ben chilcote guitar

Happy New Year!

In fall of 2009 I went through a significant spiritual awakening – coming to a deeper understanding of who am I am why I am on Earth. That epiphany gave me the needed fuel to start blogging. 3 years later, I have left my small footprint online. In 2013 I will continue to wiggle my foot to make the print a bit wider and deeper.  Here are some updates.

.COM to .NET

Funny story. Last month I went to log in to my website to find it didn’t exist any more. Upon a frantic investigation, I found out some guy in some foreign country was now the registrant of the domain benchilcote.com. When I contacted godaddy.com about what appeared to be a hacked account, they reported back that my domain had expired and I would have to contact the new registrant directly. Huh?! So, I wrote the guy and asked to buy it back. He said he’d be happy to sell it back to me for $150 – in order to break even. I counter offered $50 but he said no deal. So… I moved my site to benchilcote.net, which I’m starting to like. It’s more fitting to what I’m doing online anyway – expanding my brand to a network of websites and other ventures.

The only problem is I’ve lost a bit of momentum and page rank with the search engines. But I’ll get that back with time.

writechristiansongs.com

The WCS Songwriting Club and writechristiansongs.com has continued to steadily grow. All in 2012 it was born, faded away, then made a comeback. It is now growing with self-sustaining momentum and currently sits at at  750 “likes”. I plan to expand what I’m doing as the “curator” of writechristiansongs.com. Possible projects include an ebook, community forum, interview videos, and even a paid membership area. I hope to continue building the WCS Songwriting Club with the goal to become the premier community for Christian songwriters worldwide. Yeah!

Internet Marketing

I have officially stepped into the world of Affiliate Marketing.  If you don’t know, affiliate marketing is promoting someone else’s product or service and then receiving commission off any sales.  Basically, one has a product to promote, creates a website on a similar subject with a lot of helpful content, drives targeted traffic to the site, and gets people to click on the offer to buy.

I have always been interested in owning my own business and this is a way to do it online without the need for a lot of investment.  I have launched a few small ventures and will continue to grow them over time in hopes to create some passive income.  I have a handful of sites in the making and a few that are up and running including  www.connorstest.com,  www.logitechhdproc920review.com and www.powerpointipad.org.  These sites are all less than 2 months old and are getting organic traffic.  I’m new at it but learning a lot and having a blast.

Music

I haven’t made the time to sit down and write too much lately. From Fall 2012 through the end of the year, family and work life really pressed in and squeezed a lot of creative time out. I would like to see some new music in 2013 and maybe some new studio recordings. I have enough work to put a full album together. We’ll see! Until then, In Good Hands continues to get 100-200 views a day on YouTube and I’m grateful for the blessings it has been to families all over the world!

Hello readers!  I know it’s been quiet on here for awhile and there’s a good reason for that.  A few months ago I had an epiphany and since then, I’ve been busy working on it.

I’ve been online now for about 2 years.  It started with the release of “In Good Hands” and the launch of the first version of this blog.  After that, my eyes where opened to the power of the internet for a do-it-yourself Christian songwriter.  Since then, I’ve developed my site, a small following, my YouTube Channel, and my knowledge of the world of internet marketing and business.  But until recently, I’ve had a very broad focus, bouncing from idea to idea not knowing what to do with everything I’ve been learning.

A few months ago I had an idea come to me that at first seemed pretty good.  The more I thought about it, the more sense it made and then I finally decided to commit to the project.

So….   In January, 2012, I will be launching a brand new Christian Songwriting Club!  It will be free and open to anyone who has internet access.  I’m VERY excited about it and have already started growing a small community who is anxiously awaiting it’s start.

If you are interested in getting started in songwriting, consider yourself a songwriter, or are a seasoned pro, you are invited to join us!  Simply go to facebook.com/writechristiansongs, watch the video, and follow the instructions.  If you are NOT interested but know someone who might be, or just want to help me spread the word, then share this post, or simply send people to facebook.com/writechristiansongs!

Cry Out To Jesus

Brad Avery | David Carr | Mac Powell | Mark Lee | Tai Anderson

To everyone who’s lost someone they love
Long before it was their time
You feel like the days you had were not enough
When you said goodbye
And to all of the people with burdens and pains
Keeping you back from your life
You believe that there’s nothing
And there is no one who can make it right

(And) there is hope for the helpless
Rest for the weary
And love for the broken heart
And there is grace and forgiveness
Mercy and healing
He’ll meet you wherever you are

Cry out to Jesus
Cry out to Jesus

For the marriage that’s struggling just to hang on
They’ve lost all of their faith in love
And they’ve done all they can to make it right again
Still it’s not enough
For the ones who can’t break
The addictions and chains
You try to give up but you come back again
Just remember that you’re not alone in your shame
And your suffering

(And) there is hope for the helpless
Rest for the weary
And love for the broken heart
And there is grace and forgiveness
Mercy and healing
He’ll meet you wherever you are

Cry out to Jesus
Cry out to Jesus

When you’re lonely
And it feels like the whole world is falling on you
You just reach out
You just cry out to Jesus
Cry to Jesus

To the widow who suffers from being alone
Wiping tears from her eyes
For the children around the world without a home
Say a prayer tonight

(And) there is hope for the helpless
Rest for the weary
And love for the broken heart
And there is grace and forgiveness
Mercy and healing
He’ll meet you wherever you are

Cry out to Jesus
Cry out to Jesus

© 2005 Consuming Fire Music (Admin. by EMI Christian Music Publishing)

This is part of a series of blog posts written to share songs, bands and musical experiences that have shaped me as a musician and artist.

Nostalgia.

My brothers and I had a stash of legos that had accumulated into such a pile that we kept in a sheet in a box. All the instructions lost. We’d pull it out and spread it on the bedroom floor, calling out which piece we were looking for in case the other found it (“I need a red, flat, 8 long”). We’d tune the radio to Z-93, the local hits radio station. Then we’d play until we were called for dinner.  All we had was the radio.  Well, and Dad’s record collection. But that was risky and there wasn’t much selection we were interested in.  I believe the radio had a major influence on me during that time.  Now, this was the radio, not MTV.  So the influence was purely sonic.  No hair. No spandex. No bright color. Only little plastic bricks and electronic drums.  Little did I know how much my pre-teen ears were soaking up all those synths, harmonies, guitar solos, and reverb that typified 80s pop.

Here are a few of my favorite radio hits.

 

 

The classic…

 

 

BONUS:

Other favorite 80s memories include:

  • Taping movies off the TV with the bad words re-dubbed (don’t forget to pause during the commercials!)
  • Riding bikes and making ramps with scrap wood (mastering a bunny hop)
  • Saturday morning cartoons that were actually good
  • Jams, high tops (and my brother had a cool spike)

Wow.  I made it.  It was a bit rough over the past 48 hours but I am up and running with a new site hosted in my own space with a premium theme.

And my site is a mess!  But I’m here and it’s showing up.  So I’m happy.

The first thing I want to do is a dedication.  I would like to dedicate this site to the purpose of ministry.  To equip, encouraging, and share – for God’s use, for His purposes.  So, I hereby dedicate this website as a tool for God’s use as He directs me.  Amen.

Now I have a lot of work to do.

 

When our oldest child was a toddler, my wife and I were baby bodyguards – never more than a leap away from rescue if she were approaching something potentially harmful.  My wife still has that instinct (she’s a mom).  I, however, have become a bit slower in my response time. Our 3rd child is now a toddler and if he is approaching something potentially harmful or messy, I first observe, assess, play out the possible outcomes in my mind, and THEN determine it’s worth getting up for.

Every now and then I pretended not to hear my kids speaking out of line or see them acting out of line.  This way I figure I cannot be held accountable for correcting them.  For example, if I leave the room at just the right time, I can plead ignorance when asked “Did you know the baby was in the cupboard?!”

You could call it pre-meditated ignorance. You can’t be held accountable for what you didn’t know, right?  And as long as you are NOT in the right place at the right time, you may experience this bliss of ignorance (for a brief time).

I have been faced with a challenging reality in my life.  In my church experience, I have not been held accountable.  How many sermons have I sat through, books have I read, prayers have I prayed, without being held accountable for the action steps I was compelled (or commanded!) to take?  When I go to church on Sunday morning and sit through a sermon and jot down some notes (assuming my notes are action steps, not interesting info points), who asks me later how I am doing on those things I wrote down? What consequence do I face if I fail to address problems in my life that God brings to my attention?

How many small group sessions or Bible studies have I sat through without anyone asking me “What are you going to do about it?” And then making me feel like I BETTER do something about it.

I find myself premeditating my ignorance.  If I never tell anyone what I think I should do, I don’t have to be accountable to take that step.  If I pretend I don’t hear God (or willingly plug my ears to Him) I don’t have to be held accountable to a command I never heard.   I think that’s probably a dangerous way to live.

I may premeditate my ignorance in order to dodge accountability.  But in the end, I will have to give an account for every deed and every word that came from us.  At times I think I am clever when I dodge accountability.  But I will one day find out it was not dodged, merely delayed. Accountability is inevitable.  I would be wise to take advantage of it now while it still has an opportunity to influence positive change in my life.

This is part of a series of blog posts written to share songs, bands and musical experiences that have shaped me as a musician and artist.

I can’t really tell you whether or not we were on the cutting edge in the early 80s.  To this day, whenever I get the opportunity, I boast in the fact that we had a Commodore 64.  Dad knew a guy at church who gave us a bunch of games on floppy disks and my brothers and I were in heaven.  One of the many games was a space ship shooter game called Saxion.  The game had some pretty boss background music.

Fast forward ahead a few years .  I can’t say where or when, but I heard the music from the game that I had loved so much.  I had the opportunity to look up and somehow figured out where it was from.  The library  had it on vinyl and it was Romeo and Juliet ballet by Prokofiev.  I dropped the needle to the correct track and I HAD FOUND IT.  It was the music from the video game.  But this was the London Symphony Orchestra so it was many times better.

The first video is the song from the game.  That is followed by one of the most beautiful pieces I’ve heard.

This is part of a series of blog posts written to share songs, bands and musical experiences that have shaped me as a musician and artist.

It seems like during my childhood, I was at the library at least once a month.  It was at the library that I would browse through the cassette tape racks and CD shelves looking for new music to discover.  I even would look through the records (vinyl).  I came across music that I immediately thought “not for me.”  But in the process, I discovered some of the most interesting and brilliant artists.  I’d like to highlight 2 of the best discoveries I made at the library.  Besides the following bands, I also discovered many interesting soundtracks, sound and special effects CDs and some other oddities.

They Might Be Giants

I must have been pretty young but my introduction to They Might Be Giants was on MTV or VH1 (can’t remember) when I saw their music video “Don’t Let’s Start”.  It was a catchy tune but didn’t grab me at first.  Not long after that, my brother’s friend was somewhat of a fan of this group and through his encouragement, I checked out 2 of their albums from our library on cassette – Lincoln and Flood.  This became a favorite of my siblings and I and we would then check these cassettes out over and over.  I was a big fan and followed them all the way through High School,  purchasing a few of their albums (on CD, by then!) and seeing them in concert.  Though they are unconventional, I still maintain they are brilliant in their artistry.  TMBG (real fans call them that!) is made up of 2 guys both named John.

Moxy Fruvous

Moxy Fruvous was a complete random grab off the cassette shelf.  The album was “Bargainville” and I immediately was a fan.  Moxy Fruvous was four culturally aware, mulit-musically talented Canadiens.  The unconventional band combined intelligent lyrics with heavy vocals set in rock/folk styles.  I would go on to purchase a few of their albums and see the in concert twice – they were awesome live.  They have so many good songs but below is one of my favorites.