2.13.2017

January 2017 || On Tour

First concert of the year was January 13th in Indiana! The pastor + his wife took us out for mexican before the concert.
On the bus, its tough sometimes to find a quiet corner. This particular morning, the instruments had already been unloaded from their spot next to the laundry pile in one of the bays, so I just perched myself, Bible, + coffee in there and had some quiet time, whilst the rest of the family was buzzing about above. (in the bus) 
Hey, whatever works! =)
Building those muscles during tear down time. =)
This tour has had quite a few adjustments, as we are working on switching around various responsibilities to make things flow smoothly and get everything done. One of the more significant changes was Allison taking over the "on tour" laundry duties.
Occasionally she gets a little helper too. =)
Concert in Mississippi
Mitchell jamming with a fellow musician he met at a concert in Alabama.
We had an amazing time with this dear pastors' family in southern Alabama. Getting to know other families who love Jesus and want to serve Him, is one of the greatest gifts of our travels. 
And also, its not every day we meet another family who also has six sons and four daughters. =)
You are guessing correctly if you think this looks like a serious basketball game. It was! 
Pre-concert communication time, brought to you from the green room. =)
In action!
Cooking up an Italian storm a church kitchen.
Birthday celebration time! (this would be post-food, pre-gifts, as evidenced by the empty cake pan)

Our family loved our time with this church in Georgia. We spend several days there, doing two concerts and additional filming.The stories we heard there of what God is doing, around the world, were so inspiring, and our family is excited about this opportunity to share our music, through media, to those who have never heard!
Family hike on our off day, in the hills of northern Georgia.
So thankful for this guy + the many hours he has been putting in behind the wheel! 
Saturday morning brunch of champions, at MeMaw and Papaws house! (our "adopted grandparents" from the south) So many great memories made in this home-we've been here year after year for eight years now!

School/work/reading afternoon @ a Barnes + Noble/Starbucks while passing through Chattanooga. School and work happen daily on the bus, but sometimes (actually lots of times!) it gets pretty tight on there and finding a place to spread out is the perfect thing.

Next up, a few of us will be sharing about the ReNew Hope Prison Crusade we participated in the last week of January. Stay tuned!
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"As ye have therefore received Christ Jesus the Lord, so walk ye in Him: 
Rooted and built up in Him, and stablished in the faith, 
as ye have been taught, abounding therein with thanksgiving."
Colossians 2:7

2.07.2017

Bontragers Hit the Studio || Nashville, January 2017

After church on Sunday morning, January 8th, Mitchell, Josh, Taylor, Elizabeth, and myself headed for Nashville to begin work on our eighth family album. 
We were so excited to once again work with our favorite engineer @ CBI Productions. Besides being a incredible engineer + producer, Charley has grown to be an incredible friend + mentor to us! We five got to know him very well those four days at his studio! He + his wife were so kind as to let us stay at their home while recording the instrument tracks there that first week. It was the perfect location/atmosphere, and such good memories.
Charley Junior...how we love this little guy! He didn't mind us too much either; see his smile?!
Helping Liz with her school...=)
Liz + I made some great memories flying through Nashville traffic at rush hour. Grocery shopping + meal planning for five was super strange compared to the normal at home, but we had fun and lots of laughs!
Brainstorming session.
If you are a dobro fan...than you will want this new cd in your life. It is a dobro lovers' dream!
Taylor laying down some mean bass licks.
Mitchell
yours truly. I loved this beautiful grand piano!
Such good times! We had lots of laughter + merriment in the midst of the intense schedule. 
On Friday we drove back to Indianapolis to join the rest of the family for our first concert of the winter tour. We had concerts Friday, Saturday, and two on Sunday, and then Monday found us back in Nashville, actually Hendersonville, at Skaggs Place Studios, for the second phase of the recording---vocals and remaining instrument tracks.
Allison, our "queen fiddler."
Liz
Denver
Liz, on deck, catching a little lunch.
Hudson played violin for the first time on this new album! He did great + loved it!
Hard at work...
Brother/sister time
Mitchell + I co-produced this album. We loved working with Charley and coming up with fresh ideas + vision for this project.
Liz
Mother
A quick sisters checkers game in the lounge...
Gotta stay hydrated! We Bontragers drink LOTS of water!
Josh
Mitchell
Denver
Rebecca
Hudson
Smiles! Study time in the lounge! 
Taylor
Allison
Dad
Coffee + sisters.
Josh

Our deadline to finish was 8pm on Thursday night and we literally wrapped up recording the vocals for the last song right as 8pm was arriving! We saw God's hand of provision + direction all over this project. It was more work and took more hours than any album we've done before, but as always, that extra work is worth it! We are so thrilled at the way God provided our "dream team" and brought all the details together, even right down to being able to record all twelve songs. We are SO excited also with how the Lord is bringing together all the other details of the process. (if you've recorded a cd before, than you know that the actual recording is only one step of the process!)

We are anticipating, Lord willing, the completion of this album in the very near future. Stay tuned---we will be back with info on that as the date approaches!

Thank-you so much to all of y'all who were covering this project + our family with your prayers. We are so grateful for y'all!

"Know therefore that the Lord Thy God, He is God, the faithful God, 
which keepeth covenant and mercy with them that love Him 
and keep His commandments to a thousand generations."
-Deuteronomy 7:9