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Wednesday, April 09, 2008

New blog.

Good-bye, old blog. My new blog can be found by clicking here.

Monday, December 10, 2007

New CD: My Song Is Love Unknown: The Road Sessions Vol. 1

As you may have guessed, I've given up on blogging. I just have too much going on to spend the time necessary to make this blog great, and I think no blogging is better than mediocre blogging.

But I did want to let you know about a limited-edition CD that I've just come out with, and what better way (in this scanning-not-reading medium that is the interweb) than a short video.

You can hear more by clicking here, and buy it here. Thanks!

Thursday, May 17, 2007

In Florida this weekend.

I'm coming to Florida for a few concerts this weekend. Details here. See you there!

Sunday, May 06, 2007

New site.

Oh, hi there. I, um, seem to have forgotten to mention something. See, I have a new official site. A very nice one. And it's been up for well over a month. It just slipped my mind that my blog readers might actually want to check it out.

Thursday, May 03, 2007

The Ruin Of The Beast.

Former and future Burlap To Cashmere frontman Steven Delopoulos has a new record due out any day now. Here is an amazing video for one of the songs, done by the geniuses at Portland Studios.

Tuesday, May 01, 2007

Back from tour.

Thanks to all who came out to see us on this tour. It was a lot of fun. If you took pictures, leave a comment with the link and I'll highlight the best ones. In the meantime, hilarity:

Representin' with my John Davis t-shirt.

The band defaces a tour poster to answer the question, "What would Matthew look like with a mustache?"

John Davis demonstrates what ROCK looks like.

John likes energy drinks.

We went bowling on this tour. Twice. Clint demonstrates his technique.

The Ringing Bell out today.

Be sure to pick up a copy of Derek Webb's new record, The Ringing Bell, today. My favorite tracks are "Name," "A Savior On Capitol Hill," and "This Too Shall Be Made Right." He's also on tour.

Wednesday, April 18, 2007

Tour begins this week!

Thanks to all who came out to the south Florida tour last weekend. Despite being sick, I enjoyed sharing these hymns with you guys. I'll be coming to the Tampa/St. Pete area next month, dates announced soon.

I'm leaving with the band tomorrow for a week of concerts. (For the curious, the band will be Clint Wells on guitar, Tripp Ethridge on drums, and John Davis on bass.)

See you there!

04/19 Cleveland, TN - Trinity Presbyterian Church
04/20 Hixson, TN - Hixson Presbyterian Church
04/21 Atlanta, GA - Intown Community Church
04/22 Americus, GA - First United Methodist Church
04/23 Augusta, GA - First Presbyterian Church
04/25 Anderson, SC - New Covenant Church
04/26 Durham, NC - Blacknall Memorial Presbyterian

Saturday, March 31, 2007

Third and 3/4 place.

Thanks to all who voted for Save Lives In Africa. We ended up taking third and 3/4 place.

Wednesday, March 21, 2007

Vote to Save Lives In Africa.

A few months ago, I created a Squidoo lens (a web page designed to share info about a topic) called Save Lives In Africa. It was named Lens Of The Day in December, and now it is up for Lens Of The Year! This is a big deal, because:
  • Squidoo is one of the Top 1000 sites on the internet (currently #795). There are millions of sites on the internet. Think about that for a second.
  • 100% of the proceeds of my lens go to support Blood:Water Mission.
I need your help:
  • Go to the Lens Of The Year page and vote for Save Lives In Africa by clicking its little "up arrow" triangle. It's a long list, but my lens is in the Top #10!
  • Squidoo will prompt you to login-- after doing so, return to the Lens Of The Year page to finish voting.
  • Send out a MySpace bulletin, email your friends and family, shout it from the rooftops to let people know to vote!
  • The winner will be announced on March 30th.

Wednesday, February 28, 2007

Andy on "Why I Don't Listen To Christian Music."

Andy over at The Last Homely House just put up a good post titled "Why I Don't Listen To Christian Music." I've found it interesting (but not surprising) that many fans of my and Indelible Grace's music don't listen to much CCM.


Wednesday, February 21, 2007

Jubilee 2007 photos.

Andrew Rush posted his pictures from Jubilee 2007. It was a blast to play to so many people, even though we got kicked off stage before our set ended due to a miscommunication about time.

Not pictured here: the panicked look on our faces when we started the first song in 4/4 instead of 6/8. We are professionals.

This jacket cost me five bucks.

"'Tis So Sweet To Trust In Jesus"

Yeah, there were a lot of people there.

Taylor Sorensen fills in on lead guitar. I think having him and John Davis in the band technically made us a supergroup.

Friday, February 16, 2007

Bullet points from the past two weeks.

I don't have time to blog properly right now, as I'm off to Pittsburgh to play at the Jubilee 2007 conference. I have had one of the strangest, most adventure-filled months of my life so far. Here are some of the alternately funny and sobering moments, in no particular order-- and now in bullet point form! In the past two weeks, I:
  • had two separate people think I was British (one because of the coat I was wearing)
  • had three or four different people refer to Tennessee as "the midwest"
  • mugged a thief (more on this later)
  • toured Apple, Inc. headquarters at night
  • played a wine party in California's wine country where, strangely, most of the wine seemed to be from Argentina
  • ate half of the brie available at said wine party
  • repeatedly defended Yuba City against mockery (my argument: YC has great people and great prunes!)
  • was told that I sound like Green Day (note: I do not sound like Green Day)
  • bought a Superdrag record at Amoeba Music
  • encountered several bizarre incidents of automotive rudeness in San Francisco, including a car honking at me repeatedly for sitting in my parked car because they wanted my spot
  • got creeped out by the Haight-Ashbury district (mainly because it seemed that every time I glanced around, people were staring at me-- am I paranoid?)
  • laughed at seeing a McDonald's at the end of Haight (I guess hippies need Big Macs too)
  • found out that people in the Bay Area think they live in "northern California" (though they clearly live right in the middle of the state)
  • played a concert in a Jewish temple
  • experienced the beautiful Sierra Nevada mountains
  • ate at a late-night vegetarian restaurant in Reno
  • shared hotel premises with Mel Gibson in Guatemala (though I never saw him)
  • developed an irrational fear of Geoff Moore (I'm not kidding about this) and avoided him at all costs
  • stood in a very small home with dirt floors where two adults and ten children live
  • realized that my hotel in Reno didn't have HBO because watching movies cuts down on gamblin' time
  • experienced how a government agency (the TSA) can practically cripple an organization: the San Jose airport.
  • had dinner and Belgian ale with a Senior Engineer Scientist who is working on the iPhone.
  • had a wireless mic die on me in the middle of a concert after I had left a comment on Bob Kauflin's blog earlier that day roundly condemning wireless mics and praising wired mics
  • stayed in an appropriately leopard print-themed hotel room in Cupertino
  • forgot to refill my gas tank before returning my rental. An expensive mistake.
  • had an amazing lunch in Cupertino with some of the best beef I've had in a long time
Thanks to everyone who came out to these concerts, I had a truly amazing time!

Sunday, January 28, 2007

Going to Guatemala.

I'm leaving for Guatemala tomorrow for a retreat with Compassion International, then heading straight to Reno, NV and California when I get back in the country. I hope to update a bit when I return.

Thursday, January 25, 2007


I saw the Weinermobile today. It was less than a mile from my house. It turned in front of me and drove a few feet into the Wal-Mart parking lot. I had an appoinment to get to, so I couldn't follow it. I have always wanted to see the Weinermobile. Today, my dreams came true.

I didn't get to take my own picture. But dude, this is what it looked like.

Tuesday, January 23, 2007

Leading the music at church.

People sometimes assume that I lead the music at my church often. I actually only do it about twice a year, mainly because I'm frequently on the road, and when I'm home I don't want to do something so similar to what I do when I'm gone.

But I've been home for a couple of months, so I led the music this past Sunday at church. For those of you interested, here's our order of service, including my song selection and thoughts. For those of you not interested in such things, you should probably stop now to avoid being bored stiff. Perhaps go ogle some Macs.

Reflection and PreparationThis is usually a couple of quotes to prepare for worship. This week there was one from The Edge, and one from Jesus. Our pastor chooses these.

Call To Worship

Songs Of Praise
-Come Thou Fount Of Every Blessing
-Grace Greater Than Our Sin

The Nicene Creed
We recently switched from the Apostle's Creed to the Nicene. I dig it. It's longer than the AC, but doesn't have that line about Jesus decending into hell. (Yeah, yeah Calvin, I know what you have to say. I still think it's out of sequence and distracting.)

Song of Praise
-In Christ Alone
This is probably my church's favorite song. We sing it often and we sing it loud. And it gets Presbyterians to raise their hands. I think it will go down in history as the definitive hymn of our generation, and it is certainly just as good as any of the 300 year-old hymns that I love.

Scripture Reading
Corporate Confession
Silent Confession
Assurance Of Pardon
The corporate confession and assurance of pardon is my favorite part of our service. Our pastor writes them, and they all have such an amazing clarity, identifying who I am and the lies I try to tell myself, and contrasting that with who Jesus is. They are to the point and pull no punches, and it is always what I need to draw me out of myself and direct my heart towards Christ.

Song Of Renewal
-How Sweet The Name Of Jesus Sounds
I'm kicking myself for not checking our church database about this one, as it only has five verses. If I had caught it in time, I would have added the other two verses back in. Note to song leaders: when the verses are this good (and this short!), just do all seven. It's weird to me the preconceived "rules" people have, like "don't do all the verses" or "our service needs eight songs." My favorite verse is the last one:

Weak is the effort of my heart
And cold my warmest thought
But when I see Thee as Thou art
I'll praise Thee as I ought

It's a great reminder that it's not the fervency or strength of my faith, but the object of my faith (Jesus), that matters.

We have instrumental music during the offering. This week it was just the music for "How Sweet The Name."


This is the part of the service where the pastor talks for a couple of minutes about the vision of the church, and takes a few questions. Sometimes he'll take questions after the sermon, which I like even more.

Pastoral Prayer


The Lord's Table
-Thy Blood Was Shed For Me
-Come Ye Sinners
-In Christ Alone

Communion is my other favorite part of the service. We have it every week. Real bread. Real wine (as well as juice for the Baptists). We line up and go take it at the front, and an elder tells us something true about Jesus as we take it. By the way, if your church has a weekly "altar call," but not weekly communion, there's a problem. Maybe a topic for another post.

We usually have instrumental music during communion, but this week I wanted to sing songs with words that people could meditate on while they were waiting in line (we've been running into the problem of people starting to chat with each other in line since it takes so long). I had only planned to play "Thy Blood" and "Come Ye Sinners," but had to call an audible and reprise "In Christ Alone" since people had not yet finished. I played "Thy Blood" in a very different way than on the record, slow and tender instead of fast and desperate. I slowed down "Come Ye Sinners" quite a bit as well. I think both hymns are very appropriate communion meditations, to acknowledge that we feed spiritually on Christ and rely on his shed blood for our rightness before God.

Song Of Commitment
-Nothing But The Blood
Not sure why we call the song we sing during this part of the service a "song of commitment." But it does work best when we sing a song about Jesus' commitment to us and our salvation.


Musically, we normally have two female singers, one or two male singers, electric guitar, bass guitar, acoustic guitar, drums, and piano (keyboard actually, but the piano sound on it). When I lead, I like it to be more simple. The room we rent for church is very "live," and it's easy for the band to drown out the congregation. This time I sang and played acoustic guitar, had one female singer, keys, piano, and electric guitar.

This reminds me of another point. While my church (and many others in Nashville) has an abundance of great musicians, others don't. This is especially true if you live in a rural area. For those churches, I think simplicity in music is a very good idea. Too many churches want to do "contemporary" music, and immediately think that means elaborate instrumentation. Unfortunately, too often the music suffers as a result of inexperienced musicians. Most churches would benefit from having fewer instruments in worship, but played by exceptional players. I would rather have one 60-year-old grandmother who plays piano by ear and listened to The Beatles when she was a teenager than bass, drums, and electric guitar played by young guys who don't play skillfully.

I hope this has been helpful (or at least mildly entertaining!). I'm not an expert by any measure.


Thursday, January 11, 2007

God controls everything! With one small exception.

This video has been making the rounds, but I couldn't help but post it here. A few people have already noted the contrast between this song and "My Lord I Did Not Choose You."

I hope that even those who agree with the theology of this song can see that the logic it uses probably isn't the best way to make a case.

Me? I'm not really interested in the debate, I just love what happens at the :49 mark.

Monday, January 01, 2007

Music: Best of 2006.

Happy new year, everybody! Sorry I didn't get this post in by the end of 2006, but it'll have to do. Here's my take on the year's music.

Best Records Of The Year

Jars of Clay : Good Monsters
Jars' best record. Oh yes, I said it. Better than their debut (though sentimental attachment to the self-titled will no doubt keep others from agreeing with me). "Work" is a brilliant rock song (and will melt your face when you hear them open with it in concert), "Dead Man (Carry Me)," "Oh My God," "Light Gives Heat"-- any of these could be the best song on the album, but instead all of them are. And the songs I've not mentioned are still better than the best songs on other bands' records. I hope this can get a second promotional wind in 2007, because it deserves it.
The Beatles : Love
Here's the setup: Cirque de Soleil gets permission to do a Las Vegas show based on the music of The Beatles. A soundtrack album is commissioned, put together by George Martin's son. This should have been, at best, a bore. Instead, it's a revelation. Songs are blended together in surprising ways, and the sonically stunning mixes make you realize all over again that The Beatles made perfect music.

Andrew Osenga : The Morning
Former lead singer of The Normals' third solo CD is his best-sounding yet, and there are songs on here that I will love for the rest of my life. The album's only fault is that it doesn't hold together as cohesively as his other two do. But in an age of iPod shuffles, maybe that doesn't matter so much-- this is a must-buy. Oh, and I even get name-checked on the song "House Of Mirrors" (which also happens to be the best song on the record).

Red Hot Chili Peppers : Stadium Arcadium
I know, I know. Their lyrics are offensive. And I'm not talking about some of the suggestive things-- the sheer absurdity of the lyrics are offensive to the ear. Still, I can't get enough of this record, and probably listened to it more than any other 2006 release. And it's a double album, no less. Their harmonies and John Frusciante's guitar playing are sheer musical pleasure.

Griffin House : Homecoming
Singer-songwriter and Best Rock Star You've Never Heard Of. "Live To Be Free" is the best single that will never get played on the radio. I heard that Homecoming is not getting a CD release, so be sure to pick it up on iTunes or eMusic.

Daniel Tashian : The Lovetest
The Bees' lead singer makes the most fun record of the year, and barely bothers to mention it, much less put it out for people to buy it. Download it for free here.

Thom Yorke : The Eraser
I want a new Radiohead album. This'll do quite nicely for now.

Worth Mentioning

Easy Star All-Stars : Radiodread
Reggae version of Radiohead's OK Computer. Sounds like it would be terrible, but is actually captivating, and a reminder that Radiohead are some of the best songwriters out there.

David Mead : Tangerine
Nashville pop virtuoso moves to a more "expansive sound" on this record, but I don't like the songs as much as his previous albums.

Wilco : Kicking Television
Live record from an amazing live band. I saw them at the Ryman this year.

Sandra McCracken : Gravity|Love
Strong collection of songs from one of Nashville's best, though Peter Collins' production is too bland in places for my taste.

Matthew Perryman Jones : Throwing Punches In The Dark
MPJ finally returns after too many years, and I'm so glad he did. "Refuge" is his best song yet, though this record is full of great tunes.

Counting Crows : *New Amsterdam: Live at Heineken Music Hall
A live record that reminded why I love this band.

Johnny Cash : American V: A Hundred Highways
Didn't catch my ear as much as his previous records, or the excellent Unearthed, which I gorged myself on in 2005.

Katy Bowser : All Of My Friends
Quirky? Yes. Americana? Yes, whatever that means. Subversive? Absolutely. Katy comes back with an EP that will disarm you with its charm (including its packaging-- get the CD rather than the digital version) and lightness, but runs deep with truth and beauty.

Leigh Nash : Blue On Blue
Nice pop album from the former Sixpence singer. Good tunes, but of course not as good as Matt Slocum's were. "My Idea Of Heaven" is a wretched song that is the unfortunate first single. If that's all you've heard, give the rest of the record a chance.

The Bees : High Society
Not as good as Starry Gazey Pie, but still amazing. Love these guys.

Red Mountain Church : Help My Unbelief
My friend Clint wrote much of this record and co-produced. Red Mountain's best yet.

Tom Petty : Highway Companion
I had high hopes for this collaboration with Jeff Lynne. Doesn't have the magic or the big songs that I need from Petty. Still good though.

David Bazan : Fewer Moving Parts
Bazan drops the Pedro The Lion name and makes an EP. A little too biting at times, but I look forward to his first solo LP.
Mute Math : Mute Math
Just got this last month. MM are the band that I want to hate (for their uber-hipness and absurd lawsuit), but they are undeniably good and this record delivers.

The Cardigans : Super Extra Gravity
Nothing compared to Long Gone Before Daylight, but "I Need Some Fine Wine And You, You Need To Be Nicer" is one of the best rock songs of the year. "Don't Blame Your Daughter (Diamonds)" is superb as well.

Records I Didn't Hear But Should Have

Bob Dylan : Modern Times
Several of my friends loved this record. I've never been a huge Dylan fan simply because I see him as more focused on lyrics than on melody, and I'm a sucker for melody.

Willie Nelson : Songbird
Ryan Adams produced this record, with The Cardinals as Willie's band. I'll get it soon, but I've heard it didn't turn out as well as it should have.

Beck : The Information
Don't know why I don't have this one yet. Beck live on SNL was one of my favorite musical moments of the year.

Jeff Tweedy : Sunken Treasure
I actually own this but haven't listened or watched yet. For shame.

Biggest Disappointments

U2 : U218 Singles
A single-disc "greatest hits" for your favorite band is bound to disappoint, but this is really terrible. Not only is nothing included from Boy, October, Zooropa, or Pop, but the sequence makes no sense whatsoever. "Window In The Skies" is wonderful though.

Gwen Stefani : The Sweet Escape
She could be great. "Wind It Up" is the worst single of 2006. I bought "Early Winter" and "Wonderful Life" from iTunes, and that's all I'm getting from this train wreck.

Most Anticipated of 2007

Derek Webb - I hope the FreeDerekWebb campaign (that he did for Mockingbird) helped raise his profile enough to make people take notice of this next record, as he is one of the great songwriters (and singers, for that matter) of our time. Expect rock.

U2 - Oh, please get this out by November 2007, guys. Rick Rubin is producing. Supposedly they're taking it to the next level. Here are my expectations: not experimental like I want them to be, but more intricate melodies and harmonies than they've ever had. Can't wait.

Wilco - Love them. Not too thrilled with the song I heard on Conan, but I'm sure I'll warm to it.

Ryan Adams - Rumor has it that after a one-year hiatus from releasing records (ha), Ryan is going to put out three new albums in 2007. Bring it.

Counting Crows - Finally. Hard Candy was like, a century ago. This one is almost done, I hear.

Daniel Lanois - This one is speculation, but I'd love a new (non-instrumental) record from Dirty Dan in 2007.

Fountains Of Wayne
- It's called Traffic and Weather, and it should have melodies for miles.

Radiohead - I'm hoping that this one will be their best since OK Computer.

Jeremy Casella
- Jeremy is going to gain many new fans with his upcoming record, which will be very different from anything he's ever done.

How about you? What music were you listening to in 2006? What are you looking forward to hearing in 2007?

Tuesday, December 26, 2006

All I Owe: "Come Thou Fount Of Every Blessing"

This is the first in a ten-part series of posts about the songs on my new record, All I Owe, available here and at iTunes.

"Come Thou Fount Of Every Blessing"

Before we started recording, I knew that I wanted to bookend the album with the traditional versions of “Come Thou Fount Of Every Blessing” and “Nothing But The Blood.” I had been playing “Nothing But The Blood” in concert for several years, so I had a general idea of how I wanted it to sound, but I didn’t know how we should approach “Come Thou Fount.” On the day we tracked it, my thought was to make it as short and simple as possible, almost as a prelude at the beginning of the album.

After the tracking sessions were done, Cason [Cooley, producer] and I were thrilled with how the songs turned out—except for “Come Thou Fount.” The “short and simple” idea hadn’t worked at all, and what we ended up with was painfully boring, and certainly no way to start the record.

Over the next few months we worked on the other songs, and I nervously wondered what we were going to do. Should we scrap “Come Thou Fount” entirely? Re-record it? Did I need to write a different hymn to replace it? If so, where would we get the budget and players to do another session?

Cason decided to try and work with what we had, and spent a few hours chopping up the existing track, moving sections around and extending them. While I liked that idea in theory, the result was kind of a mess and didn’t solve our problem.

A few days later, after we had recorded a vocal on another song, Cason pulled up the “Come Thou Fount” track and tried an idea on piano. The section you now hear in between verses quickly emerged. Cason then suggested we add a second drum kit on top of the existing one (we had done this on Even When My Heart Is Breaking’s “’Tis So Sweet To Trust In Jesus”). Donnie Boutwell, whose studio we used to track the Even When My Heart Is Breaking record, had emailed my wife to let her know he’d like to give us some studio time as a baby gift (our son was due in October). Conveniently, Donnie is also a drummer, so Cason and I stopped by one day and knocked out the additional drums in a couple of hours.

I love the end result (we call it a “Frankenstein track”), which is so much better than I had originally envisioned and is a fitting start to the record, musically and thematically.

Prone to wander, Lord I feel it
Prone to leave the God I love
Here’s my heart, O take and seal it
Seal it for Thy courts above.

That lyric says so much—it’s honest about who I am and how often I want to run away from God, yet it doesn’t suffer from the delusion (as so many Christian songs do) that it is up to me to fix the problem. It cries out to God to seal my heart, knowing that only he has the power to save me from myself.

Sunday, December 10, 2006

Listen to All I Owe for free.

Hmm. I seem to have gone a month without blogging. I'll try to get back into the swing of things soon.

In the meantime, here are a few points of interest:

Thursday, November 09, 2006

Cason and Will on Conan tonight.

Cason Cooley, who produced my record, and Will Sayles, who played drums on it, are going to be on Late Night With Conan O'Brien tonight playing with Mat Kearney. This is a big dream come true for our little community of musicians, and I'm so excited for them!

Saturday, November 04, 2006

Happy birthday to me.

I turned 28 today. I'm in The Apple Store in Omaha (which, as you may know, is located somewhere in middle America) and am going to leave to drive to Lincoln in a few minutes. If you are around that area, come celebrate my birthday with some hymns!

By the way, these are amazing.

Dangerously underpopulated.

The midwest tour has been a lot of fun so far, with a very warm reception everywhere I've gone. Apparently, Midwesterners have a good sense of humor, as they laugh at the jokes I tell that get crickets elsewhere. (Every musician wishes he were a comedian, and every comedian wishes he were a musician.)

The big shock of this trip has been seeing the vast expanse of nothingness between cities. In the south and east, there is a small town every couple of miles on the interstate. A few days ago, as I drove from St Joe, MO to Ames, IA, I became terribly afraid that my little rental car would run out of gas and I would die, cold and alone, in the middle of an abandoned cornfield. (Which would be ironic, since gas in Iowa is made out of corn. No joke. The state government subsidizes it.)

A Shell station appeared in the nick of time, rising like a phoenix from the cornfields. I stopped, and as I filled the tank, I noticed that the station was abandoned. It was a self-serve only station. As in, "we are in the middle of nowhere and there are not enough people around to justify manning this gas station."

I'm beginning to think that this country is dangerously underpopulated.

Wednesday, November 01, 2006

Midwest Tour.

I'm beginning a short Midwest tour today, playing plenty of songs from the new record in addition to Indelible Grace favorites. If you live in these areas, please spread the word. See you there!

November 1 St. Joseph, MO
November 2 Ames, IA
November 3 Omaha, NE
November 4 Lincoln, NE
November 5 Fremont, NE

Venue and time details here.

Monday, October 23, 2006


Getting my model on.

The t-shirts for the Deluxe orders came in last week from the printer and they look spiffy. I'll have these on tour next month as well, plus one other design, but if you are reading this post before Tuesday, you can still get one of these included with the Deluxe pre-order. See the "Add To Cart" button on the right column of this blog. For more info on what's included in the Deluxe package, click here.

Friday, October 20, 2006

Approach My Grainy Video's Seat.

Someone posted this grainy video of the band and me playing "Approach My Soul" on YouTube. I should talk less! We are probably cutting this song from the setlist this fall, so if you haven't seen us live in the past five years, this might be your only chance to see it.

If you have any (hopefully better quality) video of me playing live, post it on YouTube and let me know. Also, feel free to bring a video camera to one of the concerts next month.

Tuesday, October 10, 2006

A new Smith.

Matthew and Alice proudly announce a new Smith.

Evan Edge Smith

-4:22 am
-7 lbs
-7 hours of labor
-20.5 inches long
-Calling him "Evan"
-Unbelievably awesome

Alice and Evan.

Hello, world.

Kevin Twit, Evan, and me

Tuesday, September 05, 2006

All I Owe album cover, Deluxe pre-order

Here's the final album cover. The designer, Micah Kandros, did such a great job on different mockups that I had the hardest time deciding which one to go with, but I think this one captures what I'm going for the most with this record. I've updated my MySpace page with the tracks "All I Owe" (which is a new recording, different from the one on Even When My Heart Is Breaking) and "Nothing But The Blood."

I've also added a Deluxe pre-order option (see the upper-right column of this blog), which includes:

-Autographed cover
-Individual numbering (first 300 copies only)
-All I Owe T-Shirt
-Digital Songbook (lead sheets for all the songs)
-Stream the entire album early
-Clean water for one African for one year through Blood:Water Mission

I really wanted to do this Deluxe thing to offer something fun for people, and have been happy to see that most people who have pre-ordered today have gone for the Deluxe option. I hope to have a pic of the t-shirt up before long (I've got a couple of different designs that I need to choose between).

I'm especially excited about being able to provide clean water for one African for one year through Blood:Water Mission with each Deluxe pre-order. I've been wanting to do something to help spread the word about Blood:Water's work, and I hope that this will be a good way to introduce many people to what they do in being the hands and feet of Jesus to the poorest of the poor in our world.

I hope to start blogging soon about the hymns on this new album; I feel so deeply connected to them and their writers (including Charles Wesley, Anne Steele, John Newton) that writing music for the texts feels very much like co-writing. More soon.

Thursday, August 31, 2006


Derek Webb is giving away his latest record, Mockingbird, starting today, for a limited time. These are high-quality 192kbps MP3s of the entire record, not samples.

This is one of my favorite records, and was co-produced by Cason Cooley, who is producing All I Owe. Even if you already own Mockingbird, consider using the site to tell your friends about it.

If you need to hear some of the songs first, go to Derek's MySpace page, then get your download on over at FreeDerekWebb.com.

Tuesday, August 29, 2006

Jesus Camp.

It's easy for me to forget that this is the kind of stuff that happens in so many churches (and church camps) around the country. A religiosity divorced from the real Jesus, a zeal without knowledge, an "us vs. them" mentality that is so different from reality. Sobering and frightening.