Thursday, December 22, 2005

Thanksgiving at Christmas

Well after 3 and a half months and seven temporary homes we finally got our own home! Oh Yeah!

I remember about 3 years ago, just before we ended up moving to Kenner saying to Dina "Youe've got to be crazy to live in the New Orleans area!" At that time two small hurricanes had just rolled through just grazing the New Orleans area and southeast Louisiana. I was perfectly content living in Hammond. We were in the proccess of looking for our first house and were ready to put our roots down further there. I had really come to love Hammond with its combination small-town/college-town vibe and was ready to spend many more years there. Little did I know then that I would be moving to the New Orleans area within the next month. So I guess I've become more crazy over the last few years. I think it's particularly crazy to be buying a house down here right now but here we are.

We are really humbled by God's blessings on our lives right now. Throughout all of the craziness these last few months his grace and provision has truley been upon us. A friend of mine, Doug Anderson, recently spoke at our church. He said something to the effect that when you are always seeking stuff you can never get enough, but when you seek God's kingdom first you are freed from the attachment to stuff which in turn allows you to enjoy any stuff that comes along. Stuff is just the icing on the cake, or lagniappe as we say down here in Louisiana.

I can honestly say that Dina and I had pretty much decided we were going to be renting for a while but that it was worth it because we felt like we belonged here in Kenner. We both have really had a deep sense of fulfilling God's purposes for our lives here in Kenner, a sense that we are supposed to be here, that our destinies are some how tied in with what God wants to do in this area. Sure it has made more sense financially to move somehwere else and commute to Kenner, but we have come to realize that we don't want to be outsiders or vistors who work here and live elsewhere, we want to effect this area from the inside out. That seemed like a very tall order though. We have been renting ever since we've lived down here and have only met discouragement every time we have tried to look for houses in Kenner. We just could never find anything we liked in our price range. Back in August, after another bout with disappointments over the housing market Dina and I had a talk and came to the conclusion that we would rather rent and be where God wants us than live where we could afford a house and miss out on God's purposes for our lives. We also had really come to love our neighborhood and our neighbors. Over the past years there has been a real sense of community that has developed between us and our neighbors and we really didn't like the idea of giving that up. Well, God has done some huge miracles in our lives in recent days. Not only have we been able to find a house we can afford but it's in the same neighborhood as our old apartment. We are so very grateful for our new home. It's a simple condo about a mile from the church but it is so beyond what we had in mind. It is so great to have a little space of our own. I've missed alot of the simple things over the last few months, like making coffee in the mornings, cooking dinner, and being able to have a room alone with my wife. My daughter has missed being able to sleep in a bed without here brother. I feel like we are freed to enjoy this house in a way that would have never been possible before because we weren't living for it or even looking for it. God gave us something we couldn't get on our own, so as a family we approach this Christmas time full of thankfulness at everything God has done in us, for us and through us.

-Crispin

Thursday, December 08, 2005

Adopt-a-Block Launches in Kenner

Well what a day it was for bar-be-que-ing- light rain, windy, and cold. I spent the afternoon cooking up chicken and sausage on the pits for our first adopt-a-block outreach. Around 5:30 we went into a neighborhood right next to our church where there are a whole lot of Fema trailers due to flood damage. We distributed hot meals and explained to folks that our church is adopting their neighborhood for the remainder of Decembed and that on every Tuesday and Thursday night we will bring them hot meals. Our first attemp went over real well. We are definately meeting a very real and practical need. Our initial plan is to get the church staff to do the first 2 weeks and then get families in our church to adopt their neighborhoods. Exciting times!

-Crispin

Wednesday, December 07, 2005

My Top CDs of 05





On a lighter note, here's my top CDs I came across in 05. They were not all new in 05 just new to me at least.

1. Chris Lizotte - Falling From The Sky
Earthy and spiritual songs for everyday life. I contacted Chris recently to see if his CDs were available at any outlets and he told me they shoul be available on I-Tunes soon. Recommended Songs - Falling From The Sky, God Help Me Through This Day, I Will Trust You.

2. Elvis Costello and the Imposters - Delivery Man
This CD is too cool. The production is gritty, almost trashy but it works well. This is Costello's venture into roots rock. I've never been a very big fan of Elvis Costello. As a matter of fact i picked up this CD by acident, but I'm glad I did.
Recommended songs - Country Darkness, Bedlam,

3. Willie Nelson - Teatro
A friend of mine and fellow admirer of Daniel Lanois - Ben Manuel turned me on to this CD. Daniel lanois produced this one a few years ago. It's real cool. One of the best songs is Willie's cover of the Daniel Lanois song - The Maker.

4. Daniel Lanois - Shine
Well written songs all around with the very no-conventional and slightly sparse production you would expect from Lanois. The dude is not just a killer producer but quite the musician and songwriter. It seems that Lanois is really finding his voice on this one better than on other releases. cool tracks - I Love You, Falling at Your Feet

5. Daniel Lanois - Beladonna
I bought this one at the same times as Shine. It's all instrumental featuring Lanois' beautifully warm tones on the pedal steel. My favorite track is called Frozen - a pedal steel drenched slightly regea vibe.

6. Ben Davis - Crown of Mercy
I know I'm partial to this one because I helped out mixing and playing music on it but it's a great CD. Ben's a great songwriter with a nack for a good chorus. My Favorite tracks - Alive, Crown of Mercy, I Need You, Wonderful

7. Coldplay- X & Y
Each Coldplay CD takes a bit of getting adjusted to but never fails to deliver. This CD is no exception. While I'm not sure it tops their previous 2 releases it's still killer in a different way. The songwriting is definatly improving and the whole band is showing a bit more diversity. I love the first 6 tracks.

8. Bebel Gilberto (Selftitled)
This is a date CD. Songs in english and portuguese over brazillian rhythms. She has a very cool voice. Favorite track - Baby (My Daughter loves that one too).

Tuesday, November 29, 2005

The Mission Transcends The Music Part 3

Jesus was once asked which of the commands was the greatest. He replied, "To love the lord your God with all your heart, soul, mind, and strength...And to love your neighbor as yourself."

Worship is vertical, aimed at God alone, but apart from love of the people around us, is incomplete. Let's not forget that the Pharisees and Saducees loved God fervently but judged the whole lot of folks around them as unworthy. So was their love for God really love? Part of loving God is loving what God loves. This is horizontal. This is the cross where worship and mission meet.

Lord help us to be infused with your love for the world around us.


This is the place our work, and music, and art, and worship should strive for. It's not that everything we do needs to be some deep, mystical, and worshipful experience, but that our lives are directed by the mission of loving God first and our neighbors as ourselves. However we will find that some pretty common things can be very spiritual, and on the flip side some things that seem spiritual are just pretending.

The Mission Transcends The Music Part 2

So what about the mission as it relates to worship music?

Worship music should be the soundtrack to what God is doing. Sure worship is directed Godward but it is also enfused with his heart for people. When I think back on worship CDs and songs that have impacted me personally oever the years they all have been produced by artists with a very definate missional sensability. A few examples:

1. Enter The Worship Circle - 100 Portraits and Waterdeep
This CD was chock full very subversive and dangerous stuff. Birthed out of community and missions the songs spread like wildfire through college ministries, and youth groups, and churches throughout the United States. It's ironic that in these days of polished-perfect, market-driven worship CDs that Enter The Worship Circle's lo-fi earthiness struck such a big chord. I believe that part of it was due to the movement of God that it accompanied. 100 Portraits and Waterdeep had cultivated relationships with college students all across America by helping engage in outreach and missions. These songs were the soundtrack to what they were doing. They were'nt cool worship songs, just real worship songs. To this day the members of both bands are involved with missional pursutes around the country.

2. Fragrant Oil - David Ruis
This is another lo-fi worship project that is very honest. No overdubs here, just what God was doing in the church in Winapeg Canada that he pastored. David Ruis is one of those worship leaders who definately has let the Fathers' heart infect him with compasion for the broken and beaten down. *I was very encouraged to see David Ruis the week after Katrina hit working with relief to our area. He didn't come down here as David Ruis, the big Vineyard worship leader, but as a servant alongside everyone else who was trying to help the area.

3. Kiss The Son - Kevin Prosch
Ther is a video out there of Kevin Prosch and the Black Peppercorns' tour of Europe back in 1996 I believe. To watch it is to see the intersection of worship and missions. Kiss the Son - the live worship CD from that era is filled with worship written from that vantage point.

4. Matt Redman - Facedown
From the beginning Matt Redman has been an outreach minded worship leader gaining widespread recognition through the Soul Survivor conferences in England where thousands of youth would descend on a community to do outreach. You can tell that this has been central in his songwriting and worship.

These are just a few examples of missional worship leaders and their soundtracks to what God is doing.

More to come...

Monday, November 28, 2005

The Mission Transcends The Music Part 1

Lately I've been feeling more like a missionary than a musician but the feeling has helped remind me of some important things about music. Much of my experience with music within the last 13 years has been in the context or inspired by Missions. Over half of the songs on the first CD I ever recorded "Through These Pinholes" were written on a missions trip to Costa Rica in 1993. In the 3 months of missions work in the jungles and mountains of Costa Rica God began to give me a little bit of His heart for people and radically altered my perspective on life, worship, and music. Through that experience I was able to glimpse something far bigger than my little "American Dreams". By 1996 I had been on several missions trips and ended up leading a missions trip with the college ministry I pastored to Amsterdam, Hungary, and Poland. It was on this trip that my band Mary's den was concieved. Over the next 6 years Mary's den was continually fuelled by a heart for missions. Sure we loved playing music together but there was something so much bigger than our music that drove us on.

In recent posts I have written about the importance of the micro-community of "The Band" in music. Another contextual issue is the importance of "the Mission" in music. I am personally a much better musician, songwriter, and performer when I am connected with the mission.

What is the Mission?

The mission is that thing that trancends the very music we make. The mission is about helping the broken, effecting positive change in the world, getting down in the pit with the depressed and lending an ear, and reaching out a hand of mercy to the ones in need. The mission is the ideal that fuels the songwriter with passion and grounds him to the real world.

I know I use U2 for a lot of examples here but I'll use them again. U2 is a band that from the begining realized that 4 guys in a band can really bring about change in the world. I know of no band as passionate, but it's not random or blind passion though, it's the passion fuelled by the mission. It's hard to imagine a U2 void of mission. In the past 5 years U2 has not simply turned out good music, but has done so much to eliminate debts of third world countries, and help the sick and orphaned in Africa. U2 has a real sense that there is something that transcends their rock-n-roll.

Sure, some bands are just good bands, and some songwriters just turn out good songs, and there's nothing wrong with that, but I believe there's a much better place to go with our music. Bob Dylan's lyrics don't just resonate with folks because they're well written but because they say something! and that something is connected to the idea that these songs can actually change the world for the better.

So what about worship music and the mission?

Katrina Update

As expected, once national news coverage has died down many think New orleans is back up and running. The truth is that New Orleans, a city of normally around 500,000 is only at about 60,000 at the moment. There are huge issues facing this whole region as the city tries to rebuild. I grow weary of hearing the name "Katrina". In fact I'm trying to make it a day without speaking that name. But, we cannot kid ourselves by pretending that the work is anywhere near done. I know Katrina updates have been kind of absent from my Blog because for sanity's sake I try to get my mind on other things. But this is just a note for everyone outside our area to continue to keep this region in your prayers and don't forget us just because attention in the media is shifting elsewhere. The good news is that Kenner, where we live, is coming back at a good pace. I believe within 6 months we should be back to normal and hopefully within a month my family will be in permanent housing. This will really put us in a much better position to help in rebuilding New Orleans. It's hard to help as much as we want when there is still so much damaged in our community. But as we get our city back we can help bring New Orleans back. So that's the Katrina News for this week.

Tuesday, November 22, 2005

You Got To Love Vineyard Churches!

A friend of mine recently visited the Trent Vineyard Church in Nottingham England. The church has a a full service pub inside their church. Check it out at http://www.trentvineyard.org.uk/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=36&Itemid=48

Mary's Den Reunion



I know I'm just now getting caught up on news from Pre-Katrina, but this pic of an impromtu Mary's den reunion at Sugacanes in August was just sent to me recently from Stephanie Jones. Casey Campbell through his magic in on Search For You and In Your Eyes. Rumour has it that an official Den reunion may be in the works, You just never know...

Monday, November 21, 2005

Thankful!

Ready for a few days off! Tomorrow I'll be takin my first few days off since Katrina. I will be attempting my second try at smoking a turkey tomorrow. I tried the other day and ended up with one really black bird. It was quite tasty once you cut through the half inch of chared skin. Ever since we got the huge smokers from my friend from Blood and Fire ministries I've become quite a barbeque freak. As Phil, my pastor says, cooking is therapeutic. It's much more so when what you cooks turns out well. So I'm off to be thankful! You all be thankful too!
-Crispin

Wednesday, November 16, 2005

Found What You're Looking For Yet?




A few posts back I referenced the Bono interview in the latest issue of Rolling Stone magazine. The following is the last question in the interview along with Bono's response.


RS: Have you found what you're looking for yet?

Bono: I used to think that one day I'd be able to resolve all of the different drives I have in different directions, the tension between the different people that I am. Now I realize that is who i am, and I'm more content to be discontent. I do feel that I'm getting closer to the song I hear in my head, getting closer to not compromising the melody with some crap words. I mean that on every level. I wasn't looking for grace, but luckily grace was looking for me.

Tuesday, November 15, 2005

A Rabbit Trail on Studio Musicians and Producers

I may have sounded a bit harsh about the studio musician thing on my last post. In no way do I wish to stereotype the studio musician by painting him as a mercinary who approaches music from a very cold and detached vantage-point. The problems I am addressing are systemic. The very best studio musicians and producers are those who can, like salt, draw out the unique flavors of artists and bands. In this regard I don't think U2 would have made nearly as big a splash had they not hooked up with Daniel Lanois and Brian Eno (producers behind U2's greatest albums). Daniel Lanois helped U2 find their sound. But Daniel Lanois approached the band as a friend and a fan and as a member on many occassions. His work with U2 was obviously was not detached or removed. He got down in their with them and in the proccess became an even better producer. More To Come. -C

Sunday, November 13, 2005

More on The Importance of The Band in music

In 1996 I recorded and released my 2nd solo CD called "The Sound of Rain". While I still play some songs in our live gigs off of that album and though I have rerecorded the song "Bridges" which first appeared on "The Sound of Rain"
for my latest CD Move, the band dynamic was missing on that '96 release. On "The Ssound of Rain" I opted to spend about $8,500.00 which was a lot for a guy who didn't even have a band. Come to mention it that was the most I've spent on any of my CDs to date. The recording budget included studio musicians, and prodcustion in a state-of-the-art studio in Dallas. While the CD came out with an impecable mix, and while the songs all sounded great (not to mention the awesome songwriting LOL), the whole project lacked the soul and honesty of my next project which would end up being "Songs From the Living Room" by Mary's Den. "Songs From the Living Room" captured the best of what I like about recording with a band. There was a whole lot of experimentation, a whole lot of learning, and because we were constantly playing music together we had an idea of which songs really connected with people. In fact over half of the songs were initially birthed in a live setting. Sure the CD had some flaws, many of which were on the bands' side but the CD had lots of heart and soul. There was something very spiritual about it and something very human. I still meet people to this day that say that "Songs From the Living Room" is still one of their favorite worship CDs. For as perfect sounding as "the Sound of Rain" was, i rarely ever meet anybody that still plays that one much. Part of this is due to the fact that studio musicians don't feel the same way about a song as a band does. They approach the song as outsiders. They approach the song analytically. They will play it technically better than anyone else but not neccessarily play the song the way it needs to be played. They play it because they get paid, because it's their job, but band members will play the song because they believe in it, because they helped create it, because it is a part of them. I know I'm starting to preach right now and I've got to go play some music, so more to come...
-Crispin

Thursday, November 10, 2005

Relational Dynamics in Music

I flew in to Houston last night to do some recording for Vineyard Music. I got my vocal takes done so now I have some time for blogging. It is nice to be in a city void of devistation, a city with Starbucks, not to mention it was nice to sleep in a real bed last night. Not that I'm getting all soft though.

Last night in the airport I picked up a copy of Rolling Stone Magazine mainly to read the cover article/interview with Bono. A really insightful interview! One thing that really stood out to me was the relational aspect of the band and how it is part of the music they create and perform. (you can download a podcast of the interview at http://podcast.rbn.com/rstone/rstone/rss/bono_rs.xml ) U2 has been together now for about 29 years. And Bono has been married to the same woman for most of that time. Wow! Those are 2 things you rarely find in any rock bands.

You get the idea that Bono and the other guys in U2 are really good friends who love creating music together. Yeah they have their issues and problems but they stick it out and we get the benefits of it as consumers. This is one of the reasons I like bands.

It occured to me as I was reading this article that the relational side - the band side, if you will, of music seems to be in such short supply on radio stations and CDs.

I was reminded of my years with my band Mary's Den. In our 6 plus years together we turned out 3 CDs and spent a good deal of time traveling around the country. What was real cool is that we were all friends apart from the music. When we weren't playing gigs together we were hearing music together, hangin out together, barbequing together etc. In other words we didn't just work together. I would say it was this dynamic that probably made the most impact over the years. When we would lead worship at a local church we would seek to not just play music for a worship service but invite people into relationship with us and God. There are so many relationships that i have to this day that came out of those years. What was really cool was the creative proccess that came about. Our music came out of community. It was a team effort. Sure I wrote most of the songs but it was definately not a unilateral approach. Sure there were some very hard struggles in our relationships. But going through them only made the depth of creativity and character of our relationships stronger. To this day Ben Davis, (the former drummer of Mary's Den) remains one of my very closest friends and I still try to involve him in every creative endeavor that I undertake. I know working with him will keep the proccess honest, creative, and fun. King Solomon wrote "Wisdom is found in a multitude of councilors." I would say that good music is in turn found in a band of brothers.

I hear a lot of mainstream music that combines some of the best studio musicians, top producers, and state-of-the-art equipment that still fails to conect on the level of the soul. I really think that part of this is due to the fact that much of the music is created apart from community. However the music of bands like U2, Coldplay, Dave Mathews Band, connect at a deeper level. These bands weren't just put together to reach a demographic group and sell CDs like oh so many pop acts out there. The guys in Coldplay will redily admit that they are just average musicians but the sum of their music and impact is so much greater than the parts. Of course producers, and state of the art equipment have their place but so much of the soul of music and it's expression comes from the microcommunity of The Band. The music of U2 cannot be mass produced by great musicians and slick production because that's not the way it's arrived at. It comes from community.

More on this to come as I'm just thinking out loud here.

Wednesday, November 09, 2005

Sweetly Broken




In all of the craziness I failed to mention a new CD on which I did some vocals which just came out. The CD is a Vineyard Music Release called "Sweetly Broken". I sand on a song written by Casey Corum called "We Need Your Touch" - kind of a southern rock worship song. The title track is killer. It was written and performed by a guy named Jeremy Riddle. i haven't heard a song from this guy that I haven't liked yet. I will do some searching to see if he's got a solo project because he consistently has some real fresh songs coming out. We just did Sweetly Broken as a call to worship last weekend. Nice!

In other news I'm flying out to Houston in a couple of hours. I'll spend all day tomorrow re-recording a Black gospel version of "We Need Your Touch" with Casey. I'm really looking forward to this one. appearantly he's got a choir from memphis on the thing. It ought to be a great experience. I'll try and get some pics up. Well that's the news for today.

-Crispin

Sunday, November 06, 2005

Jim Markway Quartet at Snug Harbor

Last night I went down to Snug Harbor, a jazz club down on Frenchman street on the edge of the French Quarter. Frenchmen street is definately coming back which is nice because it doesn't have all of the craziness and tourists that much of the other parts of the quarter are filled with. My friend George Alvey who played bass on a few songs on my last CD invited me after recommending the band highly. The band was off-the-charts good! All of the musicians played with such skill and soul. It was their first gig back in New Orleans and served as a good reminder of the mucial contributions of this region. If you are into Jazz pick this guy's CD up and support New Orleans music. http://www.jimmarkway.com/

Friday, November 04, 2005

Recontextualization of Songs


Remember September 11, 2001? I remember how U2's album All That You Can't Leave Behind became the soundtrack for the aftermath. A song like Beautiful Day resonated with such hope and the words to U2's Peace on Earth truely had a prophetic edge. U2's half time show at the 2002 Superbowl was one of the most memorable parts of the game as they paid tribute to the victims of the worldtrade center attacks.

It's now been about 10 weeks since Katrina came through and I am beginning to evaluate the songs and music that has made a difference in my life.

In worship I am finding that so many songs have been reframed in these recent days. Here's a list of some worship tunes that have seemed to mean a lot to me lately. I liked all of these songs before but they seem to have profound relevance as they have been brought into this new context.

1. "I Will Hold On" - From the Vineyard U.K. album Hold On.

2."They That Wait" by Kevin Prosch. "They That Wait" is full of words from Isaiah 40 about being strengthened by God as we wait on Him. I haven't sung this song much in church in the last few years until recently.

3. "I Will Trust You" by Chris Lizotte - This is great song about crying out to God in hard times. Chris' whole CD is one of my favorites right now.

4. "You Sustain Me" a song I wrote years ago is really meaning a lot lately as well.

5. "You Are The Reason" by Barry and Michelle Paterson. This is one of the simplest worship songs. It really brings one's heart into focus. It was originally released on a YWAM project called Dreams of God with Ben and Robin Pasley singing it. Barry and Michelle have the song on two of their CDs. Check their stuff out at http://barryandmichelle.com


Here's some artists/CDs I've been listening to lately as well.

1. Coldplay - all of their CDs. There is something so emotive about Coldplay that seems very comforting right now.

2. Daniel Lanois - "Shine" - a very good CD from my favorite producer. Full of real good songwriting and and interesting production as expected. Very worshipful as well in many places.

3. WWOZ - a local Jazz and Roots Music station in New Orleans just came back on the air. It's nice to hear some local music again. http://www.wwoz.com

Thursday, November 03, 2005

Binge and Purge Blogging

I've got a lot of pics that have been acummulating over the last 3 months so today will be a blogging binge. Included are some pre-katrina pics of the Possible World gig at Tips in NOLA.

Soul Food




Some pics from our makeshift kitchen at our church. You'll see Jimmy Jam Bordelon and wife Rachel in some of the pics who graciosly helped out on several occassions. By the way this is the famous Jimmy Jam mentioned in the song "Funky Jambalaya" available as a free download at www.crispinschroeder.com .

Backpacks for Schools




Here's some pics of distribution we did of backpacks and school supplies for schools in our area.

Pics From the Possible World Gig at Tipitinas





This will be the first of many postings that will cover life in the last 3 months. These are some pics from a gig I did with a newly formed band called Possible World at a club in New Orleans called Tipitinas. The gig was just 4 days before Katrina would hit. BTW Tipitinas is doing a lot to help area musicians. Check it out at www.tiptinas.com

Monday, October 10, 2005

New Song Up at Garageband.com

In other news I just posted the song "Out" from my CD MOVE at garageband.com . You can go by and download it for free. If you like it feel free to buy the CD or turn your friend on to it.

-Crispy

Saturday, October 08, 2005

A Trip Into New Orleans

Today I took my first trip into New Orleans since Katrina. I drove around the area called Lakeview which is right where the 17th street Canal ruptured flooding much of the city. It was really quite a surreal experience. The damage in Kenner has been extensive but nothing like what I saw in Lakeview.

When I to the exit off of the interstate it was almost like driving into an old black and white photo. Most of the color usually present from the grass and many trees was gone. Houses had a film left from flood waters and many cars that were left behind had residue from being under water. The flood line on most of the houses looked to be 7-9 feet. Mud is piled up on the edges of the road where trucks obviously had to make a path. Most folks you see down here have a glazed shocked look on their faces. As you get closer to the area where the 17th street canal broke you see cars pushed up the sides of trees and houses that have been pushed into other houses. So much destruction. It will take this area a long time to come back.

What was really wierd was coming out of that area on Veterans avenue. As you cross from Orleans to Jefferson parish over the 17th street canal you return to a world where businesses are open, grass is green, everything all technicolor.

Many of my friends lived in Lake View. They have lost everything. They need our prayers and friendship more than ever.

Our church began delivering hot meals into the area and our plans are to move our relief center from Kenner down closer to that area. Hopefully we can bring some peace and comfort to these people who are hurting real bad.

-Crispin

Friday, September 30, 2005

Drive By Lunchings

Well today we did some drive by lunchings in the University City area of Kenner. Dina, Ezra and I just drove through the neighborhoods distributing hot meals for lunch today. The area has quite a bit of damage but many are returning to rebuild. Right now I'm sitting in front of the local Starbucks using their T-Mobile Wireless internet. The Starbucks is closed and will likely be closed for a while being that they have some repairs but fortunately they are offering T-Mobile Wireless for free. It's just a little hot using it outdside right now.

If making ordinary phone calls weren't hard enough right now, try calling a radio station. Our church is putting together a job fair for next Tuesday night and I'm trying to call WWL 870 AM to get the word out . I'm into my first 20 attempts right now. I've set aside an hour to get through. Hopefully my cell phone battery will hold out. Well that's the update from Kenner right now.

-Crispin

Wednesday, September 28, 2005

The Cabana Our New Home

We have moved into our 5th place in a month. Now my wife and kids and I are in the same place. The place is a cabana by the pool of some folks from our church. The quarters are a little c ramped but, hey there's a pool at least. The kids still are treating this as a big vacation, but it is getting a little old moving around all of the time with no permanent place in sight in the near future. This week we have several teams of folks in from Indiana Vineyard Churches. We've been doing alot of ripping carpet and moving stuff. We also were able to drop a whole truckload of school supplies off at my daughter's school which will be restarting next Monday. The school was very grateful. It is seriously a huge blessing to be helping the community out in such crazy times. I feel as if the church is really getting to be the church. In a time when political and governmental systems are clogged up many are finding that churches are opperating much more efficiently in meeting real needs in the community. It's great to be a part of what's going on.

-Crispin

Wednesday, September 21, 2005

First Gig Post-Katrina Coming Up

Well the last few days I've been more of a cook than anything. Thanks to Jimmy Jam Bordelon for loning us the pit from his plant. We've been turning out alot of barbeque chicken and sausage for our community. This Friday I will do my first Post-Katrina gig. I just realized a couple of days ago that I had a gig scheduled at Sugacanes in Hammond. I called this afternoon and it's still on. I'll have to do the thing a little more unplugged than normal because Katrina killed my Fender Rhodes, my keyboard and my Hammond organ as well as my guitar amps. But I saved my acoustic guitars so the show will go on. It will be nice to play some music again.

-Crispin

Sunday, September 18, 2005

A Close One




On a lighter note I decided to post some pics from the day Katrina blew through. We had been staying at Micah's in Gonzales (about 10 miles Southeast of Baton Rouge). The hurricane had pretty much blown through and we decided to get out of the house and explore. While walking through the forest behind Micah's home, Micah noticed a couple of Crawfish on the ground. He got our attention and me and Brian bent down with micah to look at them. A good gust of wind blew by followed by a cracking sound above our heads. We all ran for cover and a huge couple of branches came crashing down in the very spot we had been standing. So naturally we ran back to the house, grabbed a camera and came back for photos. Pictured here are each of the brave warriors holding the slain branch.

-Crispin

Wednesday, September 14, 2005

Wet Carpet and Jambalaya

Each day things seem to be getting better in Kenner. Today we were joined by some guys from a Vineyard church in Boise, Idaho and Mt. Ranier, Washington. We ripped out carpet in some of my neighbors apartments and sprayed the walls with bleach. Later in the afternoon, we distributed Jambalaya dinners to folks in the community. Oh, the power of hot food. This jambalaya was our first attempt at cooking with a mobile kitchen that had been donated to our church. The first attempt wasn't half bad. Tomorrow we will cook 3 times as much and see if we can still keep the quality. We have another group coming in this weekend to work. It is really awesome to have folks from other states coming in to help with the relief. Exciting days ahead.

-Crispin

Saturday, September 10, 2005

The Beginning of Reconstruction

I'm back with my wife and kids in Baytown (East side of Houston) for a couple of days. For now it looks like I will be helping with reconstruction in Kenner during the week and coming back to Baytown to be with my family on the weekends. We are very thankful for Wayne and Becky Guest giving us some temporary housing and their friends and neighbors for reaching out to our family in these crazy days. Though the situation is tough with me having to be separated from my family alot, they are really in good hands and well taken care of.

Our church, Vineyard Christian Fellowship in Kenner, has been invited to partner with the city to help in getting the area going again. Our church will be setting up a kitchen at city hall next week to feed city workers, policemen, etc. Currently there is a team down from Missouri who are helping cut away fallen trees and debree in the way of people's houses. We are also setting up a few relief areas in our community to help distribute supplies to area residents. Everything is really starting to come together. I will keep updates coming as I find internet connections.

Keep us in your prayers.
-Crispin

Wednesday, September 07, 2005


A guy in a Ford F250 Super Duty was forced to ask me for a pull because no one else was around. I just had to get a pic of this.



Well, the barbeque pit made it!

Relief






The first of Relief shipments we've sent out from the Baton Rouge Vineyard staging area.

Sunday, September 04, 2005

Workin' My Way Back

Just arrived in the Hammond area (My old stompin' ground) this afternoon. The population in this are is normally fairly small with a few small towns and rural population. Right now there are people everywhere as well as in Baton Rouge. The damage to trees around here is crazy. There are chunks of pine forest that look mowed down, just snapped. Power lines are also down all over the place. And this area wasn't even in the direct path. I know it will only get worse the closer I get to my home in Kenner. I have word from a friend that we only had minor flooding in our home. Of course he only saw things from the outside. But he said things looked pretty decent. I'll see in a day or so.

-Crispin

Saturday, September 03, 2005

Blessed

I just spent lunch today at a hotel helping a local church get lunch to folks from New Orleans area staying in hotels along I-10. As I talked to several folks I got kind of overwhelmed and had to go outside to collect myself. The weight of this thing is really starting to hit me. I feel really blessed to have my wife and 2 kids, and to have friends who have opened up their homes, and pantries, etc. to us. This isn't the case for everyone I've met. I feel bad that I have it so good but can't really help others to the extent that I want to. Tomorrow I will be heading back from Houston to the area around Hammond, Louisiana. Then on Monday I will go check out Kenner with some folks from the staff at our church. Then, who knows...

Wednesday, August 31, 2005

Turning Points

September 11 2001 was a turning point in the history of our country. We can all remember how life was before 9/11 and how our lives were suddenly transformed without warning. I believe this is how profoundly Katrina has effected our lives at least in Louisiana and Mississippi. We are not simply facing a time of inconvenience, we are facing months and maybe years where things are altered. Right now my wife and I are trying to consider where we are going to set up our lives temporarily. This is so hard to fathom. I guess we all expected that as soon as the hurricane passed things would slowly start to improve, however it seems like the situation is only getting worse back at home. It reminds me of seens from movies - refugees everywhere huddling together trying to find shade from the sun, no water, no food, desparate for help. The whole thing seems so surreal.

That's all for now.
-Crispin

Tuesday, August 30, 2005

Hurricane Update

Wow. I'm still in shock as I finally get to see some of the images coming out from the Hurricane damage. My family and I road out the storm at Micah's (bass player) House near Baton rouge. But after more than 24 hours without power we headed to crash with some friends in Houston. This is truley a huge disaster. I am just in awe. I am thankful that my wife and kids are with me and safe. We will find out about our home next week. I'll try to post some photos in a few days.

-Crispin

Friday, July 29, 2005

V-CAMP 05

Just got back from V-CAMP 05, a week long youth camp near Eunice Louisiana (wherever that is). I was leading worship for the week backed up by Ben Davis on drums, Dave Rumsey on guitar, Jason Armand on bass, and an old young friend Stephen Boutin on keys. A great time for all. We also got to get a few days of practice in for the gig at Tipitinas on August 24 being that Dave, Jason, and Ben are all in Possible World. The set is shaping up good. I'd say the sound of the band is somewhat reminiscent of Fold Zandura with a hint of Coldplay, something quite different from what I've been doing for the last couple of years but quite fun. Anyway, I'll be posting some photos in the next couple of days.

-Crispin

Monday, July 18, 2005

CD BABY!

Just got my CD up at CD BABY! There's a special price on it right now for anyone who is interested. Check it out at http://www.cdbaby.com/crispin .

-Crispin

Thursday, July 14, 2005

FREE MP3s of Crispin Schroeder
















Free Rare, Live and out of Print songs available in MP3 form for download at http://www.crispinschroeder.com/multimedia.html
4 tracks are available:
1. "Spring" from my '96 release The Sound of Rain
2. "Funky Jambalaya" from Strawberry Jam and Toast to the Arts compilation '02 featuring members of Mary's Den
3. "The Maker" live recording of Daniel Lanois song circa June '05
4. "America the Beautiful" live recording on July 3 '05

Check back because there's more to come.
-Crispin

Tuesday, July 12, 2005

Possible World

Just got news today that a new band I'm involved with on the side called Possible World will be playing Tipitinas homegrown night on Aug 25. This band is a bit of a departure from the stuff I've been doing these last couple of years. I will be playing electric piano and guitar and singing in this lineup but a good deal of the lead vocals will be done by Becca Rumsey. Her husband Dave, who was featured on several tracks on my new CD will be playing lead guitar. On bass - Jason Armand, Sharon Schmidt on organ, and on drums Tyler Janes. Our sound can loosly be classified as modern rock. We will be doing several of Dave and Beccas original songs which are quite good. In addition we will be doing a few of my more modern rock tunes. Anyway, it ought to be good. So drop by and check it out if your in the area.

-Crispin

Monday, July 04, 2005


Spray On Mud Has Changed My Life! Posted by Picasa

The ultimate for the Suburban Posers in your life! It works on mountain bikes too!!
http://www.sprayonmud.com/

Happy July 4th everybody!

Thursday, June 30, 2005

You Hear What You See

I recently watched the movie "Beyond the Sea" staring Kevin Spacey about the life of Bobby Darin. For those who don't know Bobby Darin was a prolific songwriter/performer who wrote the songs "Splish Splash" and "Mack the Knife" among many others.

An interesting part of the movie was when Bobby Darin tried to use his music to protest the Vietnam War. Up to that point he'd been doing standards in lounges and clubs but was beginning to feel real opposition in his heart to the war. So he books a gig at a club in Vegas. He starts off the show with a protest song and quickly turns off the crowd. They didn't want to hear protest music, they wanted the standards. So he gets very upset that his message didn't get received by the crowd that night, to which his wife replies, "Bobby, they only hear what they see."

Suddenly a light bulb goes off in Bobby's head. Out of what seemed like a low point in his career Bobby asks his agent to book him in Vegas again. However this time Bobby reconfigured his show to combine his message with what he was best known for. By the end of the movie he does a show in a club and does the same protest song. While it starts with him and an acoustic guitar as if it's going to be a typical folky protest song, the lights come up to reveal a whole band and choir. By the end of the gig everybody in the place is singing along with him. This is a great example of an artist who learned how to use his art to engage an audience with his message.

MORAL: As an artist who has something to say I have often struggled with the presentation of it all. For example, I remember when I did my first CD back in 1994 called "Through These Pinholes". My mentality was that I wanted people to hear the music. I didn't care about the look of the artwork much because I was focused on the music. The problem is folk’s first impression of my music is from the cover. And, to be honest I think the cover sucked pretty bad. However from my mindset at the time which was defining itself against pop commercialism, spending much time on the cover seemed like a compromise. The sad thing is that many folks that might have responded to the music were turned off by the cover.

As artists we have to figure out ways to effectively engage society. I want to make people think, to get them to question, to cause them to want to live from their hearts. I won't be successful at that if they can't get past the presentation. I am not saying that we need to start judging the books by their covers; I am just stating that this is what happens naturally.

When I met Dina (who later became my wife) my first impression was not based on the wonderful hidden aspects of her heart. I just thought she was beautiful. As we have been married now for nearly 8 years I certainly appreciate her heart and personality much more. In fact they give great depth to her beauty. But I suspect I'd never have gotten to know the other aspects if my first impression hadn't been so good.

So as it applies to art, I think we artists can benefit by judging how we come across. Too often we make our art inaccessible to people because we are so concerned with artistic integrity. We make it about us and our art rather than communicating something that transcends us and our art.

Sunday, June 26, 2005

C.S. Lewis on Pride

"Pride gets no pleasure out of having something, only out of having more of it than the next man. We say that people are proud of being rich, or clever, or good-looking, but they are not. They are proud of being richer, or cleverer, or better-looking than others. If every one else became equally rich, or clever, or good-looking there would be nothing to be proud about. It is the comparison that makes you proud: the pleasure of being above the rest." -- C.S. Lewis

I read this quote the other day and wow it's been hangin around in my head. How perverse and seductive the pleasure of comparing oneself to others. Of course we only want to do that in areas we excell, while leaving the other areas where we struggle quite unobserved.

Friday, June 24, 2005

DOIN' THE STUFF

Just wrapped up at the DOIN' The STUFF conference last night here in Houston. Wow! It was a great time. I had a great band backing me up for the event - Begee on drum, Anthony on bass, Wade Dupree on guitar, and Micheal on keys. I only got one of their last names but they rocked all around. It's a scary thing playing with musicians with whom you've never played before but with these guys there was instant chemistry. There were about 350 kids who, as my good friend Casey Campbell would say, were worshipping their faces off! Don Williams was the main speaker for the week and really taught some very insightful things on the parables of Jesus. Anyway it was a great time. Now to head back to New Orleans. By the way anyone reading this who was at the DTS conference who got some good pics email them to me at crispytunes at yahoo.com and I'll post them on the site. I just forgot to take any.

-Crispin

Thursday, June 16, 2005


******NEW GIGS****** Posted by Hello

Marlenes Place

I just booked some new gigs. Check out http://www.crispinschroeder.com/gigs.html for more info. I'll be playing a new venue in New Orleans called Marlenes Place on June 29 at 10 p.m. So all New Orleans peeps come out and represent. It will be an acoustic show and is sure to feature a few guests.

DTS 05 Posted by Hello

Doin The Stuff

I'll be in Houston next week leading worship for the Doin The Stuff conference. http://www.dointhestuff.com/
It ought to be a blast if for no other reason than getting to be in Houston in the middle of the summer, the only other place in the U.S. that stays as hot and humid as New Orleans.

Sightings of Greeny

I've posted some recent sightings of Ol' Greeny (the suitcase which appeared on MOVE cover). I wouldn't be a good dad if I didn't post some shots of my boy. He's quite the burgeoning rockstar. I have some new audio and gigs coming up as well so be sure to check back in the next few days.

-Crispy

Greeny meditating by the water. Posted by Hello

Ol' greeny contemplating cookin' up some bar-b-q Posted by Hello