Where Words Fail, Music Speaks

Music Speaks is honored to have the following contributing artists on our new music compilation CD, Where Words Fail, Music Speaks.  Each of these contributors donated their time and talented to make this dream project a reality.  We invite you to take a few moments to learn a little more about these exceptional artists, and dear friends.



Nathan Miller

John Knowles C.G.P.

Doyle Dykes

Kirby Easler

Haley and Jake Johnson

Phil Keaggy

Greg Rowles

Greg Neff

Steve McKoy

Dustin Ashenfelder

Keith Miller

We believe each of us are called to take what gifts we have received, labor diligently to show ourselves skilled, and then dedicate our gift, and our skill, to the service of the Lord through our service to others. With Music Speaks, Nathan endeavors to do just that. Nathan will be providing two musical offerings for the CD including a duet with John Knowles C.G.P. Nathan's contributions feature guitar and ukelele, and reflect his love for Bach as well as the creativity of newcomers on the scene, such as ukelele great, Jake Shimabukuro. 


Nathan wants to express his deepest gratitude to each contributing artist included in the project.  Thank you for sharing your gifts, and for sharing your time and heart with us on this project.  Your part will be something we'll always cherish.  


For a complete bio of Nathan, check out his Bio Page, and for a video of his recent recording session for the project, click here.  



What an honor to have the incredibly gifted legend of fingerstyle guitar, John Knowles, as part of this project.  John collaborated with Nathan on Bach's beautiful masterwork, Jesu, Joy of Man's Desiring.  


John Knowles has worked with the finest fingerstyle and classical guitarists including Chet Atkins, Jerry Reed, Lenny Breau and the Romero Family. His music has been recorded by Chet, Jerry, the Romero Family and James Galway. His Gorilla Song (co-written with his son Jay) is an international hit with recordings by Raffi and XUXA. Guitarists around the world subscribe to and learn from his FingerStyle Quarterly. John's work has won a Grammy and two Emmy nominations. In 1996, Chet Atkins awarded John the first Honorary CGP (Certified Guitar Player) degree and in 2004, John was inducted into the National Thumb Picker's Hall of Fame for the second time. John earned his PhD in physics from Texas Christian University in 1968.


Here's a special thanks to a wonderful friend and gifted talent, Mr. John Knowles!

For more info on John Knowles, visit his website at: http://www.johnknowles.com/



Say the name, Doyle Dykes, and guitarists anywhere in the world automatically express awe and respect for this gifted genius of the instrument.  The Chief, Chet Atkins, called Doyle "amazing," and said of Doyle that, "(he) is one of the finest fingerpicking guitarists around."  Doyle has played in English castles, the Grand Ole Opry, little country churches, and beside hospital beds across the great nation, and he is an ambassador for the Lord wherever he's featured.  


We could copy and paste bios and praises that go on for days, but instead we'll just tell you what a true friend and inspiration he is to us, and all who meet him.  We sincerely thank Doyle for the gift of his time and talent on this project, and mostly we thank him for just being a friend and brother.


Doyle has given us a perfect piece for the project called, Bob's Guitar Lesson. Originally written for friend and luthier, Bob Taylor, the song is about the progression of an artist. The growth is from simple beauty to elegance, and it is inspiring!


For more information on Doyle Dykes, visit his website at: http://www.doyledykes.com/



We are so proud to call Kirby Easler a dear friend.  We've been meeting, and sharing music, coffee and friendship at the SIngle Smile Cafe in Summerville, SC, once...sometimes twice, a week for nearly three years now.  We've seen Kirby grow from a gifted prodigy into an artist in her own right, before our very eyes. She's garnered attention from some of the genre's finest and most respected artists, and has been a featured artist at the Chet Atkins Appreciation Society event in Nashville. Recently, Kirby was afforded the wonderful privilege of sharing the stage with fingerstyle great, Tommy Emmanuel, and singer songwriter Antsy McClain, at a two night engagement at the Newberry Opry House. 


Kirby will be providing a solo instrumental of the Billy Joel classic, She's Always a Woman for the CD, and will be participating in some upcoming events with Nathan and Keith.  You can also see her as the special music guest during our Lowcountry Live interview   Check out the News & Events page for details.


For more information on Kirby, visit her Reverbnation Page.



We are so grateful for Haley and Jake Johnson's contribution to this project. They are not only dear friends, but also phenomenal artists.  Haley has performed on the Grand Ole Opry, at the Country Music Hall of Fame and in small and large towns across the US and various parts of the world.  Jake is a bass virtuoso, and sought after studio musician. Both recently did studio work for Christian artist, Michael W. Smith's, Number 1 selling release Hymns, as well as Doyle Dykes' Christmas album Christmas With Doyle Dykes, and one of Haley's original songs was just recorded and included on Darin and Brooke Aldridge's latest CD, Flying.


Haley and Jake recorded a very special song to the project entitled Our Prayers written by Keith Miller. The song was inspired and written 17 years ago for Keith and Bobbi Miller's non-verbal son, Marcus, who is on the profoundly challenged end of the autism spectrum.  It is a song of thanks for God's grace doing what we cannot do through the power of His own Holy Spirit.


Here's a special thank you to Haley and Jake for your gift and your friendship. 





What a blessing it is to have long time inspiration, and new friend, the legendary Phil Keaggy, on board for Music Speaks!  With a brilliant music career spanning over four decades, and over 50 albums to his credit, Phil is one of the most recognizable names amongst dedicated guitar players the world over.  In a word, Phil Keaggy is a genius, but more than that, it is evident in his life and music that Phil understands from Whom the gift is given, and he knows just how to use it.  As with Music Speaks, Phil uses his gift to inspire and encourage, and he does it all to the glory of God.


For the compilation, Phil offers a beautiful solo piece entitled, The Road Ahead, and collaborates with Keith Miller on Keith's original composition, Desert Rain.  The song was written in 2001, and was directly inspired by Phil's work on his instrumental classics Beyond Nature and Acoustic Sketches albums. The collaboration is a dream come true  for Keith, and an "in God's timing" full circle experience as a musical creation meets up with its inspiration for the first time.


We just want to say Thank you, Phil, for your art and your heart.  For more on Phil Keaggy, visit: http://www.philkeaggy.com/





Greg Rowles is an amazing friend, entertainer, musician and man of God...what a combination!  Greg, is well known in these parts for his moonlighting gig on Myrtle Beach's WFXB TV’s Not the News,’ his stint on Star Search, and most notably as the Alabama Theater's One’s show emcee and featured male vocalist.  That said, we are proud to know him primarily as a friend and brother in the Lord.


We are so thrilled that Greg has submitted his recording of  Tommy Walker's beautiful song, He Knows My Name.  It is a wonderful exposition on how we all have a Father, and just how special each of us are to Him.  With autism, those who are non-verbal, or do not demonstrate a special gift or proficiency, can easily become overlooked at best, or seen as a burden at worse.  Despite this very human tendency, we all have immeasurable value in the eyes of our Creator.  Greg provides his beautiful interpretation of this song as a special reminder of just who we are in His eyes, and we know it will be a very special moment on the CD.  


For more on Greg and his One Show at the Alabama Theater, visit: http://www.alabama-theatre.com/06/onetheshow.html





Greg Neff is one heck of a troubador, and one treasure of a friend.  Greg recently relocated to Ithica, NY, and we so miss spending time with Greg each week either sharing music with him at the Single Smile Cafe, or just enjoying his endless "best of" set at Palmetto Flatts Restaurant in Summerville, SC.   It was always fun to watch the eyes of dinner guests light up when he inevitably gets to one of their favorites. Summerville's loss is certainly Ithica's gain, as Greg can already be found delighting new audiences in the Northern town.


Greg has contributed an original tune entitled Grandpa's Lullabye featuring his soothing vocals and fine picking.


Thank you Greg for your contribution and your abiding friendship.  


Greg can often be found on the net providing demos for Rainsong Guitars.  Check out some of his recordings, and even a video of him playing his original song, and contribution to our CD!    http://www.reverbnation.com/gregneff



One listen to this South Carolina native, come Georgia Fingerstyle Guitar champion picker, and  you will want to exclaim, in your best Jerry Reed southern drawl, "Son!"  


Steve McKoy is a great friend, Christian brother, and rare talent.  His original tune, Guitar Boy, was recorded by guitar great, Thom Bresh, and he just won the Georgia State Fair Championship for fingerstyle guitar.  


Steve has contributed a very special songwriter's version of his hit song mentioned above, Guitar Boy, and it strikes the perfect chord for a project featuring more than a few Guitar Boys...and girl! haha   We just want to say "thank you" to Steve for his very special contribution!


His picking aside, we're most impressed by his heart, and we sincerely appreciate his contribution and friendship.







Better known to the Music Speaks Project as Dad, Keith Miller is the project's mentor, manager, promoter/webmaster, proud father, and all around encourager.  He is also a very passionate musician, and grateful contributor to the compilation CD.  Phil Keaggy will be joining Keith, in a dream come true, on his original composition, Desert Rain.


And with that, I'll dispense with the third person...it's freaking me out.  Let me just say as a Father of two sons with autism, I'm extremely proud of them both, (Kristin, you too!).   God has used each of my children and my dear wife, Bobbi, to teach me so much about His own beautiful nature, and the depth of His love for each of us.  It is an honor to serve them, and serve others through them.


I cannot adequately express my gratitude for each one of you who have contributed, or are preparing your contributions.  I feel so blessed as I write these bios, and I'm so proud of Nathan for wanting to use his gift to help others.  For those who will buy this CD, may God bless you for it, and know that your support is so deeply appreciated.





Dustin Ashenfelder is a wonderful friend, and a tremendous talent.  Simply put, Dustin is the consummate musician, composer and arranger. Music has been his lifelong focus. In addition to learning his craft from great musicians around him, he also honed his skills earning a degree in guitar performance from The Berklee College of Music.  Dustin will be providing a lovely and pensive original composition entitled, Vista to Shore.


So much can be said about Dustin's gifted guitar work and haunting vocals, but we'd like to focus on his heart.  Without any fanfare or promotion, Dustin quietly offered one of his own guitars as a raffle item for Music Speaks, and he has provided the opportunity for our cause to be featured twice at the Winyah Auditorium in Georgetown. 


Here's a special thanks to Dustin for his contributions, quiet and admirable humility, and for his true friendship.  He is a blessing. 


For more on Dustin, visit: http://www.reverbnation.com/dustinashenfelder