Home – June

My wife, Hazel, and I celebrated our five year wedding anniversary this month, so naturally I was inspired to write a love song.  I reflected on how we met, the adventures we’ve shared, and what it’s been like to build a home together.

That’s when the idea hit me: home.  It’s what it means to be with her.

I’ve had a number of homes in my life.  I was born in Oklahoma, lived in California five years, then on the eastern side in North Carolina by way of Oklahoma a second time.  Nashville became a home away from home in college as well.  My family has often joked about living our way across I-40.

From the part of my journey I’m in now, it is almost like God was moving us closer and closer to North Carolina, where Hazel has lived all but the first few years of her life.  He moved us all this way, maybe even just so we could meet.  Hence the chorus of the song:

Every new town
Every move that changed my clocks
Every last goodbye
I would do it all again, I would do it all again
Cause it brought me home to you

On the technical side of things this month, it was my goal to record new instruments.  I tried my hand at the mandolin and using brushes on the snare drum.  They both turned out pretty well, but I ended up cutting a lot of the mandolin parts for arrangement reasons.  But still, a valuable learning experience.

The track is below, along with a lyric video.  I’d love for you to take a few minutes to listen, share, and let me know what you think!



Phew.  I made it.  It took all 31 days, but I made it.

Between wrapping up some stuff with work and scheduling two guest performers to come in and record, the timeline got full real fast.  But Taylor (vocals) and Zeke (drums) were absolutely amazing with their creativity, precision, and attitude.  We had a great time and I hope to work with them more in the future.  Be sure to check out Zeke’s band, Shiloh Hill and their upcoming album and tour!

Throughout my creative process, there have been a number of times where the ideas seem to be “confirmed” by a number of unexpected places.  Like a network of streets that lead you to the same places, daily interactions with people and places feed the same concepts with creative energy.  As I started reflecting on Exodus 3 where the Lord appears to Moses in the burning bush, it was touched on in Sunday school, a conversation with a friend, and I was reminded of it being the source of inspiration for a piece of art my wife Hazel made.

In the story, the exchange between God and Moses is both spectacular and baffling.  On one hand, the Lord does this miraculous thing where the bush is on fire, but not burned up.  He speaks to Moses directly, commissions him to lead one of the most important events in history, and gives us a name by which to call Him: I AM.  Then on the other hand, Moses realizes the holiness of the moment, then promptly tells the Lord of lords and King of kings that he is not the guy for the job.  While I have tendencies to think of Moses’ behavior as ridiculous, I have seen this sort of thing play out in my life too.  “Here I am Lord…send me…except make it easy and not scary because I’m not entirely certain you’ll follow through…”

Perhaps Moses does what I often do: forget that we were woven together in the depths of the earth.  Known before we were in the womb.  Created specifically in His image as a child of the Kingdom, who would grow to inherit robes of righteousness and a crown of glory.  When we forget that, forget the source of who we are and how we are, we start feeding the unbelief that the Lord will provide and that His arm is not too short.

So that is what this song is about: shutting out the lies, leaning into the truth, and flourishing in the light of His love.

I mentioned a work of art by Hazel earlier in this post.  I had read a book that included a number of meditative/reflective exercises, and one of which involved the name of God – that’s the tetragrammaton for all you big theology word lovers.  In Hebrew, it was written without vowels because it was believed so holy, that to even utter it was to take it in vain.  It is where we get “Yahweh” from.  The letters are transliterated into English as, “YHWH.”  If you place them vertically, they happen to form a sort of stick figure person, like so:


It is a beautiful way to be reminded that we were spoken into being by the Creator, and that we bear His image.  Hazel made a beautiful artistic rendition of this, and that is the cover image for this months song.

Without further ado, I hope you take a moment to listen, and that it is encouraging and worshipful for you.



OSOM: April

As I near the end of a particular season in my life (long story) I am reflecting a lot on transitions.  There is a lot of excitement, but also a lot of fear.  What will the next season hold?  Will it be better than the last?  Or worse?  But when elements change, it also allows you to better see the constants.  And I have found myself extremely grateful for those.

Musically, I wanted to revisit a full band song after a solo guitar song in February and a solo piano song in March.  I feel like I’ve learned a lot in just a few months, and I’m pleased with these results.  I tried a different mic setup on the piano: two small diaphragm condensers placed about a foot from the top of the lid.  This took some of the low end and room noise out, which was a big plus in this particular ensemble.  Lastly, as a personal point of pride, this is one of the more upbeat songs I have ever written.  That in itself makes this month a success!

I hope you find it a place of encouragement in the midst of whatever questions you might be asking in life right now.  That’s what I intended in the final chorus after verses comprised of questions and frustrations:

“It’s all grace to have even half of all it is I’ve had”



One Song One Month: The Journey Begins

Over my Christmas break from teaching lessons, I came across a post by Graham Cochrane over at The Recording Revolution.  He does an excellent job of encouraging and equipping the DIY musician/audio engineer.  Whether it is recording techniques, gear reviews, or mix ideas, I’ve always found his advice helpful and especially applicable to those “music-ing” on the side.

This particular post was about fitting recording into your busy schedule.  He proposed a challenge to write, record, mix, and release a song in the month of January.  If you could steal a few hours a week to do that, then maybe the next month and the next, and by year’s end you’d have an album!

So I have taken Graham up on his challenge.  And I plan to do this all year long.  I want to develop habits, learn new and better techniques, and challenge myself creatively.

For my first attempt, I just wanted to go all in and do a full band track.  I had never recorded a full drum kit before, so I started with a variation on the Glyn Johns method using three mics: kick, snare, and one overhead.  Since my lyrics were inspired by some events that took place in Houston, I snagged a small clip from a rocket launch and inserted that as well – something I had never done before.

Head over to soundcloud and check out this track and others, or just click below!