By | just do it, little epiphanies, music, performance, the pursuit | 4 Comments


Over the years Ive had a weird and unhealthy relationship with performing. I always felt like i never chose this life. It chose me. And because I ‘didnt have a choice’ I felt unqualified to make music b/c I hadnt been trained traditionally. My biggest fear was (and is) playing in front of other musicians b/c it was the one place people would listen to me with critical ears and I would ultimately be exposed for being an imposter – someone who has no idea whether shes playing a Gsus or G7 or Gwhatever. Someone who is faking it until she makes it.

Its a weird feeling thinking of all the doors that have opened up over the past year – wondering how it happened and worrying whether or not I will mess it up. These days I have learned to ask myself a very important question when I get off stage after a bad set: “What do I think happened and what actually happened?“ Reality and perception are two very different things, and often we confuse them and make them the same. This question has really helped to steer me away from those moments when all I wanna do is rip myself apart and say “YOU SUCK! You shouldnt be here. They only clapped b/c thats what theyre supposed to do“. If there is one thing I know now, its that musicians make mistakes…all the time. They just get better at hiding them :) If there is anything else I know, its that the more you practice, the better you get. These are two facts that I wish the 21-year old version of me knew 11 years ago, although to be honest, Im not sure it would have saved me from any of my episodes of self-deprecation.

Ive also begun to tell myself one other thing (this time before I get on stage): “this show is not about you. you are simply the messenger delivering the message. Someone needs to be encouraged. Someone else needs to access a buried emotion. Someone else just really needs to have a good time tonight. Help them do that with your music.“ Reminding myself of this keeps me from wallowing in self pity, constantly apologizing on stage for my imperfections, and making awkward comments to distract people from the fact that I’m very uncomfortable. Over the years, I’ve frozen up on stage out of the fear that I wouldn’t perform flawlessly (ironic), I’ve kept to myself b/c I felt I wasn’t good enough to associate with certain people of a higher musical caliber, I’ve made one apology after another after another.

So you played a song and you hit a wrong note…or two…or three. It’s ok. Now they all know you’re human.  When it comes down to it, music makes people happy, it enriches their lives. And it’s your gift to give to the world. Don’t hoard it. Everybody already knows you’re not perfect, but it finally becomes fun when you accept it.

#364 Overholt

By | music | No Comments

It’s Music Friday!

I’m coming to love this weekly feature more and more because there are so many wonderful artists to share! Last week while in Harrisburg, I had dinner with some folks who came out to my show that evening. It was only later that i found out that Trey Overholt was holding out on me!! It’s always the humble ones that are good! Anyhow, he gave me a copy of his CD at the end of the night and I listening to it on my drive back to Philly. I love it! The album is creatively abstract while still maintaining a singer/songwriter thread throughout its entirety. His stuff could easily fit into the folk genre (for live performances) but he does a little bit of experimentation on the album that easily makes him a cross-genre artist. And the project is also super cohesive! This is my favorite song off the album. I’ve also include a video whose song I absolutely love because of the story.  En*joy*

#361 Joel Ansett + Jasmine Tate

By | music, people, touring | 2 Comments

Yup, it’s Music Friday!

Jasmine Tate + Joel Ansett are no strangers to this blog. I’ve shared their music in past Music Friday posts. But today I wanted to drop a note and ask you to seriously familiarize yourself with their music and mark the above dates in your calendar for when they’re passing through your city.

These two are so special to me and they are going to change the world with their music!  If you are a homeowner and are open to welcoming them for a house concert contact them via the above links. If you have a local coffeehouse, venue, or art center in your community that is willing to host them, please reach out and book them. I’m nearly certain they will have an open date or two that YOU can help them fill! In fact, here are their email addresses so you don’t make an excuse for not knowing how to get ahold of them :)  [email protected][email protected]

And lastly, here is a sneak peak of the music goodness you’ll get in return.

Happy Music Friday!

#360 The 3 Most Influential Independent Artists in My Life

By | beauty, music, Uncategorized | No Comments

Well, even though its not quite over, im kinda already mourning the end of this blog.  I’m on post #360 of 365 Days of All or Nothing. And while I’ll continue to blog occasionally, I do feel like I only have 6 posts left that really count. So today I was thinking about things that I really want to share in the next 6 days. And this post was one of them.

Given that the blog is is all about sharing original ideas and people who are doing their own thing unapologetically, it only makes sense to share the 3 artists who have impacted me the most (in no particular order). No doubt i have already referenced each of them at least once over the last year.

Josh Garrels

There are certain voices that sound like they’ve been lived in – like they’ve been through something  and lived to tell the story. And for me that’s Josh Garrels. I dont listen to Josh Garrels just because I like his lyrics or his music. I listen to him because his music actually puts me in a completely different place. To me his music is like a life-long voyage on a ship. I often envision myself staring into a huge sea and daydreaming about the life I’ve left behind and where I’m going. His music for me is nostalgic and reminds me of past loves. I think listening to his stuff makes me feel like im still connected to those past things.


It might sound funny to say that, of these 3, I identify most with the hip-hop artist. But it’s true. I’ve been following B.Reith for what feels like a very long time. His story is one of trial an error,  big doors and even bigger dissapointments, hope, dreams, and the whole nine yards.  And he shares it all in his music.  I love B.Reith because of his honesty. His music is an open door into the life of pursuing your passion and I have listened to his music and often been overwhelmed by the beauty of a genre I dont often indulge in. There isnt any other artist I think about and pray more for than B.Reith because I know his voice is absolutely important to my generation. And I am just asking God to pour out more and more into his life so he can continue to share his beauty with the world. Here’s my favorite song of his.

Brooke Waggoner

From her very first album, Fresh Pair of Eyes, Brooke Waggoner had me hooked! She was one of the first artist I truly attached myself to and “studied” to learn how to craft a beautiful song. The thing that mesmerizes me most about her music is how equally simple and complex her music is. The core of her songs are seemingly uneventful but they lay a solid foundation and build so beautifully with her swooning vocals, lush string arrangements, and intricate piano solos. It’s so beautifully cinematic! Brooke Waggoner’s music is what made me fall in love with strings and I’m certain I can blame her for heavily contributing to who I am as an artist today :) It was hard to pick my favorite of hers, so I thought I should choose the first song I ever fell in love with.


#356 Magda Giannikou + Snarky Puppy

By | music, Uncategorized | No Comments

Hey, it’s Music Friday!

Since i’m spending the day in NYC I thought it was only fitting to share a video from NYC-based artist Magda Giannikou (and Snarky Puppy). A friend of mine passed this video on to me several weeks ago and it blew me away! The kind of music people create never ceases to amaze me and this video is so awesome – everything from the arrangement, to the charisma of the musicians, to the perfectly flawless vocals. Just lovely!



#354 Sympathy & The Lion

By | beauty, music, Uncategorized | No Comments

It’s Music Friday! The only thing I appreciate more than a solitary singer/songwriter and their instrument is a duo with flawless harmonies. Today I’m sharing a band that I stumbled upon last week – a group whose music I have fallen in love with.

Sympathy & The Lion’s music is sentimental, contemplative, and soothing. It reminds me of Saturday mornings in a brightly lit kitchen with a cup of tea in hand.  Here is a video shot by the folks at Kettle Pot Tracks. Hopefully this will be the most beautiful thing you hear (and see) this week. Enjoy :)


#350 Allie Farris

By | music, Uncategorized | No Comments

It’s Music Friday…and what better way to celebrate than to share Allie Farris’ new album with you!! Allie is a friend based in Nashville, TN and she’s a force to be reckoned with. She’s scary good and one of these days she’ll explode. And when it happens I’ll just say”I told you so!”

Allie is an artist whose presence is bigger than the stage she’s on.  I first met her last year at a house concert we  played that was hosted by Brad Yoder. Her voice and piano are equally strong and most times they melt into each other. Her voice is earnest and smooth with some country-girl spunk. And her songwriting reflects the wisdom of someone well past her age of 23! She easily crosses thresholds from singer/songwriter to folk to country rock.

This week Allie released her new self-titled EP and its SO GOOD! Go!

#344 Play that one more time!

By | music, purpose | No Comments

Tonight was one of those nights where i was reminded:

Even if you’ve played a song 10,000 times, and even if it’s old to you, there are people specifically coming out to shows because they want to hear that song…again! Every night we as artists need to play our songs as if we’re playing them for the first time. We need to remember that the show is not for us but for the people who support us – the people who make a date night of the show, or rally all their friends together to come. When you’re lacking in enthusiasm and energy, remember that people are spending their time and money on you. Obviously they ascribe value to what you do and you need to honor that. Tonight was a good night )

#335 Nalani & Sarina…They really got a hold on me!

By | music, people | No Comments

Nalani & Sarina are twin sister’s whose awesomeness is hard to comprehend. They share a musical professionalism that is well beyond their years and their music is made up of the best kind of quality. Watching them is magical. They’re equally talented, equally beautiful, and equally friendly!  They’ve just put out a new album entitled Lessons Learned. It’s awesome and you can sample it here! But I wanted to share this video b/c its cute and fun and it will make you fall in love with them. Happy Music Friday!

#333 Free as a Bird!

By | art, beauty, love, music | No Comments

Guess what! It’s February – the month of L.O.V.E.!
My dear friend Brittany and I have decided to team up and bring both of our talents to the table for all you ladies out there! And also for all you men who need a gift for your ladies :) This month we’re doing a special sale >>> my All or Nothing album + her handmade Clavicle Havoc Free as a Bird heart necklace.

Given that the album is made up of mostly love songs and that the bird/heart design perfectly corresponds with the album themes and artwork, I’m pretty excited about this!

Also, with this year’s Year of No Fear theme, the Free as a Bird design is especially significant to me. And as you know (or don’t know), Clavicle Havoc has an accompanying Scripture with each of its pieces. Here’s the one for this necklace:

“We escaped like a bird from a hunter’s trap.
The trap is broken and we are free!”
Psalms 124:7

The necklace will be available through Feb 28th. Each necklace is custom made and will include your choice of a black heart, silver heart or antique gold heart.

Last but not least, if you remember, Brittany was post #12 in this “365 Day of All or Nothing” blog. If you wanna know more about her and her art, check out #12 Clavicle Havoc.

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