Dustin Kensrue

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Dustin Kensrue
Dustin Kensrue performing in New York in 2016
Dustin Kensrue performing in New York in 2016
Background information
Born (1980-11-18) November 18, 1980 (age 41)
OriginOrange County, California, U.S.
  • Musician
  • singer
  • songwriter
  • Vocals
  • guitar
  • harmonica
Years active1998–present

Dustin Michael Kensrue (pronounced KENZ-roo) (born November 18, 1980) is a musician, songwriter and former worship leader. He is the lead vocalist and rhythm guitarist in the rock band Thrice, as well as a solo artist.


2007: Please Come Home[edit]

On October 10, 2006, it was announced that Kensrue had signed with Equal Vision Records, and that the label would release Kensrue's debut solo album.[1] On January 23, 2007, Kensrue released a solo album titled Please Come Home on Equal Vision Records. He wrapped up the recording and mixing of the album at the home of fellow Thrice member Teppei Teranishi. The album opened at 142 on the Billboard 200 with 5,800 copies sold the first week.[2] He supported the album with a solo tour including stops on the Late Show with David Letterman, The Tonight Show with Jay Leno and The Fuse Network. Please Come Home met with mostly favorable reviews from critics, who have compared Kensrue musically to singer/songwriter Ryan Adams and Johnny Cash.[3][4][5]

Kensrue intended to donate 5% of the proceeds from Please Come Home to a non-profit organization called To Write Love on Her Arms. In the press release, Kensrue explained the choice:

"To Write Love on Her Arms is a nonprofit movement dedicated to presenting hope and finding help for those struggling with clinical depression, addiction, self-injury and suicide. To Write Love on Her Arms began in March 2006 as a written story and an attempt to raise money for one girl's treatment. T-shirts were printed and a MySpace page was created to serve as home base for the story. Excitement spread quickly throughout MySpace and the independent music community. For 2007, TWLOHA is aiming to raise $100k for treatment and recovery. This comes in addition to online counseling and continued efforts to creatively present hope and raise awareness.

TWLOHA is a fitting choice for Please Come Home. The album lyrically exudes redemption, personal worth, love, acceptance, and hope. “I try to be an artist who aspires to find hope even in dark places: If I’m down, I don’t want to bring people down to that place with me. I’m looking for a way out," says Kensrue.[citation needed]

2008: This Good Night Is Still Everywhere[edit]

On October 14, 2008, Kensrue said this on the official Thrice website - "I just finished my Christmas record. I haven’t really mentioned it because (a). I’ve been spending all my time working on it, and (b). I wasn’t totally sure I would finish it in time to come out this year. But, last night I finished it up and Teppei is finishing the mixes tonight. It’s going to be an online release only and will hopefully be out in mid-November sometime. The title is “This Good Night Is Still Everywhere” and it contains 8 covers and 2 Christmas originals. I love Christmas music so it was a lot of fun to do this and I’m glad I get to share it with you guys."[6] "Christmas (Baby Please Come Home)" was posted on Kensrue's website on November 15. This Good Night Is Still Everywhere was released digitally through Vagrant Records on November 18.[7]

Kensrue also added vocals in the song "The Contender" on the album "Pierce the Empire With a Sound" by experimental act The Out Circuit released on February 12, 2008.

2013: The Water & the Blood[edit]

On October 1, 2013, Kensrue released his third studio album The Water & the Blood, [8] which includes the song "It's Not Enough" and "Grace Alone".[9] The project is a collection of mostly original corporate worship songs written while he was the Worship Pastor of Mars Hill Church Bellevue and intended to be sung at church.[10] According to Kensrue, "all the lyrics of the record are very, very rooted in Scripture", and added: "There is power in the Word of God. As much as you stick close to that, there is power in the lyrics as well."[11] The album debuted at No. 4 on the Billboard Christian chart and No. 52 on Billboard 200, selling 7,000 copies in its first week.[12]

2015: Carry the Fire[edit]

On April 21, 2015, Kensrue released his fourth solo project, Carry the Fire,[13] which includes the song "Back to Back".[14] The album debuted at No. 110 on Billboard 200, and No. 18 on the Top Rock Albums chart.

2016: Thoughts That Float on a Different Blood[edit]

His fifth album, a live album of cover songs, Thoughts That Float on a Different Blood, was released on March 18, 2016, with Vagrant Records, and this album charted on three Billboard magazine charts. He also released an EP, More Thoughts That Float on a Different Blood, on November 25, 2016, on 7-inch vinyl for Record Store Day.[15]

Worship leader[edit]

In 2011, Kensrue became a deacon of the Mars Hill Church plant in Orange County, and in 2012 Mars Hill announced that Kensrue would become the worship leader for the campus located in Bellevue, Washington, and be involved in coordinating worship music across their churches.[16]

In October 2014, Kensrue resigned amid controversy surrounding pastor Mark Driscoll,[17] returning to California with his wife and three daughters.[18]

The Modern Post[edit]

In 2012, Kensrue formed the band The Modern Post at the Mars Hill Church in Orange County, California.[19] The band members include brothers Phil and Lee Neujahr on bass and drums, and Jonny Sandu on keyboard. They released the EP Grace Alone in 2012.[20] The band also re-recorded the songs from Kensrue's solo project The Water & the Blood in a live setting, and released as The Water & the Blood (Acoustic Sessions).[21]

In July 2014, Kensrue announced that he was working on a follow-up to This Good Night with a five-track Christmas EP including a re-working of "This Is War". The EP, titled Lowborn King was released from The Modern Post on November 24, 2014.[22]

Personal life[edit]

Kensrue and Shadlie Ruby Smith[23] married in 2002 and went on to have three daughters together.[24]

His younger brother, Chase Kensrue, played guitar and piano for the band Eye Alaska.[25] He has a tattoo of Proverbs 9:10a ("The fear of the LORD is the beginning of wisdom") written in Hebrew on his left forearm.[26]



Title Album details Chart positions Sales
US Christ
US Indie
US Rock
Please Come Home[28] 144
The Water & the Blood[29]
  • Released: October 1, 2013
  • Label: BEC Recordings/Mars Hill
  • Format: CD, DL, LP
52 4 8 17
Carry the Fire[31]
  • Released: April 21, 2015
  • Label: Vagrant
  • Format: CD, DL, LP
110 10 18
Thoughts That Float on a Different Blood[32]
  • Released: March 18, 2016
  • Label: Vagrant
  • Format: DL
25 30
"—" denotes a recording that did not chart or was not released in that territory.

Christmas albums[edit]

Title Album details Chart positions
US Heat
This Good Night Is Still Everywhere[33] 31

Extended plays[edit]

  • 2012: Grace Alone EP (The Modern Post)
  • 2014: Lowborn King EP[22] (The Modern Post)
  • 2016: More Thoughts That Float On A Different Blood[15] (Dustin Kensrue)


  1. ^ "Thrice frontman Dustin Kensrue signs to Equal Vision". Alternative Press. October 10, 2006. Retrieved August 6, 2016.
  2. ^ Harris, Chris (January 31, 2007). "Pretty Ricky Keep The Shins From #1". Mtv.com. Retrieved July 9, 2013.
  3. ^ Matthew Hastie. "Dustin Kensrue - Please Come Home Review". Antimusic.
  4. ^ Bryne Yancey (January 30, 2007). "Dustin Kensrue: Please Come Home (2007)". Punknews.org.
  5. ^ "Interview: Dustin Kensrue". Relevant.
  6. ^ "Dustin Kensrue (of Thrice) - "This Good Night Is Still Everywhere" (Digital Release)". November 18, 2008.
  7. ^ "Dustin Kensrue posts "Christmas (Baby Please Come Home)"". Alternative Press. Alternative Press Magazine, Inc. November 15, 2008. Retrieved July 27, 2017.
  8. ^ Karan, Tim (September 30, 2013). "Dustin Kensrue - The Water & The Blood". Alternative Press. Retrieved December 6, 2021.
  9. ^ Cassie Whitt (August 15, 2013). "Song Premiere: Dustin Kensrue, "It's Not Enough" - Alternative Press". Altpress.com. Retrieved August 15, 2013.
  10. ^ Justin Sarachik (September 18, 2013). "Dustin Kensrue's Mars Hill Album: 'The Water & Blood' Makes Worship Art (INTERVIEW)". Christian Post.
  11. ^ Jonathan Nelson. "The Sound of Satisfaction". HM Magazine.
  12. ^ Nici Arsenault (October 10, 2013). "Dustin Kensrue's The Water And The Blood Debuts Strong, Selling 7K Copies". Substream Magazine.
  13. ^ Tyler Sharp (April 20, 2015). "Stream Thrice frontman Dustin Kensrue's new solo album, 'Carry The Fire'". Alternative Press.
  14. ^ Chris Payne (February 10, 2015). "Exclusive: Hear Thrice's Dustin Kensrue Premiere Solo Song 'Back to Back'". Billboard.
  15. ^ a b RSDBF '16 Special Release: Dustin Kensrue - More Thoughts That Float on A Different Blood, retrieved May 12, 2019
  16. ^ The Kensrues Are Moving To Bellevue, Mars Hill Church, June 21, 2012, archived from the original on January 22, 2013, retrieved January 25, 2013
  17. ^ Lodge, Carey (September 5, 2014). "Seismic shift in Mars Hill leadership as three more pastors step down". Christian Today. Retrieved September 5, 2014.
  18. ^ Tim Karan (April 14, 2015). "Dustin Kensrue of Thrice on His New Solo Album, 'Carry the Fire'". Diffuser.
  19. ^ Jacob Tender (August 15, 2012). "Dustin Kensrue Explains His New Band, The Modern Post". Archived from the original on December 8, 2015. Retrieved December 8, 2015.
  20. ^ "The Modern Post - Grace Alone". BEC Recordings.
  21. ^ "The Morning Post - The Water & the Blood (Acoustic Sessions)". BEC Recordings.
  22. ^ a b "BEC Releases Christmas EP "Lowborn King from the Modern Post This Week". Jesus Freak Hideout.com. November 25, 2014.
  23. ^ "Doug-Kensrue - User Trees - Genealogy.com". www.genealogy.com. Retrieved July 26, 2021.
  24. ^ "Dustin Kensrue talks covers and the return of Thrice". Orange County Register. December 15, 2015. Retrieved July 26, 2021.
  25. ^ Kelli Skye Fadroski (May 7, 2009). "Orange Pop: Eye Alaska tackles its next frontier". The Orange County Register.
  26. ^ "Confessions of an Idol Worshipper". Retrieved October 18, 2014.
  27. ^ a b c d e "Billboard.biz". Search under Charts for Dustin Kensrue
  28. ^ "Dustin Kensrue – Please Come Home". Discogs.
  29. ^ James Christopher Monger. "Dustin Kensrue: The Water & the Blood". AllMusic.
  30. ^ "Upcoming Releases". Hits Daily Double. HITS Digital Ventures. Archived from the original on April 3, 2015.
  31. ^ Matt Collar. "Dustin Kensrue: Carry the Fire". AllMusic.
  32. ^ "Thoughts That Float on a Different Blood - Dustin Kensrue | Songs, Reviews, Credits | AllMusic". AllMusic. Retrieved October 4, 2017.
  33. ^ "Dustin Kensrue: This Good Night Is Still Everywhere". AllMusic.
  34. ^ "Dustin Kensrue – Christmas Album "This Good Night Is Still Everywhere"". Drivebymedia.

External links[edit]