Sunday, December 2, 2012

One year...

Wow! I can hardly believe it's been a year since I last made an entry on this blog site! For those of you, who are unaware... On Sept 23, 2011, I had a stroke. I lost the entire left side. In the course of the following year, I have road the roller coaster of recovery to the point where I am today. I've performed this last summer with the help of Jack Elliott, and started to regain that which was lost. with winter still trying to decide what it wants to do, I set my sights, and make some goals for these next several months. As I continue to regain mobility, I will refine that so I can again do so with out the cane. I will continue to re-engage the use of my left arm, and strengthen it. I will also continue to re-establish connections to my hand, and continue to strengthen and re-enforce fine motor skills. Most importantly, I will begin a healthy regimen of vocal exercises, to bring back the strength and control of my singing voice. All in all it will be a lot of work, but I have my goals to again perform with my guitar, and they will not happen without my continued efforts.

Sunday, September 11, 2011


Our 80 degree days are numbered. The gardens are beginning the fall burn and the wildflowers are long since dried to seed heads. Cool, longer nights are perfect for sleeping, and the clear, blue skies, accent the slowly changing leaves. Fall is at hand. Pumpkins, sweaters, & mums. A season devoted to our acclimation to cold weather to come, but doing so with a flair! Most of us hate to see our summer draw to an end, but also look forward to those special autumn days where long walks in the rustling leaves spark memories of the past. Hot cider & Pumpkin pie, oh yes and FOOTBALL!
There could be no winter without fall, nor summer without spring! Living in Northern Michigan is a blessing because we get the best of ALL the seasons! One cannot appreciate the warmth of Summer without the cold of Winter, so let’s greet Autumn with great anticipation, and enjoy this wonderful Sleeptember!

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

2011 Indie Stage!

2011’s Big Ticket Festival was unbelievable! Under my prevue, the Indie Stage ran very well over all and we had a marvelous selection of bands come through our stage! Thirty five bands performed over a three day period and really put the judges through their paces! The judging was tight but we eventually got down to the following Indie Winners: for the genre; Gospel/Hip Hop/Rap/Urban; Steve Robertson Band, for Worship: Nate Marialke, and for Rock/Alternative: Compelled, who also won the overall competition and a chance to compete in Nashville. I had the opportunity to take the stage as well and was able to persuade the Singers from Steve Robertson Band to back me up. If any of you can ever make the Big Ticket, don’t miss out on the talent at the Indie Stage!

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

"dirty white blues"

The new CD "dirty white blues" is in production and should be completed by the second week in May. I look forward to sharing this new collection of original Blues songs which include the title cut, "dirty white blues", "I Broke My Heart", & "Mighty River". The songs are representative of a solo acoustic performance and were recorded and mixed at the Marsh & mastered at the Walloon House of Music. I want to express my thanks to JD Thomason for his work on the grafics as well as Tim Miller for all of his assistance. Special thanks to Mark Marino for supplying the equipment and encouragement to do this venture!
The Official CD Release will be at the Jerry Douglas Studio & Gallery on Main St. Bay Harbor MI, on May 28 at his Spring Open House. Live music will begin at 6:00 pm.

Sunday, April 17, 2011

Process of a Song...

It never ceases to amaze me the various processes a song takes. Sometimes it’s generated from a thought, a comment, or a feeling. Sometimes the melody or music comes first. Sometimes you get an idea and work and work and never seem to get a fix on it, so it stays in a drawer, or in a file, or on a scrap of paper, and sometime down the road, a week a month, a year or more later, just maybe something will click, and there it is. Something more than an essence. Something with meat and flavor and heartiness. Something you can ‘sink your teeth” into.
This winter, while recording new and older songs, some to publish, some to archive, some just for fun, this process again, surprised me. One of the older pieces, that never really felt quite right, haunted me. I’ve always liked the lyrics, and the feel, and that aspect has been polished and shaved until it seemed pretty refined, but the sound never really felt right. I tried a country feel, a two-step beat, a folk style, and nothing ever clicked. During a recording session, a dropped to a Latin feel in a relative minor, and something started to change. It still wasn’t quite right, … but… there was something there, very promising. The next morning I awoke with a different thought on what to do with this song, and when I picked up the guitar, there it was. By doing the arrangement in a more Bossanova style, the whole thing finally clicked. Now, having performed this song a couple of times publicly, I’m getting feedback from others on how they really like the song. I’m happy to say it will now be more readily available at performances and will be published this fall in a Non-blues CD. Start listening for “Clear Blue eyes”.

Friday, February 11, 2011

Sometimes it's just not all about the money!

So busy, busy, busy…

The winter is supposed to be for fun on the snow, skiing, sledding, ice fishing, so why am I stuck inside so much? I keep asking myself this right along with all my friends. Well, I guess because I’ve made other choices. As the Director of Entertainment at the BAC, I find myself talking with musicians about upcoming or potential opportunities at the Boyne Arts Collective, generating posters and other interest on line, & setting up and hosting concerts. As an entertainer, myself, I’m constantly researching and contacting new venues to book myself, work on new material, songs and music, and practice for the few current music performances on the books. As a Co-ordinater for the Big Ticket’s Indie Stage, I’m reviewing other bands press kits, discussing needed items with other co-ordinaters and promoters, and securing bands for the 3-day event in June, along with all the paperwork that, that entails. Add on top of that the fact I live in a snow belt area, and every time they show that big blue spot on the weather map, it’s over my house, the result is lots and lots of snow to move around so I can get in and out to do all of these things!
The monthly Farmhouse Music Org meetings fostered a benefit concert in Gaylord the first of the month and began what we hope to be many more opportunities in the area for musicians and listeners alike. I had the opportunity to be one of these performers, and although it was not the most lucrative event, it was fun and we had a great time, both on stage and off.
In the meantime, I immerse myself in all of these other projects and find that I’m constantly pushing the creative time aside again and again. No new songs written since the first of the year. No recording of the songs written over the last couple of years, and the beginning of a story, resting in the hard drive of my computer, awaiting me to re-open and resume.
Yes, I have some regrets that I haven’t skied, or sledded or fished, and yes, I expected to get some recording done and a few more songs written, but you know, I find I really enjoy doing all these other things that help promote music for everyone else. I put a great deal of time and effort into these projects, and I get back so much more than an income. Sometimes it’s just not all about the money!

Monday, August 2, 2010

The new Worship CD "He Knows..." IS HERE!!!!
The CD is a blending of Gospel, Gospel Blues and Contemporary Christian music, Recorded Mixed and Mastered @ Walloon Lake Music House (WLCC). This was a totally "hands-on" project from start to finish. Having spent time in studio on the "My Own Man" CD in 2008, and assisting with the new Church CD, "Daylight", I was familiar with many aspects of recording, but this project took me all the way through from beginning to end. It was a challenge to do all of the instuments, vocals, recording, mixing, and mastering, myself, with only tips and suggestions from Tim Miller. The artwork was done by Tim Miller, using my photos and copy. Tim assisted me throuhout the project with training, insight and tips, and was invaluable in seeing this through to the end!
Should you desire a copy, please contact me right away, as a limited number of CD's have been produced.

Thursday, March 18, 2010

Famous Dave's, Minneapolis

Famous Dave's is not only a great place to get great B B Q, but it's also the place in Minneapolis to hear genuine Chicago Style Blues. While of to the far side of the pond and beyond, my son took me to this wonderful club. We all had a great time listening to the band, chowing down on B B Q, and enjoying Larry's Two-Hearted Ale. Later in the evening I was asked to join them on stage, where we played "Mighty River" & "Mississippi Blues". It was great! Wish you couda been there!