Our Kickstarter video which can also be seen on our Kickstarter page.

New Mayer

John Mayer has informed the world of the release date and track listing for his new record which, if you’re anything of a fan like I am, is incredibly exciting news.

Sure, it’s still a few months away from hitting the shelves but I like knowing that new tunes are coming from an artist I really enjoy and admire.

However, Looking at the track listing, track 8 immediately caught my eye. “Love is a Verb”? Sure, he’s done enough in his career to earn the benefit of the doubt and I typically trust John Mayer’s musical decisions but I don’t think that covering DC Talk’s early 90’s hit is the right move for this album.


UPDATE: To be certain, I checked the list again – quick, fast in a hurry; I threw on my specs because I thought my vision was blurry. I looked again but, to my dismay, it was black and white with no room for gray. You see, other sites had gotten the word and yo! that’s when it hit me, he’ll sing “Love is a Verb!”

Isaiah 58

Shout out, do not hold back!
Lift up your voice like a trumpet!
Announce to my people their rebellion,
to the house of Jacob their sins.
Yet day after day they seek me
and delight to know my ways,
as if they were a nation that practiced righteousness
and did not forsake the ordinance of their God;
they ask of me righteous judgments,
they delight to draw near to God.
“Why do we fast, but you do not see?
Why humble ourselves, but you do not notice?”

Look, you serve your own interest on your fast day,
and oppress all your workers.
Look, you fast only to quarrel and to fight
and to strike with a wicked fist.
Such fasting as you do today
will not make your voice heard on high.
Is such the fast that I choose,
a day to humble oneself?
Is it to bow down the head like a bulrush,
and to lie in sackcloth and ashes?
Will you call this a fast,
a day acceptable to the LORD?

Is not this the fast that I choose:
to loose the bonds of injustice,
to undo the thongs of the yoke,
to let the oppressed go free,
and to break every yoke?
Is it not to share your bread with the hungry,
and bring the homeless poor into your house;
when you see the naked, to cover them,
and not to hide yourself from your own kin?

Then your light shall break forth like the dawn,
and your healing shall spring up quickly;
your vindicator shall go before you,
the glory of the LORD shall be your rear guard.
Then you shall call, and the LORD will answer;
you shall cry for help, and he will say, Here I am.

If you remove the yoke from among you,
the pointing of the finger, the speaking of evil,
if you offer your food to the hungry
and satisfy the needs of the afflicted,

then your light shall rise in the darkness
and your gloom be like the noonday.
The LORD will guide you continually,
and satisfy your needs in parched places,
and make your bones strong;
and you shall be like a watered garden,
like a spring of water,
whose waters never fail.
Your ancient ruins shall be rebuilt;
you shall raise up the foundations of many generations;
you shall be called the repairer of the breach,
the restorer of streets to live in.

If you refrain from trampling the sabbath,
from pursuing your own interests on my holy day;
if you call the sabbath a delight
and the holy day of the LORD honorable;
if you honor it, not going your own ways,
serving your own interests, or pursuing your own affairs;

then you shall take delight in the LORD,
and I will make you ride upon the heights of the earth;
I will feed you with the heritage of your ancestor Jacob,
for the mouth of the LORD has spoken.

[Emphasis mine]

Marketa Irglova

In my unending love of all things related to The Swell Season I am currently rockin Marketa Irglova’s solo record on perpetual repeat. Anar is 12 simply laid tracks of beautiful (and at times haunting) melodies, a quiet, organic vibe to the overall sound, and other vague descriptions you can string together.

I know Glen Hansard ends up being the dominant voice of The Swell Season while Marketa really solidifies every song she supports. But seriously, she sounds so good up front on these tunes. I only deeply cared for a few of the Swell Season tunes she sang lead on but I feel like this album really does her justice.

If you’re in the mood for some lovely, moody, piano-based tunes – oh boy, here you go! This might be staying in my rotation for quite a while.

Tedeschi Trucks Band

I was pretty excited to catch Tedeschi Trucks Band tonight. I first experienced the band by hearing their latest album on Spotify several months ago. Holy crap! Fantastic stuff. I was sold. So, when I learned they were coming to town I was in. I was pretty excited.

I was about to park at the venue tonight only to first see a sign outside the theater right across the street that informed me The Civil Wars were playing a sold out show there tonight as well.

I had no idea. I would’ve loved to see The Civil Wars. I’m a big fan. A huge fan.

But alas, it was too late. With my mouth agape I accepted my fate and continued on to previously scheduled non-Civil Wars show.

The opener had already started by the time I walked in. I don’t know who the band was but I was too distracted by the beautiful songs and magical harmonies that I was missing across the street that I couldn’t really enjoy their set.

I finally sucked it up when Tedeschi Trucks came out. And wow! They certainly made me forget my worries for the entire set! Great songs, great musicianship. I think the word that summed it all up best for me was “compelling.” They’re an incredibly compelling band.

Derek Trucks can play. Man, can he PLAY! He had this raw but polished, singing yet aggressive guitar tone. It was gorgeous. And he’s just a beast with that slide, too!

And Susan Tedeschi – what a voice! Talk about a compelling voice. The band would have these long moments of jamming and it’d be great and all but Susan would come back in with the vocals and just take everything to a whole new level. Killer.

And let’s not kid ourselves, that band can play. Each member of the 11 piece band is throwing down some serious goodness. They’re quite the impressive group, I must say.

So yeah.

No Civil Wars for me. But Tedeschi Trucks Band certainly proved inspirational tonight. I’d definitely wanna see them again. Really, I’m so motivated by Derek Trucks’ playing that I wanna dump all my pedals and learn how to carry a song with just some guitar chops. But I’m not that daring yet 🙂

Here’s a blurry picture of the band.

Houston Traffick

The issue of human trafficking has been a cause for concern for quite some time and proposals to raise awareness and move toward its end have spread quite widely in recent years.

When the leadership of HYPF proposed the organization’s involvement in hosting a human trafficking awareness event, I was at first hesitant only because I hoped this wouldn’t be an outreach motivated by what was popular at the time. It’s not that helping out a cause because it’s a popular move is reason enough to not help at all. I didn’t want any positive effect of the event to simply end when the actual event ended. However, after much prayer and discussion, it was decided that this was the right direction for HYPF’s involvement.

The specifics of the awareness event evolved significantly over the course of a couple of months. What started as a plan to show the Sex and Money film turned into a night that involved a human trafficking presentation by Redeemed Ministries, a group here in Houston set on meeting the needs of human trafficking victims in the area.

We also planned to have a segment of the evening dedicated to hearing from a woman we met named Cat French whose work with a group called Exodus Cry also aims to end modern day slavery. She would share her involvement with the sex trafficking industry in the Houston area. However, since she was unavailable to be at the event, we decided to film her talking about her experiences as well as capture a taste of her “Van Tours,” a tour she offers showcasing existing brothels and institutions of commodified sex in the Houston area.

The first time I rode out on a tour with Cat I was deeply troubled to see how prevalent a problem this is in this city. It’s heartbreaking, in a very real way. I feel privileged to have been a part of helping bring Cat’s message to new audiences because this is a cause that needs all the support it can get. Some may argue it’s trendy to do human trafficking awareness events these days. Even still, this problem is real and it’s serious and it’s not too late to be involved in some form to see it come to an end.

Lean On

Did you see The Colbert Report last night? I gotta say, the end of the show, where Stephen was joined by Brian Eno (!) and Michael Stipe (!!) to sing Bill Withers’ “Lean on Me,” was more moving than I expected it to be.

Colbert’s great.

Brian Eno is killer.

And I love Michael Stipe.

(I’d have included the video here but it’s not uploaded yet. Sorry.)

The end.

To Want And To Try

If there’s one thing my father said when he was younger
To a kid with a mullet that looked like his son
To want and to try is the difference why
Some people will walk and some run

Butch Walker, “Song for the Metalheads”