Drew Miller



The Story of “There Will Be Surprises”

By Drew Miller

I suppose naming a song and album “There Will Be Surprises” is rather like praying to God for patience. Meaning, I can’t set out on a project with this title and expect not to be surprised myself. And let me tell you: I’m not easy to surprise. I’m supposed to be the one doing the surprising here after all, but every step of the way, I’ve been given taste after taste of my own medicine.

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Mastery & the Practice of Joy: An Interview with Russ Ramsey

By Drew Miller

Recently, I had the pleasure of asking Russ Ramsey a few questions about his new book Rembrandt Is In the Wind, the story of how he came to love visual art, and the interaction of that love with his faith and ministry as a pastor. Read on for some beautiful responses from Russ.

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Faith & Contingency in J Lind’s The Land of Canaan

By Drew Miller

I heard it said once in an interview with Michael Pollan that, when it comes down to it, every writer only really asks one question with their entire career. I can’t decide whether I agree with that assessment. As with all aphorisms, part of me straightens up in my chair with that feeling of eureka! It really is that simple! while another part of me sits back, scratches my chin, and bitterly mutters, That is entirely reductive and unfair to all writers. But, for the purposes of this review, I’ve managed to persuade my skeptical half that this observation is valid, because as I listen to J Lind’s songs, I find that they all ask one existentially rattling question: Where and how are we to find meaning given our inescapable condition of contingency?

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True Testimony: What Makes It Through by Sara Groves

By Drew Miller

As I listened to Sara Groves’s new album on repeat, my mind grasped for the best way to describe what makes her songwriting so special. And as I grasped away, a moment from one of my favorite movies kept stubbornly arising in my head. It’s a scene from towards the end of The Secret Life of Walter Mitty, a special moment of understanding that unfolds between the story’s eponymous protagonist and his elusive, enigmatic idol, Sean O’Connell.

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Headwaters: An Interview with Andrew Osenga

By Drew Miller

In case you haven’t heard, Andrew Osenga has launched a Kickstarter campaign to fund his new album, Headwaters—a collection of songs written to be sung by families, friends, and churches that deals with themes of time, personal legacy, collective repentance, and more. I had the pleasure of asking Andrew some questions about his creative process, his hopes for this album, and where the idea for it originated. Enjoy, and be sure to back his Kickstarter!

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A Review of Taylor Leonhardt’s Hold Still

By Drew Miller

I think my wife, Kelsey, said it best: “Find me in twenty years and I will still be listening to this warm, rich album.” Everything about Hold Still is a slow burn—even down to the process of making it, from what I’ve gathered. Begun before the pandemic and finished just a few months ago, Taylor Leonhardt sure had to hold still in order to make it. But the result of her patience is an abiding work which is sure to stand the test of time.

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Hutchmoot 2021 Re-entry: A Planet Full of Roses

By Drew Miller

In his Sunday Chef’s Address, John Cal referenced The Little Prince and made an insight that has stuck with me. He said, “It’s like when the Little Prince discovered a planet full of roses, when at first he believed that his one single rose was unique and special in the universe. ‘It is special because it is your rose,’ the Fox tells him, ‘Not that it is unique, but that it is yours.'”

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Convene the Hutchmoot: 2021

By Drew Miller

Every year, as October approaches, I feel like there’s a little extra promise and anticipation in the air—partially just because I love the fall season, but in large part because October means Hutchmoot.⁣

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New Album & Kickstarter: There Will Be Surprises

By Drew Miller

It was Pizza Night on Friday, March 13th, 2020. The candles were lit, the music was playing, and I had just adorned two old fashioneds with orange peels, ready for our weekly toast. That particular week had introduced Kelsey and me to the term “social distancing,” the idea of quarantine (surely no more than six weeks, right?), and freshly empty toilet paper shelves at the grocery store. Even in that moment, we were aware that what we were experiencing was a moment—the significance of which would only reveal itself in the slow unfolding of time’s many surprises.

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Music & the Meaning of Time in Little Women

By Drew Miller

It is no exaggeration to say that the soundtrack from 2019’s Little Women got me through 2020. For starters, Spotify told me so; its end-of-year report informed me that my favorite album was Little Women, my favorite artist was Alexandre Desplat, and my favorite song was “Christmas Breakfast.” Perhaps this is because in December 2019, it was the last movie my wife and I had seen together in our beloved Belcourt Theater before the pandemic, and we’ve remained captivated by it ever since. It reminded us of what is most true at a moment when our very next breaths seemed to take us into a tragic new world.

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To Be Patient in an Emergency

By Drew Miller

After this, when Jesus knew that all was now finished, he said (in order to fulfill the scripture), “I am thirsty.” A jar full of sour wine was standing there. So they put a sponge full of the wine on a branch of hyssop and held it to his mouth.

—John 19:28-29

To be patient in an emergency is a terrible trial.

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The Thick of Our Days: An Interview with Carolyn Arends

By Drew Miller

If you attended Hutchmoot 2019, you’ll remember that our keynote speaker was Carolyn Arends: a down-to-earth, razor-sharp songwriter whose stories, songs, and insights wove the themes of the conference together. For Carolyn, 2020 gave rise to two new projects: a full-length album called Recognition and a hymns EP called In the Morning. I recently had the opportunity for an in-depth conversation with Carolyn about her childhood love of songwriting, the unfolding of her career, her work as Director of Education at Renovaré, and the wonder of parables. I hope you enjoy our conversation as much as I did.

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