At the beginning of my twenty-ninth year, I got this crazy idea: to write a song from every book of the Bible before I turned thirty. But what began as a fun goal, perhaps just a way to end my twenties with a bang, changed the trajectory of my life.
As it turned out, I absolutely loved writing songs from the Bible: delving into a passage, putting myself in each character’s shoes, trying to understand how this one small story connects with the whole, then coming up with a way to communicate that story with melody and rhythm and lyric. The songs from that year of writing eventually turned into the Blood + the Breath, an album that traces the theme of redemption from creation to the second coming of Christ (a la Andrew Peterson’s Behold the Lamb but with an emphasis on Easter rather than Christmas).
In case you missed it, Andrew Osenga is back with Season Three of his podcast, The Pivot. He kicked off the season with a fascinating conversation with rapper/speaker/activist Sho Baraka. They talked about Sho’s winding career path, from hip hop to insurance to musical theatre to Faith & Work conversations in Atlanta, and the years where speaking his mind became a liability.
Sometimes it’s hard to keep track of the sheer variety of work The Rabbit Room is up to. If you want a bird’s-eye view of all that has come to pass in this first quarter of 2018 and all that is in the works for the rest of the year, join Pete and Andrew Peterson for this highly informative, highly entertaining video. News regarding Hutchmoot, Rabbit Room Retreat, Homeschool Conventions, Every Moment Holy, and much more awaits you.
The Orchardist’s Janie Townsend recently wrote a compelling reflection on our first Supper & Songs show, specifically what it was like to play the roles of host, event organizer, and performer in the same evening, the low-level panic of watching water refuse to boil while anticipating a large swath of hungry guests, and the meticulous, often un-Instagrammable pursuit of community through meal and song. You can read that post here. Meanwhile, we have a video to share with you, a compilation of clips to give you a taste of what our first event was like.
Tomorrow night’s Local Show is going to be something special: Randall Goodgame, Buddy Greene, Christopher Williams, and Jordy Searcy. Chances are you’re familiar with most if not all of these folks, but we’d like to take a moment to introduce you specifically to Jordy Searcy. He’s a class act, and an all around excellent songwriter, vocalist, guitarist, and performer.
A promising new offering from Clay and Sally Clarkson, The Lifegiving Parent, will become available tomorrow, May 1st. Modern parenting is a vocation in need of much more than superficial self-help programs—this book fills that need with lasting impact, offering abiding wisdom and true mentorship to tired mothers and fathers.
We’ve got some good news for you to ring in the weekend! Two new releases have graced the Rabbit Room Store: Sing the Bible Volume 3 and a paperback version of Henry and the Chalk Dragon. Happy Friday to all. Click through for links to both items in our store.
[Note from Joe Sutphin: A few years ago my buddy Sam (S.D. Smith, author of the Green Ember series) asked me to do a few doodles for a serial that was running on Story Warren. It was a great little Mark Twain-like story about an everyday kid whose world is turned upside down the day that a shyster’s son comes to town. The story was tentatively referred to as Tumbleweed Thompson and was written by Glenn McCarty. I met Glenn later at a children’s conference in Charlotte and we became quick friends.
If you haven’t yet listened to The New Respects, we’re here to remedy that. To put it simply, they play like they love each other. Their songs overflow with life and energy, well-crafted yet well-worn, like your favorite pair of shoes. And as you listen, you get the sense that they’re laying it all on the line with every lyric and melody. There’s no hiding here; only heartfelt, transparent truth-telling. What’s not to love?
A very special show is coming to Brentwood, Tennessee on April 11th, called Living Letters. Featuring Broadway actors Juliette and Stephen Trafton, Living Letters presents dynamic, interactive performances that enable audiences to enter imaginatively into the drama of Scripture. This particular show will center around Paul’s letter to the Ephesians.
Tomorrow night’s Local Show will be a special one indeed. Instead of the usual songwriters-in-the-round, we will have a Storyteller Night comprised of some of the best storytellers we know. There are still a few tickets left here at the store!
[Editor’s note: When I conduct interviews, I enjoy letting myself and the person I’m interviewing be as long-winded as we like. The goal in the moment is to get out all the thoughts so I can transcribe and edit them to concision later. My interview with Wild Harbors felt a bit different. It was full of digressions as usual, but the trouble was they were all so terribly engaging. I came away from our conversation with a big smile on my face and the foreboding feeling that editing would be an impossible task…