Christmas/CD release show recap and press coverage.

A couple nights ago I played my first Twin Cities concert since the Summer. Here's a photo of Pilgrim Lutheran Church in St. Paul, MN (yes, it's a Lenten photo...ignore the paraments), a cool congregation who have been very supportive of me over the years. Pilgrim hosted the show, which was a combination Christmas/Advent performance, and CD-release party for my new Insomniaccomplishments album.

I was very pleased to find out last week that I got some nice press coverage in the local media...and both from publications that hadn't written about me before!

The local edition of The Onion called me a "cheery popster," and music critic Chris Riemenschneider at the Star Tribune had this to say:
"Americana singer/songwriter Jonathan Rundman, who collaborated with the Silos on his 2004 disc Public Library, shows plenty of cleverness beyond the album title on his new CD, Insomniaccomplishments, with tracks ranging from the Christian acoustic ditty 'Little Bible' to the sludgy rocker 'Nothing Downtown,' which will surely resonate with suburban Twin Citians."

I'd never thought of my song "Nothing Downtown" pertaining to Minneapolis, but when I think of the vacant storefronts around Block E, it's pretty accurate! And I love it that I've been credited with writing a "sludgy rocker," which it is! Sometimes you need to rock sludgily.

Anyway...back to the show at Pilgrim. I had a GREAT band that night, besides me on acoustic guitar:
John Kerns: bass and vocals
Joel Setterholm: piano, accordion, recorder, and vocals
Jimmy Olson: drums
with special guests Tangled Blue (Joel and Aimee Pakan): guitar and vocals
It was especially cool to have Jimmy in the band, since he performed the drum part for the song "If You Have A Question" on the album! My long-time friend and collaborator Joel played accordion for the first time, and that was another highlight.

My goal for this show was to keep it moody, acoustic, and quiet. Here was the set list:

Lo How A Rose E'er Blooming
Each Winter As The Year Grows Older (from ELW)
Cold But I Don't Mind
Four Candles
Out Behind The Old Hotel
Gospel Verses
Glory In The Highest
Forgiveness Waltz
Bethlehem Tonight
If You Have A Question
Her Lip Balm
I'm Alive and Sleep Deprived
Daniel & Peter & Thomas
Second Language
Lost In The Night (from ELW)
Go Tell It On The Mountain (from ELW)

Speaking of media coverage, last week some Luther Seminary bloggers wrote a post previewing the show, as well as the Tangled Blue CD Release concert held on Friday (which I was very pleased to attend!). Nina, the blogger, wrote how it seems like the Twin Cities are like a "Lutheran Rome"...a religious and cultural epicenter for Lutherans in America. Of course, folks like Garrison Keillor have been joking about this for years, but there's a serious truth to it. For me it's exciting and encouraging to be surrounded by so many important and influential people and events within my own tribe.

Thanks to the band, the audience, Pilgrim Lutheran, Chris at The Onion, Chris at the Strib, and Nina at Luther Sem for contributing to a wonderful musical evening! Everybody is encouraged to come out tomorrow (Tuesday) night to hear me play loud and electric at the 400 Bar!


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