DiscipleMakers – Harvest Fields
Rock / Pop, Worship
Take My Life
2. I Endorse You
3. Take My Life
4. Blessed Be My Rock
DiscipleMakers hail from the Teesside area in the North-East of England and they comprise of lead vocalist Sharon Sewell, Ronnie Taylor on bass and Steve Young on guitar and vocals. The band formed in 2013 and most of the songs they play are their own material with Steve and Sharon sharing the song writing duties.
DiscipleMakers are an out and out Christian band who, in their own words are, “On a mission to share the Gospel through music and testimony, but we also feel we have a call to encourage fellow believers to become disciple makers too”. This statement and desire is encapsulated in the first song on the EP simply entitled “Disciplemaker”.
‘Harvest Fields’, their debut release, was recorded at Broadwater Studios in Gateshead with ex yFriday band member Gav Richards in the production seat. Gav also helped with arranging and other instrumentation on the songs. The end result is beyond the band’s wildest hopes from when they started the initial writing.
Said Steve, “Each of the songs has it’s own style and message and I think the EP highlights our passion and desire to serve God through our music and to encourage other people to serve Him too. We want to make ourselves available to any and all Churches who want to reach out with the Gospel message. After all, the harvest fields are ripe”
DiscipleMakers have a refreshingly unassuming and unpretentious four-track EP. Opening song “Disciplemaker” is immediately reminiscent of Altered Images’ “Happy Birthday”, and like with the aforementioned combo and Claire Grogan, DiscipleMakers have a vocalist in Sharon Sewell who sounds unusual and yet enchanting. This is apparent in the ethereal second track, with a Kate Bush-esque vocal delivery – possibly key to their future success. “I Endorse You” is also interesting for the main refrain – worship songs often remind us of how God loves us, died for us: but endorses us? Indeed, it speaks of righteousness which cannot be earned, and of a God who puts his trust in us. There is a tendency to feature too many “thees” in their lyrics. But there’s a twist with their final song, “Blessed Be My Rock”, a sparkling anthem where guitarist Steve Young airs his own Billy Bragg-esque styling. With bass duties ably performed by Ronnie Taylor, this is a humble, delightful recording from the Broadwater Studios in Gateshead. Just far enough away from London to allow DiscipleMakers’ potential to mature. 8/10 – CrossRhythms, UK
British three-piece band DiscipleMakers, from Teesside consisting of Sharon Sewell, Steve Young and Ronnie Taylor, the band worked with former yFriday member Gav Richards to record this four song release. Opening track ‘Disciple Maker‘ has a jangling keyboard and soft drum beat that is pleasing to the ear as the steady tempo lets the song gently reveal itself. Sharon’s lead vocals hit just the right pitch, gentle but with expression, clear but not in your face. “I want to be a disciple maker, I want to be a worldwide shaker, pouring my life into another land”. It’s a solid opener setting the tone for a God-focused set of tracks.Musically second track ‘I Endorse You‘ is even more gentle, with an acoustic guitar backed by atmospheric sounds. Steve Young’s subtle backing vocals add a little extra depth, blending together with Sharon’s voice. With more of a listen-to, rather than the first track’s sing-along, style – this track gives the listener a chance to sit back and let the peaceful tones of this soothing worship song wash over them. Third track ‘Take My Life‘ is a little faster, but still in the mid-tempo range. Again the vocals are very strong, and there is a hint of orchestral strings floating around in the mix if you listen hard enough. It has the feel of a simple Church song, the sort of thing we’d have simply called a ‘chorus’ in the ‘old days’, but now it might work well as a track to play to set the tone at a prayer meeting. Finishing with the shortest track on the EP, ‘Blessed Be My Rock‘ was my clear favourite after just the first 30 seconds. It’s the rock number of the release, with Steve taking over on lead vocals and much more prominent drums and electric guitar. With the feel of a Redman or Hughes worship anthem, this track would go down a treat at Soul Survivor or New Wine in the summer. The chorus instantly gets inside your head, “Blessed be my Rock, Blessed be the rock on which I stand”. As an EP it’s good taster for what this band is capable of and DiscipleMakers are a band to keep an eye on – if they can put together an album that builds on this debut and continues to show off their talent and creativity, then there is a promising future for them. This is certainly an enjoyable listen, and a good showcase. 3.5/5 – Louder Than The Music, UK
DiscipleMakers are an out and out Christian band who, in their own words are, “On a mission to share the Gospel through music and testimony, but we also feel we have a call to encourage fellow believers to become disciple makers too”. This group from the north-east of England have recorded their debut EP under the guiding hand of producer and former Yfriday man Gav Richards. The first track is called ‘Disciplemaker’ and Sharon Sewell’s candy-like vocals lead the way on a very bright and bouncy song. That’s followed by ‘I Endorse You’, which comes over in style, rather like a lullaby. It’s actually a song about having God’s blessing to go out and serve Him, and I quite liked it, too. ‘Take My Life’ is a medium paced plodder that you feel you’ve heard before. Indeed, if I was pigeon holing this band, I’d say that they were a throwback to UK gospel groups of the 80’s. The music is very simple, and the lyrics plain and true. The overall production is so pure that you get the impression that they are singing especially to you. Steve Young takes over vocals on the final track, ‘Blessed Be My Rock’. No guessing for the theme of the song, but this is the stand out number for me. There’s some great guitar work carrying the song along, and it’s three minutes of addictive pop music. Only 4 songs, but they all left me with a smile on my face. 8/10 – Never For Nothing, UK