Last month, I had the pleasure of spending two weeks in Spring Green, WI, as their musician in residence. Those two weeks felt like a gift, time spent making new friends, refreshing some weary bones, and rediscovering the simple joy of being creative.

One of the goals of the residency was to collaborate with other artists in their community…which is a challenge to pull off in the midst of a pandemic.

One morning while I was there, I woke up with an idea in my head—to create a piece of performance art that drew together local musicians, local actors, and local architecture, in a region known for all three. With the help of a couple actors from American Players Theater, a musician, a videographer, and Frank Lloyd Wright’s estate (Taliesin), that’s exactly what we did.

Berry, Wright, and…me.

I started by pulling together some passages from Wendell Berry that add some shape and context to my song “Our Love Is Whatever.” One of the themes from his decades of writing is the necessary difficulties that come with committing yourself to the people around you, starting with your own family.

And Frank Lloyd Wright, as probably the most well-known American architect of the 20th century, has had a massive impact on the way many of us (whether consciously or subconsciously) view and inhabit the spaces we call home.

So to meld these artists’ work with my own song about the pain inherent in making a lasting home and family, well it felt like a special combination:

The Shoot

We filmed this inside the drafting studio at Taliesin’s Hillside Home School II, where Wright taught his apprentices. From what I understand, this is the primary spot Wright worked out of after World War II when he was in Wisconsin, the very room where he worked on plans for the Guggenheim, the Mile High building, and other iconic designs.

Taliesin is actively in use, but we were able to secure a 2-hour window between visitor tours to load in, set up, sound check, film, tear down, and get out of the way. A challenging time-frame, for sure, but I’m proud of what we ended up capturing.

I need to give a huge thank-you to my new friends Alys Dickerson, Marcus Truschinski, Ben Feiner, and Asa Derks who helped bring this to life, and to Caroline Hamblen at Taliesin for being ridiculously kind to a stranger with a weird idea.

The Peace of Wild Things

There’s no shortage of despair in the world these days, and in my own heart most days. So with that, I’ll leave you with this Wendell Berry poem that’s been a balm to me for several years:

When despair for the world grows in me
and I wake in the night at the least sound
in fear of what my life and my children’s lives may be,
I go and lie down where the wood drake
rests in his beauty on the water, and the great heron feeds.
I come into the peace of wild things
who do not tax their lives with forethought
of grief. I come into the presence of still water.
And I feel above me the day-blind stars
waiting with their light. For a time
I rest in the grace of the world, and am free.

My friend Dewey at Forty-One Fifteen Studio asked me if I’d send him a video of a song for his Homestyle Recordings series, with artists from all over recording themselves at home during this pandemic. None of my songs seemed right for the moment, so this is a new one.

I’ve long wondered if anything is purely one thing. It seems that each moment is a mixed bag: a joyful celebration dimmed by thoughts of the one who isn’t there to share it with you, grief lessened by another hand intertwined with yours, and so it goes.

Despair, anger, courage, fear, gladness–all pushing and pulling against one another throughout each day. And that feels more evident during this pandemic than any other time I can remember.

Nearly the entire world is waking each day to the same source of trauma, but it’s obvious that we each process it in a different way as our hearts, minds, and bodies try to make sense of what’s happening.

Lately I feel the gray numbness of each day being the same as the one before, with occasional waves of emotion that spill over without warning. Often, it feels like everything is falling apart. But “falling apart” is another thing that’s not just one thing. It’s terrifying and necessary and freeing.

This is a new song about all of this mess, and I hope it can be helpful to someone. We are not alone in our isolation, and we can be utterly alone surrounded by people we love. Both are true. Let’s be kind to ourselves and each other when we need to fall apart.

Hey everybody. In case you haven’t heard it yet, the 3rd single from And Yet came out last week. It’s called “Our Love Is Whatever,” and it’s the last single we’re releasing before the full album comes out on 4/26.

And Ground Sounds described it as “a deeply touching Americana-style showcase of stunning vocals and personal lyricism.”

If you missed the story behind the song for either of the first two singles, you can find them here (“Better Man”) and here (“Hold My Son”).

Our Love Is Whatever final small

This album has a few different themes, but the central one is trying to figure out how to stay in love, how to stick out it with the one you’ve got even if it would be easier to throw in the towel. And this song came out of one of the hardest parts of that journey.

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Last Friday, the second single from the new album came out. It’s called “Hold My Son,” and it might be my favorite song on the record.

I started writing it the morning of the presidential inauguration back in 2017. I can already hear some of you squirming in your seat, wondering where this is going. I don’t want to get too deep into the political weeds here if I can help it, so I’ll attempt to summarize rather than adding one more rant into the abyss of the internet. Continue reading

It’s been a long time coming, this record. I think I wrote the first song for it back in 2015 or 2016. Planned to record it in 2017, ended up recording it in 2018.

And here we are now, with our calendars/planners/online widgets saying February 2019, and the first single of the record is finally getting to see the light of day.

In the grand scheme of the universe, or even in the mid-sized scheme of pop music in America, that probably won’t raise many ripples. But in the tiny scheme of my own journey, it feels worth celebrating. (Celebrating is, perhaps, a relative term. Tomorrow it looks like watching old Mr. Rogers episodes with my 2-year-old who is stuck at home with some version of pink eye.)

Better Man cover final

listen to “better man” now

I’ve always had mixed feelings about artists who over-explain their songs, but if you’ll humor me, I’ll share some of the backstory on these new tracks.

“Better Man” is not only the first single, it’s also the first track on the record. And if you’ve listened to any of my stuff before, you’ll notice pretty quickly that we’re not in Kansas anymore, so to speak. There isn’t a single note of acoustic piano on the record, and that space has been filled with rhodes and wurlitzer (i.e. old electric pianos), and layer after layer of analog synths.

As for the lyrics, well, here goes a rambling attempt to unpack this one. Continue reading

Most days, I’m more comfortable interacting with characters in a book than actual humans. Some people call it introversion. Other people call it being a nerd, I suppose.

Contrary to what you may hear, there are a lot of pros to being an introvert/nerd. But one of the cons is that it can be difficult to make a new friend. So a lot of my friends are books.

But you know what’s even better than being friends with a book? Being friends with a library. And that’s just what happened to me recently.


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“…they were accepting each other back, and that feeling, that feeling of being accepted back again and again, of someone’s affection for you expanding to encompass whatever new flawed thing had just manifested in you, that was the deepest, dearest thing.”

—Eber in George Saunders’s “Tenth of December”

I used to have a pair of blue corduroy pants that didn’t fit right. During the years I owned them, they went from being too tight to be fashionable to being too baggy to be fashionable. Some days during college, if I felt like I was getting overly concerned with how I looked, I would make myself wear those funny pants. Forced humility through a little self-humiliation, I guess. We humans are odd.


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It’s a Friday afternoon
Or maybe a Thursday
Sometimes it’s hard to say

I’ve felt a fog throughout
However many days
Have happened so far this week

We are small town people
Living in bigger towns,
Pretending we’ve always been.