Friday, November 15, 2013


I got new glasses. Ordered them before I went to Nashville. There I saw many pairs of glasses of similar ilk. I don't see as many in Asheville. You may not be able to tell from this photo but these spectacles are a bit granny-ish and very stylish. In case you wondered.

Friday, November 8, 2013

Nashville, Bluebird, Line

Well I've been to the Bluebird Cafe open mic night four or possibly five times now. I've played twice. That's because the line is always long.

I was there a couple weeks ago and the line is much longer than it used to be. Actually it's not longer -- now it's sort of a square, there are lines next to lines. The local businesses got tired of the line blocking their front doors.

They've also added a guard that organizes things. All of this is due, I hear, to the prominence of the Bluebird Cafe in a TV show that I have yet to see (which, legend has it, is NOT filmed at the actual Bluebird Cafe but in a life-sized replica -- step back from that for a second and think about the interesting world we live in -- imagine explaining it to your great great great grandmother).

Sunday, November 3, 2013

Songwriting Commission Part Three

My most recent commission ended up pretty well. I sent a rough recording and lyrics to people who commissioned it.  They wrote back that they liked it and sent it to all their family members. One of those family members wants me to do a house concert. 

They also wrote that some of what I put into the song connected with parts of their story that they didn't tell me. They wondered if I'm a mind reader. I'm not. But God is a revealer of mysteries and songs are not sermons, but can be conduits of mystery, filaments that glow, spark, sputter.

We all need truth that brings freedom, even if it's uncomfortable sometimes. I need light shining regularly into my own darkness (and I'm not just talking about shameful things I hide -- I'm also talking about ignorance, habits, assumptions, etc). I am surprised at the persistence that love shows in pointing me towards that which I'd rather ignore or avoid, but which (once faced) means growth. 

Sometimes this light seeps and stammers through a song, shrinking shadows, wooing us into the open.

Shrinking Shadows
Unapologetic Sales Pitch: If you'd like to commission a song for someone, send me an email at I would have time to do three or four yet before Christmas. It costs between $150 and $800 depending on a number of factors, including what type of recording you want.

Friday, November 1, 2013

Songwriting Commissions Part Two

When these songwriting commissions work best the person I write for recognizes themselves, their relationships, or their home town in the song, but also sees some things they might not have noticed before. Hopefully the specifics I use from the interview connect to larger patterns, stories, truths and provide bridges to new perspective and a sense of hope and being known. This does not always happen. Sometimes the people just like the song. 

And sometimes they don't. 

This might be for a variety of reasons. Here are a few: I totally misread them and the song is irrelevant.  I wrote a bad, unlistenable song. The song has something true in it that the person does not want to or is not ready to see. I'm sure there countless other reasons as well.

Now about that "song has something true that the listener doesn't want to hear" thing -- I can think of one or two instances where I wrote and sent a song a person didn't like where that might have been the issue. Of course,  I'm not sure. I do know it's been the case with me (songs I've heard that I didn't want to hear). In most cases though, when people get a song from me they really appreciate it.

There is, after all, something meaningful about having a song written for you, even if someone paid for it. (Someone always pays for it, actually!)

I will write one more post on this, and I will tell you about the most recent commission.