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Perham man finds ‘Success’ with release of new album

The title of Brian Hill’s new CD, “Success,” doesn’t mean what you might think it means.

It’s not a reference to making tons of money, or to performing at big, sold-out shows. Those things aren’t important to Hill.

It’s not even about finding the right career path in life, or settling down and raising a family. Though Hill has been successful in these ways, that’s still not what the CD title means.

Instead, “Success” refers to what the songs on the CD are all about; a common thread that runs throughout the album: the search for God and God’s role in Hill’s life.

“I titled it ‘Success’ because I‘m successful when I find God,” Hill explained in a recent interview. “To me, if there is a god and he is who he says he is, then my desire is to know him. That’s success to me.”

Featuring six songs that explore this theme – five of which Hill wrote himself and one written by his brother, Chuck – “Success” is a blend of folk rock (think Mumford and Sons) and contemporary Christian music (in the style of Phil Wickham and Chris Tomlin).

Hill sings on the album, and also plays electric and acoustic guitar and violin. Keyboard and drums are also featured on the CD.

The album, a first for Hill, has been nearly a lifetime in the making. The Perham resident, who moved here not quite five years ago, has been a musician since the early age of 6, when he first learned to play the violin. By age 12, he was also playing guitar and singing, and soon after that he joined his first band.

“Music has always been a very important part of my life,” he said. “I’ve always enjoyed it. I’ve always felt like music expresses things that words can’t. Especially when life goes through transition points or ups and downs, music is, to me, a healer.”

Over the years, Hill has played in several bands, and has moved around from northern Minnesota to Omaha and back. He’s raised a family – he and his wife, Trudy, have four kids – and he’s stayed true to his faith.

In Perham, Hill’s ‘day job’ has been at Crosspoint Alliance Church, where he’s served as the director of music and a youth group coordinator. Locals may have seen him perform at the church, or at other shows and events in the area, such as the Teen Girls in Faith festivals, The Refuge in Detroit Lakes or the Arts Festival during Perham’s Turtle Fest.

Hill decided a couple of years ago that he wanted to record an album, and he’s learned a lot from the experience. What took him over a year to do this first time around, he said, would probably only take him about a month to do today, now that he’s learned how to create the right acoustic environment for recording.

After tracking the songs himself, Hill signed an agreement with Tate Music Group, which mixed, mastered and manufactured the album for him. Tate also developed the album graphics and added the tracks to iTunes and other music websites for online sales.

There’s the possibility of making some money off the CD, Hill said, but he’s not doing it for that; he’s doing it for fun.

He’s played in a few regional shows this summer to promote the album, which was officially released June 24. His last big promotional concert is coming up Thursday, Aug. 21 at The Refuge in Detroit Lakes, starting around 7 p.m.

“Success” is available at, iTunes and other online music stores, and Perham Office Supply.

Marie Johnson

Marie Johnson joined the Perham Focus more than five years ago, and has since worn many hats as writer, editor and page designer. She lives in rural Frazee with her husband, Dan, their one-year-old son, Simon, and their yellow lab, Louisa. 

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