for a few years in a row, sometime between 2007 (or so) till 2010 (or so), i would wake up around 6 on certain sunday mornings, eat breakfast (sometimes), grab my guitar, and drive over to ben lance's apartment. he would load his gear into my truck, and we would drive up to waco to lead the music at university baptist church. our friend ben dudley was one of the pastors there, and when their regular music pastor was out of town, he would give us a call and we would hit the road.
i met ben lance in houston, texas, sometime in 2002 (probably). i had planned to move austin that summer to serve at the as-yet-unnamed mosaic (at that point known only as "a church in austin") as music pastor. as bill callahan says, things didn't pan out as planned. i ended up moving into an old converted church in the montrose neighborhood with five other dudes and two ladies. ben lance was one of these dudes.
i came home from work one day to hear this incredibly angelic and other-worldy sound floating through the old chapel. ben was home alone, pedals fired up and amp out in the high ceilinged room. i knew, absolutely, at that moment, that i had to have him.
the move to austin eventually happened. ben was considering going back to school to study art at the university of north texas. i talked him right out of that (i apologize, ben - you're a phenomenal painter). in december we all got evicted from the building by a city inspector (construction permits? what construction permits?), and we scattered, mostly to our friend lacy, tania, and trenda's couches. i started driving up every weekend to play music at mosaic. ben moved up and slept on our friend jay beck's couch and worked at a smoothie king. we eventually got an apartment off of guadalupe and 51st, and settled down to bang out the hits, eventually forming our band, sad accordions, and playing together weekly at mosaic, along with a growing cast of characters.
the point is - ben lance has been central and essential to my life, musically and otherwise, for twelve years now. that means that i'm old (and he's even older). it also means that i can't imagine what i would be doing if he hadn't abandoned his thoughts of higher education and moved to austin with me to start a band. i would not have grown musically or personally as near as much as i have. i wouldn't have been pushed and inspired to look for songs and sounds and experiences that were not to be found in the center aisle, but off around the sides of the building, in the alley, on the roof, in the gutter, out in the distance, on the wind...
so, sunday mornings. waco. a few weeks each year. it was a good time to talk, to exchange ideas and thoughts, to share our hearts or to be silent and stare out the window. it was a great time of collaboration - taking us out of our normal elements and players and sound systems (ubc had a great one. that they purchased. with money). we had the pleasure of having jon davis run sound for us. we were lucky to get to play with some of waco's hidden talents - ben dudley, griffin kelp, britt duke, jordan bellamy. we got to build this strange, tiny community of a handful of people that lived in a different town, whose lives looked different than ours in many respects. it was wonderful.
these recordings were captured by the aforementioned jon davis. some of them are board recordings, some of them are room mics. there may even be an iphone involved here or there. they range from sonically full to scratchy and fuzzy. these are all songs that we sang at mosaic for years as well. it is, for me, a tribute to a time and season of life that was filled up to the brim with music and people. and it is also a thank you to my best musical hero, collaborator, and friend. thanks ben.
released August 4, 2014
Seth Woods - vocals, acoustic guitar, rhodes
Ben Lance - electric guitar
with: Griffin Kelp, Britt Duke, Jordan Bellamy, Ben Dudley on guitars, banjos, bass, drums, keys, and other musical making instruments
recorded by jon davis
all rights reserved