Best of 2016 So Far, Pt.2 - Episode #352 - July 1st, 2016

Best of 2016 So Far, Pt.2 - Episode #352

This episode was NOT supposed to happen (true).  Our summer hiatus was going to be 8 weeks long and begin this week.  But as we scoured and sampled all the great picks from the UTR Critics, we decided to make it a 2-part episode, and shrink our summer break by one week. These episodes are so fun to produce, and it's always great getting input from our Music Panelist friends.  It always results in some new discoveries for us too.  In fact, this week will be the UTR debut of three artists: Clay Kirchenbauer, Anchor & Braille, and Dogs of Peace. I'm excited that we feature some UTR favorites (The Gray Havens, Gungor, Griffin House), two veteran artists making comebacks (Out of the Grey, Dogs of Peace), and a couple of stellar female vocalists that we are falling in love with (Brettan Cox, Holly Ann).  Over the next 7 weeks during our hiatus, we'll be picking out some true episode gems from our archives, beginning with the re-airing of our highly acclaimed 3-part tribute special to Rich Mullins (originally from 2012).

Best of 2016 So Far, Pt.1 - Episode #351 - June 24th, 2016

Best of 2016 So Far, Pt.1 - Episode #351

I always love the episodes that feature picks from our Critics Panel - you know the music is going to be stellar.  This is once again true with this jam-packed hour of music.  In fact, we originally only planned on airing one "Best of 2016A" episode, but there were so many stellar picks that we allowed it to spill into two full episodes.  Not only to we get to hear perennial favorites like Andy Gullahorn & Needtobreathe, but we also get introduced to some brand new music - including the UTR debuts of Consumed By Fire, Erik Nieder, and Cory Henry.  Browse the whole list of all the cited albums and songs by our Critics. Look for Part 2 on this theme coming July 1.  (Dave)

Some of Dave’s Faves - Episode #350 - June 17th, 2016

Some of Dave’s Faves - Episode #350

There have been a couple of times in the last couple of years that I seriously doubted we would ever make it to Show #350. More than anything else, this is a moment of gratitude for me personally. I am first thankful to God that He has given me a unique passion and calling and has proven to be a trustworthy provider. I am also thankful to our generous support team who is making this dream possible and continue to be a deep well of encouragement.  Also I am thankful for each listener who take a risk by traveling down the musical scenic route with us.  Last but not least, I am thankful for the amazing artists we feature on UTR -- many of them I know personally, and others I am blessed deeply by their pursuit of craft, creativity, and faith.  This show seemed fitting to browse through our over-seven-and-a-half year history and pick out some of the gems we've played, most of these only being played one time in our show history.  I hope these songs encourage and inspire you as they have been live-giving to me.  (Dave)

Special Interview Guest Eric Peters - Episode #349 - June 10th, 2016

Special Interview Guest Eric Peters - Episode #349

There is no artist that I've seen more in concert in my life or that better represents what UTR's mission is all about than Sir Eric Peters.  It's always a treat to visit with him (he might also be the most-interviewed artist by UTR of all time too).  This time around, we primarily talk about the making of his 10th studio album Far Side Of The Sea (releasing 6/14/16).  Besides 3 brand new songs by EP, we also hear an exclusive live performance of him from the Escape To The Lake main stage.  We have a couple of debuting artists on this week's show, and in honor of one of my & Eric's guilty pleasure, we play a rare live track from the early years of Mr. Steven Curtis Chapman for our radar rewind.  Enjoy the show!  (Dave)

Stories Behind The Songs, Pt. 2 - Episode #348 - June 3rd, 2016

Stories Behind The Songs, Pt. 2 - Episode #348

These episodes are so epic, it spills into two parts.  Story is a powerful tool, and usually causes one to lean into something or someone.  These in-depth stories behind the songs help us engage more thoughtfully with the art and get to know the hearts of the artists.  No other podcast or radio show has this amount of valuable access to high-caliber independent musicians!  Kudos to Kristian Black for the extra efforts it took as a production assistant.  What story/song combo was your favorite on this week's episode?  (Dave)

Stories Behind The Songs, Pt. 1 - Episode #347 - May 27th, 2016

Stories Behind The Songs, Pt. 1 - Episode #347

I have been personally excited for this episode for quite some time. It takes a lot of extra time and effort to put together shows like these, where we have to dig through dozens of artist interviews in our archives.  I believe that the end result is definitely worth it.  I had a lightbulb moment in the pre-production stage, which is, no other podcast really has the wealth of high quality artist interviews to be able to pull off a show like this week or next.  You really can only get this level of access through UTR -- and that makes me extremely excited.  Part of our mission is to provide you access -- to engaging content, to enriching songs, and to the hearts of the artists.  This week's show pulls all that together in one package.  Special shout out to production assistant Kristian Black for the extra hours and effort invested in this week's show.  I'm curious, was there one interview clip that really drew you into a song on a deeper level?  Share with us below.  (Dave)

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