Songwriting Material  

I heard an interview with Josh Ritter recently. He was talking about "All Some Kind of Dream" and "The Torch Committee" from his latest album "Fever Breaks." Both are overtly political, and a little out of his norm. But he said it's tough to NOT write about what's going on today and no matter what any artist writes, it's going to contain a bit of "the times" it's written in.

Those songs capture how I have been feeling over the past 5 years. Not everything I write is political or about current events, but I began my foray into more timely content on my 2015 "The Blues Ain't a Color" album, some of which touched on race in America. It has continued with the just-released EP "Live at the Castle Theatre" album, which has a couple of songs (Pieces of Peace, Sunshine in the Toxic Ballroom) venting my dismay at how we're treating our fellow humans, including children. It's new ground for me too. 

"Sunshine" is a live version of the song that will appear on my upcoming album tentatively titled "American Women." It touches on some of the same outrages Josh Ritter articulates on the above-mentioned songs and my belief that God will eventually bring sunshine to this toxic period in American history. But we too must do the work to create a world that works for everyone, and where every human is respected as a child of God.

Take a listen:


American Woman  

I took in That's What She Said at The Castle Theatre in Bloomington Friday night. Powerful night as 10 different women shared personal stories of their life, how they made it through often difficult times, and how those experiences have made them who they are today. Many stories were painful, some funny, but all were from what most would say are average American women, some born elsewhere.

Those stories had me thinking about the "American Woman" Album + Film project I'm writing. The idea is there are many women whose names you probably don't know who contributed to making America great. I want to show how everyday people, like the ones I saw on-stage Friday night, contribute in meaningful ways to the fabric of our country.

October 12 from 6:00 pm - 8:00 pm at Uncommon Ground - Lakeview in Chicago, I'd love to have you in the audience for a preview of some songs that will land on the album and be incorporated into the film. You'll also get to hear one of Chicago's gifted guitarists (and my co-composer) John Kregor in the quartet.

Here's one song recorded a The Castle Theatre on April 5 of this year (with John Kregor on guitar) that will be part of the October 12 show: