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Lincoln Brewster Bibliography: (click on each album cover to view tracks and Lincoln Brewster lyrics)
Lincoln Brewster Biography
There are a lot of amazing things about worship leader, songwriter and performer Lincoln Brewster - the story behind his career, his acclaimed talent on guitar, and his heart for worship. But perhaps most incredible of all is the fact that he was willing to leave behind the potential for mainstream fame and fortune to pursue Christ's calling on his life. What leaves Lincoln himself most amazed is that God truly does fulfill the desires of our hearts when we delight in worshipping Him alone. His newest album, Amazed, is a culmination of his long and winding road to complete abandonment - to laying down all his dreams and seeing that God can do a much more beautiful thing than we could ever imagine when we trust it all to Him.
Lincoln was born on the cold tundra of Fairbanks, Alaska. When he was only one year old, his mother, Cheryl, recognized his ability to keep rhythm at one of her band practices. In lieu of a babysitter, she had given him an old pair of drumsticks to play with and soon noticed he was keeping time with the music. Following a divorce, she moved the family to a rustic cabin two miles off East End Road in Homer, Alaska (just down the street from future pop star Jewel) and settled in without the luxuries of running water or electricity. Despite their limited funds, Cheryl was already beginning to instill her own love of music in Lincoln's heart as she sang her kids to sleep on snowy nights.
Mom introduced Lincoln to the mandolin at age five, and in no time he became a "professional," playing alongside her for tourists. "I'd play and she'd sing," Lincoln remembers, "and for the grand finale, I'd play the mandolin behind my head!" In his first headline appearance, the seven-year-old sat on a stool by himself in the harbor's local general store and offered songs to the fishermen and tourists for prices ranging from $0.25 for a short song, up to "$1.00 for a long song behind my head. I remember making $29.00 in one day," he grins. "I can't imagine going into a town now and seeing that - I'd probably die laughing. But if I did, I'd have to go for the full $1.00!"
When he was nine, Cheryl brought home an electric guitar amp. Lincoln plugged it in, played his first chord, and it was over. "I was ruined forever," he admits. After that he grabbed up any album he could get his hands on and picked out the songs himself, particularly those of his uncontested early favorites, Roger Fischer of Heart and Eddie Van Halen. Touring bar bands noticed his talent as well - and often offered a free lesson and a chance to join them on stage for a song or two.
Eventually, mom, siblings and stepfather moved down the coast to sunny California. "I hated it," Lincoln admits of his initial arrival in Modesto, California. At fifteen, right in the middle of school, the transition was a tough one for Lincoln, but God had an important purpose in the move. During his junior year, he met a sweet and very attractive young lady, who would not only later become his wife, but who, together with her family, introduced him at age nineteen to his Savior. Lincoln also began making the contacts that would solidify the direction of his musical career for the next several years.
By this time, Lincoln knew in his heart that he wanted to pursue music full time. Once again in concert with Mom, he played for a local Top 40 band for a while, but dreamed of writing and recording his own music and began working on some instrumental demos of his own. Through a long and convoluted series of friends who knew friends, Lincoln found himself with an address on a slip of paper that led him to the office door of the vice president of A&R for Columbia Records, and a return phone call two months later from none other than former Journey lead singer, Steve Perry, who heard Lincoln's demo and hired him shortly after.
For the next three and a half years, Lincoln recorded with Perry, and then toured the For the Love of Strange Medicine project. His time with Perry introduced Lincoln to the industry and solidified him as one of its top new guitar talents. Yet while he was enjoying his newfound acclaim, he was also growing into a man of deep and devoted faith in Christ, and he began to wonder if God had more for him. "I remember being on stage in Cincinnati one night," he recalls. "I was wrapping up my guitar solo at the front of the stage, and people were grabbing my legs and everything - it was like they were worshipping all of us on stage. I looked up and said, 'Lord, I'm sorry - you're not getting any glory for the gifts you've given me, and a lot of these people are hurting, and we're not giving them anything that's going to make a lasting change in their lives.' It just didn't have a whole lot of purpose."
That realization led Lincoln to come off the road and settle down with his new wife Laura in Modesto and spend several months at his church, Calvary Temple. During this time, he sorted through the past three years, plugged into his local fellowship and allowed Christ to give him a new sense of direction for the future. Lincoln's reputation followed him, though, and he soon found himself faced with several impressive tour offers from other big names in the music industry, including some of the bands that had influenced him early on. Also among his opportunities was the offer of a position at Calvary as staff sound tech and youth worship leader. In what seemed like a career-ending decision to his connections in the industry, Lincoln chose to do what he felt Christ was calling him to, and stayed at the church.
At times, his resolution wavered as he realized the magnitude of what he had given up. "I cried every day for the first month, or at least it felt like it," Lincoln admits. "It was such a reality check for me that a year before, I had been on tour making tons of money and being waited on hand and foot, and here I was doing sound for weddings and stuff." After a time of hard questioning, Lincoln reached a place where he simply gave up his dreams to the Lord. "God told me to quit writing songs, and just fix the P.A. systems at church. When you delight yourself in the Lord, He'll give you the desires of your heart, and that's translated that He'll actually put them in there." God totally changed Lincoln's heart, and gave him a passion for local ministry that he still carries with him today as an artist in residence at the church he and Laura now attend, Bayside Church in Granite Bay, California.
"It got to the point where I wanted to sell all my gear - I just had a passion for the sound at that church!" Lincoln says. "So I fixed the P.A.s, and after a short while, God released me to begin writing again. From that point forward, my writing seemed to flow more easily than ever before."
In the years that followed, God led the Brewsters to help start a church in Nashville, where Lincoln saw another old dream come true, though one he was no longer actively pursuing. Vertical Music signed Lincoln to a recording contract on the Vertical label, and with the release of his first two records, he once again found himself touring with an icon, this time with Christian music legend Michael W. Smith. He also had the chance to work with friend and label mate Darrell Evans on Evans' Freedom album, and to tour with Mark Schultz, and later with Third Day for their landmark Offerings tour.
Following his 1999 self-titled debut, Lincoln returned with his sophomore project Live To Worship, an album produced by Jeff Quimby and co-produced by Lincoln. The album, a rock infused worship album, enjoyed AC radio success with the singles "Take Me Higher" and "Power of Your Love." Lincoln is set to release his third project, Amazed, in the summer of 2002.
Lincoln, Laura and their new baby boy, Levi, make their home in Sacramento, California where Lincoln serves as the acting worship leader and artist-in-residence at Bayside Community Church.
Lincoln's aptly-titled latest project, Amazed, brings together the many steps God has brought him through to fulfill the desires of his heart, with songs from across his musical history. There are songs from his time as youth leader at Calvary, a favorite from Hillsong Music Australia, and a cover of the Delirious song, "What a Friend." All ten songs are tied together by one consuming purpose - worship.
"I wanted this album to reflect the true heart of the worshipper and be a worship tool for churches. I really focused on writing simple but powerful songs. All of the songs were written on acoustic guitar, very basic, so that people at a church who don't have musicians or a lot of production can still use them in a worship setting. It's important to remember that a poignant lyric and simple melody is still what hits people no matter what."
Amazed also gave Lincoln a chance to turn the reins over to award-winning producers Monroe Jones and Scott Williamson, a change for Lincoln, who has shared co-production credits on all of his earlier efforts. Another new influence for Lincoln on the album is fatherhood - he and Laura welcomed their first child, Levi, into the world last year. Levi inspired one of Lincoln's own favorites on the record, "All I Really Want," a song that also epitomizes the process he had to go through by entrusting the production of his music entirely to someone else.
"Stepping back and letting go, trusting the process to someone else, was really a good thing for me," Lincoln shares. "I felt like God was calling me to do that - He was saying 'You need to let go, be a Dad, a good husband, and trust this process to these guys who know what they're doing. The good part is that I'm very happy with the outcome!"
Perhaps in that sense too, Amazed sums up Lincoln's entire musical journey to this point - a journey of learning to trust his dreams to God's leadership, and of seeing the truly amazing result when God plants His own desires in our hearts: He leads us to worship.