Monday, December 29, 2014

All Work and No Play.

I know, I know, I've been too quiet lately! I'm sorry, but life got in the way for a bit. I think I've managed to get everything taken care of (momentarily), so maybe I can concentrate on more important things for a while.

I've been doing some recording/production work for my buddy, Skip Oliver. Skip has written a few songs of his own and is ready to get them on album, so the Project and I have been helping with the backing tracks while I've been working on the production end. It's actually a lot of fun, telling people what to do! Anyway, I've been bouncing between Skip and a show I recorded for Jason Carter & the Healers, where Kenny Brown made a surprise appearance and sat in with the band, so I've been busy as hell. Luckily, I delivered Jason's project in time for Christmas, so I can finish up Skip and get started on our next album. 

Speaking of next album, I'm doing a special New Year's Eve show at JugTown Grill in Aberdeen. The evening features Shane Tubbs, Robbie Ross of Seeking Seven, and myself doing a Bluebird Café-style Round Robin Singer-Songwriter show. The twist is the multi-genre evening, with Shane performing his country songs, Robbie his rock songs, and me "brangin' the blues", and all of us playing the others' music. And to add to it, I'm gonna record the entire evening. We may even have video for the night.

Oh, and it's free. No cover charge for the evening.

I do know that there will be a song premier or two.

The show starts at 8:30. Seating is limited and first come, first served.

I can't wait! As my youngest son likes say, "It's gonna be epic, dad!"

Monday, October 13, 2014

Let's Hang Out This Weekend!

I love music festivals, always have. I'm not much of a fan when they get super popular (Memphis in May, SXSW, etc.), but the smaller festivals are lots of fun.

I especially love Blues festivals. They are my absolute favorite.

I don't get to attend music festivals anymore, unless, of course, I'm playing one, and even then, it's usually "there an hour before we go on and leaving immediately afterwards," which isn't a lot of fun. Occasionally, I get to enjoy some of the festivals we play, and I do enjoy myself.

One of my favorite blues festivals is The Bukka White Blues Festival in Aberdeen, Mississippi, each October. It just happens to be THIS weekend!

And I have the weekend off! For the most part, anyway.

I'll be playing at Jugtown Grill just down the road a piece Saturday evening, but that won't stop me from being at the Festival. My good friends, Jason Carter & the Healers, will be playing Saturday afternoon, and Homemade Jamz and Jimbo Mathis will be playing Saturday night. Lightnin' Malcolm, Leo "Bud" Welch, and Selwyn Birchwood will be playing Friday evening, and since I'll be in Aberdeen both days...

So why don't you all come on down to beautiful Aberdeen, Mississippi, on the banks of the Tenn-Tom Waterway, and hang out with us all weekend. There's a camp ground and everything for those of you who like to rough it.

Oh, and the Bukka White Blues Festival is free. 

Tuesday, September 23, 2014

A Homecoming (Of Sorts)

This Saturday, September 27, The Project will be traveling to the town of Nettleton, Mississippi, for the Town Creek Festival. If you've never heard of it, there's a reason: this is the first time for any festival in Nettleton that I know of, and I've been in the area most of my life!

Nettleton is your typical small town, USA. Everyone knows everyone else, and no one has any secrets (because everyone knows your business). There is not a lot of excitement, the sidewalks are rolled up at 9:00, etc., and the town has changed very little over the years. Most of the same families still call Nettleton their home, most of the same businesses owned by the same people, and they still have the same "unforgettable characters" walking around town (What's up, Big Bird!). My friend, Paul Thorn, is from Nettleton. I'm from Nettleton, too.

This Saturday will mark the first time in a little over 25 years I have taken the stage in Nettleton. The first time I ever played in Nettleton was the first time I ever played in public, but I've told you that story already (Junior at Nettleton High School, yada yada, Dean Hudson screaming "Roy Orbison", yada yada). The difference between then and now is I have the Project with me this weekend, and I DARE Dean to say something this time!

I'm really excited to get to play in my hometown after all these years. I'm looking forward to seeing old friends I haven't seen in "a coon's age" (that's a popular saying around Nettleton and means "a really long time" if you don't already know). Some, I have bumped into in recent years and have reconnected with them through social media, and some I haven't seen since our 20 year reunion in 2010, and still SOME I haven't seen since the day we graduated, but I can remember then names of every one of the 68 classmates I graduated with in 1990. Oh, you don't believe me? I can prove it, but I won't let you pull me into that pissing contest. ;-)

I remember fifth grade science class with Mrs. Gillespie. Trey Schlicht and I were the "teacher's pets" in this class and our desks were beside her desk, you know, like minions. Mrs. Gillespie would lean or sit on the front of her desk when giving tests, to watch the class. Trey and I were positioned to her side, slightly behind her, with the answer key (that was in her hand) in plain view, meaning we never failed a test. There was one test, though, that was apparently too easy, because everyone in the class aced it. Mrs. Gillespie was sure the class somehow cheated and kept the ENTIRE class in at recess to take a different test. Everyone, that is, except Trey and I. "They would never cheat on a test," was her response, and Trey and I were allowed to enjoyed recess that day. Chad Humble was pissed!

Or the time in eighth grade I broke BOTH of my arms trying to lift weights at a friend's house. This happened the Friday we got out of school for Spring Break and I guess I got a 2-for-1. Anyway, I had both arms in casts during Achievement Tests (do they even still give those?) and finals and couldn't hold a pen to take them with. Ms. McBrayer took my test for me and would look at me funny until I answered correctly. Danny Bacon got ticked at me at recess one day and punched me in the eye, leaving a strawberry-type mark on my eyelid. But, in Mr. Luckett's math class, when the spot was noticed, Mr. Luckett's question of "What kind of "man" would hit a guy with two broke arms? I mean, how low must that person feel?" was enough to have Danny in the floor almost to the point of crying. I never ratted on him, though.

Matt Gard and I were instant friends when he moved to Nettleton in the ninth grade.

Robby Patterson and I built an Ultralight frame, but it never made its virgin flight.

Mrs. Brasswell accused me and a few friends of being "devil worshippers" because of our tastes in music.

Mrs. Hill and Mrs. Welford made me think, whether I wanted to or not.

And Michael Oliver asking Mrs. Hill, "Honey, do you love as good as you look?" was the funniest thing that happened all that school year.

I almost got suspended the day before finals my Junior year, but I opted to "look the tiger in the eyes" while that same tiger took large bites out of my @$$!

Or the time the whole junior and senior class walked off campus in protest of the new rules against the length of a male student's hair.

Lot's of memories of Nettleton, both good and bad, but all worth remembering. Hell, at least they will make good stories the next time I go fishing for something to write about.

Remind me, sometime, to tell you the story of Dusty Snelson.

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Where's the bar? The Bank!

The Project played a show in Pheba, Mississippi, this past weekend. Pheba (fee-bee) is a small community just west of West Point on Highway 50. I say small, but that really doesn't describe it correctly. Foosh and I blinked our eyes and had passed completely through the bustling metropolis before we knew it.

"Uh, I bet that's the sign saying 'Pheba' when you're coming from the other direction...Yup, that's the sign saying 'Pheba' when you're coming from the other direction!"

"Damn, guess he meant the FIRST first left turn in Pheba."

So we find us a place to turn around, and hope we can react quickly enough on the second go around to find the ONLY left (or right, from this direction) turn in Pheba.

We were told we would know where to go when we get there, and sure enough, we knew exactly where to go!

We were to play the 2nd Annual Customer Appreciation Day at The Bank-The Bar! It was a day full of music, food, booze, and F-U-N, with Sunday Jam kicking of the event, followed by us, Sweet Tea Jubilee, and finally Southern Legends.

We pulled up to 50 or so people just as Sunday Jam was beginning their performance and were met at the gate by Joey Morgan, the owner of The Bank-The Bar, and his lovely lady Laura, who took us around and introduced us to all the staff. Foosh and I mingled with the crowd until Blake arrived and we began getting our gear ready to perform.

We took the stage a good 15 minutes early and played a few songs before getting Jimi and Marty from Southern Legends to jam on some Bobby "Blue" Bland with us. Marty Miller is a damn BEAST on guitar, and Jimi Key ain't no slouch his-self! I really enjoyed getting to jam with those guys.

We took a break long enough for Mr. Charles Burgin to sing a couple of tunes. What a treat! We then finished our set and started to mingle with the crowd, which had grown slightly. We met a lot of cool people (Sherri, Melissa, Dale) and we hope we left a good first impression.

Sweet Tea Jubilee did their normal bang-up job, but we had to hit the road before Southern Legends got the stage. Looking at the pics on Facebook from the night, it looks like they killed 'em as usual. The food was phenomenal and the hospitality was truly southern. Thank you so much for having us Pheba. We hope to be back to entertain you soon.

I do wanna mention the really cool old church building a block or so from the bar. Go check it out if you ever find yourself in that area.

Just remember, it's the FIRST first left turn in Pheba.

Wednesday, September 10, 2014

I Will, As Soon As A Commercial Comes On!

I have no use for TV. 

Don't get me wrong, I do enjoy a good movie on occasion, but having access to 300+ stations on a daily basis, nope, care nothing for it. 

My biggest complaint about television? Commercials. Yup, I said it. I work in the marketing field (day gig) and I HATE the advertising. It's gotten out of control. Too much information packed into much too little time per commercial. AND THEY WON'T STOP HOLLARIN' AT ME!

My second biggest complaint about television? News. They don't focus on the important stuff, just the garbage that will increase ratings. The TV industry lives and dies by the Ratings System. I've got my own blues to deal with. I don't need to know all the world's blues, too.

Then there's the crap that's served up on a daily, weekly, or mini-series basis. All dribble. Reality shows are the worst. Back in the 90's, when the reality craze started, I just knew it was a passing phase. It couldn't last for more than a few seasons, as the whole idea is flawed. Man, was I wrong.

I've never understood the infatuation with watching sports on TV, particularly football. I mean, sports by its very nature means get your lazy @$$ out of the air conditioning and participate! Talk about living vicariously through the accomplishments of someone you've never met in your entire life. Then again, I'm sure they don't understand my infatuation with music.

For me, TV is an unneeded distraction, a piece of equipment best left unplugged from the wall, especially if you have something you should be doing, like practicing.

The Internet, on the other hand, I have lot's of uses for. B-)

Thursday, September 4, 2014

It's A Bird! It's A Plane! It's Super Stoopid!

In this second installment in the "Memoirs Of A Teen-Aged Idiot" series, I want to tell you about this one time, at band camp...

Just kidding. I didn't go to band camp. I have, however, made my fair share of stupid decisions.

Let's rewind back to 1993. I was still in the band I started out of high school, Little Dreamer, but we were on our second singer by this time. Johnny quit to go back to school and Anthony "Tree" Rollins (rest in peace) was singing with us. Tree was known by everyone for being in another, more popular, band at the time, Teezr (I think was how it was spelled). Teezr broke up in late 1991/early 92, leaving Tree free to "pursue other opportunities," and we snatched him up as soon as Johnny let us know of his intentions. Actually, now that I think about it, I believe it was Johnny who talked to Tree and convinced him to take the spot, thus providing his own replacement. What a saint!

Little Dreamer played the Rod Brasfield Festival in Smithville, Mississippi, in 1993. Smithville is located in Monroe County, which is a dry county. For all you northerners that have no clue what a dry county is, a dry county is one in which no alcohol is sold, or even publicly tolerated. Not a suitable place for a bunch of early 20's-aged rock'n'roll kids determined to raise some hell.

We sat behind the stage, in the bed of my 1970 GMC truck, with a cooler FULL of alcohol that we were consuming at a tremendously rapid pace. We were a 5 piece band by this time, and we came prepared: 3 cases of beer, 2 bottles of Purple Passion (for the womenfolk), a fifth of Everclear, and enough mixers to get the Everclear down. For those of you not in the know, Everclear is an aptly named clear liquor that clears your brain of all memories, leaving you nursing a Texas-sized hangover while desperately trying to recall the events of the previous evening, you know, a lot like Jäger, except it tastes a hell of a lot better!

We drunkenly took to the stage, blasted through our set, loaded our equipment, and went to Tree's girlfriends house a couple of miles away to "get serious about our drinking" (yes, that's how we referred to it).

We got to a friend's house and proceeded to get serious. I remember we were sitting at the table in the kitchen playing Quarters with the Everclear. Shit gets real QUICK like that. The other guitarist (who shall remain nameless) was more of a stoner than a drinker and was sitting to himself toking on his pipe. In my full-on drunken stupor, I proceeded to lecture him on the evils of Marijuana when, all of a sudden, I had this feeling of a hypocrite, telling him how bad the pot was for him having never tried it myself. Everclear gave me the confidence to say, "Fine then. Give me that damn pipe!" Everyone else split off into two different groups; the "angels" on my left shoulder telling me not to partake, and the "devils" on my right coaching me through the process, tell me to hold it in, don't let it go, not yet, etc. Remember, now, we had just finished off a bottle of Everclear.

For the next few minutes, I sat in probably my soberest state of the day waiting for the weed to kick in. Then, after about 10 minutes, I jumped at the front door, dropped to my knees, and started puking what was obviously all on my internal organs up. I must have puked for 45 minutes before the dry heaving started, which lasted for at least another hour! I had expelled every bit of food/liquid/stomach acid in my body onto her front door step, but I was still alive, though I would be sore as hell the next morning.

Once everyone was convinced I was going to live, they all decided it was time to go home and promptly left. Since Tree (and all the equipment) rode with me, he was going to drive me back to his house to unload equipment. I should be sober by then. But first, he and his lady wanted a little alone time in the bedroom.

I don't know about you, but I really don't want to sit around and listen to two people "bumpin' uglies" in the next room regardless of the state of mind I'm in, and this evening was no exception. I waited until I heard the first moan slip from the room and darted out of the house, cranked my truck, and was gone like the wind! I made it back to Tree's house in Bigbee, unloaded everyone's equipment by myself, and decided I was good enough to drive to Chris Wages's house in Pontotoc. So I start running the backroads from Amory to Pontotoc. This was around 2:00 AM.

I remember hearing a car horn blow. I opened my eyes to see that I was still driving and was about to hit a car head on on Palmetto Road. I quickly got back into my lane and admonished myself for falling asleep at the wheel. I must have went to sleep again, because I woke up in a ditch doing 60 MPH coming to an embankment for a driveway to a house, which I jumped like I was one of the Duke boys! 8 feet in the air I went, landing in the driveway with a thud, but upright. The battery turned over and shorted out, killing the engine, which brought me to a sudden stop. I saw the lights come on in the house that belonged to this particular drive and I asked the man at the door to borrow his phone. He said ok and I said thanks and called Chris to come pick me up. I walked back to my truck to assess the damage and think of a good lie to tell if anyone found out.

As I approached my truck, a noticed a crease on the hood that wasn't there before. Opening the hood to examine it was what led me to see that the battery was lying sideways. I sat it upright and turned the key over. It cranked!

Remember the cooler from earlier in the day? Well, it was never taken out of the back of my truck and it now lay in the middle of Palmetto Road. What were once full beer cans earlier in the day had become empty cans put back in the cooler and left for me to dispose of. 3 cases worth of beer cans, assorted bottles, and the like were littered all over the road, it was 2:00 in the morning, and I was drunk AND high, so I grabbed the empty cooler, threw it in the back of the truck, and hauled ass to Chris's house. I actually managed to make it all the way before passing out this time, to which we started drinking again. The following day would show me the scars of the previous night, but it took weeks for me to piece together the patches that would come back to me, scenes I have relived many times through the years.

So just remember, if you're drinking to forget, choose Everclear.

Oh, and don't drink and drive.

Or litter.

Or do drugs.

Tuesday, August 26, 2014

And It Was Her Worst Date Ever!

I moved to the Memphis-area, Walls, MS, to be exact, in July, 2003. I remember the date vividly: I had spent the last two years driving to Memphis three days a week for school, and I moved to the area the day before my graduation on July 11, 2003. Perfect timing, I know!

The following October, an old friend and past bandmate, Chris Wages, called to say he and his fiancé were coming to town for the evening and wanted to get together and maybe go to Beale St. I hadn't had the opportunity to go since I moved (this was during that time I was out of the music scene), so they came by my apartment and we went to Beale.

We plotted what looked to be the best route around the panhandlers and made our way to the Flying Saucer. We had a couple of beers there and wanted to go check out some music on down the street. We walked through the barricade and bought our $10 Armband that almost NONE of the establishments on Beale honored, stopped and got us some more beers, and started walking down the street, listening for something that caught our ears (I've never stopped loving music, I just quit playing it for a while). We decided to walk the entire length of Beale before deciding which establishment to grace.

As we got further down Beale, I started hearing what sounded like a band on the sidewalk. I looked at Chris and said as much, and the three of us hurried along to see who was making this music on the sidewalk for free.

We made our way down to the New Daisy Theatre, and what we saw we couldn't believe. Here was ONE GUY, sitting on a drummer's throne, with a kick drum in front of him, a snare drum on a stand sideways, a hi-hat, and the weirdest looking guitar-contraption I had ever seen.

He finished the song he was playing and introduced himself as Richard Johnston, the Hill Country Troubadour. He described his cigar box guitar (or diddly-bow, as he called it) in detail to everyone standing around (which was easily a couple hundred of people), pointing out the beer caps for pickups, the bass guitar string and 3 regular guitar strings, and the neck, which was actually the struts from a prosthetic leg. He had it split off into a guitar amp and a bass amp, and would play and sing these songs completely by himself. This was the first time I had ever heard names like R. L. Burnside or Junior Kimbrough, Raimey Burnett or Jesse Mae Hemphill, and the music was hypnotic. We spent at least two hour there, watching him do all these things by himself, letting our "Big Ass Beer"s get hot. I bought both of the CD's he had available at his next break and thanked him for kicking me in the ass enough to go home and pick my neglected guitar up. We made our way back to the vehicle and were back at my apartment about 15 minutes later. 

Fast forward to November, 2011. I was working in a print shop in Tupelo and my work one particular day was to help design some of the printing for a March of Dimes fundraiser coming up. As I was printing the posters, I noticed a familiar name as the entertainer for the evening: Richard Johnston. When the lady came to pick up the posters for the event, I asked about getting tickets to the fundraiser. I even told the whole story I just told you, and I'm guessing I bored her enough, so she hands me two tickets!

I had a young friend that was spending a lot of time at my place around this time. We'll call her "Sally". I told her the same story, adding the part from work, and asked if she would like to experience a night she'll remember forever! By this time, I had "acquired" a copy of the unreleased (due to licensing problems) "Richard Johnston: Hill Country Troubadour" DVD and put it on for her to see for herself. Sally admitted that she had never seen anything quite like that before and thought it would be a great first "real" date.

The night of the show, she comes by my apartment to pick me up (I'm a Bluesman for reason, y'all!) and we head to the BancorpSouth Conference Center for the show. As we're walking up to the door, I see Richard standing out front, smoking a cigarette. He looks at me with some kind of recognition in his eyes (no clue who he thought I was), and says, "Hey, you're a bass player, right?"

I replied no, but that I was able to play bass, and he proceeds to tell me his bass player (he had added one by this time) had a stroke a couple of days before and wasn't able to make the trip, and he would really rather have someone playing bass for him, as it makes his job easier. I look to Sally, who clearly has that "Oh, HELL no, you betta not!" look in her eyes, and just kinda shrug my shoulders, to which she says, "If you want to, I don't mind." Looking back, I think she actually DID mind.

I played part (ok, most) of the show with Richard while Sally sat by herself in a faraway corner of the room at a lonely little table even the servers wouldn't look at. When the show was over, I invited Richard back over to the apartment for some banana moonshine, to which he replied thanks but no, and off he went back to Memphis. Sally dropped me off and left about as quick herself.

Sally quit coming around as much and eventually drifted away. Sometimes I see her out, and we stop and talk. We're still friends, but whenever that night is brought up, she smiles that unforgettable smile and reminds me, "You promised a night I'll remember forever, and it was. That was the worst date ever!"

As a side-note, I would like to draw attention to the fact that this is my 100th blog post! 100 different stories and I still haven't said a damn thing, just a bunch of drunken rambling. But that's ok. At least y'all get me. Thanks for your attention.

Monday, August 25, 2014

My ALS Ice Bucket Challenge (AND First Video Blog!)


I have a Private Party this Friday, August 29, 2014, at Jugtown Grill in beautiful downtown Aberdeen, MS, for the Aberdeen High School Classes of 1973-74 Class Reunion. I will be donating my share of the proceeds from this show to

I challenge YOU to click the link below and donate to ALS Research.

Sunday, August 17, 2014

Tips For Being a Lady's Man #21

Give your lady friends pet names, names only you call them. And I'm talking names deeper than just "baby" or "honey." Put a little thought into it. Enough time around a lady will reveal something about her that strikes you and you can use this as inspiration for the name. I have one friend I call "Sunshine" simply because she is always in a perky mood, even early in the mornings, and she has even told me that hearing me call her that always makes her day just a little better. And don't get caught calling another lady by one lady friend's pet name, or it's no longer something special.

Thursday, August 14, 2014

The Next 42 Years

So, tomorrow will be the last day I will ever be 41 years old. Man, there was so many things I intended to have accomplished by this time in my life!

When I was 14 years old, I knew exactly what I wanted to be: I wanted to be a Rock Star! I had my Kramer guitars with the Floyd Rose Systems on them. I got the expensive guitar straps with the parachute clips so I could sling my guitar around my body like the guys in Cinderella. And, yes, I had the Spandex (pictures surface from time to time)!

I started my first band at 18 years old. The band was called Little Dreamer and consisted of Johnny Holland on vocals, Terry Harris on bass, and Chris Wages on drums. We wrote our own songs and played a variety of 80's covers. We even recorded an album. I had a Marshall 50 Watt Plexi head and both 4x12 cabinets, and would lug them in to even the smallest of dives, because I was gonna act like a Rock Star! Little Dreamer went through various lineup changes through the years, and is where I started playing with Foosh, who has been MY drummer ever since.

When I was 22, I met my first "groupie!" I ended up marrying her the next year, and we had two wonderful boys together. But I still wanted to be a Rock Star, so the marriage slowly began to fall apart. I would like to publicly state that she is the person that really introduced me and turned me on to the Blues. She was so intrigued by them when she was at Ole Miss that she took Anthropology of the Blues Culture a couple of semesters. For the sake of her privacy, I won't call her by name, but for these two things, I want to say thank you for being a part of my life, if even for a brief moment.

At 23 I joined another band from Saltillo called Novus Jove. These guys had their own material, and after a little rearrangement by me (sorry guys!) we had a very solid set of music. We played all over Mississippi and into Alabama, and even played HempFest '97 in Biloxi, MS, the first hemp rally in Mississippi. Man, that was a crazy trip! We recorded two albums of original material, and even managed a meeting in August of 1998 with Robert Metzger of Capital Management in Nashville, TN. He was interested in a song I wrote, the title track from our second disc "Long Time Comin'," and was interested in promoting it on 5-Start Billboard Stations across the country. Inner turmoil among the band after 5 years of hard living, playing, and partying managed to tear that band apart in early 2000. So close! Curiously enough, this was also during my divorce.

I had another brief run with Little Dreamer from 2000-2002, where I starting playing music with Foosh, but it wasn't to be, and I put my guitar in the case for a few years. I had 2 young boys by this time and really wanted to be around them, so I cut my hair and tried to work things out with their mother. I took a job as a graphic designer I became a business man. But deep down I still wanted to be a Rock Star!

November, 2005, I was totally miserable. Things didn't work out with the ex and I was living alone in a town (Horn Lake, MS) where I didn't really know anyone outside of work. I lived behind Hooter's, so I spent pretty much every night sitting at the bar drinking and eating wings or a burger. I would take a paper towel from the roll, fold it in half, and just take a pen from the register. I would sit and scribble gibberish on the paper towel, stumble back to my apartment, throw the towel on the coffee table, and pass out. One night, I picked up my guitar (it had been about 4 and half years since I had touched it at this point) and just started playing. I played until the sun came up, finger sore and bleeding. I had forgotten how much I LOVED playing the guitar. Plus, I STILL wanted to be a Rock Star!

I had a short stint with Sugar Ditch in the Memphis-area, and moved back home to Tupelo in 2006. 

The Project came along in 2007 completely by accident, and with these guys I have played some of the most incredible shows! We have played clubs and festivals all over the state and have met some of the best people in the world. We've shared stages with some of the most talented artists in the world, from Memphis to Biloxi, Clarksdale to Huntsville, AL, and all points in between. Man, it's been an incredible ride.

I've witnessed the graduation of my oldest son, Elijah, and his acceptance into Ole Miss.

I've witnessed the artistry of both of my boys.

I've made friends with some of the most interesting people in the world. Even made an enemy or two.

I have had the experience of playing before a crowd (of roughly 20,000) that's almost impossible to comprehend.

I have songs placed in two different movies.

I have self-produced the last three albums I've released.

I've played country music.

But I never made it to a Rock Star. I guess a Bluesman will have to do, which is fine with me. Fits me better, anyway. Here's to the next 42 years. May you please have mercy on this old ass body!

Tuesday, August 12, 2014

Facebook Band Pages

Lately, I have been inundated with requests to "Like my page" on Facebook. I get it, you want numbers for people to see and maybe, JUST MAYBE, one of the someones will be someone important, and will help you launch your career. We all have had the same thoughts, gone through the same motions, so none of us can fault you.

What I've been seeing lately, though, is beginning to drive me nuckin' futz! People are jumping the gun, trying to get numbers before they even have content. They quickly click the "Create a Page" button, give it a name, and immediately start saturating their friends list with invitation notifications.

Here's the problem with that strategy: THERE'S NO CONTENT TO TELL US ANYTHING! I can't tell you how many times I've gotten an "invitation" to like ACME Blowhards or something else just as vague. And you can't just click the About section to see what it is, because there's NO FRIGGIN' CONTENT! "Oh, I'll just go and check the Photos section to see if I recognize anyone." WRONG! The only image is some half-assed "logo" that's just as vague.

Since, apparently, there are no "reliable resources to help people learn the basics of marketing" (Hint: you're sitting in front of the largest known encyclopedia in the universe), I'm gonna offer some basic tips. All of these points should be completed BEFORE you send me an invitation to like your page.

  1. Get a professional to design your logo. If you're even remotely serious in your endeavor (whatever it is, this is not limited to music), professional design will always win out. Yes, a professional designer can get expensive, but trust me, it's worth it.

  2. Have some high quality photos of whatever you're pushing on your page. Camera phones these days are more than capable of taking nice pictures, and if you don't have an eye for photography, I'm sure you have a friend with a better eye. You know the friend I'm talking about. The one with all the practice at taking duckface selfies.

  3. Fill in every field in your About section. And I mean everything. Your contact information is a must in this area. Oh, you don't want to put your phone number on your Page. How the hell is anyone gonna call you about that "cute little top with the fringe" when you won't give them a number? If you don't want to use your cell number, then get a land line (they still have those?).

  4. If you are a band/musician, you should have a link to your website (a REAL website) in the about area, and you should also have a mailing list signup form and an Events section, just in case I'm interested enough in checking out your music.
Only after you have successfully checked off these 4 points may you press the Invite Friends button, and even then, you really shouldn't. It's not like anyone is going to see your posts anyway, since Facebook wants you to pay them to promote your page. Only a small percentage of the people who liked your page are even going to see one post, and most of them are going to absently scroll by. And what's going to happen to all those numbers when the next big thing comes along? Remember MySpace? Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, these social networks won't be around forever. They most likely won't see the end of this decade! Put your time and effort into a real website and take control of your career.

Thursday, August 7, 2014

Memoirs Of a Teen-Aged Idiot!

Went to visit an old high school friend the other day. It's been a while since we've sat and caught up with each other; most times we just see each other in passing and don't get to sit and reminisce, but we had a good visit. We talked about some of the crazy stuff we used to do as high school kids, some of which we probably shouldn't have survived.

I grew up south of Tupelo just off Highway 6 in a little community called Union/City Point. I don't guess anyone ever really decided what they wanted to name the place, because of the 2 names. The water tower announces the name as City Point but the churches say Union. Anyway, I lived in the Nettleton School District, so that is where we went to school. I spent most of my high school years riding the roads of northern Monroe County between Nettleton and Amory. Monroe County is a dry county, and we would be riding these back roads L-O-D-I-D! Lots of great ideas came from that intoxicated state, like the time my friend, Yo (we'll call him Yo to protect his identity, even though he would probably own up to it if he's reading this!), and I and a bunch of our "Bigbee Friends" decided it would be a great idea to climb over the railroad bridge that crosses the Tenn-Tom Waterway coming into Amory. And when I say climb over, I mean climb over the catwalk at the TOP OF THE TRUSSES of the bridge. At 1:00 in the morning. L-O-D-I-D. It was at the center of the top of this thing that I discovered my acute discomfort of heights. Yo said I was "cryin' like a little bitch," but I don't remember it being THAT dramatic. I do remember being a little worried and having to have help/guidance/reassurance getting down the ladder on the other side.

There was another time Yo and I made a smokes and drinks run into Amory during a late night get together. This was in February of 1994, I remember, because we had just had an ice storm that had collapsed the only bridge into Amory from Nettleton, taking with it the gas line that supplied all of Tupelo's restaurants with gas to use the fryers and such. Well, at this time, the bridge had been "repaired" (and by repaired I mean patched, and not very convincingly to the untrained eye) and the gas line had been rerouted to the curb on the edge of the bridge that the concrete retainer wall was sitting on. Along this gas line were about 10 or 15 battery-powered, flashing yellow caution lights. Well, Yo and I decided we wanted one (actually all) of them, and as they were tied to the gas line with nylon cord, he started at one end and I at the other, with Bic lighters, burning through the nylon cord that attached each light to the GAS LINE!!! Luckily, no boom, but still.

We would lay in the back of someone pickup on Main St. in Amory, one friend pouring a Coke into our mouths, another pouring the Jack Daniels, then jump in our vehicles to haul @$$ home to beat curfew. Our absolute favorite place to drink was in a storm house of a neighbor. Grave yards were a popular place to drink, too.

We knew those back roads so well in those days we could drive them drunk at night with our lights off and never miss a turn. We would even do it with a car load of passengers to prove that we could! Those who lost their shit when we did were never invited back to hang out with us, not that they would want to.

I've been going back to these places the last few weeks, reliving my stupidity, wondering how in the HELL I'm still here.

As Yo and I were laughing about some of the things we did, I made a comment about how stupid it all was, "But damn, it sure was fun."

Yo's quick response was, "If it wasn't fun, it wouldn't have been a mistake. It would have been an accident."

Perspective. That's the key to really living.

Thursday, July 31, 2014

The Number Are Thru the Roof!

It's been a crazy few weeks. Things have been coming at me so fast, I haven't really had a chance to do much more than just acknowledge them, so in the spirit of giving everyone a little justice, here we go.

I've been playing solo acoustic at this cool little place in Aberdeen called Jugtown Grill. It's got a really cool vibe about it, and I have met some of the greatest people already. Coincidentally (shameless plug), I'll be back at Jugtown Saturday, August 2nd, so if you're looking for something to do, swing on by. The food is great and Sheila and crew will make you feel right at home.

What was supposed to be an acoustic gig turned into a "band" show at the last moment in Hamilton for the Hamilton Appreciation Day celebration. Our good friend David Long played right before us and so we made use of him on Bass. Thanks, David, for sitting in with us again, and thank you to the people of Hamilton, Mississippi, for having us.

I played a private solo show at the Tupelo Automobile Museum on the 16th for Mississippi Water and Pollution Control Operator's Association and had a wonderful time meeting people from all over the state of Mississippi, something I hope I get to do again in the future.
Photo courtesy Jason Carter

The Project also played the 4th Annual Okolona Magnolia Festival on the 26th, and even got to do a set with our friend Terry "Harmonica" Bean! The blues was sufficiently preached, that I can tell ya for sure.

"Gone Bad Blues" was played on the air in Rolla, Missouri, Sunday night. The Basement Tapes with Nick and Bootsy on KKID 92.9 FM. You can click on over to their site to hear a stream of the broadcast. We want to give a shout out to Nick and Bootsy and say thanks for support. Hopefully, soon, we can come to Rolla and play for ya in person.

This Saturday, Foosh and I are heading to Hernando, Mississippi, for an in-studio interview and performance for Mississippi Music Foundation. Keep an eye on the Facebook page or at for when it will air. As I said earlier, I'll also be at Jugtown in Aberdeen Saturday night starting at 8:00 pm.

There's also the birthday bash coming up on August 15th at Woody's in Tupelo. I would LOVE to not remember you being there, so make your plans now.

As a side note, as of right now (10:18 PM Thursday, July 31, 2014) we have had 5,133 views on the blog in just a little over a year and a half! Thank you all so much for supporting the music and the Project. We hope to be able to entertain you for many years to come.

Friday, July 25, 2014

What Have We Learned, Class?

So, I'm staring down the barrel of 42. There, I've said it. I have publicly acknowledge the fact that I am about to be another year older. Man, what a bummer!

Actually, I take that back. It isn't a bummer. It's always nice to wake up in the morning and still be alive, not that I've ever woke up dead or anything like that. Another day on this side of the dirt is a great day, as they say.

A few days ago, I was thinking about all the things I've learned in my 42 years on this earth. The more I thought about it, the more I decided to try and list at least 42 things I've learned in 42 years. This should be interesting.

  1. Don't stick a fork in an electrical outlet (I know this seems like a no-brainer right now, but to a curious six-year-old boy, logic doesn't really exist. On the other hand, now I know what will happen if I do it).
  2. Fire ants are the devil.
  3. So are fleas.
  4. Cool pizza is better than a mouthful of molten hot lava.
  5. Keep your phone fully charged. Always. You never know, man.
  6. Always have your sunglasses. Another one of those "you never know, man," moments.
  7. Tell the special people in your life how much they mean to you.
  8. Show the special people in your life how much they mean to you.
  9. Call your mama.
  10. Try to talk to your dad.
  11. Sit quietly while dad lectures you on how you're screwing up your life.
  12. Smile at everyone you meet.
  13. Say ma'am and sir. Everyone deserves that much respect.
  14. Say please.
  15. Say yes.
  16. Say no.
  17. Say nothing.
  18. Sing.
  19. Bravada Surfing probably isn't a good idea. Especially while intoxicated.
  20. Keep your wits about you.
  21. There is nothing in this world better than cold sweet tea.
  22. If a woman shares her dessert with you, there is something there.
  23. Sometimes you just gotta get your hands dirty.
  24. Shit happens. Deal with it.
  25. Make time for your friends. These are the people who know how crazy you are and choose to stick around. Cherish them.
  26. Make time for yourself.
  27. Unplug for a weekend.
  28. Be prepared.
  29. Be aware.
  30. Don't be an ass, but tell the truth.
  31. Don't pick a fight but don't take no shit.
  32. Believe in yourself.
  33. Know when to cut your losses.
  34. Learn how to feel.
  35. Be yourself.
  36. Everyone has a story.
  37. Be true to your word.
  38. Get some sleep.
  39. Bacon and/or cheese makes everything better.
  40. Love yourself.
  41. Be nice or go home.
  42. Do what you love.

Monday, July 14, 2014

Has It Been A Year Already?

I swear, it only seems like a month or so ago since I was typing a blog to let you know about the new CD, "Booze, Bluez, & BBQ: Live In Tupelo." It's hard to believe it's actually been a year, and what a year it's been! I never, in my wildest dreams, thought it would be as well received as it has been. We do this thing because of our love of the music, and it makes it easier to continue knowing there are others just like us out there. Thank you so much for supporting us in this endeavor. It means the world to us.

I'm guessing it would also probably be good business at this point for me to let you all in on a little secret. Are you ready? Here it goes.

It's that time of year again! My Annual Birthday Bash. A six year tradition, this year (as last year) we will be at Woody's Tupelo Steakhouse in Tupelo, Mississippi. It's my 42nd birthday, and since I don't have an album to release this year (yet) I started looking for ways to make it special. Look at that lineup on the poster. Do you recognize any of those names? Yup, it's the ORIGINAL LINEUP! "Evil" Jimmy Karow and Foosh will be keeping the groove flowing right along. "The Rooster" Jason Carter will be playing guitar alongside "The Emfamus" Skip Oliver on the blues harp! I gotta say, I'm so excited about this it's been damn near impossible to keep to myself. And, even better, there will be NO COVER CHARGE!!! How can we afford to do this? We can't, but that's never stopped us before. Go ahead and mark your calendar now. Get there early if you want to get in. The celebration starts at 8:30 and will go until they kick us out, I can promise you that.

I'm sure there's something else I'm forgetting to say, so be sure to keep a check on the site at or on Facebook or Twitter for any other news. And if you haven't signed up for the Mailing List on the site, you're really missing out on exclusive content only available to subscribers. The signup form is just to the left of the Featured Video section on the homepage, so drop on by and sign up. Me love you long time!

Tuesday, July 8, 2014

Dude! What are you doing in my car?

I had the oddest encounter yesterday in Aberdeen.

I work as a graphic designer in Aberdeen during the week and have been for around the last year. I have fallen into a routine that is quite comfortable, where every day of the work week is pretty much the same; drive to work, go to lunch, drive home. Aberdeen is half an hour away from my home, so I spend a little time driving every day. Not too much drive time, just enough to get some thinking (quit laughing!) done, or at least listen to the latest album I've become obsessed with.

Yesterday, well, yesterday was a little different.

My alarm is set for 7:00 Monday - Friday (thank God I can set my iPhone and forget about it), and at 7:00 am, it went off. I quickly (as I do every morning) reached over and turned it off. I sat back down on the bed, fell back, and closed my eyes. I lay there cussin' in my head about it being Monday morning (after a long weekend) and I didn't want to get up and go to work. You know, the typical whining. This went on for what seemed like 5 minutes. In reality, when I decided to get up and get ready, I looked at the time and it was 8:22. I start work at 8:00. I called in and told them I was running a little late and would be there as soon as possible. I was an hour late. When I did get to work, it was, unfortunately, Monday.

Lunch? Lunch went well, at least I think it did, though the phrase "Everything's better with cheese" will forever have a new meaning.

The rest of the afternoon went by as normal (for a Monday) until it was time to go home for the day.

I went to my van and went to leave work. I put the North MS All Stars "Key To the Kingdom" on the radio to listen to on my afternoon commute. I took my right onto Franklin and a right onto Jefferson. One more left and then a right onto 45 and I'm on my way home!

As I pulled up to Matubba St. (which was pretty busy this time of day) I see this younger (than me) man walking toward the intersection. As he sees me, he starts waving and runs up to my window (which was partially down, because I was smoking (I know!)) and started saying things like "I know you from somewhere, don't I?" I reply with, "I don't think so," and he goes into this spill about he's been out walking all over town looking for a job and can I give him a ride home because he's worn out from walking.

Now, I've lived in bigger cities where pan-handling is commonplace and I know it when I see it. I immediately begin telling him I'm on a schedule and don't have time for side trips. Matubba St is still too busy for me to pull out and leave, so as I reiterate that I am in a hurry (for the third time), I look at the clock in my van, to help stress the point.

Side Note: My van has a slightly occurring electrical problem in which all the gauges will start flopping around and it says a door is open, which turns the interior lights on. I have turned the lights off so as not to cause me problems when driving at night, and a quick blow to the dash usually makes the gauges go back to working correctly, at least until the next bump. The only problem is that when it doesn't see all the doors closed (as was the problem yesterday), it doesn't automatically lock the doors when you put the van in gear. 

Like I said, I looked at the clock in my van to help stress the point, and when I looked back to the window, the "gentleman" had already walked around the front of my van and was in the passenger seat closing the door, before I even realized it!

I just looked at him dumbfounded, trying to assess the situation. He didn't look to be carrying anything that could be used as a weapon. 

As soon as he was in the van, he started crying about how he hasn't had anything to eat in days and he has 2 kids at home and he'd do anything, and he meant ANYTHING, if I could just give him some money to feed his kids. It took me a few minutes (and several right turns) to get him to understand that I had a wife and 2 children waiting on me to get home to eat myself and I don't carry any cash on me at anytime and I only get paid once a month and it's already all gone (all of which is total BS). When he figured out I wasn't going to give him any money, he said, "You can drop me out right here," to which I promptly slammed on the brakes.

I'm not even ashamed that I dropped him off right beside one of the better neighborhoods in Aberdeen. I'm just glad he got out.

Sunday, June 29, 2014

A Shot of Adrenaline?

A good friend of mine, Evan Adams, called me up a few weeks ago and asked if I would be interested in doing some slide work on a song he was recording for his soon-to-be-released EP. This kinda struck me funny, first that I would get a call from someone wanting ME to do SLIDE work on a song, second because Evan is a country artist. Now, country isn't new territory to me–I did that Tim Murphy show that one time in 2009–but I am not that proficient in the genré, something I guess I need to work on, but that's a different story altogether. The oddest part was someone asking me to do slide work for them. My slide-playing style is more a mish-mash of what NOT to do when playing with a slide.

As I said, Evan is a young country artist. I've been watching him progress and grow as a songwriter and performer for the last few years, ever since he burst onto the scene in Tupelo (say that with a straight face), and he's turned into quite the songwriter, as I found out today. Evan's country, and by country, I mean cuuuntry! He's definitely the real deal. And he can sing the cunt out of country music, too. I actually ended up working with him on two songs, both of which will be on the new EP. If you want to know which two I'm on, you'll have to buy the EP and read the liner notes. 

The session today was booked at Adrenaline Audio Studio (YouTube Channel), my second session at this studio. I wish I had pictures of this place, but these guys won't allow pictures of the outside grounds. Something about blowing their camouflage, don't ask me! Let's just say, when you pull up (or down, depending on your point of view) to the studio, you have no idea where the studio is. The studio is actually in the top of a horse barn, and it's got the coolest vibe of any studio I've been in (and I've been in a few). It's out in the middle of Nowhere, MS, so there are no distractions, unless you bring the distractions with you. Hell, there's not even cellphone service inside the studio. Brilliant design.

Robbie Ross was our Producer/Engineer for the day and was a pleasure to work with. He led me along right where he wanted/needed me to go while allowing me to keep myself in what I did (damn guitarists!). He took his time and we got a few really good takes to work with. 

All-in-all, it's been a great day playing music. I took a day and stepped outside of my little Blues Box and had fun with it. Who knows, maybe it'll even sound like I knew what I was doing. Of course, you know me, so you know me better than that.

Thursday, June 26, 2014

Do You Think You Have What It Takes?

Those of you who know me personally know that I'm a graphic artist and have been for going on 20 years. I've been pretty successful in my "career" (I used quotes because I see design as my part-time job between gigs!) and have managed to (more or less) support myself and my boys as a designer.

Over the years I have designed some really cool pieces, from logos to business cards to magazine ads, even graphics used on local television, and I look back proud of my work. As you can guess, all design work for the Project is by me.

Foosh's wife, Deb, is always around with a camera and she has the most amazing eye for photography. She'll walk around and take sometimes hundreds of pictures, and there are always quite a few "usable" stills to choose from to generate ideas for some of the designs I do. It's nice having a large pot to choose from, especially with design. She just let's me have at them when she's done. Love that woman!

Most of the time, inspiration for a design comes pretty quick, like the Project logo. I have about 10 minutes worth of work in the logo design, and I think it's probably one of my best designs. I'm probably biased, though.

Sometimes, though, the ideas don't come flooding to you, as is the case with a t-shirt (remember, Kevin, there is an R in the word shiRt!) design for the band. I have had a few mediocre ideas, but for the most part they've all been crap, so I've decided to turn to you.

That's right, I'm announcing a KWP T-Shirt Design Contest. Design us a shirt that you'd love to wear to spread the love about the blues and the Project. Post a pic of your designs in the comments section of this blog post and the guys and I will choose the coolest ones to decide on. As far as rules go, let's keep it G rated (ok, PG) and let's stick to one or 2 colors, unless you just have an epic idea, in which case, go for it! Anyone that knows me knows I would.

If you need any resources at all, drop me a line at kevin (at) And be sure to share this with your friends. The more the merrier. We'll see what we can come up with for prizes, in addition to their name being on the shirt. There's no pressing rush on this project at the moment, so take your time and wow me! Good luck and I look forward to seeing your designs.

Thursday, June 5, 2014

Portrait Of A Quitter.

Hello, my name is Kevin, and I'm an addict.

(Everyone say 'Hello, Kevin')

I smoked my first cigarette August 9, 1993, at 12:22 PM. It was a Monday, the week before my 21st birthday, and I had had a bad day at work. At lunch, I went and bought a pack of Marlboro Lights. I smoked maybe 5 cigarettes that day, but that single action started a habit that has become pretty damn hard to kick. 

Let me just put this out there: I love smoking. For me, it's one of the most relaxing things in the world to do when things are falling apart all around me. I can just light one up, and for the next 3-10 minutes, nothing else in the world matters. Nothing beats a smoke after a good meal (or other extra-curricular activities! Don't act like y'all don't know what I'm talking about!).

I had been contemplating starting for a few months before I actually started! Yes, you read that right, I PLANNED my addiction. I was (and still am) a big fan of the smoker/whiskey drinker voice, that raspy sound, and the quickest way to get it was to become a smoker/whiskey drinker. The whiskey didn't agree with me; I found myself in quite a few predicaments with no recollection of how I arrived there, so I gave it up. I'm sure if it could communicate, my liver would say thank you. 

As I said, I started smoking Marlboro Lights but quickly moved to Marlboro Reds when the Lights started feeling like sucking on a straw. I stayed with the Reds for a few years, but eventually moved to Camel Lights; a light cigarette that was as strong as a Marlboro Red! I've been a loyal Camel Light smoker for the better part of 21 years.

Lately, I've really been thinking a lot about my future. Recently, I lost another friend to lung cancer, and it kinda opened my eyes to this whole smoking thing. I've tried to quit before. Made it 4 months one time, but it ended the night I got hit in the side of the head by the hardcover edition of "What To Expect When You're Expecting" (long story, don't ask). Since then, I have been smoking a pack and a half to two packs a day. A healthy addiction! 

As of June 1st, I've instituted my new and improved Stop Smoking In 20 Days Program. It basically works like this. I have a fresh, unopened pack for the morning. Whatever I don't smoke from that day is lost and not carried over to the next. Each morning, I open a new pack and remove the number corresponding to the date. Today is the 5th, so I removed 5 cigarettes from my pack this morning. This is all I'm allowed today, so smoke them with careful planning. Tomorrow I remove 6, 7 on the seventh, and so on until June 20th, my first day without a cigarette in 21 years. I've chosen to wean myself off this way as it's the least scary way I can find and it actually provides a way for me to stay on track. Cold turkey makes me lose friends and influence enemies, or worse, so that's a no go.

I've been hesitant to announce this for fear of failure, but I really want to quit this time, so I'm asking for everyone's support. So far, I'm 5 days in and the last couple of days have been really hard. To go from 2 packs a day to under a pack has been decent progress, but the next 15 days will be the true test of my willpower. I'm determined to give this a solid go, the absolute best I can to quit a disgusting habit that I never should have started.

I've commandeered the Primary Control Computer from Double Wide Studio since my laptop took another crap, this time for good, so maybe I can stay busy with this blog thing. I've made it this far, and talking about smoking has kept my mind off of wanting a cigarette, so maybe this just might work. I'll let you know.

But now, it's time for a cigarette.

Tuesday, June 3, 2014

My Top 10 Favorite Albums? Wouldn't You Love To Know.

I thought it would be cool to make a playlist on Spotify of my Top 10 Favorite Albums for you, and instead of just posting it, thought I would explain it to you. Now, keep in mind, this is just MY opinion, so don't come after me with the wet noodles if you don't agree. I prefer listening to albums when I listen to music, prefer to hear it in context, the way the artist intended. So, without delay, here is my Top 10 List, in order.

1. Blood On the Tracks - Bob Dylan
In my opinion, this is Dylan's masterpiece. Every song is on a greatest hits album, and for good reason. Listen to "Lily, Rosemary, and the Jack of Hearts" and tell me you can't see every scene. You can't.

2. Ian Moore - Ian Moore
Ian is a singer-songwriter and guitarist from Austin, Texas, and I came across this album totally by accident. I walked into Album Alley (remember that place?) one Friday evening and just offhandedly asked Stanley, "Anything worth a crap come out this week?" He pitched me a store demo and said give it a listen. I listened to it the following Monday at work and returned it that Monday evening to buy my own copy. Another album where there isn't a bad song on it, from the first bit of slide guitar on "Nothing" to the soul-inflected vocals and lead in "Carry On," this album totally satisfies me.

3. First Rays Of the New Rising Sun - Jimi Hendrix
The album Hendrix was working on at his death. Plus, it's a Top 10 Album list and that requires a Hendrix album, right? "Hey Baby (New Rising Sun)" is probably my fav on this album, though "Dolly Dagger" always makes me think of my friend Mitzie D.

4. Born Under A Bad Sign  - Albert King
Albert King at Stax in Memphis. 'Nuff said! Listen to "The Hunter" and try to convince me Paul Stanley isn't a thief!

5. Sweet Potato Pie - Robert Cray
This is the first Robert Cray album I ever bought, and it's still my favorite. The opener "Nothing Against You" gets me going every time. So soulful and effortless is his guitar playing. If you haven't seen Robert live yet, put it on your Bucket List. You won't be disappointed.

6. Sweet Tea - Buddy Guy
Buddy recorded this album of mostly Burnside/Kimbrough covers in Oxford, Mississippi, and released possibly his best album ever. The album is dark-sounding, but it works. "Done Got Old," "Tramp," and "I Gotta Try You Girl" are good starting points.

7. My Baby Don't Tolerate - Lyle Lovett
This is my "Sunday Morning" album, you know, for when the hangover is almost too much, and you don't want something rocking, but you need something to kinda pull you into recovery, if only until the next weekend. Just go ahead and listen to the whole album. It's worth it.

8. The Bonnie Raitt Collection - Bonnie Raitt
Have I ever mentioned that I'm a sucker for redheads? Well, this one's not only a looker, but she's a picker, singer, and can shame most guitarist, regardless of gender, on slide. A couple of are Randy Newman's "Guilty" or "Louise."

9. Layla and Other Assorted Love Songs - Derek and The Dominos
Like Hendrix, every Top 10 Album List must contain either Clapton or Allman, so I just included both. Another good "Sunday Morning" album, believe it or not. You can't feel bad when it's playing.

10. Under The Wishing Tree - Charlie Sexton Sextet
This one is a rarity, apparently. I bought it used off Amazon in 2006, and paid $30 for the CD then. To me, it's that good. Tried to find the album on Spotify, but all I was able to find are the four songs from the Millennium Collection compilation. The album rocks!

Well, there you have it. My very own Top 10 Album list. This post was kind of long, so I'm guessing not many of you made it this far down. If you did, congratulations! You've been introduced to some of the albums that influence me on a daily basis. If I've managed to turn you on to something new, leave a comment and let me know. 

Thursday, May 29, 2014

Of Goats and Pens.

I grew up in the woods, a small farm in rural Lee County, Mississippi. The only neighbors were my grandparents, the only children to play with my younger brothers. Company was rare way out there. Hell, if you saw a vehicle you didn't recognize, you knew immediately they were lost. No one came down our road that didn't live there, and everyone was family. All my friends from school lived in town, and I was a good 10 miles outside of town, so I had to find things to do with my brothers. Bear in mind, this was a time before the Internet, before cell phones and text messaging, even before most gaming consoles (except for Pong, which we had, and the original Atari, which we also had in my early teens), so we spent our summers outside, going on "Grand Adventures" and discovering new places in the woods where we would make our "camp" for the day.

We were blessed with pretty vivid imaginations and got along together for the most part. We were masters of making the most of what we had, which was very little.

We were out one particular April day when Derek and I found a rather large Muscadine vine growing up the side of a pretty tall oak tree. This vine was probably an inch and a half in diameter, perfect for a "Tarzan swing," as we called it. We promptly snuck in to Daddy's toolshed for the axe to cut it from the ground, making our swing. We spent the majority of the summer swinging on that vine everyday, letting go at the apex to see just how far we could fly!

This was also the summer my Dad decided to invest in a couple of goats, and the fence he put up went right across our "swing path," leaving us to get in the goat pen to get on the swing to swing out of the goat pen, only to start the whole process over. The problem-solvers we were, we quickly started climbing over the fence, which broke it down to the point the goats kept getting out. Daddy happened to look out and see me climb (more like step at this point) over the fence and came screaming!

"Dammit, y'all quit climbing on my damn goat pen! Get out of there! What the hell are y'all doing? I'm gonna beat every one of your asses 'til you can't sit down!" God, I can still hear it. Of course, our first response was to go running into the woods. Except for Daniel, he just stood there holding the vine, because it was his turn and he wasn't gonna give up his turn.

It was about this time Daniel realized he was about to get the beating of his life, so with a running go, he launched himself into what I still say was the most perfect vine swing I have ever witnessed before. Perfect form, speed, and height. He let go at the perfect time, sending him a good 20 feet on the other side of the fence from Daddy, who was standing there a little wide-eyed himself. I suspect it was the most perfect vine swing he'd ever seen, too.

Well, I'm guessing this kinda pissed Daddy off, but he was not to be outdone. As the vine came swinging back, Daddy grabbed it and positioned himself to follow, all the time still screaming, "You little shits! Wait 'til I get ahold of you!"

I think it might be prudent to point out that my Dad used to be a smoker. At this point, he had been quit for a couple of years, and, as any former smoker does, had gained a little (read lot) of weight. This was also late in the summer, early part of September, and the vine had been cut loose from the ground since the middle of April, so it had dried out juuuust a little bit. As he started on his way, you could hear the snapping in the top of the tree. We immediately turned around, curious to see how this panned out.

Remember the goat fence I mentioned earlier? The one that split the swing path? Well, the vine snapped out of the tree, and Daddy fell about eight feet to straddle the goat fence. The fence was nothing more that your typical roll of dog pen wire or chicken wire, so it had a good bit of give in it. But what Daddy didn't have in his favor was his choice in pants, or lack thereof. This day, he chose a pair of cutoff jean shorts. The fence wire ripped the skin off the inside of both legs on top of him humiliating himself in front of his children. We were all doubled over laughing when Mama came running down the hill to check on him.

Everyone but Daniel. He hit the ground running and never looked back.

Thursday, April 24, 2014

Spotify or Pandora?

I've been listening to a lot of streaming music lately. Pandora, being the oldest of sorts, has been the one I usually use when I stream, but lately, I've been listening to Spotify. I've got to say, I think I like Spotify better.

More often than not, when I want to hear a song, I'm more in the mood for that particular artist, and Spotify accommodates me better in this respect. I've always been an "album person:" I want to hear the album, start to finish. My biggest complaint with radio has always been "you never know what's coming next" and it's usually more of the same old BS. Even with Pandora's rating system, you have to vote it down and what you like up to tailor it to your tastes, and even then, you still never know what's coming next.

Like right now, Keb' Mo' has a new album, that was just released Tuesday, and I wanted to hear it. I don't want the 1:30 preview on iTunes, I want to hear the whole album. And guess what? It's on Spotify. So what if I've got to hear an ad ever 3 songs, I get to hear the album and decide if I want to purchase it. Of course, ol' Keb' rarely disappoints (click and find out! He's incredible!), but the point is, I can listen and decide, and he still gets paid for me listening. It's win-win in my eyes. When I get tired of the ads, I can always update to the subscription. What are your thoughts? Pandora or Spotify? Leave a comment and let me know.

And, in the spirit of shameless plugs, if you haven't already, you should visit this Spotify Artist Page. Just sayin'.

Also, I would like to say Happy 18th Birthday to my oldest son, Elijah. My little boy has turned into a young man right in front of my eyes. He's become an pretty accomplished drummer and is beginning to scare me on guitar. A couple of weeks ago, he received a full ride to the University of Mississippi, and this old man couldn't be more proud. I love you, son, and wish you the best of luck in life. 

Tuesday, April 1, 2014

My New Haircut!

I managed to get through the entire day today not realizing it was April Fool's Day. I mean, for a joker like me, April Fool's Day is my favorite day of the year, a day when I can pull pranks on people that, any other day, would be considered in bad taste or childish. I didn't pull ONE SINGLE PRANK! In my defense, it was kind of a hectic day and I really didn't have time to even think about it. I did, however, decide to find a place to get my hair trimmed and decided to try someone new. I haven't had a haircut in a number of years and I knew my hair was in pretty bad shape.

I found a place that took walk-ins and politely sat in my chair as I waited for a "stylist" to come free. A nice young lady, we'll call her Claire, called me over and sat me in her chair.

"So, what do we want today?" Claire asks.

I told her that I haven't had a cut or even a trim in a number of years and I'm thinking maybe just trim the split ends off.

I'm not sure if she was serious or if this is her version of an April Fool's joke, but I'm not really happy with the results. What do you think?

Sunday, February 23, 2014

The Madison St. Mafia?

This weekend, we were privileged enough to perform at Mr. Tony's with some fantastic artists, such as Hell's Heathens, Seeking Seven, and a friend of mine, Mr. Alaun Comer. Seeing Alaun reminded me of living on Madison St., downtown Tupelo and the (many) nights of drinks and impromptu jam sessions that ensued.

I lived on Madison St., for around 3 years, moving to the area in 2010. I was just around the corner from some friends I knew from the Tupelo bar scene, and we would get together (mostly at my place) after the bars all closed to continue the drinking and conversations. Guitars would always come out pretty quick and be passed around until everyone had their chance to play, or until the alcohol was gone, whichever came first. The Stables Bar & Grill had a second happy hour every Tuesday night from 9:00-Midnight, and we would all walk downtown for 2-for-1 beers and Cheese Fries. At one of the early "meetings," I coined the phrase "Madison St. Mafia" and we started calling ourselves that. One of those in attendance even made a secret group on Facebook and we would plan our nights out, what bar was doing what, where we all wanted to meet, what time, etc. If it happened to be a night there was no live music, we would bring instruments with us. We started adding people to the group that lived or hung out on Madison St., and everyone was connected.

We always walked downtown to avoid having to drive impaired, and in our drunken stupor, walk back home at closing time. The last arrival to the appointed meeting place would promptly be sent on a last minute beer run to make sure we were properly stocked for the evening's after party. Almost all the time, they were responsible for buying it, because we had all drank our money away. Incentive to get there early!

The walk back became known as the Madison St. Crawl, as most of the time, we were too inebriated to walk. How we avoided going to jail just on public drunk charges, I don't know, because it's kind of hard to "blend in" when you have a group of 15-20 people stumbling down a sidewalk, looking like the ball in a Pinball Machine, but we managed.

To put these after-parties into perspective, there were no less than 7 apartments (each with at least 2 occupants) within a one block radius that could become host for one, and more than one of these parties hosted over 100 guests. Not very subtle! I came home from a show one night to a 5 apartment throw-down, with people I've never seen before (or since) in my home. These parties brought out all manner of "characters," some of whom, like Alaun, I have made the effort to stay in contact with. 

I have very fond memories of living on Madison St. I got a few good songs out of it, made some great friends, had some incredible experiences (Bravada-surfing down Jefferson St.), AND managed to live to tell about it. I have purposefully excluded all the names (except for you, Alaun!) to avoid getting anyone in trouble. Everyone involved knows who they are, and that's all that matters. We built our own little Haight-Ashbury district, and most of us saw it through to its completion. Hats off to you all, and let's do it again sometime soon.

Thursday, January 30, 2014

How Uncharictaristic of Me!

I've been kinda quiet lately. This extreme winter weather we've been having has me in a bit of a funk, and the desire to come up with something to write about hasn't been there, so I've opted to just keep my mouth shut for the most part.  As the saying goes, "It's better to be quiet and thought a fool than to open your mouth and remove all doubt!" and my mouth tends to get me in quite a bit of trouble sometimes, so you understand, I'm sure. I've also been having some trouble out of my laptop, and I think I just lost the hard drive (along with 2 years of files that haven't been backed up!), so things may still be spotty for a bit longer. Gotta live 'em to play 'em, right?

The guys and I have been working up some new material. We have some newer songs that haven't been played out, yet, and I think we've got them worked up well enough that you should start hearing them real soon.

I have made it a point, during our short hiatus, to get out and see some of the incredible talent in the area: a trip to Columbus a couple of weeks ago to see Tupelo's own Spunk Monkees, and last weekend to see the John West Band and sitting in with Corinth's Sweet Tea Jubilee. I rarely get to see my friends play, and it's always nice to have a weekend (or 3) off! All good things must come to an end, though, and we start back next weekend at Woody's in Tupelo. For that matter, I will be solo at JP's Funky Little Shack in Tupelo this Saturday night, so if you're not busy, come on out and have a few drinks with me. If nothing else, it will be fun. We sure hope to see you at one of the shows soon, so be sure to keep an eye on to stay up to date.

Thursday, January 9, 2014

Friday Night at JP's Funky Little Shack is our LAST SHOW!!!

...On the books, anyway (gotcha!).

Foosh, Gavin, and I are gonna take just a little time off from gigging to start writing for a new album. Don't worry, we won't be gone long, and we have no desire to retire from playing music. We're gonna play the blues 'til the blues takes us over. We want to write a new album together, and the schedule has wound down to the point where we can take a little time for this. I'm already talking to venues all around the north half of Mississippi and into Tennessee and Alabama about booking, and we plan on hitting the road again around the end of February/first of March.

With that being said, I want to personally invite every one of you to JP's Funky Little Shack at Crosstown in Tupelo, Mississippi for our show tomorrow night, Friday, January 10, 2014. The show starts at 9:00 PM and we will be doing our usual thing serving up original blues and reworking some of the blues standards we've been playing for the last seven years. We've also worked up a number of covers that you've never heard us do before, and we have some new originals that have yet to be played in public, so come on out for a night of Booze, Bluez, and Bad Attitudez, the likes of which can only come from the Kevin Waide Project. Help us close this chapter so we can get started on the next one. Who knows, we may even have a few giveaways for some of you lucky ones.

Until tomorrow night, y'all keep on keepin' on.