Andrew Greer is six-time Dove Award-nominated singer/songwriter, producer, author and television/podcast host. He is the co-creator and co-host of the popular television and streaming series Dinner Conversations with Mark Lowry and Andrew Greer as well as the host of CCMmagazine.com‘s in-depth video interview series CCM Features on Film with Andrew Greer. His newest release is Tune My Heart…Songs of Rest & Reflection.
Watch the Story Behind the Song/Project Video here:
CCM: What was the thought process behind the songs and sound of your new record?
Andrew: When we began recording Tune My Heart in January, my co-producers, Travis Patton and Kyle Buchanan, and me, all the songs we kept coming up with—whether sacred songs from our childhood or new tunes we were writing—aligned with the theme of “peace.” As we began to think about the very natural, acoustic, almost Appalachian-styled instrumentation we wanted to represent these songs with—the open-tuning guitars, and pianos, and violins and cellos, and Buddy Greene’s harmonicas, and these tender-but-raw vocal performances, we kept thinking, Perhaps this is what peace might sound like.
Who would have thought we would be releasing this record in the middle of such an odd, and certainly uncertain season in the lives of our communities and families. I am grateful for the presence of music to ground us in truth, not just our feelings which change with the circumstances around us at any given point in time.
CCM: Do you have a favorite song from the new album? Why?
Andrew: I don’t love listening back to my records once they are done, but I was fortunate to have some wonderful artist friends collaborate on this record. Cindy Morgan and Sandra McCracken dueted on the stark African-American spiritual “Give Me Jesus.” The combination of their vocals, which are driven by their huge human hearts … I could put this song on repeat for days.
CCM: What led you to pursue a career in music?
Andrew: Music soundtracked my growing up years. I felt understood, or heard, or less alone, like many people, within the melody and lyric of a song. Music was also the impetus for my relationship with God. It’s hard to know what to pray, what to say, to God. You know, God. The Creator of all things. But there is such an intuitive sensing that he is above all things, and yet interested in all things … interested in us, in you and me. Music helped be believe that.
CCM: Do you remember that moment when you realized you wanted to make an actual career out of music?
Andrew: There were many moments. But when I was 11 or 12 I met CeCe Winans after one of her concerts in Dallas. (A good hour-and-a-half drive from the small town of Azle I grew up in.) When it was my turn to get an autograph or a picture at the signing table, she stood up, shook my hand, and said, “Hi, I’m CeCe!” I was thinking, I know who you are! Then she proceeded to ask me about my interest in music and about my piano lessons. I was floored that this woman who had just commanded a stage in front of thousands, and had commanded my own attention through my CD player at home, was connecting with me in such an interested, personal level. That made me think of how music is so much more than performance. It’s about people. And I love people. I also love music. So it fit.
CCM: How did you arrive at the name of your new album?
Andrew: “Tune my heart” is a phrase from the hymn, “Come Thou Fount of Every Blessing,” which has been popularized over the past couple of decades, but hails from the 18th century. As a musician, I love the thought of asking God to tune my heart to him. That I might not just pray for what he wants me to do, but I would be his hands. That I may not just pray for who he wants me to see, but that I would be his eyes. That I may not just pray for compassion and kindness, but that I would be his heart.
And then to think that, bound together through this song, so many spiritual seekers have sung that prayer personally and altogether in places of worship for centuries. This is how music is a unifier—we sing the same songs through generations of wandering, seeking, and finding.
CCM: How important is your faith or spirituality within your music?
Andrew: Not all of my songs are purely faith-based songs in that they speak about God explicitly. As a Christian, a disciple of Jesus, I would hope the music I create, the context in which I create it in, and how I perform or administer it to, over, and with others is for God. Does that make sense? I want to create beautiful music that people can relate to in many areas of life. But hopefully I seek more and more to live my life for God, and music falls under that big umbrella of living for or with God.
CCM: What message do you hope listeners will take away from your music, regardless of what they believe?
Andrew: I hope when this music is on in the car, or in the background of dinner, or an afternoon at home alone, or in the morning while you read or prepare for the day, I hope these songs promote peace in your mind and heart. Simply put … I hope you find peace.