The Longest Night Of The Year...

Well, friends of the Big Front Porch, you can’t accuse me of filling your inbox with meaningless and useless information, seeing that the last post on the BFP blog was a little over a year ago…how did that happen?

No excuses, just life….and a season of reflection during this Advent as we wait in expectation for the coming of the Promised One into this time and place and heart.

Rather than try and do a lengthy ‘catch up’ of 2014, I’ll try and hit a few high points and then ask for your input on some thoughts…

2014 started off with the opportunity to produce a recording project for my partner in rhyme, Davis Raines. The project is called “Mockingbird” and it involved the writing skills of not only Davis, but Frye Gaillard and Pamela Jackson. It’s a unique look at some Southern themes that keep recurring in our regional and national dialog, and I highly recommend it for your listening pleasure. Check it out here on CD Baby, along with the CD I produced for Pamela Jackson last year….I’m very proud of both projects.

Took a quick break at the beach with the D7, a group of amazing and generous friends that have invited me into their circle (I think they like having a musician around:). They are brilliant women and I am grateful to have them in my life.

Later in the summer, I had the opportunity to return to Michigan to perform alongside my pals, Buddy Greene and Jeff Taylor, for Dr. John Muldaur and the wonderful work of Faith Hospice. We lovingly billed it as the “Rufus, Jeffro, & Magnolia” show. I like that. Also played the Back Door Coffeehouse in Hattiesburg and squeezed in a Women in the Round show at the Bluebird Cafe with my friends and fellow songwriters Ashley Cleveland, Karen Staley, and Beth Nielsen Chapman. Yeah, THAT was fun:)

The fall semester at Delta State came and went so fast…and the spring semester will start before I really get unwound. But come it will, whether I’m ready or not.

This season has brought its share of the holiday ‘blues’ even though there is much joy in my heart at the same time…something of a ‘holy tension,’ I suppose. I am holding fast to the Hope that is arriving on Christmas Day and hope that you are, too. Sad news today of the passing of a friend and neighbor across the street from me…she was a sweet and kind woman, full of talent for writing and teaching, and her homecoming will leave a big hole in our neighborhood. I sat on my porch this evening and looked across the street at the light on in her home, finding it hard to believe that she won’t be coming back…the community will grieve, but she will have a Christmas this year more beautiful and wonderful than any of us can imagine…..

As 2015 begins, I am planning to ‘get shed’ of some things I don’t need (heard that before?), fix some things on the Big Front Porch that need fixin’,  and ‘downsize’ my social media life in order to refocus and live with more intention. I’m also looking to reclaim some of the time that is forever ‘sucked away’ on Facebook, Twitter, etc.

As the degeneration of various mechanical parts (knees, shoulders, back) begins to curb the number of my long distance performances, I wonder if you’d be so kind as to share your thoughts about tuning into an online songwriter concert? I’ve seen a couple of platforms that are really easy to use and offer a unique kind of connectivity between performer and listener. I do so want to continue to share songs and stories with you all, and perhaps this would be a way to try and do that….what do you think? I value your input, so take a moment and share your thoughts in the comments section.

I look forward to hearing from you…may your Christmas holiday be filled with joy, peace, and love…be safe and warm, and I hope to see you on the Big Front Porch soon!