2017 – My Year In Music

Wow!  I put out a lot of stuff this year.  Here is a bit of a rundown of things I did in 2017.

2017-03-The Great Thought Thinker Joe Pyeweed
The Great Thought Thinker (Joe Pyeweed)
.  I was blessed to get to work with the ultra-talented Joe Pyeweed again, on the Great Thought Thinker.  You are blessed to be able to hear it right here.

cassette-1
Old Dogs
.  I spent some time re-working and re-recording old songs from my old band, The Moondogs.  I did about 8 or 9 songs, and whittled that down to an EP.  You can listen to it here.

A couple cool things about this one:  First, I did a cover of Kiss’ “Tears Are Falling”.  That’s pretty cool in itself.  But two, I put this out on cassette.  And three – I put this out on 8-track!  Yes, 8-track, and yes, you do want one.  You can get yours here if you want to spend your Xmas scratch.  The 8-track actually has a few extra songs (the ones that did not make the EP, but were still fun), and some special things to even out each of the four sections.

2017-16-i must become less REMASTERED
i must become less (REMASTERED).  
So I made this record in 2015, with a lot of help from dear friends.  I was super proud of it.  It was one of the first ones I did using Cakewalks’ Sonar again (I was a longtime Cakewalk user, switched to a digital console device – but went back because of ease and flexibility that Sonar gave me).  It was also the first one where I submitted my songs to people to help “edit”, or really co-write.  Really, my dear friends Nathan and Joan Boyer did the, “This doesn’t flow, that’s not proper english” with my songs.  It was super helpful, and a lot of fun!

But after a couple years, I wished the mix was better.  But I was too lazy to go and fix.  So I called my dear friend Tony Preston, and he was gracious enough to make my “ok” mix sound amazing!  Give it a listen here!

And as an added bonus – here is a special remix of the song “Show Me Your Glory“…

2017-17-3000...
3000…  
This song was written from the perspective of one of the 3,000 nameless children who are aborted every single day.  I wasn’t interested in politicizing this issue of abortion.  But it really is either an issue of the rights of the mother, if that child is not a human being, or the rights of the child in her, if we are talking about a human being.  Science tells us we are dealing with a human being.  We all know this.  Why do we deny it?  So I wrote the song, to try and further that conversation.  You can listen here.  And every stream of it, I donate to to an organization called New Life Family Services, specifically to a program called “Conquerors”. This program is designed to minister to women who are hurting, due to a past abortion. You can read about them here:

www.nlfs.org/services/conquerors/

2017-25-The Only Childs
The Only Childs.
  Man, this was fun!  I got together with my dear friends Tony Preston and Alex Sutherland to try and write some songs.  Tony was a longtime bandmate – he was in The Moondogs with me for years.  He and I started a band called OnceBlind.  Alex joined OnceBlind when Tony left, and he and I ended that band.  So I thought, why not us three try and do a special “OnceBlind” project.  We changed courses a couple times, and ended up with this nice little EP.  We used Tom Carlon and Steven J. Parenteau, who were the bassist and drummer in The Moondogs, as our rhythm section.  And Tom’s daughter Anna lended her amazing voice to one of the songs.  It was really cool and fun!  We’re hoping to do a show or two in 2018, to have a little fun playing these songs.  You can listen to it here for now.

Future-2-If I Could Leave This Place
If I Could Leave This Place.
  This record, was a culmination of songwriting throughout 2017.  It started with a request from my nephew, who was in the Marines at the time.  “Can you write me a song?  Make it a Country song.”  I did not make it a country song, but I did in fact write him a song.

Then I started writing songs for other loved ones.  I put together a dozen or so, and put this record together.  It’s probably my favorite record, mainly because it’s so personal.  I hope you enjoy it as well!  Give it a listen.

Some notables:

  • I hired out musicians from Nashville for one song.  Actually I ended up using them on two versions of the song.  Pretty cool!
  • I did a Beatle cover, which is scary.  But it turned out alright.
  • I did a cover of one of my dear friend’s songs.  Jeromy Darling is a gifted songwriter.  When I couldn’t pull out a true worship song (they all sounded cheesy, like the stuff you hear on the radio), I asked if I could use one he had already written.  He’s a lovely human being, and of course said yes.  My friend Anna (Tom’s daughter) sang with me on it, which sounds amazingly, hauntingly beautiful.
  • I hired out pedal steel and dobro from a guy in England, named Toby Wilson.  Super talented!  If you need any work, he’s your man.

Whew!  And if that wasn’t enough, I recorded some backing tracks for a few friends on their songs, and I put out a couple singles to end the year, “You Are Beautiful” and “You Will Find Him On A Mercy Seat“.  Both will be on my upcoming release – yes, I have a new release in the works…  I just can’t stop…  Which brings me to 2018 plans:

  • I’m still working on my double-double album.  Two double-albums, each will be somewhere between 15 and 30 songs long.  A concept album, based on the Bible.  Think of it as a non-theologian writing and arranging songs around the books of the Bible.  One will be all old testament, and one all new.  I started this in the spring of 2016, and I still have a long way to go.  But it’s chugging along!  Hopefully done by end of 2018, God-willing.
  • This new record of mine, should be out by spring.  I just need a couple more parts added, then mix it.  I kinda dig it.  It’s a lot more “simple” in nature than my last.  It’s also a bit more dark.
  • I have a few songs slated for another EP, that will probably rear it’s head in 2018.  Hoping to do these songs with some dear friends.
  • I plan to do a few shows throughout the year.  Time-permitting, more than I have in the past couple years.
  • Maybe start working on a new Only Childs record?  We’ll see.
  • I am working with Alex Sutherland on his solo debut.  It’s going to be primarily a country record.  I’m super stoked for this one!
  • Lastly, I’m hoping to try and get some work as a producer, helping people make the best record, song, demo, whatever, they can.  We’ll see how this goes.  If you are someone who could use some help, hit me up!

Suffice it to say, 2018 should be musically pretty similar to 2017 for me.

Here’s to a wonderful 2018 for you, and may God bless you abundantly!

T.

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The Mercy Seat…

Christmas is upon us!  A time where we celebrate time spent with loved ones.  A time where we buy more than we can afford, for those we want to bless, or impress, or compete with, or  – maybe for ourselves?  A time where we sing songs and watch movies, all about Jesus, or Santa, or Rudolph, or something mixed.

A time where we reflect on the birth of the King of kings and Lord of lords.  A time where we remember that God came to be with us in flesh – and anticipate His ultimate return.

Think about this – we not only consider our own need for a Savior; we celebrate the fact that our Savior came!  And He came for us!  For you.  And for me.  If you or I were the only person He had to come and save – He would have come anyway.

This does not make you or I more important than anyone else – or for that matter, important at all.  But to Jesus – we are of utmost importance.  So much so, God came to us, as a baby, born of a virgin woman.  Born of woman, so as to be fully human, but not born of man, so as to be perfectly sinless.  Fully God, fully man.  Things I don’t fully comprehend.  I’m not so sure it’s important we “understand” everything.  I mean – do you fully understand in a clinical way how you love your child, or your spouse, or your parents?  Or how you are loved?  you don’t even try.  So don’t try with Jesus – just be loved…

This song is not a Christmas song.  But in many ways – it is.  It was borne out of a desire to remind us – or myself – that we are not in any way “earning our way into or out of heaven”.  Yes, as a child of God, I forget this truth, so often.  My catholic upbringing maybe?  🙂  I don’t know – but His mercy is not conditional, nor limited.  Nor for that matter, something in some distant future…

This song was also borne out of a desire to remind us that this mercy is NOT just for us.  it’s for anyone and everyone who believes.  Think about that.  The person you most dislike, or even loathe – they are not beyond His reach.  They are not too far gone for His mercy…

It’s a song for those who want some big “revelation”, or “epiphany”, in order to finally accept that Jesus is real, and is after their heart.  Just – STOP.  Just GIVE UP.  And lay that burden down.  It’s too heavy for you, you know this.  You don’t need some big flashy show to convince you of what you already know.  So let that go.  This song is for you…

You will not find Jesus where you want Him to be, in that perfect place or situation that you can control.  He finds you.  And His mercy is new…

Every day, His mercy is new…

This song is a free gift.  You can get it on Spotify or Apple – wherever you like to stream music – or you can download it from my Bandcamp page.  May your Christmas be merry, may your heart be filled, you find Christ on the mercy seat…

You Will Find Him On A Mercy Seat
You won’t find Him in your anger
Righteous as you think it is
Your hatred for brother or sistter
Just pushes the blade deeper in…

You won’t see Him in your behavior
No matter how hard you try
You are not locked out by your failure
Tell me, who sol you that lie?

You will find Him on a mercy seat
You will find Him in shalom
You will see His arms are wide open
As He welcomes you home…

You can’t hide Him from your secrets
Darkness cannot keep Him out
Shame does not lead you to freedom
Or help you lay burdens down

You won’t find Him in the hurricane
Or in fire or flood
Child, you’ll find Him in the whisper
That speaks of His eternal love…

You will find Him on a mercy seat
You will find Him in shalom
You will see His arms are wide open
As He welcomes you home…

My ears have heard of You
But now my eyes see only You…

You will find Him on a mercy seat
You will find Him in shalom
You will see His arms are wide open
As He welcomes you home