Packing up ...

So it seems that, like so many artists and musicians over the past year or so, we are saying goodbye to Austin, TX, and moving on to new adventures. When we first moved here a little more than a decade ago, Austin buzzed with creative life and was an affordable haven and outlet for artists. But, as mostly happens when big money is involved, things began to change. And there were little signs. First, the city began to look different. Even the music lights no longer lined the downtown streets at Christmas. Noise ordinances and rising rents threatened clubs, and many closed or replaced their original music with cover tune bands and DJs. Then, venerable, legendary venues began to be razed to the ground, to be replaced by condos, pricey boutique restaurants, and chain businesses that could afford the rent. Just as we and other musicians had been drawn to come here, now, high-tech industries imported their employees in droves, and the things that made Austin cool began to be shoved by the wayside.

 

Making music is a costly endeavor. It takes time and money to fund recording and performing. And in the current climate, musicians struggle to reap a livable return on their investment. When you find yourself spending inordinate amounts of time just trying to meet the rising expenses of life, your resources for making music diminish. And little bits of your soul start to chip away. And when the oasis that you were in in the middle of dusty Texas begins to dry up, it becomes difficult to find your route.

 

But it’s not all about what’s not here, it’s about what’s ahead. New adventures await to inspire us and new challenges will stretch us as we spread our wings again. By the end of this month, we’ll be in the Raleigh/Durham/Chapel Hill area. We’re excited about the friends we’re already making and the opportunities that await.

 

Yet the hardest thing, of course, is leaving you, Austin friends. You amazing, creative musicians, you diehard friends, you—true family. Please come and visit us. Please keep collaborating with us. Please send us on the wings of your prayers. We love you all.

Gardens on the Moon

The afternoon sun is wafting through the towering oaks today with the gentle golden air it carries in winter. Already the scarlet quince is blooming and the peach trees are budding, and it is barely March. The winter days have blown through with cold, icy rains drenching the earth and overflowing the streets here in Austin. But still, the plants fight back and insist on not just surviving, but growing. They take every bit of sunlight and warmth and tuck it in. They hide the rainwater away for the summer droughts to come. And with the first balmy day, they spread their defiantly leafy branches and wave them joyously at the sky. That's what it takes to keep blooming.

I read recently that scientists are working on ways to plant gardens on the moon. They think that people will eventually want to live there, so they will need fresh food. Already the experts are learning that plants can take much more than they had thought. They can survive with reduced gravity. They can live with canned sunlight and no soil--only water. Plants can't even think, but they seem to know that their work is to grow and bloom. When they stop growing, they perish. But with their growing, they fill the earth with beauty and life. And soon, maybe, they may bring that life to the barren moon too.

It has been good to be so deep in the music, to follow its winding roots into the frozen earth. To take the winter rain and frigid air and turn it into something that is full of life. I can't wait to share it with you! Stay tuned ...