Mid-July Update

Wow, what a summer!

Then again it’s always busy for me in these months.

So here’s my update for those who wonder…

Just home from a weekend in Philly leading worship at ESA conference, lots of friends there and they do such great work in serving the poor, creation care and life issues. They seemed to dig the cigarbox guitar (Shane Speal built me) and the one-string diddley bow I made (complete with Altoid tin “body” and pickup) and were all just so warm and gracious all weekend as I brought music and a bit of chatter. I was able to sit in on some excellent sessions with speakers who have Ron Sider’s (outgoing director of ESA) heart for the poor and marginalized. His leadership and the weekend’s “Ron Roast” included his formal passing on the leadership post to Al Tizon and Paul (great bros.) -all inspiring as well as fun.

In two days I’m off to Colours Festival in Ostrawa, Czech Republic to do a blues set, also a midnight blues/worship set and also a day in the street teaching folks how to build and play cigarbox, cookie tin and found-object guitars and basses. Then I’m home for a short stretch before continuing touring which doesn’t really let up much until late September. I’ll do my best to keep you posted of shows as they’re confirmed via the http://www.grrrrecords.com Shows section. Please check there if interested.

Wendi had an MRI re. her painful arthritis, waiting to get those results back. As I’ve mentioned before, she’s hopefully on her way to a hip replacement this winter at which time I’ll largely be off the road to serve her and help her with rehab for walking and so forth, do some recording (finally… just no time at this point) and perhaps do some metro shows.

I have been writing a LOT of songs, mostly in the blues ballpark this past several months… just have to get time to demo ’em.

Excited about Wilson Abbey opening soon and a zillion areas of service and outreach from there throughout Uptown Chicago and beyond. Little by little!

Our Project 12 Discipleship work kicks in again in September as well, so there is much prep. for that coming up.

Well, time to get the laundry out of the dryers and take my sweet wife on a date as I’ll be gone all this next week. Grace to serve and bits of rest in-between.

Thanks for your prayers and for stopping by 🙂 -Glenn

Nurture of Artist Musings

Today I find myself in a wonderful rambling old farmhouse near Champaign, Illinois which reminds me of several my family lived in when I was a young boy in south-central Wisconsin.

GKB, The Unfortunate, Max Simmons and Leper are all Grrr artists playing at the very first Audio Feed Fest in Champaign along with a number of other great bands and solo artists.

Many of us each brought a few tunes last night to just warm up the crowd and today is the official opener. Some 60 artists will hit the stages today and tomorrow with a rap up Sunday.

So parts of what prompted this blog are: a book in my Kindle deals with the lives of Bach, Mozart, Haydn and several other classical composers… then I received an email from an artist asking for assistance and another sharing his difficulties as well as a notice of a YouTube vid someone posted of a portion of a music seminar I gave fielding several folks’ questions at a long-ago Cornerstone Festival.

The kind friends hosting many of us in their large country farmhouse and all of the above reminds me what a gift kind and encouraging relationships are- and for musicians and other artists in particular.

We are often as denegrated as we are celebrated… but fans and groupies don’t bring much in the way of genuine relationship much less spiritual growth and the sometimes-needed correction we all mature from.

I would so love to see more kind, godly people of depth create healthy artist colonies where not only the balance of study, practical work, play and rest but also biblical, spiritual challenge could take place for periods of time in artists lives. I know of few such places. The financial costs are often as huge as the spiritual input is less than stellar.

It is striking as I read more details of the lives of great composers as well as modern musicians how often painful and at times wasteful, even disasterous some of their lives were.

How I wish more would be offered the “Selah”- I mean people, places and times to reflect and grow in all areas, relationships in particular as it seems this is such the core need for artists, often the “aliens” in our culture.

God give us grace to help and not merely play “celebrity creation”! We need sane, authentic and Christ-following human beings, not mere artists in our world.

Thanks for stopping by! -Glenn