Artist Highlight: Adam Whipple

Don’t listen to Adam Whipple’s new record if you’re going through something hard. I mean, seriously, don’t. Don’t listen unless you’re ready to work through those complex, deep-down feelings inside you. But, if you are ready, then oh, boy; The Broken Seasons will deeply reward you.

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Me and Rich and Jesus

I was in my parents’ kitchen when I heard the news. It was twenty years ago, but I still remember standing in the tight space between the fridge and the stove, surrounded by the warm browns of the tiny floor tiles and cupboards, thinking that a light was gone. Rich Mullins had died.

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Kids’ Music, for Grown-Ups

Many of us here are Foundling House are both parents and appreciators of fine music. This means we try to pass a love of good music on to our children, though this can be a difficult task at times. There exists a vast and nigh-impregnable jungle of subpar kids’ music out there—all of which will go unnamed here. Suffice it to say, it’s often designed to appeal quickly to children with the bare offering a danceable beat. Or it’s overly sentimental—the sonic and lyrical equivalent of trying to stand on a waterbed.

We remember being kids in the seventies and eighties, and some of us raised kids or had young siblings during the nineties. The Muppets and Sesame Street reigned supreme, with their apparent rock influences pushing into the music. Then there were shows like Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood, which had that stellar piano combo and compositions put together by jazz great Johnny Costa, and later Blue’s Clues, which featured percussion-based jazz with cool world elements. The creators of these shows took obvious care in selecting music which was as good as the entertainment value of the productions. Plus, they seemed to think that kids could actually handle listening to excellent music.

The notion that kids need decent music as much as adults is home territory for us. Therefore, we’re taking the time to point you in the direction of a pair of wonderful offerings from a couple different artists.

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The WordPlayers Present: Little Women

For the fourth year in a row, The WordPlayers are bringing a musical production to the historic Bijou Theatre in downtown Knoxville. Louisa May Alcott’s beloved story about the adventures of the four March sisters will be brought to life this weekend in Little Women: The Broadway Musical.

It’s fitting that this particular production, being based on a novel that’s all about family, is in many ways a family affair. The show is being directed by veteran WordPlayer Terri Lloyd, and her husband Matthew is the Stage Manager. Lloyd also has four children and a niece involved in the musical, which premieres this Friday night at 7:30 p.m.

“We’re not a regular family,” says Lloyd. “Regular families go to soccer practice. We take broadsword lessons.” Lessons that came in handy when choreographing a fight scene written by the headstrong Jo March, the second of the four siblings.

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Ordinary Time

It somehow makes sense that The Mosleys marked the year of their new record with a family move, from the only home their children have known, to a different place in a different state. Ordinary Time is an eleven-song journey through the crucibles of ache and joy brought on by family trials and the road. Produced with Phil Madeira and Jimmy Abegg, legendary songwriters and good friends of Stephen and Rachel Mosley, the record came out of a successful crowdfunding campaign (thank you to those of you who gave!) and a continual journey of writing, playing, and parsing out what it would look like to be singer-songwriters.

Not to say that the journey hasn’t been marked by moments of excitement. There was winning both the famed Eddie’s Attic songwriter shootout and the competition at Zac Brown’s Southern Ground. They were the artist of the month on NPR’s Folk Alley. And of course, there was the opening slot for Air Supply at Chastain Park. Yet the new record didn’t necessarily emerge from these places.

For all intents and purposes, Ordinary Time was born in an Airstream trailer, rocketing somewhere through the American West like a satellite still longing for the home ground of the South.

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A Run With AP and Friends

My daughter Laurel told me how wearing exercise clothes can make you want to exercise, so I bought the uniform of the runner—leggings—and it sort of works. Once I put them on, I feel like I’ve made a commitment to run.

This morning I really didn’t want to run—and when I say “run”, I mean “walk-run,” with more walking than running at this point in my 5K run app.

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