Remembering Craig Dinnie—Musically

 

On August 30, 2013, we lost Craig Dinnie. Craig was my friend for many years, and I had the privilege of producing music with him when time permitted—which wasn’t often enough.

 

These two songs are bookends in a way. “Candles of Faith” was our first collaboration (2001/2002), “Carry Me, My Lord” was our last (2013). In these recordings, Craig plays guitars and sings both lead and backing vocals. Ray Drury plays bass, bowing the original organ pedal part on “Candles” and going electric on “Carry Me.” Marcia Jackson’s voice melds with Craig’s backing vocals on “Carry Me.” I handled the rest.

 

These sound recordings are available for your personal, non-commercial use. Please feel free to download them for your music collection. The links are presented below along with notes from Ray Drury.

 

Craig’s spirit lives on in his music. Listen in peace.

 

-Doug Jackson

September, 2013

 

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Candles of Faith” was the very first original composition Craig wrote for the Faith United Church family. The folk-like simplicity and its eminently singable quality (hallmarks of Craig’s style) are at the forefront of this lovely song. One will also find that its range and general key were perfectly wrought for Craig’s warm baritone voice. Also, one will discover a duality of meaning residing in the title. Literally, “Candles of Faith” refers to the actual candles that the Faith United Church congregation holds during the traditional Christmas Eve Candlelight Service. More deeply, “Candles of Faith” refers to the congregation’s faith in God and each other, and swirling around all of this is a man questioning his faith and hoping that in some way his faith may be returned via the “Candles of Faith.”

 

[Click the title to play, right-click to save]

Carry Me, My Lord” was Craig’s last composition. Although initially written and performed at Faith United Church in late 2012, it was recorded in the early summer of 2013, when Craig’s health began to fail. In fact, this is his last recording. I must mention the Herculean effort both Craig and producer/arranger Doug Jackson put forth to ensure that this recording was completed in time. It truly is Craig’s final gift to us all.

 

When listening to “Carry Me,” one is reminded of the parable “Footsteps in the Sand.” When God is questioned why there is only one set of footsteps, He replies, “that is because I carried you.” This inspirational gem of a song is a man’s final plea for God’s grace and comfort. The buoyant melody and solid musical architecture make this one particularly appropriate for a choral treatment. I will endeavor to do so. Stay tuned, Wilbraham Choral Society.

 

In closing, Craig Dinnie was a great musician. He was not formally trained but possessed extraordinarily high musical intelligence. In fact, I feel formal training would have limited his musical output. Formal training tends to make us think too much. Craig just “sang,” and he could turn a phrase better than most formally-trained musicians—certainly better than this writer. I will miss my friend Craig. The world was a much better place with him in it.

 

-Ray Drury

September, 2013