Art and Soul Update

Speaking of my favorite podcasts, I haven’t mentioned “Art and Soul” lately. This is really a shame, since many of the guests the past year have been close friends.

If you haven’t heard of “Art and Soul of North Texas,” it’s a podcast created by my friend, Shelly Niedbuhr –quite an accomplished artist herself– that explores the intersections of creativity and spirituality.

And, as I mentioned, many of the recent guests are among my best friends.

Bill Nash was Shelly’s February guest, and he talks at length about his music, his illness and his songwriting process. Despite all I know of Bill, I still learned something new….about his formal music training during college.. It’s a great interview, found here.

Charles Geilich was Shelly’s January guest (right about the time the blog crashed!). Charles, as you may remember, is a good friend and a fine writer. (He actually interviewed me once on his now defunct radio show…and we continue to threaten starting our own podcast together…)

He’s finished two books, and he and Shelly have a great conversation about writing and inspiration. Listen here.

I’ve known Kelly Brown and her family since we were all back in high school and her Dad was my 10th Grace Sunday School teacher. (Yep. That’s a looong time ago…) Kelly’s quite a ball of energy and an incredible artist/musician who is highly supportive of other artists in the area. She was Shelly’s guest back in December, and you won’t want to miss their conversation.

Last July, Vicki Caroline Cheatwood was Shelly’s guest. Besides being an acclaimed playwright, Vicki and her family are also members of our church. She and Shelly had a great conversation about writing and life.

My dear friend, Annie Benjamin, is, literally, of my longest-running (see how I avoid saying “oldest’?) musician friends. She and Shelly have a great conversation about music and life here.

Cornell Kinderknecht is an acclaimed woodwinds player, and also a member of our band, Connections, and he was one of Shelly’s very first guests.

Finally, old friend, Marsha Webb, was Shelly’s very first guest. And Marsha’s deep insights into spirituality and music are things I lap up any chance I get.

It’s a great podcast, and I highly recommend it to everyone. You can subscribe to the podcast and get them on y hour iPod. Or, you can just listen online at the links in this post.

You might even want to check out this episode, with a preacher/musician you know.



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Eric Folkerth is a minister, musician, author and blogger. He has been Senior Pastor of Northaven United Methodist Church in Dallas, Texas since 2001. During his tenure, church membership has grown almost 30 percent, and a completely new church facility (sanctuary and education building) has been constructed. Northaven is a leading progressive Christian congregation in the Southwest. Northaven is an eclectic collection of gay and straight families, artists, musicians, theater folks, academic theologians, lawyers and judges (go figure), socially conscious community activists, people who don't "check their brain at the door," and a wide array of others who either see it as their "last chance" inside the "institutional church," or their first trip back in decades. Eric is an avid blogger and published author.  Eric is also an award-winning singer-songwriter, who performs throughout Texas and the Southwest. He's an engaging live performer whose first CD was released in 2000. His songs have won honorable mention in both the Billboard and Great American song contests; and he's been a finalist in the 5th Street Festival and South Florida Folk Festival songwriter competitions. Eric is also a leader of Connections, a unique band comprised of United Methodist clergy and layfolk from throughout North Texas. Connections performs "cover shows" of artists like Dan Fogelberg, Chicago, Eagles, Doobie Brothers, Billy Joel, Stevie Wonder, James Taylor and others. Their shows draw crowds of between 300 and 1,000 fans, and they have raised more than $240,000 dollars for worthy charities. Eric has led or co-led hundreds of persons on mission trips around the globe, to places such as Mexico, Haiti, Russia, and Nepal. He has worked with lay persons to build ten homes, and one Community Center, in partnership with Habitat for Humanity of Dallas. He's a popular preacher, and often tackles challenging issues of social justice in his writings and sermons. His wife, Judge Dennise Garcia, is a State District Judge for Dallas, County. As judge of the 303rd Family District Court, she consistently gets high ratings from area lawyers, and was named "best judge" by The Dallas Observer. First elected in 2004, she was the first Latina ever elected to a county-wide bench in Dallas County. She was re-elected for a third term in 2010. They have the world's best daughter, Maria, and an incredible dog, Daisy. (As always, if you like this post, then "like" this on Facebook by clicking the box below, so others can see too...)

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