A Larry Norman Cover & A Story

It’s been almost a year now that I’ve been sending out the Weekly Arends Digest to folks on my mailing list every Sunday. The impetus was originally the fact that I was working on a new album and needed to test out the songs. Given that touring wasn’t an option (Thanks, COVID), the Digest community became an invaluable way to get feedback.

So, for a few months, I sent out a video worktape of a song-in-progress each week. Eventually, I finished up the album (RECOGNITION) and ran out of new songs. So, the weekly song video morphed into a chance to try various things—new lyric videos, live performances of my own songs, sharing archival footage, and recording acoustic covers.

I’ve been especially enjoying the chance to try out new cover arrangements—from Johnny Cash to Rich Mullins to U2 to The Supremes. This week’s Digest song is a cover of Larry Norman’s THE OUTLAW.

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As a kid who grew up with nothing but Southern Quartet music in the house, discovering the music of Larry Norman came as a revelation. I must have heard THE OUTLAW when I was about 12. (It was already considered a classic by then, but it was new to me.)

I probably haven’t listened to that song in at least 30 years, but when I rediscovered it this week, I realized what an influence it’s had on me all this time. (I can totally hear it, for example, in the DNA of my own song, “Never Say Goodbye.”)

Anyway, I thought I’d give THE OUTLAW a go. The weather was so nice that I felt compelled to sing it on the deck, with apologies for a whole lot of neighbourhood noise. (So many birds!) At the end of the video I share the story of the time Larry came to stay at my parents’ house and seriously bonded with my mom – I hope you enjoy it!

My Mom and Larry Norman

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  1. Beautiful. And how did I miss being on your digest mailing list?? Rather remiss of me. All taken care of now, though. 🙂

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