News for March 2011

Happy Birthday New CD

As the world celebrates Tracy Chapman, Nora Jones, and Nate Houge’s birthday I’d like to take a moment to include in this party hearty spirit the release of my new CD, Reform Follows Function.  Soon you’ll be able to order it online.  Till then e-mail me – – and I’ll hook you up!  It’s $15 and it’s killer.

I’ll be playing a bunch of these songs tomorrow night at the Terminal Bar with Graham Peterson on drums, Justin Rimbo on bass and Micah Taylor on stuff.  You should come – it’s not the official CD release party but it’ll still be fun.  I promise.

It’s a good day folks.

Posted: March 30th, 2011
Categories: Uncategorized
Comments: 2 Comments.

Old, New, Borrowed, Lu

Old: (Free Music!)

In 2002 Myself, Martin Marty, Bill Singsaas, and Steve Abenth put out a CD of 9 of our favorite hymns for the season of lent. We called it “Saints and Sinners Volume One.” Eight years later it remains the only volume and it also remains out of print. This last Ash Wednesday I was playing with Marty and Steve and they gave me the go ahead to put this up for free on my website. So here it is.

I didn’t get the okay from Bill though, so let’s just keep this quiet shall we?

New: (Pre-order Music!)

I’ve been talking about it for a few months now and I’m pleased to say that early next week I’ll drive (or bike depending on the weather) over to Minneapolis and pick up 1000 copies of my new CD, Reform Follows Function. I’ll be giving all the details away soon enough but I will say here and now that this is the best CD I’ve ever put out. Though I’ve released a number of short run ep’s, children’s music, and liturgical music over the years this is the first full length full band singer songwriter release I’ve had in 10 years. Nuts. And it’s great. This CD will be available in a few weeks on CD Baby and at shows for $15 bucks but I’ve got a pre-order promotional deal for you faithful fans, readers, and relatives (hi mom.)

Pre-order Reform Follows Function for $15 and get a free copy of Folkstar (my first CD) or Myseterious Kung Fu Ninja and the Pink Princess of Pretty Pretty Land (Kids CD).


Pre-order Reform Follows Function for $20 and get 2 copies. You get to share one without becoming a thief and burning it for a friend. Friends don’t let friends burn CD’s. Unless its out of print or Derek Webb.

To pre-order e-mail me and put preorder in the subject line.  I’ll tell you where to send the check/cash too.

These pre-orders are hugely helpful for independent artists such as myself. I don’t take your support for granted. Thank you!

Borrowed:  (Not Music Related)

I used my friend Jim’s arm warmers today on my bike ride. My forearms were delightfully comfortable. Thanks Jim!

Lu: (Someone else’s New Music)

Is it just me or did Lucinda Williams take a few tips from Nate Houge and Amy Grant? How so you ask? Well, if you don’t have Lu’s new album, Blessed, I’ll tell you what’s up: She took around a bunch of signs that said ‘blessed’ and photographed various people holding them. Who did that same thing 10 years ago? Kjellgren Alkire, when he drove around West St. Paul with a trunk full of cardboard stars and photographed all walks of life holding them. Then he put that on the cover of Folkstar. (You don’t have that album? Preorder Reform Follows Function and get it already!) But what about Amy Grant? Well, Lu made 8 different cover options for the deluxe edition. Same album, different covers = Amy Grant, Unguarded.

On behalf of myself and Amy Grant: Lucinda. You’re welcome. Anything we can do to help.

Posted: March 20th, 2011
Categories: music, song
Comments: No Comments.

Made It. Make It.

I’ve been flooded with e-mails since my last post, and just to get everyone up to snuff, I made it safely back into my home from my garage.
Phew. I know. I was worried about me too.
Artists have a weird job. So do toll booth operators. But having only given and never received a toll, I can only speak for artists. We take stuff in. We process. We regurgitate but with twists and turns and hopefully allow you to see things in a new way. Not necessarily better/worse or right/wrong but new.
I’ve been taking a lot in the last few weeks. The last week especially has given me a lot to think about. I was part of a group promoting and showcasing a resource called Lutheran Songs Today – touring around, being on panels, taking part in discussions, and letting people know about this resource. And it’s a great resource – well organized, applicable, accessible and theologically sound. And I think it well reflects what the vast majority of Lutheran churches today like to sing and in a style they like to sing it.
We were a big hit with the 40 and over crowd.
That’s what I’m trying to process.
Lutheran thought/tradition does well with tension. After all, we’re the home of the saint/sinner, over 7 billion served. Maybe what I want is something to hold this resource in tension. It’s important to have resources like this – a compilation/best of, of current Lutheran resources. But the resources we offer the Church also need to move it forward.
I’m ready for something new. We need fewer songs celebrating the styles and wordage that keep us comfortable and more songs that push us into tomorrow. And then we can honor Herb Brokering’s invocation of the psalms when he dared to put test tubes into our hymnody, and sing to the Lord a new song.
Let’s write those songs. Let’s lose the flowery language and talk about God’s place in our struggle. Let’s be real about the pain and real about the hope. And let’s figure out a new way to do it.
Now that I think about it, perhaps my writing has taken its toll on you. In which case I do speak for toll booth operators. And I say this: When you pay for the car behind you and think you’re paying it forward I actually keep the difference and charge them anyway. Sucker.

Posted: March 2nd, 2011
Categories: Uncategorized
Comments: No Comments.

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