Release Show & Other Happenings

photo cred: Taylor Leonhardt!  

Dear friend,

I sat down to write and realized that today is the 2-month anniversary of the COVERS ep release!  We gave away 3,000 full album downloads on Noisetrade the first week. Many thanks to the Kickstarters whose funding made it possible for me to give the music away that week, thus getting it into the hands of so many new listeners.

I really hope you've had a chance to hear it, because man, it's been GREAT fun to interact with so many people who have memories attached to these songs & others who had never heard of The Smiths.  It's surprised me how many people are into covers and would never have found me apart from me covering Smashing Pumpkins' "Tonight Tonight." :)

So what happened after Feb 10?

Since release day, I've had the pleasure of doing several interviews/podcasts, a small tour in Texas, a writing trip to Nashville, and have spent a good bit of time working up those promised Kickstarter rewards, as well.

I'm also carving out time for songwriting--both for me and for other artists--which is maybe most exciting, because one of the things I hoped the COVERS album would achieve for me is a renewed sense of energy in my writing.


With spring upon us, I find I'm waking up with my brain exploding, creativity sparking, and it's been noted at the dinner table that my knee is bouncing in that antsy way you do when you've been in a state of flow and had to stop to do human things like talk and eat.

At times like this especially, the work doesn't feel like a job but like being alive, at play, outside of time, lost. And found.

I told Toby the downside about the writing days where  lose myself like this is that my brief hours of solitude are gone before I even look up.  Still, it is such a great gift to have work that makes you feel that way; it's a small price for the joy & honor.


I'm gearing up for songwriting workshops/events such as Young Songwriters Workshops in Raleigh, Escape to the Lake, Masterpiece Project 2015, and a Writers Retreat some friends and I are leading in Nashville in August (currently being revamped, will repost soon).  If you have any songwriters in your life, please have them check out these opportunities to connect with peers & grow in their understanding & practice of the art.

Last but not least...

I've been practicing with this gifted & oh, so fun group of musicians for the only currently-scheduled full band show on the books.  Our COVERS Release Show will take place at Raleigh's Pour House Music Hall THIS SUNDAY, and I couldn't be more excited.

If you're in town, please come and enjoy openers Jess Ray and Claybrook and stick around to hear the newly released tunes as well as some originals from past projects!

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If you've hung in there to read all this, wow! Impressive attention span.

I can't tell you how grateful I am to have the privilege of your time and ears.  I know you have your own work in front of you & it's good to be in such good company.

Keep saying it your  own way...







Sing along tonight?

In Nashville this week, I had the rare opportunity to go out with Mom and hear some live music last night.  Listened to several accomplished songwriters at Cindy Morgan's benefit for the Leukemia Society sing in the round, telling stories - some lighthearted, some serious - about the music they have made, and perform them for us simply, guitars or piano.  I sat leaning back, absorbing the phrases, language and melody, hearing them sprinkle each other's tunes with harmony...loving every line.

Before that event had finished, we buzzed out and over to Family Wash in East Nashville to hear our friends, Ben and Emily, from Carolina Story.  And I swear I couldn't stop smiling the whole time they played, being completely delighted by their creativity and the layers just these two build into a tune.

I don't get out for live music much these days, but it was awesome.  And a reminder of what it can feel like to have someone else wash your feet with music.

So with that in mind, I invite you to join me tonight with the generously gifted Nicole Witt, in her living room just outside Nashville.  What's that you say?  You're in Alaska tonight?  No problem.  Just follow this link:

...and log in (easy) to join us from wherever you are. Apparently you can chat there - enter questions or file complaints :) - so we'll have someone on duty there to pass on your messages.

Sure, it's not quite the same as hearing the sound fill a room or getting to swap stories in person.  But come along anyway. And bring the whole family.  Mine will be there. :)

Time: 7-8pm Central

With humble gratitude for your ears and hearts,


what we found...

We went on a journey. 


We carried songs and guitars, books, boxes of recorded music, laptops, t-shirts, drums, keys, maps, excitement, hope, uncertainty….


We left our beds, homes, chores, children, neighbors, routine, ripe tomato vines…


We found…

ears, tears, hearts,

Hope affirmed, open homes,

provision, disappointment, fatigue, rest,

sunsets, Starbucks, goodness from strangers,

friendship, full auditoriums, empty cafes,

crisp harvested cornfields, creative companions,

kind words, interdependence, Joy,

two-hour traffic lines, tollbooths, river crossings

and quiet country roads...

A woman whose husband has abandoned her...A man who survived an explosion in Afghanistan…A little girl who wants to be a singer…A man and woman who lost their son to accidental overdose and have filled their home with love for daughter-in-law and grandchild…Beautiful family built through adoption…A young couple in year one of marriage…A large church filled with broken ones and healed ones…


And we returned to our beds, homes, chores, children, neighbors, routine, over-ripened tomato vines…


Suitcases and souls full of the found. 


Reveling in received fruit. 

And we thought we would be doing the pouring.