For more than a decade, Big Daddy Weave has been one of Christian music’s most successful and musically compelling groups. Their songs, including hits like “In Christ,” “Audience of One,” “What Life Would Be Like,” “Every Time I Breathe,” “You Found Me” and “You’re Worthy Of My Praise,” have been among the genre’s most treasured.
Formed at the University of Mobile, the quintet—Mike Weaver, Jay Weaver, Joe Shirk, Jeremy Redmon and Jeff Jones—has earned a reputation both for the musical conviction that has carried their songs to the top of the charts and for the joy and passion that have made their live performances such moving and memorable experiences.
Big Daddy Weave has also compiled a stellar list of milestones: “One And Only” debuted in SoundScan’s Christian Top 5 and stayed in the Top 20 for six weeks; “In Christ” peaked at #2, stayed for 24 weeks on R&R’s AC chart, and became one of ASCAP’s 25 most performed songs of 2002; the group was nominated for a Dove Award as New Artist of the Year in 2002, honored at ASCAP’s Christian Music Awards in 2003 and 2004, chosen for the WOW Hits compilations in 2006, 2007, 2008, 2010 and 2011, and won a Dove Award for Christmas Album of the Year in 2010.
“The Ultimate Collection” summarizes the group’s career to this point and, with their new single “Love Come To Life,” points the way to one of music’s most promising futures.
THE ULTIMATE COLLECTION
This collection is a picture of where we’ve been for the ten years since we began our recording career with Fervent Records. It’s amazing how much life we’ve experienced together as five guys and how faithful God has been in seeing us through all of it. Most of this music came from the days before we had families. Now we’re husbands and dads, which is pretty unbelievable. It seems like we were just in college, putting this band together to open for another group on campus one night. Now it’s 13 years later and we’re still here and still doing this! We’ve been all these places and have gotten to meet so many wonderful people. And to this day, the business has never distracted us from what we really came here to do, which is just play the music we love to play and write songs we believe in. At a time when it feels like the world is falling apart, we get to make a living playing music that carries the hope of what we believe in, the hope of Jesus and what He’s done. –Mike, Jay, Joe, Jeremy, Jeff
THE ALBUMS ONE AND ONLY – featuring “Audience of One,” “In Christ,” “Neighborhoods”
This was our first record on Fervent. Everything about the music business and professional recording was brand new. We were just wide-eyed and sort of scared to death. We had heard about bad experiences people had with the music industry. We thought it was this big monster waiting to change everything we held dear. It never has been that. People have been great to us. Around that time our friend Jeromy Deibler took us under his wing. He produced the album and took us on tour with him for 80 dates. It was a fresh time of life and everything was new.
FIELDS OF GRACE – featuring “Fields of Grace,” “Heart Cries Holy,” “Set Me Free”
This was right on the heels of “One And Only.” We still had some songs left from our independent project that we brought to the label. It was great, because we believed in those songs and ended up using every one of them on our records. This record has some songs with a Bruce Hornsby influence, but it isn’t on the piano—it has our instrumentation and our feel. I can listen back to these songs and think, “That’s where that came from!”
WHAT I WAS MADE FOR – featuring “What I Was Made For,” “Just The Way I Am,” “You’re Worthy of My Praise,” “Without You”
This was the Hurricane Ivan album. I had sworn I’d never move to Nashville, but when you use the word “never,” it’s an open invitation for an exhibition of God’s sovereignty, to have him throw something different your way and make you recognize it as something better than you’ve ever dreamed of. My parents’ home was destroyed and I moved to Nashville. I had a crush on Fervent’s marketing director. I never realized I had a real chance there, but I did. Four months later I had the ring in my pocket to ask her to marry me as I was about to cut vocals for this album. We cut every lead vocal track in one session from 5:00 in the evening til 9:30 the next morning. I think it was all fueled by the ring burning a hole in my pocket.
EVERY TIME I BREATHE – featuring “Every Time I Breathe,” “Let It Rise”
This is where it all seemed like a job. It was like, “Oh, man, we’ve gotta make another record!” All of a sudden the thing you love most can feel like a homework assignment, and I have never loved doing homework! I’d written pretty much every other record by myself and on this one I felt dry of spiritual inspiration. I came up with the chorus of “Every Time I Breathe” in the shower but then for the next couple of weeks I had nothing—no verses, no anything. I called my friend Michael Farren, lead singer for Pocket Full of Rocks. We sat down and wrote the rest of that song together. The inspiration came back from hanging out with him and other friends and co-writing for that record. It was a way for me to replenish what we were pouring out on tour and on record. It reaffirmed in me the idea that we’re in this together.
WHAT LIFE WOULD BE LIKE – featuring “What Life Would Be Like,” “You Found Me”
The thought that went with putting this together was, “We’re still here! We get to do this again!” It’s almost like we were getting away with something! These songs were really special because we got to take a little more time to make this record. Except for the first record, everything was made on the road, sometimes in hotel rooms literally using the turned-up mattress and box springs as sound baffles to record vocals. We were always scrambling to meet a deadline. Here we got to hang out and enjoy the process. It was really fulfilling. As we were cutting our Phil Collins cover, it just dawned on me how much fun we were having. All of this means so much more to me now because of where I am as an adult in my walk with God.
Love Come To Life – New track.
THE SONGS (in sequence of The Ultimate Collection)
Love Come To Life
It is so wonderful to finally share something new! This song was born from some serious self-inventory. I’ve found it so easy to point the finger at the church for not practicing what they preach. What I realized is just how guilty I am of the same thing! It’s so easy to talk about “For God so loved the world,” but where is the evidence of that heart in us? Paul said faith without works is dead. The same applies to the way we love others. Or as Toby Mac said years ago, “love is a verb.” This song is crying out to God for His heart realized in the way that we reach out to love who He loves – everyone!
Every Time I Breathe
This is such a special song to me because God brought it as refreshment in a time when I was Spiritually dry. Like so many other times, the chorus just seemed to arrive all at once. For literally months afterwards, though, I was just blank. Zero inspiration! So frustrating! One day my friend Michael Farren (of Pocket Full of Rocks fame) met with me over this song. As we worshipped the Lord in my living room, he pretty much spontaneously sang the entire first verse as it appears on the record. A couple of days after those moments in God’s presence, I remember waking up at 5 AM and the second verse just poured out so naturally in response to what Michael had sung. That same morning, I received an email from a longtime friend from Alabama, Andy Cloninger, with some lyric ideas that turned into the bridge, and the song was finished. A true collaboration and my inspiration for co-writing still today.
What Life Would Be Like
I remember playing the chorus of this song for my friend Don Chaffer the first time we got together to write. He has such a gift for backing up from the song and then really helping put ideas creatively and conversationally down on paper. This song continues to challenge me in my walk with Jesus.
Let It Rise This rework of Holland Davis’ song was originally recorded for one of the WOW Worship compilations. We ended up liking this rendition of it so much that we made it the first single from our Every Time I Breathe record. Even to this day, I think we’d be hard pressed to find something better to sing than, “Let the Glory of the Lord rise among us!”
Audience Of One
As Big Daddy Weave started receiving invitations to play locally, my brother Jay and I also worked as part-time worship leaders at our home church. Part-time work in our little hometown church required us to wear multiple hats in ministry. Part-time worship leaders also meant part-time custodians, and I was the chief bathroom cleaner. It really surprised me how many songs from the very first Big Daddy Weave album came out of cleaning up the church! This song is definitely one of my favorites from that time. There are things we’re called to do sometimes that we feel like nobody sees, maybe aren’t really important or have any effect on God’s kingdom. But that is not true! There is the One who always sees. What we do in front of Him alone is usually the most authentically important act of worship we can bring.
What I Was Made For
This song is possibly the result of listening to too much Aerosmith! I often find the music of the songs I write is very obviously influenced by what I’ve been listening to the most during that season. Much the same, the lyrics have everything to do with what has been going on in my walk with God. Everyone at one time or another wonders why we’re here. We all search for a greater purpose in life. As a worshipper of God, it is a continual realization that He is calling me away from my old self into a new life where knowing and loving God and being known and loved by Him IS my ENTIRE purpose. Loving Jesus is what we were made for!
Fields Of Grace
As we were working on our sophomore project with Fervent Records, we were leading worship very frequently at week-long camps and weekend retreats. We love those events because there’s a unique chance to hang out, get to know folks and build some potentially long-lasting friendships. One weekend amongst some of our friends from Tuscaloosa, AL there was a very energetic college student named Chris who was absolutely determined to have us hear this new worship song by Darrell Evans. We were really busy, but he was patiently persistent. We are pretty big fans of Darrell Evans anyway, so we finally took time to hear this song. The line “there’s a place where religion finally dies” absolutely grabbed a hold of my insides. We quickly learned the song and put it into our set list that weekend. Our long-time friend and manager, Jim Scherer came by as we were rehearsing and confirmed the suspicion that there really was something special about this song. We’ve been “dancing with our Father God” in nearly every set since then!
You Found Me
We have definitely always worn our musical influences on our sleeve. This time, we were obviously listening to something a little modern country. The rapid- fire lyric of this chorus hit me at once. I was scrambling for something to write it down with. In the studio, it’s so easy to piece things together. It wasn’t until I got to tour rehearsal that I asked, “What have I done?! How am I ever gonna sing this many words and still find time to breathe”!? I guess we figured it out at some point. You Found Me is still an important part of our set.
This song was our very first radio single. It came from a batch of songs my brother and I had been working on to share with our local congregation. When I met Joe Shirk, (saxophone/keys/background vocals) everything changed. The songs with Joe’s sax on top just became something different altogether. We are so grateful to the folks at radio for playing this song! For those of our friends at Christian radio who were bold enough to play the version with the sax left in, we salute you!!
Just The Way I Am
I’ve struggled over self-worth for as long as I can remember. The idea that God loves us right here and now is what always quiets those self-hating voices in my life. As we share this song, it’s so encouraging to find out how this message resonates with so many other people too.
Heart Cries Holy
As I’ve been listening back over the songs included on this project, it has been a real walk down memory lane. People say that sometimes a song has the ability to take them back to the place and time in their life when they first heard it. Being a songwriter, I’ve found that to be even more so with songs that I’ve written. The song Heart Cries Holy is the one on this record that brought me to tears. Thinking back to the freshness of those earlier days in ministry and music, I was just flooded with emotion. I thought about our failures and about the faithfulness of God over the years. I thought about the times before any of us had the special families that God has so richly blessed us with. I thought about the fact that even though there are so many lessons that I feel like it’s taken us so long to learn, we’re still here! God is not done with us yet. One of the things that I am often reminded of in my life is the fact that God is so very great. When I see the reality of just how amazing He is, like Isaiah, I see myself in a place of giant need in front of Him. It brings about an attitude of reverent worship with a heart that longs to be more like the One I adore.
Big Daddy Weave is:
Mike – Songwriter/Lead Vocals/Guitar
Jeff – Drums
Jay – Bass/Vocals
Joe – Saxophone/Keyboards
Jeremy – Guitars/Vocals
Big Daddy Weave WEBSITE