Alabaster Grace are husband and wife duo Brad and Joanie Perry. Brad is an award-winning former NASA rocket scientist as well as the duo's guitarist, whilst Joanie is the singer and primary songwriter. Louder Than The Music chatted to this remarkable couple about their latest single 'Word of God', how they started out making music, and of course we couldn't resist finding out a little more about Brad's work at NASA!
For those who haven't heard of you before, can you tell us a bit about yourselves and how you got involved in making music?
Joanie - Music has always been a part of my life. I remember using the top pole of a swing set as a little girl using it as a microphone and singing to all the animals. Fast forward a number of years when I became a believer. The Lord would give me songs in my quiet time, and I treasured them in my heart and shared with only a few friends. When I met Brad, I felt led to share “Adonai” and that was the launching of our music ministry. We haven’t looked back! God is faithful to give us songs to share with others.
Brad - I grew up playing acoustic and electric guitar, and later studied classical guitar. As a believer I wanted to glorify the Lord, and when He brought Joanie into my life, we were both amazed to see how our musical skills fit together. We hope and pray that the Scripture-based songs we present will encourage the listeners to deepen their relationship with the Lord.
It's not often we get to talk to a former NASA rocket scientist! For the benefit of those of us who are total space geeks Brad, can you tell us a little about what you used to do in that job?
I was blessed to have a number of interesting assignments with NASA. Initially, I served as an instructor for astronaut and flight controller Space Shuttle training. I also worked on the design and development of the International Space Station and served as the technical lead for reviewing proposals for robotic planetary and astrophysics missions.
Tell us about your single 'Word of God' and what the inspiration behind it was?
This song was birthed during a time of reflecting on the Gospel of John. It came with a Middle Eastern vibe and reminded us of Jesus walking in the Holy Land. This song is complete reverence to our Lord.
What message would you like people to take from your music?
All the songs are “straight from heaven” and centered around Scripture. We do not take credit for them; we are just being good stewards in sharing what we believe others need to hear. The songs are praise and worship to God and encourage everyone to deepen their relationship with God. Our songs are intended to bring hope and encouragement to listeners. It is our hope and prayer that people will be drawn closer to God through our music.
How would you describe your style of music and what are your influences?
Our style of music is praise and worship with a contemplative feel. Some of Joanie’s musical influencers are Twila Paris, Kari Jobe and Paul Wilbur, and Brad’s are Phil Keaggy, Carlos Santana and Eric Clapton.
If you could work with any songwriter, who would it be and why?
Chris Tomlin, Kari Jobe and Paul Baloche come to mind. Their music is very worshipful and inspiring. We would like dialog with them to learn how they write their songs.
How would you define success in your career as an artist?
The tagline for our ministry is: drawing everyone closer to the heart of God through song and worship. Our definition of success is how well we meet that metric.
What is your favorite album of all time?
Joanie - Shalom Jerusalem (Paul Wilbur)
Brad - Burning Lights (Chris Tomlin)
You're stuck on an island, it's hot, you only have enough battery life left to listen to one song on your phone. What track is it?
Oh, wow! We’re going to have to pass on that one. There are too many beautiful options to choose from.
What does the next year hold for you?
Only the Lord knows, but we are endeavoring to share our music with as many people as possible, drawing everyone closer to the heart of God.