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Wayne Watson Bibliography: (click on each album cover to view tracks and Wayne Watson lyrics)
Wayne Watson Biography
One of the definitions of the word signature is "a distinctive mark or characteristic indicating identity," an apt description of Wayne Watson's current project. A collection of some of his best-loved compositions rendered acoustically, Signatures is a look at some of the songs that made Wayne 's indelible mark on contemporary Christian music history.
From the prayerful lines of "Almighty," and "Somewhere In The World," to the wistful musings of "Watercolor Ponies" to the comforting encouragement of "Home Free" and "Friend of a Wounded Heart," Signatures captures the essence of Wayne Watson's writing. "I'm always amazed at the life of a song," muses Wayne . "It starts as a line in your head and is often developed in the most unlikely places-walking through the yard, riding on the back of a motorcycle (always at posted speed limits!), or hovering over a keyboard or a guitar. These songs take me by surprise at the span of time they've covered and the events of my life they represent."
Wayne has always written about what is on his heart. Recognizing that God cares about all aspects of our lives, his music and lyrics have always touched on the temporal and the divine in equal measure. This has led him to write about his two sons growing up and the pain and pleasure that brings. He's traced the stages of his own marriage, from the musings of what life would be without children in the house, to expressing wonder at looking over the years he and his wife Lynn have spent together and promising to continue the journey together. He's never shied away from revealing his own struggles with being human and seeking the face of his heavenly Father.
Wayne 's transparency is one of the things that endeared his music to hundreds of thousands over the years, which is why the simple, acoustic rendering of these beloved songs on Signatures is so appropriate. When Wayne performs in auditoriums and churches throughout the country, he usually accompanies himself on either the piano or the guitar. He has received requests for years for a project that captures that intimacy.
"This acoustic project has been on my mind and heart for a long time," Wayne explains. "Most time in concert, I play them just like you'll hear them right here-without a lot of embellishment or production. I feel like the core of truth in each song is allowed to show through, for better or worse, in this simple form.
"People frequently come up after concerts and ask, "Which record sounds the most like what you did tonight?' And the answer has always been, 'None of them.' So we put together a list of songs from the past 24 years that we thought people might enjoy hearing done as just a vocal and acoustic guitar or vocal and piano, with no other instruments at all," he finishes.
Wayne 's oldest son, Neal, produced Wayne 's last studio project, Living Room, and also was behind the boards for Signatures. "If you have ever seen my dad concert, you know that these are the same emotions he delivers on stage. It's as if he rediscovers the blessing or the loss every time he plays these classics. By using an extremely simplified recording process (my dad in a room with his guitar or piano and a vocal microphone), no editing and very little production, we were able to put together a record that captures the true heart behind the music of Wayne Watson."
It is not often that a producer of a retrospective project has had the advantage of hearing virtually all of the songs, as they were first being written, but Neal has that perspective. "I have heard the songs on this project all of my life and have been impacted by them as well. My family grew up with the amazing blessing of hearing them develop and take shape through the walls of our home with the added benefit of watching my dad pour his life into these songs as a way of expressing the changes that God was putting us through," he remembers. "My dad and I have always had a great relationship, which has turned to one of friendship and mutual respect through our work on this project. I am honored to have been invited to work on this project and thankful to have such a father."
Signatures marks a milestone in Wayne Watson's musical career, just as he has recently embarked on a new journey-that of a music minister for Houston's Second Baptist Church. As he juggles the responsibilities of leading the music staff at the church, continuing to perform his songs throughout the country and enjoying the benefits with an "empty nest" with wife Lynn, there are sure to be many new "signatures" from the pen of one of Christian music's most beloved writers.