Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Tired like Moving Houses: Farewell Concert Review Part One

I've moved a lot of times in my life. At age 16 the longest I'd lived in one country in a row was 4 years.

So you know that feeling when you're moving your stuff from one house to a vehicle and then out into another house (and then out of boxes and into the rooms the stuff belongs in)? You know how you get tired-er and tired-er as the day progresses? I know that feeling -- and the three or four days before the Farewell Concert were like that for me.

There were so many people helping I won't begin to try to describe or thank them right now. It was amazing. Even with all of that, I kept getting more tired.

A couple of hours before the show, when the theater was looking great, the practicing done, and there were people ready to do all the remaining jobs, I snuck away and sat in Nate's studio for half an hour. I took a nap and thought and talked to God and tried to hear myself. And it was good.

Because of that -- and the 20+ people helping -- by the time we took the stage I was ready.

Friday, March 27, 2009

videos of the JRL Farewell Concert

The Farewell Concert was amazing -- messy, chaotic, beautiful. The art was great (Christa and a lot of helpers).

I'll write more about it, but in the meantime check this out:
"JRL Farewell Concert"

I don't know if it captures any of the feeling of the evening, but there was some magic.

Or go here:
"JRL Last Song"

you'll find a video of Sunfire Faces with pretty much all the musicians kicking in -- 5 guitarists, two bassists, pedal steel, drums, a couple percussionists, pedal steel, flute, singers. There is this great place where it became glorious white noise. Listen for yourself.

Here's another:
"You Could Break JRL"
you can hear Kimberly and I singing You Could Break My Heart with Tim Shue playing mandolin.

Can't wait get the files to see what kind of audio recording we got. More soon.

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

The best of JRL cd

So here's what happened with the JRL best of CD. Nate Butler remixed some tunes from Balloon and mastered it all so it works together pretty well. (Balloon was produced differently and sounded out of placed with the other tunes, and besides, now there's new mixes of some of the best songs). Also we're including a version of Better done by Landline (the band that played three shows but had great potential), and a new recording of Advertised (which has never been officially released though I've played it live a lot) from a great producer in Minneapolis.

We're doing a limited edition release of the Best Of cd at the JRL Farewell gig at the Goshen Theater this Friday. 40 cds. The covers handmade. A bunch of friends helped me create 40 cases for the limited edition. Some are hilarious, some are artistic. First come, first serve. We'll release a non-limited edition if necessary, or maybe a second limited edition run if I can get enough people to help me. It's really fun seeing what people come up with.

Thanks for all your suggestions for what songs should be included. Here's the final set list:

Second Floor
Fell Like Fire
Better This Way
Sunfire Faces
Past Yourself
Anywhere My Love
Camellia Drive Lullaby
Just To be Loved
I Don't Mind Waiting
29 Years
We've All Got This
Better Days
You Could Beak my Heart

Three days until Friday

So it's three days until the big JRL Farewell concert. I'm at that stage now where I'm usually running around handling a pile of last minute details I didn't get to and am horrible at doing anyway (but don't end up farming out). This time is different. I'm resting, even blogging.

It's that moment on the roller coaster where you're at the top hanging over nothing but the downward rush has not started yet. Once the momentum gets started...

What I look forward to:
The Connections -- seeing them and watching them connect with each other. There will be a lot of creative, interesting people converging on Goshen this weekend.
The Music -- getting a chance to listen to to great bands and play in another -- especially with all these quality musicians -- is a great gift.
The Money -- Whether it's $20 or $2000 there is something fufilling about making money doing something you love and creating something others can participate in and enjoy.
The Meaning -- I hope that beyond the pure fun of the evening that the songs will connect deeply with people, giving expression to something going on inside them, and in doing that moving them forward and cultivating hope and peace.
The Unexpected -- For me many of the best moments are not planned. I look forward to the good that none of us planned.
The Creative Community -- For the Limited Edition Best of JRL CD I invited a bunch of friends to create the cd liners. So each cd will be different, signed by the person who put it together. Some are made by accomplished artists, others by people who haven't drawn since elementary art. I can't wait to see how people respond to them. I like the idea of a lot of people participating and being creative, inspired and encouraged by the "professionals" rather than dismissed or scorned by them.

So that's that.

I look forward to seeing many of you.


Wednesday, March 11, 2009

A Community Comes Together

So I had this idea of celebrating the end of a musical season for me, which grew into this JRL Farewell Concert. Then I got some ideas about trying to make the event helpful to the community it's happening in in Goshen.

What I can't believe is how many people are getting excited about it and helping. Usually I have trouble finding people to help in any way -- this time I'm trying to keep up. I'm not sure what the difference is, except that somehow this has hit a nerve.

I'm hoping that a bunch of people and some businesses jump on board by making donations to of of three organizations we chose who are making a difference in the area by addressing local needs for food and housing in concrete ways.

Monday, March 9, 2009

My next delivery of songs

It's about time for my next delivery of songs for my CSM (community supported group). For those of you who forget, that's the group of people who sign up for a year to get four deliveries of roughly-recorded new music from me. I've done two deliveries already.

I'll write more about what this delivery will have on it -- probably one song I wrote in Thailand, maybe two, and who knows what else. I'll try to at least post a clip for the few of you who haven't signed up yet :)

There's a link to the CSM on www.jonathanreuel.com if you want to know more.

Advertising Advertised, English visits and playing CVille

The Best of JRL record is coming along well -- and it needs to because the farewell concert is on the 20th and we will have them there. Nate is remixing some songs and remastering them. It's going to sound amazing, be a great collection of songs, and a good picture of that last phase of my music.

A friend in Minneapolis and I recorded one of my songs called "Advertised" a couple years back. He's been working on it intensely and I was going to put it on the BSides project but it's so good it's going on to the Best Of. And we're working on a video for it.

Life is crazy here. We've had friends from England in for a few days, as well as Bryan Moyer Suderman of www.smalltallmusic.com with us for a couple days too. We played a gig together, first time I've played in Cville for more than 6 months. My highlight was doing a version of "Saint Cross, Holy Cross" with Bryan. It's a song about my early years growing up in Bolivia. Bryan grew up there too and played sampona (pan flutes) and charango with me, both Andean instruments connected to that era of my life for me.