John Schlitt



Now that GMA is over, we bring you a video recap of some of the week's events, including the band practice session, NOTW clothes presentation, the acoustic guitar practice, and the Rock for Life showcase.

A very special 'thank you' goes out to Anne Palmer of PalmTree Productions for following John around for three days, shooting video and capturing the week on film. She did a great job and we all really appreciate her efforts!

Download video


DAY 4 - APRIL 21

Today is the last day of GMA for me... and I'm glad! After three days of interviews, questions and all that - it gets to be a little tiring doing all that talking. GMA still continues on tomorrow, but my interviews were packed into these past two days so I get a day off. I'm ready to take a bit of a breather!

This afternoon was filled with a variety of interviews, ranging from a daily newspaper, to a video website, to Lifeway Stores - all kinds of different types of media.

Like yesterday, I was given the chance to express my thoughts, feelings and anything else I wanted to say to a variety of media, all of which I greatly appreciate their taking the time to talk with me and giving me a platform. I'm sure a lot of the interviews will appear on my website. They always seem to find a way to get up there!

I'm told we're having trouble uploading the video from Monday night's showcase - but I'm sure they'll figure it out and get it all up for you to see.

Well, I'm going to call it a night. I'm tired and I have a full stomach from going out to eat at The Chop House - all that talking really works up an appetite and steak is one of my favorte ways to stop a growling stomach! Finish that up with a movie after supper, and you have a recipe for BED!

Guys, it's been fun taking you along to GMA this year! I hope you enjoyed the ride and perhaps we'll do it again next year!

Over and Out ...John



DAY 3 - APRIL 20

John here! Whew... what a day! It was pretty much non-stop from morning until night. But I'm lovin' it - the media I've been meeting, the Alakrity boys, the great guys in the band that came all this way to play with me - it's been a really amazing day.

I started out with band practice in the morning - ran through the four songs and everything just jelled together so we really didn't even have to practice too much.

Next came the ride into Nashville for media interviews with radio, magazine and television. Now, I've done a ton of interviews, but there were some here today that came with a really different approach - and I liked that! They didn't focus on past accomplishments or current projects, but wanted to hear about the real ME - my thoughts, my feelings and yes, my fears and struggles in life. I really had to think hard and dig deep before answering some of the questions, and I usually don't have to dig so hard! But hopefully those who will read and hear my answers will not only see me, but the love of Jesus as He works in and through our problems and our lives (if we let Him!). I'm sure the interviews will appear on my website when they're all completed; we'll let you know when they're up.

Tonight was the Rock for Life showcase at Uptown 162, a very cool club in downtown Nashville.

I did Beyond Belief with Alakrity again, which is alway fun and exciting.

Then we took the stage with my band - I tell you - they were amazing! We just kicked! The stage was rather small so I couldn't move around too much - and neither could they! But it was a great time and hopefully all who listened enjoyed the set. 

Download video clips:  Wake The Dead (wmv, 35mb)   Only Men (wmv, 28mb)

It really felt so good to have a terrific band behind me. Don't get me wrong - I don't mind doing track dates, but there's just something about a great band that's so much more fun!

My good friend John Lawry, Petra's former keyboardist came, along with his wife Stephanie - it was very cool to see him there. (Video) Quinton Gibson, who used to play guitar with Petra also showed up - I haven't seen him in ages! It was really great having friends showing their support and encouragement.

Make sure to check out the photos that are up so you can see some of what went on today - I'm told video of this night's set will be coming soon.

Tomorrow is more interviews in the afternoon, and then that's it for me and GMA Music Week.

Take care, sleep well and we'll report back tomorrow! ...John




DAY 2 - APRIL 19

Hello again! This is John and we're on Day 2 of GMA Music Week. Today was almost as busy as yesterday and just as fun!

We started out with a radio interview with my good buddy Brian Mason. I thought I was only doing a short little thing but I ended up there for two hours! It was good, though - Dorla came along and was on the air too, which was really neat. She usually doesn't come to these things - I think it's a little boring for her - and it was nice to have her there this time.

The McCain Guitar Pull in the afternoon was great as usual - we all sat around the hotel suite room, sharing our stories and singing our songs acoustically with media people sitting on the floor and standing wherever they could find a spot. Doing "Gravity" and "The Grafting" acoustically was a bit different for me, but my buddy David Teems did a great job - he's not exactly a rock guitarist but he sounded terrific.

Right after that I switched gears and went straight into rock mode with Alakrity at "12th & Porter" which is a real popular music venue downtown.
The place had a full crowd and you really could feel the energy! I had a blast playing Beyond Belief with these guys - they knew how to rock the crowd and crank out the tunes - it was great to be a part of that. The crowd seemed to like hearing this new twist on Petra's signature song - I love the excitement that these types of events bring out.

I'll let my assistant fill you in on the details of the day's event - since she likes to talk even more than I do! Have a good evening ...John.


Yes, I DO like to talk - so here we go!

Today began very early in the morning with a trip into Nashville for a radio interview on The Brian Mason Show starting at 8 a.m. See video clip. Both John and Dorla shared the microphone, and after Brian called Dorla "Dorie" a few times - she clued him in as to her REAL name!  See video clip    Download interview part 1

"Hey guys - I don't know where he got the name Dorie from, but I never called her that!" adds John (see - he can't stop talking either!)

John Morgan, aka "President Bush" showed up in the second hour as strains of "Hail to the Chief" welcomed him into the studio. Amidst the comedy and laughter were also some serious commentaries on fear and the giants who overwhelm us in life. 
See video clip    Download interview part 2

Shortly after arriving back to the Schlitt home there was another interview with Bill Nance of "Hands of Time," a new radio program focusing on the early artists of the Christian music genre. Once the program goes live we'll be getting a copy of the interview for you all to enjoy.

After an hour or so of down time it was off to the Rennaissance Hotel and the McCain Guitar Pull. This is a "Nashville thing" that started in the country genre - no one really knows how it got started there and no one really knows the meaning of the words "guitar pull" - but McCain Publicity adapted it to fit their own needs. A guitar pull is where a group of artists sit in a cirle, explaining a bit about their song followed by an acoustic performance while members of the media watch and listen. It's very informal yet very intimate.

John was the first one to sing, selecting "Gravity" as the first number.
The crowd greatly applauded and appreciated his music, as they did with "The Grafting."

After more than two hours we had to leave to get to the next event, which was John singing "Beyond Belief" with the band Alakrity at "12th & Porter." The sidewalks outside the venue were lined with people moving in and out of the building - the small stage was open to the outside, while the larger stage inside was more in the vein of a concert setting with high-tech lighting and sound systems.

As Alakrity announced their 'guest singer' you could feel the hesitation in the crowd, as if to ask "John Schlitt of Petra? Really? He's here?"

When John came out and took the mic for his part on "Beyond Belief" you could distincly hear the crowd cheer, finally realizing that this really WAS the Voice of Petra on stage. It was a great moment - for both the band AND John. His voice was incredible, never skipping a beat and sounding even better than the original recording.

Tomorrow is a full day of interviews, followed by John's own showcase with a brand new band. Get ready for a very special sonic surprise - Monday night in Nashville, Tennessee!



DAY 1 - APRIL 18

Hello everybody! Greetings from Music City USA! This is John, and today was the beginning of a very busy next few days... I'm so glad you're checking in here to read about the day's events and to come along with me for GMA Music Week 2009. It's hectic, but I'm looking forward to the interviews and all that goes with it. I'm especially looking forward to my showcase on Monday night! As a singer, it feels so good to have an excellent band behind you. If you can get to Nashville, make sure to check us out - this band ROCKS!

Since I'm not much of a blogger - I guess that's what they call it! - I'm going to turn that portion over to my assistant, Sue Dempster, who will fill you in on the daily activities. Thanks so much for your interest, and keep checking in! ...John

The day began with two band practices in anticipation of Monday night's showcase and also Sunday night's singing of Beyond Belief with Alakrity at their showcase, along with a presentation by NOTW (Not of This World) clothing.

Around noon the controlled chaos began at the Schlitt homestead, with Alakrity rolling into the basement with their practice gear, followed by the band members and family, a variety of managers, a videographer, and an assortment of people that just kept coming through the door! Every time the phone rang John answered it with "Grand Central Station!" And it felt like it - as the band rocked the house, working out the music portion of the set, representatives from NOTW arrived to present John with a new line of clothing and a wonderful banner for Monday's showcase.

While the band rocked & rolled below, the rep wheeled in her rack of shirts, jeans, belts, shoes and hats above. "I'm loving this!" said John as he ran back and forth, modeling the clothing - and having a ball haming it up with both funky and funny poses for the videographer.

It was hard to believe that this was the first time these musicians had ever played together as a group. With strains of The Grafting, Gravity, Only Men, and Wake the Dead echoing through the neighborhood, John was in top form - as was the band. Those in the house were treated to a special mini-concert as Darik Peet - Lead Guitar/Vocals; Phil Carper - Rhythm Guitar/Vocals; David Teems - Rhythm Guitar/Vocals; Jonathan Johnson - Keyboards/Vocals; Michael Hill - Bass/Vocals; and Jason Palmer - Drums; worked out the kinks and came away with what is sure to be a crowd-pleasing performance.

Naturally all this work makes a man hungry, so by mid-afternoon everyone was ready for a break and took off for lunch.

With full stomachs on their return, the band and John finished up their practice and pronounced the set ready for Monday night's showcase.

As the solo band packed up their gear, Alakrity stepped up and worked through their Beyond Belief number, with John jumping in to lend his vocals to Petra's signature song.

By 7 p.m. all the practicing was finished, the rest of the gear was packed up and it was time to take a breather with management and two remaining band members by kicking back, talking music and it's future - and John's future too in an every-changing industry.

As the group took off to see what a Saturday night in downtown Nashville looks like, John, Dorla and myself headed out to a more relaxing evening with a late supper at John's favorite Mexican restaurant, La Hacienda.

After a hectic yet exciting day, it's now time to call it a night.
Tomorrow comes pretty early with a live radio interview at 8 a.m., an acoustic two-song showcase in the afternoon and Alakrity's Beyond Belief performance at night. Stay tuned for more to come... good night!