OLEAN, NY – Chord of Three Strands, a four-person band that plays mostly faith-based, original songs, is coming to perform at Lincoln Park on Thursday. Being part of the summer concert series in Olean, their performance is free and is scheduled to be from 6:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m.
Recently, TAPinto Greater Olean conversed via email with Michael Prutsman, lead guitarist and vocalist of the band, who shared his thoughts on the music of Chord of Three Strands and various other subjects.
TAPinto: Who inspires you the most in your music and how does it show in your songs?
Prutsman: At the risk of sounding cliché, I definitely say that Jesus Christ inspires me the most. Without the inspiration He provides the songs, the music wouldn't exist. Our songs speak of redemption and recovery in relationships and in life. Many of the songs are about the challenges that my wife April and I have walked through as well as the challenges that we have witnessed and stood beside friends as family as they have walked through. It's possible to walk through life without God. ...I'm just not sure why anyone would choose to do so.
Musically I am inspired by American roots music mostly, country, blues and Americana, bands like the John Mellencamp, the Jayhawks, Randy Rogers Band, Cory Morrow, John Mark McMillan, Mary Chapin Carpenter and Lucinda Williams.
TAPinto: You’ve served on worship teams for Trinity United Methodist Church for many years and are currently on a worship team for Hillside Wesleyan Church on Prospect Avenue in Olean. Why did you decide to use music as your medium to spread the Gospel of Jesus Christ?
Prutsman: I guess I'm not sure that I chose it as much as it chose me. When I'm writing music, I don't really think of it as a decision as much as a simple gift. There are many ways to spread the Gospel. I'm just grateful that God chose music to be my way!
Our music and our band is not what people think of when they think of a music ministry. It's mostly about life and the struggles we all face, regardless of where we are coming from or believe we are going to, both internally and outside of ourselves.
TAPinto: You have played in all different types of venues. What are you expecting to stand out about performing at Lincoln Park?
Prutsman: We are looking forward to the opportunity to play to a relatively diverse group of people.
Two of our band members, Justin Barrow on bass and Janell Clingenpeel (uncle and niece by the way), have not been with us very long. Our drummer, Stephen Brooks, has been with us five weeks. We expect to have fun and hopefully provide those who come the opportunity to have fun as well, and maybe even dance a little.
TAPinto: You perform with your wife and the lead vocalist of the band, April Prutsman. How would you best describe the experience of being in a band with your spouse?
Prutsman: My wife is an amazing singer and I am not just saying that because she is my wife. We have been playing music together pretty much our entire relationship, originally doing mostly covers. About eight years ago, I started writing original music born out of the struggles we had together and as individual people. It's been therapeutic for both of us and given us a unique opportunity to share our love for each other as well as our faith and our hope through our music. She challenges me and keeps me humble!
TAPinto: What are your ultimate goals for the band Chord of Three Strands and how do you see yourselves achieving those goals?
Prutsman: It's funny you ask this question because we had a discussion last week in rehearsal about what "success" means to us as a band, as musicians, and just as people. I put the challenge out to each of us to consider this question. A common thread throughout our conversation was a desire to touch people's lives through our music and to be able to make great music and fellowship together as a band. We all care a great deal about each other. I'd even say [we] love each other. We achieve our goals every time we get together and make music, listen to each other’s stories of challenge and joy, pray for each other and, of course, when we get to play together for other people like we will at Lincoln Park!
In the event of rain, Thursday's show will take place inside the John J. Ash Community Building on North Barry Street.
The concert series will continue on Saturday with a performance by Generations from 2 to 4 p.m. in Lincoln Park.
All remaining shows are scheduled for Thursday nights, 6:30 to 8:30, in Lincoln Park. through. The schedule includes:
- Aug. 15: Coyote Moon
- Aug. 22: Allegany Alumni & Friends
- Aug. 29: Cruisin
- Sept. 5: Red Gray
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