Enter the Worship Circle is a unique kind of worship album. While most such recordings contain covers of the worship standards, First Circle, and Second Circle, feature all original songs written by Ben and Robin Pasley, other Blue Renaissance Artists, members of the roots-rock band Waterdeep, and friends. What's more, the songs were recorded live, unplugged, and with no overdubs. The instrumentation is built on a foundation of acoustic guitars and the rhythms of hand drums. Enter the Worship Circle has a sound that is open and free form, beautiful as a well-laid plan, but spontaneous as a sincere declaration of love.
"With Enter the Worship Circle," explained Ben, "Robin and I wanted to give something back to music lovers and those people on a spiritual journey." To move to accomplish this was to print in the CD booklet suggestions about how to write your own worship songs. This is a deep-seated goal for Ben Pasley, and it has developed over years of experience. He began playing music as a teenager, and in college he joined a music team that performed in drug rehab centers, halfway houses, and detention centers in order to share their spiritual life with people who were desperate for some help. "We were in drug rehabs doing cover tunes from the Christian music industry," he says, "and it didn't take us long to figure out that we were going to have to develop our own musical language to make an impact."
Since those formative years the Pasley's vision has been shared by many others artists and pioneers whom have committed to a similar focus on "helping people" over "selling products." This network has evolved into the Blue Renaissance Creative Group-an organization that develops performing artists. Led by the Ben and Robin Pasley, also known for starting the group 100 Portraits back in 1993, Blue Renaissance is a growing family of songwriters, performers, producers, dancers, and composers. They work from different parts of the country, and occasionally converge for a unique collaboration like Enter the Worship Circle.
When Enter the Worship Circle was first made available in January of 1999 it immediately gained traction with fans of roots music. Soon, the Internet was buzzing with talk of the project, and word-of-mouth news spread far beyond the reaches of the individual artists' underground fan base. Amidst a flood of musical offerings, this was one of those rare albums that people felt compelled to share with their friends.
The Second Circle was released in 2001 and features the songwriting and performance talents of Ben and Robin Pasley, Ben Kennedy, Jared Hornsby, and friends.