The Civil Wars – Poison & Wine

For the past several weeks the series of teaching at our church has focused on the subject of marriage and relationships. Prior to the beginning of yesterday’s message on divorce – the conclusion of the series – this song was performed by two young women with angelic voices; one on keys, the other on guitar. I had heard stuff by The Civil Wars before, but not this tune. It’s beautiful. Enjoy! Continue reading The Civil Wars – Poison & Wine

We’re entering a film contest!

Some of you may remember that, back in July, Don Miller sent me an advanced copy of his latest book A Million Miles in a Thousand Years. It was a book that I really enjoyed reading and have since passed on to others. Don’s book really challenged me to consider the type of story I was telling with my life, and to make changes that would help me tell an even better one. It also helped me realize that, as a parent, it should be my passion to help my children tell the best story possible with their own lives. … Continue reading We’re entering a film contest!

The 12 Tunes of Christmas – Day 11

Ex Nihilo is the worship band at Mars Hill Church in Seattle – where Mark Driscoll is the pastor. This year they re-recorded seven classic Christmas songs for a release titled Silent Night: Seven Old Songs Made New Again. This dramatic version of “What Child is This?” is available as a free download. You can purchase the rest of the album through iTunes. Ex Nihilo – What Child is This? Continue reading The 12 Tunes of Christmas – Day 11

The 12 Tunes of Christmas – Day 10

Well, we’ve come full circle. First Ray LaMontagne covered Ray Charles, then Ray Charles covered Charles Brown. Charles Brown played one of his own. It seems appropriate that we carry our theme into a song from the Charlie Brown Christmas special. You can find this track on the soundtrack to A Charlie Brown Christmas by the Vince Guaraldi Trio. The Vince Guaraldi Trio – The Christmas Song Continue reading The 12 Tunes of Christmas – Day 10

The 12 Tunes of Christmas – Day 9

Ray LaMontagne covering Ray Charles. Ray Charles covering Charles Brown. I think we’re onto something … Here’s Charles Brown, with the unequivocal Dr. John, performing his hit song “Come Home for Christmas” live on David Letterman. You can see the performance here. Charles Brown (feat. Dr. John) – Come Home for Christmas Continue reading The 12 Tunes of Christmas – Day 9

The 12 Tunes of Christmas – Day 8

I couldn’t possibly include a Ray Charles cover in the countdown, especially one of his most famous Christmas songs, without offering up one by the man himself. Here’s Brother Ray doing a cover of “Merry Christmas Baby” by Charles Brown. It was recorded at a performance in The Monastery Of Ettal in Germany in 1979. You can watch the video here. Ray Charles – Merry Christmas Baby Continue reading The 12 Tunes of Christmas – Day 8

The 12 Tunes of Christmas – Day 7

If there was one voice that was sorely missing from my Christmas music collection in years past, it was that of Ray LaMontagne. Thankfully that is no longer the case. Here he is performing a live rendition of “That Spirit of Christmas” by Ray Charles at the National Christmas Tree Lighting Ceremony. You can watch a video of this performance here. Ray LaMontagne – That Spirit of Christmas Continue reading The 12 Tunes of Christmas – Day 7

12 Tunes of Christmas – Day 6

Alright, time to lighten up a bit. I stumbled across this song randomly on the internet. I don’t know anything about Thea Gilmore other than the fact that I really dig this tune. You can find it on her new Christmas album titled Strange Communion (Note the free download of this track.)  Enjoy! Thea Gilmore – That’ll Be Christmas Continue reading 12 Tunes of Christmas – Day 6

The 12 Tunes of Christmas – Day 5

It wouldn’t be a “12 Tunes of Christmas” countdown without a song by Over the Rhine. This live version of “Snow Angel” can be found on their Live From Nowhere – Vol. 3 release. Christmas can be a bittersweet time of year for many people. The beauty and joyfulness of the holiday season often comes with a tinge of pain, particularly for those who have lost someone dear to them during this special time of  year. I remember, as a young boy, being in the room as my grandfather breathed his last breath on Christmas Eve morning. Last Christmas Day … Continue reading The 12 Tunes of Christmas – Day 5

The 12 Tunes of Christmas – Day 4

When I credited Jack Johnson with this song last year I was pretty embarassed to learn that it was originally a Stevie Wonder tune. Apparently I was the only person on the face of the planet who had never heard it before. So I figured this year I had better make ammends by posting Stevie’s original – and superior – version of “Someday at Christmas.” This song can be found on Stevie Wonder’s 1967 Motown Records release by the same name – Someday at Christmas. Someday at Christmas – Stevie Wonder Continue reading The 12 Tunes of Christmas – Day 4

The 12 Tunes of Christmas – Day 3

A few months ago I introduced you to the songwriting and recording style of a duo called Pomplamoose.  Their style is unique in that they record video along with the audio and mix both to produce their “Video Songs.” If you hear something in the mix, you see it at some point in the video as well. This song was part of a project titled “YouTube Christmas” where a number of musicians collaborated via YouTube to compose music for the holiday season. They joined up with another YouTube “Video Song” artist named Wade Johnston – who plays a mean ukulele. … Continue reading The 12 Tunes of Christmas – Day 3

The 12 Tunes of Christmas – Day 1

Last year Rosie Thomas released what has become one of my absolute favorite Christmas albums of all time. This is the song that gets that record started. It just sounds like a warm crackling fire and a big glass of red wine to my ears. Curl up with someone you love. We’ve got all night. Christmastime is Here – Rosie Thomas Continue reading The 12 Tunes of Christmas – Day 1

Robbie Seay Band – Miracle

Robbie Seay Band – Miracle I really enjoy the Robbie Seay Band and have been anxious to hear new music from them for quite some time now. Their new single “Miracle” was made available on iTunes today. Hopefully this means a new album is soon to follow. I’ve never had the chance to see them perform live, but have heard great things about their shows. They’re on the road now if you’d like to check them out in your area. Hopefully they’ll come around sooner or later. Continue reading Robbie Seay Band – Miracle

Happy Birthday Sesame Street!

Today marks the 40th anniversary of Sesame Street’s debut on PBS. If you grew up in America, chances are you have watched hundreds if not thousands of hours of Sesame Street. Both as a child and with your own children. What are some of your favorite Sesame Street memories? Who are your favorite characters? Do any celebrity appearances stick out in your mind? Thanks for the memories Sesame Street. Here’s to another 40 years! Continue reading Happy Birthday Sesame Street!

Free Derek Webb!

I have an unopened copy of Derek Webb’s newest album Stockholm Syndrome that I’m giving away for free to one lucky reader! To be eligible for the drawing simply leave a comment below expressing your thoughts about Derek’s “controversial” song from the album titled “What Matters More?” The winner will be selected at random on Monday, October 26th. What Matters More? – Derek Webb *Please note: This is not the “explicit” version of the album. This is the edited version which omits the song “What Matters More.” You can download that track for free at We have a winner! … Continue reading Free Derek Webb!

Star Wars: Uncut

Sooooooooo cool! Star Wars fans worldwide are taking part in an effort to recreate the film in fifteen second snippets that they create themselves. All you do is claim your scene, film your segment in any way you see fit and upload it to the website. I claimed a scene this morning. All the best scenes were long gone by the time I joined the party, but I’m totally looking forward filming my segment. If you want in on it, you better hurry. The last time I checked there were only 24 scenes still available! May the Force be with … Continue reading Star Wars: Uncut

If you liked it then you shoulda (recorded a way better version of it)

Meet Pomplamoose. Jack Conte and Nataly Dawn began making music in the summer of 2008. They use a home recording studio and make videos in a new format they call “Video Song.” In short, if you see it you’re hearing it. You can see some of this “new media” in action on their YouTube page.  Their MySpace page has a bunch of original tunes as well as free downloads of covers of songs by Simon and Garfunkel, Feist, Edith Piaf and the Sound of Music. I’m hooked. I guarantee I’ll be sharing more from them down the road. Continue reading If you liked it then you shoulda (recorded a way better version of it)

Jennifer Knapp is back!

Jennifer Knapp has emerged from her (very) long hiatus. This week she posted a note to fans announcing her return on her website. And just to prove she’s truly back she posted a new song to her MySpace page which you can hear below. According to her MySpace page more songs are expected to be posted in the coming months. I’ve seen Jennifer Knapp in concert a few times and she is – in my opinion – one of the best Christian performers I’ve seen. I was disappointed by her disappearance from the CCM scene but am really glad she’s … Continue reading Jennifer Knapp is back!

The House that Fire Built – An Update

Back in January I told you all about a project the band Mae was working on to help provide a home for Rhonda Floyd and her three children through Habitat for Humanity. The band released a song each month through their website and donated the proceeds to the project. Four months, four songs and over $65,000 in donations later Rhonda and her children have a new home. The band refers to this project as the (m)orning chapter of their 12 month effort to use their music to make a difference in people’s lives. Now that the project has been completed … Continue reading The House that Fire Built – An Update

Mario looks fun again!

Frankly, I haven’t enjoyed the Super Mario franchise since Super Mario Bros. 3. So I’m pretty stoked that Nintendo is putting out a new version of the game for the Wii that closely resembles the gameplay of the “old school” games. I’m also pretty excited about the whole four-players-at-once thing. No more waiting for your friends to die before it’s your turn! Continue reading Mario looks fun again!

New Josh Garrels!

This was an unexpected surprise! Later this month Josh Garrels will be releasing an EP titled Lost Animals. The 10-song CD will feature a collection of b-sides, singles and “soundtrack work” and can be pre-ordered here. I’ve uploaded the tune “All Creatures” for you to check out. You can also hear several other songs from the album streaming on his website. Josh Garrels – All Creatures Continue reading New Josh Garrels!

Nyack’s Got Talent

There’s no shortage of talented musicians who have at one time or another called Nyack College home. But I’m not sure if any of them have ever had as bright a spotlight shined on them as Rashida Jolley’s (’03) recent performance on America’s Got Talent. Cheryl and I watched her performance on the show the other night, but I never put two and two together until a bunch of other Nyack alumni started Tweeting the heck out of this video. She was there after my time on “The Hillside”, but I do remember seeing her on campus and hearing her … Continue reading Nyack’s Got Talent

Over the Rhine: Live from Nowhere Vol. 4

Long time fans of Over the Rhine will really enjoy the latest release from their Live From Nowhere series. The fourth installment was taken from their special 20th Anniversary concert which took place back in December and featured a reunion with original band members Ric Hordinski and Brian Kelley. The 2-disc album includes 17 of the 21 songs that were played that night and the setlist included songs from each of the albums released during the band’s first decade together. The CD is scheduled to be released later this summer but you can pre-order it now from the band’s website. … Continue reading Over the Rhine: Live from Nowhere Vol. 4