Local musician Dale Sechrest is no stranger to using music as a way to offer listeners a message of truth and hope in faith. During a recent phone interview, Sechrest spoke about his new album, “Into A Mirror Dimly,” the inspiration behind it, and the challenges of exploring self-recording during the pandemic. The album can be interpreted as an invitation, he says, that draws on musical flavors suited for about every listener’s palate, including utilizing 80s-inpsired synthesizer stylings, as well as ballads and gospel. Sechrest hopes this album, like his others, helps to draw people closer to the Heavenly Father and strengthens their walk in faith, he says.

Q: What inspired “Into A Mirror Dimly”?
A: I was running some song titles by my son, Andrew. We were talking about different album titles, rather, and we weren’t coming up with much. I told him, ‘I want something that would really stick out. Something different; a title that makes people think.’ And, suddenly, it came to mind. The line for the album is found in 1 Corinthians line 13:12, ‘For now we see in a mirror, dimly…’ Right now, we see as if through a mirror dimly, but then we will see face to face. It is a part of scripture and I kind of like that. that is where the title came from.

Q: The fist track, ‘Come to the Doorway’ seems almost like an invitation, was that intentional?
A: It was my hope the album would play out as a journey, starting out intentionally with “Come to the Doorway,” which was based on the painting of Jesus standing by the door. But standing at the door, people say the door has no doorknob so he can’t just walk in, you have to invite him in. The song idea is what if Jesus was on the other side? And we were being invited into his place, what would he say?

Q: With that being said, what about the last track, ‘The Well’?
A: A lot of it is based on what I learned during my few years working with Rabbi Chad Foster. And, so it kind of serves as an invitation into the next CD, which will be another album of Hebrew songs. I am hoping to get that out sometime this month.

Q: The album is introduced as a second part in the iWorship series. Tell us about Part One in the series.
A: Part One was a single song at the beginning of our [COVID] isolation and having to remain away from everyone and stay inside. I recorded a little ditty, “We are together in spirit…” quick, uplifting songs with the words saying even though we are apart, we are together in spirit. That song was the first one I recorded off an iPad. That was the first trial project.

Q: Speaking of iPad, this was your first time using one to record, correct? How did it go?
A: Well, that’s been a trial. It is ongoing. The first song seemed to come together really quickly. I decided then to work toward an album and thought I could get it down and out in two to three months tops – it just didn’t work out like that. Many times I had to scrap what I had recorded and start all over again.

Q: Any other challenges you met along the way? And how did you overcome them?
A: It was difficult to find a quiet spot. You have a refrigerator running in the background or you have traffic going by. And the microphones are so sensitive they pick up everything. So I recorded mostly late at night when the traffic was very little.

Q: How long did it take to finish the album?
A: A little more than one year. And even at that, up until the last minute, I was thinking, ‘I really need to rerecord this and change this and that.’ and I finally decided, this could go on forever, I need to let it go.

Q: Did you experience any frustration?
A: Yes, a couple of those. I thought, ‘I see no point to this. It would make more sense to walk into a studio and record it.’ Sometimes you think, ‘What is the purpose? I give up.’ But then after a while you think, this is what I do. This is who I am.

Q: So how did this unconventional recording style affect the flavor of the album, if at all?
A: There are some various flavors and styles on this CD. Some of the songs I had written back in the mid-1980s, and so I think there are one, if not two, that I think you can almost tell I’d been listening to a lot of Bob Dylan’s “Slow Train Coming.’’

Q: How did it feel to revisit some of those older songs and include them on this album?
A: It was interesting because I found myself questioning, ‘Do I have the same outlook now as I had then? Are my thoughts and beliefs still the same as they were when I came to Christ in the mid-80s?’ I decided some of the lyrics needed to be changed to reflect more of where I am now. When I originally wrote “The Mask” it was in regards to people who would call themselves Christians, but then every part of their lives are everything but. The song kind of served as a warning that you have to be careful of who you hang around and pay attention to because you never really know someone because they’ve always got this mask on. Maybe it is time all of us take off this mask, even the one we wear from time to time, not being who we really are but being who we think people want us to be at that moment.

Q: What would you say is one of the biggest challenges you regularly face as a musician and songwriter?
A: In writing, I wrestle with bringing out the truth. That is what I desire and want to do, but at the same time there is a part of me that asks, ‘Is someone going to be hurt from these words? Can they be taken the wrong way?’ That is not my desire. I am finding it difficult and, hopefully, with guidance I will be able to get past, or be able to accomplish the need to project the truth, but to do so in between the bookends of grace and love.

Q: What are you hoping listeners take away from the latest album?
A: My hope is that there will be at least one song that draws them closer to our heavenly Father. Even those who already have a strong Christian walk, I am hoping there is something that can be found – maybe one line if not a song – that draws them closer to Father God.