Late to Love: A Concert and Q&A

Last week I played a concert and did a Q&A at Seattle Pacific University Arts Center, sponsored by Image Journal. Although it was sparsely attended, those who were there, including my Patheos colleague Artur Rosman and his children, were a wonderful and hospitable audience on a damp and chilly Wednesday night.I also think the acoustics of the room were nice and are fairly well captured in this video:https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=my-pfgK7Qfs&feature=youtu.beIn other Late to … [Read more...]

More Late to Love News

Late to Love has been out for just over one month. I've had the chance to share the songs live, and the stories behind them, a few times now. I will soon post something of a report on my present status as an artist, and all the complicated questions of branding, secular/sacred identity, and whatnot. In the meantime, a few more generous reviews have come out (find the 19 other reviews here and here):20. Calah Alexander reviews the CD in "Late to Love and Audio Divina" where she gives it … [Read more...]

Another Late to Love Round-Up!

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(Read the first round-up, including links to 11 reviews.)*Late to Love has been out for almost two weeks now and has received quite a few mentions and reviews. Here they are, counting off from 11, where the last round-up ended:12. Pia de Solenni includes Late to Love among art that shows "Why We Don’t Need Catholic/Christian Writers, Artists, etc."13. Korrectiv Press gives its literary cousin, Wiseblood, a shout out.14. Tom Zampino writes "Of Pears, And Lusts, And Conv … [Read more...]

‘Late to Love’ Round-up!

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My debut album, Late to Love, was released in all formats on the feast of St. Augustine. Here is a round-up of reviews and notes about its progress.*Running on just under two hours of sleep, I played a solo concert at Regent College on the evening of the release. Considering that I am new in town, it was well attended, with about 40 people. Here is the entire video:Here is a photo album of the evening, courtesy of Justin Tse. (And here is another one, courtesy of Richard Wu … [Read more...]

The Way of Beauty: From Aesthetics to Art

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A great deal of ink has been spilled lately about the need to appreciate what Pope Francis recently referred to in Evangelii Gaudium as the via pulchritudinis, the way of beauty. The term 'aesthetics' is in vogue, so it seems, and it appears to be having some positive effects, in small but serious ways, on contemporary religious artists---they are out there, and perhaps always have been, but are getting more attention and reception.Nonetheless, aesthetics is not art. The former pre … [Read more...]

Pre-Order Late to Love! UPDATED

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Wiseblood Records, my small but mighty music label, sent out the following memo a few days ago: On August 28, 2014, Wiseblood Records will release our inaugural collection of music, Late to Love, by Sam Rocha. Late to Love is musically inspired by the genealogy of soul music that scans the genres of spirituals, folk, gospel, country, R&B, blues, funk, jazz, hip-hop, neo-soul and nu-jazz. T-Bone Walker, Ray Charles, Gil Scott Heron, Stevie Wonder, Marvin Gaye, Bill Withers, and Curtis Ma … [Read more...]

Listen to the World’s First Augustinian Soul Album!

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On August 28th --- the feast of St. Augustine --- Wiseblood Records will release my first studio LP, Late to Love, a concept album bringing together soul music and Augustine's Confessions. The process has been exhilarating and, most of all, has produced some remarkable music, a testament to the grace of God and fine creative team I am working with. This has never been done before, as far as I know. It is new. Augustinian soul music has never existed before now. At the same time, the music draws … [Read more...]

When the Soul Gets Blues, The Blues Get Soul

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My socks, underwear, and toiletries are stuffed into two guitar cases and a 1945 tube amp. My pedalboard arrives at the studio tomorrow with my shirts and pants and pedals and cords. My wife and children and I will leave tomorrow morning for the Twin Cities (where they will stay) and from there I'll head to Pittsburgh where Dan Bozek, the studio engineer and producer, will pick me up and take me to Steubenville where I'll be recording my first full-length studio album, Late to Love. I was … [Read more...]

LIVE at The Empire UPDATED

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Last night I played the first all-original set I've played since 2006, at Acadia Cafe in Minneapolis, at The Empire theatre in downtown Grand Forks, North Dakota. The show lasted just over an hour and a half and I played songs I've written from 2003 to the present. I was joined by my brother-in-law, Shawn Kolles, on drums. Here is most of the full show (with part II below)  and, below that, I'll add links to the individual songs as they get uploaded. Enjoy!SPANISH CHOIR THERE WAS A … [Read more...]

Solidarity in Vulgarity: The Funk in Racist Jokes (A Reprise)

As a sequel to my previous Black History Month re-post, "White History Month," from earlier this month, here is an essay I published in the X-Position, the journal of  The Malcolm X Institute of Black Studies at Wabash College, last year. Enjoy!  Solidarity in Vulgarity: The Funk in Racist Jokes“I don’t want your stupid ethnic dances, I want dirty jokes!”-Slavoj Zizek“Gonna have a funky good time, gonna have a funky good time!”-James Brown“The man of knowledge must b … [Read more...]


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