Bible Belt Blues- (Interview with Harold Vega Vondenstein)
What got you into music?
At age 12 I received my first guitar from my parents. It was basically a toy but I played it all the time until my fingers became blistered. I remember holding it close to my heart one day and thanking God for it knowing that I was set apart to play music to honor Him and for His purposes. I was dedicating my music to Him at that early age. It was a warm and very special moment that I will never forget.
What is your favorite part about being an artist? Is it songwriting, performing, recording, something else?) Tell us why.
My favorite part of making music with our Bible Belt Blues music ministry is when I am in prayer about to create the music for a song written by my wife, Paula, (she is the lyricist) and in that moment the Holy Spirit takes over and uses me to create the music that perfectly matches the biblically sound lyrics Paula has given me for the song. There is nothing like having real time inspiration from God flowing through you as a vessel during this process.
Can you tell us what being in the recording studio is like for you?
It’s exploring new ways to make and create music. It’s not work. It’s discovery. It’s worship. It’s learning. It’s very fulfilling knowing that I am using the gifts that God gave me to create music that honors Him.
As a songwriter or musician, are there any obstacles you have had to overcome or obstacles that you are facing right now in your career?
As a quiet technical musician I have not had any great obstacles other than the normal practicing to increase my skills and learning new technologies to help create and produce music. As a public performing musician I had a giant block about performing live and my wife had to help me get over that fear before I ever performed in public. I have to give her credit for getting me through the fears of performing and breaking through limiting barriers which I created myself.
Who do you admire most in the music scene today and why?
There is a young man named DOVYDAS who lives in Florida who is an amazing musician! He performs mostly as a one man band playing several instruments while looping music and creates his own original musical compositions. I watch him a lot and get inspiration from his musical style. He has his own YouTube channel. You should check him out.
To date, what do you think your best song is? Can you describe the song for us?
“I Pledge Allegiance to My Jesus” was a moment to moment inspiration from the very beginning when my wife, Paula, handed me the lyrics she wrote. Each piece of music came separately inspired to form this masterpiece of reverence and respect and honor to my Lord Jesus Christ. The ending was assembled by Paula on the mixer using pieces of vocal tracks I had recorded to represent reverential wailing at the foot of the cross. When done ….it was just…Wow!
Are you working on any new material right now or what's in the works for the upcoming year?
We have released five new songs as Bible Belt Blues since the beginning of this pandemic in March of 2020 and have a few more songs in the works. Two of those songs, “Can’t Take Away My Joy” and “Can’t Take It With You” were just released in a compilation album, “Backroom Blues Volume Nine” by Bongo Boy Records and were submitted for consideration for Contemporary Blues Song of the Year for the upcoming 2021 Blues Music Awards. I have been upgrading my musical gear to include better mixing and mastering software and also gearing up for some instrumental 12 bar blues music to be included on our third album which we are currently working on.
Tell us where fans can access your music?
For more information, visit our website
Connect on Facebook.
Stream on Spotify.
About Bible Belt Blues
Harold and Paula Vega Vondenstein are BibleBeltBlues, award winning husband and wife music ministry team from Gulfport, Mississippi. Their music is reminiscent of early Mississippi Bentonia blues with its gritty guitar picking and hauntingly beautiful D & E minor chords; the perfect backdrop for their full-fledged repentance and church revival songs for which they are known. Add to that their signature weeping harmonica and a bit of 70’s retro mixed in for good measure and you’ve got a style that is uniquely their own. 2019 was an amazing year for BibleBeltBlues with the release of their two Christian albums, “I’m Not Ashamed to Be a Christian” and “My God, My God” to winning the coveted Josie Music Award for Gospel/ Christian Duo.
2020 has been an exceptional year for BibleBeltBlues with twenty six of their songs having already received radio airplay, extensive media coverage (song reviews, articles, and interview), and numerous nominations and awards including the 2020 W.A.M. Music Awards Winner for Best Lyrics (Paula Vega Vondenstein) for Gospel/ Christian/ Inspirational Song of the Year "We Worship the King of Kings," 2020 Josie Music Awards Finalist Nomination for Duo of the Year, 2020 InterContinental Music Awards Finalist for Best of Gospel/ Contemporary Christian-America for "Down the Rabbit Hole" and "Are You Ready?" 2020 Gulf Coast Gospel Music Awards Song of the Year Nomination for "Down the Rabbit Hole," Finalist Award for the Christian Songwriting Contest for "Soften My Hardened Heart," and Finalist Award for Song of the Year Songwriting Competition for "Holy Revival."
BibleBeltBlues is part of a recently released compilation album, Backroom Blues Volume Nine with various artists, as well as a Christian compilation album, "Consecration Revival Vol. 1," both by Bongo Boy Records. BibleBeltBlues' songs have charted numerous times on the Roots Music Report and on WNIR Radio's Top 10 Chart every month since January of 2020. They were the inspiration behind the creation of WNIR Radio's new Christian Program, "Spirit & Soul." They are currently working on their 3rd album.