Dream Come True

So, I’ve had this thought in my mind all day. This pressing thought that I wanted to share with you. I didn’t realize until the day began and I headed off to work after dropping my children off at school, that this day would prove to be so significant to me. Months ago I learned that Brooke Fraser was bringing her brutal romantic tour through Houston tonight. I immediately bought tickets and emailed my husband that he was going to take me on a date. He agreed. I haven’t given a lot of thought to it since then. 

This morning, as I was driving to work I began to feel pretty emotional about it. I have never seen Brooke and concert live before. However, her music has had a pretty large impact on my life. You see, when I was already in my 30s and a mother of four I began to really feel like I was being called to record an album of original songs. I have a lot of records that inspire me, but one in particular that has meant a lot to me over the last several years. It’s called Albertine and it is one of Brooke’s earlier records. I love that record so much. I would go so far as to say it is one of my favorite records of all time. So, as I was feeling inspired to write and record a full-length album, that there was one producer that I knew I would want to work with if he wanted to work with me. Aunt, my husband even looked him up for me, knowing how much I loved this record. He forwarded me his information as printed on his website and I laughed and promised my husband I would reach out to him before I made any decisions on a producer. The other producers I was in talks with were amazing and wonderful and I know I would have been so blessed to have recorded with any of them. So, when it came time to make a decision and I knew we were going to be raising the money on kick starter I sent one of the producer contracts to a friend of mine in Los Angeles. We had met with him earlier in the summer and he had mentioned if it got to this point he would give us some recommendations on who to work with. When he saw how much these producers were charging, his comment was “if you are going to raise that kind of money, you should talk to my friend Marshall.” He then asked me if I knew who Marshall altman was. Of course, I did. I then told him that Marshall had produced one of my favorite records of all time by Brooke Fraser. What happened next was nothing short of a miracle and active God. To have my dream producer be an actual friend of a friend and then want to talk to me and then want to produce my debut record. I was completely floored. 
So, now fast forward to today being able to see Brooke Fraser live after all of this has transpired and I have worked with Marshall and recorded what is essentially a dream album for me. I am in all of gods plan. I has a much younger girl, I never ever had these dreams for myself. As a matter of four and a wife, new dreams have bubbled up in me that I didn’t know I had before and God has brought them to fruition. I am excited to enjoy this show tonight, but more than that I am so thankful that this night and the anticipation I am experiencing is reminding me just how fortunate and blessed I am.  

Home, next steps, family time and naming the record!

Family Fun with the Els
Coming home has been amazing. I’ve loved every second I’ve spent with my family. Especially the chaotic ones that remind me why I love being a mother and a wife and make me appreciate those brief moments of bliss and peace.
The first week I was home my littlest El- Leeland, was so sweet and clingy. Constantly asking me to hold him. “Hold you, Momma?” How can I resist that? But, he is over thirty pounds, so holding him while doing everything else can be a bit challenging. Making dinner, for example is nearly impossible. But, we’ve figured it out. This week he has asked me to hold him less and I think is feeling more and more confident that I’m sticking around.
Our daughter, Trinity, seemed to grow up a little while I was away. She says things like “actually” when correcting me. And, “perhaps” when suggesting an alternative way of doing something. She is delightful and I am so happy to spend so much time with her.
Maddux, our second oldest had pneumonia before I left for the first week. He was better before I left town and was able to attend school the entire time I was gone. This week, however, he seemed to be ill again and we confirmed a pretty serious ear infection at his doctor’s office on Tuesday. So, he missed school. He is getting better now. But, we’ve had many breathing treatments and lots of prayers for our Maddux.
Bakri, our oldest, is doing great. He adjusted well to me being gone, but he loves having me home. He is really opinionated on which songs he likes best. Loving certain lyrics or guitar parts and wanting to hear them over and over. It’s fun. We had a field trip with his first grade class this week. He was awesome on his field trip. First graders are a little wild and kooky. What a fun and crazy age. His teacher promises me that they are not like that at school. Bakri was just happy to see the Birds and the California Sea Lions. He knows what he loves at the Houston Zoo.
Rebekah & Audrey
Being in Nashville and recording with my producer and friend, Marshall Altman afforded me so many amazing opportunities. One of those was the people I got to meet and the people I worked with. The musicians that played on the record are so unbelievably talented. I can’t wait to share with you more about each of them and let you hear the amazing work they did on this record. I am really blown away!
In addition to amazing musicians working on my album, one of my favorite artists- Audrey Assad came by the studio on one of her days off from touring. http://audreyassad.com/desktop/
She was refreshing, smart and talked with me about my “project” telling me she couldn’t wait to hear it as she headed out the door. Awesome. I became a fan of Audrey’s after finding her through Marshall. He produced her first album- House You’re Building and her most recent release- Heart. Both are amazing. Just listening to them would make any artist want Marshall Altman to produce their record. I’m just saying. 🙂 Oh, and, many of the musicians who played on “Heart” played on my record. Which, by the way, is still nameless. I think naming this record should be about the body of work as a whole. At least that’s how I am feeling at the moment. And, I think having that as a title of a track on the record is even better. It reinforces the direction and my hope for others as they listen and hopefully encourage others to listen too. I’ll get there soon. And, share it with you all.
Marshall Altman, Rebekah Maddux El-Hakam and Audrey Assad
Until then, keep looking up. And, keep knowing that I am eternally grateful to all of you who care about me and my family and this project that God has laid on my heart to share with many.
Rebekah Maddux El-Hakam

After 2 weeks in Nashville, here’s my album update…family update to come later!

Dear Friends,
I just want to say ‘thank you” again to all of you and give you a quick update on album production! I am home and enjoying being with my precious family this week.
I spent much of the last two weeks working and recording my debut album in Nashville with producer, Marshall Altman. It has been such an amazing experience so far and it wouldn’t be happening without you. Thank you for your preorders, your support, your prayers and your friendship. I am so excited for all of you to hear this record!
If your preorder included a t-shirt, I’ll be sending out an email to you requesting info soon. The album is still in production. We did three days of preproduction, 2 days of tracking with the band at the House of Blues studios, and 5 days of tracking lead vocals at the Galt Line Studios. Background vocals and more instruments are being tracked this week and in the next couple of weeks the tracks will go to be mixed by the sound engineer. He will spend an entire day mixing each song. A very detailed and necessary job! Once the mixing takes place we will have final approval before the tracks get “mastered.” All this to say, the album will not be ready in April as we hoped when the kickstarter campaign began.
However, you will still receive the album before it is released to the public and available on iTunes. As soon as I have a firm date, I will update you with that.
Until then, I’ll keep posting updates at www.rebekahme.com and I’ll keep thanking God for you!
“I thank my God upon every remembrance of you” Philippians 1:3
Rebekah Maddux El-Hakam
Rebekah, vocal tracking
A funny moment…tracking vocals, day 4
Rebekah working with producer, Marshall Altman
the Galt Line, Nashville