Thursday, February 28, 2008

Community Supported Music

Jonathan is planning on starting a brand new venture that allows you to get involved with the inside of his music. It’s a new way of thinking about the relationship between an artist and his audience. For more details, read on!

What is Community Supported Music (CSM)?
It's a creative way to work at the relationship of an artist and the people who support that artist and/or enjoy her/his work. This CSM is a structured way for people to support an artist whose work and life they believe in, and a way for Jonathan to share music and thoughts more regularly with the people who are interested in that.

How does it work?
A person who likes Jonathan's music and wants to support him as he works at it subscribes to Jonathan Reuel's CSM. Four times a year they get a delivery including new songs, lyrics and thoughts from Jonathan about both the writing and listening process.

Who is it for?
- People who want to support Jonathan Reuel and his creative work.
- People who'd like to hear songs more regularly and at an earlier phase (soon after they are written, before all the instruments are added).
- People who want to use Jonathan's music in their own prayer and meditation
- Musicians and writers interested in songwriting, the creative process and where the songs come from.
- Groups who want to use Jonathan's songs in a corporate setting. This could include playing the recording publicly or singing together. Includes school groups, churches, businesses, etc.

What do you get?
- 3 to 5 new songs every quarter. Mostly these will be simple guitar and vocal recordings.
- Lyrics and chords to the songs
- Thoughts about the writing of the songs and the creative process
- Suggestions for using the songs in personal or corporate prayer, meditation or worship.

Where did the idea come from?
We heard about it first from Bryan Moyer Suderman who came up with the idea of "community supported music," basing it on the model of "community supported agriculture." Check out his blog and website to find out what Bryan is up to now. Another artist, Pat DiNizio of the Smithereens tried something similar, so the idea is not only our own.

Jonathan on why I think this whole idea is brilliant
"The whole idea of a CSM really strikes me because as much as possible I like to develop relationships with people rather than collecting fans or selling products. Sales isn't a bad thing, but some kind of ongoing connection is, to me, much more satisfying."

Watch here for more details regarding the CSM launch in the coming months.

Thursday, February 21, 2008

JRL Rarities (& Oddities)

Once in awhile we’d like to give you the opportunity to listen in on live moments at various JRL concerts. This week’s track features the ironic humor of an amp gone bad in a particularly short version of "Better Days" featuring Tim Shue on electric guitar, Toby Hazlett on bass and Andrew Simms on cajon, followed by their rendition of "Better" from the same set in Ohio.

Enjoy another rare JRL moment featuring Mark Bovee and Colorado friends performing the song "Advertised". Mark’s music is featured at

Thursday, February 14, 2008

Stuck in Goshen

A Review of JRL’s Latest Album: “Now”
By Adam Fleming and David Stahnke

ADAM: “We’ve all got this… lonely…”
DAVE: “Nesssssssss.”
ADAM: Now that we’ve gotten that out of the way, this album is primarily about expressing emotion through melodies and simple guitar riffs. At his best, JR is channeling Aaron Copland, and at his worst, Bob Dylan.
DAVE: And let’s not forget: “His Bobness” ain’t too shabby. I like this record. It took a few times of listening through but the album grew on me. As JR’s first official solo project it does well to capture both his strengths and sound.
ADAM: Yes, the live sound comes through as intended. Now, here’s what I’d suggest. Go back in and pick one track to add a mandolin, and another to add a female vocalist. Change two out of fourteen songs and you add so much dynamically to the complete package.
DAVE: Okay, but not so much that you lose sight of JR’s lyrics and unique vocal quality.
ADAM: Exactly. The emotions JR wrestles with lyrically on this album exhibit a deep maturity brought on by hardship. They say the best wine is grown in regions where vines struggle to survive. This is why so few people write great songs. JR does it at least four or five times on this album, and that’s pretty good. Personally, I know what it feels like to be “stuck in Goshen, Indiana.” With this CD, I can relate, laugh and cry together with JRL.
DAVE: And, if you attend a show you could also ask him to play “Free Bird.”
ADAM: If I wanted to die.
DAVE: I haven’t died yet. And I’ve requested that one at least six times!
ADAM: Yeah, I know, and you’re looking pale.
DAVE: Still wondering if you should attend a JRL show and put down some shekels for this CD? Yes to both. JRL is both talented and genial and not to be missed.

Thursday, February 7, 2008

The Time Is Now

If you’ve been wondering when you could get JRL “Now,” the fourth project released by JRL since 2005, it is now available from “Now” is a stripped down predecessor of the upcoming JRL “Another Now” which will be released this coming May. While “Now” is reminiscent of the stripped-down JRL10 (an acoustic album originally released in 2005), “Another Now” will feature many of the tracks from “Now” in full-band glory as well as adding several more to the mix.

We will be posting reviews in the coming weeks and as you get your hands on this record, feel free to show up here and add your two cents as well!

Jonathan is in the studio with “Another Now” where they are getting to the mix stage of the album. This week drum and bass tracks are making their way through the mail from Goshen, IN to Wilmington, OH. And with all that going on, JRL is also gearing up for another round of shows, so be watching Myspace ( and for details as the tour develops.

Wednesday, February 6, 2008

Reviewing JRL Now

I'm working on getting some different people to write reviews of my new recording. Part of what I think would be really cool would be to get unofficial reviews, feedback from you all. What do you like about the record? Favorite songs? What do you think doesn't work as well? If the songs hit you on an emotional level, what are you feeling? What does it make you remember or think about?

I write music because I know it can make life better (not necessarily easier, but better). Songs can help us see and feel things we're hiding from or remind us of part of who we are that we've forgotten. They can encourage or challenge or let us feel. (They can also make nice background noise while we get our work done).

So if you have a few thoughts about the new album, even a sentence or two, leave it as a comment here. And be as honest and specific as you can -- that helps us all have a chance to see what you see.



1. To leave a comment click on the little line that says comment at the end of this blog entry. It should give you a chance to comment.
2. If you don't own "Now" you can get it at You can also listen to a couple of the songs for free at (Someone Elses' Dream and Memories and Towns are up right now).