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Scoop ~ Interview With Country Music Band, True Heart Music

True Heart Music band, made up of Joe Kantz, Scott Bordner, and Scott’s daughter, Jocelyn, is a group true to their name. This is shown with their heart and in the lyrics of their songs, which carry simple messages that we find in Scripture, but with deep meanings that travel and settle in the depths of the soul. Their new project, One Simple Message (read the TBAP review here), exemplifies this perfectly. Speaking a bit of their journey and their music, True Heart took the time to answer some questions on TBAP. Take a look!


Miranda ~ Hello! So good to have you on TBAP! Please tell us a bit about True Heart Music. Also, how did you choose the name for your group?

Scott: We describe our musical style as Christian Country. The opportunity to spread the message of Jesus and the free gift of Salvation to those who will accept Him, and the ability to do that through country music, which we love, is a great combination.

The name, True Heart, comes directly from Scripture, Hebrews 10:22, which says, “Let us draw near with a True Heart, in full assurance of faith, having our hearts sprinkled from an evil conscience, and our bodies, washed with pure water.

Miranda ~ How did the three of you meet, come together, and at what moment did you agree that each of you was a good fit for the Group, and then decide to go professional?

Scott: In 1993, my brother, Mike, and I were looking for another vocalist, a high tenor, to sing the Third Harmony in the newly formed group, True Heart. We were referred to Joe, who coincidentally was not a tenor, but his voice and heart made us realize he was the right person to round out the group. Many years later, after Mike was no longer able to continue with the group, and a few years of Joe and I travelling as a vocal duo, Scott’s daughter, Jocelyn, became a full time member of the group in 2017. The three-part harmony was instantly tight, as a family group may be.

Miranda ~ How do you write your songs? What inspires your lyrics, and, particularly, your style of music?

Scott: Joe has been most instrumental in writing a few of the songs we perform and have recorded. He can provide more detail, but the content generally comes from notes he has taken during sermons at church. Our sound is inspired by our love for three-part harmony, and the Country sound we all feel at home with. I contribute live on stage with many of the instruments found in traditional country music, including acoustic flat picking, electric lead, dobro, and banjo.

Joe: I keep a notebook of phrases that strike me when I hear them. Normally they will sit for awhile until the song comes together in my mind. Most of the phrases will come from Sunday morning sermons in my church. Normally, when I write a song, it will be after I go to bed. I’ll sort of wake up and I just have to write the song before I go back to sleep. Normally, I’ll write the whole song in a matter of ten to fifteen minutes. I’ll get up and record the melody line on my phone’s recording app (used to be on a small cassette recorder for note taking). On the past few songs I’ve written, I’ve collaborated with a friend from Nashville who is a full-time song writer.

Miranda ~ You titled your debut album, One Simple Message. Why this album title?

ScottOne Simple Message was a perfect fit as a name for our new project. Each song has a common message of Jesus and a relationship with Him. Each song also has a specific subject. If you’re a Christian, the message of encouragement, loving others as Christ loves us, spreading the gospel, and proclaiming that message to others, run through the songs. Still, other songs remind everyone, no matter where they are, that Jesus loves them, and it is no secret what God can do in their lives.

Miranda ~ Coming into the world of music, what do you bring with you? What message do you hope to pass across with your lives, your voices, your career?

Scott: The greatest thing we all bring to True Heart Music is our commitment to Jesus, and the desire to tell others about Him. There’s no greater reward than we can achieve, but to know that we have encouraged someone or provided them the way to find Jesus right where they are. We all have been blessed musically, and it is our intent to use that for His glory, whether that platform is a church, fair, dinner concert, or just a person we encounter that we are able to give a CD or Bible to.

Joe: For me, I bring a desire to share the gospel message in song. I believe God has given me a talent for harmony. I can always find a harmony. Scott and I have been singing together for so long now (26 years) that I can jump in if he’s singing a song the first time through and usually pick up a good harmony line. Now that Jocelyn has joined us, it sounds even better when the third part is added. Our goal is to reach lost souls with the saving message that Jesus loves them and died for them. That is the #1 goal. If we happen to get out music played on radio stations or get to sing in front of thousands of people, that is a bonus. It is not our primary goal unless it meets our #1 goal of reaching people with the life-saving message of God’s love.

This or That (The Fun Qs)

Coffee or Tea?
Jocelyn: I don’t drink either!
Joe: Tea
Scott: Iced tea
Gym or Outdoor?
Jocelyn: Both.
Joe: Outdoor
Scott: Gym
Heels or Boots?
Jocelyn: Boots with a heel
Joe: Boots (Ariat cowboy boots)
Scott: Boots (Cowboy…of course!!)
Running or Walking?
Jocelyn: Walking
Joe: Walking (preferably in the woods)
Scott: Walking (running as required)
Cereal or Fruit?
Jocelyn: Usually fruit
Joe: Cereal (with fruit)
Scott: Fruit on my cereal
Movies or Books?
Jocelyn: Movies
Joe: Movies
Scott: Movies
Cleaning or Cooking?
Jocelyn: Cooking (and then eating!)
Joe: Cleaning
Scott: Cleaning (Cars and Guitars)
Summer or Spring?
Jocelyn: Summer
Joe: Spring
Scott: Spring
Rain or Snow?
Jocelyn: Rain
Joe: Snow
Scott: Rain
Blazer or Leather Jacket?
Jocelyn: Neither!
Joe: Leather Jacket
Scott: Leather Jacket

About True Heart Music


Joe Kantz and Scott Bordner have been singing together since 1993. Their style change to Christian Country has blessed them with a Vocal Duo of the Year award in 2015 and a Number One Song, Wouldn’t You Do this for Me in 2016. In 2018, they added the addition of Scott’s daughter, Jocelyn Bordner to the group and changed their ministry name to True Heart Music. The project, One Simple Message is their first full length release featuring the 3 part vocal band. Their Country style is energetic while their message is straight forward, singing about the Love of Jesus and encouraging a relationship with Him.

Book Review ~ The Book Review Companion: An Author’s Guide to Getting & Using Book Reviews by David Wogahn

About the Book


Book Reviews: Step One on the Road to Book Sales

The Book Review Companion is a handy reference guide, loaded with feedback from authors and real-world experience. It includes step-by-step instructions for getting and using book reviews.

  • Proven review strategies applicable to any book, and any author
  • The ten major sources for reviews, including sixty resources
  • Amazon review policies demystified and clarified
  • A complete guide to soliciting and using endorsements and blurbs
  • Detailed instructions and resources for contacting book bloggers
  • A special bonus section written specifically for new authors

No matter where you are in your author journey—traditionally published or self-published—you’ll find yourself returning to this guide again and again.

Category

Non-fiction

Genre

Publishing/Author/Review

Rating

4 Stars

Review


This book puts in one place all that the author needs to know about book reviewing and the logistics behind it. Some aspects of the book reviewing phase that may be confusing, especially for beginning authors unaware of how to navigate the waters, are demystified and laid out in simple steps that they can follow. This is not to say that the work of lifting a book up for the world to see is suddenly made easy by using this book. It simply means that the path toward success in the book reviewing phase is made much clearer.

Wogahn not only explains the book reviewing process, he also offers some great resources and information that take years of experience to gather. This book is a beginning (and also veteran, if you’ve never handled this process yourself) author’s dream. A lovely addition to any authorpreneur’s collection.

*Though I offer this review to the public, it is my opinion and simply that. A ‘thank you’ to the author, David Wogahn, for a free copy in exchange for my honest opinion.

About the Author


David Wogahn is the president and founder of Authorimprints, an award-winning professional publishing services company that helps authors and businesses publish books using their own publishing imprint. To learn more about Wogahn or AuthorImprints, go here and here.

Scoop ~ Interview with Music Artist, Alexandria Levin

Alexandria Levin is a beautiful soul with a heart for serving God and people through music. Her debut album, Amazed, scheduled to release January 17, 2020 by DREAM Label Group, tells the story of her experience walking with Jesus. Producing both an english and spanish version, Alexandria wants her listeners to experience fully the power of God’s love and presence as she has. Talking with TBAP today, Alexandria shares her faith and story. Take a look!


Miranda ~ Hello Alexandria! Delighted to have you visit TBAP today! Please tell us a bit about yourself.

Alex: I’m a mom of two boys, a wife of a Philadelphia Police Officer and I love to worship Jesus!!

Miranda ~ Is there a special story on how you became a Christian? We’d like to know!

Alex: I grew up in church since I was a baby. It’s all I’ve known. It wasn’t until I was an adult that I fully understood  that I was personally responsible for my relationship with the Lord. Going to church on Sundays and doing my best to “follow the rules” wasn’t the answer. I started reading my Bible, spending time in prayer and surrounding myself with people that help me grow in my faith.

Miranda ~ When did music become a part of your life? Did you ever have conflict in choosing between Christian music and going mainstream? 

Alex: Music has always been a HUGE part of my life. That was never a question for me! God is my everything, I’m so humbled that He would use me to reach people through music.

Miranda ~ You have a new album in English and in Spanish, Amazed. Of all the songs on this album, why this song for the title, and, what’s the story behind the Amazed song?

Alex: We played around with a few ideas and when we got to the song “Amazed” that was it. It tied everything together. This entire process I’ve continued to be amazed…literally in awe of what God is doing in my life and how He has made so many things possible that for so long had been a distant dream for me!

Miranda ~ What message do you hope Amazed will pass on to your listeners? 

Alex: That they are LOVED by God, and they are not alone.

Miranda ~ Is there a method/process to your songwriting?

Alex: I’ll record a voice memo when I get an idea, whether it’s in a quiet moment or while I’m doing the dishes, and then work from there. The melodies and phrases turn into lyric ideas.  Then, the ones that really stick are the ones we put energy towards. That’s kind of where it starts, and it grows from there.

Miranda ~ What is your underlying principle for songwriting, and when do you know a song is ready?

Alex: Every song tells a story, the story of things God has done for me and the things I’ve experienced because of that. A song feels ready when the pieces come together, when it feels like I’ve been singing it forever and it’s imprinted on my heart.

Miranda ~ How has your perspective changed since joining the industry?

Alex: I don’t feel like I’ve joined the industry. It’s just never been about that for me.  My purpose has never been to be a part of the music industry, it’s been to share the songs that God has given me and songs that have spoken to my heart.

Miranda ~ How has this experience affected you personally?

Alex: LOTS OF TEARS……HAPPY TEARS!!!! This experience has affected me personally in so many awesome ways! We launched a Kickstarter and surpassed my goal of $30,000 in 30 days. The feeling of having my friends and family rally around me in that is indescribable. I also cried like a baby when the last song was finished.  This process has been #AMAZING!!!

Miranda ~ How has it drawn you closer to God?

Alex: This experience is an expression of where I am in my walk with the Father. This is another moment of life where I’m being shaped and molded while walking with Jesus, and every experience is a chance to draw closer to God!

Miranda ~ What do you have to say about the popular perception about the music industry, especially in regards to money, hard work and fame?

Alex: When fame becomes the goal, you begin to lose the value in what you’re trying to do. This record isn’t about any of that for me. It’s about sharing songs that I hope will encourage people in their walk with Jesus.

Miranda ~ What would you like to see change on the Christian music scene? 

Alex: It would be awesome to see more of a platform for the homegrown songwriters. The songwriters that have been writing in churches for years that haven’t been heard!

Miranda ~ What do you believe that you in particular can offer the world and add to the music scene that isn’t already there?

Alex: My story!

Miranda ~ What advice would you offer a person who’s just starting out in the industry?

Alex: #ItTakesAVillage. It takes a team of people behind you to love and support you and believe in you! Starting with my husband and kids, my family, church family and friends have played an important part in my life and my ministry!

THIS or THAT (The Fun Qs!)

Coffee or Tea? Coffee…but I’m really only in it for the French vanilla creamer!

Gym or Outdoor? Gym

Sneakers or Boots? Boots

Running or Walking? Walking

Cereal or Fruit? Fruit

Movies or Books? Movies

Summer or Spring? Spring

Rain or Snow? This one’s a tough one… BOTH! I live for thunderstorms and blizzards.

Blazer or Leather Jacket? Leather Jacket

About Alexandria Levin


Alexandria Levin is a passionate worshiper and follower of Jesus. From the age of 12 she began singing in churches, traveling with ministry teams and for the past ten years has served in worship leadership. For years Alexandria has written songs and used music as an expression of her worship. In 2018, she took a more intentional approach to her songwriting and began collaborating with friends and family. Having discovered a deep love for the process, she continued working, growing and writing songs that give expression to her love for Jesus and the amazing story of His love in her life.

Late in 2018, Alexandria connected with Glenn and Susan Tabor of Gat3 Productions. Glenn is a multi-grammy award winning Engineer and Producer in Charlotte, North Carolina (read Tabor’s TBAP interview here). With the encouragement of Gat3 and Dream Records, she began work on her first full length album. This album will consist of 10 original songs and is scheduled to release in the first quarter of 2020.

Alexandria is the proud wife of a Philadelphia Police officer and two amazing sons. They live in Northeast Philly and serve in the church where she grew up. Christian Life Center, in Bensalem, PA, led by Pastor Mark English, is a diverse community of faith and the church home of many passionate worshipers.

Album Review ~ One Simple Message By True Heart Music Band

Category

Religious/Christian

Genre

Urban Country

Rating

4 Stars

Review


True Heart Music, in their album One Simple Message, tell the truth of the gospel in the simplest of lyrics, but with tje deepest truth tjat resounds throughout time. Presented in the country genre, these artists remain true to the genre’s finest elements, yet with some urban flavor added to make it refreshingly appealing to even non-country fans.

One Simple Message is full of heart and surrender for Faith, Hope and Love.

*Though I offer this review to the public, it is my opinion and simply that. Much appreciation to True Heart Music band for a free copy in exchange for my honest opinion. 

About True Heart Music


Joe Kantz and Scott Bordner have been singing together since 1993. Their style change to Christian Country has blessed them with a Vocal Duo of the Year award in 2015 and a Number One Song, Wouldn’t You Do this for Me in 2016. In 2018, they added the addition of Scott’s daughter, Jocelyn Bordner to the group and changed their Ministry name to True Heart Music. The project, One Simple Message is their first full length release featuring the 3 part vocal band. Their Country style is energetic while their message is straight forward, singing about the Love of Jesus and encouraging a relationship with HIm.

Book Review ~ May It Be So By Justin McRoberts & Scott Erickson

About the Book


Combining prayers in two languages–words and images–this contemporary prayer guide will help you spend time in conversation with God.

As people of faith, we all struggle at times to sustain a flourishing prayer life–a loss felt all the more keenly in these times of confusion, political turbulence, and global calamity. This unique book offers a timeless solution for the spiritual and skeptical alike.

Combining story-driven reflections with visual and written prayers, this simple 40-day prayer guide will help you reconnect with God as you rediscover your own ongoing conversation with Him. Using the familiar refrains in the Lord’s Prayer as a guide, this groundbreaking resource invites you to reconnect with God creatively and organically.

Category

Religious/Christian

Genre

Christian Living/Prayer

Rating

5 Stars

Review


May It Be So is a wonderful resource and guide to help the believer see, pray and practice the words of the Lord’s Prayer in a dynamic way that doesn’t leave the person the same after the forty-day period. It is not strict nor meant to be the only guide to the Lord’s Prayer, but rather, is one of many excellent materials out there that can teach and lead a person seeking a new path in prayer beyond their personal/physical needs.

Loaded with nuggets, images and interval essays, this book is priceless in what it has to offer, as each piece inspires the individual uniquely, as they let the Holy Spirit speak to them using each of these tools alongside the Lord’s Prayer. Per day, no interpretation is supplied for the nugget or image, nor is a specific word/line from the Lord’s Prayer offered; the writer/illustrator believe that as you reflect on the nugget, the Holy Spirit will lead you to what part of the Lord’s Prayer to meditate on, while illuminating the message hidden in the image. All three combined, produce a unique experience for each reader, as it should be. This is devotion on a whole new level—the use of proverbs, art, and Scripture.

This is a classic!

*Though I offer this review to the public, it is my opinion and simply that. A ‘thank you’ to Waterbrook Multnomah for a free copy in exchange for my honest opinion.

About the Author/Illustrator


Justin McRoberts is a songwriter, author, speaker, and retreat leader. He lives in the East San Francisco Bay area with his wife, son, and daughter.

Scott Erickson is a working studio artist, author, and storyteller. He lives in Portland, Oregon, with his wife and three children.

Both Justin and Scott travel regularly to perform amd teach.

 

Album Review ~ Irwin’s Christmas Collection By Matthew Parker

Category

General/Mixed

Genre

Electronic/Pop/Christmas

Rating

4 Stars

Review


Matthew Parker’s Irwin’s Christmas Collection is an interesting EP with an edge, with each of the four songs being a distinct number in it’s own category—from the hilarious Mistletoe Meltdown to the speedy 12 Days of Christmas, to the thrilling Carol of the Bell with a James Bond vibe and danger element, to the worshipful Kindle that tells and honors the birth of Christ, there’s never a dull moment start to finish. Parker’s boldness in exploring multiple themes with his music presents a Christmas treat with delightful results.

For something special, something different, something fun, but with the Christmas spirit, Parker’s new drop is a ticket to such an experience.

*Though I offer this review to the public, it is my opinion and simply that. Much appreciation to DREAM Label Group GM, Lance Brown, for a free copy in exchange for my honest opinion.

About Matthew Parker


Matthew Parker grew up in a small town in Michigan. He wasn’t especially interested in music as a kid, but that all changed at age 12 after learning guitar and jamming with his brothers for a while, when music really “clicked” for him. He began writing and recording his own songs on the family computer, and slowly got into making electronic music. Fast forward 10 years, and Matthew has released a good plethora of many styles of music and has garnered attention not only for his original music, but also for his remixes of Capital Kings, Lecrae, Andy Mineo, Jonathan Thulin, and more. With many fans in the States and a small army of fans worldwide, things can only go up for Matthew, who is enjoying every little bit of this crazy adventure.

Album Review ~ DREAM Christmas Vol. 4 By Various Artists

Category

Religious/Christian

Genre

Holiday/Christmas

Release Date

November 1, 2019

Rating

4 Stars

Review


In this fabulous come-together by DREAM’s artists to celebrate and usher in the Christmas spirit, though ultra modern, the songs do a fine job of remaining true to the authentic message of Christmas—ultimately, that Jesus came, Jesus saves, and God is with us.

It’s not every version of the classics that endears, but Switch’s Joy opens the volume beautifully, setting the tone for the entire album. The songs that follow, like Joy, prepared with a twist of urban and pop, produce a fresh taste that won’t easily be forgotten.

DREAM’S Vol. 4 is an album whose repertoire can span multiple Christmas events—a party, church service, personal worship, etc.—and deeply satisfy.

*Though I offer this review to the public, it is my opinion and simply that  A ‘thank you’ to DREAM Label Group and Lance Brown, DREAM GM, for a free copy in exchange for an honest opinion. 

About DREAM Christmas Vol. 4


From the bottom of our hearts we wanted to say thank you for a beautiful 2019.  As the year comes to a close we wanted to offer the 4th volume of our DREAM Christmas series featuring some of our artists.  We hope it brings encouragement and helps bring joy during the celebration of Jesus’ birth.