The Gentle Wolves are very excited to finally share our new musical setting of Psalm 133 that we contributed to an epic new Cardiphonia/Bellweather Arts compilation. What’s even more beautiful than this collection of music is the accompanying devotional book that can be purchased (either digitally or physically). Check it out!
Dear sisters and brothers of Servant Church,
I don’t think anyone has been to more Servant Church worship gatherings than I have. I’ve lead music at over 400 of them. Most Sundays I’m the first person there. I unlock the doors and turn on the lights. Often I will stop in the middle of the sanctuary and look around, thinking of all of the possible futures that could unfold when you arrive.
Over the next couple of hours, I go about my business as as a building becomes a Church. I’ve often been too busy or self-absorbed to notice the magic that God is working around me; but in retrospect, it’s been one of the great honors of my life to serve and sing alongside you each week.
In 2014, Mosaic, a sister church of ours, folded into Servant Church. Because I was on staff at both, my full-time pastoral job became half-time. I was forced to look for other work, and in 2015 I stumbled into the software industry. I quickly found my niche. In that niche, many of my gifts and talents are, to this day, being put to use building software and websites that feed the hungry and clothe the poor.
Working a highly-demanding full-time job, combined with the 10-15 hours that I typically give Servant Church each week, has left me spread thin. Too thin.
After much deliberation, prayer, and conversation, it’s become clear that it’s time for a new season of my life.
It’s time for a season where I only have one job.
It’s time for a season where I don’t leave my wife alone with two young children for most of the day every Sunday.
It’s time for the Kentopps to load up into the car and drive to church together.
It’s time for my incredibly patient wife to have her husband by her side when she walks into worship.
It’s time for my boys to celebrate the Eucharist with their dad.
In short, it’s time for my time at Servant Church to come to an end.
My last Sunday to lead music at Servant Church will be in early 2019, probably around the end of February. Between now and then we have work to do! We must wait together through Advent, and celebrate that God came near to us at Christmas. After the New Year we will probably have some special times set aside to drink, reminisce, and sing together. I will cry and cry, but if I’m I’m being honest, I will be very relieved in the end.
As for what comes next for you, my sisters and brothers of Servant Church: I don’t know. I’m not worried. I trust Kelly. I am so thankful that God gave her to us last year. I trust that, under her leadership, you will hear the Shepherd's voice no matter who sings into the microphone.
As for what comes next for the Kentopps: we don’t know. We probably won’t be around Servant Church on Sundays anymore. However, we certainly hope that we will continue to see you in the backyards, playgrounds, music venues, bars, and eateries that make up this fine city of ours.
Finally, it’s important to me that you know that I love the work that I do at Servant Church. I truly believe that making theologically important, liturgical music is my life’s calling. I am not done. You can plan on hearing more recordings from The Gentle Wolves over the next couple of years. Maybe someday I’ll be doing it regularly on Sunday mornings again, but there are no plans for that in the foreseeable future.
Friends of Servant Church, I love you. I am thankful for our remaining time together and will cherish each song we lift.
Alex Dupree had long been a fixture of the Austin music world before he relocated to California a few years ago. He was incredibly influential on the early music of Mosaic, one of the churches I helped lead from 2008-2014. Seth Woods hatched the idea to do a tribute to Alex's songs and his broad body of work.
The Gentle Wolves of Servant Church, like Mosaic before it, has long valued his song The Revolution Choir, singing it regularly in worship. It's an incredibly powerful poem, of which Alex never released a proper recording. For the compilation, No Sense in Stopping Here: A Tribute to the Songs of Alex Dupree, The Gentle Wolves have contributed a live version of the song.
I was also able to help record, produce, and mix the Teen Idyls brutal version of Mind/Maker.
With the anticipatory season of Advent being imminent, I'm proud to announce Waiting, the second live album from the Gentle Wolves. It's a collection of seven songs recorded at Servant Church's worship back on July 30th, 2017. It is now available digitally on the Gentle Wolves' website, and through their bandcamp page.
Relying heavily on Tom Waits, the patron saint of reverent agnosticism, we were able to extract a meaningful thread that week which perfectly fits the pregnant pause that is Advent. I hope that this can be both meaningful and useful for you as we prepare for Christmas.
1) We Are Waiting Blessed Savior (an RK retune)
2) Way Down in the Hole (Tom Waits)/Wade in the Water (traditional)
3) Jesus Gunna Be Here (Tom Waits)
4) When Morning Dawns (an RK retune)
5) Song is So Old (Seth Woods)
6) My Shepherd Is (an RK retune)
Guitar/Vocals: Richard Kentop
Vocals: Katy Evans
Guitar: David McClendon
Drums: Andy Beaudoin
Piano: Redding Hunter
Bass: Mark Epstein
It will be difficult to say goodbye to Eric Vogt, who was the founding pastor of Servant Church. But, being a United Methodist community, Eric and Valerie have been moved to a church in San Antonio at the end of June.
Before they go we wanted to do something special... especially for Eric, who has (both figuratively and perhaps even literally) given everything he has to birth the community we now call Servant Church. So we'll be throwing him a rager to say goodbye.
In our first bar gig in almost two years, The Gentle Wolves be playing some originals, some covers, and we'll be toasting Mr. Vogt's for all that he's done for us. Our friends/brothers in Good Field will be closing out the night.
Click on the brutal flier (made by the one, the only Josh Gamma) the RSVP to the Facebook Event.
Last summer my good friend Seth Woods sent me this picture with a text saying:
"Dude. I'm doing some childcare for my friend's Mennonite congregation today, but they are having their retreat at a baptist camp. I am going through a hymnal. Most baptist hymns annoy me, mostly because they have no mystery or subtlety. But i came across this short, weird hymn called "into the woods my master went. It's awesome and creepy."
I quickly responded: "Weird. What does this song even mean? Let's each retune this thing and put it out in time for Holy Week... because it's talking about Gethsemane and Golgotha right?"
The retune project grew as we invited our talented friends Chris Simpson (Mineral, The Gloria Record, Mountain Time), Alex Dupree (Idyl), Jana Horn (Reservations, Knife in the Water), and Bruce Benedict (Cardiphonia, Hope College) to submit versions as well.
It is now available, just in time for Holy Week.
I'm so proud with how it turned out.
Click the album cover to listen, and you can download it for free from the bandcamp page.
The Gentle Wolves are proud to announce the release of their first live album. These recordings come from Servant Church's lament worship gathering on 1/29/17. The purpose of the liturgy was to confess and mourn the way we, the Church, have failed when it comes to dealing with our people's sexuality and gender.
You can download this album on the Gentle Wolves bandcamp site. You can get it for free by going to the Gentle Wolves' site, clicking on "Buy Now," and then entering $0. With a download of the album you also get chord charts for all of the enclosed music.
This powerful set includes some of The Gentle Wolves' most emotive music, including adaptations of songs by Mahalia Jackson, A Silver Mount Zion, Mineral, The Whiskey Priest and Chris Simpson. We try to ensure that the Gentle Wolves aren't a 'cover band' by thoroughly reworking the material to fit God's purposes in our context.
The setlist looks like this:
1) O God We Waited So Long (original)
2) Troubles of the World (Mahalia Jackson)
3) When the World is Sick (A Silver Mount Zion)
4) Holy Ghost With Light Divine (Seth Woods)
5) Please Don't Make Us Sing This Song (Lori Chaffer)
6) Been in this War for Too Long (Chris Simpson)
7) Blessed Lord in You is Refuge (original)
8) Modern Living (Chris Simpson)
9) The Last Word is Rejoice (Mineral)
If you ever wonder where some of the best indie-rock musicians in Austin are spending their Sunday mornings, the ones who aren't sleeping in are at Servant Church.
Guitar and Vocals: Richard Kentopp (Scenery)
Vocals: Diana Rudd
Guitar: Mitch Holt (Ex: The Rocketboys)
Guitar: Ben Lance (Booher, Broken Gold)
Bass: Paul Price (Good Field)
Drums: Andy Beaudoin (Nori, The Eastern Sea)
Piano: Kyle Robertson (Good Field)
Horns: Jonathan Hoyle
Album Art: Trina Bolfing
Recording, Mixing, and Mastering: Richard Kentopp