band encouraged home-grown music, and my co-writer, Jeff Brock, gave me honest feedback with tons of encouragement. I learned the rudiments of the craft, gaining confidence. When Jeff died several years ago, the loss of my friend and mentor catapulted me into a long season of writer's block.
Unable to produce, I considered giving up songwriting, yet my desire to create music increased. I reflected on the Lord's work in my life over the past years. He dramatically worked in my marriage, provided strength to deal with hearing loss and chronic health problems, and saw me through the challenges of home schooling. I could no longer deny the compelling inner force pushing me onward.
At that point I committed myself wholeheartedly to the craft of songwriting. I read books on the subject, joined a songwriter's organization, and attended workshops. I wrote and re-wrote. Then a local artist recorded five of my tunes, one of which won an award. Now I was definitely motivated!
And I was ready to record my own CD.
I wanted various singers to interpret my music, but this was risky. From a marketing standpoint, concerts are where you typically sell CDs, but traveling with a large team of musicians was financially not feasible.
The internet opened up new possibilities. Marketing via website, internet radio, and an all-out grass roots campaign made a Christian studio band ala Alan Parsons Project possible.
I hired Neil Patton as my arranger, and we began the creative process of interpreting the music. Then I researched local talent, studios, and graphic artists and found a talented team of friends.
Eyes on You took four years to complete and required much waiting on the Lord, learning to trust Him and His timing. Repeatedly I relinquished my goals and surrendered the project into His hands, and the Lord proved faithful.
You, my listeners, were in my heart as I wrote this album. May Psalm 141:8 be your prayer also:
But my eyes are fixed on you, O Sovereign Lord;
in you I take refuge...