Christian Music - Reviews, News, Interviews

Three Strand - New Artist Profile

  • 1999 29 Sep
Three Strand - New Artist Profile

not easily broken...

by Mike & Paula Parker for the Music Channel at

{{Three Strand}} is a new band on a new label, but neither the band, nor the label, are newcomers to the Christian music scene. 40 Records, the label, was created by {{Bill Gaither}} and Toby McKeehan {{dc Talk}}, arguably two of the most influential members of the contemporary Christian music community. And Scott Williamson, Aimee Joy Weimer, and Kara Williamson, the three siblings who comprise Three Strand, have individually contributed to projects by such diverse artists as {{dc Talk}}, {{4HIM}}, {{Carman}}, {{Amy Grant}}, and {{FFH}}, among others.

Before they contributed their formidable musical talents to an ever-increasing number of A-list artists, the siblings spent a good eight years singing with their parents, Dave and Jan, as part of the family band, {{The Williamsons}}.

"Our folks used to sing in church for fun when we were very young," Scott reminisces. "By the time I was five or six I was doing a solo on occasion. Then Aimee Joy and eventually Kara joined it. We sang together pretty seriously between 1986 and 1994, and produced one independent record."

"And we did some entertaining for Amway conventions," Kara pipes in. "That was totally fun! We did sort of an independent, custom record strictly for them."

"Hopefully that one will never resurface," Scott adds ruefully. "But you know it will."

The Williamson family created enough of a stir in the industry that StarSong offered them a record deal. The resulting project, Stand Strong, saw moderate success, and introduced the siblings to the business end of the Christian music industry.

"I was fresh out of high school, and I suppose visions of stardom passed through my mind," Scott confesses. "But really, we didn't know what was going to happen, and we certainly didn't understand the way the business works. What we discovered when we moved to Nashville in 1989, was that all the things that we thought God was bringing us out here to do, ended up being secondary to all the things God wanted to do in us."

In hindsight, Scott believes a friend's admonition at the time of the move proved to be more than prophetic.

"He said, 'I think God has brought you here to die to yourselves.' Now on the surface that was not a very encouraging word. It was a revolutionary concept, and it has been a rather painful process. And I am not sure it is a process that is ever going to stop. The last ten years have been a constant flow of dying to ourselves and just recognizing who Jesus is."

"Amazing brokenness," Kara adds. "But amazing victories at the same time."

"We began to recognize that any fruit that is born out of what God has us doing; whether it is monetary success, or people getting saved, or healed, or lives being changed; whatever it is, it is all because of what Jesus has done. It has very little, if anything, to do with me," Scott says. "That is what dying to ourselves means. I haven't totally come to grips with that yet. Maybe that's why God keeps allowing circumstances in my life to drive that point home."

Although The Williamsons, as a family band, no longer existed, the three siblings continued to pursue careers in the industry. Scott made a name for himself as a studio drummer, and as the producer of the debut projects of {{Michael O'Brien}}, {{FFH}}, and Dove award winners {{Point Of Grace}}. Aimee Joy spent her time supplying background vocals for {{Rebecca St. James}}, {{Carman}}, and {{Amy Grant}}. And when baby sister Kara, wasn't busy appearing on television with Dolly Parton or Kenny Rogers, she was touring as a backup vocalist with {{Amy Grant}}. During her free time she studied the craft of songwriting.

Over the past several years several offers of recording contracts have been offered to the trio. All have bee refuseduntil now.

Scott explains, "Joey Elwood, president of Gotee Records, approached me a year ago and said, 'Gotee is going to birth a new, cutting edge worship label with {{Bill Gaither}}. Would you be interested in doing a praise and worship project with us?' And I said, 'that is exactly what we have been waiting for!'"

Aimee Joy echoes her brother's enthusiasm. It was her own discovery of the freeing effects of worship that drew her to the project.

"I want other people to experience what I have experienced by learning how to worship God," she says. "Five or six years ago, as our pastor explained, step by step, what worship is, it completely changed my life. I really let my guard down, and didn't care what people around me thought, and just focused on worshipping God. You can't do that, you can't have that intimate relationship with Him, without it changing your life. That is the whole reason I am doing this."

"We are singing to God, not just about God," says Kara, who supplied most of the songs on {{Three Strand}}'s debut project, ==Famished==. "But it is not just informative, it is interactive. You are having a relationship with God as you sing."

"A Christian, by definition, is a worshipper," Scott expostulates. "In fact, every person was created to be a worshipper. Those who don't know Jesus will worship their money, their car, their spouse, the movies, sexthey will worship something. Believers in Jesus Christ worship the living God. One of the most powerful ways to manifest that worship is to praise Him in music. One way that people can get ahold of the hem of Jesus' garment is by seeing believers passionately praising God."

Just as 40 Records' stated goal is to bring relevant worship music to a new generation, {{Three Strand}} wants their music to impact the world, through impacting the church.

"A lot of people in contemporary Christian music have the assumption that in order to reach the world, you have to meet them with language that they can understand," Scott explains. "I think to an extent that is true, but I also think that just maybe the body of Christ in our country hasn't done a real good job of portraying Jesus to unbelievers. There are a lot of people in the world who hate Christians because of what they think we stand for. And when all we do is tell people what we believe is wrong with them, without giving them any reason to want to believe what we believe, then why would we expect them to want to know Jesus? But maybe if the world sees a throng, a gargantuan throng of people, with their hands uplifted in praise and worship to the living God, without all the rhetoric, that might change things."

Characteristically, the siblings have no preconceived notions about the financial success of ==Famished==. "If that's all there is to it, then what's the point?" Scott snorts. Instead, they hope people will be so affected by listening to the project that they will have to pull over to the side of the road because they can't see to drive because of the tears.

"We knew going in that this was going to look a little different than what our industry has set up as a model for a successful record," Scott explains. "We told the label when we started that we were not a 200 date per year artist. Aimee Joy has just had her first baby, and my son is only two. We don't feel like God is calling us to (tour extensively). We are happy to let things grow slowly."

Rather than touring in the conventional sense, {{Three Strand}} expects to go out two or three weekends per month, and to participate in "worship in the round" events sponsored by 40 Records.

"This is all about helping people find the next step in their intimacy with God," Kara adds. "It is all about giving people another reason to come together and worship. We want people to go home saying, 'I never knew God could be that real.'"

"We all have big hopes for what God will do with this record, but the truth is we have no idea what His plans are," Kara insists. "The exciting part is that we don't know! Our job is to stay humble and on our knees before the Lord."

For more information on Three Strand, click here!