From my tradition to yours...
Merry Christmas, I hope your holiday is restful and peaceful. I am truly grateful for the many good friends on this list and for the interest you have shown over the years in my musical work. My release of BELOVED this year has been quite a journey and I am grateful that, between the funding campaign and the first year of sales, we covered all costs and got this record out.
Although I did not travel this year, I do miss those of you who I've met on the road in years past. There have been some health challenges that have slowed me down a bit (I detail this more personally in my blog
) but I have enjoyed keeping active with shows here in Seattle.
In addition to music, I've kept busy as a private therapist and overseen a counseling program for a local nonprofit called The Puget Sound Christian Clinic. PSCC provides medical, dental and counseling to the underserved in Seattle - especially our undocumented neighbors. PSCC has been a bright light for me especially against the back drop of dismay I feel for much of American Christianity's embrace of the Trump presidency at the betrayal of its own beautiful tradition. Watching the religious right continue to back this administration has been heartbreaking. The Atlantic Journal said it best
when it wrote: "Trump’s unapologetic materialism—his equation of financial and social success with human achievement and worth—is a negation of Christian teaching. His tribalism and hatred for “the other” stand in direct opposition to Jesus’s radical ethic of neighbor love. Trump’s strength-worship and contempt for “losers” smack more of Nietzsche than of Christ."
VENI EMMANUEL re-releases on Spotify
This year I will be re-releasing a few things that were never actually digitally distributed. One such recording is Veni Emmanuel, a Christmas single
that was previously only available by download on my site. I recorded this traditional hymn with Tara Ward (also on BELOVED) with an original arrangement back in 2010. It is one of those recordings that speaks for me spiritually in ways that words seem to fail. This recording has now been remastered by Ed Brooks (REM, Sound Garden) and is available on Spotify, Apple Music and all digital platforms.
Orphan Song : New Song Debut
Every year around this time I try to debut a new song, usually a demo that will later be arranged for an album. This year's offering is Orphan Song
engineered by Antoine Arvizu (Beloved/Earthside Down). Ball of Wax Quarterly
recently reviewed it for its compilation and writes:
"This song is about the Carter Family, written in response to the graphic novel Don’t Forget This Song, by Frank M. Young and David Lasky, and it all comes together. It’s not referring to a song about orphans, but rather songs that are orphans, the songs A.P. (Alvin Pleasant) Carter spent countless days, weeks, years traveling the country in search of. This song is his wife’s desperate plea to keep him at home rather than rambling the land in his quixotic quest to collect songs from far and wide... another understated triumph from our friend Robert.
The Blog Challenge
Some Fun From the Archives...
This is fun. Todd Zeller and Issac Judd have archived my musical life on film and every now and then they offer up a surprise. Here was an unreleased video of EarthSide Down taken during the Thirteen Stories tour (2004), definitely a blast from the past....
AVAILABLE FROM THE STORE
CD, Vinyl & Download
THE BOX SET (five copies left)
Almost extinct - includes ALL CD's (including out-of-print releases).
Heart Like Feathers $10
This Limited Edition BOOK/CD/DVD is probably the most beautiful packaging ever made.
7" Vinyl combo $10
Almost extinct... a few copies remain of "Boots of Spanish Leather" and "Bad Time for Love."