Songs of an Ancient Truth

It’s been quiet on the music front here in Branland. Despite this, however, I have been hard at work at making new music. Over the last four or five years I’ve been working on the biggest project I’ve ever undertaken. And now that I’m coming to an end of it, I am left with a brand new album that is a little different from what I’ve previously done.

May I present to you Songs of an Ancient Truth: The Dhammapada in Song.

As a folk musician, I always implement my spiritual practices and ideas into my music, and my Buddhist practice proved to be no exception. I wanted to make Buddhist music, something that was undeniably Buddhist without sacrificing my folky singer-songwriter sound that I’ve been making over the past seven years. In 2018 I released Bardic Dharma, which was a variety of songs inspired by Buddhist teachings of different severities, but to be honest I was never really satisfied with that. Coming from Pagan music, which is rich and varied and active, I was slightly disappointed seeing how Buddhism lacks a musical presence—aside from traditional mantras and chants—and so I set out to create some music that could be considered “Buddhist” or “Dharmic.”

One of the first traditional sacred texts of Buddhism I read was The Dhammapada, a book of verses that belongs to the Canon of Theravada Buddhism. It contains 26 chapters of verses that reflect many of Buddhism’s core teachings.

The opening verses are some of the most remarkable of the whole book:

All experience is preceded by mind, led by mind, shaped by mind
Speak or act with a corrupted mind and suffering follows
Like the wagon wheel of an ox

All experience is preceded by mind, led by mind, shaped by mind
Speak or act with a peaceful mind and happiness follows
Like a never-departing shadow

Much can be said of these two verses, and it was these two verses that kicked off this huge project. I had found myself putting these two verses to a melody and played it over and over like a sort of mantra or kirtan. Except, I couldn’t help but add the next verse. But that felt too incomplete. I couldn’t just leave it at a few verses! So I aimed to put the entire first chapter of the Dhammapada to song. What a doozy, an 11 minute song! But . . . there were other chapters . . . . It kind of just went downhill from there, culminating in the first half of the entire Dhammapada now in song.

Working on this project had so many surprises for myself—sitting down with a chapter and thinking There’s no way I can make a song out of this! And then actually making a song out of it was such an amazing exercise. Not only did I familiarize myself with the Buddhist verses, the process really stretched my creativity as a musician. Many of the songs on this album are truly progressive, and later in the process I even began implementing elements I’ve never truly tried before: electric guitar, for example.

It’s been such an enriching practice for myself to get acquainted with the texts of The Dhammapada, and it’s exciting to be able to share this unique take on such a timeless classic full of the Buddha’s wisdom. Hope it inspires you! More to some soon…

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Meanwhile, Back on Earth…

Meanwhile, Back on Earth…

What a year it has been. And like many artists and musicians in the past year, we have been given a bit of reflective time, and time to scour our archives and find hidden gems. The pandemic has given me time to do exactly this, and what I’ve come out with is a collection of songs written in the last four or five years, songs I’ve loved but had nowhere yet to display them. 

Some of them were left on the cutting room floor from my last album “The Other Side of the Sky”, deemed too pessimistic and angsty for the airy, positive theme of the album. I came to realize I had a fistful of “misfit songs” that fit really well together. 

After I released “The Other Side of the Sky” I wanted to do something that was expressly “opposite” of that album, and so I set out to make a grounded, earthy album (what’s more opposite to sky than ground?) and so this album was born. While I had written the songs for “The Other Side of the Sky”, I simultaneously had this collection of songs building up.

Thus was formed the concept of “Meanwhile, Back on Earth…”, songs that were equally as honest as their predecessors, but maybe a bit more realistic and raw. 

We open the album with a heavy, gritty sci-fi song “Farewell to the Master”, based off of the short story by Harry Bates (you may be familiar with the cinematic adaptation “The Day the Earth Stood Still” that lost sight of the original story). It sets the scene: a craft from the far reaches of space and time touches down upon planet Earth to deliver a message. (Who’s the master, though? Being or machine?)

The next track is “Escape the Maze”, which grapples with the idea of “busy-ness” running rampant in our consumerist society. We run run run like a rat in a maze, trying always to get the prize, but not realizing that we’re still stuck in the cage. Can we ever slow down?

“Children of the Universe” discusses the learn-as-you-go nature of life. We make mistakes all the time, but we can learn from them. In fact, that’s the best way to learn. And we don’t have to feel bad for making mistakes: We all make them, we’re all stumbling and confused. We are all children of the universe!

“Poor Ol’ Tree” is a personal favorite that tells the tale of humanity’s demise through nuclear war…told from a tree’s perspective. The poor ol’ tree narrates a scorching blast, a nuclear winter, and the desolation and loneliness that follows mutually-assured destruction.

Following that stark song is a somber, almost optimistic ballad “As Best We Can” that reminds us that, while the political and social atmospheres around us constantly shift—and sometimes violently—we are resilient. It might not be comfortable to keep going, but we can and must. Perhaps we could even help the people around us as best we can in trying times. The old ways we knew might die out, but new ways and new worlds arise out of it.

We pick up the pace a bit with “Hey, Ain’t that Just Life” that piggybacks off of “Escape the Maze”’s theme of consumerism. This song tells the tale of unjolly Jack and Jill, who buy into the consumerist lifestyle of more-is-more: Jack buys an expensive car, and has to get a second job in order to pay off his car (that we got to get to his job…a vicious cycle…), and Jill lives way beyond her means, hoping her credit card bills don’t drown her. This striving for material gain is like going up a hill. What will you find at the top, though?

“Scarecrow Joe” is a song about a scarecrow named Joe. How does a scarecrow feel, standing in a field alone and lonely, scaring all his potential friends away? Sometimes we can relate all too well with his plight.

“Goodbye Yesterday, Never Mind Tomorrow” is about when you get too tired of playing games. Too tired of regretting the past and fearing the future, you throw your hands up and say “I’m done with this.” You just want to rest here, now, and not worry about the mistakes you made or trying to win people over.

“Dark Autumn Wind” is a seasonal song about the cold, bitter winds of Autumn sneaking up on us and stealing our warmth away.

“Armageddon, Ragnarok” follows on the coattails of “Poor Ol’ Tree”: it wrestles with the idea of mutually-assured destruction and religious zealotry. People can be so convinced in their ideologies that they begin to see their fellow humans as the enemy that must be destroyed…but guess what? When both sides think that same way, you’ve come to an irreconcilable impasse where the only answer is death and destruction. Everyone is convinced it is the end times prophesied in lore and legend. It’s an eschatologically-fueled race to the finish.

“The World Moves On” is a somber, morbid look at our own mortality. It was inspired by a dream I had where I had time traveled to the future just after my death: I saw people I knew going through my belongings, figuring out what to keep and what to sell. The world moves on after we’ve died. It’s a place not meant for us. So live life now, while we can.

“I Shoulda Had Another Cuppa Coffee” might just be a lighter note to end this album on. It also might be what I thought to myself when I finished putting this album together. A slew of pessimistic, raw, uncomfortable songs. Wow, maybe I need another cup of coffee…yikes. Regardless, this is a fan favorite, and it’s about time it’s featured on an album! A timeless, universal subject! Who doesn’t want another cup?

In conclusion, this album touches on uncomfortable topics: rampant consumerism, loneliness, exhaustion, mutually-assured destruction, fundamentalism, our own mortality. Living on the Earth is tiring, thirsty work. We mess up, we make mistakes, we struggle, and then eventually we die. It’s important to recognize these truths. 

When we make mistakes, we can laugh it off and learn from it; when we struggle, we can recognize the inescapable reality of that and wake up to the fact that everyone struggles. We’re not alone! 

Maybe we can even help a little along the way. Plant trees, or stop and think before we throw a punch, or something big or small. And when we die, we can die knowing we tried the best we can and were honest with our lives.

Meanwhile, we’ll drink our coffee, plant our feet, laugh at ourselves, and lean into the cold, dark wind as we forge our way onward.

I am so pleased and excited to present to you my latest album, “Meanwhile, Back on Earth…” Enjoy!

Pre-order at

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The Lost Trail…new adventure awaits!

Over the last two or three years my twin brother and I have been working on some new music…and it’s finally almost here!

It’s called The Lost Trail.

The Lost Trail is our new instrumental folk album born from our twin imagination. This album brings together both of our musical talents and unique, down-to-earth styles to create something that’s both comfortable and daring.

This album is a story of adventure inspired by the natural beauty of my homeland of Kansas. From homespun upbeat melodies that sound like back porch jam sessions (and indeed, some songs were the result of back porch jam sessions), to somber, reflective guitar ballads, this album will take you there and back again. Put on your hiking boots, grab a back pack, and get ready to get lost!

I’ve never recorded an instrumental album, so I’m excited and scared to release this to y’all! The release date has yet to be determined, but I’m sure we’ll drop it on you soon.

In the mean time, enjoy the brand new music video for the only non-instrumental song on the album called Ad Astra, a song about Kansas. It’s our own little take on Home on the Range, Kansas’s official state song.

And be sure to like both Mark’s and my facebook page to keep up to date!


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Worn Out Shoes

I wanted to share a song with you. I wrote this song late last year, and it’s become one of my favorites of mine.

It’s called Worn Out Shoes (and will be featured on my future album, The Other Side of the Sky).

This song started with a dream.

In the dream I was in a world’s religions class. Our assignment was to pick out a line of sacred text and create a visual art project inspired by it. I found a (non-existent) line of (non-existent) Buddhist poetry:

How can I be angry with you when you set down your worn out shoes next to mine?

I was so touched by this line, and knew it would be the one I would use for the assignment. I created, on newsletter, a side profile of the Buddha breathing out a kaleidoscope of the universe that curled up like a wave and fell back on the Buddha, revealing that he, too, was part of the wave. A nice image of interdependent co-arising, eh?

I woke up with the line of poetry in my head and knew it had to be the chorus of a song. It was pregnant with meaning: our shared humanity, our mutual suffering, and our ability to recognize that we all suffer. We can rise above prejudices and stereotypes when we realize we’re all just walking on the same ground, though on different paths. Every one of our shoes will wear down, every one of our feet will ache, and we will all stumble.

And we have the ability to help each other. It’s like what Ram Dass says: “We’re all just walking each other home.”

The verses I wrote in the waking world, but the line of poetry from the dream worked so well as a chorus by itself that I left it alone.


Soles wear down just the same
No matter what road we take
Every journey takes a different route
But every path is made of the same ground

How can I be angry with you
When you set down your worn out shoes
Next to mine

We all bow down to our knees
Every now and then to tie a lace
Each shoes hides worn out feet
Yearning for some rest or a slower pace


You can’t always keep from stumbling
As you walk on the rugged dirt
But I’ll lend a hand if you start to fall
Together our feet will kiss the earth


May your walk through life be beautiful.
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Renunciation: Life-Denying or Life-Affirming?

I rarely post a blog, but I felt compelled to write this.

Yesterday I was posed a question by a non-Buddhist friend. Because I participate in the pagan community—this question was asked at Kansas City Pagan Pride Day—some find it baffling how I can call myself Buddhist while still entertaining a social life within the pagan paradigm.

I am not, admittedly, pagan. At least, not as pagan as I once was. While Paganism is a beautiful celebratory practice that led me to where I am now, and while I still associate quite closely to my Druid friends, I have outgrown my Pagan clothes long ago and have found refuge in the teachings of the Buddha. (That is perhaps for a later installment).

Back to the question at hand. My friend posited that Paganism and Buddhism are altogether incompatible as a practice. Specifically, that the Buddhist approach and concepts of renunciation, disenchantment, disillusion, and dispassion seem to suggest a life-denying way of thinking.

On the opposite side of this, my friend argued, is a hedonistic tendency among Pagans to embrace life and all its pleasures.

This boils down to a Buddhist renunciation vs. Hedonism. It’s unfair to categorize Buddhism as a life-denying, ascetic path that turns its back on the world (since Buddhism is in essence a Middle Path between hedonism and asceticism). Just as it is unfair to categorize and over-simplify Paganism as a purely hedonistic path. But because Hedonism is what was argued, I will be focusing on that.

There are so many misconceptions revolving around these ideas of Buddhism and renunciation/disenchantment. I hope to clear up some of those with my own understanding on the topics.

I started thinking about these misconceptions of the Buddhist concept of renunciation and disenchantment. What do non-Buddhists usually think of these? Renunciation sounds like a scary word, evoking ideas of giving up all worldly possessions and living in rags, living a life of voluntary homelessness. But this is not what is meant by renunciation.

Renunciation is the first practice of the second stage of the Eightfold Path—Right Intention, or Right Thought. It is a sort of “freedom from desire.” So in this sense, yes, this is incompatible with a Pagan idea of hedonism, which connotes a sort of giving into every sensual desire. But it does not deny pleasure.

Quite the opposite, this idea of renunciation—or a more positive way of thinking of it, generosity—aims at delivering oneself from the pain, worry, and grief that is caused by the pursuit of pleasures of the senses. By freeing oneself from the maddening drive to accumulate more and more pleasurable experiences, one will discover a more profound, refined state of being—that of letting go.

In Buddhism, the most fundamental teachings—the Four Noble Truths—says that dukkha, or the pervasive dissatisfaction and uncertainty of life (popularly “suffering”) is caused, in part, by our constant desire and pursuit of sense pleasures, to gain what we do not already have. This is because we constantly mistake that which brings temporary relief from our craving for true peace and happiness. Things and experiences can’t give us this peace because those circumstances from which pleasure arises will inevitably change and go away. They’re temporary. You’ve never eaten a piece of cake so good that nothing ever bothered you anymore.

Christina Feldman, in her book The Buddhist Path to Simplicity, says this about renunciation: “A life dedicated to depth and compassion invites us to let go of the layers of relentless need and thirst to accumulate that can govern our lives, and to understand the insecurities and anxieties that separate us from ourselves and others. Renunciation is the greatest of all kindnesses . . .

To let go of the things that don’t bring us well-being and peace, it’s helpful to recognize the truth of the matter: that these things are temporary and will pass.

You want the piece of cake, you eat it. Feel bliss? Maybe for a minute. Then you want another piece, or maybe it was too rich and now your tummy is upset. Maybe you regret it. Maybe you are worried because that was a pretty big piece, and now everyone will hate you for taking the best part. Worry, paranoia, regret, more wanting, discomfort.

And is it really the cake that made you happy, or is it the fact that the wanting of the cake is finally gone that gives you a sense of temporary relief?

It’s not a mortal sin for eating the cake. Eat the cake! I like cake sometimes. The fundamental problem is the craving. And it’s really not even the arising of craving that causes the problem, even! It’s the fact that we buy into it, we believe it. We adopt the religious conviction for the time being that the cake/booze/sex/money is a legitimate form of relieving our suffering. But then when we feed into that belief, the relief fades away, transforms back into craving. You’ve never had the Cake to End All Cake. It’s not as if a piece of cake was so good that you never craved cake ever again.

So in order to solve this problem, we have to be generous with this craving: give it not the attention it wants, but the attention it deserves: be mindful of it. Watch it with curiosity. Where does it come from? How does it feel? How long does it last? I bet you’ll find some really interesting observations.

In short, the difference is this: You can let the cravings govern your choices, or you can choose to govern your cravings.

Pay attention to them and see which ones bring about a deeper, truer happiness.

The idea of disenchantment, disillusion, and dispassion are all intrinsically tied up with renunciation. When you recognize the truth that experiences and sense pleasures will never bring a satisfying end to your suffering, you begin to rely so much on those devices to bring you happiness.

The Buddhist definition of disenchantment is quite a literal one: we become not-enchanted. We dis-enchant ourselves. Enchantment can be viewed in a theatrical way as a spell cast over us. It is our job to break that spell.

What are we enchanted with? What is the illusion? As I mentioned earlier, the illusion is that we think sense pleasures will bring us happiness. To become disillusioned is to recognize the illusion and see past it.

It is not to abandon the world wholesale, just the false advertisements! It is to stop believing everything we think. We can see the world around us as it is: always changing, unreliable in its promises to deliver us happiness and peace.

All of this is not diametrically opposed to hedonism. In fact, to be on the opposite side of hedonism would be a life-denying ascetic approach, which Buddhism is not, either. Instead, Buddhism takes a Middle Way approach between the two. What Buddhism denies, or renounces, is our enchantment with the world. Renounce your reliance on the craving of sense pleasures, not necessarily the sense pleasures themselves.

It’s like clenching your fist upon your desires: your fist grows tired, cramped, painful. What renunciation is not is to turn your hand over and spill the desires onto the floor (that would be the other side of the desire coin: aversion).

What renunciation is is to open up your palm skyward, hold your desires gently and kindly so you can reveal it and see it for what it is, illumined by the brilliant light of awareness.

When you stop clinging so tightly, you can gain a broader perspective and realize there is a deeper peace to be found outside the paradigm of striving for sense pleasure. We can break down the limiting illusions we buy into and see the world for what it truly is.

The mouse races inside the maze to find the alluring origin of the delicious smell of cheese. When she finds it, she eats it. Then, there is no more cheese. She is placed at the beginning again and the trials begin again, unbeknownst to the mouse to only repeat the process ad infinitum. Besides, she is not interested or even aware of the process occurring: she doesn’t know that obtaining the cheese effectively and inevitably leads to the restart of the trials. All she knows is she wants the cheese.

If the mouse was to look up and realize she could climb the maze walls, she would see the other mice running the same process. She could watch the process unfold. She might even realize the futility of trying to obtain the cheese, always destined to do it again and again. What once seemed so important now seems like a pointless endeavor. Instead, she finds that she could find the edge of the maze and jump safely to the ground, finally free.

As the Japanese poet Mizuta Masahide illustrates quite beautifully: When my house burned down I gained an unobstructed view of the moonlit sky.

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The King of Dreams is HERE


Today’s the day. The King of Dreams is finally available! It’s HERE!!

These last few weeks leading up to the release of the King of Dreams has been full of trials, if I’m being honest. About a week or so ago I received what I thought would be the last pieces of the puzzle: the actual album itself. Accept, they came misprinted by what we finally discovered was a printer’s error.

The final CDs came just a few days ago, just shy of the release date. That was a close call!

I’ve been sick for the better part of a week. I’ll spare you details, but hopefully I’ll regain my voice in time for the May 6th album release concert at Mojo Mamas in Independence, MO! (I had the same thing happen to me last September as I prepared my performance at Kansas City Pagan Pride Day, and barely managed to scrape by that concert thanks to some piping hot ginger lemon tea!)

Anyway, The King of Dreams is available at my bandcamp page, where you’ll also receive two bonus tracks. But it’s also availble on CD Baby!

I still have to scrounge up enough energy to mail the perks for the contributors and Dreamers from the album creation campaign. Sorry for the delay!

Hope to see a lot of you out at the album release mini-tour!

Sweet Dreams,



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Dreams Come True

A few days ago marked the end of the King of Dreams Album Creation Campaign. For two months, I ran a campaign to raise funds for the manufacturing of my upcoming album The King of Dreams and its companion coloring book A Book of Idle Dreams.

The campaign was a huge success.

When I started this campaign, I didn’t think we’d even get this far. I knew I’d need at least $1300 to afford the manufacturing and distribution of the album, which as far as production costs go isn’t bad (since I produce my own music, there’s no studio/production costs on my part. Which may or may not be a good thing!).

But still, it was a lot of money to ask for in my opinion, and I always hate asking for money. Money isn’t why I make music in the first place, but it’s unfortunately a vital piece of the puzzle if I want to continue making music.

Fortunately, people are awesome.

I thought that optimistically we might be able to reach half of the goal–if we were lucky! But no, everyone blew me out of the water with their generosity. We raised over $300 above the goal!! Everyone who contributed ROCKS!

All 32 contributors made this dream come true. I couldn’t have done it without them!

I’m busily putting everything together now: I received the coloring books last week or so, and the CDs, t-shirts, and stickers are on their way soon!! I’ve finished putting together the Moon Man charms for the Dreamers! I just have a few things to wrap up, and hopefully I’ll have everything shipped out before the 1st.

And then . . . the tour!

The end is nigh!

The Album Release Mini-Tour begins May 6th!


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The King of Dreams Campaign!!


Visit the Campaign page and find out how you can help!

The time has come for The King of Dreams. The album I’ve been working furiously for almost a year. The album has evolved, shapeshifted, and finally is ready to be born into the world.

Unfortunately I don’t have the King of Dream’s magic bag of sand to help bring this dream to life.

I have had some wonderful people help to get this album to where it is, and I am so thankful for such talent and support. And while I’m wrapping up the last bit of recording and engineering bits, now comes the next big step of getting it where it needs to go.

Which is where YOU come in!


Making music is awesome and fulfilling, but it can get expensive. That’s why I’m launching this Indiegogo campaign! This is your opportunity to not only help me out in bringing this creative project to fruition, but to also procure some really cool stuff in the process!

I need help raising $1300 to cover what production and distribution costs of this album I have left to tackle. It’s a steep hill for a solo independent musician, but with a little help, it’s more than doable!

The King of Dreams is not just an album. As this project has evolved in the writing and recording process, it’s expanded into a multidimensional exploration of the world of dreams. Not only is there a 13 track album, there will be a book that is part lyric book, part COLORING book! Yes, a coloring book directly inspired by the songs! Think of it as a companion to the album. As I said, multidimensional!

When you donate to this cause, you have the opportunity to reserve not only a copy of the album, not only a copy of the coloring book, but so many more rewards and perks, as well. From really cool sticker bundles to a full disc of bonus tracks, to the special opportunity to become a DREAMER.

At the DREAMER tier of donation ($50) and above, you become one of my beloved Dreamers. You will not only get all the cool perks of the tiers below (autographed CD, stickers, bonus disc, coloring book), but you will receive a hand-crafted certificate of appreciation and also get your name immortalized in the album credits itself. Also, all the Dreamers will receive an exclusive handcrafted King of Dreams charm only available to Dreamers! How cool is that? And the more you give, the more you dream. You can even nab one some of the original artwork that went into the coloring book, personal Skype concerts, and even a personal house concert!


So, a pagan folk music album about dreams…the Sand Man, fairies, shapeshifters, time travelers, moon goddesses, wanderers, things that go bump in the night…it has everything you could dream of! (I couldn’t resist!) And the world needs more dreams! We need to inspire more people to dream big, and this is my attempt to do just that. But now I need all of you DREAMERS!

We might not reach the goal. That’s always a possibility. But the goal is not an absolute. It’s a target to aim for. A dream, so to speak. And if we fall short, at least we made it that much closer! We made an impact, and you’ll still reap the rewards and perks all the same. Every dollar helps.

Money doesn’t grow on trees, but Facebook does! Wait…no, it doesn’t, but it IS free! Please share to all the corners of the webiverse! Tell your friends about it, tell your enemies about it (it might just make them your friend in the long run)! Every little “share” and every cent helps!

I can’t wait to share this with you all!

Sweet dreams!


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Singin’, Coughin’, and Making It Work!

This last month has been one of excitement and exhaustion!

Over a month ago I developed an extraordinarily annoying cold that lasted the whole month (I still have a few coughs here and there, but it’s pretty much been gone for the last week or so!). I had a horrible mucousy, wet cough, congested sinuses, and I just sounded horrible.

And in the midst of the sickness, I played at the Kansas City Pagan Pride Day 2016 on September 11th. That was probably when my cold was at its worst, but somehow I was able to convince it to let me sing. And I did surprisingly better than I thought I did! I had to chug piping hot tea in the middle of each song, but I made it.


Jammin’ at KCPPD

And almost a month after that on October 6th, I had a tremendously awesome opportunity to host a house concert at my spiritual refuge, the Rime Buddhist Center, here in Kansas City. And joining me was the incomparable Mama Gina.


Rockin’ the Rime

If that wasn’t enough to make me giddy with excitement, we had another special musical guest show up. Celia Farran. She played a couple of songs in between my set and Mama Gina’s.


The Three Bards

I also had the honor of having my friend and amazingly talented artist Brian Wesley Nutt II show off his epic artwork.

wes-at-rime-center-10616The artist with his creations

And I’m doubly excited because he’s doing my album cover for The King of Dreams.

Screen Shot 2016-09-28 at 11.15.04 AM.png

This is a preliminary mockup of the cover, featuring the moon man, which I did myself 🙂

So as you can see, I’ve been very busy! Hopefully this month is just as productive, but perhaps a bit more laid back!


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A Blog Post about Playing Music! What else Did You Expect?!

I haven’t talked much about my last few gigs, amidst my focus on my upcoming album slated for an early 2017 release The King of Dreams.

So I thought I’d spend the next few minutes talking about my last two gigs! Over the last few months I’ve had a few festival gigs, and I thought I’d share those experiences here! In June I played at Three Gates Gathering in southern Missouri. It was a delightful gathering with some awesome people! The first night, Rowena of the Glen performed her rocking witchy music. The next night I took the stage for what proved to be a really fun set! Here’s a video of just one of the songs I played, “Brothers of the Night.”

Here’s another snippet of another song from Three Gates, a song to appease the rain, which fell for a good half hour to an hour before my performance! My song “Thunderbird.”

And two months later on August 27th (which, at the time of writing this, was yesterday) I played the Turkish Culture and Food Festival here in Kansas City, run by a fantastic interfaith organization the Dialogue Institute. I didn’t really know what to expect from this going into it, but I already knew they would have a nice range of performers already there: a dance group from Burundi, a Native American drum band, and of course Turkish folk music and dance! I was supposed to play at 3:15, but everything was running so smoothly that I hit the stage half an hour earlier.

I opened with a song I’ve never performed before, a song to emphasize the Dialogue Institute’s mission of interfaith dialogue and understanding through diversity, “Clouds in Every Flower.”

I also performed a never-before-performed song “Garden of the Mind,” which was not only a first for me performing it in front of people, but also it was a first for me to feature harmonica too!

I’ve got two more gigs coming up in the next few months, one in September for Kansas City Pagan Pride Day, and on in October, a house concert with Mama Gina! Stay tuned for updates about both of them!

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