People who are born to make music will always do so. Whether they are in the spotlight or shadows, when someone has a song in their heart, they just have to share it.
Fans of pioneering husband/wife country duo Jed & Claire Seneca had a bit of a wait, but in early 2019, the long awaited new album, Carry You Through was released, a potent collection filled with the insightful lyrics and compelling vocal performances that have become hallmarks of the Seneca sound.
Though they’ve been out of the spotlight for some time, the duo has been anything but idle. “We actually never stopped doing music; We just changed the platform,” Claire explains. “We started traveling around helping churches develop music teams and were on staff over the years with various congregations in multiple states.”
Prior to stepping away from the music industry, Jed & Claire, then known simply as Seneca, earned acclaim with their self-titled debut album on Ransom Records. Released in 1994, the project was at the forefront of a new genre of music that combined country music instrumentation with faith-based lyrics. Seneca’s debut spawned four singles that charted in the top five, among them three that became #1 hits for the husband/wife duo. CCM Magazine touted Seneca among the “New Faces of the Year” and their song “The Real True Love Can Wait” become an anthem for the teen purity movement. In 1996 they were voted Vocal Duo of the Year by the Christian Country Music Association. They toured extensively throughout the United States and Europe, and quickly earned an enthusiastic legion of fans.
At the height of their popularity, when it seemed their rising star was at its brightest, the couple decided to redirect their career into an entirely different direction. “We just chose to leave the artistry mode of things because we really felt we were being pulled more towards ministry,” Jed explains. “In 1997, we took a position in Murfreesboro, Tennessee, at a church plant as musical directors, and then in 1999, we moved to a church in Austin and were on staff there with an athletic organization called Champions of Christ where they focused on college and professional sports, and we were very involved in the musical side of their work with athletes, as well as church planting.”
They were fulfilling times for Jed and Claire. “The first church plant was really exciting because we’d never done anything like that,” Claire recalls. “We started a Bible study out of our home and just a few people came at first and then it really grew.”
During the next season in life, the couple accepted a staff position in Indianapolis and then back to Tennessee before they moved to California where they’ve been since 2009. Each move was a uniquely rewarding experience for the couple who had met in their native Louisiana back when Claire was singing six nights a week in local venues. Jed was the first to leave the Bayou State to begin pursuing a music career in Nashville. Claire followed. “We started working together and a few years into the business relationship, we both realized we were getting closer,” Jed shares. “That’s when we started to come together as a duo. It was just a natural path for our relationship to take.”
Claire adds, “We started writing songs together and then we started changing. I was originally more of a pop singer and when we started merging into a duo, the songwriting took on a more country feel, so it just naturally gravitated into where we are today.”
Where they are today is on the comeback trail with Carry You Through, their current LP which demonstrates that the couple’s writing chops and vocal gifts have only improved with time. The LP was recorded in Nashville, and is filled with songs that inspire as well as challenge, and there’s a pervasive sense of hope that leaves the listener encouraged. Bridging elements of contemporary and classic country, Carry You Through spotlights contributions from many of Nashville’s most renowned studio musicians, including Buddy Hyatt, piano (Toto); GRAMMY®, CMA and ACM Award-winner Brent Mason, electric guitar (Blake Shelton, Shania Twain); Bobby Terry, acoustic guitar (Alan Jackson, Willie Nelson); ACM-winner Lonnie Wilson, drums (Carrie Underwood, Tim McGraw); Steve Hinson, pedal steel (Kenny Chesney, Dolly Parton); and Kevin Grantt, bass (Garth Brooks, Johnny Cash).
A new LP entitled Re-ignited is scheduled for an early 2021 release date…..