In his new book, Let’s Back Up a Bit: Conversations with Pioneering Kiwi Christian Musicians, Kiwi musician, Brett Wilson has conducted and collated interviews with some of the most important Christian musicians from New Zealand.
It is fairly well documented elsewhere of the impact that the Jesus Movement of the late 1960s and early 1970s had on music within the church. Pioneers such as Larry Norman, Randy Stonehill, Chuck Girard and Petra (to name a few) set Christian lyrics to rock & roll.
It’s a lot harder to find documentation on the impact this had in other parts of the globe. For the first time, Let’s Back Up a Bit gives voice to some pioneering Christian musicians from New Zealand.
The book eschews an encyclopaedic list of musicians in favor of intimate conversations with a select few. The result is in-depth discussions and an opportunity to get to know the artists and allow them to share their stories and experiences.
Followers of contemporary Christian music will be familiar with Phil Joel who gives an account of his time with Drinkwater as well as his tenure with Newsboys. Hoi Polloi share the good and not so good times trekking the States in the early 1990s. David and Dale Garratt from Scripture in Song recount how two ‘non-musicians’ introduced a new form of worship music worldwide, decades before Hillsong and Bethel eventually followed suit.
Also interviewed are singer-songwriters Derek Lind, Steve Apirana, Stephen Bell-Booth and Dave White (the Revs), and you needn’t hail from New Zealand to appreciate their unique and engaging recollections as they take you back to how things used to be in the Christian music scene and reveal how things have changed – a phenomenon not exclusive to New Zealand.
Let’s Back Up a Bit is a ‘warts and all’ snapshot of the Christian music scene in New Zealand in the ‘70s, ‘80s, and ‘90s with a mix of historic and new photos.
Be prepared to learn, laugh and perhaps even shed a tear through these intimate and honest conversations about music, ministry, church and change.
Let’s Back Up a Bit is available now in paperback or eBook at Amazon, Book Depository and most other eBook retailers.