The Opening Band for Need to Breathe and Jars of Clay

image So it happened like this:

1.  A ultra hip husband and wife call and invite Justin to open with some music and invite me speak at an event called “Elevate 2010

2.  They explain that the headlining bands are Jars of Clay and Need to Breathe.

3.  They ask if we are interested.

4.  We say "Well, maybe we can make room in our schedule.”

5.  I polish up the teaching for the event.

6.  Justin puts together a band (including a bald acoustic guitar player).

7.  Justin writes some killer original tunes.

8.  The band practices like mad.

So, throw the kids and the lawn chairs in the SUV and head to Martinsville, IL (30 min West of Terre Haute on I-70).  Elevate kicks off at 6PM (Il time) on July 5. Tickets are available at the gate or on-line by clicking here.

Be sure to follow me on twitter or facebook for an inside look of the events of the day!

Note:  This is a festival-type event so bring blankets, chairs, etc (there is no seating).

Shaggy

The Simple Worship 2 CD is getting close to being done.  We are now working on graphics.  Here is some rejected cover art.  I was digging it, but my advisors said “No.”

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road trip

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I’ll be in Indy this weekend, leading worship for Intervaristy and their Summit conference.  This will be my second year at Summit and I’m looking forward to a great time once again.  IV is known for exceptional content and a solid Biblical foundation in all of their stuff.  If you are in the circle city this weekend, look me up!

new year – new cd

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Happy New Year! The 1st day of 2008 finds me in the studio finishing the guitar tracks for the new CD.

As a follow-up to Simple Worship 1, I am excited to get Simple Worship 2 finished up. This will be my 4th worship CD and has more originals than any other project.

I have been getting some great feedback on a song called “Tired.” You can view and listen to a rough cut of it here.

Keep your eyes open and I will let you know when the CD becomes available. In the meantime, if you would like to order Simple Worship 1, just drop me a note at the contacts page.  Take a look at both Tired and Simple Worship 2 at www.scotlongyearmusic.com.

Back to the studio

what the church could learn from springsteen // 03

image In part 3 of the Springsteen series, we explore another thought from Rick Newman and US News and World Report. Rick’s third observation from the Boss is that he gives the people what they want. Here are Rick’s own words:

Experiments get a more welcome reception when mingled with something familiar. Throughout the show, Springsteen deftly blended unembellished hits such as “Badlands” and “Born to Run,” performed pretty much the way everybody knows them, with darker, topical music; after appeasing his conscience, he quickly reverted to happier songs such as “The Promised Land” (irony intended, I presume) and “Dancing in the Dark.” The result: His message of protest got across without turning anybody off.

I know what you are thinking here. “The church can’t give people what they want. We would compromise or values and morals.” Hmmm, not sure I buy into that objection. To me, it is an issue of relevance.

Someone once said that “The church has historically been answering the questions that nobody is asking.”

Ouch.

Jesus always looked beyond the obvious. He looked into the lives of people. What were they struggling with? What were the things locking them up? What were their dreams?

Somewhere along the way we have to be able to answer the question of what people are looking for. Every year the people of exchange volunteer to work one of the biggest musical event in town. Bluesfest draws people from all over the Midwest. Several thousands come to enjoy some good blues with some great friends. Last year I stood in the middle of the crowd and again had to ask myself:

Is the church being relevant? Are we addressing the questions that these people are struggling with? Is the song we are singing familiar to people outside of Christ?

I never want to stop asking those question. As a church, we better wrestle with it. I am not asking that we compromise the message or the values. I am asking that we look at the questions that people are asking and begin to address those in relevant ways. Jesus did it, why should we do any different?

The heart of Christ beats for those who have yet to know him. Find out what they are asking and you have an inroad to the familiar in their life.

Photo by Sister 72

sidewalk prophets

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I’ll be honest, I am not impressed with most Independent artists (A.K.A. “Indies”). Yes, I realize I am an Indie artist :>

Last year Dave Frey (a former youth group kid of mine), sends me a copy of his latest project. At Anderson University, Dave teamed up with Ben McDonald. Together they formed Sidewalk Prophets. Expecting to be less than impressed, I gave it an obligatory spin. Sha-zam!! I was impressed big time. The vocals are tonally wonderful and the song writing is as fresh as Grannies homemade pie. One of my favorite songs, Where I Stand, hits me hard every time. Not only is it a beautiful picture of hope to a struggling young woman, but I hear it as a song of hope to the church. I get fired up every time I listen.

Still not impressed? These guys have opened for some big names in the biz and shared the stage with Audio A (among others). Not long after there last US tour, Sidewalk Prophets packed up and headed overseas. They recently released an EP and are heading back to Europe in a few weeks.

Keep these guys on the radar.

This is a must have CD. Check out all the details on the Sidewalk Prophet’s Website, or at Myspace.