Undercover, Sky-Circles and Me

Sometimes, those we know and love throw us a curve ball so simple, innocent and innocuous on the face, but almost devastating in poignance. They can show up in the strangest of places, at the most unexpected times and perhaps they don’t even realize what they’ve done.  I got one yesterday from my friend, Continue reading

Reverse Resolutions – 11 Reflections on 2011

Despite how awesome Woody Guthrie’s New Years resolutions from 1943 written in his own hand and with illustrations are, I’ve always been ambivalent about making them for myself.  It’s not that I don’t like to set goals, but there’s something arbitrary and artificial about setting New Years resolutions.  I admit, there is something to be said for starting with a clean slate.  My intentions seem to show up in real time, Continue reading

Passing the Hitchens Meme To A New Generation

Those of us who have followed Christopher Hitchens for any length of time knew the time of his death was coming sooner than we would like.  “Followed” is not the right word.  We did not “follow” him.  Many of us hung on his words; his books, essays, lectures, debates, videos, television appearances, the many works he edited, everything.  A new anything by Christopher Hitchens was  like waking up on Christmas morning all over again.  He has had a profound impact on me and on my thinking. Continue reading

Student Evaluations In Perspective

I love reading student evaluations. Some are outrageous, most are helpful, some only leave room for one response – the facepalm. I’ve included two comments below that I particularly enjoyed. Continue reading

Branded – 25th Anniversary Notes

This year marks the 25th anniversary of the release of Undercover’s Branded on Blue Collar Records. It was re-released with bonus tracks in digital format this year to celebrate the anniversary. It also landed in the Top 50 of “CCM’s 500 Best Albums Of All Time” (that’s right, 500!) Continue reading

I Am Your Father, II – Sea of Tranquility

I don’t like the idea of providing narrative on my songs, much as I used to do it as a young fool, but I am going to do it here in the service of love to my firstborn son Benjamin.  I would not want to leave this life without having been clear about this one. A number of planets lined up to make this important now, almost 20 years after the song was released. Continue reading

Playing in Undercover and Beating Dragons

“Joe – I was wondering if you have regrets in making this type of music considering your current doubts about God?”

This is a common question I get about my ongoing relationship with Undercover, although it’s one of the more civil and thoughtful versions (sent to me by a lifelong friend).  A somewhat more aggressive version usually asks how I can get up on stage and perform those songs when I don’t believe the message behind the songs anymore.  Continue reading