While I do not have a finalized new song for you, I was able to get some good things done during the month of January. Here is what I did:
I have been working on getting some concerts booked. I have one concert in February and one in March at a our parish in Iron River, MI. While I have shared my music in town a couple times at the open mic (which has a great turnout each month!), I am excited now to have full-length concerts hosted by the parish. Another event I am going to be doing is playing the adoration music for the Esto Vir Conference in March at the Shrine of Our Lady of Good Help. There may be up to 500 people in attendance and I will be able to sell my CD’s at a table throughout the event. I am hoping that I can make a few good connections which could lead to more concerts. I am also blessed that I will be able to play the music for adoration and Mass on a youth retreat in Colorado Springs, CO this upcoming June. I am excited!
Below you will find the promo for the Esto Vir Conference! Beautiful 🙂 All men are invited to register here: https://estovir.com/
2. Promoting New Album
I connected with three different Catholic websites. None of them are posted yet. One of them, Aleteia, is talking exclusively about my new album, “While Earth Remains”. Aleteia has posted articles before about my music: My St. Therese song “Roses” back in 2019: https://aleteia.org/2019/09/22/when-st-therese-sent-him-a-rose-he-wrote-this-beautiful-song/ and my “Called to be a Father” song in 2020: https://aleteia.org/2020/10/14/catholic-songwriter-talks-parenthood-and-his-song-called-to-be-a-father/
The other two articles are going to be not only mentioning my music, but also covering the story of my family and I deciding to homestead in da deep woods up north. I was able to speak to Matthew, the founder of the “Hearth and Field” website, for over an hour. As a fellow Catholic, it was nice to hear the story of how he started this website and his mission of promoting simple down to earth living: https://hearthandfield.com
3. Families at His Feet
As you may or may not know, I have experience leading holy hours of Eucharistic Adoration. While at Franciscan University, I was blessed to meet Fr. Antoine Thomas. He is priest and monk of the Community of St. John and the founder of an apostolate called Children of Hope. He taught my friend and I how to lead children in adoration through small periods of silence, simple prayers, acts of prostration, music, the rosary, and Scripture. He is an amazing teacher and very authentic.
As a former seminarian and as a married man, I have led family holy hours. We have moved so often that I haven’t been able to do it consistently. Since October, I have been leading a holy hour every Wednesday evening at my parish at St. Agnes. Once a month, the children of the RE class are strongly encouraged to come with their parents.
I have named this holy hour “Families at His Feet”. I am hoping to combine my concerts at parishes by also doing a “Families at His Feet” holy hour. This ministry/apostolate has the potential to be more than holy hours, but for now I it would be a big step to bring this simple yet powerful way of getting families together in front of the Eucharist to the places I perform my music.
Here is a recent video of Fr. Antoine:
4. Practicing and Songwriting New Album
I have been spending a good deal of time just sitting down with the guitar practicing and developing the songs for my next album, “Fighting for the Kingdom”. It has potential to be my best album yet! Some of the songs are going to be pretty gritty and unique!
The new album will be called “Fighting for the Kingdom”. As Christians and Catholics we must fight the Devil, the flesh, and the world. I am making this album to encourage you to strive for the narrow road… the one that leads to the joy and victory of everlasting life.
5. Connecting with a Fellow Catholic Musician
I was able to connect with Luke Spehar, a fellow Catholic musician. He gave me some good advice and encouragement. We are planning to possibly get together in July to do some concerts in my neck of the woods. We will see if we can get some parishes or house concerts lined up. Here is my favorite song by Luke. It definitely hits me with nostalgia for my own childhood in a really great way:
6. Backyard Ice Rink
Living in a really cold climate has its perks. One of them is that your ice rink has a better chance of not melting throughout November/December to February/March. So far we have had a lot of fun even though filling it up was very nerve-racking since we had the hose on all night (we have kind of low water pressure with the hose) and halfway through I thought there was a hole in the liner and almost gave up! Thank you Calena for not letting me 🙂
This month I made a short four part series showing our rink. Enjoy!
7. Being Grateful for My Family
Like most people, I can get caught up taking things for granted. I have a lot to be grateful most especially my family. Recently we took “School Pictures” of our “students”. I went to public school and I remember having the class pictures each year. I wanted to do the same for my family. It was a fun exercise and I went a little over the top making up Covid protocol and assigning the roles of Mr. and Mrs. Rudd. But it did help me to realize that being a father and a husband is so important and a lot of work! For all you parents out there keep up the good fight! Praise the Lord! Give thanks for all He has given us!
Please note: I am not sure if I will be able to share a finalized new song with you next month. I really want to focus on getting more concerts, marketing the music I’ve already made, and reaching out to new people try to grow my support team.
I do feel convicted that God wants me to keep being a musician full-time and to trust in Him. Please pray that I can grow my support team, market my music, and book some good concerts for down the road!
If you are able, please consider inviting a friend or family member to consider joining my support team! Or please reach out to me if you want me to come do a parish or house concert. I am willing to travel! Also, please feel free to reach out to me to tell me what your favorite songs are that I have recorded. I appreciate the feedback.
Finally, please know I am very grateful for your continued support!
Jesus, I trust in You!
God bless you! 🙂