A couple years after Comfort my People was released I received a letter from a Gordon Matties. Gordon taught a course on the Old Testament that I audited a few years prior. But at this time he was writing me from Israel where he was taking a study sabbatical. Gordon’s letter explained that he had been listening to my first album frequently while in Israel and felt it was important that I record a second one.
He and his wife Lori had just received a bit of an inheritance and wanted to lend it to me in order to get the project going. Gordon also suggested that when he got home he could help me raise whatever funds that I might need over and above what they had. Needless to say, I was stunned. I had/have enormous respect for Gordon, and this practical vote of confidence was both humbling and encouraging. I had just returned from India where I experienced severe poverty for the first time. Emotions were pretty raw, but I had several songs burning a hole in my pocket and wanted to get them on tape – the support was welcomed.
Soon into the project it became evident I didn’t have a whole lot of creative energy to work with – the India trip had really taken a knock out of me. So I hired Paul O’Neil to produce Deep Calls to Deep, and it remains to this day, the only album of mine that I didn’t have a major role in the production. You’ll notice it has a decidedly different sound than my other projects. When Deep first came out, the response was very negative. It sounded so different from Comfort My People and folks had (and shared) very strong reactions. I felt I had wasted good people’s money and trust. I spent several sleepless months worrying about how I would ever pay back my debts on a recording no one liked. One particularly restless night, Nanci rolled over in bed and chewed me out for worrying so much. She was convinced (more than I) that I was doing what I was supposed to be doing, and thought it rather sinful that I was stressing. It was what I needed to hear and something in my soul quieted. Nanci has been an amazing and intuitive support that way. A few months later people started warming to the album and it has since become one of my better selling recordings. Go figure.