How it all began...
»When I was sixteen a friend played a brand new record for me that she had just gotten. It was ›Sweet Baby James‹ by James Taylor. I fell in love with his guitar playing... and spent hours learning to play those licks exactly like he played them. Still today it's one of the greatest compliments people can give me when they say that my guitar style is reminiscent of James Taylor.«
Don's musical career began very quietly and without a lot of to do. After becoming a Christian at the age of 17, he studied Music at Toccoa Falls College in Northeast Georgia. That's where he met Susie. During those years Don and Susie traveled on weekends as a duet and with college music groups. They were married before their last year of college. After both Don and Susie graduated with a Bachelors Degree in Music, Don went on to get his Masters degree in Music Theory from Georgia State Universityin Atlanta. During his Masters program Don and Susie helped to start a new church in Roswell, Georgia, on the north side of Atlanta: Fellowship Bible Church. Don ministered to the youth and as worship leader in that church for the first two years of its existence.
Welcome to Germany
Since 1981 Don and Susie have been making and teaching music in Germany. They have moved their place of residence from the sunny south to the more rainy and cold climate in Germany. It's now been almost 30 years that they have influenced the German Christian community with concerts, workshops and other events. Don became a music teacher at the German Bible Institute Bibelschule Bergstaße (now Bibelseminar Königsfeld) in Königsfeld/Black Forest, a biblical training institute offering tailor-made programs for adults 18 years old and above. The school operates under the umbrella of the Evangelical Alliance.
»I bought my first Martin guitar in 1971 with hard-earned $600. Sometimes I still call her my ›first wife‹ because she's been mine longer than Susie has been mine.«
The Newby's style has been strongly influenced by James Taylor, Paul Simon and other great names of the 70's. »Stepping Through The Changes«, their first Album, was pretty much mainstream pop, »Found Free«, number two in the Newby Diskography, was more folk with country elements, and some Gospel. With »Diamond«, their newest Album, they have come full circle and back to the roots, and have nevertheless produced something brand new and fresh. And they've developed their own personal musical identity. The Newby's are among the very few artists in Germany performing this style. »Modern Country« has little to do with »Truck Stop« or »Classic Country«. It's a musical statement understood and loved by a generation that loves rock music with country elements (Garth Brooks, Shania Twain etc.). In the USA they call it »New Country«. We've chosen to call it »Country Rock« so there is no confusing this music with German country music in its standard definition.
What do they want to accomplish?
Don and Susie are conscious and committed Christians with a practical and vital faith. Their songs speak of a deeply personal relationship and experience with Jesus Christ. With their concerts and CD's they want to communicate a positive message, a message of personal experience with God that calls for contemplation and response. Their stage program is characterized by two things: it is evangelistic in nature and it is very professional despite requiring as little equipment support as possible.
More than concerts...
The Newbys are not just visible on the concert stage. They lead worship at conferences, MC Festivals and Don leads music and worship events. They teach music seminars both theory and practice, speak and sing for women's breakfasts and their names often appear on CD productions of other Christian artists. Don & Susie Newby are great folks to be around... and not just on stage...