Friday, May 28, 2021

Andrew Haines on Covering Mullins and Having Mitch McVicker Sing on His Album


Andrew Haines is a singer-songwriter and recording artist from Illinois who has recently released his first album Dig Awhile, which features a cover version of Rich Mullins's "Steal at Any Price," a song off Pictures in the Sky. Haines's album also features a duet with Mitch McVicker ("Stretch the Reaches") and instrumentation from Michael Aukofer, who performed in the "Kid Brothers" version of the Ragamuffin Band. Our interview touches on his time living in South Dakota, the influence Mullins has had on him, and how he approaches covering one of his songs. You can find out more about Andrew, how to stream or purchase his music, and where to see him perform at his website:

 You can stream the episode above, or subscribe on itunes  Google Play  Tunein Radio  or  Stitcher. Please write us a brief review and give us a great rating! 

Here is Andrew's music video for his song "Horses."

Friday, April 9, 2021

Phil Madeira—plus Jimmy Abegg and Ben Pearson


This episode features an extended interview with renowned musician and songwriter Phil Madeira. Phil comes on to talk about how his band Red Dirt Boys (backup band for Emmylou Harris) is doing a crowdfunding campaign for two new albums. But he also tells us about his storied career in the music business, how he found himself being the band leader for Rick Elias' tribute concert, and why he liked Rich Mullins but not his music. Please check out Phil's website for more of his story and where to purchase his music (or his Bandcamp page). The episode also features a longer version of Jimmy Abegg and Ben Pearson's reflections about Rick Elias, an excerpt of which was in our previous episode (which you can listen to here).
Ben Pearson and Jimmy Abegg

Phil is a multi-instrumentalist and consummate studio musician (recording for Emmylou, Phil Keaggy, Amy Grant, Charlie Peacock, Buddy and Julie Miller, and so many others), but he is also a prolific songwriter, having his songs recorded by the likes of Garth Brooks, The Civil Wars, and Bruce Hornsby. A genre shapeshifter, Madeira offers a candid (nearly unfiltered!) look at the life of an artist and his view of the world. You can catch him playing music every week on Facebook with his Sunday Night Live performances.

Here is the time Phil photobombed Joe when he was getting a picture with Jimmy Abegg (and devoted Between the Songs listener Nate Eichelman) at the Rick Elias Jesus Record concert.

Here is the promo video for Red Dirt Boy's Indiegogo campaign:

Here is one of Phil's Sunday Night Live shows:

Here is a music video for Phil's song Gothenburg, from his album Providence:

And we would be remiss if we didn't at least give you the opportunity to watch Phil's highly acclaimed, career defining, Oscar worthy role as Hack the Clown in Steve Taylor's Newsboys film Under the Big Top. (And we also want you to remember just how many times Chris watched this film as a kid and thus how deeply Phil is burned into his consciousness): 

Friday, April 2, 2021

Remembering Rick Elias

April 2, 2021 is the two year anniversary of the death of Rick Elias. This episode is a tribute to his life and work and features a long list of people sharing their stories about all the beautiful, conflicted moments they got to share with him over the years. It's also the beginning of a series we are doing at Between the Songs about his music over the coming months. 

Husband and father, artist, guitarist, singer-songwriter, rocker, producer, and guy who naturally knew how to tick people off while still loving them, in the Rich Mullins universe Rick was of course a key member of A Ragamuffin Band, playing on a number of Mullins' records and being his perennial touring guitarist and singer. However, after Mullins' death Rick stepped in to not only lead A Ragamuffin Band but also produced the iconic Jesus Record album. He was already an established artist when he met Mullins, having recorded a couple of critically lauded albums (Rick Elias & The Confessions and Ten Stories), and would go on to have the opportunity to write songs for and play on the beloved That Thing You Do! soundtrack.

Joe with Rick in Lancaster when
he was 19 years old.

There's a lot more we can say about him, but for now we are going to let the stories and memories of those who love him speak for themselves. We were absolutely blown away by the responses from people wanting to share about Rick. On this episode you will hear from: Jimmy Abegg, Aaron Smith, Mark Robertson, Phil Madeira, Ben Pearson, Phil Keaggy, Margaret Becker, Randy Stonehill, Bryan Duncan, Carolyn Arends, Mitch McVicker, Sammy Horner, Chris Hauser, Luis Alberto Urrea, Marc
 Intravaia, Brian Mason, Johnathan Schaech, Regie Hamm, Scott Rogness, Alyssa Loukota Stebbing, Mark Hollingsworth, Chris Taylor, and Warren Pettit.

Music featured in this episode:
The Word is Love (Live in Holland)
Do Ya (Demo)
Dance With me Tonight (Live from Studio B)
My Deliver (Live from Studio B)
Man of No Reputation (from Blink UK version)

Friday, March 19, 2021

Rick Lee James and the Influence of Rich Mullins

This episode features a conversation with Rick Lee James, a singer-songwriter and recording artist from Ohio. In 2019 he was given the opportunity to record the Rich Mullins song "Thunder," which was written in the early part of his career and was later re-written by Lowell Alexander and Phil Naish. James put the song on his latest album, which he also named Thunder, a heartfelt collection of modern hymns and narrative songs. The interview goes into the meaning of the song, the recording process, the touching moment when he was first introduced to Mullins's music, and the influence he has had on his life. You can discover more of James's music at his website: or purchase physical copies of it in his Bandcamp store: His music is also available on all streaming platforms.

Rick is a prolific podcaster on his own, producing both Voices in My Head and Welcome to the Neighborhood, a Mister Rogers tribute podcast. You can listen to our interview here, or subscribe wherever you listen to podcasts:    

This episode also features Joe and Chris discussing a couple of Rich Mullins related news items. First, Joe was excited to announce that he's releasing a previously unheard Rich Mullins concert: "Live at the Bronco Bowl in Dallas Texas, March 14, 1992," which was a historic night in the history of the Ragamuffin Band. From the Archive:

4 members of the future Ragamuffin Band played on the bill for the very first time— Rick Elias opened the show with Mark Robertson playing bass in his band, while Rich Mullins & Jimmy Abegg played together during Rich's set. This also happens to be the night that Mark Robertson & Rich Mullins met each other for the first time.

This show was recorded by Rick Starr, who has donated the recording to Ragamuffin Archive. The cassette tape was digitized by Andrew Montonera. Special thanks to both Rick & Andrew for helping to make this concert available for the first time ever!              

Next, Joe and Chris discuss the two episodes of the True Tunes podcast which features an unearthed Rich Mullins interview and more recent interviews with the Ragamuffins, Mitch McVicker, and Phil Madeira. John Joseph Thompson has put together a couple hours of great Mullins material, and the interview with him features some of the most candid moments we've ever heard:

Finally, we wanted to share with you the early version of "Thunder" you heard during the episode. It features Tom Weimer on vocals, who was in Mullins' band Zion:

Saturday, February 6, 2021

Mitch McVicker Album and Kickstarter Special

This episode features two interviews with Mitch McVicker, one with him discussing the Kickstarter campaign for his new album A Shrugging of the Shoulders, and the other a kind of radio special that goes in-depth into his previous album The Acceptance of And. Please check out for more of his music or to bring him out to your area some time this year for a concert. You also might be able to catch him doing one of his streaming concerts on his Facebook page if you follow him there.

You can stream the episode above, or subscribe on itunes  Google Play  Tunein Radio  or Stitcher. Please write us a brief review and give us a great rating! 

You can watch the documentary here, or anywhere you watch Youtube:

Friday, January 8, 2021

Work You Began Documentary Special

This episode features an interview with filmmaker Andrew Montonera about the new Rich Mullins documentary "The Work You Began: The Last Days of Rich Mullins." The film features new interviews with artists and friends, as well as the family he stayed with in the weeks before he died, and offers the stories surrounding the last concert he gave, the recording of Mitch McVicker's first album, and how the songs of the Jesus Record came together. It can be viewed at the Ragamuffin Archive Youtube page.

It's been a long time since our last episode and so we make sure to give at least a halfway decent explanation as to why that is during the episode. But other than the interview with Andrew, the episode features a discussion about the film, a brief preview of upcoming episodes (you heard that right!), vague hints of what Joe and Chris are up to regarding future projects in the Mullinsverse (TM 2021!), and some of the projects Chris has released over the years. Scroll down past the episode to view some pictures of where the Jesus Record Demos were recorded and for links to Chris' writing and music. You can listen to the previous episode that Andrew was a guest on here: An Inside Look at the Lost LeSEA Tapes.

 You can stream the episode above, or subscribe on itunes  Google Play  Tunein Radio  or  Stitcher. Please write us a brief review and give us a great rating! 

You can also view the film here:

The historic First Universalist Church of Elgin, IL, the location where Rich Mullins taped The Jesus Record demos on September 10, 1997. Photographs taken by Joe during a visit in 2016:

And the former location of Roswell East recording studios, where Rich and Mark Roberson produced Mitch’s first album.

In 2019 Chris wrote and published a book on the history and traditions of the 12 Days of Christmas (he's available for speaking engagements!). If you want an autographed copy you can email him at, or go the normal routes:
Chris has composed the music for a new iphone game called Driftr. It's fun, free, and you should play!

Chris has also helped produce and be a co-host on the new podcast Tent Theology with Stephen Backhouse, a political theologian.

Finally, Chris released an EP of instrumental Christmas music. It's mostly retro-synthesizer music (with well known songs) and any money he makes will go to a good cause.

Andrew Haines on Covering Mullins and Having Mitch McVicker Sing on His Album

  Andrew Haines is a singer-songwriter and recording artist from Illinois who has recently released his first album Dig Awhile , which featu...