drums, prayer voyage and radio interview

yesterday i led worship from the drums. pretty crazy. considering i haven't played a set in front of people in about 10 years - and I've never had to sing/lead worship AND play drums simultaneously. i feel like we were all witnesses to a miracle. kinda chaotic and nerve-wracking. Jodi didn't even realize i played drums....

last week i almost blew a big worship opportunity. i slacked on calling a pastor to confirm a worship spot for an outdoor/outreach in downtown Phoenix. by the time i called him, he'd already had 3 soloists, a full band, and 5 speakers scheduled for a 5-hour event. he simply didn't have the time or stage space for me and my guys. but after a little persistence, he kindly said he'd find a way to let me play. also helped that his mom liked my CD....

and finally, i'm gearing up for my first radio interview this week. it's this friday, 10.1.04, at 6.00pm on 1360AM. it's actually a christian talk radio station. the local radio personality/talk host, Tom Brown is starting to spotlight different local christian artists for the show. MAD props to dave heller (JJ Heller's husband) for the hook-up.

i just know i'm gonna make a dork of myself on the radio. feel free to listen in on the fun - you'll have some new material to make fun of me.


weekend gigs

friday was so sweet. ours was the opening band for Brandon Reid Allen - thanks B! i think it went over really well. there were about 100 people there. I sold 8 CDs (woo hoo!). considering we only practiced once together, the guys (Josh and Louie) rocked the set. i think the song choices and visuals went over pretty well too.

i'd still love to integrate moving visual backgrounds, communion, and interactive prayer-worship into my sets someday soon.

then sunday, i sat in for 'special music' at desert springs. the guys on the worship team learned "tug on my heart" off an internet download and surprised me by being my human karaoke. i did that one song in each of two services and still sold 4 CDs.

selling CDs is such a surreal experience. the fact that people would reach into their pockets, pull out their hard-earned cash, and pay me for a product containing songs that i wrote (or co-wrote) is a strange and humbling phenomenon. especially when some of them do it after hearing only one song. thanks god, for the mystery of your blessings.


playin' out

great week! i had the chance to play electric with Nathan Finfrock's band last week. we closed out a night of chill christian acoustic artists. i broke my E string during the last song and had to do the closing solo on only 5 strings. i only think a few people noticed.

tonight I'm doing a worship set, opening for Brandon Reid Allen - a local indie christian artist who just got offerred a record deal. trying to get a band has been so crazy. we were only able to practice once yesterday before our worship gig tonight. but the guys are good - and i'm excited to be leading worship from my Les Paul.

and this sunday, i play hooky from crosspointe to do a "spesh" (special music) at desert springs foursquare church in Chandler.

but all is well. I'm booked pretty frequently (although not lucratively) through november. and I'm on the verge of having a stockpile of great musicians available to play with me. coming down the pike, i already have plans to lead worship with:

  • power trio worship (me on my gibson, then bass and drums)
  • acoustic worship with me and a stand-up bass player - maybe a drummer with brushes
  • hip-hop worship - me on acoustic with DJ Cre One layin' down the beats


jesus & beer (i'll be #3)

another little poem...

“what’s your take on the whole Jesus thing,” I ask.
the buzz from my last two has me a little more loose.
(thank you jesus for the beer).

as we yell in each others’ ears over the rowdy band
in this dark corridor of a club,
she tells me of what she calls her ‘last sour drive-by with god.’
I hear and smell that the brew has
let her guard down a bit too.
(thanks jesus, for the beer).

she inquires of the brickyard preacher,
televangelists and hypocritical Christianity;
she brings up the holocaust, 9/11, and childhood rape
– the latter a little more personal.
(again, thanks for the brew, big guy).

i ask “why? my first decent beer buzz in over a month
and you put me in this smoky lounge with her?”

right when i think she’s more receptive,
when i’m praying for my words
and the recognition of her self-poverty to jive,
she storms away – tears, cigarette,
clutching her half-empty beer, life, heart.
yet as i stand alone at the bar,
waitress asking what i’d done
to piss off the chick with dreadlocks,
i understand exactly why, looking up, thinking,

“hey man, if 10 people need to talk to her,
before she accepts you,
i’ll be number three.”
(thank you beer for the jesus).


good week....

had a good week this week.

i played electric with Nathan Finfrock's band for the first time - things actually came together well. good vibe - good tunes. playing with him should be a really cool opportunity. we already have a couple of gigs lined up. one of which is opening for Jonah33 (whom i have only heard of, but who somebody told me is a national act).

have a few worship gigs lined up too: opening for Brandon Reid Allen this month, leading worship at Genesis Church, the AZ Foursquare Mens' Retreat, and Desert Springs Church too. God's cool like that. really can't believe how i went from one worship gig to a few. thanks Big Man.

and all the cool people i'm meeting! i just got back from coffee with Carl from praxis church (who are just about to kick off their inaugural service in October) - very cool brother with a real heart for doing worship right. things are shaping up to be even more busy than usual. wish i could quit the day/night job and kick it for real.

and finally, i sold a CD this week at CDbaby! the lucky customer is a dude i've never met from Ohio - a total stranger. yes, a small victory, but enough to get me excited that a non-family-non-friend person actually liked my CD enough to buy it. i'm so easily pleased.


indie album on the cheap, part 3: mastering

mastering is one of the steps i learned about during the recording of this album. it's not a very tangible, easy to understand process, until you've actually attended a session.

mastering is the stage in which the final equalization and volume level of each song is set and evened out. during it, volume and EQ within the song, and along the whole album is smoothed out and made uniform - giving it more cohesiveness as an album. the final song order and spacing between each song is decided during this final stage before duplication.

clarity. punch. tone. depth. warmth. character. these are some of the things given to the songs during mastering. and they're done even better at the ears of someone who has never heard the songs before. read here or here for more about mastering.

the cost of mastering varies a lot, depending on how picky you are. it can range from $30 to $120 a song, or higher. being present (and choosy) during the mastering session makes the price per hour instead of per song. because i'm picky and cheep, i went with the low end, so i could be there for mastering. here's how it added up:

10 songs took about 7.75 hours X $30/hour + $30 for CD master + tax, etc = $266 for mastering.

(so far, we're at about $746 total for the album)