No posts for the past couple weeks = Steve’s busy with stuff. I actually have a TON on my plate right now, and some of it is relevant to the conversations we have here.

1. I took a gig as drummer and musical director for a Christian vocal trio called Go Fish. They started as an a capella group and have moved through a few stages of artistic approach since then, and about 5 years ago landed where they currently are at: children’s music. Their past few records are all targeted at kids, but less like Barney and more like the Jonas Brothers. Needless to say, it’s not the most artistically satisfying gig I’ve done, but I’m really loving it nonetheless. I’ve realized lately that I almost don’t care what style/genre of gig I’m doing, as long as everybody on the gig is taking it seriously and striving for excellence. Go Fish puts on a killer show, and the musical/production/entertainment value of it is through the roof. We’ve got a couple dozen dates over the summer that we’re prepping for right now, and I’m spending A LOT of my time sifting through the pretty extensive audio tracks we’re running for the show. As I mentioned, Go Fish is a 3-pc vocal group, and the live band is just a drums/bass/guitar power trio, but then the additional audio tracks really push the audio to the huge level that the live show reaches. Strings, loops, keys, vocal effects… tons of stuff. I recently upgraded to Ableton’s Live8 software, and I’m getting a great functional lesson on using that software as I organize all the tracks and construct the show. I also picked up a MOTU Ultralite MK3 interface. I must say, it’s a pretty killer rig.

2. I’m doing a ton of reading these days. I finished up John Piper’s Desiring God a few weeks ago, and I also just got through Rob Bell’s controversial new book. Then I got a free copy of ND Wilson’s Notes From The Tilt-A-Whirl from a friend and read that (such a killer book), and I’m halfway through Jim Putman’s Real Life Discipleship with my Bible study guys at church. Also, for the past year or so, I’ve been spending a little time each week continuing to work through Institutes of the Christian Religion by John Calvin.  I’m saying all this not to boast about how much I read, but just to reiterate to those of you who regularly read this blog that my daily thoughts don’t revole solely around music.  In fact, I’m partnering with a couple of the pastors at my church in launching a faith/church-related blog in June.  I’ll keep you posted on when that gets off the ground.

3. Related to my thoughts/reading on my faith as a Christian are my efforts to use my time/resources in “ministry.”  You may remember the trip to Romania I took last year with Jason Harms.  As has been the pattern for that group for the past few years, we have another opportunity to take Jason’s music abroad this summer… this time to the country of Scotland.  You can see the details on that trip over at the Jason Harms Quintet blog.  Prepping for that trip has been the other thing keeping me busy lately, specifically the issue of fundraising.  I’ve invited you, my blog readers, to join me in that fundraising in the past, and I’d like to ask again this year.  In fact, I’m going to lay it on kinda thick this time, because many of you have expressed to me your appreciation for what I write and the fact that I do clinics at churches and what not.  Can I be so bold as to ask those of you who feel that way to express your gratitude tangibly in financially supporting Jason’s ministry?  I would greatly value your partnership with me in this area.  We have a somewhat more difficult fundraising challenge with this years trip because of the weakness of the Dollar vs the British Pound.  I have a vision of my blog readers not only helping with the fundraising, but additionally spreading the word to others so they can help.  I really really really believe in what Jason is doing with his music, and I’m so thankful to be a part of it.  I want more people in the Christian music world to know about.  Can you help me with this?

Recap:  I am crazy busy right now.  Lots going on.  Thanks for your loyal readership and interest in my blog.  More posts coming soon!