It's an over-used word.  I think it's often used to connote all the warm fuzzy feelings associated with it, and not with the honesty that recognizes that family is often difficult and messy, that it requires hard work and commitment through the dry seasons.  Without that, it's a pretty shallow term.  With that, it is deep and beautiful.

So many deserve a thank you for 2015.  These are really meaningful to me.  Because when people take on the hard work and messy situations that family requires, I hear them saying "I love you - I care - you matter to me."  I hope to scatter many thank yous into this blog over the year, and to do our part in showing commitment and support to those that have done the same for us.  If there's someone I should know about, a story I should share - email me at

I'll share one story here, and give one thank you... Nate and Tessa Allen (Destroy Nate Allen).  Nate and Tessa have been with us from the beginning.  In 2015, they took on multiple appearances every day of the festival.  Performances at the Radon Lounge, Asylum, and sharing deeply personal experiences and teaching from their lives and experiences in the Anchor Ministry tent.  But what I remember most was when the generator quit right before the Flatfoot show.  All our core group was scrambling to try to get it running and to implement a back up plan.  A significant delay was clearly in the cards, and I did not know how to announce the delay, or what timeline to give the (large) crowd eagerly awaiting one of our headline shows.  Honestly... making some type of announcement was the last thing I wanted to do.

I remember seeing Nate on the fringes of our frantic effort, and then the next thing I knew I heard cheering and other indications of fun and entertainment coming from the crowd. Nate and Tessa saw the need and jumped in and kept the crowd engaged and excited throughout the delay... after working the festival perhaps harder than any of our other artists.

Thanks, Nate and Tessa.  You helped bail us out when times were rough, and that means a lot to me.  That's what family does.

Nate has a new project out - Take Out The Trash by Nate Allen & The Pac-Away Dots.  Check it out and support Nate, the Pac-Away Dots, and Destroy Nate Allen.  They reflect the creativity that we think is so important in art.  And they are family.