There's never a dull moment with San Clemente, California-based singer/songwriter Jadon Lavik. After getting married just two years ago, the acoustic-driven artist and wife Stephanie had their first child this summer (Laird, a boy, born August 26th, 2007). What's more, the couple has just moved into a new home, and Jadon is serving as a worship leader in a local church.
Amid all the major changes and busyness, Lavik found time recently to record and self-produce his third full-length project on BEC Recordings, a collection of classic hymns titled Roots Run Deep.
After releasing two critically acclaimed discs, Moving on Faith (2004) and Life on the Inside (2006), and touring alongside nationally known acts like Rebecca St. James and BarlowGirl, Lavik's latest effort represents a considerable change in direction musically and thematically. "It's definitely a departure from the first two records," he says. "I hope people dig it. It's not super polished or overly produced, but it's really raw, acoustic and real."
Lavik says he's always wanted to do a hymns project, especially since he grew up in a traditional church in the state of Washington where he developed a love and appreciation for the standards of the faith. "I love old hymns," the 29-year-old troubadour confesses. "For me, this is not about making a strategic career move. I wanted to do it because I have a deep reverence for the songs."
Roots Run Deep features a cavalcade of familiar classics such as "Come Thou Fount", I Surrender All", Turn Your Eyes Upon Jesus", I Need Thee Every Hour", Take My Life" and "Amazing Grace", all supported by Lavik's sturdy yet seemingly effortless vocals. But just because the song titles may be recognizable, listeners shouldn't expect the melodies to sound too familiar.
"All the arrangements are unique, and some of them don't sound much like the originals," Lavik explains. "I composed and produced virtually the whole project, and I worked hard to present my interpretation of each hymn. Roots provides a true representation of who I am."
Thanks to Lavik's commitment to keeping things simple, nicely understated instrumentation and restrained production values set Roots Run Deep apart from other comparable worship albums. "Most of the songs have just acoustic guitar, piano and a vocal," he says. "A couple songs have bass, and there's a cello or a shaker here and there."
Of all the hymns on Roots, Lavik shares that "Blessed Assurance" is his favourite - at least for the moment. "It turned out really rad," he says. "There's such a powerful message of hope-filled praise in the lyrics."
Lavik hopes Roots Run Deep will resonate with fans and new listeners alike, but he is quick to emphasize the project's organic, unsophisticated style. "The whole record has an intimate feel, like what it would sound like if you came and sat in my living room and I shared it with you and a few friends."