Photo by Rodney Bursiel and Sam Baker
Love For the Underdog started as a crazy idea really. It all began at the Kerrville Folk Festival in the spring of 2010. I was sitting under the canopy at my home base “Camp Nashbill” noodling on my guitar and singing when my friend, Chicago based singer/songwriter Joe Jencks came out of his tent. He made a comment about me singing and my first reaction was to apologize, thinking I had woken him up. He proceeded to tell me that no, he had been lying in his tent thoroughly enjoying it. He then asked me if I had ever thought about making a CD. “Of course”, I said and then proceeded to detail all of the reasons why it was a bad idea and it wouldn’t work. Well, over my remaining days at the festival Joe just wouldn’t let it drop, continuing to encourage and prod.
When I got home from the festival and back to my everyday life the idea just wouldn’t leave me alone. So, I got to thinking about, if I was going to do this, what would I want it to look like? While on one hand I’m past the stage in my life where a career in music appeals to me, if I’m really going to be honest doing a CD would be a dream come true. But if I’m not going to do something “commercial” what then?
It occurred to me that of all of the people I have known over the past several years the one person who would have been cheering me on the loudest in this endeavor would have been my friend David Gentiles. David passed away this past December in a tragic accident at his gym and to say that he is missed would be an understatement of unimaginable magnitude. So what if this became something that could end up honoring his life? What if I made a CD that could benefit a charity that David felt passionate about?
Many of you reading this already know who David was and the amazing friend, father, pastor and mentor that he was to so many. Those of you who don’t should really go read the incredible eulogy that author Donald Miller gave at David’s memorial–I promise it will be well worth your time: http://donmilleris.com/2009/12/30/the-best-sermon-i-ever-heard-remembering-david-gentiles/. It describes better than I ever could why David’s life could inspire this project.
To say that this crazy idea has taken on a life of its own is yet another understatement. So many wonderful people have jumped on board to help, encourage and lend their talents. Amazing musicians have stepped up to offer songs and their incredible musical abilities to the project. I am incredibly grateful to so many without whom I could never begin to pull this off. Thanking them all properly will be done on another page but for now — you all know who you are and you have my love and more gratitude than I have words to say.
So, Love For the Underdog is born. I’m in the beginning stages of recording this CD. 100% of the after-cost proceeds will Living Hope Mission in Haiti (http://www.livinghopemission.org/) in David’s name. Stay tuned…I’ll be keeping you up-to-date on this project via this website. If you’d like to help out with project I’ll be posting information about how you can do that soon. In the meantime — Peace, Love and Folk Music. — Judi