Thursday, December 17, 2015

"Pilgrim Miles" can now be purchased online!

Hello, friends!

"Life" has converged on our family in a big way over the past few months (I'll share more details when it's appropriate), and that has caused delays in getting my EP released this Fall ... But despite delays, I have good news!

"Pilgrim Miles" is now available for purchase and download online!

The digital album has been uploaded, complete with cover art, on my CDBaby page.

I had hoped the physical CDs would be here before Christmas, but alas, we will have to wait until mid January for those ... I am really bummed about that, and I apologize.

But the physical CDs have been ordered, and WILL come soon into the New Year! And if you were a supporter of our IndieGOGO campaign at a level that gets signed CD's, you'll be the first to get them.

In the meantime, please feel free to share the download link with any music lovers in your life.

And keep checking back here, or on the facebook-twitterverse, for updates about when the EP will be available on iTunes and for when CDs can be pre-ordered.

Grace and peace,
luke <><

Friday, September 25, 2015

Radio Debut and Guest Blog Post on UTR!

Exciting news!

Today, a pre-release sneak-peak of a song from "Pilgrim Miles" was featured in an all-DIY-artist episode of my favorite music podcast and syndicated radio show, Under the Radar!

Check it out at, and find it on iTunes or your Podcast app!

Also up today is a guest post I wrote for Under the Radar's blog, chronicling the journey of writing, recording, and crowd-funding my EP. There are even some behind-the-scenes pictures!

Thanks for your support!

Grace and peace,
luke <><

Monday, August 31, 2015

Indiegogo Campaign SUCCESSFUL!

Hello friends! This is a bit delayed, but we are celebrating the successful completion of the Indiegogo campaign for my new EP, Pilgrim Miles! Woohoo!

We were blown away by the generous outpouring of support from friends all over the country, who surpassed our initial goal in less than 48 hours, and ultimately helped us raise almost $4000 toward making this dream become a reality. Marla and I couldn't be more grateful!

Lots of other things have been happening behind the scenes for this project lately.

My friend and producer, Chris Meyers, and I have been going back and forth getting the mixes of each track tweaked just right. The songs are sounding great! One of my biggest hopes for this project was for Chris to surprise me with some great ideas that were totally not my own ... and he has done that. I can't wait for you all to hear them!

I also had the opportunity, thanks to the additional funds raised in the campaign, to go back into a local studio here in Chicagoland, and record an additional song, "Be Like Trees (Psalm 1)." It was a simple session, with vocal and piano, but with the lovely addition of Audrey Snyder on cello!

At this point, I'm not sure whether it will end up as a sixth track on the CD, or if it will be the exclusive bonus track that get sent to backers of the EP. Either way, it's a song that really, in my mind, fits with the rest of this project, so I'm really excited we got to record it.

Then just a week or so ago I was out in the middle of the Rollins Savanna preserve near our house, with good friend and fantastic photographer, Vanessa Griffin, for a photo shoot. Vanessa is designing the CD packaging in addition to doing the photography, and she just send me the first proofs. It's all looking so great!

At this point we are on pace for a release sometime early Fall. I'm still hoping for the month of September, but we'll see. Stay tuned here, or (even better) on facebook, and I'll keep you posted!

These myriad pieces are coming together, and I couldn't have done it without the help of all of these friends, my amazingly supportive family, all of you who have pledged your financial support and helped spread the word, and the One from Whom all blessings flow. Thank you!

Grace and peace,
luke <><

Wednesday, July 15, 2015

IndieGogo Campaign LAUNCHED!

Hello friends!

Today my IndieGogo campaign for my upcoming EP release, "Pilgrim Miles", officially launched!


Find out more, spread the word, and PRE-ORDER the CD right HERE.

Thank you!

Sunday, July 12, 2015

"Pilgrim Miles" IndieGogo campaign COMING SOON!

In the next week or so I will be launching an IndieGogo campaign to fund a new 5-track EP of original songs! Stay tuned to facebook, twitter, etc. for an opportunity to support this effort.

The project is called "Pilgrim Miles", which is a phrase from a line in the chorus of this song, "Borrowed Shoes".

The track above is just a rough home-recorded demo. But last month I was so blessed to be able to record this song and four others in Nashville with my good friend, Chris Meyers! They're being mixed now, and we need a little extra financial help to get the project mastered and printed.

I can't wait to share the full recordings with you all soon! Please consider jumping in and helping us make it a reality!

Wednesday, May 13, 2015

Retuned Hymn for Pentecost - Spirit Divine, Inspire Our Prayer

Next Sunday, May 24th, is Pentecost ... one of my favorite weeks of the Church year. I appreciate the annual reminder that even Presbyterians can talk about the movement of God's Spirit!

This year our textual focus in worship is Romans 8:22-27, especially the verses 26 and 27: "Likewise the Spirit helps us in our weakness; for we do not know how to pray as we ought, but that very Spirit intercedes with sighs too deep for words. And God, who searches the heart, knows what is the mind of the Spirit, because the Spirit intercedes for the saints according to the will of God."

Looking for hymn texts that helped to highlight this particular ministry of the Holy Spirit--interceding on our behalf, aiding our prayer in our weakness, helping to align our prayers and our lives with the will of God--I came across this hymn: "Spirit Divine, Inspire Our Prayer."

It is an contemporary alteration of an 1829 hymn text by Andrew Reed, originally titled "Spirit Divine, Attend Our Prayers" (#407 in Glory to God), and I appreciated the few textual changes that I found in FaithAlive's recent hymnal, Lift Up Your Hearts (#617).

Inspired by the text, but not so much by either versions of Johann Cruger's lovely yet difficult-to-sing 17th century tune (see above hymnal references), I decided to try and set this text to a new tune that would be singable, flexible for different worship settings, and partner well with the text to communicate the message of the poetry.

Here's the outcome, my retuned version of "Spirit Divine, Inspire Our Prayer":

You can also view the leadsheet on GoogleDrive HERE.

You have my permission to use this version in worship, with attribution.

May the Spirit of truth move within you.

Wednesday, February 18, 2015

ASH - Saying Goodbye to Phil Levine

(by Luke Hyder - 2/18/2015, Ash Wednesday, in progress)

For Phil

You wrote of ash-covered faces
Black from the stacks of factory furnaces
Marks of a cross I have never had to bear

As I wear the sign of soot on my forehead
Today I remember you
Now returned to the ash we all were
Before fire and life were breathed into us

The same breath that is in my neighbor
And the worker and the beggar
And in me and in you
Betraying the truth of our commonality

That when everything within us
Capable of becoming flame has been consumed
All that is left is ash