I want to let you know about a charity event that I will be participating in this December. It’s called the Cure GM1 Charity Concert. The folks that have organized this event, and some of those participating in it, have young children that have been diagnosed with a rare, and fatal, disease called GM1. Those living with GM1 must watch as their children lose the ability to walk, stand, speak, even swallow. Their vibrant lives are cut drastically short. But there is good news. A cure may be on the horizon thanks to promising research from Auburn and UMass Medical Schools. All that’s lacking to gain FDA approval is the required testing. I know that you can’t all drive down to Tucson, AZ and support this fundraising effort, but you can donate online. Please consider the Cure GM1 Foundation as you plan your holiday giving. Every little bit helps move them closer to possibly having a cure by 2017. Thank you and God bless.
Wow! We’re barely into the new year and I’m already overwhelmed by all the great happenings coming up just in the first quarter! We’ll be laying down the final tracks for the new album in February and shooting for a street date in late March. Also, I just got word that I’ve been accepted into the IBMA Leadership Bluegrass Class of 2016…what an honor!
AND, to top off this first quarter of the new year, I’ll be having a BIG birthday celebration on January 10th. No, I’m not telling you just how big, but believe me when I say it’s a big one! So in honor of all the great stuff going on, I hope you’ll give your local bluegrass DJ a call and ask them to play a song by yours truly to help me celebrate! It’s certainly the best gift for a musician!!
As I walk around in shirt sleeves and sandals, I’m reminded how blessed I am to be here in sunny Arizona and to be doing what I love the most…making music. The new album is in it’s final stages and I just get more excited each time we complete another song. Life is indeed good and I have so much to be thankful for, including all of you! I hope and pray that you and your loved ones have a safe, wonder-filled and peaceful holiday season.
What could be better than being home for the holidays? As Thanksgiving approaches, I’m just so grateful to be surrounded by loved ones – including family and friends. In fact, I have two holiday dinners to enjoy this year which makes me feel just a bit on the guilty side. I know quite a few folks who have decided to give up their own dinner plans in order to serve meals at soup kitchens and churches. That’s the other part of this celebration – sharing our blessings with others. Whatever your plans are for this Thanksgiving holiday, I hope they are blessed with peace and joy.
Mother’s Day invites us to honor the strength and courage of mothers past and present. Not so long ago, mothers held their little ones close and offered hope for the future as the family farm fell to the auctioneer’s hammer. Today, homeless mothers and their children litter our streets in a scenario that hasn’t changed much in a hundred years. Mothers are still the glue that holds families together.
This Mother’s Day I hope you’ll request your favorite DJ to play a song I wrote called “Troubled Times,” the title track from my CD of the same name. This song embodies the faith and love of mothers everywhere when faced with hard times. The lyrics are just as true today as more and more families become homeless due to foreclosures.
I am continuing to prep material for my newest album, Rhyme & Season, which I hope will raise awareness about those who are homeless…but I need your help. If you haven’t already contributed to the Kickstarter Campaign, please listen to “Troubled Times” available for a short time on my website. This heartfelt song represents just one of the stories of the homeless. I hope you’ll help me tell a few more.
Thank you for a wonderful year of support for bluegrass music. I wish all of you a happy and safe holiday season. May 2015 be an extraordinary year in your life. Keep on singing and jamming!
What does your Thanksgiving table look like right before everyone sits down to feast? Is it groaning under a perfectly browned turkey or ham with those little pineapple rings and maraschino cherries? Is it stacked high with sweet taters, green bean casserole, cranberry relish/sauce (I’m not getting into that debate!), hot rolls dripping with butter, and pumpkin pie with whipped cream waiting in the wings? And when you gather together, will you share what you are most thankful for this year?
I recently had someone ask me to sum up Thanksgiving in one word…and I said, “Grateful.” Then, of course, I had to clarify that I didn’t mean the Grateful Dead, that would be Halloween! But, in all truthfulness, I am grateful for so many blessings that have come into my life. I am grateful that I survived vocal chord paralysis many years ago and can still do what I love best…sing! I’m grateful for all the new friends that I’ve made since moving to Arizona. I’m grateful for the opportunity to perform with so many talented musicians. And, of course, I’m grateful for my family and loved ones!
But it’s even more than that…I’m grateful for the opportunity to be here on this earth and the opportunity to make a difference if only in one person’s life. A smile, a kind word, a helping hand…that’s the giving part that often gets overlooked in this holiday season. So when you’re looking at a mountain of leftovers after everyone has pushed back from the table, box ‘em up and share them with the homeless in your area. It can be a great teachable moment for kids as well as a blessing for everyone involved.
I hope your Thanksgiving is full of thanks and opportunities for giving as well.
A lot has been said about the luck of the Irish, especially around St. Patrick’s Day, and I’m not sure that all that luck has been particularly good luck! A few years ago I wrote a song about gambling on love and coming up with snake eyes. Thought you might enjoy listening to this bluegrass twist on the classic unlucky in love story, unlike most, a bluegrasser just never gives up! Be sure to call your local DJ and request “Snake Eyes” for St. Patrick’s Day! It’s available on my 2011 release “One Foot in the Honky Tonk.”
Unlike a box of chocolates (“Are you trying to make me fat???”) and for less money than a bouquet of flowers (that die in a few days anyway), you can’t go wrong with the gift of bluegrass music on Valentine’s Day!
I know that not everyone is a romantic. Some guys get pretty nervous when Valentine’s Day rolls around and they haven’t got a clue what to do to impress their sweetie (and last year’s offer of a new bass boat might not have been as well received as some had hoped). Well, bluegrass music can save the day. How about a song that combines two of your favorite things…fishing and the love of your life? Set the mood with the bouncy bluegrass tune “I Caught a Keeper (when I caught you!)” What sweetheart could resist a sentiment like that???
Or perhaps you’re a straightforward kinda guy whose tongue gets all tangled up by sweet nuthins’. You want a song that will just come right out and say what you mean. Well then, I suggest “Just Loving You” as the perfect way to express yourself without actually having to use words.
Both of these songs are available on albums of mine and I sure would appreciate it if you contact your local DJ on Valentine’s Day and request one of these tunes to be dedicated to that special someone in your life. Or, if you own the albums (Wild Card and The Blackest Crow), then turn the lights down low, pour a couple of beers into a glass (trust me, they like that!), put the albums on the CD player, and get ready for some snuggle time as you gaze deeply into your loved ones eyes and let the songs do the talking. Hearts will melt, I guarantee!
At this time of year, many of us turn our thoughts to how we can help others. Charitable contributions generally see a sharp increase during the holidays, homeless shelters have more volunteers, food banks receive extra donations. Giving makes us happy, whether we give from our abundance or from our poverty. As I think back on the many blessings I have received this past year, what I remember most are the opportunities for giving that came my way. The joy of giving back still brings a smile to my face and lightens my heart. I encourage you to experience this happiness for yourself and give generously this holiday season.