The results are in! (A song list, an album title, a release date.)



A couple of months ago we put out the word that I was planning to create an acoustic project in honour of the 20th anniversary of the release of my first CD. We asked you to vote on which of my songs (from the past 20 years) we should record in the rootsy way that multi-instrumentalist Spencer Capier and I often perform live.Votes





Vote you did, and reading your stories about the ways in which these songs have intersected with your lives was one of the most encouraging experiences I’ve ever had. Thank you.





Yesterday, our long-suffering engineer, co-producer and de-facto trio member Roy Salmond finished mixing the project, and it’s been sent off to the mastering lab for the final touches. It’s called, JUST GETTING STARTED: An acoustic reflection on 20 years in music.





So … what songs did we do?

Here is the songlist for JUST GETTING STARTED: An acoustic reflection on 20 years in music.

  2. NEW YEAR’S DAY (originally recorded on Feel Free, 1997)
  3. SEIZE THE DAY (originally recorded on I Can Hear You, 1995)
  4. UNDER THE GAZE (originally recorded on Under the Gaze, 2004)
  5. HAPPY (originally recorded on This Much I Understand, 1999)
  6. REACHING (originally recorded on I Can Hear You, 1995)
  7. IN BETWEEN (originally recorded on This Much I Understand, 1999)
  8. DO WE DARE (originally recorded on Feel Free, 1997)
  9. SOMETHING TO GIVE (originally recorded on Pollyanna’s Attic, 2006)
  10. FATHER, THY WILL BE DONE (originally recorded on Feel Free, 1997)
  11. IN GOOD HANDS (originally recorded on This Much I Understand, 1999)
  12. THE LAST WORD (originally recorded on Love Was Here First, 2009)

How did we choose the songs?

We took the raw data of your votes, ran it through a complex, scientifically-developed algorithm,* and came up with 11 songs to re-record, plus one new one.

*What was this algorithm?

There were way more song requests than we could possibly accommodate (a wonderful problem), so we had to find a way to whittle down the list. Here are some of the parameters we used.

  1. We eliminated songs from my “thematic projects” (Christmas: The Story of Stories, Christmas: An Irrational Season, We’ve Been Waiting For You: The Parenthood Project) – really just to narrow the field.
  1. We eliminated songs from Travelers, because that is already an unplugged project. There are also tunes from additional projects (for example, the song “We’ve Been Waiting For You”) that are so acoustic in their original form we couldn’t imagine making them any more acoustic.
  1. We eliminated (for the most part) songs that we’ve already recorded multiple times. For example, on the Seize the Day and Other Stories CD there are bonus live versions of “Seize the Day” (featuring Mac Powell), “This I Know,” “There You Are,” “I Can Hear You,” and “Go With God” (featuring Phil Keaggy.) You can get that album HERE if you need it.
  1. The above parameters should have eliminated both “Seize the Day” and “Reaching”—but so many of you asked for them we decided we better do them. We challenged ourselves to make a version of “Seize the Day” that was piano-based (rather than guitar-based). Conversely, we tried an arrangement of “Reaching” that was driven by guitar rather than piano. The results were surprising … and I’m hoping you’re going to like them.
  1. There was a special rule that any vote cast by an individual who has had one of my lyrics permanently tattooed on her leg was multiplied by a factor of 1000. Hence, Rose Capanna’s campaign for the inclusion of “In Between” was successful.
  1. We “bell curved” the voting slightly to represent (a) as many different projects as possible, and (b) the completely biased preferences of the musicians.

See … totally scientific, right?

How did we do? Can you live with the list? Are we facing mutiny? Feel free to COMMENT below. It’s always fun to hear from you.







17 comments to The results are in! (A song list, an album title, a release date.)

  • Bob Clifton

    Mrs. Arends, mutiny, never! Enjoy your music, always! Wonderful choices all–gonna make a cd with the songs chosen from the original albums though won’t be able to hear the newest until Oct. 1–oh well can’t have everything. I am still hoping you will come to Portland Oregon though. It appears the cancer in my neck may have returned after 2 years. And seeing one of your shows is kinda/sorta on my bucket list. Though I never really made one. I’ve written before I cannot come to Canada because of past doings. But praise God, my life I now live I live for Him. Anyway, thanks for the always, God bless you and yours–Bob Clifton-aka tiedyeBob

  • Jim

    The fact that I enjoyed reading this so much proves wheat a great writer you are. Can’t wait to hear this!

  • You know who

    I especially like Parameter #5!

    Thanks. 🙂

    Can’t wait to hear all of these wonderful songs!

  • Jim

    Great choices – each one of them. I’m sure it was very hard for you to narrow things down, but the carefully structured scientific algorithm you employed for final selection probably saved you from having to make some agonizing choices.

    I’m a little disappointed that my suggestion of ‘Walk Like an Egyptian’ by 1980s female super-group Bananarama didn’t make the cut of final tunes to be included on the album. I would’ve loved to have heard your musical interpretation of this classic song. The obvious and expected subsequent video release by you would also bring great joy for a plethora of reasons.

    Many blessings … 😉

  • Justine Olawsky

    Yay! Perfect list!

    Has this whole project made anyone else miss the old message board as much as I have? I feel like I’ve been with my tribe here, talking music and life and . . . Bananarama? Also, who else wants to hear Bob’s story about his salad days that led to his being barred for life from entering Canada (but, of course, completely allowed — nay, I would guess encouraged — to be in Portland)? Bob, my friend, hang in there.

    Anyway, I love you all. Happy listening! This will be a beautiful album.

  • Diana

    I read the list with a bit of disappointment, because there were a couple of songs I really wanted on there — but your parameters clarifid why they were not included, so thanks! Something that surprised me is that I don’t recognize several of these songs — so I am looking forward to hearing them. So glad you’ve enjoyed the process of putting this new disc together. (at least I’m assuming it was fun)
    Well done! And thanks for involving us all 😀

    Oh — and exactly does that winning tattoo say?

  • Robb Paulson

    Disappointed that “I Can Hear You” didn’t make the cut. (I guess you didn’t hear me!) *GRINS* Bonus track, maybe?

  • Cary Coatsworth

    This selection process was SOOOOO NOT scientific! But it was successful none the less. I bless the day that Holly Benyouski sent me an album of an up and coming Canadian girl. I sadly was never able to schedule you for a concert. I am such a fan…blessed to have followed your career for two decades.

    As Mark Heard and Randy Stonehill are Poet Laureates based on their skillfully crafted lyrics, you too have joined them…you are a gifted songwriter and singer…but you are more than that…you are in my mind a POET LAUREATE alongside Mark and Sir Stonehill.

    Thank you for making my life better…my heart lighter and my Spirit refreshed…I have a musicians crush on Carolyn Arends for which there is no cure…except maybe a little more cowbell…no…not even that. LIVe INSPIReD ®

  • Jackie

    I like the list and your piano seize the day terrific!

  • Kathy bentall

    I am laughing at all this clever humour as i sit here tired to the bone. Can’t wait till Oct 1st. Congrats Carolyn you are amazing! Hugs and love kb

  • John Taylor

    I am SOOOO looking forward to hearing this project. I enjoy the intimacy of the concerts you and Spencer put together, and get the feeling this project will have that same feel.

    The one criteria you forgot to mention, you limited this to songs you have recorded. So I’d like to suggest something for consideration for a future project… Many years ago, Gordon Kennedy, Wayne Kirkpatrick, Phil Madeira and Billy Sprague put out a CD called Coming From Somewhere Else where they recorded songs they had written that other folks had recorded. Songs like “Via Dolorosa” (Sandi Patty), “Everywhere I Look” (Phil Keaggy), “That Kind of Love” (PFR). Perhaps there isn’t enough for a full CD’s worth, but an EP or maxi-single? I would love to hear you record “Love Will”.

    Very much looking forward to your next trip Eastward,


  • marcia

    Like your list so much, I forget what I voted for. I picked up the accordion after hearing Seize the Day and I’m partial to that version, but I’ll keep an open mind to the piano.

  • Love the fact that my two favorites out of your music (so far, I haven’t listened to all of your music yet) are both here, even though, as you said, they were both previously released *as* acoustic songs.. namely Seize the Day and Reaching. I’m not sure if it’s still the case, but for awhile, Reaching was my favorite of all the songs of Contemporary Christian Music that I’ve known. For some reason the song took over my previous favorite of Crumbacher’s own “Once More (For the Band)”, which, prior to the days of ease of hearing songs online, I’d typed the lyrics over the ‘net to people here and there since it touched me so much. I think they’re about equal right now.. but Reaching really helps me a lot when I listen to it.. reminding me that the best things.. those of Heavenly reward.. are always something we need to reach for.. and in this truth, I find comfort that “The yearning deep within us tells us there’s more to come.”

  • Cynthia C.

    You are my favorite christian singer/songwriter/artist of all time. I have had the privilege of seeing you live in concert at a church down in La Mesa (San Diego), California, some 15/20 years ago. I am thrilled that you are still releasing music to the public. Your music was what I would play all the time when life threw stress my way during the years of raising my children, and just living life in general. To describe what listening to the your words and melodies that ran through my head (when I was wasn’t listening to your music), would not do justice to what your music meant to me. It helped to keep me grounded and feeling that the Lord was always near. It is very evident that the Holy Spirit is strongly present in you and has gifted you with a strong “ear” and the heart for words and a voice and musical ability to gives your music a special meaning and depth. It reaches deep into my soul.

    Thank you for the free download. But I am in agreement with your mother…….please, please, please consider releasing it on a CD, for us older fans who like holding a tangible source in our hands, and really don’t like our music squished into these little boxes 🙂 I am of the older order of folks that liked to close my eyes when listening at home to pretend I was at a live concert. It is hard to do that with the current MP3’s.

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