Thursday, December 24, 2009

A Christmas Greeting

One of the little joys of Christmas is that the holiday has its own music. Sure, at Thanksgiving we can sing We Gather Together or Come, Ye Thankful People, Come, but seriously, when was the last time you saw an artist promoting their latest collection of Thanksgiving classics?
This Christmas, a few songs have settled into a groove. I'll Be Home for Christmas is one. Doug's remarkable performance of I Saw Mommy Kissing Santa Claus with Three Preachers and a Drummer provided new appreciation for that tune. The song that has settled for me this year, though, is John Jacob Niles' I Wonder As I Wander.
I wonder as I wander out under the sky
How Jesus the Savior did come for to die
For poor, orn'ry people, like you and like I;
I wonder as I wander out under the sky.
Niles wrote this Christmas song from a fragment of a melody he heard in an Appalachian church in 1933. The song tickles my memory, as music as the power to do.
Hoping that it will bless your Christmas as well, I made a recording of I Wonder As I Wander in my home studio and uploaded it to ReverbNation. Use this link to listen. If you would like, you can also download the MP3 file from my ReverbNation page. Look for the little down arrow symbol to the right of the song title.
I hope this Christmas fills you with wonder and that the celebration lights up your day.
Merry Christmas!

Tuesday, December 08, 2009

Heading on Toward Christmas, Two Benefit Performances

All the inside decorating is done at our house.  The tree is up.  The nativity set is out, along with assorted candles, pillows, towels, and our nativity scene snow globe that plays Silent Night.  We've had it for most of our married life, and it became part of our tradition a long time ago.  The only decorating that's left to do is outside.
Musically, this weekend holds the last performances of the year for me, and in the spirit of the season, they're both benefits.
This Thursday through Sunday, Beasley's Orchard in Danville, Ind., will have Christmas at the Orchard. Visit their web site to get all the details on the events in both the Old Barn Market and the Warm Tent of Wonderland. They have a whole weekend of music planned, and it will be my pleasure to provide music on Friday afternoon from 3:00 until 6:00. Proceeds from the festival benefit Project A.N.G.E.L.
Then on Saturday, my friends Holly Smith and Rick Garrett, a.k.a. Patchwork, have organized a benefit for PourHouse at Strange Brew in Greenwood. It will be twelve full hours of music and fun starting at 8:00 Saturday morning and featuring the delicious food and wonderful coffees and teas at Strange Brew.
I'm thrilled to be playing a one-hour set starting at 12:30, and I plan to stick around for the acoustic jam that starts at 2:00.  They have received several nice donations, and the raffle drawing for those items will be at 7:00.
Finally, a word from our sponsor. The holidays typically stand as a reminder of the tendency to over-indulge. We can go overboard on a lot of things, especially our desire to spend and consume. That said, however, the holidays also provide an opportunity to remember those dear to us. Music can be a nice way to let people know you thought of them.
Imagine how much fun it would be to delight your friends and family by putting My Dog Jesus in their Christmas stocking. I'm serious; I ain't misbehavin'. You can make some precious memories, and they'll all be feelin' groovy. It really is a simple gift, so please drop by the web site or CD Baby to share a little Dean for the holidays.
Ready or not, here comes Christmas. May its many blessings find their way to your heart and home.

Thursday, December 03, 2009

Old Friends, New Venue

Friday night will find me sharing the stage with Patchwork once again. Rick, Holly and I always enjoy playing together. We have fun, and that usually translates into everybody having a good time.
We'll be playing on the north side of Indianapolis, at a new venue for us. Bar Louie is located in Carmel at 14299 Clay Terrace Blvd. It's an over-21 venue, but it's also smoke-free. This will be our first time there, and we hope not the last.
You may notice that after December, there's not a lot on the calendar. That's intentional. After a pretty intense performance schedule this year, I want to lay back for a couple of months. During January and February, I'll be building the calendar for 2010. I'll also polish up some new tunes and get ready for a year of fun at festivals and farmers' markets, coffee shops and churches.
As the year winds down and Christmas approaches, the pace seems to pick up. So much needs to be done, but don't forget to pause every now and then and take a breath. Enjoy the sights, sounds and smells of the season so that when Christmas arrives, you'll have joy enough to share.
Advent blessings,