No single musician had a bigger influence on my wanting to be an artist than Mark Heard. He worked in the ghetto of contemporary christian music, a place I think he grew to hate. He wrote from the gut and the heart, he didn't flinch from telling the truth, and he always put the song first. When he played he stomped like hell and spat and sweated, he delivered with everything. I don't always relate to the lyrics anymore, they were written for a certain context, but he set the template for me. He died 20 years ago today, I never knew him personally, but I still miss him.