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interview

Robert Wetherington – Priest and Sermonizer

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Robert Wetherington - Priest Sermonizer

This one is a bit out of the norm for my typical interviewee. However, I think you will enjoy the conversation. This is not intended to be an evangelical proselytizing, but the subject matter is Christian in its origins. I’ve known Robert for a little more than a year now and have grown more and more enamored with his ability to inspire his congregation every week. After having lunch one afternoon with my wife, it occurred to me that the amount of creative energy required to deliver with that much punch weekly must be researched. Plus he gave me the best headshot ever for the podcast.

The Reverend Robert Wetherington has been working in ordained ministry for over ten years. He is currently serving as the rector of St. Mary’s Episcopal Church in El Dorado, Arkansas, and has served as Missioner for the Episcopal Diocese of Mississippi and as chaplain to The Mississippi State Penitentiary at Parchman, MS. Other work includes serving as rector at The Episcopal Church of the Redeemer in Biloxi, MS, and as the convocational dean for the coast convocation of Episcopal Churches along the Mississippi Gulf Coast. He has been an Executive Director at Camp Mitchell Episcopal Camp and Retreat Center in the Diocese of Arkansas and has served on several committees and councils.

Father Robert is married to the Rev. Betsy Baumgarten, who has served as an Episcopal priest in many and various capacities, including her current role as Ministry Coordinator for South Arkansas. They have two children, five dogs, and one cat. They share a passion for the outdoors and a variety of hobbies and interests. Within the chaos that fills their days, they find abiding joy in life.

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#ICYMI Joey Lauren Adams – Actor, Writer, Director – Artist

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#ICYMI Joey Lauren Adams - Actor, Writer, Director - Artist

This special episode is a recording from three years ago during the El Dorado Film Festival, which also happens to be this weeks sponsor. I was lucky enough to sit down with one of my favorite artists, Joey Lauren Adams. Joey is from Arkansas. She grew up with her entire family and all her friends living within walking distance, having known each other so long that they can’t remember when they met.

When she eventually found her way to California, she was embarrassed about growing up in Arkansas. Her first job was as a seating hostess in a restaurant where she learned just how far the south was from the rest of the world. After looking for her LA self, she decided to go back to her southern roots and really own it, and boy did she find success.

However, feeling like there was nothing proactive about being an actress, she began to get frustrated. This is when her awakening as an artist seems to have bloomed. Discovering writing and eventually directing have allowed her to scratch that creative itch. You can hear it in her voice as she describes her process, writing what she knew, and using Linklater and Kevin Smith as her film contemporaries for inspiration.

There are some real gems in her storytelling within the episode, including her run-in with Johnny Cash, whose eight-track she used to sleep with when she was a girl back home in Arkansas. We even take a little dip into the religion pool to talk about inspiration and beliefs. Enjoy this week’s special (in case you missed it #ICYMI) episode with a genuine creative spirit.

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Jake Hertzog – Guitarist, Composer, Educator

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Creatively Episode 006 - Jake Hertzog: Guitarist, Composer, Educator

Jake Hertzog is a critically acclaimed guitarist, composer, educator, and writer based in Fayetteville, AR. where he teaches at the University of Arkansas. He has toured throughout the U.S., Europe, Latin America, the Middle East, and India and performed and recorded with a diverse cadre of artists including Randy Brecker, Ivan Neville, Mike Clarke, Blondie Chaplin, Anton Fig and many others.

In 2016 Jake joined the music faculty at the University of Arkansas, Fayetteville. In 2018 Jake authored his first book, Guitar Sound Effects, a deep dive into the world of contemporary guitar sounds and techniques. Under the alias Hey Jazz Guy, Jake has contributed over 30 articles to Guitar Player magazine which coined him the “Jazz ambassador to the non-jazz world.” 

Hertzog’s classical recording include “Well Lit Shadow” (2016) a suite for solo electric guitar celebrating themes and images in particle physics. His latest project, a guitar duo with classical virtuoso Yishai Fisher called “Stringscapes: A Portrait of the World in Nylon and Steel” (2018, Fretmonkey) is a unique combination of nylon string and steel string guitars and is inspired by the landscapes of planet earth. He was awarded a fellowship from the Arkansas Arts Council in 2018 for music composition for this project.

Jake was co-leader and co-songwriter of the rock band The Young Presidents from 2009-2016. For three years, Jake stood as musical director and lead guitarist for Nickelodeon’s The Naked Brothers Band. They concluded two national tours and have performed on national television shows including Good Morning AmericaThe ViewNickelodeon’s Kids Choice Awards and The Today Show.

Hertzog is a grand prize winner of the Montreux Jazz Guitar Competition, holds a performance degree from Berklee College of Music and a master’s degree from The Manhattan School of Music in New York.

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