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March 26, 2008



I actually picked up the guitar about four years ago, learnig on a cheap acoustic. Although I wouldn't call him an influence as I don't play anything like him, I first learned by listening to Johnny Cash. Then I bought my first electric, and had got one of your CDs around the same time so you and brad were my first influences as far as lead guitar and my technique still shows it. (In fact for a while, all I listened to was Third Day and Mercy Me.) After Mercy Me came Daniel Carson with Chris Tomlin. (I owe the other half of my technique to Daniel.) Recently I discovered Leeland and Sanctus Real as well as a small amount of DecembeRadio. Also Ben Gowell with Paul Baloche has influenced my playing recently. I don't say this as flattery, but Third Day is my all time favorite band.


Marth Munizzi and Clint Brown as worship leaders and Tommy Tenny's book "God Chasers", have heavily influenced my boldness as a true worshipper. I cannot leave out my ballet teacher for introducing lyrical ballet to me and pushing me to dance before the Lord at church. Thanks Miss Wendy!!

Dwight Watson

Greatest influences as a pastor/teacher:
Johnny Hunt of First Baptist Church Woodstock, GA
Steve Coleman (my first youth pastor at FBCW)
Andy Stanley of Northpoint Community Church

As a writer:
C.S. Lewis
Phillip Yancey

Billy Chia

I leaned to play guitar by playing Nirvana and Green Day songs. Sometimes it still shows.


As a graphic designer, my biggest influence is the client, which can be a good or bad thing. I also use my knowledge of art history and artistic movements and styles as appropriate. If I ever got the chance to nod to Warhol in a piece of design work, that would be awesome. Plus I think it might make a pretty effective ad. :)

As a painter, my biggest influences are probably Picaso, Van Gogh, Mondrian, and Lichtenstein's non-comic book looking stuff. I like modern/contemporary and impressionism, basically.

I'm not a professional, but as a singer, my biggest influences are probably Mac (because he has one of the most unique voices I've ever heard), Etta James, Mariah, Whitney, Aretha, Natalie Grant, Nicole C. Mullen, Janna Long, Nelly Furtado, Bethany Dillon, Chris Tomlin, Matthew West, and Kevin Max. To some degree I am influenced by everything I listen to, though, which runs across the musical spectrum.


Sadly I have no influences for my day job, insurance consultant. But my biggest passion is music collecting and recently I posted my music genealogy which lists my music influences. I also called it 6 degrees of Shaun Groves as I connected 6 artists with male lead singers with higher pitched voices (sorry Mac) from 1981-present.

1st degree-Journey, lead singer Steve Perry. Mark, your guitar playing reminds me of Neal Schon who may also be an influence.

2nd degree-Genesis, lead singer Phil Collins. Loved that he could play drums and sing (like Kelly Keagy of Night Ranger).

3rd degree-Toad The Wet Sprocket, lead singer Glen Phillips. Favorite band in college, still love them and R.E.M. :0)

4th degree-Jars of Clay, lead singer Dan Haseltine. Got me into Christian music (as did Third Day) for which I'm eternally grateful.

5th degree-downhere, lead singer Marc Martel. Saw them live in 2001 and they blew me away.

6th degree-Shaun Groves. Shaun had me at "Welcome Home" and I've been a huge fan ever since.


My greatest influence? The Count from Sesame Street. Kidding...accountant humor... ;)

My first grade teacher, Mrs. Norton, taught me to love reading. Because of her, I have experienced some of the greatest adventures in life in the pages of a book. She made me want to learn.

My grandmother and my great grandmother taught me stitchery. "Never follow the color patterns," Mamaw would say. "The people that made that color pattern, they don't know you." That's not only good stitching advice, that's a life lesson.

Stanley Smith taught me to interpret. He taught me to laugh at the mistakes, because there will be many and plenty to laugh at.

Daniel Ross

I work as a designer at a newspaper so I guess my design influences would be my publisher John Rumbach at The Herald in Jasper, IN. I'm also influenced by Apple's less-is-much-more approach to design (clean, white, jumps out at you).

I'm also a worship music leader at my church. Musically, my influences started with Bon Jovi, moved to Marty Stuart and Johnny Cash and include everything from Metallica to Pearl Jam (BTW, the bootleg 'patrickwitherow' mentioned is awesome stuff), David Crowder Band, Third Day (natch), Hendrix, Skynyrd, and U2 (among many others).
Theologically, I'm influenced by my parents, Mark Driscoll, Matt Chandler and, most of all, Jesus (again, naturally).


I'm a teacher so:
From 6th through 8th Grade, I had Sharon Bowers and Marti Tolley as teachers several times. While I was initially terrified of her, Mrs. Bowers proved to be as unique as they come. She also appeared to be right on the edge of manic. I still use things I learned from her. Mrs. Tolley had more of a personal impact. I was a quiet kid and she helped pull me out of my shell. Because of her, I look for those kids myself and try to connect.
In high school, Lisa Smith showed me how to have way too much fun on this job and provided me with a bit of sardonic edge. Alan Richardson was bombastic and refused to accept mediocrity. Since I now teach English in the same school he did, I have been compared to him by former colleagues. I consider that a compliment.


I'm not sure what it is I do, or at least do well. LOL I like to write on occasion. I was influenced by a lot of people. I used to write a lot of Letters to the Editor (don't laugh, I heard it is second only to the front page for readership) and was often published. I had a good friend, Lynda and we would write articles and then read to each other and edit. She was a very gifted writer and very intelligent, so she influenced me a lot. I did some position papers for an non-profit a few times, and Albin Rhomberg and Barbara Alby influenced me there, especially Albin.

I had a teacher in high school who basically was a subsitute teacher that I'd had a few times before high school, who was hired by our h.s. English department. Her name was Mrs. Jones. Somehow she got hold of some of my english assignments and they were submitted to the Creative Writing magazine. I still don't know how they were submitted. Some even were listed as anonymous, but they were published. LOL That rather inspired me to write a little. Mr. Canfield, my 8th grade Core teacher influenced me quite a lot. I also had a teacher in high school by the name of Joe Lamy who was a pretty big influence on my in regards to writing and reading for that matter. I remember taking in Tommy from the Who and we listened to it in class. :) And my mom has always been a big influence in all things.

I've always loved music, so a lot of the musical influences probably contribute a lot. Some of those early influences were The Beatles and the Monkees, believe it or not. I mean, I learned some new vocabulary words from some of Mike Nesbitt's lyrics. LOL I'd never heard the word phantasmagoric before. LOL OH, and my mom, who always sang to us, especially, "You Are My Sunshine" and "Nobody Loves Me." LOL

I also love photography, and the greatest influence on me there has probably been my husband. Some photographers I look up to are Dwight McCann and a few of the guys on the Canon's Forum in the Performance photography thread, Max Hsu of Superchick who is an incredible photographer -- I don't even come a teeny bit close to his knowledge and expertise. There are a few others, but I'd have to think more when not so tired. I have a long way to go before I'm really a "photographer" though.

The only other thing I do is typing, and probably the biggest influences there were my piano teacher when I was young (I think it helped my typing more to take piano than my musical ability. LOL), my Typing 1 instruction in high school, and Mrs. H (wow, can't exactly remember her last name for certain) who taught typing at Heald Business college.

Wow, I didn't know I could write books. LOL Usually I stick to non-fiction and poetry. LOL

Iain MacKinnon

In terms of pure imagination, creativity and ethos I was always hugely influenced by Jim Henson, of all people! I still adopt as my own his quote about his life, "My hope still is to leave the world a bit better than when I got here. " I think he did, and I hope we all do too.


Starting to play drums towards the end of the hair band era (poison,warrant, motley, etc) I got a fresh taste of drumming when I first heard Dave Krusen on Pearl Jam's Ten album. Then seeing Dave Abbruszzese on the Even Flow video changed me. I listened and bought every bootleg I could get my hands on just to hear him play (this was before pj bootlegs could be bought at walmart). Best show was Fox Theater in Atl back in '94 - loved his use of cymbals and energy he brought to each song. Just search for him on YouTube and you'll see. Because of his influence, and practice of course, I now play all the time. I like to bring his energy in drumming to worship every Sunday. I've even shared the stage with one grammy winner you know.

Paul J.

At first, Barry Manilow. Because I was an ugly, skinny, underweight kid with no friends. And when I sang a Barry Manilow song, the best looking girls in school would sit next to me.
Then, Elton John. Because I had to rock. Until the day I asked, "Hey mom, what's a bisexual?"
Then (and still to this day) Billy Joel. Writer, player, performer...the man has it all.
Also have to add Keith Green. Because he showed me that I could do what I loved to do, and do it for God.


Van Morrison--first time I remember crying after hearing a song and not being able to explain it. The song? "Into the Mystic."

U2--I know everyone says this band BUT I bought October WHEN IT WAS RELEASED so I can claim to be a real fan. The Edge made me want to play cool hooks and not simply shred.

Beatles--"She's Leaving Home" rocked my world as a little boy.

Eagles--ahhh! the harmonies!

Dave Grohl--Everything he touches turns to gold

Seth Reese

I think the first guy that made me want to play music was Rich Mullins. There was something real in what he had to say and something different in how he said it. While I have moved away from him now, I still respect his voice and where he led me.

I suppose the Frames would be next. While I have been a fan of rock for a while, it was the Frames that made it something different, something not in the top 40. Their sound is intimate and large, quiet and just noise. Of course, I would find out that Radiohead was a huge influence for this sound and would fall in love with them, but the Frames started that. (Hopefully more people will find the Frames now that Once has become so popular)

But, my biggest musical kick has been Bob Dylan. I was late coming to this party, as my parent weren't really fans of his music. I found him in college through a friend. In Dylan there is magic. I never tire of his music and I am always inspired to write, even when I can't find the words or music. I mean, just an hour ago I was watching Masked and Anonymous and was blown away once more by Dylan, his person (whoever that is) and his music.

Three is enough.

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