After a five-year hiatus from writing original songs the words are coming back...melodies too thank goodness! 2017 is poised to be the year that I put out a new collection of songs. I’m writing and recording songs that express the seasons of life; songs with titles like Grateful For Another Day and Million Miracles. At this point I’m not sure if it will be an EP or a full album, but that will become clear by spring. For the first time I’m working with producer Mark Troyer of Evergreen Sound Studios in Calgary, who is also producing graduation project EPs for students of my Music & Worship Arts program at Prairie College. I plan on releasing a new song called Man Of Sorrows at the beginning of Lent (March 1, 2017), along with a re-release of last summer’s single Scars On His Hands, as I believe this pair of songs will help us prepare for Easter.
In addition to working on my own music, I am continuing with my part-time role at Prairie College overseeing and developing the Music & Worship Arts program, with a focus on mentoring and training young songwriters, recording artists, and worship leaders. www.prairie.edu/worship
2017 will see us continuing with live events in Europe. We are booked to come twice; once in May, and then returning in October to Germany, Switzerland, and Holland. I’m also taking part in the Refuel conference at the Gordon Castle Estate in Scotland in July 2017. We hope to do some events in Canada as well. If you know of someone who would like to book us drop us an email at: firstname.lastname@example.org.
One of the highlights of travel is meeting people who have been touched by my music and getting a chance to hear their stories. Hopefully I will meet some of you in person this coming year.
The past five years were not completely quiet on the songwriting and recording front. In 2013 I was part of forming a new band The SHIYR Poets (pronounced Sheer). A few people have been confused thinking that The SHIYR Poets is the name for the band that accompanies me on tour dates, and that I’m not involved in The SHIYR Poets recordings. I’m very much part of The SHIYR Poets! We’ve released an album a year since 2014, and we are currently working on writing Volume Three (Psalms 21-30). I’ve enjoyed the process of writing new folk settings for the ancient Psalms. Last year we also put out an EP of cover songs; mainstream songs with a spiritual thread called RECOVER. In this season of several years without my own words, I found these words written by others reorienting for me.
I’m pleased with our band’s growing body of work, and it was a thrill to have an album released on vinyl for the first time with Songs for the Journey Volume One. I’m a vinyl record lover! I believe it’s the best way to experience physical uncompressed music in a focused way. I love buying a vinyl record and supporting artists through the purchase of something that cannot be duplicated.
You can check out all of our recordings at www.theshiyrpoets.com and order our CDs or vinyl there, or you can purchase our music via sites like iTunes.
Indeed I am grateful for another day, and another year to share with Joyce my wife of over 31 years, our children, and good friends.
I pray that 2017 will be a year of blessing for you and that you may know how deeply you are loved by God. Thanks for praying for me too!
In the Fathers’ love,