Graham Kendrick: Modern worship legend releases new duet album

Sunday 19th May 2013

Worship veteran GRAHAM KENDRICK talks to Kate Nesta about his latest album 'Worship Duets'

Graham Kendrick
Graham Kendrick

The father of modern worship music, the Matt Redman of his era, and the singer/songwriter responsible for the release of nearly 70 albums, Graham Kendrick has had an incredible career. His classic songs include "Shine Jesus Shine", "Knowing You", "Amazing Love" and "The Servant King". 1984's "The Servant King" is now featured on Graham's latest album, in a brand new rendition with folk worship heroes The Rend Collective Experiment. 'Worship Duets' is, as one would guess, an opportunity for his legion of followers to enjoy the veteran dueting with many of modern worship's leading figures including Michael W Smith, Stuart Townend, Paul Baloche, Darlene Zscech, Martin Smith and Matt Redman. During a day of media interviews on 15th May, I spoke to Graham at Integrity Music's HQ.

Kate: On the new album 'Worship Duets' you've worked with a lot of people. Did you get to work with those artists personally or was it all done by sending MP3s around the world?

Graham: No, most cases we were in the same room. I think it was just with Darlene, who's in Australia, we had to do it remotely and Reuben Morgan, who, although he was in London at the time, we didn't actually manage to get it together to be in the same room.

Kate: With the variety of people you worked with on the album, who was your favourite to work with?

Graham: (Laughs) You can't ask that question without making other people feel "unfavourite". All of them. All of them in different ways. It's great, I mean, I love the relational side of getting together with folks [to record]. Some of them like Matt and Martin I've known for years, Paul Baloche I've known for years as well. So we had a lot to talk about. You suddenly think "the clock's ticking and we haven't started writing the songs yet" (laughs). But [talking together] is part of the songwriting process.

Kate: You said on your website that this was your most unusual release. Can you elaborate on that?

Graham: I think it's an unusual approach to an album. I think the vast majority of my albums have all been my songs with the occasional co-write and they're mostly me singing as a worship leader. We've had occasional guests but this is every track as a duet as well as a co-write, that's a little bit different.

Kate: Who produced this album?

Graham: Nathan Nockles is the producer. He's based in Atlanta, Georgia in the States and he's worked a lot with Matt Redman. I think he's worked with Tim Hughes and Chris Tomlin, so he's very much in that world of producing contemporary worship music.

Kate: Whereabouts was this album recorded or was it recorded in various different places?

Graham: Well today albums get recorded all over the place and tracks are being sent over the internet in a way that we couldn't have imagined 20 years ago. Nathan did the base tracks in his studio in Atlanta and I did some vocals in a couple of studios in the South of England. Then the folks did their vocal parts, their vocal over-dubs. None of the vocals we did in the same studio. Everyone's living in different parts of the world on different schedules and so on. So there's a whole list of studios where people did their vocals.

Kate: By my reckoning, including compilations and re-issues, you've released 67 albums before this one.

Graham: (Laughs) Good grief!

Kate: How do you think 'Worship Duets' compares to your other releases?

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