The Last Jubilee
I was coming home from a sweat lodge ceremony a few years ago and found myself driving through a double rainbow on Route 66 in New Mexico. It was during those moments I felt a sense of communion with the travelers around me. Like we were all receiving some sort of an eternal answer. It was also during those moments a still small voice inside me moved me to explore the depth of what I was feeling. Shortly thereafter I was reading about the biblical jubilee in the book of Hebrews. The identity of the feeling I was looking for came through to me while reading those passages. In many ways, I’m at a place in my life where it feels like there’s a rest of old labors and a cleaning of the slate. In order to achieve that sort of cleansing, the Lord must be given the rite of Sabbath and a return of property. It’s all His anyway. There’s no more struggle when we let go and let Him.
While writing the Him album I experienced mind-pounding spiritual warfare. I know I cannot get through anything without the spirit that guides me. I prayed in Jesus’ name for an answer to my insecurities about my worthiness in presenting this material. The next day the song Messenger arrived.
This was one of the three or four songs that were written in the morning and cut in the afternoon. I partly wrote this album in the sequence it’s currently in. After Messenger, it was time to present to the listener what this is all about and how He came to be.
It’s Okay (To Need Jesus)
This was written in fifteen minutes. It poured out of me. The nature of the melody reminds me of thousand-year-old sweat lodge songs.
The native songs I’m speaking of are prayers. A Hupa Indian leader told me that the highest prayers come with tears. That’s why the native singers have a little tremble in their voices I think. The world is so pressing against Jesus I needed a song to remind me that it’s okay to need Jesus. I hope it reaches others who need it as well.
Jesus Was A Rebel
I’ve been saying this for years. Jesus was a rebel. You wanna be a shadow walker? You wanna be a midnight talker? You wanna show the man he ain’t ever gonna beat you down? You wanna be tough? Follow Jesus. The weak chase the world while the strong walk with the Lord.
He Brought Me Out Of The Miry Clay
One of my favorite hymns. I played it my own way but mostly how I remember it from childhood. Part of this album came from exploring public domain lyrics. Most of the old lyrics are praising the Lord. Those times and those songs have brought us to the now. However, in our comforts, we have forgotten our maker. The music of today isn’t as much in gratitude and reflection of Him anymore. I just put that very lightly. I modeled the traveling storyteller telling their story the way they remember it and also in a way that suits their character in my performance of this song. Folky.
Prayer Is The Key
Also a public domain lyric that hit me. It’s my intention that this album is laid out from my personal and hopefully artistic perspective. It’s also important to me that I show the path of Christianity. Prayers are the key, they are heard. There’s no need for vain repetitions. To go over things, again and again, shows that we don’t trust God’s plan. Prayer is also a great constant practice to keep ourselves out of the way of the more important work to be done on this planet. Go ahead, whine to God and let it all out, then may your mind be clear to pray for others and the ups and downs of life in this world. Give thanks more than what you’re asking for. He already knows your heart. Show Him your practice and devotion with love and joy. You won’t be sorry. Also, this was my Mom’s favorite song on the album. I think she knows the original way it goes.
My mentor Bud Lee has always said “Jesus couldn’t heal anybody in his hometown,” in response to the woes of my hometown expectations. While those expectations are gone for me now there was an occasion where this lesson came full circle after a festival in my hometown. Funny how calm things become when you douse a fire with a lesson from Christ. Kind of like holy water you could say. I know this feeling all too well. I’ve also recently noted that I’m not alone in this feeling. I think almost every artist feels this way. I prayed specifically for a piano during the time I was putting this song together. The next day, I kid you not, my friend Mike texts me a picture of a beautiful studio-quality Yamaha piano his church was replacing. And though I’m not an epic or studied piano player, I was able to perform all the piano and keys for this record in just a few days.
Remind Me Dear Lord
My favorite hymn. My mother told me once that she was playing it and my Great Grandfather asked her to pray with him. That’s the day he gave his life to the Lord. I realize now in my middle age that the joys and gifts on this earth are not permanent. They are truly borrowed. I’m forever grateful for the gift of music. My wife literally can see the difference in my eyes after I play. It’s spiritually healing.
Beginning Of Sorrows
This passage came knocking on my door three times and was the last straw in what I needed to release lyrically and right now. None of those times this passage jumped out at me were while reading the Bible. It’s my job to spread the word of the Lord. This passage is literally what’s happening today in the world. Jesus called it. Now more than ever things are this way and if you don’t see it then you don’t want to. Good always wins in the end though. The work’s already been done. Keep the faith and live by the grace.
Leaning On My Lord
This is a little tune Mrs. Pedigo came up with one day while doing dishes, looking out the window, and reminiscing. Both of us had the wonderful experience of having Grandparents who pastored old-timey churches. The arrangement and performance are how the music was when we were in our Grandparents’ churches. This simple hymn is a simple truth. We can’t do this alone. Lean on Jesus for hope. His presence in your life can work miracles. This I know from personal experience and I’ll be leaning on my Lord today.
Come And Welcome
This was another public domain lyric that I put music to. This album started on a rainy day when the world seemed still. It ended the same way. He who is first shall be made last and he who is last shall be made first. He, Him, the alpha and omega. The beginning and the end.