Do you ever find yourself thinking, “I really want to dig into scripture, but I just don’t know where to start”? Did that one poem from Isaiah give you goosebumps, but then when you tried to read more of the whole book, you got lost and unmotivated? If you answered “no,” well then good for you! But if you answered “yes,” you are in good company, and Russ Ramsey might be able to help you.
Every November, it seems that the boundary between Thanksgiving and Black Friday becomes thinner and thinner—sales begin sooner and obligatory family meals hasten to their end. Black Friday offers an over-abundance of new products, but this surplus is predicated on our shared assumption of scarcity: limited supply, time, and money.
Greg LaFollette wants his music not only to be beautiful and true, but to be helpful and useful. Over the past year, he has been writing church music with his own specific congregation in mind; in this endeavor, practicality has become a virtue of his craft right alongside aesthetic nuance. And the result is an album that is truly useful and beautiful, all at once. In fact, he just released it into the world on Friday the 26th. Read on to listen to one of the songs and learn about Greg’s journey towards the unification of utility and art.
Good news: Jess Ray is releasing a new album called Parallels & Meridians, and she began with its first single last week. I had the opportunity to talk with her about this record a couple months ago, and I was deeply compelled by the idea behind it—songs that represent lines of communication both horizontal and vertical, between fellow humans and between humanity and God.
Let us now collectively exhale.
If you’ve taken three or four spontaneous naps since this weekend, please know you’re not alone. I write from North Wind Manor after our weekly staff meeting—I believe all our eyelids are a little heavier than they were a week ago, but our hearts are full to overflowing.
At Hutchmoot, there are so many ways that we offer ourselves to one another: through stories, songs, conversations in the hallway, listening intently, and sharing meals, to name only a few.
If you’re like me, you have some childhood and early adolescent memories of listening to certain songs that gave you a magical impression of seamlessness, as if they had always existed in all their wholeness, just the way they met your ears. You may remember exactly where you were and what day it was when you first had an experience like this with music—it may very well be that these memories act as threshold moments marking your awakening to the sheer scope of music.
Back in November of 2017, I had the pleasure of interviewing Andy Gullahorn about his new record, Everything As It Should Be, the craft of songwriting, the balance between boldness and humility, and what he has learned from the arc of his career. I hope you enjoy our conversation as much as I did.
Andy is currently in the middle of a Kickstarter project to fund the finishing of his new record, and he’s got twelve days to go. Click here to learn more about the project and choose how to support him.
In case you haven’t heard, A. S. Peterson (aka Pete Peterson) has written an adaptation of Mary Shelley’s classic Frankenstein for the stage. In Pete’s own words, “this is not your mama’s Frankenstein.” Show up to the play and you’ll find an eloquent Monster, theological questions of creation and death just as abounding as questions of scientific progress, and a Victor Frankenstein indelibly shaped by the drama of his family.
In case you haven’t heard, A. S. Peterson (aka Pete Peterson) has written an adaptation of Mary Shelley’s classic Frankenstein for the stage. If you’re anything like me, you have long assumed, without even realizing it, that you know all there is to know about Frankenstein. I mean, it’s just a cautionary tale about the hubris of scientific progress at the expense of our humanity, right? With a Monster that groans inarticulately, groping in the darkness of his brutish existence, his mad scientist-maker laughing maniacally in the background?
When we first envisioned Supper & Songs, we considered it an exercise in thinking small: cozy homes as venues, a small enough guest list that we could get to know each other throughout the night, and just two artists. We had thirty guests at our April event with Liz Vice and forty in May with Jordy Searcy.
There I stood, in front of the fireplace with my guitar strapped on and dozens of lyric sheets in my hands with songs like “This Is My Father’s World” and “Be Thou My Vision.” I turned to my left and gave the nearest student that familiar instruction to “take one and pass them back,” watching the sheets of paper make their way around the circle we had formed along the perimeter of the room. On this Wednesday morning, chapel was held not at school, but at our neighboring nursing home. In the middle of the room, couches were filled with residents, some smiling pleasantly, others vacantly, and still others giving the appearance of being annoyed at the general state of things. The smell of artificial maple syrup wafted through the air.