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Catching Up… Fall 2009

November 23, 2009

Sorry I’ve been less frequent with updates the last few weeks – between professional and personal stuff there hasn’t been a spare moment!  On the personal front, I’ve been taking some much needed family vacation time wherever I can get it.  It seems I’ve spent most of the year either writing, recording, or touring the new record, but we were able to sneak in some family getaway time in two parts. A few days in Wisconsin and then, after a radio promo tour with Josh (from my record label) that took us to 17 stations in a week between Chicago and Tampa, I met up with Taya and the boys in FL for another few days of vacation in Orlando.

Gus was the perfect age to take to Disney world, just tall enough to ride all the rides and small enough to have to muster every last reserve of courage to do so.  We had so much fun together.  They were all so happy to get to fly down, but I did make them drive back with me.  The best part of the drive home was when Taya, who had been wearing a miner’s style head lamp in order to read to us while we drove in the dark, went into a packed Carrabbas in Macon, GA to put our name in for a table without having removed the headlight.  She wondered why everyone was looking at her.  We’re still laughing when we think of how it must have blinded the host when Taya asked for a table…

The radio promo tour I mentioned was an aggressive schedule of driving 12 hours a day meeting with 3 to 4 radio stations daily to introduce them to the next single, “More Like Falling In Love”. Radio gets around 600+ new songs a year, but can only add 1 or 2 new ones a week, meaning that it’s really, really, really hard to get radio airplay.  And they’ll usually play an established artist before a more obscure artist like yours truly, meaning that if Tobymac and Jason Gray release a single at the same time, Tobymac’s is more likely to get added to the playlist than mine.

However, we feel very blessed that the song is getting a lot of advance attention. Centricity submitted the song to a testing service where it’s played for a test group of your average radio listeners in the mix with the current charting songs by guys like Thomlin, Casting Crowns, etc.  I’m worried I’m boring you with all this insider talk, but what I’m wanting to let you know is that it was one of the highest testing songs – even when played along with established artists!  So we’re hoping that this might be the song that has a chance to introduce my ministry to a broader audience.  After all these years of doing this, it would be pretty cool to have a song that gets a chance to step up to the plate and take a swing.  We’ll see what happens…

In the meantime we pray, and we pray with our lives by hitting the road and telling our story to our friends at radio.  I’ll be going out again with Josh in January for part 2 of the radio promotional tour.  The single releases December 26th.

Before all this I was of course on tour with Sanctus Real, which was great, but we were grateful to make it home in time for the last days of Autumn and a very special Halloween weekend.

We made good on the Uber Deluxe package where you would come to our house for a concert in our living room followed by watching Nacho Libre. The purchasers were friends of ours from IL: Lori and her son Ben.  We suggested they come for our Halloween party since our weekends home were few and far between. What made the weekend especially poignant was the fact that Lori and Ben lost their husband and father Ron to cancer a year before.  In fact, it was their story that compelled me to write this lyric with Andy Osenga for the new record:

Another nail in another coffin
Hands that held you, return to dust
Yet in our hearts we know that death must be a liar
When no goodbye is ever good enough…
Could it be that everything sad is coming untrue?

Ben is just a little older than Gus, and we hit the streets of our little Minnesotan town, Ben as Scooby Doo and Gus as a ninja warrior, and we had a blast.  Lori told me afterward that trick or treating was one of the last things Ron got to do with Ben before he was hospitalized for the last time. She said that it helped create a new memory on a day that otherwise might have been a sad one for young Ben.  We were so grateful to get to play a small part in that story of God’s kindness in their lives.

As I write, we’re still homeward bound from Florida, preparing our hearts for Thanksgiving and then Christmas.  As we count our blessings and think of all that we’re thankful for, I feel thankful as I write this to think of you caring enough about our family and our ministry to read it.  I’m thankful that God has caused our paths to cross…

2 Comments leave one →
  1. November 24, 2009 1:16 pm

    I called our local Christian radio station last night requesting your song! And they are consistently playing it (Appleton/Green Bay area.) I’ve also posted about you on my Facebook page, just really enjoying your music…Happy Thanksgiving to you and your family!

  2. November 30, 2009 9:44 pm

    Which radio station is that, Suzanne? I live in southern WI, and maybe I could pick it up.

    Jason, what would be the best way to get my local radio stations to play your music? I’ve requested your songs before, but they don’t seem to have them. I’d really like to be able to listen to your music without having to get on the computer every time!

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