My friend Mike gave me this guitar around five years ago before he moved away from North Carolina.
At the time, he was playing drums in our little classic rock cover band that a few of us put together just to have fun. Mike was a multi-instrumentalist and insanely gifted. I envied his level of music knowledge.
Mike played a big role in the genesis of Mormon Guitar. While I didn’t start it until several years after he left, he helped give me the confidence I needed to get it off the ground. Mike took a big interest in anything I had written (even if it was garbage) and kept encouraging me to write and arrange more.
Mike became a member of the church while he was in North Carolina. I remember his baptism. I remember him singing his own arrangement of a hymn the next week at church with the Bishop accompanying him. I remember him telling me beforehand that the Bishop thought the piano music in the third verse might be a little too in your face and that he would just repeat the music from the second verse. (You can see why I liked this guy)
I had been playing Mike’s guitar in the band. Right before he moved, he told me to keep it. It was the first and only time anyone outside of my family had given me a guitar.
The last time I played it was about six months ago. Yesterday I got the sudden urge to pick it up.
I started to play Beautiful Savior.
The phone rang.
“Ben, have you looked on Facebook? Mike passed away yesterday in his sleep.”
There’s a special bond you feel with anyone you get to make music with. I’m grateful I have that bond with Mike and many others.
I’m grateful I was playing the guitar he gave me when I got the call.
I’m grateful I was playing this hymn.
After I hung up the phone, I immediately thought of the text my Mom sent me after she heard this song for the first time on my last album.
I’ve never believed in coincidences.
Luke HutchingsPosted at 19:24h, 02 July
How soon will the interactive tab be posted?
Ben HowingtonPosted at 16:58h, 05 July
Finally got them posted today.
Wiliam A HunterPosted at 00:52h, 14 August
As you play I feel like I’m listening to an inspirational prayer. I just started playing guitar and I love your stuff. This is why I wanted to learn to play guitar. I hope I can attain your level of skill. You play with such emotion.
Thomas MessengerPosted at 14:05h, 24 August
I was there in NC also, and I remember listening to your band. Mike was an interesting soul with a heart of gold and I loved him like a brother. This was a beautiful tribute to him. It was good to see you playing again. Keep up the good work!
BradPosted at 13:15h, 09 June
Amazing. Two of my favorite songs mashed together. I really needed this lift today. Thanks, Ben.
BrawnPosted at 10:42h, 18 May
Such a beautiful song. Just felt like a hug, and I sit here blubbering at my desk at work. A comment’s not quite the platform to express how I felt, but it was remarkably touching. Thank you!
Ben AndersonPosted at 20:18h, 19 November
This is BEAUTIFUL! I am learning it right now using your interactive tab, which is extremely helpful.
I have one question: How can I match your tone? It’s amazing. I have a Boss Katana if that helps…
Peter OvardPosted at 00:45h, 14 April
That transition from “Beautiful Savior” to “God Be with you ‘Til We Meet Again” caught me completely off guard. Not only was it fantastic, but it lined up exactly with the words I was reading in the description above. This isn’t a gospel of coincidences, thank you for this beautiful work.