Award-winning husband/wife country duo Jed & Claire Seneca return with the highly anticipated Carry You Through on Frethouse Records, and available at leading digital outlets. Produced by Jed Seneca, the collection features 11 selections marked by the common themes of faith; marriage and family; and holding onto hope in the midst of life's challenges.
Q: Thanks for doing this interview with us. Some of our readers may remember you guys as Seneca. What were some of the highlights for you during this period of your career?
(Jed) Several fond memories come to mind. We will always remember singing on the stage of the Grand Ole Opry, and we really enjoyed sharing our songs with different audiences around the world-meeting people and seeing their responses. Once, while we were on tour in Europe, we took some time off between concerts in Interlaken, Switzerland. We bumped into some Americans there who recognized us and were familiar with our music. To our surprise, we found out they were in town attending a conference with 3000 other people who had just been given a copy of our CD by the Armed Forces Radio Network. They insisted we go back to the conference with them because they didn't think people would believe they just met us on the street. And so we did!
Q: Then there was a period you retreated from the music scene. What happened there?
(Jed) In 1997 we chose to move away from recording and touring because we felt called to church ministry. We took a position as worship pastors at a church in Murfreesboro, Tennessee, and then in 1999 we moved to a church in Austin, Texas, where we were also on staff with an athletic organization called Champions For Christ. After a couple more moves, we ultimately landed in California, where we've been for eight years.
Q: What prompted you to come back and cut this new album?
(Claire) It was a spiritual awakening that brought us back. About two-and-a-half years ago, Jed woke up in the middle of the night with a song on his mind we had written in the mid '90s called "Takin' A Stand." We felt like God was asking us to record the song again. We had written it when the political climate was chaotic, much like today. Back then, as well as today, we believe the best stand we can take is to get on our knees and ask God to intervene!
Q: I love your take of Matt Redman's "Gracefully Broken," which almost sounds like a new song. Why did you choose this song?
(Claire) We were attending a special event to see a friend preach and we heard "Gracefully Broken" for the first time there. We immediately fell in love with the song, and then hearing Tasha Cobbs' version further moved us to want to record it. We put our style on it, giving it a more contemporary country take.
Q: Besides issues of faith, you also sing about family and marriages. Why is it important for you to address such a diversity of topics?
(Jed) We like to sing songs of encouragement with the values we hold dear. When you look around the world-from our close friends to strangers in the news-it's easy to see the diverse challenges people face every day. We are inspired to write songs we hope will address these issues in a positive way.
Q: if you choose a couple of tracks from the new album that you are most proud of, which would they be? And why?
(Jed) "Things We Can Love Without" is a song I wish I'd written. It's about focusing on the right things in marriage. No matter how much "stuff" we accumulate in life it's just things. At the end of the day, if we lose everything, the one thing that remains is our love, and we can still go on.
(Claire) "Always Have" is a special song for me. I constantly need to be reminded that God loves me and will never stop pursuing me, regardless of what my feelings tell me. I love the visual I create in my mind of what God chasing me would actually look like. It gives me hope and encouragement.
Q: How do you wish this album would minister to the lives of your listeners?
(Claire) We hope people will be encouraged-that one song or phrase would cast light over a situation they are going through and give them the strength to believe that God sees them and that He cares. He has not deserted us but is watching and pulling for us to come through. Do not give up! He loves us, and His love does not fail.