Pat Barrett and His “Good, Good Father”

Written by Terry DeBoer on . Posted in Local

Barrett Pat studio2020"I'm at the mercy of the moment in my songwriting," said Pat Barrett, 35, during a recent phone interview.

His first consideration: "What do I need to sing right now about what I'm walking through in life?" posed the worship leader/recording artist.

"And if (the songs) end up helping people in some way like they've helped me, it's wonderful."

That's how his signature praise anthem "Good, Good Father" emerged from his creative process.

The song, with its can't-miss chorus hook, was a result of a session with co-writer Tony Wood. "It came along at a time we needed to see God and ourselves in a healthy way," Barrett said.

The anthem is currently among the top 15 songs requested for licensing use by North American churches, according to the CCLI organization.

For more than a decade a worship pastor at a Georgia church, Barrett has been blooming of late as a solo singer-songwriter. Although he's no longer officially part of a church staff, he has retained his heart for worship within a growing recording and performing career.

He visits suburban Grace Community Church in Hudsonville on Feb. 29 for a concert following a discussion/question and answer session with area worship leaders (details below).

THE LIFE OF A SONG

Barrett recorded "Good, Good Father" several years ago with his church-based band Housefires. It started getting shares on YouTube without any social media campaign. One day Barrett got a phone call from worship music giant Chris Tomlin.

"He said his wife had heard the song at a conference and it touched him, too. And what would I think about him (Tomlin) recording it?" Barrett recalled.

     
 

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Tomlin's version rocketed up Christian radio charts and in church worship sets. And it has led to Barrett's solo career, in which he's now working on his second studio album on Tomlin's Boyer and Bow label imprint.

"It really was the start of a friendship for Chris and I,' Barrett said. "As someone whose songs have made a mark on me – to have him ask to record a song of mine that made an impact on him....that's just such a humbling thing."

Barrett said he's had two categories of reactions to the message of "Good, Good Faither." Predictably, one is the ability to see God as more than a distant deity.

"But the real touching thing is to hear stories of people about healing in their "families" lives with their fathers – fractured or no relationships at all where the song has helped open the door to forgiveness and reconciliation."

The success of "Good, Good Father" helped set the stage for another of his Housefires songs, "Build My Life," which also has impacted charts. (Watch his live version of "Build My Life" with guest Chris Tomlin.

HIS MUSICAL TRAIL

The son of a pastor, Barrett stated guitar lessons in fifth grade. "Songwriting and music and faith and melody kind of blended all together in my adolescence," he said. He listened to all kinds of music – from his father's classic rock collection to pop and church music.

"My first ever rock concert was the Allman Brothers," he smiled. "My dad took me."

In college he enrolled in a music business certificate program which had some music theory classes. But he also studied speech communication – a talent he said he uses more than what he learned in his music coursework. But he'd already been learning the rhythms of the road playing in a band all through his college years.

"College was when I really started getting serious about music," he offered.

Barrett said it's only been the last five to seven years that he really began to "find his voice" when it comes to songwriting. But looking back at himself and his music of his early 20s, he can see his desire to follow the impact God had on his life.

"I wouldn't have guessed the road would've twisted and turned this way," he said. "But even if I hadn't gone into music vocationally, music and writing would still be a big part of my life... even as a hobby.

"Music has always been a way for me to be honest and to connect with God and myself as well as an outlet for creative expression."

Details:
Pat Barrett & "Build My Life" worship night
7pm Sat. Feb. 29
Hudsonville Community Church, 3500 New Holland St. Hudsonville
Tickets: General admission $15. A select number of worship leader passes (pre-concert songwriting discussion with Pat Barrett and preferred seating) available for $45.
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Author Information
Terry DeBoer
About:
Terry is journalist who writes for newspapers, magazines, newsletters and websites. His most frequented “beat” is arts and entertainment. He is married with two children and lives in Grand Rapids.

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