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Slow down as you approach the gate, and have your change ready....
The greatest love song that never got the notice it deserved in 2005 was Stephanie Reddicopp's "Isn't It Like Heaven" from her debut album Secret released at the midpoint last year. Perhaps part of the blame for the lack of recognition is from the malaise that the Canadian public and media have towards acknowledging the talents of their own artists. This gifted blonde-haired pixie from Abbotsford British Columbia on Canada's west coast wrote "Isn't It Like Heaven" for her husband Dean and sang it to him when they were married two years ago. How much more romantic can that get? On the CD, Christian Stonehouse guests as a vocalist for the song.
The album highlights Reddicopp's R&B tinged vocals. She sways to the AC side with "I Believe," a powerful song of faith that is beautifully accompanied by Nathan Bosch on the grand piano.
The talented vocalist surrounded herself with a cast of old friends to create Secret. Christian Stonehouse, who works for rock legend Randy Bachman's Salt Spring Island studio, recalled the first time he heard Reddicopp sing, "I first heard Stephanie sing at church in 1997 when she was 15. The tone of her voice stood out to me and I sat up in my chair a little more and took notice. I remember leaning over to my wife and saying, 'Wow, great voice!' Although slightly unrefined because of her young age, I knew I had heard something special that day at Northview Community Church in Abbotsford, BC." Stonehouse also produced Tal Bachman's debut CD that featured the hit song "She's So High."
With the exception of the old standard "What A Friend," all the songs on this CD were either written by Stephanie Reddicopp or a collaborative effort between her and her old high school friend Tony Hiebert and Stonehouse.
Reddicopp told me, "The song "Secret," which is the title track, was the very last song written for the album and it was written 1 ½ weeks before we went into the studio. I went and sat in an empty room in the house and within thirty minutes I had the whole song written. The message of that song is the secret to every need, every desire is Jesus. He is the secret. At the very end of the song, I say, ‘I've got a secret, let me whisper it to you.’"
While listening to Secret your heart and ears will be blessed with some wonderful worship tunes such as "You're Right Here" and the stirring "Save Me." The music is enhanced by the guitar work of Brian Thiessen who regularly performs with Brian Doerksen and bassist Harold Wiens. Phil Robertson appears on drums.
“Worship to me is how I treat my husband, the people I work with and how I honor God throughout the day. When I am worshipping through a song, because that is what I am passionate about it is the best way for me to express that to Him. I sing it (worship) because I excel in music. I feel like I am putting my excellence towards Him and I am able to honor Him with something he has gifted me with,” said Reddicopp.
She has always been about ministry first as witnessed in these comments, "I was heavily involved in church throughout my middle school and high school years. I was involved with the youth group and worship teams. All of those people definitely impacted the choices that I made growing up." Now acting as a mentor for teenage girls she says, "I want to be a role model for these girls that I am teaching and to those that listen to my music. I think that is important especially with how girls are dressing and with everything (in mainstream music) being sexualized. I want to be separate from that and hopefully turn girls in a different direction."
Stonehouse moved to Detroit for a few years and when he moved back, he too noticed the emphasis that she placed on making sure her heart was in tune with God's will for her life and she wasn't just looking for a big chart stopping song. "I just assumed when I moved back to the Vancouver area, that she would have begun working on her album. To my amazement, she had waited for the perfect time and I was blessed enough to get involved. We were able to revisit songs that I had almost completely forgotten. We refined them to the person she had become and fit them into the music she now knew she wanted to do. I think that's where I saw the maturity most in Stephanie, in her simple patience to wait until she was ready lyrically, musically, and spiritually. She didn't rush into the ‘wanna get big now’ game, and I really admired that about her. I think she really wanted to wait for God's perfect timing in the whole thing."
Stonehouse continued talking about Reddicopp, "I know that as an artist, she has such a solid foundation in Christ that gives her a passion that doesn't just follow the trends of the day. We need more people who aren't afraid to be themselves regardless of how many records it sells. That mindset is a breath of fresh air to me as I'm sure it will be to you as you hear her music."
As the fourth track "Without You With Me" spins out of your player, the influences of Crystal Lewis' music are clear. Reddicopp readily acknowledges the influence of Lewis on her own musical styling. As she coos the words to "Without You With Me" it becomes apparent that Reddicopp could easily make a name for herself in jazz or R&B music. Once again listeners are treated to Bosch's splendid tickling of the ivories. As the teenage boys in the audience listen to the soulful vocals, "I'd be lost, I'd be lost / Without you with me," they should be reminded that the pretty lady who has become the focus of their teenage crush is a married woman singing her words to God.
A year ago she was reunited with yet another acquaintance from high school days when she hooked up for a live duet performance with Canadian Idol finalist Shane Wiebe. The duet took place during a Tsunami benefit concert. A few months later she appeared on stage with Brian Doerksen.
Samples of Stephanie Reddicopp's music can be heard at www.stephaniereddicopp.com Her CD is available in Christian bookstores throughout Canada or at her website.
By Joe Montague, exclusive rights reserved
Joe Montague is an internationally
published journalist / photographer. His ministry is dedicated to the memory
of his late son Kent David Montague who went to heaven at the age of 18.
All copyright and distribution rights remain the property of Joe Montague.