Charles Harper and Mark Hayward

Charles Harper and Mark Hayward

BandChristianCountry

We are songwriters who write, arrange and perform all of our own material. We have written patriotic songs with country undertones but we mainly concentrate on positive music from a Christian viewpoint.

Biography


ANXIOUS BENCH MUSIC is the creative partnership of Charles R. (Russ) Harper and Mark Hayward, involving composing, arranging, recording, and performing their original music flavored by influences including country, rock, jazz, rhythm and blues, and gospel. Anxious Bench Music is also a BMI-affiliated music publisher. Russ and Mark met while serving together as active duty Soldiers at the US Army Training and Doctrine Command (TRADOC) Band, stationed at Fort Monroe, Virginia. On November 7, 2006, one of their first collaborations, “Victory Starts Here,” was adopted as TRADOC’s official song. This song and another Harper-Hayward tune, “I Need You Now,” are featured on the TRADOC Band’s forthcoming CD release, “Victory Starts Here.”

The first Anxious Bench album, “Positivity,” has been a work in progress since the summer of 2006. It was released on December 20th, 2006, and is currently available for purchase at cdbaby.comand for digital download at numerous digital sites. The CD consists of original songs by Soldiers about Soldiers. It presents Anxious Bench versions of the two songs mentioned above, as well as ten other Harper/Hayward originals in their unique blend of country, rock, and Americana influences. The album can be heard as a musical expression of a Soldier’s service, as suggested by the titles He Got the Call, In God I Trust, Baghdad Blues, Surrounded by Heroes, Some Things Never Change, and Arabian Nights. Other songs explore love and family relationships, such as Song for My Father, You’re My Angel, You Give Me Love, and Hand in Hand. Though “Positivity” showcases their talents in performance, arranging, engineering, and production, it is primarily meant to demonstrate their strengths as songwriters. Future Anxious Bench releases `will provide opportunities for Russ and Mark to explore more of their other influences and interests.

RUSS – Performs almost all of Anxious Bench’s lead vocals, as well as contributing most of the background vocals and engineering, and some keyboard work. Born in Washington, Georgia. At the age of eight, toured around South Carolina and Georgia with the family’s Southern gospel group. Joined the school band and learned to play saxophone. In high school learned to play drums, piano, and guitar. After graduating from high school, joined the US Army as an administrative specialist. Maintained involvement in music through church, both singing and choir directing, and other avenues. While stationed in Germany joined the US Army Europe Soldiers Chorus, and became Non-Commissioned Officer in Charge of the Chorus as well as the bass section leader. Has sung for Soldiers, civilians, Members of Congress, Governors, Prime Ministers, and Presidents all over the world. Currently stationed at Fort Monroe, VA as the primary vocalist for the US Army Training and Doctrine Command Band, including its contemporary music group, TRADOC ROCK.

MARK – Performs all of Anxious Bench’s guitar work, utilizing electric and acoustic guitars and guitar synthesizer, most of the arranging, and some of the vocals. Born in Utica, New York. As a teenager, learned alto saxophone, banjo, guitar, and piano, and performed with school bands and local groups in Leavenworth, Kansas, and Hampton, Virginia. Began writing songs in 9th grade and decided on guitar as favorite instrument. In addition to a not-so-stellar year at the College of William and Mary, studied arranging at the Berklee College of Music in Boston for several semesters. Returned to Hampton and tried to make a living by performing in all kinds of musical groups, teaching guitar and music theory, and directing a church choir. Successfully auditioned for the Army band at Fort Monroe, Virginia, and began over 24 years of active duty as an Army bandsman, performing all over the United States and in Bermuda, South Korea, Germany, Kosovo, and Iraq on guitar, bass, vocals, banjo, and percussion. Currently stationed at Fort Monroe with the US Army TRADOC Band, leads TRADOC ROCK, and also plays guitar and sings.

Lyrics

Surrounded By Heroes

Written By: Charles R Harper and Mark A Hayward

SURROUNDED BY HEROES ¡V Charles R. Harper and Mark Hayward

Verse 1 /
It's another Sunday morning
And I'm late for church again
Things ain't been the same
Since I lost my best friend
He did for his country
What other men would not do
He made the ultimate sacrifice for me and you

Chorus /
We're surrounded by heroes
You never know who they are
They might be your next-door neighbor
Or a football star
Some are standing beside us
Some went to heaven to guide us
We¡¦re surrounded by heroes
God bless them all

Verse 2 /
It's been a whole year now
I can't get him off my mind
I still remember all our good times
He served with pride and honor
He always gave his all
Just another man who answered the call

Bridge /
Greater love has no man but that he
Lay down his life for his friend
He¡¦s my hero forever, he always said,
¡§We may break, but we¡¦ll never bend.¡¨

Chorus /
We're surrounded by heroes
You never know who they are
They might be your next-door neighbor
Or a football star
Some are standing beside us
Some went to heaven to guide us
We¡¦re surrounded by heroes

Some are still here beside us
Some up in heaven to guide us
We¡¦re surrounded by heroes
God bless them all
We¡¦re surrounded by heroes
God bless us all

㦠2006, Anxious Bench Music (BMI). All rights reserved

Baghdad Blues

Written By: Charles R Harper and mark A Hayward

BAGHDAD BLUES ¡V Charles R. Harper and Mark Hayward

Verse 1 / Well, I'm crawling in a convoy here; you're stuck in a traffic jam there
I'm on my way to Baghdad; you¡¦re headed to a science fair
It's gonna be a long day for the both of us
And for me an even longer night
It's kids and traffic there and the enemy here
And they all put up a fight

Chorus / I got the Baghdad blues; yeah, I got the Baghdad blues
Dreamin¡¦ ¡¥bout you with my bad case of Baghdad blues

Verse 2 / Well, I woke up this morning to the sound of rockets overhead
You woke up at 5 a.m.; had to get the kids out of bed
Over here I'm a combat leader and at home you¡¦re Mr. Mom and Dad
It¡¦s crazy there and even crazier here; but just another day in Baghdad

Chorus / I got the Baghdad blues; yeah, I got the Baghdad blues
Dreamin¡¦ ¡¥bout you with my bad case of Baghdad blues

Bridge / I got the Baghdad blues and I'm dreaming of you
We¡¦re both working hard and we¡¦re paying our dues
I'm missing you here and you¡¦re missing me there
My buddy just asked me, ¡§Ain¡¦t you losing your hair?¡¨
And that¡¦s the Baghdad blues

Chorus / I got the Baghdad blues; yeah, I got the Baghdad blues
Dreamin¡¦ ¡¥bout you with my bad case of Baghdad blues
I got the Baghdad blues

㦠2006, Anxious Bench Music, BMI. All rights reserved

In God I Trust

Written By: Charles R Harper and Mark A Hayward

IN GOD I TRUST – Charles R. Harper and Mark Hayward

Vs 1) They’re tryin’ to take your name out of the pledge
And off our dollar bills
The next thing you know, they’ll be over the edge
And they’ll outlaw our free will
They keep on pushin’ harder
To the point of no return
And it scares me to wonder
If they’ll ever learn that

Chorus) We’re nothin’ without you
You’re the only reason we’re still strong
And they’re nothin’ without you
Nothin’ but plain dead wrong
If they keep runnin’ down that road alone
Freedom will lose its only home
And I’m sorry if I offend
But in God I trust while I defend the Red, White and Blue

Vs 2) They don’t want to admit it
Afraid of believin’ what they already know
This nation was built around you
The history books tell me so
With so much hell in the world today
I’m glad that I have you
And if I don’t tell them, maybe no one will
And what will they do?

Bridge) The only reason we’re still here
Is ‘cause you stayed in our view
They don’t want to offend nobody
But they’re offendin’ you, ‘cause

Chorus) We’re nothin’ without you
You’re the only reason we’re still strong
And they’re nothin’ without you
Nothin’ but plain dead wrong
If they keep runnin’ down that road alone
Freedom will lose its only home
And I’m sorry if I offend
But in God I trust while I defend the Red, White and Blue
And I’m sorry if I offend
But in God I trust while I defend the Red, White and Blue

ã 2006, Anxious Bench Music, BMI. All rights reserved

Daddy's Bootsteps

Written By: Charles R. Harper & Mark Hayward

DADDY¡¦S BOOTSTEPS¡V Charles R. Harper and Mark Hayward

Verse 1 / He got up every morning, long gone before 5 am
Sometimes he didn¡¦t come home for weeks on end
When I asked him what he¡¦s doing; why he¡¦s never home
He just looked at me and sang this little song:

Chorus 1 / ¡§I¡¦m walking in my daddy¡¦s bootsteps,
Following the trail he blazed
Some people just go with the flow
They follow the latest craze
But courage and honor never go out of style
So I¡¦ll walk these boots for another mile
I know my daddy¡¦s watching, looking on with a smile.¡¨

Verse 2 / Camouflage and combat boots was all he ever wore
But his love dressed up the whole house when he walked through the door
Flag up high in the front yard, bumper sticker on every car
And from my bedroom window I made a wish on a star:

Chorus 2 / ¡§Let me walk in Daddy¡¦s bootsteps,
Follow the trail he¡¦s blazed
Some people just go with the flow
They follow the latest craze
But courage and honor never go out of style
Let me walk his boots for another mile
I know that he¡¦ll be watching, looking on with a smile.¡¨

Bridge / It¡¦s been twenty years now; I made it through somehow
And I¡¦ve got two kids of my own
I pray one day they¡¦ll look at me and say,
¡§I wanna be like you when I¡¦m grown

Chorus 3 / And walk in your bootsteps, follow the trail you blazed
Some people just go with the flow, they follow the latest craze
But courage and honor never go out of style, let me walk your boots for another mile
And walk in Daddy¡¦s bootsteps, follow the trail he blazed
Some people just go with the flow, they follow the latest craze
But courage and honor never go out of style, so I¡¦ll walk these boots for another mile
I know my Daddy¡¦s watching, looking on with a smile.¡¨

㦠2007, Charles R. Harper and Mark Hayward. All rights reserved.

Contact info: Mark Hayward (NSAI member)
207 Richmond Drive, Hampton VA 23664-1441
Home 757-851-2399, Cell 757-813-4389

Broken Bottles

Written By: Mark Hayward & Martha Walker

BROKEN BOTTLES ¡V Martha Walker & Mark Hayward

Vs. 1/ Billy was a young boy when his family fell apart
Broken pieces tossed aside
No one ever told him of the goodness in his heart
Wounded feelings run and hide
But even broken bottles shine

Vs. 2/ Mama took to cussing at the children
Papa was a stranger by then
Billy took to staring out the window
Couldn¡¦t see where to begin
But even broken bottles shine

Chorus/ Broken bottles shine like diamonds by the road
Tired faces feel the wind
Any kid can show you how good it feels to run
And even broken bottles catch the sun

Vs. 3/ Billy found a feather in the doorway
Took it as a sign for him to fly
He put that feather in his pillowcase that night
And dreamed about a happier time
Where even broken bottles shine

Chorus/

Vs. 4/ Billy checked the weather at the window
Left all he ever knew behind
Wondered if he was a coward or a fool
Freedom is a slow train coming down the line

Chorus/

Tag/ Even broken bottles shine

㦠1993, Martha Walker and Mark Hayward. All rights reserved.

Contact info: Mark Hayward (NSAI member)
207 Richmond Drive, Hampton VA 23664-1441
Home 757-851-2399, Cell 757-813-4389

Discography

Our first release is "Positivity" which explores life, love, the call to duty and paying the ultimate sacrifice