Last night Jen, my bandmate, Collin and his wife, Jenna, drove in the snow 2 hours to get a our Manager's Christmas party! Nashville drivers...UGH!!! They do NOT know how to drive in snow! The roads were not bad at all but for some reason everyone freaks out! Needless to say, when we got to the party we were ready to be out of the car. It should have taken us 30 min. tops! The party was a lot of fun!! It was an Ugly Xmas sweater party so dressing up for the occasion was quite hilarious! They even had Dirty Santa and I won a baby doll. I named him Jeremy! I'm taking him on the road in a quest to make Jeremy famous so I can auction him off on ebay next year and have the last laugh! Regardless of the traffic, the night was fun. We did miss Chris and his wife, Joy. They were at home in Mobile, AL. :( Maybe next year they'll get to come! Check out these stellar pics... The one of all the guys is Collin, our manager, Gabe, Me, Michael Farren (Pocket Full of Rocks), Jason Roy (Building 429), and our other manager, JT! And isn't Jeremy handsome at the top with me and Jen, Collin, and Jenna?!?!
Looking for a last minute gift idea??? Here is a gift that is funny and won't break the bank! My friend, Jeff Anderson, is the inventor of theCRICKETtoy. Have you ever had an awkward pause in a conversation where you could have sworn you heard crickets chirping? Now you can ACTUALLY hear crickets chirping. theCRICKETtoy™ is for any awkward pause.
Right now, some awkward situation is probably running through your mind. And if your family is anything like mine, the upcoming holidays should provide countless opportunities for this little green guy to interject a chirp or two. (great stocking stuffer!)
Jeff has several awkward videos posted here and you can buy your own cricket on his website. Matter of fact, it would make the ideal stocking stuffer for the teen in your life. Everyone knows they are full of awkward moments…
And get this...until Christmas theCRICKETtoy is only $5! So what are you waiting for??? Buy one for everyone in your family!!!
Man, did we have an amazing weekend! 33 spent all day in rehearsals this past Friday working hard on our Christmas show which I have to say is going to be awesome! 90% of it has been arranged by our very own Chris Lockwood and he has done a stellar job! After rehearsals we drove to Gatlinburg to get ready to play Hearts On Fire, a very large youth conference. We headlined this event last year and were blown away that they asked us to come back this year as the "surprise" guest! We played on Sat. for 6,000 youth and it was a blast! We saw about 50 kids surrender into full-time ministry that day. God did an awesome work at Hearts On Fire. This is one of our favorite events now and we look forward to going back again one day. We then drove to Chesapeake, VA, to play a show for Faith Alive Church. The worship pastor, Jason, was a friend of Chris' from their days in TRUTH together so it was a reunion of sorts. We had one of our best shows and 15 Food For the Hungry children found sponsors!!! It was an incredible weekend. The drive home was not fun, but getting to be home for 10 days straight is something to be thankful for! What are you thankful for?
33Miles had a great weekend! On Friday night we reunited with our good friends at Tabernacle Baptist in Decatur, IL, and had an awesome time! We drove to Chicago afterwards because we had the day off. I love Chicago! I had fun shopping on Michigan Ave., hangin' with the guys, seeing the new Bond movie with our drummer, Adam, and topping off the night with my favorite pizza from Giordano's!!! It was an awesome day. The only way it could've been better would be to have had Jennifer with me! On Sunday we drove to Goshen, IN, for a show there and then to South Bend for radio and TV tapings. Today we were on the WFRN morning show which was a blast as well as Pulse FM! We wrapped up the day with a taping for "Live From Studio B"! We had a great time taping a live set for this show. I will try and find out when it's going to air and on what network. The pic above is the set we played on. I think we may steal it for our set! Whatcha think?
To everyone who reads my blog let me please offer up a sincere apology for my lack of posts the past 2 weeks. I have been taking some time off and focusing on my family while I have been home. I've actually been home more this month which hasn't happened in quite some time. 33 has been burning up the roads and it's great but I need my family! They are my main ministry so to not get the time I need with them is painful. Needless to say, the time off has been a huge gift! It feels weird to see my last post being Halloween pics and now I am posting a Christmas pic. Isn't it cute though??? We are officially decorated for Christmas at the Barton house! Why you ask? Well, we have no family in Nashville. Every year we travel to LA for Christmas. We typically leave right in the middle of December around the 15th because of 33Miles shows. This year we made the decision to decorate early so we could enjoy our home in all of it's Christmas glory for at least a month!!! The pic is the boys decorating their own tree in their playroom! Aren't they precious?? Getting your kids their own tree is something I recommend. We bought this lil 6ft tree at Target after the holidays last Christmas for $5 and all the ornaments are ones that they made or have been in our family for years! It's a great tradition we have added to our home and the boys think it is the coolest thing in the whole world! Look, I know that Thanksgiving comes first and I will definitely give thanks for all of God's blessings in my life. I'm just going to give thanks listening to Christmas music and watching twinkling lights!!!
Jake decided yesterday that "Happy Halloween" just didn't work for him so he changed it to "Happy Trick-or-Treat Day" and what a happy day it was! Jen took Jake to a costume party/play date with friends while Jonah and I stayed behind and worked out to prep for the candy consumption that would take place later. We all met up for lunch at Mellow Mushroom for pizza and then home for naps (more preparation). I got the yard shaped up and then it was time!!! Woody and Buzz had a BLAST being wheeled around the neighborhood collecting (and consuming) candy!!! Mom and Dad did as well. God bless whoever invented Smarties and the KitKat!!! We also went to a party at our friends the Guice's. We had a great night. The boys were so precious in their costumes and it was fun to watch them trick-or-treat. Jonah really suprised me. He would squeal with excitement and was so polite..."trick-or-treat, please, thank you"! I was so proud of both of them! Jen and I ended our night by staying up late watching The Bodyguard! Sing it with me, "and I...e-I...e-I...will always love you....!"!!!!
Is it just me or do you think that fall is a little late this year? Normally in Nashville the leaves have all changed by the 3rd week in October but this year they are just beginning to turn and it's the last week. I hope that doesn't mean that we are in for a long winter. Don't get me wrong. I welcome winter, but I don't want it to stay for a long visit! 33Miles was in Stuart, VA, last night playing a youth rally for God's Task Force, a local ministry to teens. We had a great night back after a few days off. The promoter put us up in this cute cabin in the woods, complete with beautiful Fall leaves, wrap around porch, and running stream. It was so peaceful there. The view made me glad that Fall is here...finally!
The Barton clan rolled in last night from a few days off in Louisiana visiting family. The entire time we were home Jake kept talking about wanting to get some pumpkins and carve them. I don't know where he is picking this up because this is something we have never done together before. In fact, Halloween is not an occasion I like to celebrate. Candy, YES!!! Halloween, NO! For some reason he is all into it, so I decided that it would be ok for us carve pumpkins. We got up early and went and got 2 pumpkins. Jake had a blast picking them out and I knew I would have a blast carving! I had already picked up a carving kit on our way home the day before. Jake decided that he wanted a pirate pumpkin! Mommy isn't to thrilled that we have a skull and crossbones on our front porch but I guess that what you get when you have 3 boys (no we aren't pregnant! I included myself in the count)!!! I think it turned out pretty good. What do you think???
Saturday night in Lucedale was a night to remember! Over 10,000 people crowded into the downtown park of the cute southern town of Lucedale, MS, and had a fun night of praise and worship. This is the second year in a row that we have played this event. Last year we were with Mr. Mark Shultz. This year it was us and Casting Crowns. We played a 40 min. set before CC and it was awesome to see a sea of people singing along and worshipping Jesus! Jen, Jake, and Jonah were there so Jen brought the boys up for the last song "Thank You". Jake brought his Gibson electric guitar onstage and Jonah had a mic. The crowd screamed when they came out. I think it scared Jake to death but Jonah seemed to soak it up. It was so great having my family there!!
We even had Jennifer's parents, sister and her kids, as well as my parents. It made the night even more special with us all being together. Casting put on a great show, as usual, and I have to say that I love Mark Hall. Such a great heart! The committee for the event said that they wanted us back for next year. I asked, "Aren't you sick of us?". "Never!" was their reply. It just amazes me the favor the Lord continues to shine on 33Miles. It is humbling. Praise Jesus for Praise In The Park!
Let me tell you what God did this morning. We arrived at LaGuardia to check-in for our flight and it was cancelled! I freaked! United gave us SO much trouble flying to NY. We paid over $400 in baggage fees, were in the last seat on the plane, etc... so when the lady said "cancelled" I nearly flipped. I kept thinking about getting in really late and then making the 7 hr drive to MS for Saturday's show. This was not acceptable. We need to get home asap! The agent we spoke to immediately put us on a direct flight to Nashville getting us in 3hrs earlier than our original flight PLUS did not charge us baggage fees!!! Unbelievable! It just completely convicted me of how I need to depend on God more and not freak out when things look impossible! He is looking out for me and is my Provider. He always makes a way. Sometimes it's not my way. Sometimes it is so much better than my way. Like this morning. Thank you, Lord!!!!
Yesterday felt like the longest day ever! I was already tired from the previous days travel to Boise and hadn't gotten adjusted to Mtn. time when we were up before dawn boarding a plane to Chicago (central time). We had a brief lay-over and then it was off to NYC (eastern time). We arrived at 3pm but it felt like 8pm. I know the day should've felt shorter because we flew from Mtn. to Eastern but No! We had a rough day flying so in an effort to salvage the day we spent the evening hanging in the city. We had dinner downtown near the WTC complex and then I did some shopping on 34th. I even got some of my favorite popcorn, Dale and Thomas, in Times Square. The day turned out OK. Wish I could say the same for my time clock. It doesn't know what time zone it's in!!!
Last night 33 had the privilege of playing a listener appreciation concert for KTSY in Boise, ID. We had a great night but had a few close calls. Chris and Aaron were delayed in ATL and didn't get in until 6:15pm. We barely had time for soundcheck. Our in-ear monitors were not in their case when we arrived so the afternoon was spent searching for replacements. It was a crazy day but God always shines on us and everything worked out just fine. Isn't it good to know He always has our back? We had an awesome night and can't say thank you enough to KTSY for taking such great care of us. We love you guys. This pic was taken from the plane flying in. Beautiful, but I'm not ready for snow!
We woke up bright and early this morning and Jake asked if he could wear his skeleton shirt! I had almost forgotten that we had bought these for the boys so of course I said YES! They looked so cute all day! We had a really great day. We let mommy sleep in so it was a guys morning. We had breakfast, went to the park, came home and rode bikes, went to the creek near our home and threw rocks and played "poo sticks". It was a PERFECT morning. I enjoy our "guy" time together. They are growing up so fast and I know that opportunities like today are not going to always be there so we are making the most of our time together. They are so awesome. Jonah wore his new converse all-stars today and when Jake saw them he asked if Mommy and I would buy him a pair "just like Jonah". So we spent the evening at the mall buying shoes and playing at the mall play area. I am heading out in the morning for Idaho and then off to NYC!
It seems like 33Miles has been busier than usual lately. I guess it is because we have! The last 2 weeks have been a crazy combo of radio visits and shows. I think that I have been home for a total of 3 full days in the past 2 weeks. For those of you that know me you aren't surprised that this is NOT enough time at home with Jen and the boys! I am thankful that God is blessing 33 with awesome opportunity but am hoping I get more time at home soon. This morning I rolled in from the road @ 7:30 and the boys were geared up to play Kung Fu Panda and I couldn't think of a better homecoming than getting those sweet hugs and kisses and hearing "Hiiieeee-YA!". Let the games begin! Daddy's HOME!!!
OK guys! Sorry for the lack of posts this last week. Things with 33Miles has been crazy busy and I wasn't able to take my computer on last weeks run. We had a great time visiting radio stations in OK, MO, MN, WI, and IL and great shows in KS! If I find the time I will blog specifically about those shows but right now I want you to know that you can download our current single "One Life To Love" on iTunes for FREE!!! That's right. FREE!!! We are the Discovery Download this week and until Monday you can have a free copy of the tune! We have a direct link from our website here. Happy downloading and be sure you tell your friends!!! Send them my blog link, direct them to our site, or just send them to iTunes. Either way, share the good news! If you have a cool "One Life To Love" story of how the song has impacted you, we would love to hear it. Leave me a comment and I'll pass it along to the guys!
Rain, rain, rain! It rained on the way and it rained when we were there, but we didn't let a little rain stop us. We played Pneumafest on Sat. night, which is Williamson's outdoor music festival. We had a blast but were a little self-conscience at first. It was ROCK day. Although I believe that 33 ROCKS, it is days like this that I am reminded that we are not a ROCK band, and I am thankful! We have elements of rock in our music but have many others as well and I love them all...pop, rock, country, worship, etc...THAT is 33! Not taking anything away from the other bands (Decyfer Down was awesome!!) of course, but it was so great to be different from everyone else. All in all, Pneumafest was "rockin"! The rain held off, the crowd was awesome, and we rocked it 33 style and had a blast!!! I even got to see some really good friends from Hurricane, WV!!! I met these guys at SonPower in Orlando this summer. It was so cool for them to come to the show. Also our buddy Eddie and his wife and daughter from Winchester, KY, came!!! I met some friends of my brothers as well, so the whole day was a reunion of sorts. Rain, when it it's not tons of it, is awesome. Reunions are fun and ROCK...well, I think we fit in quite nicely!!!
Last night was AWESOME!!! We played to 2,000 people in downtown Augusta, GA, for Faith Night of their Westobou Festival. Our band was tighter than ever (great job guys!) and the new program we have worked up flowed perfectly. I don't know if I have ever seen so many people singing along with us like they did last night. When we sang "One Life To Love" you could see husbands grabbing their wives hands and holding them closer. People raising their hands. People praying. People holding up the #1 with their index finger as if to say, "that's right!". It was POWERFUL and I feel so fortunate to be a part of what GOD is doing in the lives of people thru this great song. I was also blown away by a lady who came up to me afterwards and said that the song "Apologize" saved her marriage!!! Amazing!!! I said before the record released that I believed that GOD was going to use these songs to speak LIFE into people...and that is exactly what HE is doing! Praise be to GOD who loves us, sustains us, and gives us this precious gift, this ONE LIFE. May we never take it for granted!
Special thanks to the great people of Augusta and one of my favorite radio stations, WAFJ 88.3 for an amazing evening I will never forget! Much love!
She is kind, compassionate, talented, loving, beautiful, funny, witty, smart, caring, trustworthy, and loyal. She's got a smile as big as TX and can light up the darkest place with her laugh! She's a cheerleader who encourages you every step of the way. She is a blast to be around, is genuinely concerned for others and thinks of them before herself, and is a giver. She doesn't hold grudges, keep a record of wrongs, or judge you. She is always there when you need her, no matter what. She can balance my schedule, along with the boys, and never miss a beat. She's a runner, a choreographer, an amazing friend...the kind you wish you had (if you aren't already friends with her). She's a doting daughter, AMAZING mother, and the greatest gift of my life, my perfect partner, my loving wife, and today is her birthday! HAPPY BIRTHDAY, BABY! The world is a better place because you were born and continue to shine your precious light! I LOVE YOU!!!!
33 played a show Sat. night in Greenville, OH, and had a blast but we had a few disappointed fans because they weren't able to get some things signed. Let me be the first to say that 33Miles is sorry for the confusion. We realized that our autograph signing after our set was cut extremely short due to Caedmon's Call taking the stage earlier than we thought. We left the signing table out of respect for our friends performing and didn't want to take away from what they were trying to do onstage. Please know that it wasn't out of disrespect for our fans. We love, love, love our fans and always try and meet every single person and sign every single thing they want signed (within reason:) i.e. foreheads, etc...) We knew our time was too short which is why we told everyone in the line that we would be BACK to sign AFTER the show was over...and that's just what we did. We came back after the show and signed until we were last one's to leave that night. If you missed us, I apologize. Please know that we LOVE you and value you and would never just leave because we didn't want to meet you. We did want to meet you, which is why we stayed so long after the show. So come see us again and we will make sure you get that CD signed!!! We LOVE you!
Power issues. That was the theme of last night's show in Hazard, KY. We played their Black Gold Festival and had a blast but not without an hour's worth of drama beforehand. They didn't have enough power to support our equipment. It wasn't an issue during sound check because it was daylight, but when the sun went down the lights came on for all the booths at the fair and stole our power. They had to shut down many corn dog, funnel cake, and kettle corn booths for us to be able to play. It was a sad time for those of us who love carni food. We couldn't even use stage lights! Regardless, the show was fun and as always, we love playing for the good people of Hazard, KY. Thanks to Theresa and the gang for bringing us back. We'll see you again soon, but don't keep the light on for us...save that power!!! :)
I am so excited to say that today is the day that our new CD "One Life" if officially in stores everywhere. Staying true to our 33 style there is something for every listener on this CD. There are rock moments, worship moments, country moments, and it's all pop to me! The album is full of songs to encourage you on your journey as you walk out your "miles" following Christ. I am especially fond of "Gone", "One Life To Love", and "Apologize"!!! In honor of today's historic event in my life, I am going to give-away a few signed copies. All you have to do is leave a comment and I will let Jake and Jonah decide who wins!!! Let the games begin and remember, you only get "One Life" so go out and live it to the fullest!!!!!!!!!
We are only 3 days away from the release of 33's sophomore project "One Life" and I want you to know that you are invited to a special event. Go to www.33milesonline.com/listeningparty/ and join us by streaming the new album for free! You can listen as much as you want and can also
order your copy of "One Life" direct from our website. I am so excited about this record! I am really proud of the songs as well as the production. I think that you are going to love it. So come on! What are you waiting for? Join us online! I'll see you there!!!
The last two weekends hurricanes have cost 33Miles big-time!! Last weekend we were supposed to play in NC and Hanna put an end to our fun there. We had to cancel the whole weekend because no one knew for sure what she was going to do. Now we face in important weekend in TX and as of right now most of this weekend has canceled. People are evacuating like crazy and rightfully so. We were scheduled to be in Houston, Livingston, Kilgore, and Dallas. We will see if Sunday and Monday happen, but for sure, Fri. and Sat. are canceled. I was really looking forward to being with our friends in TX. Don't get me wrong...I'm not complaining. I have more time at home with my family. I get to go to Jake's soccer game on Sat. I am not in harms way. My home won't be demolished by strong winds or flooding. I am always jealous of people who live on the coast but not during hurricane season! I am praying for our friends on the Gulf Coast of TX and LA (esp. my family in Lake Charles!) Love you all and stay safe!
The last few days have been moving so fast I haven't had time to blink, much less blog, but I wanted to catch you up on all the great people I have been meeting along the way on our promo tour. Thursday morning we woke up with WGRC in Lewisburg, PA. It is so hard to sing 33 songs at 7am but we still had fun. Then we headed back down to Lancaster to WJTL to be on their midday show. Again, great people. It is such a privilege to meet and hang with the people that are pumping the Gospel across the airwaves! After this visit we drove to Bath, NY, to be on Family Life Ministries network. They have a huge audience across NY and PA. We finished up here around 6pm and made the long drive to NJ to get ready for more radio in the morning. Friday I woke up and had breakfast with an old friend, Trey Vincent, from Lake Charles, LA. Good to see you Trey! Our first stop on our last day was WAWZ! This was one of the best morning shows on our trip. So much fun! Thank you Johnny Stone and gang! Last, but not least, was Sirius Satellite in NYC! Although it was kind of depressing going into the city for only 5 hours it was still a BLAST. I will write more about NYC later. For Sirius we recorded about 5 songs in their studio to be aired whenever they choose along with stories behind the songs as well as liners. This Northeastern trip was a very successful one and a lot of fun due in part to a good friend and an awesome radio promoter, Mr. Mark Giles. Mark is one of the coolest and most strong/tenderhearted men of God I have ever met. It was a pleasure to serve with him this past week. Mark, thanks for everything, buddy!
33Miles is in the northeast visiting radio stations for the next few days. We had an early start this morning considering we flew in to Baltimore late last night and didn't get to the hotel until 1am. We were up and at the 1st visit, WRBS, at 6:30. This station is always so much fun. They are some of the sweetest people in the "biz". The morning show is tri-hosted and in the round sort of, so it makes for fun atmosphere AND they had breakfast for us. Thanks guys! Next stop was WGTS which is right outside of DC. We had never visited them before and had an absolute BLAST with them! They greeted us with this awesome sign (right). We sat around laughing and sharing stories for about an hour and a half. Little did we know they taped the whole thing so look out DC! When they air that it could be interesting! We finished visits for the day by stopping in at XM Satellite radio in DC with Jim Epperlein. This was by far one of the coolest places I have ever visited. I love XM and listen to it quite a bit on the road. My favorite channels are the 90's on 9, top 20 on 20, and of course, the Message. Jim was a great host and invited us to play XM LIVE in Jan. of 09! If you don't have XM you should try it but be warned...it is addictive! More from the road tomorrow. We are hitting up stations in PA and NY!
After driving thru the night to get home to Jen and the boys I was ready for a fun filled day of hanging out!!! When I rolled into town around 10:30am they were already at the pool so I met them there. Then it was lunch and naps at home followed by a lazy afternoon watching the US Open and then a dinner date with Jen. Can anyone say, mexican?!?! Her parents are in town escaping Hurricane Gustav so they were willing to keep the boys to give us some time to ourselves! Many thanks to Bill and Debby!!! We finished up the day prepping for the boys first day of Mother's Day Out this year and playing Kung Fu Panda! I had to add these pics of us playing Jake's favorite game of the moment. He took the one of me with my phone! Too funny! It was a perfect day!
We drove 6 hours from Kansas City to Sioux Falls, SD, to play this AMAZING festival called Lifelight on Sunday. This was by far one of the coolest festivals we have ever played. There were about 120,000 people in attendance and they were eager to rock! It was an honor to be a part of the lineup for Sunday. We shared the stage with our friends Building429 (pictured above), my buddy, Mr. Matthew West (left), Phil Joel, Natalie Grant, and Casting Crowns! I really enjoy playing these festivals because it is a good excuse to catch up with friends that we don't get to see because we are all so busy. We also spent some time with our friends, Jon and Sherrie Rivers, of KLOVE radio network. It was great hanging with them, on and off the air, talking about life and the new record. They were very encouraging and they really dig the new single...AWESOME! We are so grateful for their support! It was also good to run into Natalie. You may not know this, but I have a cut on her new record, "Relentless". It is a song I wrote for 33 but we decided not to cut it. Fortunately, Natalie did! It is called "Perfect People". You need to check it out! She kills it (and this means that it is REALLY good!). 33 had a really great weekend and I am reminded how truly blessed I am to be able to do this for a living. So cool!!!
Last night 33Miles played one of my favorite festivals, Rock The Light. It is held at the Starlight Theater in Kansas City, one of the best outdoor theaters in the country. It was a great night. For those who were able to be there...thanks for coming out. The line-up was cool. Us, Decemberadio, Sanctus Real, and Casting Crowns. The crowd was awesome and 33 had a good time performing for our friends in KC. We missed my favorite part though. At the end of the night they usually pass out candles and everyone lights them and sings worship tunes. It is quite the sight. We were too tired to stay and see it. We headed out right before Casting took the stage. We were all in need of extra sleep to get ready to play Lifelight Festival in Sioux Falls, SD, tomorrow. The crowd is estimated to be 120,000, but no pressure right?