Let's catch up. I've been living in my own head for a while now and I'd like to flesh out some of the ideas and dreams that I've been chewing on. I've been working on some new music with some of the best musicians in Minneapolis and it's been a freakin' blast.

Coming in February, I'll be releasing a song called "Fulfillment". It talks about what we put value in and how we can't find lasting fulfillment in anything under the sun. God is the one who offers lasting peace and love because he made us. He knows how we function. Looking for fulfillment in earthly things will only leave us feeling frustrated.

Zach Miller came in a couple weeks ago and tracked a crazy percussion part for this song. It has so many layers to it. Usually, I like to keep my songs simple, but I just really wanted to push it with this one. It was like Zach was literally reading my mind. He captured exactly what I was looking for -- an organic, high-energy beat that really drives the song forward. 

We got a chance to get to know one another a little bit while we were setting up. An accomplished percussionist, Miller is well-known in the Minneapolis music scene and beyond. He plays extensively with Sarah Groves, knows Jenny and Tyler, and is in a band called Ben Rosenbush and The Brighton. The band's debut album "A Wild Hunger" is absolutely phenomenal and I recommend it to any music junky. I definitely want to continue working with this dude. He's a boss. 

Aaron Fabbrini is in a league of his own. He's a bass player who came highly touted by Brian Ricke. We sent him the latest file and he came up with something that caught me by surprise. Gotta be real with ya. It was so far outside my comfort zone that I started to second guess the direction, but after mulling it over, giving it a day, and hearing it perfectly tucked inside the mix, it blew my MIND. The new bass part adds an entirely new dimension to the song and it really brings out the "bridge". It's weird. This song doesn't really follow the verse, chorus, verse, chorus, bridge, chorus formula. It's like a verse, an interlude, and a bridge. It's strange. But sheesh. I'm stoked about that bass part. 

As a songwriter and someone who loves to arrange music, sometimes it's hard to trust someone else with what you've created. To give up control is scary, but I think it's absolutely necessary. If I only took my own ideas seriously, the music would start to follow a similar pattern and before long, my "creativity" would start looking like "predictability".

There are so many incredibly talented people in the world. Go tell someone about your passion and let them get their hands in it. Just remember what you're trying to accomplish with what you're doing. If they're messing with one of your core values, forget it. But if they're poking at a secondary issue, let them mess around. Treat them with respect and listen to their ideas before you start spouting out yours. It's taken me a long time to realize this and I'm still learning. I've made many mistakes along the way, but I'm trying to get better at collaboration. It's a big deal. 

Peter Paul Rubens.  Music Making Angels.  1628. Sanssouci Picture Gallery, Potsdam, Germany.  Wikipedia. ( https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Peter_Paul_Rubens_-_Music_Making_Angels_-_WGA20442.jpg). 01 02 2018. 

Peter Paul Rubens. Music Making Angels. 1628. Sanssouci Picture Gallery, Potsdam, Germany. Wikipedia. (https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Peter_Paul_Rubens_-_Music_Making_Angels_-_WGA20442.jpg). 01 02 2018. 

Music is such a personal thing. Everyone comes from a different set of circumstances. The way Johnny understands music will be different from the way you understand it because of what influenced him early on. So logically, your understanding of music will increase when you try to figure out Johnny's perspective. This will allow you to get mega creative with what you already have. I'm trying to make myself listen to everything because there's so much out there. Each genre has qualities that are exceptional and worth paying attention to. There's so much quality, edifying rap being made. It's insane. Go look for it. And no, not all country music is about trucks, dogs, and women. Shout out to Damian Johnson. Go listen to some good country storytelling and learn from how they write. 

I think that's where I'll end it. 

Wishing you all a Happy New Year! God bless.