Date: 14 July 1998
To: RichMailList
Subject: [RichMailList 211]: Cornerstone 98

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Sandy McMullen's Cornerstone review

Date: Sun, 05 Jul 1998 03:38:30
From: Sandy McMullen
Subject: Rich tribute


Alyssa Loukota with Compassion International opened the Cornerstone '98
Rich Mullins Tribute, which was held July 3, 1998, at Cornerstone Farm
in Bushnell, Illinois.  She introduced David Mullins, Rich's brother,
the head of the foundation begun for Rich, 'The Legacy of a Kid Brother
Of St. Frank'.  David led in prayer, then gave thanks to those who had
supported him and his family throughout this time.  He comforted us with
words regarding his brother's death, reminding us how God works through
all circumstances, even our suffering, for our best and for His will.

Sixpence None The Richer followed David, with Leigh Bingham Nash telling
some of her experiences during the recording of CANTICLE OF THE PLAINS,
for which she sang the part of Clare.  They did two songs from CANTICLE,
"In Your Hands" (which Leigh had trouble getting through) and "Buenos
Noches," and then two of their own songs, "Sister/Mother," and "Puedo
Escribir."  Leigh ended the set with a beautiful rendition of "I Need
Thee Every Hour."

Alyssa came back on and introduced This Train.  What a surprise!  They
went right into a lively version of Rich's "Screen Door."  Mark
Robertson announced they would be inviting friends to join them
throughout their set, and asked Beki Hemmingway to come up to help with
Rich's "Somewhere."  (He said Beki was not a former member of TT, she
just no longer tours with them or comes to practice.) For the next song
Mark introduced Mitch McVicker and the Kid Brothers, but Eric Hauck was
the only one who came on stage--Mark then said he was being backed up by
Eric, Eric, and Eric--the song was an old hymn, "No Not One." 
Afterwards Mark teased that since Mitch forgot to show up, we in the
audience should try to 'disappear' for Mitch's first couple of songs "A
Million Years" (MIMES) followed.  Mark said Rich wrote about 98% of the
song, but insisted on sharing the songwriting credits with him.  Mark
said, "That's the way Rich was.  If you were in the room with him you
got credit." Ashley Cleveland (who sings backup vocals for This Train on
MIMES OF THE OLD WEST) had specifically asked Mark if she could sing
"Great Atomic Power" (MIMES) with them, but she didn't come to the stage
when he called her (at the suggestion of someone in the audience Mark
commented she must be off somewhere doing a set with Mitch,) so Eric and
Beki came back.  Mark ended with a very moving "Goodbye" (MIMES).  He
said Rich told him it was the best song Mark had ever written.

Greg and Rebecca Sparks came on next, old friends of Rich who in the
past had toured with him, opening with Rich's "Hope To Carry On."  They
did several of their own songs, songs they said were favorites of Rich. 
The first two were "I Believe" (FLESH & BLOOD) and "Field Of Your Soul"
(FIELD OF YOUR SOUL.)  Rebecca paraphrased Romans 12:1, and invited us
to worship with her song, "Be Still And Know," Rich's "I See You," and
the song "There Is None Like You."  One comment between songs stood
out--she said, "How free we become when we don't have much left."  They
ended with three more songs, the first a song about heaven that Rich
said was his favorite, "Homeland" (FIELD OF YOUR SOUL), "Beatitudes"
(FLESH & BLOOD), and "I Can't Dance When You Stand On My Feet."   ;)

Aaron Smith (drummer for the Ragamuffin Band) spoke next, the recurring
theme this night being ragamuffinism--how we all have our stories, we
become 'ragamuffins' because we are torn, and then God puts us back
together.  He also shared that Rich challenged each of them to reach
beyond where they were, always telling them, "You can!"

Mitch McVicker and the Kid Brothers (Michael Aukofer and Eric Hauck)
began with Michael playing a beautiful hammered dulcimer intro into
"Calling Out Your Name," Eric accompaning on cello, Mitch on guitar (and
vocals).  Mitch said Rich had written that song for Kansas, and loved
wherever he happened to be living.  He said he thought Rich loved New
Mexico best of all, and then did "New Mexico" (written by Mitch and
Rich.) It was followed by the "Lemonade Song," and both songs are on
Mitch's new project.  Mitch did two songs from CANTICLE, "Heaven Is
Waiting" and "There You Are" (Mitch co-wrote CANTICLE with Rich and
Beaker), and then did a new arrangement he wrote for Rich's song "When
You Love."  Michael played an instrumental version of "It Is Well With
My Soul" on the dulcimer with Eric on cello (one of Rich's favorite old
hymns.)  Mitch shared "Rich's Song" with us, which he had just written,
and the chorus goes:

	I'm sure you smile a lot more than you ever did before
	and I can hear you laughing and carrying on from here
	but this world took its toll so you went out through the door
	and I could tell it all was drawing near
	I just had no idea it was so close
	but He was always calling you home

Mitch ended with a song he said summed up how Rich saw things, Rich's
"Bound To Come Some Trouble."

As the stage was being set up for the Ragamuffins, Mitch told how every
morning on the road Rich had met with Eric and Michael and him for a
time of Bible study, and then read for us Romans 11:33-36, one of the
Bible passages they had memorized together:

   Oh, the depth of the riches of the wisdom and knowledge of God! 
   How unsearchable His judgments, and His paths beyond tracing out!  
   Who has known the mind of the Lord?  Or who has been His counselor?  
   Who has ever given to God, that God should repay him?  
   For from Him and through Him and to Him are all things.  
   To Him be the glory forever! Amen.

The Ragamuffin Band portion of the show began with several songs from
THE JESUS RECORD. Tom Howard's haunting piano introduced "My Deliverer,"
and was joined by the other instruments to become a mighty crescendo
(Jimmy A on guitar, Mark Robertson on bass, Rick Elias on guitar and
lead vocal, Aaron Smith on drums, Phil Madiera on keyboards.)  It was
very powerful. Mark did "Surely God Is With Us" (which he wrote for TJR)
and then Rick sang "Hard To Get," one of the first songs Rich presented
to them for the project.  Ashley Cleveland came and did "Jesus," and
they followed it with "You Did Not Have A Home."  Very quietly Michael
A. began the dulcimer intro into "Creed," the crowd cheered, and then
sang along with Rick.  The Ragamuffins went right into "I See You" (with
a great vocal lead by Ashley) and then "It Is Well With My Soul".  With 
Michael on dulcimer Rick began "Sometimes By Step," and the crowd took
over, such thunderous singing!  The Doxology followed, at the end of
which, with the crowd still singing, the Ragamuffins left the stage one
by one, Jimmy A remaining until the last, acknowledging God's presence
by bowing reverently before exiting.

Sustained applause dissolved into chants of "Awesome God, Awesome God!" 
The Ragamuffins came back on stage (Ashley carrying her purse as though
she were going somewhere) and Rick took the mic and yelled "Uncle!"  The
Ragamuffins admitted they only knew the chorus, so we all sang the
chorus together as a final song of praise---


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Geoff Horton's Cornerstone review

From: Geoff Horton
Subject: Geoff's *long* concert writeup
Date: Sun, 5 Jul 1998 13:26:18

I'm going to post my full Cornerstone writeup on the Web so that I don't
wind up too far off topic. (OK, I will mention that Third Day included a
supercharged (and very, very good) cover of "Creed" in their encore set;
until then, I had no idea that anyone could body-surf to anything Rich
wrote.) My thoughts and memories on the tribute concert are on-topic, and
here they are:

(All quotes are my best memory; don't hang anyone out to dry just because I
said they said something! I also don't vouch entirely for song names or
chronology, though I'm checking both against Sandy's review (thanks,

I got to the Compassion tent while the soundchecks were still in progress,
having just finished helping to interview John Fischer (!) (probably my
second biggest highlight of C-stone). Mitch and the Kid Brothers (Mike and
Eric) did a bit of "There You Are" for their check. This Train (after Mark
was located) did a full run-through of "I Saw the Light," which had much of
the audience clapping and singing along. This was the only chance of the
night to hear it, because they didn't play it during their part of the
concert. Leigh Nash (Sixpence None the Richer) did a bit of "In Your Hands."

After a few minutes, Alyssa from Compassion (thanks to Sandy, BTW; I had no
idea who that was) started things off by welcoming the crowd, reminding us
that we were there not just to remember Rich, but to praise and worship God.
She then introduced Sixpence.

They started with "In Your Hands." They then started "Buenos Noches" but had
to stop because something wasn't quite right. Leigh said she needed a moment
to fix the music, and she also needed to regain her composure ("In Your
Hands" was emotionally tough for her to sing). With the second start, they
got to the finish, though it still had rough edges. Leigh told us that the
rest of the band had just learned those songs, which put them in the same
position she was in when she recorded them: "I got up to Chicago, learned my
songs in about two hours, and recorded them." They closed with a couple
songs of their own; since I'm not a Sixpence-ite, I can't tell you what they
were. They ended with "I Need Thee Every Hour," and then hustled off the
stage and out of the venue. I think they had to get on the road fast, and
I'm grateful they stayed to do their part.

Next up was This Train, again introduced by Alyssa, who called Mark "Mr.
Mirth." They led off their set with "Screen Door," a choice that fits in
really well with the TT style. Mark forgot some of the words, but claimed
this only lent a note of authenticity to any Rich concert! Next was
"Somewhere" (assisted by Beki H.), which didn't suffer in the translation,
but certainly underwent more changes than "Screen Door" did. A brief
interruption followed a request to move a poorly-placed car.

Next, Mark invited Mitch and the Kid Brothers to join them onstage. Repeated
invitations yielded only Eric and a suggestion from the audience that Mitch
was busy moving his car. So, backed by (as Mark put it) "Eric, Eric, and
Eric," they did "I Need Thee Every Hour," with Eric reading the words for
Mitch's verse off of a card.

"A Million Years" was up next. Mark said he contributed about a sentence to
it, but Rich insisted on giving him a co-writer credit. "If you were in the
room when Rich wrote a song, you got credit."

Mark said that Ashley Cleveland had specifically asked to sing on "that
goofy song you guys do," which he noted is not a great help in locating any
particular song in the TT repertoire. (Parenthetical aside: I wish they
could have come up with a way to play "Monster Truck".) Repeated summonses
didn't produce Ashley, though they did get an audience suggestion that she
was wherever Mitch was. Mark said, "Fine! I know who our real friends are
[tongue in cheek, of course]! Beki, come on out!" That did produce Beki, and
Eric too. Mark wouldn't tell her what they were going to sing, but she
figured out fast enough that it was "Atomic Power."

After they were done, Mark said they played that because they'd done it last
year at Cornerstone (I was there! First time I ever heard TT, as a matter of
fact.) and Rich had come up on stage, borrowed a piano from someone (I think
it was Three Crosses, if it matters), and discovered only after they'd
started playing that it was tuned differently than he expected. Mark: "I'm
hoping no one in the crowd could read lips."

They closed the set with "Goodbye." Mark said something that made me think
he and Beaker wrote it before Rich died, which is really odd.

Greg and Rebecca Sparks were next. They cheerfully admitted that most of us
had no idea who they are, but they're friends of Rich's who've been playing
the coffeehouse circuit in blissful obscurity for twenty years. "Hope to
Carry On" was their first song, and the first time I started crying. They
followed with a several of their own songs, mentioning that Rich would often
join them on stage "whether we wanted him there or not. ÎIt's my dad-gum
concert!'" Somewhere in there, they also did the night's first rendition of
"Step by Step." I cried for that, too.

Aaron Smith (Ragamuffin drummer) spoke while the Kid Bros. were setting up.
His basic topic was about being a ragamuffin - not the band, just one of God's
broken, repaired, and loved people. He also told us how Rich had wanted each
of them to sing on "The Jesus Record," and they talked him out of it. Aaron:
"I bet Rich is sitting in Heaven laughing at us, because he got it his way
after all." He handled the intro of Mitch and the Kid Brothers.

Mitch looks pretty good, a little gaunt maybe (but he's always been that
way). His voice is better than he gives himself credit for, especially when
he quits worrying about it. It's hoarser than it used to be; Dylan is the
obvious comparison, but I think Mitch still has better tone quality. It was
beautiful to see the companionship and camaraderie onstage. I think Eric and
Michael have done a lot to help Mitch.

As for the music: Sandy has them opening with "Calling Out Your Name," which
they did indeed do (great work by Mike on the dulcimer), but I really think
that wasn't first. I couldn't tell you what was, though. Next was "New
Mexico" followed by Mitch-fan favorite "The Lemonade Song." Mitch said that
he thought it was stupid when he wrote it, and that Rich agreed. Over time,
Mitch decided that it was profound instead. Eric interrupted to ask if Rich
thought so too. Mitch laughed and said, "I don't think so, but since I did,
he let me play it in concert anyhow."

"Heaven is Waiting" is the first song Mitch and Rich ever wrote together,
and that was up next, followed by "There You Are", and a semi-rewritten
(with Rich's encouragement) version of "When You Love." Since, as Mitch put
it, no Rich-based concert could be complete without it, Michael (dulcimer)
and Eric (cello) did a lovely arrangement of "It is Well with my Soul".

Michael and Eric then left the stage, leaving Mitch alone. Before he could
say or do anything, the crowd rose and gave him a several minute long
standing ovation, which I think was a much-deserved tribute to his courage
and dedication. As the applause died down, Mitch went to the mike, thanked
everyone and said, "In my best preacher-style, [bass voice] please be
seated." He then did "Bound to Come Some Trouble."

During the Ragamuffins' setup, Mitch read Romans 11:33-36, which Rich and
the Kid Brothers had studied extensively last summer, to the point where
Mitch had it memorized (though residual memory problems from the accident
are still with him; earlier Mark jokingly said, during the search for Mitch,
that it gives him a perfect excuse to miss things).

The Rags+ (Ashley Cleveland, Phil Madeira, and someone whom I didn't
recognize but Sandy says might be Tom Howard, were all there in addition to
the offical Ragamuffins of Mark, Rick, Jimmy and Aaron) led off with a
powerful rendition of "My Deliverer." I'd never heard the whole thing before
(my copy of TJR is in the mail and I can't stand listening to our local CCM
station long enough to catch a playing), but I now know what the rest of you
have been talking about.

"Surely God is With Us" was next, and the jaunty music was a perfect match.
Rick sang "Hard to Get", which he told us was maybe the first song on the
album that Rich played for any of the Rags. Ashley Cleveland sang "Jesus,"
followed by the group rendition of "You Did Not Have a Home."

Somewhere in here, Rick said that they really hadn't had enough time to
rehearse, but that made it only a standard Ragamuffin appearance at
Cornerstone. "If you can't mess up in front of family, where can you?" (Side
note: Rick apparently wound up with front-man duties.)

That concluded The Jesus Record portion of the concert, but they went right
into "Creed." I was struck by how marvelous it is to have people dancing and
singing to an expression of faith that is nearly two thousand years old. "In
the scheme of eternity, millenia don't seem to be worth much more than a
dime" indeed!

Ashley lead "I See You," with some really booming drum work from Aaron
adding energy to an already pepped up crowd and performers. The group, and
crowd, then sang "It is Well With my Soul," followed by "Sometimes by Step"
(I think Ashley was doing lead, but it might have been Rick), and ending
with Rick starting the doxology, and the Rags slipping off-stage as the
crowd sang through to the end with a beautiful hushed four-part "Amen" to
finish it.

I don't think they'd planned on an encore, but repeated chants of "Awe-some
God! Awe-some God!" finally brought the band back on stage. Rick warned us
that they knew only the chorus, and that we'd all have to sing along, which
was not a problem!

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Links to other Cornerstone info

Official Cornerstone Page

Cornerstone 98 Rich Tribute - complete transcription (45K) by Geoff Horton, (Ragamuffin List moderator)

Giovanni Audiori's Cornerstone Rich Tribute Page by Eric Townsend

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