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Mike and Suzy Burkett, and I (Dennis Tice), have been playing together since 1998, but Joshua Quest wasn't officially formed until January 25th, 2000. Pat Chandler joined the band in September of 2000. The group was originally called "Jehova Java" for our first gig in December 1998, but as plans for a CD release began taking shape just over a year later, it became apparent that "Jehova Java" needed a name that it could claim to be its own. "jehovahjava.com" actually was reserved on the Internet, and reports were coming in that some Christian coffee houses were using it. We had to change our name.

In a Sunday night fellowship, our study has been following Joshua and his obedience to God. When Joshua obeyed and went where and how God asked him to ... he was victorious, (even when the odds were against him). When he stepped outside of the Will of God, Joshua fell flat on his face (even if the odds were with him).

We want victory in our lives ... being where God wants us ... doing what He wants us to do ... when He wants us to do it, just like Joshua did. We call it "Joshua Quest".


Personnel


Suzy Burkett - Vocals and Aux. Percussion

suzy.jpg - 30937 Bytes When people look at my CD collection, they politely say, "Wow, you have a . . . uh . . . uh . . . wide variety here." I guess that is because I grew up on a wide variety of music. I listened to twangy country with my dad at the barn. At home, I put on the only records we had . . . Bobby Vinton, the Lettermen, Elvis, Frank Sinatra, and a hodgepodge of Broadway. Most of all, I listened to my mom practice her piano for Sunday mornings. Frank Sinatra and my mom are the only early influences that have made it into my current collection and interests, which include a myriad of contemporary Christian artists, Celtic bands, and anyone with an awesome voice no matter what their style.

As a child I learned to play piano a little, but singing came more naturally and was more of a complement to my mom's excellent piano playing. I developed a focus in 7th grade when I began singing in a program called N.A.C. (National Achievement Competition now called Nurturing Abilities for Christ) designed to teach teens how to fine-tune their their talents to minister and encourage. 6 years in this program and 7 years of classical voice lessons taught me how to blend my talent for singing with my spiritual gift for encouragement.

Singing in a band is relatively new for me. My previous background was in church and school choirs, a school show group, musicals, and an operetta. When I said "I do" to my bass-toting husband, I found that I was also saying "I do" to the youth praise band he directed. The kids and I all learned a lot about ministering in a band. A year later Mike (an architectural buff) and I (a history teacher/buff) took an historical walking tour of Bedford where we met this outrageously unorthodox guide named Dennis. What happened? Well, what always happens when you put 3 Christian musicians in the same room. We started talking about God and music, and we found that we 3 were kindred spirits. Ever since, our Saturdays have been filled with Dennis and his wonderful wife and kids, Charlie the dog, and great music. The experience has been indescribably encouraging and growth-fostering for me. I hope you too can find encouragement and food for thought from our CD (even though you can't experience the occasional visit from little Katie to the attic rehearsal room or Dennis's humorous digressions by merely listening to the CD). Hope you enjoy!


MIKE.jpg - 32388 Bytes Mike Burkett - Bass Guitar

"I started playing bass guitar in 1986. My first bass was a 1968 Hofner Beatle Bass, which I still own. Paul McCartney played one ... and I figured if it was good enough for him, it'd be okay for me too. My collection of guitars has continued to grow since then. (My wife says it is DONE growing). I guess my 2 loves (besides my wife) are music and working with teens.

When I was a teenager, I listened to Geddy Lee (Rush), Anthony Solee (White Heart), John Patituci (Chick Corea and Jazz solo) and Jimmy Lee Sloas (session player). Before Joshua Quest, I played with a Christian band for 4 1/2 years, and before that I played for a praise and worship band for 2 years.

I became a Christian shortly after high school and have been working with teens ever since. The band is bugging me to write more, but like most bass players I am a man of few words and many notes. (Web editor's note: Mike goes through volume pots on Bass Guitars faster than he can replace them. We suspect it has something to do with his body chemistry, but that theory has yet to be proven. Shake his hand at your own risk, but whatever you do, (EVEN IF HE ASKS YOU TOO!!) never pull his finger.) PAT.jpg - 25916 Bytes


Pat Chandler - Percussion

Pat joined the band in September of 2000. He is a native of California, and moved to Central Pennsylvania in 1997. He's quite experienced at guitar, bass and percussion. Pat has played with bands for many years and produces some of the best home recordings. Vintage drum sets are a passion, but you can see him here playing Dennis's Pearl set.


Dennis Tice - Keyboards and Vocals

When I was in Jr. High, we didn't have a stereo at my house, so I bought a set of $5.00 headphones from Radio Shack and would go to the Everett Free Library and listen to the albums that were there (mostly donated by locals). There was a limit on the selection, but they did have an extensive collection of old Spike Jones recordings. I listened to them every day. It probably warped me a bit ... I know the humor comes out in some of my songs, although I have yet to top the Spike Jones classic, "Wyatt Earp Makes Me Burp", but I'm working on it.

At 14, I bought my first stereo and began listening to Elton John, Jethro Tull, and Emerson, Lake and Palmer (while continuing to listen to Spike Jones when no one else was around!). I learned to play Elton John's entire "Goodbye Yellow Brick Road" album and started writing some simple songs at about that time. I'd actually sneak out of the house after everyone had gone to bed, walk down to the Everett United Methodist Church and sneak in there to play the piano in the sanctuary ... in the dark... so nobody would see the lights and call the cops! I guess that my mom and dad would have killed me if they had ever found out.

dt.jpg - 28390 Bytes Right before I turned 15, I became a Christian and discovered Love Song, Chuck Girard, The Second Chapter of Acts, Larry Norman and Michael Omartian. These were the early days of contemporary Christian music and the bands were wonderful. If you've never heard Michael Omartian's "White Horse" or "Adam Again" or Larry Norman's "Only Visiting This Planet" or Chuck Girard's beautiful music like "Sometimes Alleluia" or "Lay Your Burden Down", you're missing something. These were message oriented albums, with incredible song writing. So, learning to play these works became my next endeavor. And my songwriting now dealt with my new found faith in Christ and the struggles that I was going through as a teenage Christian.

Sometime in the 80's, the Contemporary Christian music medium became more "coorporate" and sometimes the music has become more dance-able at the cost of diminshing relevance in the message. In an effort to sell more albums and reach a wider audience, it appears to me that the lyrics are "tamed down a bit". To make the music recognizable as "Contemporary Christian", the lyrics have been brought down to the most basic form and occasionally, (but not always) the songs have the lyrical content of "cream-of-wheat". There was an edge in the early days of Contemporary Christian Music. Although Michael Omartian's album, "White Horse" did not say "Praise Jesus" once in the lyric ... the lyrics were intelligent and challenging to me spiritually. "Only Visiting This Planet" and "Upon This Rock" by Larry Norman were also hard hitting. Tough issues weren't a problem. Larry Norman had the honesty to take them on (and a lot of Christian Bookstores wouldn't sell his albums!) That has always puzzled me.

Back in the 70's I loved a number of the Contemporary Christian bands, but would occasionally lament about the disparity between Christian production standards and the secular production standards. There was no lack of production standards on Michael Omartian's stuff ... it was and still is the cutting edge, even by the secular recording standards. Larry Norman's "Only Visiting This Planet" was produced with the help of George Martin. Chuck Girard was produced with a sound that is as fresh today as it was over 20 years ago. But most other bands just didn't have the cash or the know-how to get the top sound that was available. It's kind of funny, because now I think the Christian production standards have improved greatly ... but the albums are sounding so much like the mainstream that they sometimes are shooting out a watered down lyric. What's the message in all this? Well, I guess it might be, "Sometimes you get what you were hoping for ... and wish you hadn't."

Regarding our album, I named it, "The Silver Cord" ... a reference to life. See Ecclesiastes, last chapter for a biblical reference. I first heard the reference to "The Silver Cord", not as scripture, but on the album "Passion Play" by Jethro Tull. After researching the meaning of this 46 minute poem for many weeks and discovering, among other things, the meaning of the term, "The Silver Cord", it stuck with me. Much of our album is about physical life (the silver cord), and how fragile and uncertain it can be. The term "The Silver Cord" has been hijacked by many in the new-age movement as a reference to the cord between one's physical body and spirit during "astral projection" ... the theoretical separation of body and spirit. This is not the meaning with which we have named our CD. The first reference that I can find is the one I mentioned from Ecclesiastes, and that is the meaning we intend.

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