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Eric & Polly Rapp: News

Open-mic in Belle Plaine - June 26, 2018

Over the past couple years we've mostly been performing at nursing homes, schools, church gatherings, and the like. Last night we visited a local open mic, "<a href="">Smalltown Eclectic</a>," in a nearby town. Eclectic is definitely the right word! We heard an 11-year-old girl playing fiddle, an older guy playing "Moon River" and "It Was a Very Good Year" on keyboard, some punk, some metal, some movie/tv music, a young man with two good originals on acoustic guitar and harmonica, and a very talented host who accompanied herself beautifully on keyboard on a moving original and a refreshing cover of an old Creedence Clearwater Revival hit that outshone the original. We did a few of our tunes and were well received and look forward to visiting again.

Hymns - June 14, 2016

While we're mostly known for our blend of folk, country, and country-gospel, we've long had a soft spot in our hearts for hymns--after all, we met in a church choir, right? Now and then since moving to Minnesota we've enjoying singing them with another married couple in the area, and recently we got an opportunity to record one of them. I had heard of a congregation that was looking for a recording of a new hymn, "Gracious Savior, Grant Your Blessing," for an upcoming wedding. It is a new text by Rev. Stephen Starke on the subject of weddings, set to the old Welsh tune "Hyfrydol," composed by Rowland Prichard. No recordings could be found, so I suggested that perhaps our quartet could record it for them. The result is now posted on our Music page, under "Unreleased Songs." We hope you enjoy it.

we're on the radio in MN - October 23, 2013

This morning I happened to hear our song "Ten Ways to Stay in Love" on local public radio station KJGT. Great little station--they play Frank Sinatra next to Steve Miller next to Lady Gaga next to local artists. You just never know what you might hear!

Moving to Minnesota - April 30, 2013

This summer we will be moving to Green Isle, Minnesota, a small town (population around 550!) a bit west of Minneapolis, where we expect to stay put for at least a few years. We will probably be there by August--look for us at St. Paul's Lutheran Church!

10th anniversary for our first CD! - January 24, 2013

Do you realize this year is the tenth anniversary of the release of our first CD, I'll Remember You, Love, in My Prayers? So much has happened over those years. When we started planning the album, we didn't have a daughter. Now she's in third grade. We belonged to a different congregation and denomination. We lived in a different state. We had different career plans. A bunch of our loved ones were still living who have now left us. But through it all, we've had our music and our musical friends to keep us company. And we've had the One who made us, redeemed us, brought us together, and gave us every good. Definitely worth celebrating.

Farewell to Dennis Den Hartog - 1948-2013 - January 6, 2013

I was sorry to learn this morning of the passing on January 4 of Dennis Den Hartog, who has been running his own small dulcimer shop, Folk Notes, for some 15 years in Fort Wayne. He was a player, a builder, and a teacher as well as a seller, and a couple of years ago I enjoyed a long conversation with him ranging from dulcimers to faith. He lived just around the corner from us for a while, and his unassuming home was as much a treasure trove of instruments as he was a fount of dulcimer knowledge and technique. Since our return to Fort Wayne I had been meaning to find time to visit again...I waited too long. May he rest in peace.

Back in Fort Wayne! - August 13, 2012

We've completed our third move of the past three years and are looking forward to a slightly more relaxed schedule that might permit us to do more music this year. We'll keep you posted!

uh--happy new year?! - January 30, 2012

Time does fly--I can't believe January is almost over. Nonmusical activities have been keeping us quite busy these last several months. We've enjoyed some front-porch picking, though, sung at a couple of church services, and hosted a New Year's Eve gospel-sing. There's also been some talk of a possible concert, perhaps in the spring, but nothing is certain yet. We'll let you know when we know more!

Moving again! - May 4, 2011

As of August, we will be living in Steubenville, Ohio, for a year. Fans in western Pennsylvania (Pittsburgh area), eastern Ohio, and northern West Virginia may have an opportunity to hear us play during that year--we'll keep you posted!

One of the nice things about the move is that our travel path from there to Eric's folks' can run through Coshocton, Ohio, home of one of our very favorite music shops--Wildwood Music!

URL change - January 2, 2011

In case you hadn't noticed (we didn't notice it occurring ourselves), you can now reach our site without the "www" in the site name. I suppose it happened in connection with an annual domain name registration renewal, or maybe it's a new standard. The old "www" version still works, too.

Happy New Year! - January 1, 2011

Good grief, has it really been four months since we posted any news? We're sorry! We've just been a bit busy with other things. The new year looks to be pretty busy with nonmusical activities as well, but perhaps we'll be a little closer to some of you once summer begins...we'll keep you posted!

Music stores - August 31, 2010

Ok, so it took us a year after moving to Fort Wayne to visit Sweetwater Sound, the most highly touted music store in town.

When we finally got there, we felt like we were in a mall, not a music store. We almost missed the instrument shop entirely--from the big corridor where we entered, it looked like just a drum shop. Where are the guitars? we wondered. Walking past display windows full of trophies, we found a few digital pianos, indoor amusements, including game tables and two big putting greens, and the café. A small book-and-sheet-music shop was obvious, and the wall map showed where the big auditorium, huge warehouse, conference room, classrooms, and such were located.

Turns out that the drum display was the entrance to the instrument area. One small room for acoustic guitars, another small room for electric. Maybe a half-dozen instruments each by several different makers--many mounted so high they could not be lifted down without a ladder.

Apparently Sweetwater does most of its business by internet and phone, or you can have a salesperson get stuff from the warehouse for you to look at. That's all right, I guess...kind of a Home Depot for musicians--but it sure isn't the way I shop for instruments!

I'd rather drive two hours north to Elderly Instruments, where they have DOZENS of guitars (AND dobros, dulcimers, banjos, mandolins, violins, ukeleles, harps, etc.--none of which were in evidence at Sweetwater) right where you can reach them, and you can try one after another to your heart's content.

I guess there just aren't that many folkies around here--Sweetwater seems to cater to the mainstream rock-pop-jazz-blues crowd. I'm sure they do what they do very well--it's just not very pertinent to what WE do. I couldn't even buy single guitar strings to use on my dulcimers...had to go to Guitar Center for that!

Possible bogus Web sites - August 30, 2010

We received an email today suggesting that some company in China may register various versions of our domain name:

We suspect it's just a ploy to get us to fork over the money to register these ourselves, but if these do actually become Web sites, rest assured we have nothing to do with them. is our ONLY authorized site.

Greater Rochester Heritage Days fun - May 29, 2010

Yes, it was a long day, but a fun one! We left Fort Wayne just before 9:00, had lunch with my sister and folks in the Detroit area, left our daughter with them and headed up to Rochester to play for the Greater Rochester Heritage Days festival. What with some navigational challenges, chat time, set-up, and needing to be ready to clear out at 6:00, we played about three hours altogether. What a treat!

We got to see a bunch of old friends and meet new ones--some we'd only "met" online up to then. We might even get invited back next year! Thanks to everyone for coming out and supporting us--it was great to see you.

After the festival, we drove on north for a couple lakeside days with my folks, who'd taken Lauren with them. All in all, over six hours' driving and several more sitting around playing music--well worth the drive!

Dr. Veith Highlights "More Than Enough" - March 27, 2010

Today in his blog Cranach: The Blog of Veith Dr. Gene Edward Veith, Jr., mentioned our song "More than Enough" in his post Songs about Vocation. Dr. Veith is the author of 18 books about Christianity and culture, a college professor and provost, and a repeat guest on the radio show Issues, Etc. We are delighted and flattered that he liked our song and included it in his blog.

Interestingly, Eric has had a copy of Dr. Veith's book The Spirituality of the Cross, which includes a chapter on the subject, for a number of years and may have been reading it around the time he was writing the song.

CD Baby donating profits to Haiti relief - January 22, 2010

CD Baby has announced that starting on Monday, January 25th and continuing for two weeks, they will donate $1 of their cut from every CD sale through their website, and $1 from every download sale over $8.99 on their site, to the American Red Cross and to Mercy Corps, a Portland-based relief organization with a large presence in Haiti.

If you're not shopping for CDs right now, you might prefer to donate directly to one of our favorite relief organizations, Lutheran World Relief.

Ten years! - November 13, 2009

Since our lives and our music are so intertwined, it seems appropriate to note here that Eric and I are celebrating our tenth wedding anniversary today. Ten years, ten (and more!) ways to stay in love.... We are very blessed and very happy. The first ten brought us a Ph.D., two CDs, a wonderful daughter, and a major move, and I'm sure the Lord has lots more interesting things in store for us in the years to come!

First public appearance in Fort Wayne - August 5, 2009

Tonight we performed for the first time in Fort Wayne. Just up the road from our house is a coffee shop called the Firefly, and they've been hosting an open-mic on Wednesday nights. Summer attendance being lighter than what they get in the fall and winter, we got to play for half an hour instead of ten minutes. We had fun, we were well received, and as an added bonus, we didn't have to have a babysitter for our daughter! The Firefly's summer open-mic runs 5:30 to 7:30 PM, leaving plenty of time to get Lauren home for bed. Not to mention that the place is just three minutes from home. They're hosting one more open-mic next week before taking a summer break, so we just might show up that night as well. If you're in the area, be sure to stop in and say hi!

We've moved! - July 27, 2009

We're still in the Midwest, but we've moved to Fort Wayne, Indiana, for a few years. Our email address stays the same, but our new phone number is posted on our Contact page.

Sad news - June 15, 2009

We have just learned that one of the singers who sang on our song "Surprised by Joy" on our CD More Than Enough, Denise Marie Stein, lost her battle with chronic leukemia early this morning. Her sweet voice, beautiful harmonies, and generous spirit will be missed.

Fathers and sons - May 31, 2009

Last night we performed for a father-son banquet in Union City, Michigan. Accustomed as I am to living a couple hours away from my father, I was surprised to see so many fathers there with their grown sons. I doubt it surprised Eric, since he grew up in a small town himself, but I'm more a city girl (much as I dislike the crowding and traffic). They were a good audience, and we enjoyed visiting with them before dinner, sharing a good meal, playing, and talking afterward. Always nice to leave a gig feeling we've made new friends!

Benefit CD now available on CD Baby - May 1, 2009

As Long As I'm Here, the benefit CD for the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society, is now available at CD Baby. Nearly 90% of the disc's CD Baby sales will go directly to the Society--not only are all the songs donated, but CD Baby is also donating 50% of its profits! So enjoy a great collection of songs and support a good cause.

Exciting CD appearance - April 16, 2009

Today I received our artist copy of a new CD, As Long As I'm Here, compiled for the benefit of the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society. The official release date has not yet been set, and the date and details of the CD release party have not yet been finalized, but I just had to give you a heads-up. This CD was conceived by a friend of ours while she was battling acute leukemia (who is now in remission following her bone-marrow transplant), and we were happy to be asked to contribute our song "Surprised by Joy" to the nascent project. Little did we know how big the little home-grown idea would become! Three years later, the final CD boasts songs by Tom Chapin, Anne Hills, John McCutcheon, Josh White Jr., and--oh wonders!--Peter, Paul and Mary! There are also tracks by Pamela Campau, Annie and Rod Capps, Foxfire, Stewart Francke, David Mosher, Siusan O'Rourke and Zig Zeitler, Ann and Will Rowland, and Matt Watroba. As you would expect, we are thrilled and very humbled to be part of such a project. I feel like a little baby guppy swimming with a sailfish! We'll post details on the official release and release concert as soon as we have them.

Sorry, the Guestbook is gone again - March 24, 2009

When we discovered the new website format had broken all our links to individual songs, we had to revert to the old one. That meant the Guestbook had to go again too, since we get too much spam without the security feature. Oh well.

"Bluebird, You Missed Me" - March 23, 2009

Another new song from Eric has joined the ranks of the "Works in Progress" on our Music page. You'll notice all the lyrics are on one long page now--"Works in Progress" are way down toward the bottom. Let us know how you like the song--and the look!
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