The Jacob's Trouble Video Archives

Friday, August 01, 2014

Fan Favorite JT Song Countdown - Part 2

It's Friday! You know what that means! Time to continue our JT song countdown! Check out some writings from Jerry and Mark on these great tunes! Special thanks to Mark Blackburn for taking time out of his busy schedule to provide stories for his songs!

45.All For You

"Salvation is found in no one else, for there is no other name under heaven given to men by which we must be saved." - Acts 4:12

It's not a game of win or lose,

Who you portray or who you choose

The fact won't change if you don't decide

Because a Man of Love was still crucified

All For You was, I think, the third song I had ever written. The title came from a phrase that was repeated on a spiritual retreat I had been on in February of 1989. That Christ had done all this for you. That He died a sinners death, but never sinned. That He paid a penalty unto death for me that I owed, and that helpless feeling of knowing I can't repay Him. All He asks in return is for us to repent and believe.

I was thinking how the world disregards the greatest plan of escape from total separation from God. Hebrews 2:3 "how will we escape if we neglect such a great salvation?" I started writing down phrases about how I felt before I got saved. Kind of having a conversation between my saved self and my unsaved self. 

I don't think the song ever made it to demo form, the chords G Bm Am we're the basic structure of the song, our producer for the Door Into Summer album, Terry Taylor created the arrangement that was recorded. All the "George Harrison" sounding guitars were played by DA guitarist Greg Flesch. It wasn't how I imagined the song should sound but it turned out being well recorded and fit well on side two.

44. If You Believe (Indie Version)

"That if you confess with your mouth, 'Jesus is Lord,' and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. For it is with your heart that you belive and are justified, and it is with your mouth that you confess and are saved." - Romans 10:9-10

Don't wait to find it on your own

Begin a new way, trust someone

Who can give you a better way

A way that leads to better days

"This is how it all started. We recorded and mixed these first five songs in about three days at a little studio called Songbird in Atlanta. We only pressed 500 copies of this cassette-only release in November 1988 and sold them for $5.00 each at two of the four shows we played before we got a record deal. They go for upwards of $30-35 in some places, if you can find one. This is what Frontline heard when they first decided to sign us. And Mark got a job working at the studio as a result of those sessions.

Mark brought this song in from a previous band. He had a demo of it with a guy named Bill Douglas singing lead, For you JT aficionados, Bill would later be a member of Janah with Keith, Ron and Steve. He even shared a co-writing credit on the original cassette EP. We pretty much just re-recorded that version for our demo with Mark singing.

43. Days That Passed Me By

A life of love can recognize the shadows of your heart

Substances of days that passed me by

Days That Passed Me By, was recorded in 1992 with Mark Heard as producer for the third album "...let the truth run wild". I was told a story about a group of fans who keep vigil day and night, 24 hours a day at the grave site of Jim Morrison. This person who told the story asked these kids what were they doing, we're they waiting for Him to come back?

I became a Christian when I was 21 years old and remember very well, how I was before I got saved. I was like everyone at that age, very idealistic and not very realistic. Anyway, the line "a lizard crawls along a weathered stone, a gathering of footsteps keeping eye" refers to that story, but also reminds me that I was just like that, wavering between two opinions.....thankfully those days are in the George Burns would say, "I'll never make the mistake of being 25 again!"

Musically, I had been listening to the Byrds "Younger Than Yesterday" especially the songs Chris Hillman had written with Clarence White on lead guitar. I had asked Mark Heard if we could get someone to play a solo in that style like Clarence White. He called his friend and songwriting legend Pat Terry to come by the studio and I watched as Mark and Pat put that solo together. The song is all of 2:10 with 1:00 being that solo! Outstanding!

42. Eden Again

"But Christ has indeed been raised from the dead, the firstfruits of those who have fallen asleep. For since death came through a man, the resurrection of the dead comes also through a man. For as in Adam all die, so in Christ all will be made alive." - 1 Corinthians 15:20-22

It only took one single human to tear creation down down

A single man, his name is Jesus

Defeated death and turned the whole thing round

I brought this song in from the college band Steve and I were in called "Transit." We switched some of the lyrics around to make it more doctrinally sound. An early concert fave, this one was omitted from the first record for sounding "too much like U2". Ironically, "Waiting for the Son", which sounded even more like U2, was included on the record. See if you can guess who the cameos are and where they come from. First one to get them all right wins a dream date with Steve Atwell.

41. Just Like You

 "For by the grace given me I say to every one of you: Do not think of yourself more highly than you ought, but rather think of yourself with sober judgement, in accordance with the measure of faith God has given you." - Romans 12:3

Now you're asking for my autograph and I just have to laugh

‘Cause I know what's behind the name

There's a heart so dark and wild, and a frightened little child

But I'll sign it for you just the same

Touring opened up a whole new perspective for me and it definitely affected my songwriting. It began to dawn on me just how much blind faith music fans in general (and Christian music fans in particular) put in their favorite artists. The other edge of this two-edged sword was the impossible standards of absolute moral perfection artists were held to. You could have a guy on stage who genuinely loves Jesus and is trying his best to write and record honest songs expressing his journey of faith, and in the audience would be a fan who condemned his eternal soul to hellfire because he overheard him say a “curse word,” all the while the fan ignores the poor, speaks harshly to his wife and kids, and treats his fellow coworkers like crap. It’s ludicrous!

As we began to play larger venues and festivals, I got very uncomfortable on the shaky pedestal we were being placed on. “Just Like You” is a plea to the listener to put their trust in the God who never fails them and not so much in the Christian singers and “celebrities” who inevitably would.

Musically, I had high hopes this would be a single. I originally wanted the opening guitars to be a little fuller with more distortion. Compromise is the name of the game in a band. That cool guitar riff Keith plays after the verses and at the end was something he used to play during sound checks. I asked him one day if that was a song he was working on. He said it was just something he came up with and didn’t have a place for. So we worked it in this song.

That's it for now! Keep your eyes on the Facebook page throughout the week as  we will be posting some rare live performances of these songs and other goodies. Tune in next Friday for the next five songs! Be sure to check out the previous post and listen through the songs we've revealed so far on the spotify player bellow. Please post your thoughts on these songs in the comments. We'd love to hear from you!

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