Charles Grace wants to take you on a journey with his new album. It took a journey on his end to bring these new songs to life.
As the founder/frontman/songwriter behind Sleeping Policeman, Grace has been making music on the Grand Strand for more than seven years. Sleeping Policeman’s new release, “The Bride in the Wilderness” will be available this weekend through a release event at Kilgor Trouts Music & More in downtown Myrtle Beach on Saturday and a release show on Sunday at The Cooper House in Socastee, featuring several guest musicians.
Grace, a Myrtle Beach High School and Coastal Carolina University alum, began Sleeping Policeman as a solo project, and the band has taken many shapes and forms over time.
“It’s always been established that I am the songwriter and this is my baby,” Grace said. ‘It’s always been Charles Grace and company.”
The band featured on the new album includes Devon Primrose on bass and Peter Straus on drums. The group traveled to Austin, Texas, while on tour last fall to record the album at Westfall Recording Company after being contacted by a producer there.
“I know it was far away, but it felt really good to work with him,” Grace said.
The group budgeted two weeks to track the album, but they finished recording in 9 days.
“We were ahead of schedule the whole time,” Grace said.
Straus and Primrose have stepped away from the band due to personal reasons, but Grace said they were very dedicated to making this album and couldn’t have happened without them.
“Life pulled them in a different direction,” he said. “They were so committed at the time. I wrote these songs with them and for them.”
While Sleeping Policeman is back to being a one-man band, Grace will be accompanied by Stacey Page on guitar and piano at his Cooper House show this weekend. Grace will be accompanying Candice Marotta on guitar for her set. Musician Alex Muller, who will play solo, is also featured on the Sunday show.
“Alex has played every one of my album release shows with me,” Grace said. “Both he and Candice have been very supportive.”
Sunday marks Grace’s first show at The Cooper House, though he’s wanted to play there “for years.”
“I wanted to do something different for this,” he said.
The album, titled “The Bride in the Wilderness,” is a concept album based on the Book of Job.
Grace initially approached the songwriting as the narrator, “retelling this ancient text through the medium of song.”
As the process continued, “I found myself right in the middle of it,” Grace said. “I had to go through my version of the wilderness. The parallels in my personal life were being inserted into it.”
Personal ties include the loss of Grace’s grandmother (the album is dedicated to her and the yellow roses on the cover are a tribute to her), a battle with depression and a friend’s struggle with suicide.
Grace will share some of these personal stories at his show.
Whether you’re a Christian or not, Grace thinks you’ll find relevance in the album and the text it is based upon.
“If I found my personal life in it, I knew I couldn’t be the only one,” he said. “I don’t think people realized how much truth it could speak into their lives today. Even as a believer, my faith was challenged.”
Grace encourages and challenges people not to write off this story.
“They can’t skip over Job. It’s right next to Psalms, and Psalms is pretty,” he said.
Grace said the story of Job emphasizes the importance of having “an intentional, loving community around you,” and he thanks all the people who helped make this a reality.
Grace’s show at The Cooper House (6011 Dick Pond Road) is at 6 p.m. on Sunday, June 11 at 6 p.m. Admission is $8.