Saturday, May 31, 2008

Friday Night Lights: Will Graham

We landed in Dallas yesterday and headed South to Burleson in a van to meet up with Go Fish, Building 429 and Tree63 for a Will Graham Celebration: a 3 day event held on the Burleson High School Football field: home of Kelly Clarkson.  We enjoyed a well needed stop at Taco Cabana on the way there.  The stage was great: the crew professional and the staff polite.  That's a good start.  Will Graham is a great person and we actually have Toccoa Falls College in common (where I got my bachelor's and he got his doctorate) and a good friend Wes White...who thought people were calling me "shoes" after I knew him well for 5 months.)  Will and Wes worked together a Bay Leaf Baptist Church in Raleigh, NC.  

We played 20 minutes (21):
Give It All Away
Give Me Words To Speak
Watch Over Me
My Savior My God

Afterword, Josh, Scotty and I watched Indiana was a little fantastic, but fun.  Now after 8+ hours of sleep (that never happens on the road unless we get a full travel day like today) we'll head to the airport at 1pm and fly to Omaha, where we'll drive to Norfork and play again!  75 minutes this time!  woo who!   Then we go home to where the trees stand still.

Monday, May 26, 2008

To San Diego and Back

...via Nashville. 

It's amazing how small this world can seem at times...i had eggs and bacon this morning in San Diego and a couple hours later, I've landed in Nashville, driven to Atlanta and I'm back in my living room.  I've sat down all day.  Not my favorite way to spend a Memorial Day, I missed my family's get together at my brother's house :(, but I have to tell you, it was good to play again.  It's been a month since tour ended, and to get on stage and sing to the Spirit West Coast crowd was a sweet reminder of why I love what I do.  To share the stage with three of my closest and dearest friends, Josh, Duffy and Scotty and sing the worthiness of God along with a couple thousand people who feel the same way about Him as we do, is a great thing.  I'm privileged that I get to use my own words to do that and honored that you would sing along!  

Thank you, oh Southern Californians for bearing with my sinus issues as I sang 'Batchless' and 'By Savior By God'.   I'm glad to inform you that I seem to be getting better.   Come to the Monterey show, I should be all cleared up by then.   God bless!

Thursday, May 22, 2008

Maria Chapman

Last night Steven Curtis Chapman's 5-year old daughter Maria was killed in a tragic accident at home.  Please join me in praying for the Chapman family during this time of unimaginable hardship.

Sunday, May 18, 2008

Grazie Radio

We went to church last night (Saturday) at Perimeter so today we drove up to see my parents and hang out with them and Joel and Chelsea, our good friends from the Pittsburgh area, my true home.  Joel has an incredible ministry going up there, working to bring an overlooked area and people to restoration.  

I was listening to X&Y on the way up for about half a song and decided that since it was Sunday, I'd fill my mind with some good solid Bible thumping music.  So I "turned the dial" (pushed a button) to 104.7 The Fish here in Atlanta.  Sarah and I tried to figure out who covered God of Wonders cause it sure didn't sound like Mac and Caedmon's.  About 3 songs in, "Watch Over Me" came on!  I was so excited cause I'd never heard it on the radio before!  Primarily because I mainly listen to CDs in the car...regardless, I was thrilled!  I turned it up to hear how it translated on the radio waves (if the low end was lost, blah blah blah) and I was pleased with how it sounded.  

I really don't ever read the charts or see "how I'm doing", because it takes my focus of why I'm doing what I'm doing and gives me insecure mood swings.  I figure that when I stop getting offers to play for people, I'll know it's over, and in the meanwhile, I'll keep doing my best.  My Dad keeps me posted on good news anyway!  :)  He told me today that Watch Over Me and Give Me Words To Speak were Both on this week's 20 the Countdown Magazine and that if Give Me Words stayed on for 2 more weeks, it will have been in the top 20 for a full year!  Incredible!  Thank you, Jon Rivers!  I like people telling me the good news: my skin is too thin for me to sift through all the bad news myself to try to find good stuff (human validation). 

Anyhow, I heard Watch Over Me on the Fish Again on the way home...and I heard myself singing those words: "I was broken, every prayer that I had spoken..." and I told Sarah, "What an honor!  Those are my thoughts!  How cool that radio stations would allow me to address their audience!" 

I thank GOD, and I thank YOU for listening and for caring and for supporting me, to give me opportunity to share what God has whispered to me, with you! 

Monday, May 12, 2008


I just finished reading "The Shack".  It took me a while to finally read it, because it seemed everyone was telling me to read it.  I didn't want to jump on the bandwagon, so i put it off for a while.  But I JUST finished reading its 250 pages in about 2 days.  And it was pretty great.  Do yourself a favor and don't read anything about not even the back cover: it's a spoiler, if you ask me.  Even some promotional banners, like the one you see above, are spoilers.  Just read it.  I loved it.

Friday, May 9, 2008

Lets Go Pens

If you haven't caught on, I'm from Pittsburgh.  I wrote a song called 'Burgh Boy' a long time ago when i was in college, about how much I love all things Pittsburgh.  Then last month when I played a show at my alma mater ( a few people started shouting for me to play I had to acquiesce, even though I wasn't prepared and forgot a lot of how it went.  Needless to say it was fun.   Then I performed it again April 18th at my last Spring Tour show which happened to be in Pittsburgh...and gave the mighty 'Guins a little tribute.

Anyhow, WORD FM in Pittsburgh emailed and wanted to know if they could play it...then if they could post it for a free download.  So we said sure.  So if you care about Pittsburgh: here are two free songs about it.  If you could care less about Pittsburgh: here are two free songs about it.  Enjoy.

And go Pens!

Monday, May 5, 2008

Control Save

Or in my case "Apple-Save", except that Macs no longer have an Apple's the "Command" Key with a little picture of an intersection on it...but we still call it the Apple Key...

Anyhow, saving is a very important function when working on something very important and laborious.  I spent two hours working on a demo for my new album: a song called "Exalted Forever" I had finished it and was just getting ready to bounce it to iTunes when "GarageBand unexpectedly quit", and I never saved it from the very beginning.  Unbelievable.  So, I spent another hour doing it again (half of the original effort was spent in the creative process: figuring out HOW to do that I knew how I was going to do it...i just needed to actually do it...again)

So now I have 16 songs that I'm going to bring to the table: oops, I forgot about my Heart of Worship cover: 17.  Of course, not all 17 will make the cut...the painful cutting process. 

Anyhow: people, save your work.  don't be silly.

Thursday, May 1, 2008

Demos at Home

Yes I shaved my head.  It's summer.
I'm getting ready to record the new record (ree-KORD the noo REK-erd), so I'm home and have been working on coming up with decent sounding demos, so that my people can hear the new songs and be able to give educated input on how to proceed.  This advice can range anywhere from telling who to best approach to produce each song, to telling me these are the worst songs they've ever heard and if I want to continue with my career, I'd better start from scratch.  So, needless to say,  I'm hoping for more of the former and not the latter.  
It's interesting: as a songwriter, you come up with cool ideas that resonate with what God is teaching you, and you turn it into a song.  A thing that is near and dear to your heart, almost like a child (that's another blog!) I'm so excited about these new songs that I just listen to them over and over again.  Here's the interesting part: whenever I record them and then you can find them on the shelves, it's no longer "cool" for me to listen to my own songs.  What happened?