the cd release date is so soon!

I just got back from a lovely little rehearsal with the DELTONES!!! (www.deltones.com) Who are the Deltones? Well, only the best a’cappella group here at the University of Delaware, and some of the most amazing people you will ever meet. I was in the Deltones for 3 years (I had to quit this semester…I got married, I have to graduate…there’s a lot on my plate) and have convinced them to come sing at the CD release show! They’re going to add some awesome choral parts to “Love’s Going to Last,” and I’m really excited about it!
So if you weren’t pumped about the release concert…get pumped now! 🙂

Back to school work…seriously only 2 weeks and I graduate! Can’t wait!

-Jenny

ode to andy

a kitten came to me today
in the parking lot behind our apartment
he came and rubbed my leg
and looked lonely.
so i petted him for a while,
and then i told him i had to go to class.
i walked away, but then
he started following me.
and i said, “i’m sorry, you can’t come.”
but i petted him a while more and
then finally said “goodbye.”
he was crying.
i was sad.
and now i don’t know where he is.
or even if he is a he.

-jenny

How the CD came together | Part A

It amazes me how the CD came into existence. I honestly look back and wonder where people came from, why they were willing to freely give of their talents and time, how gifted they actually are, etc. Let me start at the beginning of the project, when Jenny and I lived in Nashville, TN last summer. Be prepared to see how small the world is…

During Jenny’s high school years, she lived in Ocean Springs, MS; that’s right, Mississippi, land of William Faulkner, the Rebels, and “confederate pride.” In Jenny’s sister’s class was a guy named Brett Mclaughlin (check out his music here) with whom Jenny’s sister acted in plays. Jenny and Brett wrote songs and played shows together. Brett just so happened to go to Belmont University in Nashville, TN, where Jenny almost went and Jenny’s brother did go (Jenny made a hard decision between Belmont University and the University of Delaware, where she met me).

I had planned on going to Nashville last summer to live for $100/month in my buddy Matthew’s apartment, work at a prominent hotel in the city, and write, play, and record music as much as possible. Jenny was planning on staying with her parents at their relatively new home in Maryland, where she would be a waitress until school started again. Jenny’s dad did not want her to come to Nashville. Jenny was insistent upon not coming because of her dad, and that was that. Two weeks later, after Jenny quitting her waitressing job, talking on the phone with me every night and feeling a bit lonely, it just so happened that Jenny’s dad (a not-to-be-messed-with military man) had a change of heart. He said that God made it clear to him that Jenny should be in Nashville that summer.

Two days later, I picked Jenny up from the airport in Nashville, we headed to Pancake Pantry for a breakfast celebration, and I dropped Jenny off at Meredith and Meghan’s apartment, about 3 miles away from mine. Jenny lived in their spacious closet, where I had lived 6 months prior, for those 2 1/2 months. After a day of settling in, we ventured an attempt at finding Jenny a job. A week later she was working at a modern jewelry and accessory store on 21st street in Nashville.

Jenny called Brett; Brett and I met; we saw a show of his; played shows with him; and hung out a bunch. Brett had just been recording with David Dorn and Daniel Mixer at Dark Horse Studio among other places. David hung out with Brett a lot and so we got to talking. He gave me Daniel Mixer’s number and after a few conversations, Jenny and I were scheduled to record at Dark Horse! In case you don’t know, Dark Horse is one of the top studios in Nashville, if not the country (my favorite artist in the world Shane and Shane recorded some tracks for their latest CD there…). At Dark Horse, Daniel ended up recording every lead vocal track of Jenny on “a prelude” except “Nashville.” So pretty much Daniel rocked our socks off. He engineered some really excellent vocal takes, was super humble and helpful, even a year or so down the road. Daniel ended up connecting us to the guy who would co-mix and master “a prelude”, Brian Miku of Vital Media Group (website to come!). Brian and I ended up developing a great relationship over the phone. We discussed everything from music to prayer requests. To this day, I still don’t even know what he looks like, but the guy is a solid producer and super-genuine individual.  Working with Brian was a definite “God thing.”

Now get this. Brett Mclaughlin’s bass player’ name is Ben Stein; Ben also goes to Belmont. Here’s the crazy part. Jenny and Ben went to Senior Prom together at Dover High School in Delaware, were in a rock band named “The Quick” together from 7th to 9th grade, and wrote and played a bunch of songs together. It gets crazier. My ex-roommate of two years, the one and only Joel Rakes is Ben Stein’s best friend in the whole wide world. Ben and I have played music together on multiple occasions.

That’s it for now…

More about how the CD came together later.

The CD has arrived!

Yay! (As my almost 3 years nephew would spontaneously and genuinly exclaim when excited about something)

We are very excited! The CDs came yesterday!
Pictures will be added on the website so y’all (I’m not southern and I’m kind of joking) can check it out. My sister did most of the artwork and our good friends Emily and Matt Troutman did most of the pictures and layout. You’ll probably see it soon.

All this to say, I found myself yesterday getting a bit too excited about them, so I tried to humble myself and remember that this whole project did not happen because of me, that I do not deserve any acclamation, applause, or recognition at all. It may sound cliche and apparently but not actually selfless, but God does, really does. My heart, though it often goes astray, ultimately wants God to be more famous because of this CD and our music.

On a similar note, I realized that at points in time, the CD project became more important than God, Jenny, and other relationships. Pathetic I know. May that not happen again.

I plan on posting more about the music behind the CD and how it came together. It is quite amazing that in little Newark, DE, so many talented people not only reside but are willing to lend their time, ears, gifts, fingers and creativity.

Peace to you all – whoever you are,

Tyler

iTunes CD COVER

Here’s the CD release event flyer…

If you don’t know it’s the Christmas season yet, step inside a Starbucks.

Every year at Christmastime I look forward to a few things:

1. The Oakridge Boys Christmas CD–my family listens to it every year (and has ever since I can remember) when we put up the tree.

2. The Christmas Eve service at church–I love preparing to welcome the Savior and reminding ourselves as a body of the true reason to celebrate.

3.Cinnamon Rolls–my mom makes them every Christmas morning. However, since Tyler and I won’t be going to my parent’s for Christmas this year, I’m going to have to make them.

4. The red cups at Starbucks–they’re back! You may have been thinking this whole time, Jenny, why the Christmas post so soon? We haven’t even hit Thanksgiving yet? Well, last night Tyler and I stopped by Starbucks for a little treat and I had a gingerbread latte in one of the red holiday cups. I was so excited I didn’t know what to do with myself. Seriously, from the warmth you feel upon crossing the threshold into Starbucks, to the snowflakes hanging and painted on the windows, and the array of holiday lattes offered, Starbucks exudes Christmas (in every secular, non-religious way possible.) Yet as I sat sipping my latte last night I couldn’t help but notice that there is absolutely no reference to Christ in Starbucks. I know that our society has become increasingly PC over the years. Rarely do you see a Christmas ad on television that actually says “Merry Christmas.” Instead “Happy Holidays” is now the all inclusive mantra of the season. The more I sipped my gingerbread latte the more I realized that there is nothing truly “Christmassy” about Starbucks at all. What a disappointment.

I want to appreciate Christmas for what it truly means in my life this year. I am really excited to celebrate my first Christmas with Tyler. I’ve been thinking about where to put our tree (we really live in the tiniest apartment), what traditions to incorporate from my family and his, and what I should give him. But none of that stuff compares to the awesomeness of a Savior coming to the Earth to draw sinful, dirty people to Himself, take on their shame, and save them from everlasting damnation. That is incredible!

Appreciate it everyday. Not just at Christmastime.

-Jenny

Good morning…

Last night Tyler and I went with two of our friends up to Philly to see Phil Wickham, the Myriad, and David Crowder Band (see post below for my pre-concert excitedness). The show was really quite good. In the words of Greg, “The Myriad was a little gimmicky.” A guy was playing the electric guitar with a cello bow or something which was quite different, but his guitar wasn’t turned up loud enough so you couldn’t really hear the effect. They had a marching band bass drum on the stage which at one point the keyboard player came over and wailed on with enormous mallets, and the drummer played the toms with what looked like timpani mallets all night. It was slightly ridiculous. At the same time, their music sounded great. I really enjoyed the lyrics, and the lead singer had a phenomenal voice. Definitely a band to look out for.

As for Phil, his vocals amazed me as always and he gave his set a very worshipful feel, incorporating old hymns and praise choruses throughout his original songs. It was great.

And David Crowder, well, it’s David Crowder. You really can’t go wrong. It was really awesome to see so many young people at the show going crazy and praising God with him. Sometimes at concerts it worries me that people might be worshipping the band instead of God. I can’t really know that for sure, I can’t see people’s hearts, but sometimes I find myself doing it and I wonder about everyone else. Last night though with David Crowder, it really felt like people were engaged in worshipping God.
It was a refreshing end to a very busy school week.

We took a video from the concert that we’ll probably be posting soon (Tyler has to come show me how to do all of that stuff…I’m not very computer savvy.) but until then I’ll be reading for class and hopefully sqeezing some time in for music.

have a lovely day or two,
jenny

Phil Wickham or “Christian” socialism? I choose Phil.

I’m full of excitement! Why, you ask? Well, while I’m certainly not mesmerized by 19th century Christian (if you can call it that) socialism in German-speaking nations (I’m in the middle of reading for a class), I’m thrilled about going to see Phil Wickham (www.philwickham.com) in concert this Thursday! My best friend Erin just called and told me that she bought Ty and I tickets as a belated wedding present. So this Thursday we’re heading up to the electric factory in Philly to see Phil & David Crowder with Erin & Greg and our friends Donna & Robbie.

I’m also really excited about going out with other couples. Being married young can get kinda lonely. We just don’t know many couples our age.

Tyler’s happy too!

Gee whiz, this is great!
-Jenny

Introverts, Relationships, and Lyrical Content

This afternoon a friend of mine and I had a nice chat about being musicians and being introverted at the same time. I think that a lot of people assume that individuals who enjoy performing their own music for crowds are automatically extremely extroverted, confident, and at ease in large groups of people. I’ve discovered that the opposite is usually true. At least it is for me, my friend, and dare I say, Tyler?
I know, those of you who know Tyler are thinking, isn’t he the most personable, friendly, honest person ever? Of course, but truth be told having been in a relationship with him for 3 years and now living with him, Tyler is most satisfied when he finds himself in one of those quiet moments with a guitar, pencil, notebook, and Bible in hand.
The same is true for me. We’ve had some rainy weather recently, and on those dreary days I love to curl up with tea and a good book. I’ve been learning a lot recently that while being thoughtful and quiet is good, it isn’t always best. It’s important to be intentional with people. Yesterday I ran into a friend I hadn’t seen in nearly a month and just chatting with her for a couple minutes really seemed to feed my soul. That may sound strange, but those of you who have good friends know what I’m talking about. This friend and I are getting coffee tomorrow.
In other news, I’m really excited about the CD release show! Finally a chance to play original material to a captive audience where we can really highlight the lyrical content of our music. Many times after shows people approach Tyler and I and mention how much they loved our harmonies, Ty’s guitar, etc. My hope is that you’ll be encouraged by the lyrics of our songs at this concert. It’s the message that matters most.
Can’t wait to see some of you soon….
-Jenny

This is a picture of Ty and I at the BSM hayride this past Tuesday. Tyler was an obnoxious, uneducated evangelist and I was Tyler as a Starbucks employee. I know…totally lame. hayride fun.