Friday, September 7, 2012

Fresh Start!

Hello Friends!
Wow! Things have been moving and shaking over here in the JGB camp! Incase you haven't heard we have been working on a new website and a new acoustic hymns CD. God has blessed us with wonderful people to work with and we want you to meet them!

 When it comes to creating and designing a website, Michelle and I are complete novices. We couldn't tell you what 'html code' is or what 'DNS' means or how to make the 'name server' point to the right place! Thankfully, God has placed Josh Moczygemba in our lives! He is creative, smart and super easy to work with! When we decided to update and create a new website, all we had to do was dump out our ideas on him and he took it and ran!  He created an AMAZING site and made it so easy for US to keep it up to date! After you finish reading this head on over to and check it out! He not only designs websites and many other things, but also takes amazing pictures! (You can see some of them on our new site!) Thank you Josh for all your hard work! You can follow Josh on Twitter @Josh_Moczygema to see what he is working on.

Michelle and I have been doing so many gigs lately with just the two of us (just bass, guitar and two vocals) that we realized that we needed a CD that sounded more like we do live. We love our other CDs, full band, rock-n-roll, lots of guitars, drums and cool stuff, however, when Michelle and I go play somewhere, just the two of us, it sounds much different. We bring the same energy and fun, it's just more acoustic and not as loud, so we decided to do an acoustic CD. We had been talking about doing another CD of hymns (we released our first one "Foundations" in 2005 as The Brown Band) and thought that it would be great to make a new one as our acoustic CD. The production was very minimal since it was just acoustic guitar and voice, but mixing something so bare and raw takes a very talented we turned to our friend Aaron Patterson. We did all the recording at Good for the Soul Music studios in San Antonio and then handed it off to Aaron to mix and master. He worked his magic and made this project sound BEAUTIFUL! It was so nice to be able to see what someone else heard and created with our music! If you are in the need of someone to mix or master your next project, I highly recommend Aaron! He is an amazing musician as well! Check him out at  We are very proud of this album and can't wait for you to hear it! You can hear a few songs on our new website

Now for some business stuff...If you follow my blog or receive it by RSS feed or find it in other ways, I need to let you know that it will be moving. It is going to be embedded in our new website. You will still be able to follow, comment and see all of the old blogs, it is just going to have a new home. So head on over to  and click on the blog tab to sign up and follow us! You will be able to see what is going on in my head and in the world around the JGB!

We are so excited to share these things with you and hope you enjoy the new site and new CD as much as we do! We would love to hear your thoughts on all the changes and new things going on in world of the Justin Graves Band! You can post your thoughts on our Facebook page and be sure to "Like" us while you are there!

Now go on! Head over to the NEW and check it out!

Thursday, August 16, 2012

Shut up and Sing!

I don't know when it started or why I decided that it would be better, but lately I have been talking WAY to much. For some reason I think that I need to talk more than I sing. When we go to lead worship or do a Family Worship Night, I spend more time talking than singing. I know that when God called me, He called me as a musician, a worship leader NOT a preacher. I tried that a long time ago and it didn't go well at all!. I know that God has given me songs to write and the talent to play music, so why have I taken the talking route lately?

If you have ever spent any time with me, you will know that I can take forever to get to the point of a story. I will tell you every detail and boring little fact that I can think of and eventually I will get to the point of the story. Fun for me because I get to hear myself talk, bad for you because you have to listen to me go on and on about something, and may never get to the point.

We are constantly trying to get better and improve what we do, and we have been working on our Family Worship Night, trying to create a time of story and song that will connect with the audience. As we have been doing this I have been trying to write out my thoughts and create a set list that features songs from all of our CDs that doesn't seem like just a bunch of random songs thrown together. After looking at the first draft, Michelle commented that yet again I am talking way to much! “What are people coming for?” she asked. And I realized that they are not there to hear me blab on they are there for the music, the story told through song. I was frustrated at myself, so I started doing some research and watching and listening clips of concerts of my favorite artists, and you know what... Michelle was right (like she usually is). The reason I go to a concert is to hear the artists heart through their music, not to hear them talk aimlessly about random stuff.

So, I have gone back to the drawing board. I have come to the conclusion (with some help) that God has given me great songs, and that people want to hear those songs, not me talking. I know that God has called me to sing and lead worship through music and that is what I will do...I will shut up and sing!

I'd love to hear your thoughts! Feel free to post them on our Facebook fan page ! Talk...oh I mean...Sing to you soon!

Monday, July 30, 2012

Summer-time Fun!

Wow! What a summer! We had so much fun this summer seeing old friends and making new ones, visiting some of our favorite camps, traveling across this great state of ours in Truck Norris, and worshiping with about 2500 people in 6 weeks of camps!
We kicked off the summer in Oklahoma at Camp Egan with the Stillwater District camp and had a blast! Especially with Josh and the mud pit!  Then we headed to Austin, TX to do the music at the Redeemer Lutheran VBS where we learned that "Anything is possible with God!". We love any excuse to hang out in Austin! Great food, great friends and just a cool vibe up there in ATX.  After that we actually had a couple of weeks off, which usually never happens in the summer! It was a nice break, though to catch our breath and gear up for the run of camps we had up next!
We then headed to Camp Zephyr. What a cool place! Figuratively not literally, although this year was much cooler than in past years. Zephyr is one of our favorite places! The staff there is absolutely amazing!  Kenny Conley was the speaker again this year and did such a great job! We love hanging out with Camp Kenny! We did 3 pre-teen camps there in 2 weeks! Yeah, sounds crazy huh?!? It was great, except for the fact that I completely lost my voice! I got a nasty sinus infection and my voice said 'Adios!' This hasn't happend in the 11 years we have been doing this! At first we didn't know what we were going to do, but then my amazing wife stepped up and sang like an angel! She sang so beautifully and lead the worship through music like she had been doing it all her life! Thankfully, I was able to get some medicine and my voice came back by the end of the second camp and I was able to finish out the summer strong!
After those wonderful weeks at Zephyr, we headed to Big Country Camp. Nothing like west Texas in the middle of the summer! We had a great time and the kids were so responsive and wonderful to be around! We also got to hang out with a great speaker and friend, Shane Pruitt. He always has a wonderful way to connect with the kids!
This summer we had some new additions to the JGB. We took a new drummer, Timothy, and added an acoustic guitar player, Chandler. They were such a great find! We were so excited to have them join us this summer, and look forward to woking with them again!
There was one thing that kept coming up at these camps. One thing that we had never discovered before this summer. Something we had always heard about, but never had tried...Chicken Express! Oh man! I think that this summer, camp speakers were being payed by Chicken Express to promote their product. We had never tried it, but after hearing so much about it we HAD to find one. We lead worship at San Angelo FUMC on Sunday morning on our way to Big Country Camp and we had to grab lunch on our way out of town and what do you know...there was a Chicken Express right there in San Angelo! We went in, ordered our Chicken Express chicken tenders and dove in! Let me just say...there is nothing like Chicken Express chicken tenders...they were DELICIOUS! Chicken Express, you have some new fans!
Over all it was an AMAZING summer! Now, we get ready for a fun filled fall! We will be releasing out new HYMNS CD this September. We will aslo be traveling and doing Family Worship Nights all across the country! If you would like us to get to your church be sure to contact Michelle 210-317-6453 or ! We would love to share the songs and gifts God has given us with your community! I love that this is what God has called us to do! I have included some pics from the summer. You can see more on our Facebook fan page  Hope your summer was as wonderful as ours! See you soon!
Last day at Camp Egen
 FLY! Redeemer Lutheran VBS
Getting ready to hit the road with Timothy and Chandler!
Worship at Camp Zephyr
Camp Zephyr ROCKS!

Michelle rockin the mic when I lost my voice!

Chicken Express!

Big Country Camp!

Concert at Big Country Camp!

Worship at Big Country

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Hello Again Blog-o-sphere!

Wow! It has been a while since my last post! I could blame it on the fact that school was ending or we were getting ready for the run of summer camps, or we have been working on a new CD, or that it is already 150,000 degrees outside, but none of those are the reason. Those are excuses.
Yeah, things have been busy, camps are going great (and we have 4 more to go), our new HYMNS CD is taking shape and sounding amazing, we are in the process of figuring out how to market ourselves better and all the while trying to book more Family Worship Nights and churches where we can lead worship. For me, it just comes down to focus. What am I focusing on? I find myself getting distracted by the silliest things. Instead of sitting down and just getting my job done, I find the way wander away and end up getting nothing productive done.
I know that is one of my bigest faults, being easily distracted. I like to look at the pretty flowers, or waste time getting something to drink, or play with the dog, or just watch people. My prayer right now is that I would be able to do what it says in Colossians 3:1-3 "Since, then, you have been raised with Christ, set your hearts on things above, where Christ is, seated at the right hand of God. Set your minds on things above, not on earthly things. For you died, and your life is now hidden with Christ in God."
I have to choose to set my mind on things above! Not be easily distracted with silly pointless things, but do my job well and completing it. This is not something that comes naturally to me but I know that if my mind if focused on God then I will be victorious!

It will be easy to make excuses, but I will choose to be in control! 

Whew! It's good to be back! I will make sure I don't go that long again without leaving some of my thoughts here. Thanks for listening! See you soon! 

Saturday, May 5, 2012

From bad to worse.

Have you ever had one of those weeks where it feels like life is passing by you while you are looking in from the outside?  When it feels like everyone around you is moving at hyper-speed while you are stuck in slow motion, deep in a barrel of molasses? That kind of describes the week Michelle and I have had.

It all started last weekend when Michelle went with her parents to California for a funeral.  Their plane left at around 8:30am from Austin on Saturday, which ment that they needed to leave San Antonio about 6am, which in turn ment that we needed to wake up at 5am.  Whew! 

They arrived in California and were able to spent time with family and have a wonderful memorial service. Michelle, however, doesn't tend to adjust to different time zones very well.  Although she was in Pacific time, her body was operating on Central time, which ment she was waking up two hours early and ready to go to bed long before her California family. 

Now, one of the benefits of our job is that Michelle and I get to work together from home.  We basically spend all day, everyday, with each other.  It truly is wonderful! The down side of that is, when we are appart, life just seems a little off kilter.  I know that with Michelle gone I wont sleep very well, so I don't want to go to bed.  So for those 4 nights I stayed up till 3am or so and ended up cleaning the whole house! 

Gabi and I did have some great daddy-daughter time.  Being Mr. Mom went very well until Tuesday when I woke up late and failed to get Gabi to school on time, but that is a story for another time.

Michelle came home late Tuesday night.  Her plane landed in San Antonio at about 1am Wednesday morning.  Gabi and I went to pick her up and by the time we got home and un-wound a little it was almost 2:30am.  So needless to say we have been operating in catch-up mode the rest of the week.  It has been a good week, we just feel like we haven't fully recovered from so many late nights and early mornings.

I was able to spend some time writting in the studio on Friday where I came across the verse in Ephesians 6:10  Finally, be strong in the Lord and in his mighty power.  This was such a great reminder and encouragement to me. I don't have to rely on my own strength, God's power is ready and available at all times, I just have to choose to use it!  He is willing to give it to any who will ask!

Although we have drifted through this week half asleep with aching bodies and blurry eyes, we have enjoyed being back together as a family. It is so good to know that even when we feel like we have nothing left in the tank, we don't have to do this on our own. What a wonderful blessing! We can live in His strength! Be strong in the Lord! Live full of His mighty power! (but do make sure you get enough sleep!)

I would love to hear your thoughts! Feel free to post them on our Facebook page 

By the luck would have it, this is the 2nd time I have written this blog.  I had it finished and ready to post when I hit the wrong button and erased it all. Just kind of goes along with the kind of week it has been! Just makes me chuckle a little!

Thursday, April 26, 2012

Are you in?

How many of you have ever felt like you have been called into "full time ministry?" "Oh no. That's not for me!" you may say.  Most of us associate that phrase with people who work at a church or are worship leaders or evangelists, or people who do "God's work" for a living.  But did you know that ALL of us who are Christ followers have been called into full time ministry?  Yeah, it doesn't matter if you are a teacher, banker, decorator, vet, shelf stocker, parent, student, nurse or grandma, we are all called by God to be His light and share His love.  We see in Mark 13 that Jesus said that the greatest commandment is to Love God and Love Others. In the book of John chapter 13 we hear Jesus say 34 “A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another. 35 By this everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another.”

What that tells me is that as we are living our normal, everyday life, loving the people around us, we are being ministers of the Gospel.  We are living out Gods call on ALL of our lives. It is easy to think that "ministry" should be left up to the "church people", but that is not what God says at all.  He has called us all to be His hands and feet here on earth.  Yes, there are people who are called to be pastors or worship leaders, but you can also be called to be a banker or office manager or landscaper for Christ.  By doing your work with integrity and doing your job well can be such a great testimony of God's love.

So, this week step into the call God has placed on your life.  Don't think that you can leave "ministry" up to the "professional Christians."  Live out God's love right where you are, in your everyday life and let God shine through! Live to Love Him and Live to Love the ones around you!  Maybe this song will give you a little encouragement!  Click the link below to hear the title track from our Live to Love CD. Enjoy!

Thursday, April 12, 2012

You said WHAT!?!?!

As life marches onward and I continue to get older (which is better than the alternative- says Michelle), I find myself saying things that I never thought I would say. Here are a few such phrases...

Collard greens, brown rice and ground turkey for dinner, YUM!

When I was your age...

Can you turn that music down, it's getting to loud.

Oh man! I'm getting to old for this!

Because I said so!

I'm so full! I don't think I can finish my dinner.

The concert doesn't star till 9pm! We will be asleep by then!

Some phrases that I hope to never hear come out of my mouth...

I'll have a DIET Dr. Pepper.

Is this the strongest denture glue you have?

I have hair growing where?!?!?

So, you're telling me I need bi-focals!?!

5am, yeah, I just naturally wake up that early.

We would love to hear some of your favorite phrases! Feel free to post them on our Facebook Fan Page