Ryan Culwell’s Flatlands

Ryan Culwell’s album Flatlands comes out March 3, on Lightning Rod Records (Joe Pug, Billy Joe Shaver, Amanda Shires). I’m grateful to have etched the album’s cover art, a linoleum cut print. Also, if you get the physical album, I have a poem in the liner notes. Brian Boebel at Dual Identity Design did the package design.

I include here Gustav Dore’s “The Destruction of Leviathan,” which is an illustration of Isaiah 27. Not only was Dore’s leviathan a touchstone for my rattlesnake, but Isaiah may be a hermeneutic while listening to Flatlands

Not that this is any sort of creditable review, but I keep crying while I listen to it. But then I stop cuz aint no one saying I aint tough (tough just aint enough).

P.S. Rolling Stone premiered the album. For a little while, you can listen to it here: http://www.rollingstone.com/music/premieres/hear-texas-troubadour-ryan-culwell-evoke-springsteens-nebraska-on-new-album-20150223?page=2

Renaming the Reader

The Bible won’t be reduced to mere representations and symbols, although it has those. The Bible is much like the angel that Jacob wrestles, refusing to be pinned. Refusing to be named or seen completely. Able with a touch to ruin the reader and able to bless him forever. Even to rename the reader.

And the name it gives the reader? One who struggles with God.

 Jack Baumgartner, an artist from Kansas, engraved this linocut print called Jacob Wrestling with the Angel of God.  (A special thanks to Jack for allowing me to use an image of his print.)