DIY Artist Debuts - Episode #357 - September 23rd, 2016

DIY Artist Debuts - Episode #357

One of the comments we receive quite often about what folks love about UTR is that we are a place of music discovery.  It's an honor to be a trusted voice in a crowded musical marketplace, and we often get tips, recommendations, or personal interactions with up-and-coming DIY artists before most people have found them.  So this week it's a lot of fun to showcase some of the brilliant talent of some hardworking indie songwriters -- like Tess Wiley, Chasing Summer, & Anthony Quails.  Plus, for the many DIY artists that listen to our show, we are also featuring some sage advice from established names like Jenny & Tyler, Audrey Assad, Tim Coons, & Julie Lee.  Are there any new artists that truly "wow'ed" you this week? Please share below.  (Dave)

Special Guest Andrew Peterson - Episode #356 - September 16th, 2016

Special Guest Andrew Peterson - Episode #356

One of the main reasons why UTR exists at all is that in 2007 I "rediscovered" the music of Andrew Peterson, and it turned out to be the most encouraging spiritual balm for my soul that year. Most of my friends, family, and co-workers had never heard of him, and a flame had been lit with a desire to share this soul-connection music with others.  First, it resulted in hosting Andrew for 2 concerts.  Soon after, like the Narnia "wardrobe," it was a gateway into discovering a whole world of well-crafted music that was largely undiscovered by the masses.  By the middle of 2008, I had developed the format and pilot episodes of UTR, and in the middle of November 2008, UTR launched on the air.  Andrew was the first interview we conducted for UTR, and he's someone that has been a frequent guest on the show through the years.  It's an honor to have him as the VIP guest one more time in this final chapter of our radio program (I'm sure we'll have him as a guest in the next chapter of UTR programming as well).  And I am so thankful for more and more new fans coming to the table as Andrew's listenership (and readership) grows.  We are also excited to have Andrew as our guest performer at the upcoming UTR 8th Anniversary Concert & Auction.  If you're in Chicago (or want to take a road trip to the Windy City) on November 19th, we would love to have you at our celebration!  (Dave)

Songs on Death & Grief - Episode #355 - September 9th, 2016

Songs on Death & Grief - Episode #355

In June 2009, only 7 months after UTR launched, I took a road trip with a couple of friends.  We were talking about music and what UTR was aiming to accomplish, and one of those friends (Mike Geertsma) said, "You should do a show on the theme of death." I thought it was a great idea, and we even both agreed on the song that was a must-play for that episode. For the next 7 years, we didn't move forward on that episode, but it always lingered in the background as a theme I wanted to explore. Several of the songs played on this show were ones that I heard since 2009, but immediately thought, "THIS would be a perfect addition to that 'death' episode -- whenever I pull that off."  When the decision was made to intentionally end production of the UTR radio show this coming November (and please note that our overall ministry is moving forward at full speed, just the radio show is ending), this meant that we have a window for only 12 more episodes to be produced.  I immediately knew that THIS theme was one that I HAD to do in this final season of the radio show.  I'm really excited for this episode for several reasons, but none bigger than the ministry value it carries to help people devotionally, or maybe even offer some comfort during a time of grieving.  Before I finalized my song list for the episode, I Googled "Best songs about grief," and the results were quite shallow.  Several websites list songs they suggest people play at funerals or offer encouragement in the face of sorrow... but many of the songs were just simple praise songs or somewhat generic songs about Heaven.  I wanted this hour of music to dig a little deeper and present a bit more vulnerability on this topic.  My hope and prayer is that these thoughtful melodies and poetry connect with you personally and help offer comfort, healing, and hope.  (Dave)

Special interview guest Ellie Holcomb - Episode #354 - September 2nd, 2016

Special interview guest Ellie Holcomb - Episode #354

When the decision was made to end production of the UTR Radio Show (our final show in this format releases on 11-11-16 but we are continuing with our mission including podcasts), we had not yet mapped out our episodes for September, October, & November.  We really wanted to end strong, and have some of the most intriguing interview guests on during our final months of the show.  I knew right away that I wanted to have Ellie Holcomb on the show once again.  She was the guest on episode #313 in May 2015, and really connected well with UTR listeners.  Our listeners always do a good job of making quality requests too -- including some new 2016 tracks by Jason Gray, Jenny & Tyler, and Rivers & Robots.  Let us know if you enjoyed the show [comment below].  (Dave)

Audio Recap of Escape To The Lake 2016 - Episode #353 - August 26th, 2016

Audio Recap of Escape To The Lake 2016 - Episode #353

We return with brand new episodes, starting with an insider's audio journal to UTR's flagship event and the best music gathering of the summer, Escape To The Lake 2016.  Both music makers and music appreciators showed up in Cedar Lake, IN, August 7-11 to experience spiritual, emotional, & musical refreshment like you can't find anywhere else.  On this week's episode, we do something we've never done before on our ETTL recap episodes -- all of the music is live performances from this year's ETTL Main Stage, including Mike Farris, Joy Ike, Eric Peters, Jess Ray, Sara Groves, among others. We also feature audio testimonies from attendees and artists.  We hope this recap allows you to experience a taste of this incredible community... and hopefully it makes you excited to plan and join us for ETTL 2017!  (Dave)

The Gray Havens Pick All The Music - Episode #304 - August 19th, 2016

The Gray Havens Pick All The Music - Episode #304

This is the final week of our 2016 summer hiatus.  The last few weeks we have dipped back 4-5 years into the archives, and on this show we only go back 1.5 years.  Episode 304 originally aired in February 2015 and featured The Gray Havens taking over the UTR controls, including picking out all the music.  Little known fact... UTR was the place for The Gray Havens' very first radio interview!  They've been a sweet couple and one of our favorite bands over the last few years.  (Dave)

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