• “Grand Canyon” is fantastic, too. There are absolutes in music, but at a certain level there are elements that enter the realm of relativity and preference. I didn’t say, for instance, that Fault Lines was “the best” Andy album (mostly because of the aforementioned relativity of such statements) – but I talked about how it affected me (and still…[Read more]

  • Andy Gullahorn is a fixture on the Behold the Lamb of God tour. I’ve watched him play and sing nearly every year at the Ryman, marveling at the clarity of his voice, his touch, dynamics, tone, and sweet sense o […]

    • Ron, you are so right about Andy and about virtually everything he does on these releases: “honesty” is the perfect summation. There is something very simple and direct about virtually everything he does, but with even a moment’s pause you realize it isn’t simple at all. The lyrics come alive with a depth that is exceedingly rare, and the usually sparse arrangements yield an astonishing depth when you pay any attention. Andy isn’t – and has never been – a casual listen; he’s got something to say and it’s invariably worth hearing but it needs and rewards a careful listener. His work isn’t simple, it’s something better – it’s elegant. 
      So I agree with you (almost) entirely. Anything Andy has done is worth the time for multiple listens and some reflection. But you’re wrong about this – Fault Lines is good, but go give Beyond The Frame a spin or two and then tell me that Grand Canyon isn’t one of the best things you’ll ever hear.

    • “Grand Canyon” is fantastic, too. There are absolutes in music, but at a certain level there are elements that enter the realm of relativity and preference. I didn’t say, for instance, that Fault Lines was “the best” Andy album (mostly because of the aforementioned relativity of such statements) – but I talked about how it affected me (and still does). That’s where art becomes relative, because quite often an album by a particular artist will “hit” one person really solidly and another person won’t be as affected. I’m a fan of Andy Gullahorn’s music overall – Fault Lines came at a particular time in my life where it was especially meaningful. 

  • Yes – I’ve told this story quite often. A friend of mine was in a band that did lots of Gospel, though not necessarily all believers. A woman came up and gave him a cassette (in the days of cassettes). She said, “The Lord gave me this song.” He said he put it in on the way home, listened to the song, and thought, “Wow. God’s a really sh—y…[Read more]

  • I loved this, beautifully written, the idea of breath coming through an instrument. The instrument retains all of its created character. Light works on the same principle – it is really seen in its interaction with objects in the environment.
    I’ve heard people complain that “Christ in me” means something like losing our personality, our…[Read more]

  • Bonnie Raitt’s Fundamental record was one I didn’t like on first listen. I decided to listen to it while walking every day. Three days later it was one of my favorite recordings, and still is.

  • As a teen and in my twenties in California I would buy four records (LPs) from the mail order company County Sales in Virginia that cost me $40-something bucks with shipping, and they took two or three weeks to arrive. I listened to some of those records so many times the grooves were dug out – I still have them all. Scarcity – Joni MItchell sang…[Read more]

  • I loved this. The true path is often the intertwining of tradition and innovation. I find this to be true in playing bluegrass. People often play what I call “reproduction music,” where they’re trying to exactly replicate old bluegrass, or they completely abandon the roots entirely and just make a bunch of stuff up with banjos that has more to do…[Read more]

  • Wonderfully done. “You…you mean…it isn’t solely about ‘being forgiven’? We…we can experience…new life? Now?”

  • That said, there is a time to use force.

  • All true, and beautifully written.

    As AP says during the BTLOG show after reading Scripture, “This is the Word of the Lord.” Thanks be to God.

    Luke 9: The Samaritans “did not receive him…And when His disciples James and John saw this, they said, ‘Lord, do You want us to command fire to come down from heaven and consume them, just as Elij…[Read more]

  • Ron Block wrote a new post, Rise and Walk 3 years ago

    Rise and walk. He was saying this to a man who had lain there begging in dirt and filth for years. It was ridiculous to expect any action at all. To require such a man to rise, and even walk, was beyond any sense […]

  • Wendell Berry’s comment on writing poetry is the same with times of true worship. The moment my focus goes from God to my own feelings, I’ve lost my grip on the worship. The moment I am Instagramming about this or that family scenario, I’m out of the family scene.

    This is why it is probably best to take photos quickly (if we take them at all)…[Read more]

  • When we were rounding out the record at the end of the process Jeff mentioned this hymn written Frederick Whitfield in 1855 and recorded it as a short interlude to go after “Come Away With Me.” Jeff on piano, […]

  • The song “I Am Hidden Away In The Bosom of Christ” began with Rebecca Reynolds’s poignant lyrics that speak of having peace and assurance in troubled times. She sent them to me in an email, and one day I was u […]

    • These lyrics are so good. I have no sensible comment except to say that they are supremely satisfying and that Rebecca Reynolds is a magical ninja lyric-writer.

  • I saw a quote-photo posted on Twitter the other day:

    “I dread writing poetry, for, I suppose, the following reasons: a poem is a terrible journey, a painful effort of concentrating the imagination; words are a […]

    • So good–thank you!!

    • Thanks, Jilly!

    • Love this- thanks for wording this reminder so well…

    • I can’t believe that I’ve never heard this perspective on creative work before. I shared this post on Facebook, and many people (both artists and non-artists, if there is such a thing) expressed their gratitude and said it was just what they needed to hear. I know it was just what I needed to hear.

    • I’m (appropriately enough) thankful for this perspective. What I especially liked is how it also made me consider how I approach “non artistic” endeavors (specific moments in climbing and the start of each day of parenting came to mind as I read).

    • Thanks for your great words, Ron. I’m reminded of your earlier comments about a sense of discovery and adventure. And how important the sense of sufficiency is. Sometimes it’s enough to just let those strings oscillate on their own, outward, forever, and to feel that wooden box vibrate against your chest (talk about your sympathetic resonance!). There’s music there, simple and free.

  • I used to go to Christ Community, from about 1991 until around 2001. Though I’m sad for us to leave Redeemer, because I have such great memories there, CCC is a great facility, lots of room for Hutchmoot (Our kids went to Jennifer’s writing classes there for awhile).

    Plus, on an utterly selfish note, it’s less than 15 minutes from my h…[Read more]

  • Jennifer, you nailed the heart of the movie. I related to La La Land a lot, having grown up in Southern California wanting to be a bluegrass banjo/guitar player and having many people try to talk me out of it. “No one plays banjo! Why don’t you play something else?” “How will you ever own a home or raise a family?” It has been a life of joys,…[Read more]

  • This is such a good subject to put “out there.” When I do workshops, I often ask the students, “Do you transcribe Earl Scruggs?” What I often hear is, “Well, yeah, but I just sort of learn the song but do it my own way.” I say, “Well – if you transcribe Earl’s way exactly, and then J.D. Crowe’s way exactly, and Sonny Osborne’s way exactly, then…[Read more]

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