The sort of individuals who have had the biggest effect on me have been the kind of people who were the least concerned with having an effect. Their presence was big, through no effort on their part. If they were musicians, people listened, if they were artists, people looked. If they were teachers, people learned.

In Nashville, Tennessee, I ran into a couple of musicians who I perceived to have a big effect on not just me, but other folks as well, and who did so through a medium that was bigger than their music. Maybe “medium” is the wrong word. I like to think of it as “Gravity.”

This “Gravity” seemed to be magnetic, in a way. If I was to say where it came from, I could only use metaphysical terms like “well-grounded” or “character,”  but that wouldn’t paint the whole picture. But whatever it was, I could tell these men stood for something.

The thing that struck me the most was that they attracted people. If you were lucky enough to introduce yourself or be introduced, you felt as though they were somehow calling you to be more. When they played their songs, you were listening to them, not so much the song.

“Gravity” is earned through being a certain kind of person, not necessarily from obsession with technique or virtuosity – or any kind of isolation. You can’t separate the Music, or the Art, from the Man. But the Man is still there when the song ends.

Back In The “Groove”

As the days unfold, and the time to go back down South approaches, time speeds up. And all at once, I find I am to be gone on Friday, not Saturday as planned, and my time in West Virginia has already come to an end.

Back in early June, when a debilitating accident brought me home for the summer, I remember dreading the long days, the simpler small town life, the humility I knew that I would inevitably have to experience. And, as I expected, life became much different for nine weeks. But, through the space, I got back in a groove that I had been missing in Nashville – having no other choice.

That groove was Songwriting. Often in Nashville, I’d been so caught up in how to make just enough to get through one more day, that I would have no room for writing songs. I wasn’t doing it right. The stress that came with this struggle brought about outside issues: I was distracted.

I knew that things weren’t right and that I was approaching a break in the tracks, and when that break came, it wouldn’t be pretty. Something had to give. And what gave was my foot.

Here, at the foot of the Allegheny mountains, I was forced to sit with myself (and my swollen foot) and face the situation. I had really no choice but to continue writing, so that’s just what I did. I even recorded some, too. I just sent off some work tapes to good friend and drummer Aaron Latos to have some drum tracks added.

Don’t get me wrong. There were days when I did Nothing, too. But those days were just as important and just as necessary. They say everything happens for a reason, and I believe this summer’s “accident” was no exception. Here’s to another return to Nashville, another great round of music-making and collaborating, and to some fantastic adventures ahead.

Don’t forget to catch me Sunday night at the Commodore, at Holiday Inn Select, 2613 West End Ave, Nashville, TN, 37203, playing a few NEW original songs with some other great songwriters! Here’s the schedule.


IMG Source:Gramophone record – Wikipedia

Hi friends,

Things have really been eventful lately,  with long-winded road trips to far-off podunk towns, far-off not-so-podunk towns, and a second Dueling Piano tour in the good ol’ Home State to wind it off! In fact, so much zig-zagging his been done in the past three weeks that I’ve barely had time to sit down and write a new blog. This is the first time in a minute I’ve been able to sit down and compose anything. Still, I’ll have to keep today’s entry short!

First of all, if you’re reading, I want to THANK YOU for being so cool. Your very act of reading these words is giving strength to this blog and therefore strength to me and my creative efforts. I wish I could find the time to connect with each of you and bake you a cake. Until the physical manifestation of my gratitude, for now, please be content with THANKS! YOU ARE AWESOME!

 To those same people (you), I also wish to say SORRY for the laps of time since my last blog. I really am trying to get better about keeping up with this blog, no matter the traffic. The same principle goes for other areas in my life. Being present to everything, addressing it one by one, letting nothing go by the wayside is a constant balancing act. And of course, there’s the music. So, if you actually have been keeping up and were wondering where I went, or even if you didn’t notice, I will do my best to be more vigilant and consistent with my blog and my email list from now on!

As far as the music goes, I have been on a temporary writing hiatus with all of the traveling. Recording, at the moment, does not appear to be a possibility. That’s OK – I’d really like to focus on what matters right now, and that’s the writing. Since my first album effort did not pan out, so much time has gone by with so few songs! It’s time to get back into the mud of songwriting! I’ve been out of the game too long.

Once again, thank you so much for your support if you are a reader. If you’re not, subscribe if you like. I know this was an extra-short post, but I will be checking back in again and again with more and more updates, specifically as to what sorts of changes and cool things are happening both in my life and with my music!