PRAYERS IN TIME
songs of hope and grace
Credits and acknowledgements
Godfrey Rust vocals, acoustic guitars
Adam Rust keyboards,
synth bass, drum programming, guitars, backing vocals
Daniel Corbett, Jack Shepherd, Steve Weeks electric guitar
songs written by Godfrey Rust
Prayers in Time has been a decade in the making, by an unplanned and complicated route. The first demos were recorded in 2008, though all but one of the songs have been written since then as the final track list has gradually taken shape. It took the considerable production, arranging and keyboard skills of my son Adam to finally pull it together. This is as much Adam’s album as mine, though he is not responsible for any of its weaknesses or follies.
Additional vocals have largely been a family affair, from Adam and my older son Joel, daughter Emma (Nixon) and cousin Jess Duckworth, with Joel’s wife Laura Fontanills and her cousin Neena Caperna adding some Cuban-American power and finesse. Rock bottom blues includes spoken interjections from Emma, my wife Tessa and her mother Mary, and Lay down my angry heart concludes with the ante-natal heartbeat of our grandson Leo at 11 weeks.
Jo Whitfield (who delivers the middle class rap on Rock bottom blues in her best Felicity Kendal manner) is an actor with whom I have worked on many projects over many years. Save me (from my enemies) includes prompts from Jude Smith, son of our friends Sarah Beattie and Noel Smith.
David Fitzgerald recorded woodwinds for the last album I made as half of Shattock & Rust in 1995 and was the first person I wanted to contribute to this one. What he brings is transformative, and I am grateful for his consummate skill and creativity and for his friendship.
Daniel Corbett is an eclectic electric guitarist who has played quite often with me at Café Church. Steve “Wah Wah” Weeks is an old friend and leader of the more than legendary soul-funk outfit Our Dad.
Emma O'Gorman (vocals), Jack Shepherd (guitar) and Sam Brown (cello) are friends among the network of young professional musicians with whom Adam often works.
Claire Dovey and Hannah Copeland belong, as I do, to the highly sociable running club Ealing Eagles, and wield their violin bows in a number of places and ways.
I am indebted to all of these, and to Jonathan Pagden, who provided much of the kit, engineering and encouragement for the early demos and recorded some of the final woodwinds, and Enoch John and Denis Blackham, who provided the finishing touches by mixing and mastering.
The entire vagabond community at Café Church at St John’s, West Ealing contributed to and helped me knock many of these songs into shape: particular thanks are due to the regular Café Church musicians including Steve Taylor, Julian Griffiths, Niall Corbett, Alan and Julie Perkins and others of the Men & Women Of Uncertain Age.
Since the early 1990s all income from my writing and music has gone via a charitable trust to support the work of my friend Kenneth Ononeze, a pastor in Jos in Northern Nigeria, a place which has at times been within reach of Boko Haram terrorists and has suffered numerous riots and much bloodshed. Living on little money in trying conditions, Kenneth, helped by his wife Helen and his church, has built two schools (one primary, one secondary) which are now providing affordable education for hundreds of children, including some from Muslim families. They remain in dire need of cash to complete their buildings, and all income from Prayers in Time is going to Kenneth’s schools where it will help transform many lives for the better. Nigeria is a corrupt and troubled country: Kenneth is a courageous and honourable man who has stood his ground against corruption and Islamist terrorism for three decades to help his community without profiting himself, and I am proud to make this album as a practical prayer to help him in his work. See here for pictures and more information on Kenneth’s schools.
My thanks go to all my family for their support and forbearance which they have given during a time when the album seems to have almost become a demanding family member in itself. In particular, this could not have been done without Adam, who has been a constant encouragement and problem-solver alongside his creative input.
Beyond all, though, I am grateful for the patient love and support of Tessa, who has now shared the journey with me for more than half my life, and lives the words of her near namesake:
Christ has no body now on
earth but yours.
I realise the best of this album puts into words and music what she puts into her life, and mine is the poorer offering.
Godfrey Rust, May 2018