Kingdoms: Family Adventure Day #1

 We begin here whisperings and rumors of a new project… I say we because this time it won’t just be an album. My wife, Betony, and I have decided to create together for the first time. And not just the two of us. We’re also including our family- Lucy (3 years old) who loves to paint and boss people around and Harriet (16 months old) who likes to give us opportunities for exercise  when we have to run and pull her off of whatever dangerous thing she’s climbed onto.

As a family we’ll be exploring what it means for all of our worlds to overlap, embrace, and collide- music, art, husband, wife, child, adult, reflection, adventure, fresh, experienced, wonder, and wonder renewed. The working title is “Kingdoms”.

In holding to the practice that the journey is always more important than the destination, Betony and I have decided to have “Family Adventure Days”. We will dive into the deeper things of life, invite our kids into those places, and invite our close friends there too. We don’t know what each month will look like, but we hope songs, paintings and art come out of the “play” of these days.

“January Family Adventure #1″
Polar Explorers
Journal from Betony:

It’s January. It’s freezing cold outside (try -15 F degrees outside right now as I am writing this).  The New Year endeavor? Documenting our hopes and dreams for these upcoming months.

As a family we filled 5 mason jars- one for Hopes, Dreams, Prayers, Fears, and Secrets (and then actually a 6th jar that Lucy wanted to make. Can’t quite tell what the tag says as it is written in her 3 year old hieroglyphics.)

In each jar, we put special little mementos and words we’d spent time reflecting on. In the dream jar were type-written notes: “I dream that we could create something beautiful this year”, “I dream that my friends’ dreams would come true”, “I dream I could be a real ice cream chef”.  Feathers in the “Hopes” jar, unwritten secrets in the “Secrets” jar, one word fears (which we later burned) and rocks in the “Fears” jar, and a list of the people we care most about in the “Prayers” jar…

Then, we bundled up as best we could (the polar explorers part) and headed out to the wilderness (also known as the wildlife sanctuary west of Glenmere park). It felt really good to be out in the wild forest (OK not really wild, but it felt REAL). We found a special place to hang each of the jars – suspending by twine and air in the crisp sunshine. Inside we left pencils and paper in each jar. We want to hear your hopes & dreams too.

You’re invited- if you live near by, to go find these secret jars. Add your own tiny tidbits. Share bits of your story.  If nothing else, it is a beautiful walk in the woods.

Or, if you are family from far away, leave your tidbits in the comments section below.

Happy Adventuring!

“Potomac: Capturing American Spirituality”

“This is the beginning of something beautiful.”
-quote from one of my daughter’s old one-sies…

Here it begins! Our pre-album photography project!!

Before my new album is fully released August 7th, we are hosting a photography project called “Potomac: Capturing American Spirituality”! For all of July I’ll be putting up one song each week for listening-pleasure and photographers (and yes, you too) all over the nation will be taking pictures in response to where the song takes them! It should be a great exploration of “American faith” in this hot, summer month.

“Best of the week” photos will be used in the album artwork. And we’ve connected it with Instagram to make things simple and easy. If you take a picture in response to a listening and want to upload it on instagram, just use the hashtag #potomacproject and your photo will show up on our website.

Come to and see the details!

Your Summer Soundtrack 2: Karla Adolphe

Here is the second installment for my “Your Summer Soundtrack” series. Hoping this enriches your music collection for your new summer season…

Karla Adolphe is an incredible artist who has now created her best work yet. Working with producers David Wilton (you’ll be hearing quite a bit from that name as the weeks go on.. ha!) and Latifa Phillips, Karla has captured something that is so overwhelmingly beautiful here.

The album is called “Honeycomb Tombs” and is a collection of songs Karla wrote about grief, after a close friend of hers lost a loved one.

Track to track this CD keeps moving along, high-lighting Karla’s incredible voice and surprising the listener with great instrumentation at each turn. Creative and ear-arresting instrumentation mind you. But it never feels like it goes to that realm of “oh, they tried to hard there” or “they are just trying to be different”. It just keeps coming back to one word for me… Beautiful. And given the subject matter- grief and dealing with loss- it’s such a powerful and promising contrast. It breathes hope and resurrection into that deep and difficult season….

Here is the single from the album for you to listen to called “Flying Low”. The ENTIRE ALBUM is available for FREE at the link above! Enjoy.