"Rumors of my demise have been greatly exaggerated"
Shalom my friends,
The culturaXchange keeps rolling, though it has been more than 3 years since I sent out a newsletter. I would say it's nothing personal, but…Read more
FEBRUARY 28, 2023
As I prepare for a few months of touring from Texas to Pennsylvania, there is an announcement I need to make today. First let me set the context….
I have now written, recorded, produced over 140 “sacred” songs since coming to faith in 1990. I’ve been touring the world non-stop since 2003.
Most events are held on weekends so I would find myself stuck in cities between concerts for a week with nothing to do. Since 2010, I’ve been seeking the best local jam sessions and open mics in cities all over the world to socialize with other musicians when I get this down-time. I’ve written several hyper-basic songs that can be put to any 12 bar blues progression, and have performed these secular songs at jam sessions and open mics from Tel Aviv to London, Warsaw to New Zealand, Bogota to Toronto, and almost all major cities of America.
In almost every single place I get up to jam someone asks who I am and what kind of music I do. Answering that question is impossible without telling the story of how I met Yeshua, and it is extraordinary and quite remarkable how often the person asking this question has been Jewish. In this way I have been able to influence many musicians and songwriters to consider that faith and religion are different subjects through very relaxed conversations, and developed many friendships with influential musicians of their respective cities. I genuinely love these people and have been the only christian many would ever consider a conversation with because they view me as a brother in rock & roll, not a minister of religion.
I don't look at these people as targets for religious conversion. They are new friends worthy of much professional respect, and honest sojourners on a faith journey that has now crossed my path for whatever reason. Many of them may be on the wrong path but I avoid any morality discussions, preferring to stay with discussions about music/culture and then just be honest when someone asks me what I do. Unknowingly, they have now invited a long testimony because it always requires quite a bit of explaining….
I have a new album coming out today. I have agonized about whether I should ever mention it. Most of my friends would love this album, but a lot of religious people will think I’m going to hell just for doing it. Those same people would probably love it, if a person they have known as a worship leader had not done it. So I want you to hear about it from me first.
Though I often lead worship, it was never my primary calling. My gift is songwriting and everything else I do comes from that as a foundation. I had been a songwriter and professional rock musician for 15 years before I was born again and started writing worship music. I never stopped writing those “other” songs and they continued piling up over 33 years of ministry. Big Methuselah was that kind of outlet. We rocked harder than any secular band but were kept in “the church” because every song offered Jesus as the answer. Those songs were written for people outside of church walls…but apparently it's too scary of a message for even christian radio so we are marginalized to remaining within a christian-radio ghetto.
I was fascinated in 2007 by a prophecy at a conference in Switzerland about secular artists taking the broadcast airwaves and starting an international revival because Christian media and artists have been permanently marginalized into a religious sub-culture ghetto that will not be allowed any impact on the world outside of church.
This word excited me! I began looking for secular artists who were capable of such a thing, which led me to Mietek Szczesniak of Poland. His “Signs” album is still in my top 3 best “Deep Faith” albums of all-time. It’s not a “christian” album but rather a secular album addressing human emotional experiences, expressed by a man of faith and co-written with a Reformed Jewish lady, Wendy Waldman.
Inspired by this scenario, I created “t.Roy” (named after my dad) and recorded Hollywood Sessions with Producer Wendy Waldman’s guidance. Songs from that disc like “Remembering Lucy Baum” and “Dead Flies” worked well for concert situations…yet are not worship music. Wendy wrote my best christian song ever on that album (“He Believes”) to prevent me from doing a completely secular album. She said she was preventing me from ruining my career.
We all have pain in our past, and I won’t bore you with my particular details, but since I was a teenager songwriting has been personal mental therapy to release emotions that can’t be easily spoken. Sadness motivates the creation of a song more than anything else in my life’s experience, and I noticed a few years ago that Adele has nothing but sad depressing songs. In fact, her most depressing songs were the biggest selling music of that year. Why is depression so popular? For whatever reason, a lot of people related to the torturous situations described in her music and found some measure of healing in expressing the same pain through listening to her music.
Over a lifetime of songwriting, I have several songs that express loss and deep personal pain. Some of those songs are so raw and honest that no one has ever heard them for fear of the humiliation and pain of it being made public.
When the pandemic hit and my wife was kept out of the country by tyrannical covid law, I sunk myself in learning audio engineering to keep my anger from turning into insanity. To learn the craft of audio engineering, I needed songs and musicians to record them. Asheville NC offers an excellent supply of great musicians but they are definitely not “church” guys, so I decided to pick the best secular songs I had written over a lifetime and record them.
Some of these songs go back to 1977, and some were written recently….but I have ended up recording over 40 of these songs now. I believe a lot of people would relate to the raw honesty of how I felt in those moments because I don't sugar-coat it. I also believe it exposes me to the criticism of religious strangers, However, I have now stopped needing the approval of anyone but Yeshua. I'm going to need a lot of prayer while maintaining an appearance of non-religion. Just know that and pray for me, ok?
I’m not about to start playing bars for a living again…so what then am I saying? If you know me, then you know I’m not afraid to ask the Lord for the impossible. So, yes, I have asked Him for a Top 10 hit which would, by the way, make a broader platform for speaking to the culture as an artist (not a minister). Notice I did not say “witness” or “preach”? I call it the ministry of availability. I’m simply going to be available if anyone wants to talk about it when I do interviews or whatever….
And they always do.
So….TODAY….I release “Dining Area” by t.Roy & The Smoking Section. It is available everywhere music is sold and the next phase begins. It is entirely secular though I did drop in a few secret messages. I’m not trying to do anything but offer great secular songs on a great secular record that would sell to a broad secular audience.
The same management company who helped break “The Lumineers” already called to ask if they could be my PR rep. Who would turn that down? I told the owner that I’m not interested in playing bars, but would consider opening spots for major artist concert tours. So she started sending copies of t.Roy out to media and we’ve been getting fantastic reviews worldwide. Her plan is to keep escalating reviews up the chain until a promoter picks me as opening act for someone’s concert tour. If it happens…if it doesn’t happen…I go only through the doors opened before me as usual.
Every time I’ve been interviewed by secular writers in the last month, I had to tell the story of how I met Yeshua to explain why I suddenly appear as an artist with zero followers on any social media. Again, I’m not looking at anyone as a religious target but I’m also not holding back when someone asks who I am or what I'm doing here. My demeanor is that it is completely natural for a blues-rock singer to believe in Jesus, and I “am" a worship artist/songwriter exploring my authentic native Texas roots. I will not be forcing anyone to listen to my religious opinions, but I have no filters in how I respond to questions about it, either. I will make myself available to answer questions and make personal relationships in places most Christians fear to tread….but this is absolutely not going to work if I can’t make great secular music that those people like. I remain Ted Pearce but t.Roy must be represented as entirely non-religious.
This door may lead to me being crushed by the Lord. I am submitted for any scenario He chooses….but if He is indeed opening that door, I will be going through. At the same time this is happening, doors are not as open for the worship ministry with all the personal problems I’ve experienced in the last few years. This indicates the path I’m about to take will likely be a brand new season of my life.
Let me make this point very clear: I’m not walking away from the faith. If anything, this will be my biggest journey of faith in life ever. Also, I continue to lead worship and perform concerts as long as I’m invited to do so, taking off on a couple months tour this week, in fact.
Worship events remain my priority until the door closes. If I had a top 10 hit, my new fans would all have to come see me lead worship at your little place, and we will see where it goes from there. I also understand that many won't understand this announcement at all. To allow His guidance be made clear, I am not seeking to influence the path He will send me on. I still go where I’m invited, and wherever that turns out to be I will do my job as faithfully as possible.
If you've read this far, then certainly you are curious to hear t.Roy & The Smoking Section? It's on Spotify (and everywhere else) as of today and the reviews are at: t-Roy.rocks
“Ancient Gates” releases Dec 18, 2022!!!
YOU are invited to a banquet in these cities:
More details: tedpearce.com
Houston, TX (12/17)
New Orleans, LA (12/18)
Blanco, TX (12/30)
Augusta GA (1/7)
Greenville SC (1/14)
That was the longest non-stop tour I've ever done!?!
A full 7 months of visiting congregations all over the western USA, and hiking National Parks in between concerts of praise, with a bunch of local jam sessions in between.
Whew…it was fun but glad it's over. It can get really lonely on the road, but at least a lot was accomplished during that time. My education and circle of friends was greatly increased by a lot of audio engineers in various cities of the tour…. it was a deep blessing personally to visit so many friends around the western half of the nation after an extended hiatus caused by Bizzaro World (2020).
At the last stop of the 2022 Long Tour in Amarillo, TX, I had to go the emergency room for an absess tooth which seemed to be going septic. Of course they need my info and after I gave it to them, they gave me a badge that listed said “Homeless - Amarillo TX” and I had to face the reality that it's true. I wish my children and extended family all lived in the mountains where I want to be. I wish my mom could make it through the next year. I wish I could stay in one place long enough to form real friendships, real relationships. But alas, that isn't reality.
So, for the time being, my plan is to fulfill concerts booked in January, but to start looking for a permanent home (temporarily) in the southeast Texas area while mom is still alive.
Ted's Tall Tales from the road....
Started out on the longest driving tour I've ever done at the end of April 2022. If you count Texas in May, this is already a 7 month non-stop tour that goes through November. For more than half a year, I will live on the roads of the western USA.
I'll go to Texas, Oklahoma, Arkansas, Missouri, Kansas, Nebraska, Iowa, Minnesota, maybe Wisconsin?, South Dakota (to VR the Badlands), Colorado, Wyoming (to VR Yellowstone), Idaho, Montana, Washington, Oregon, California, Nevada, Arizona, and New Mexico
We had a great time of outreach in St Louis Missouri and then an explosion of praise with Or HaOlam and the saints of Kansas City last week with both a concert and a VR Tour of Israel.
The energy of Kansas City is very upbeat, positive, confident and Or HaOlam is a STRONG light in the region.
Basically my "tours" are just traveling around to visit my friends and these congregations have always been such faithful brothers and friends. Much love and thanks to Shmuel & Dawn, plus Mike & Lynn in St Louis for their love and support over the years.
Coming up in June: Iowa, Nebraska, Minnesota
Shalom to you as we await the Feast of Shavuot!
Has it really been 20 years?
It was Shavuot 2001 when Zealous Over Zion was released at The Underground Club in Jerusalem. In October of 2002, the Zealous Over Zion CD was released by Galilee of the Nations so we are approaching the 20th Anniversary.
In remembrance I plan to release the B side of that dance record “Adon Olam” for the anniversary in October. In the meantime, I’ve got 10 songs nearly finished which will be released over this same time frame.
Yesterday in Springdale Arkansas was my first stop on a tour that will go through November that brings me to every State west of the Mississippi except North Dakota. As you might remember from my last post, I’ve put all my things in storage in Asheville, NC and am “going to a land He will show me”.
At first I called this the “Delayed 2020 Tour” because we were planning this long trip when the lockdown stopped it. Then, we planned it again for 2021 and were interrupted by my daughter’s wedding. So assuming that I don’t run out of gas, it is now being called “This Is Not My Home” tour.
Besides concerts we are also booking the VR Tour of Israel where I supply Virtual Reality headsets for 40 people at a time and bring everyone to Israel on tours that I filmed over 4 years. We can do this in a congregation or even a home fellowship group. All it takes is an internet line to make it happen. The VR Tour of Israel is amazing audiences everywhere!
This next 3 weeks are in Kansas, Oklahoma, and Missouri. Then Iowa, Minnesota, South Dakota, Colorado, New Mexico, Idaho, maybe Montana, Washington, Oregon, California, Nevada, Arizona, New Mexico and Texas. It will end with Hanukah in New Orleans.
As usual, CONFIRMED events are listed on my website at tedpearce.com
We’re still working to confirm dates at dozens of places before they go up on the schedule list. If you see your State listed and would like to arrange a concert or a “VR Tour of Israel” event please call Amanda ASAP at 409 679 6257 before every date is filled.
As usual, I go everywhere for an offering and a private room. No hassles, no risk, and no worries for the congregation.
In His Grip,
Another crazy story. 1.16.21
In one of the strangest twists in a lifetime of amazing stories, I have begun working with Mega-Producer Stuart Epps on the next "t.Roy" project. Most people don't pay attention to the Producer of a record, but that is usually the person most responsible for that song becoming a hit. Their job is to take an idea and turn it into a recorded song.
Mr Epps has worked with the biggest names in rock history. Starting out in publishing at Dick James Publishing (London) he worked with the Beatles. He later went on to be an engineer and producer, working with people like Led Zepplin, Elton John, George Harrison, Oasis, Twisted Sister, Wishbone Ash, and the list goes on with the addition of t.Roy & The Smoking Section.
He will be mixing what I've just recently recorded in the dining area of my very small house. This project ("Dining Room") was started last year in the city of Asheville as t.Roy & The Smoking Section.
The t.Roy series has been an outlet for the secular songs (non-church music) I've written over an entire life.
"Gypsy Queen" is a song about my Canadian wife, Hadassah Dove, whom I have not seen since July 2020. At first it was because of covid but now it's because of immigration. Alas...the story of the song.
This is only viewable to you who care enough to read my blog. It has not been officially released yet.
Do you know how to celebrate the end of slavery in America? We need to know because it's the greatest victory of Christians in America, even if it was a high cost.
It's called Juneteenth. I have much to say about this, but first some history.
The end of slavery was resisted in the South for months after Lee's surrender. Texas, being the farthest from Washington, was the last State to be occupied. That made Texas the last bastion of slavery until June 19th, 1865 in Galveston.
During the American Civil War, President Abraham Lincoln issued the preliminary Emancipation Proclamation on September 22, 1862. The Emancipation Proclamation was formally issued on January 1, 1863. It declared that all enslaved persons in the Confederate States of America in rebellion and not in Union hands were to be freed. This excluded the five states known later as border states, slave holding states that had not seceded from the United States and – Kentucky, Maryland, Delaware, and Missouri – and the counties of Virginia soon to form the state of West Virginia, and also the three zones under Union occupation: the state of Tennessee, lower Louisiana, and eastern Virginia.
More isolated geographically, Texas was not a battleground, and thus the people held there as slaves were generally not affected by the Emancipation Proclamation. Planters and other slaveholders had migrated into Texas from eastern states to escape the fighting, and many brought enslaved people with them, increasing by the thousands the enslaved population in the state at the end of the Civil War. Although most enslaved people lived in rural areas, more than 1,000 resided in both Galveston and Houston by 1860, with several hundred in other large towns. By 1865, there were an estimated 250,000 enslaved people in Texas.
The news of General Robert E. Lee's surrender on April 9 reached Texas later in the month. The Army of the Trans-Mississippi did not surrender until June 2. On June 18, Union Army General Gordon Granger arrived at Galveston Island with 2,000 federal troops to occupy Texas on behalf of the federal government. The following day, standing on the balcony of Galveston's Ashton Villa, Granger read aloud the contents of "General Order No. 3", announcing the total emancipation of those held as slaves: "The people of Texas are informed that, in accordance with a proclamation from the Executive of the United States, all slaves are free. This involves an absolute equality of personal rights and rights of property between former masters and slaves, and the connection heretofore existing between them becomes that between employer and hired labor. The freedmen are advised to remain quietly at their present homes and work for wages. They are informed that they will not be allowed to collect at military posts and that they will not be supported in idleness either there or elsewhere"
How did slavery get started in the first place? On June 19th, 2011 Dr Raleigh Washington of PromiseKeepers with Rabbi Eric Carlson of Newport News VA sponsored a Juneteenth March of Remembrance on the very property where slavery began in 1607.
Also speaking that day was the great, great, great, great, great (is that 5x?) granddaughter of General Gordon Grainger who had issued that order in Galveston June 19, 1865
Other speakers included Chief Ann Richardson of the Powahatan Tribe, and there were several local Pastors and ministries that wanted to give a word or lead us in worship.
The point of March of Remembrance has ALWAY been about breaking the silence of indifference. We can argue statistics and policies but it's hard to argue there isn't a whole lot of indifference between people everywhere these days. As they say, "Sunday is the most segregated day in America" to our shame.
On this date, we had invited every church, every saint we could and yet the turnout was very small. We only need ONE to hear us, but it was a disappointment more didn't find it worthwhile.
But how about this year? Would you be willing to walk for AT LEAST 8:46 in a public way, either with your congregation or by yourself if necessary, praying on June 19th, 2020? Would you pray until your heart breaks for injustices done to black people LONG BEFORE today? Would you pray that your heart breaks for fellowship with ALL of the saints in this worldwide tapestry? We have to be the people we are hoping for.
We should be leading instead of reacting, my friends