Merrimack musician dips into online releaseBy LORETTA JACKSON Correspondent
Thursday, March 17, 2011
MERRIMACK – Merrimack songwriter and musician Mark Lajoie and fellow musicians from Living Waters, a popular Christian band, have released a stirring collection of 13 songs as a downloadable album titled “Refresh.”
The music performed by Living Waters resembles rock and is mostly of a religious genre. The group has played at churches, festivals and stadiums during religious assemblies for years.
The album was released in February. It’s available for any MP3 player or Windows Media Player. It’s accessible at amazon.com and through e-music.com.
Cuts can be heard on ReverbNation, an online site that promotes and publicizes hundreds of bands of all varieties.
Living Waters is one of seven Christian bands featured on the site. It also was recently featured on ReverbNation’s main page. The group has the same status on the Windows Media Guide.
Comments left online from fans praise Living Waters’ new album as one that elevates listeners’ spirits and celebrates the relationship many Roman Catholics say they share with God.
“We’ve been playing together off and on for many years,” said Lajoie, who has taught religion at Bishop Guertin High School for 12 years. “We have some great songs. And some of us felt it was time to convert some of our best into a digital format that could be offered on a wider scale.”
Lajoie, the band’s only Merrimack resident, is an accomplished guitarist. He also is the group’s primary songwriter and lead singer.
Other members hail from Massachusetts. Mike McBride plays piano and writes songs, Dave Bourque plays bass, Chuck Rossignol plays trombone and Greg Loell plays lead guitar.
John Drahos sings, Tony Vassel mans the drums and Vassel’s wife, Denise, is the lead female singer.
Jim Babish is the group’s longtime manager, and accessorizing the group are several liturgical dancers – mostly band members’ wives – who have interpreted the group’s lyrics through their graceful movements.
“We are all a family,” Lajoie said. “Some leave and then come back, but as far back as 1977, we were pretty much a full production company traveling in a school bus named “Bessie” with a cargo full of lights, instruments and sound equipment. We played Yankee Stadium.”
Lajoie’s wife, Julia, to whom he’s been married for 25 years, is a former liturgical dancer. Their four sons – Mark, 23; Peter, 20; Stephen, 18; and Matthew, 11 – share a love of music and a sense of pride in their parents’ endeavors and in their extended family’s accomplishments.
There have been many milestones. Living Waters presented one of its songs, “Peter the Rock,” to Pope John Paul II some years ago. The song’s emissary was a U.S. ambassador to Rome, Ray Flynn, the former mayor of Boston.
Lajoie treasures the pope’s letter of thanks and the apostolic blessing bestowed long-distance on the band members.
“We love what we do,” Lajoie said. “We relate as human beings. Most of us do music in our parishes or our churches.
“When one or another of us wanders away for a while and returns, it’s like we never stopped playing. It is magic – and we still got it.”
To preview the songs for free, visit www.reverbnation.com/livingwaters. A link to Amazon, the site for purchased downloads of individual songs or the entire 53-minute album, can be found on the Living Waters profile page at ReverbNation.
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