a little dormant

February 10, 2009 at 4:01 pm | Posted in aspirations, church music, family | 1 Comment

we’re thrilled to have a new baby in the house as of 2 months ago, but that’s put a bit of a damper on extra-curriculars like music stuff. but there are a few things to report/remember from the last couple months.

at our Christmas Eve service in church, I was able to do my “Shepherd’s Song” with a bunch of the guys. it was a lot of fun to do and it felt really good to be a part of the service. Joe and Mark and the guys always make my stuff sound much, much better. I had a lot of really good feedback, including some surprisingly emotional responses and lots of encouragement. so I’m very thankful.

for Christmas presents I gave family members a copy of my new home made album (which you can currently find here). no body has said much about it that I can remember.

but I’m glad I got the album done, and I’m thinking of passing it around town to see if I can get some gigs…perhaps put a toe in the waters. so I might play at the new coffee shop here in the neighborhood, which should be fun.

before the baby was born I did some recordings of me doing octave mandolin stuff, because Michelle asked for it. I just improvised some mellow stuff and I think it turned out ok. some raw material to work on perhaps. I have a long-term goal of arranging my stuff with more instruments, but I think I’ll need a lot more time than I currently have.

just this month I was scheduled to play for church, and I usually get the usual suspects together to work on something. but this time I decided to do a octave mandolin solo of one of my “simple songs”. the last time I tried something like that it was pretty bad, but even tho I was quite nervous, it went ok. it’s a good thing I know that particular song well, or my nerves may have ruined it. but again people were very encouraging and thankful for it. 

I havent written a complete song in a little while, but I do actively collect ideas to work on. I havent sat down to put ideas together, but I think that’ll come when it should.

now I’m getting excited about the potential to play at the local coffee shop. I dont know when it might be, or even what it’ll look like (will anyone be there? will I be just in the background?) but it’ll be good to have a milestone to look toward to.


still the same

October 16, 2008 at 1:31 pm | Posted in family, song ideas | 1 Comment

here’s a song brought on by a running conversation Michelle and I have had over the years, and some of the stuff I’ve been thinking about due to that. most lyrics written with Joe Pug’sHymn 101” (great, great song) in my head, although the first line is completely coincidental (I thought of that last week, before I heard his song). I suppose I’ll have to give it my own tune eventually.

still the same – by Bob Wiegers 

rough demo mp3 here

in 70 years I’ll be 101
if we’re both here will you still be my love?
If I’m old but I’m not wise
and never really realize.
will you still love me if I never change?
even if I’m still the same?

I’m finding I’ve got a lot to learn
and dross that needs to burn.
I can’t do this on my own
shatter my illusions of control
kick all these intentions to the curb
drag my good intentions out to the curb

you know I want another start
purge the darkness in my heart
but this stuff keeps holding on
while we’re looking for the dawn
so will you still love me if I never change?
even if I’m still the same?
even if I’m still the same?

sometimes I’ve got so much to say
but I’m always getting in my own way.
I want to give you all I’ve got
but that dont mean a whole lot.
I wish someone could figure me out
yes I wish I could figure you out.

I’ve heard what the answers should be:
look to Jesus’ love, now and eternally.
but working all these things out
can make me want to cry and shout.
but will you still be my lover and friend
will you be mine until the bitter end?


at All Souls PCA

September 3, 2008 at 9:46 am | Posted in church music, family | 1 Comment

this weekend Michelle and I (and the kids) had the privilege of visiting her parent’s church in Champaign-Urbana, IL. it’s a new church plant that they started recently, and it’s the first time we were able to go. they asked us to do a song or two during the service, so we worked on “Jesus, All For Jesus” by Robin Mark and the Indelible Grace version of “Jesus, Lover of my Soul”. we had a few sparks fly while we were practicing, but I think it worked out well in the end. I always love it when we can harmonize together.

but it’s funny that we always seem to fight a little when we’re doing music, especially because we almost never fight (except when we’re both cranky and tired). my current theory is that it’s hard work for us to get it to where we like it when we’re singing, because our ranges are pretty different. most of our interactions are familiar to us by now, but this is still something new, so we get some frustration and friction. but thankfully in the end it usually works out.

anyway, I can only imagine that it was a moving experience for Mom and Dad T to have their daughter participate in the worship service they were leading. God is blessing the little church plant, and we pray that He will prosper the preaching and living of the Word in their town.

walk in the woods

June 21, 2008 at 10:58 pm | Posted in family, songs with words | Leave a comment

I wrote a little song about walking in the woods with the kids (which you can read about here). the tune (so far) is a straight-up rip-off from a tune Death Cab’s new ablum (which I just got and enjoy). so here goes:

walk in the woods (tune: death cab’s Grapevine Fires)

(Am) last day of (C) spring
a walk in the (G) woods
a little (D) fresh air
might do us (Am) good
the three of (C) us
a walk in the (G) woods
a walk in the (Em) woods
decend the hill
at a quiet pace
stop for each bloom
in this magic place
decend the hill
at a quiet pace
at a quiet pace

(a walk in the woods…) Am C G D
came to a tree
across the way
the brightest bird
a red and black display
he flies away
as the day turns gray
as the day turns gray
climb the hill
to find the falls
splash some rocks
bounce off the walls
somewhere I hear
the red bird call
the red bird call

(a walk in the woods…)
it’s getting dark
the long day ends
lets hold hands
while we ascend
head back home
as better friends
as better friends

a dream come true

May 29, 2008 at 10:08 pm | Posted in aspirations, family, playing out | Leave a comment

I’ve had lots of musical dreams over the years. I keep most of them to myself. one that I’ve always thought was rather attainable is to play music together as a family. sometimes we do a little and it’s usually a good time.

long ago Michelle played guitar. in fact she played a whole lot. but that really was before we met, and while I’ll always be grateful that she brought a nice guitar into the mix, I’ve been a little sad that we havent played much together. there’s been a couple memorable exceptions involving church music, but nothing that ever lasted. it’s mostly been because health issues got in the way of her playing, but also I guess she lost interest. meanwhile my interest has been soaring.

so I wrote her the “Be My Nancy” song, and it seems to have struck a chord, so to speak. during our weekend getaway we worked on songs together, figuring out harmonies and a little bit of arrangements, and we were both excited about the results. so I burned her a CD of my songs (most of which can be found on this blog) and she’s been listening for harmonies and such.

then came word of our neighborhood coffee shop hosting a family music/open mic night, and that got us going a little more. so we practiced “My Aya” and “Be My Nancy” with me on lead vocals and octave mandolin, and her on harmony vocals and guitar. and if I do say so myself, I think we sound pretty good! it’s a little bit of work finding that sweet spot, since neither of us are naturally good at finding harmony (like some friends are). but once we find it, I’m really liking the results. anyway, we did our songs at the coffee shop, and they were well received by the very small audience.

so it really is a little dream come true to be able to make music together, and I’m hoping we can keep it up. I’m still amazed that I can put down songs that I enjoy singing, and it’s even cooler to do it together. so hopefully soon we’ll record some stuff for a little album to share. whatever happens with all this, we’re thankful for the gift of being able to dive into something we both enjoy together.


May 20, 2008 at 3:04 pm | Posted in family, octave mando, songs with words | Leave a comment

Here’s a song for Michelle. I’ve got the tune (with the octave), just need to record a decent version. it’s a reflection on what we’ve been learning about our marriage recently. still needs some refinement, but here it is:

here’s a rough demo mp3

you’re my mystery
I thought I could see
I thought I had it all figured out

you’re my mystery
I see that I cant see
I thought that all these little thing would add up to a lot

now I dont know just how to love you
when once I thought I did
I’m not sure how much I know you
but now I know:
you’re my mystery 

I’m your mystery
I want you to see
you’ll never have me all figured out

I’m your mystery
And I hope you see
my heart is yours and hoping you’ll unlock it with your key
you may not know just how to love me
I’m praying that you’ll try
you may not know how much you know me
but now you know:
I’m your mystery

I’m praying for some grace and mercy
my heart it needs new eyes
to see your true eternal beauty
and so we know:
we’re a mystery


Lover and Friend, 10 years later

April 18, 2008 at 8:26 am | Posted in family, songs with words | 1 Comment

the first song that kicked off my interested in songwriting was setting a tune to an old poem I wrote for Michelle. that poem/song was about the night we fell in love, and its still one of my favorites.

last night was the 10th anniversary of the events from that song, so I did an updated version for the occassion:

Lover and friend, full of beauty and grace,
Ten years ago we danced in the rain
Laughing and dancing in spinning embrace.

Your black dress swirling, a curl in your face,
The memories cause me to fall once again
Lover and friend, full of beauty and grace.

First time I held you and started to chase
Your heart and a love that would always remain
Laughing and dancing in spinning embrace.

Do you remember feeling a trace
Of beautiful oneness, a loving refrain
Lover and friend, full of beauty and grace.

We danced through the night, hearts quickening pace
Started the love song we still sing today
Laughing and dancing in spinning embrace.

Now we’ve returned to this mysterious place
Remember God’s love and grace has sustained
Lover and friend, full of beauty and grace,
Laughing and dancing in spinning embrace.

Hannah Jane

April 16, 2008 at 9:37 am | Posted in family, songs with words | Leave a comment

here’s the little song that Michelle and I wrote for our new neice, who was born earlier this year. I was able to sing it for her at the baby shower.

Hannah Jane, little girl,
Welcome to this big bright world,
We’ve waited oh so long
To see your little face.
We prayed long and we waited
We hoped until we cried
Now God’s given you
And joy it fills our eyes.

By grace you were born,
By gace you’re now here,
Amazing gift from God,
Amazing, amazing grace.
May He guide your little feet
Your heart trust in him,
So you’ll rejoice in God,
You’re whole life praising Him.


March 26, 2008 at 2:31 pm | Posted in family, lyrics only, song ideas | Leave a comment

Here’s the another side of life with the sweetest kids ever. kind of a joke right now but it might be fun to work on:


I want my daddy
I want my mama
I want my socks on
I want my socks off
I want everything that I cant get
And I need a LOT right now
Candy cookies dont forget
If not I’ll throw a fit on the ground
Dont wanna come in
Dont wanna go out
Dont wanna go potty
Dont wanna take naps
Dont you know it’s all about me
And my every little desire
So come on come play with me
I dont understand why you’re tired

I love you SO much!
We’re together!
Bible stories!
Let’s call grandma!
Feed me well and I’ll be nice
And dont forget the kisses and hugs
I know you love these sparkle eyes
You’ve got every little bit of my love

My Aya

March 26, 2008 at 1:42 pm | Posted in family, song ideas, songs with words | Leave a comment

here’s a little song for my daughter. I think it needs some work but here it is so far:

My Aya – draft mp3 here

A picture here pinned in my cube
Little hand, you were just two
Little hand, outlined in green
I keep it close by so I see
How small you were not long ago.
Oh I love watching you grow.

Oh my Aya
I’m so happy you’re my little girl
Oh my Alice
You know I would give you the world

Your photo here, I see it each day
You sleep so late I dont see your face
I miss your smile and your curls
That sweet voice of my little girl
Your brown eyes, that spot by your ear
These truly are the best of years


I wonder just how you will be
Growing up, it’s so hard to see
Your way in this confusing world
But you’ll always be Jesus’ little girl
Trust Him and remember to pray
He’ll keep you close by each day


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