Beauty From Ashes Music
Beauty From Ashes Music is the publishing vehicle for music written by myself and/or Sandi. Les and Friends is the extension of Beauty From Ashes Music as it pertains to our recorded music. The name is taken from the passage in Isaiah 61 which reads:
“The Spirit of the Sovereign Lord is on me, because the Lord has anointed me to proclaim good news to the poor. He has sent me to bind up the brokenhearted, to proclaim freedom for the captives and release from darkness for the prisoners, to proclaim the year of the Lord’s favor and the day of vengeance of our God, to comfort all who mourn, and provide for those who grieve in Zion. To bestow on them a crown of beauty instead of ashes, the oil of joy instead of mourning, and a garment of praise instead of a spirit of despair. They will be called oaks of righteousness, a planting of the Lord for the display of his splendor.” “They will rebuild the ancient ruins and restore the places long devastated; they will renew the ruined cities that have been devastated for generations. Strangers will shepherd your flocks; foreigners will work your fields and vineyards. And you will be called priests of the Lord, you will be named ministers of our God. You will feed on the wealth of nations, and in their riches you will boast.”
About Our Music
Our music represents the music of the generation in which we grew up. We were both “classic rock babies” and our music represents that style.
Our main purpose in this endeavor is to share the love of Jesus and the message of salvation in him. Because this is our driving purpose, the large majority of our music is Contemporary Christian Music, most original but some covers.
Our secondary purpose is to simply make music that we love and some of that music is not Christian in message. Some of these songs are original while others are covers that we have grown to love. If you, like us, like Classic Rock music, we hope that you enjoy our music.
Les and Friends
Sandi and I were married in 2008. We became a musical team in 2014 and began working on our first project. With very little money or equipment to record with, we started the Full Speed Ahead project Full Speed Ahead, essentially a demo EP, was finished in the summer of 2015. During the summer of 2016 we released our first full length CD entitled “Where You Lead.” This was a major landmark for us. In addition to it being our first full length CD release, we made a major investment in technology to improve the product quality.
A few months later we began working on our next project called Nickel when disaster struck. In October of 2017 lost my 18 year old granddaughter Dasia in a tragic automobile accident. I was so devastated that I couldn’t even think about music. The project laid dormant for over a year. We picked the project up again during the end months of 2018. Nickel was released on 7/7/2019.
Recently I have been experimenting with Hip-hop beats and classical guitar. During this Christmas season of 2019 we released a “Classical Hip-hop” version of Joy To The World” The whole “Classical Hip-hop” thing came about one day when thinking about a re-spin of the Mason Williams classic Classical Gas. I found a Hip-hop beat on my drum machine, picked up my classical guitar and started reworking the rhythm to match the Hip-hop beat.
For the Joy To The World. video project, I recorded the beat and classical guitar foundation and filled in the arrangement around that. Sandi shot and edited video. It was a lot of fun for us working together in this way. Sandi has a degree in video and she really enjoyed the whole process of creating the concept. shooting the video and learning to use digital editing software. When she was in school everything was analog so there was a learning curve for her. She took it on like a pro and did a great job.
Originally, my goal was for our music to be heard and loved by the world. Over time, this Les and Friends project has become more about having fun, being creative and, along the way, maybe blessing a few people along the way. We have been able to do all of this. As a songwriter, there is nothing more sacred than hearing how your music has touched someone’s life in a profound way or has helped someone through a difficult time. It is truly amazing. We get to honor God, touch people, and have fun all at the same time! That is why we keep on keeping on.
Sandi has been singing publicly since she was 5 years old. She has performed in the music and drama disciplines her entire life. Her credits include studio vocalist for Double Edge Music, drama with the Living Presence Experimental Theater. In addition, Sandi has been a vocalist for the DRM Band, Rich Gaudreau Band, Voices Of Distinction and others. She also served on the worship team at West Congregational Church of Haverhill Ma and is current serving on the worship team at First Congregational Church, Newton, NH. Sandi is also a published songwriter.
Les was inspired to become a songwriter and musician by The Beatles at the tender age of 12. His main instrument is bass guitar but he also plays guitar and dabbles in a number of other instruments. He has played bass or guitar with the DRM Band, the Rich Gaudreau Band, Just Another Jesus Band, Sword, Nazareth (not of Love Hurts fame), the Fishermen Gospel Team and others. Les has been involved in contemporary worship since 1991, serving with the West Congregational Church Praise Band, the Common Ground Praise Band, the Rockingham Church Worship Band, The First Monday Praise Band and others. He currently serves with the praise band at First Congregational Church in Kingston NH playing electric guitar. He has written and published over 200 songs.
Written by Les Hamlett