Thursday, November 15, 2018

Matt Kleibrink - "Bringin' on the Heartbreak"

I remember when this young man was a young boy who came down every Sunday when I led the  Children's Time in worship at First United Methodist Church in Grapevine, Texas.  He loved to sing the silly little songs that I taught the children there over the years.  Now, he is singing his own songs, and there is a depth to his music that leads one to believe that he is much older and more experienced in life than most young men his age.  Indeed, Matt has grown quite a bit in the years since I first met him!   And, dang blast it . . . he is already a better guitar player than I am!

I pride myself on encouraging younger singer/songwriters, especially those who have Matt's passion for creating music.   He is performing regularly in the DFW area, and I believe we will be hearing great things about him in the near future.

Matt's website is  Check out his upcoming performances at a venue near you in the DFW area.

Way to go Matt!

Friday, November 9, 2018

Damn . . . I broke my Martin D-18

I was walking from my office into the Fellowship Hall to help lead and sing "On Top of Sphaghetti" with our Cub Scout Pack last night.

I was carrying my Martin D-18.  I had the strap around my shoulders.  As I reached for the door, the strap connected to the end pin gave way . . . and before I could grab the guitar, it bounced off the floor once on it's side and then flat on it's top.

I can't remember a time when my gut got that sick so quickly.

I picked it up . . . gave it a once over . . . and thought . . . "Wow, it's ok!"

Then I checked the top . . . yep, just above the end pin area, the top of the guitar has separted (about 2-3 inches) from the tortoise shell binding.  There is a 2 inch crack in the finish and wood from the edge going in the direction of the bridge.

I'm getting sick again just writing about it.

I still played the D-18 for the Cub Scouts.  The neck was fine. 

I guess I'm heading over to the approved Martin repair luthier in Fort Worth to get a quote on repairs.  Poor thing.  Time to invest in better straps and quality strap pins.

Funny thing, I've been carefully considering all of my guitars. I have written before that I am considering trading in my Taylors and Guilds and acquiring a couple of Rainsong graphite guitars, which I believe are better suited for what I do.  The D-18 was number 1 on my list was the Martin D-18.  Yep, the Martin J-40 was not number 1  . . . it was the D-18.

Well, damage or not, it's a keeper . . . and I am sure it can be repaired easily enough by a compentant luthier.  Updates soon.

Time for some self reflection . . .

Time for some self reflection.

OK . . . to begin with, let's deal with some reality here.

I am a 61 year old pastor of a local church who is also a certified therapeutic music entertainer.   In the church I previously served (for 10 years), I was the senior associate pastor.  I was in charge of a lot of things, but I wasn't the one making most of the big decisions that senior pastor's get called on and paid to make.  My main focus was providing the best pastoral care I could to members of the church and to the community.  Singing was one of the ways I did that.

I would sing at every nursing home and rehab center that had one of my church members as a resident.  Word got around . . . "he's pretty good, and doesn't charge for doing what he does!"
Prior to my leaving and moving to my current appointment, I was singing at 12 - 15 "venues" a month, and at several more if the little band I was part of had gigs.

Now, I'm the only pastor at my church.  My weekly focus is on writing the best sermon I can for worship each week, and providing pastoral care, leadership and making administrative decisions.  I sing at only two venues a month: out local senior center and at an area nursing home / rehabilitation center.  I serve a smaller community than previously . . . so the opportunities have been fewer.  I also play guitar for our informal service on Sunday mornings, but its just rhythm
support as our pianist plays lead (and she is GOOD at what she does!)

To tell you the truth . . . not singing and playing as often as I did in the past is eating at my soul.   But, life is what it is, and my professional and spiritual calling is to pastor a church.  Figuring how to balance that with my life calling, which is making a joyful noise, is a challenge.

It's been said, "to sing or not to sing, that is the question."   Not for me . . . there is no question.  I have to sing, or I am not being true to who I am.

What I have come to decide is this . . . playing guitar and singing even once-a-month is better than not at all!  Singing is my best form of self-expression. Actually, singing is only way I truly know how to express my soul.

How is your soul best expressed?

I miss an audience . . .