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Fran McKendree: News

Sewanee visit and McKendree Spring update - September 8, 2010


I was at the University of the South, Sewanee this past weekend.  Had a fantastic visit with some of my favorite folks, some whom I've known for years doing events at Camp McDowell, and others who have come from other parts of the country  - either doing their undergrad studies there or are in the School of Theology.  Had a great turn out for the concert, and enjoyed a day of being on campus on Sunday...hearing their great choir at All Saints Chapel in the morning.  We had a wonderful Growing in Grace service [their more informal worship service] on Sunday eve. It's always such a joy to be with those folks!  I was having such a great time, I forgot to take some photos, so I went into All Saints Chapel at about 6:00 a.m. just before I left and took the pix below.





The mixes are going well, and we should have the downloads ready by the latter part of September.  Stay tuned!

Here's a look at my studio in 'listening' mode - the mixes our engineer, Casey Wood, has been working on;


McKendree Spring Recording - August 17, 2010

We did it!!  Spent a great week in Nashville recording with my old band mates.  We did 5 songs;

'River Song' by Tom Rush [the last song of his we did, 'No Regrets,' was one of our most requested], 'One Word' by the Subdudes, one of Marty's and my favorite bands, 'I Got Everything I Need' by Keb Mo, another of my favs, 'Ellis Island' by Marc Cohn [a masterpiece of writing] and an instrumental featuring Mike on the viola called 'The Jig's Up.'  They're being mixed by Casey Wood, who also engineered the sessions.  Joining us to round out the sound were Alan Stoker on drums [who helped out with our live show last time 'round] and Paul Hollowell on keys.

The plan is to release these as singles on CDBaby, and then on iTunes.  We should have the first of them up in mid September.  Below are some pics from the sessions, please visit the McKendree Spring's facebook page for more info.





McKendree Spring in the studio soon - August 1, 2010

We've been in the process of choosing songs, and it's feeling like we're almost there.  Two selections for certain at this point are 'River Song' by Tom Rush, and 'One Word' by the Subdudes.  Both are great songs and will give us the chance to explore some new territory.  One of McK'Springs most requested and well known songs has been 'No Regrets,' another from Tom's library.  'River Song' has a beautiful theme, gorgeous melody and chords...will be great fun.  The Subdudes have been one of my favorite bands for a long time, and 'One Word' is, I think, one of their best.  Stay tuned for more!

McKendree Spring set to record - July 18, 2010

McKendree Spring will be back in the studio in Nashville soon.  Fran, Mike Dreyfuss, Marty Slutsky, and Chris Bishop are booked in for a few days with Fran's favorite recording engineer, Casey Wood, at the console.  Will have photos soon.

The Red Wellies CD - top 10 of 2009! - July 18, 2010

The wonderful Asheville/Irish band, The Red Wellies, whom I recorded and co-produced at my Teerivane Studios, has won a great honor - in the top 10 of  Folkworld's  Alex Monaghan's top ten cds of 2009.  They're all great folks, and incredibly talented.  Duncan Wickel, who plays violin in this band, also contributed superbly to my new cd, 'Awake.'  Here's the link to read more about the 'Wellies' recording and award; /41/e/hl2009.html      and their site;


Sawyerville Day Camp - July 10, 2010

What an incredible week!  This is truly an amazing thing that the folks from the Diocese of AL are doing...please visit the Sawyerville web site for lots of information and tons of pictures of the campers and staff.  Life changing stuff!!

National Happening gathering - July 10, 2010

Had a great time with the folks from the National Happening Committee held at Montreat, NC. Lots of singing and fun.  Will add some pix.

Cara and the copperhead - June 13, 2010

Our sweet Ms. Cara got bitten by a copperhead last fun at all.  She's mending well, 'tho and being a trooper.


Awake arrives! - June 12, 2010

I'm expecting to take delivery of the new cd, 'Awake,' early this week.  It's been a long time in the works, and I'm looking forward to holding one in my hands!  The order form will be up on this site later this week, and you'll be able to purchase the cd at, and download all the songs from CDBaby, iTunes, Amazon, and the other web download shops within the next month. The songbook will follow over the summer.

AWWWY - June 11, 2010

Getting ready for the Adults Who Work with Youth Conference coming up at Kanuga in a week or so.  I'm really looking forward to reconnecting with some great friends that I haven't seen in a while, and a stellar week.  More to follow as that week unfolds.

Province IV ECW at Kanuga - June 10, 2010

Shared a few great days at Kanuga with the wonderful women of the Prov IV ECW...and my friend Rev. Gigi Connor as the keynote speaker.  Thanks to Gigi's prompting, I learned a few new songs that spoke specifically to women's participation in the great moments of our history for the occasion. It was great to catch up with some dear friends.

Trinity, Copley Square - June 9, 2010

Had a great time with the folks from Trinity Church, Boston, at the sixth annual parish family retreat. Wonderful conversations, a bit of hiking and outdoor time, singing and the beautiful surroundings of the Barbara Harris Center...what could be better! Thanks, all, for another great year!

'Awake' release... mid June - May 31, 2010


Sorry for the delay...hit a couple of momentary snags but all is now under way and the new cd will be available here at the CDBaby site in late June.  You can order them directly from my web site, 'tho, prior to that [it takes a week or so after CDBaby receives the actual cds to have them available from their stock].  Same for the digital download world, iTunes, Amazon, etc - takes a bit of time to get in the loop. There will be a mail order form that you can fill out here at the product page.  We'll get them out to you as quickly as possible.

Thanks for your support!

Good Shepherd, Hayesville, NC - May 30, 2010

Had really wonderful weekend with the folks from Good Shepherd Episcopal in Hayesville. They were having a renewal gathering, and I was helping out with the music. The Rev. Dr. Delmer Chilton was the keynote speaker - and he spoke eloquently and soulfully about our need to be in community.  Had a great turnout for the concert on Saturday eve, as well.  Thanks, all!

The drive over the mountains between Hendersonville and Hayesville is one of the more stunningly beautiful stretches of road here in western NC...truly breathtaking at times, especially as the thunderclouds rolled in and the clouds packed the valleys.  I did, however, forget to bring my camera so no pix this time.

Greg Mulkey video for 'Creating God' - May 20, 2010

My friend Greg has painted a beautiful video to accompany one of the songs, 'Creating God,' from my new cd, 'Awake.'  Hope you'll visit, and comment.

Holy Trinity. Greensboro - May 17, 2010

Had a wonderful day with the folks at Holy Trinity, Greensboro!  They are doing some really amazing things there; they've designed an ongoing 'festival' in honor of their centennial - an art walk, new sculpture, a concert series...a joyous celebration of community building. Pictures to follow soon!

back from the west coast - May 10, 2010

Had a wonderful week in Southern CA...leading music for the Diocese of Los Angeles Clergy Retreat...about 200 in all.  So great to hang out with some really wonderful folks.

Then on down to San Juan Capistrano to do a chapel service at St. Margaret of Scotland School, for the k-5th grade...what fun...they sang great! (No swallows at the mission...I hear they all go to the mall now! A sad commentary)

To San Diego next, and a day off to visit the Wild Animal Park!  What a joy...all kinds of amazing creatures there, and a fair amount of them are on the endangered list.  This facility does a lot of research and reimplementation of animals into the wild...such critical work, these days.  There were lots of births, but the two that stood out the most for me were the baby African elephants, one born on Valentines day [the one on the splash page], and the other just about three weeks was so tiny compared to mom, but weighed in at 268 lbs at birth!

Back home to some nice cool weather and the last bits to finish up on the new cd, Awake. Just the final cover art to complete and we're ready to go!  It will be available at CDBaby and my web site by the end of the month, and on iTunes and the other digi download sites a week or so after that.

I'm off to Greensboro, NC next Sunday for two services in the morn and a concert in the eve at Holy Trinity Episcopal.  Looking forward to joining them!

Here are some pix from the Wild Animal Park;African antelope



home from the VA tour, 5 O'Clock cd release party - April 25, 2010

I had a great time doing an evening worship service at Episcopal High in Alexandria, and a fun visit with my friend Cathy Bouggy.  We went into the 'oldtown' area and went to very interesting art/craft gallery, in what was formerly a torpedo factory.  I like that concept a lot!  Then on to a couple of wonderful gatherings in Catlett and Berryville, VA.  That part of VA is stunningly beautiful this time of year.  The 'splash' page photo is one I took at a state park I happened past one afternoon. Here's a truly magnificent oak tree I passed on the grounds of Project Hope.


Was home for about 18 hours then off to Salt Lake City for a planning session for a Province VIII youth event that's coming up this July.  What a great group of folks.  Went out for dinner at a place called the Venezuela food and company.

Then back in the studio to finish mixes for 'Awake' so I could get them off to Casey Wood to master.

I drove down to Birmingham, AL for the 5 O'Clock Band's cd release party.  The cd, called 'In the Hands of the Maker' is really a beauty...tons of variety, great performances and all the proceeds going to a very worthwhile cause, the Sawyerville Day Camp!  As soon as they have their web site up and running, and the cd is available here at CDBaby and iTunes, I'll put up the links.



'Awake' ready May 20 - April 25, 2010

My new cd 'Awake' will be available here at CDBaby, iTunes, and at my website by May 20.  There may be a slight delay at iTunes and the other dload spots, as they sometimes take awhile to 'stock the shelves.' So here or my site will be the best bet.  I'll put up another song or two here on the music page to give you a taste, and I'll post a link to a pdf of all the players.

This cd is a departure in some ways from my other work... more on the page I'll have up soon, dedicated to info regarding this project.

Preview of a song from the new cd 'Awake' on the music page - March 24, 2010

Here's a little preview of Watch, O Watch, one of the meditation songs from my soon to be released cd, 'Awake.' Words by John Philip Newell, music by David Poole.  With Lindsay Blount singing harmonies, and Duncan Wickel playing the violin.  One of my favs!

VTS, Youth workers gathering, recording - March 5, 2010

Had a wonderful little tour last week; to the Roanoke area for a gathering of youth workers at the Phoebe Needles Conference center.  What a great group of folks!  There are a bunch of photos from this on facebook..good fun. On to an evening meditation service in Lynchburg at St. Paul's Episcopal, which was a nice completion to the weekend.

On Monday I had a really fun visit to St. Catherine's School in Richmond.  Great time with my friend Ann West, and a few of the classes from the middle school, as well as an early morning chapel service the next day.  Had lots of support from one of the teachers and a few of the student musicians. Also had a great visit, my first time, actually, to the Virginia Theological Seminary. Did an evening meditation service there, and got to spend some time with dear friends whom I hadn't seen in quite a while.  Thanks, Cathy and Lisa for hosting and your generous hospitality!

Went on to the R.E. Lee church in Lexington, VA for an evening Lenten service.  Great to see those folks again, too.  Thanks, Daniel and Sharon and Tom, for having me with you.

The 5 O'Clock Band cd is nearing completion - they're finishing up the artwork, etc.  Looks like they're planning a mid-April release party in B'ham, AL...hope to be able to be there for that!

Continuing to add the finishing touches to my latest recording, 'Awake.' The amazing Lindsey Blount was here at my studio doing some beautiful vocals, and Charles Milling ( visit both of their myspace pages!) has been adding wonderful guitar, bass and vocal parts.  Tracia Johnson from Spokane ( whom I met recently in Minneapolis at my friend Brian Prior's consecration as Bishop )is adding her strong and compelling voice to a few of the songs this week. One session coming up next week when River Guerguerian will be adding some percussion. [visit his website!].  I've mixed some of the tunes and Casey Wood will be doing the 'big band' songs and mastering. Getting close! Also- first time - there will be a songbook to accompany this cd.  I've had many requests over the years for this, so finally getting to it.

Here's a pic from our tracking sessions in FL last August..L-R, drummer Jeff, percussionist Lance and some guy...  looks like they've up to no good!


NAECED video on youtube - February 15, 2010

My good friend and colleague Jenifer Gamber has been instrumental in sparking new life into the education and formation aspect of the Episcopal Church through her writing, teaching and her work with NAECED.   Recently, she helped put together this video.... a great window into who we Episcopalians are... as Jenifer says of the video; "It captures the breadth, depth, and strength of our ministry in the church. It shows our love for God's people, and their love for one another."

Here's the link;

Just back from Minneapolis... - February 15, 2010

I had the incredible joy of helping out with the music for my friend Brian Prior's consecration as the new bishop of MN this past weekend in Minneapolis.  Joined up with great buds Charles Milling, Chuck Hamilton and new friend Tracia Johnson, along with a 180 voice choir, a 12 piece string ensemble, and the amazing Ojiibwe drummers and dancers to celebrate this great day.  Here are photos of our little band following our rehearsal and then in dress up clothes.  It was a great day - lots of friends I hadn't seen in ages...more pix will be on the photo page.



recording with Lindsey Blount - February 12, 2010

Had a great week of recording with the amazingly gifted Lindsey Blount.  We added her beautiful voice to seven or eight songs on the new cd 'Awake.'  I will have some rough mixes of a few of the songs up soon.

Roanoke, VA - January 26, 2010

I'll be in Roanoke, VA this weekend for the Diocesan Council.  Looking forward to connecting with some great folks.

Then, off to the Richmond area to St. Catherine's school.  I'll be sitting in with some classes, exploring songwriting.  Then a quick drive home to get started recording Lindsey Blount who will be adding her incredible gifts to my new cd.

We are in the final mastering stage of the new 5 O' Clock Band ( from Birmingham, AL ) cd.  There are some really great performances on this one, and they are truly wonderful folks.  I'll get some of the tunes up on the music page as soon as they're ready.



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