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A new music genre emerges

Members of Our Lady of Perpetual Help record one of the first Catholic Christian rock albums

Posted: May 1, 2009 9:59 p.m.
Updated: May 2, 2009 4:55 a.m.

The album cover of Tess Narciso's debut solo album "The Only One We Need." Not only is the CD one of the first releases in a new genre, Catholic Christian Rock, but it also features famous musicians known for their work with mainstream secular classic rock legends.

 

Twenty-three year old Tess Narciso's debut solo album, "The Only One We Need," has some heavy significance.

This is not only one of the first releases in a new genre - Catholic Christian rock - but it also features famous musicians known for their work with mainstream secular classic rock legends.

John McFee of The Doobie Brothers, Clover and Jackdawg, Carlos Rios and Sharon Celani of the Stevie Nicks band, and Joey Stec of The Millennium are among the noted musicians present on the album. McFee and Stec also produced the album.

Narciso and Stec both attend the same Catholic church, Our Lady of Perpetual Help on Lyons Avenue.

Narciso graduated from Hart High School and has attended the church ever since she was a child.

She joined the choir at the church when she was a freshman in high school and has been singing with them every since.

"It's been nine years now," Narciso said.

She eventually became one of the leaders in the choir.

Stec approached the group of singers and band members a couple of years ago in order to smooth out some rough edges.

"The priest came up to me and asked, ‘Hey Joey, can you do me a favor?'" Stec said.

Aware of Stec's extensive musical background, the priest asked him if he would work with the youth band and choir and "help them out."

A little reluctant at first, Stec agreed and began working with the young musicians.

"Joey wanted to record and produce for the church," Narciso said.

With Stec's connection to the music world, he pulled some strings and invited his friends to join in producing for Narciso.

"Catholics usually don't make Christian rock," Stec said. "We put it out there for the church and parish."

It took about 18 months to record the 10-track album.

"It was hard to work around everyone's schedule," Narciso said. "But we made it work."

Half of the proceeds made from the CD go to Our Lady of Perpetual Help.

"We've sold about 1,000 CDs so far," Stec said.

The tunes are put together from Catholic songs as well as traditional Christian songs books.

Since its release in March, the album has already received some radio play.

It's currently being sold on www.amazon.com, www.CDbaby.com, and www.sonicpastmusic.com.

"It's been a blessing," Narciso said of the overall experience thus far. "It's benefitted everybody, not only financially for the church, but in a spiritual way as well."

Narciso said she's excited to use music as a way to reach out to younger generations since she realizes it can be hard to connect with them at times.

"It's hard to get youth involved (sometimes)," she said. "Music is one of the best ways. We're getting a lot of feedback from everybody."

The experience recording the album helped Narciso focus on her own spiritual growth that "couldn't have come at a better time" in her life, she said.

Her father passed away from leukemia three years ago. She remembers him telling her to continue singing with the church choir.
"He definitely had something to do with all of this," Narciso said.

The CD is dedicated to the "Lord Jesus Christ and the power of prayer, peace and love."

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