You've got a new album coming out in June of 2020 called, "Finding Grace." Is this a collection of the newest songs you've written?
No. This is a concept album. They are all personal songs about personal experiences, but I put them on the album to take the listener on a journey.
What kind of journey?
Imagine you wake up on a good day. Soon, you're going along on not just a good day, but feeling on top of the world. You caught the sunrise and everything is beautiful! You start praying and praising God for how great the day feels and how good God is.
Then, suddenly, the bottom drops out. You get that call with news that turns your world up-side-down and you're falling. The sunshine melts away and you feel like your heart has been shrouded in darkness. A darkness so deep that it's going to take the strength of God Himself to pull you out of it.
But then there's "Grace," right? Is that the idea, you "find" Grace and you can just forget that bad news?
Ha. If only it were that simple. No, when you receive that diagnosis or the date for the funeral or you get passed up for dream job by the person you trained in, you have to grieve. That's just human.
And Grief is not like a headache that you can treat with a glass of water and it goes away--or Tylenol for those really bad ones. Grief is a journey. And you feel that through the songs in the way we laid them out on the album.
So, how many songs on the album?
10. 10 tracks that are each a different point on the journey. It's not "Happy, Sad, Grace. Done." It's almost (enjoy the pun) painfully slow.
So, we get 1 happy song, then crash to the bottom to begin the slow ascent all the way back to the final "Grace?"
No. Not at all, actually. I'll give you 2 happy songs before we crash to the bottom! Haha.
No, but seriously, while, "Grace" is the key track on the album, it's not the final song. "Grace" has a gravity to it. All of the other songs orbit around that one. But there's got to be life after Grace, right? There has to be something new--some new growth, some new life to fill that hole left by the devastation.
You know, some people hold onto the devastation. It becomes part of them.
That is definitely true. I've seen that and have experienced that. I actually reference it in the song "Back to You" which is a song about wanting to heal, but not being ready to let go of past hurts and grudges. And that's a hard place to be! You've got this ambiguity pulling in two directions.
Actually, in the studio, my producer, Matt Patrick, was laying down some electric guitar overdubs near the end of the day on that song. And he played maybe 3 takes, but he came back into the control room and told me it was getting hard to play the guitar because he was getting misty!
Wow. That's something for a record producer.
Yeah! I mean, that is cool when you're working on just playing a guitar part, but the power of the song is hijacking your emotions. I took it as a huge compliment.
But more than that--I just got excited thinking about other people who are going to get a chance to experience this song. Specifically, the people who are in that hard place. I just want to give them a nudge of awareness. They have to make the decision in their own time... but holding onto a grudge just keeps your hands too full to pick up anything else.
Sure. So you were saying you have to find life--or something--to fill the hole?
Yes. After "finding" Grace, the last 3 tracks are 3 vastly different and, I think, equally important stages of moving on. So,
1. When you get a really extravagant gift, you don't feel worthy. None of us do. So after receiving "Grace" there's this feeling of needing to do something or give something back to God. But, what are you going to give?! Like, you can't repay total forgiveness. Doesn't even make sense. So, the song "My Offering Today" works through those feelings. Then--
2. When you can't give anything back, you suddenly realize that God doesn't need you. Even though you have some pretty cool gifts and talents and abilities, you aren't showing up everyday and giving God the strength to keep going. But the beauty is God enjoys you. Not based on what you contribute, but just because you are His kid. God loves you. And that's the song "Sparrow."
What's the significance of the sparrow?
Jesus talks to his close friends about the value of sparrows. He mentions that a certain number of sparrows are sold for a penny (which that's gotta be a translation, because I don't think they had pennies. Sorry, I digress). But God knows when one of them falls to the ground. Then he reassures them that people are more important than sparrows.
I could totally Mic drop there. And I think a lot of people do. "Sweet God of the universe loves me. Back to Netflix." But that's why I've got--
3. Once you know God loves you just for who you are, well then you've got to do something to celebrate! And I believe that means to go after the dreams of your heart. (The ones that are Jesus-approved. Not the sneaky ones.) And I believe everybody has a different talent and a different path to follow--that only God knows. So the last song is called "Paths in the Garden."
Well, great! Sounds like you've packed a lot of messages into the album.
I'm going to reveal all of this stuff to fans along the way--but you're getting the way advanced version.
Can't wait to hear how it sounds!
I think you'll love the album and (now for the bad news) it doesn't exist yet! (As of October 2019) The songs do, but I'm in the recording process AND I have a kickstarter campaign--which is the project I'm asking my friends to share.
Please take a look at it and see if it's something you'd like to support. If so, you can really help by sharing the link on Facebook, I want everybody to know that this album is coming!
My initial goal was looking for 500 people to pledge $30. (Though there are a lot more giving levels and rewards!) Realistically, I’ve got 200 people on my list of “I’m sure they’ll contribute”. Which could leave me about 300 music lovers short of an album. 😳
So, again. Check out the Kickstarter and see if it's something you would feel comfortable getting behind. If you think it has merit, please help me spread the word about “Finding Grace” by sharing one of the Kickstarter announcements from my Facebook page. It’d be awesome if you can help boost awareness of this project to your friends who love music and support independent artists.
Help make "Finding Grace" a reality!