Wednesday, May 11, 2016

Guitar Story: My '79 Anniversary Strat

It all began with a text message from a friend of mine late last year.  He was at a local music store and texted me that he thought an old beat up 1979 26th Anniversary Fender Stratocaster, which just came in the door, once belonged to a friend of mine.

I was very interested because the friend of mine was  fantastic guitar player who once played in a band with his brother is Southern Illinois.  I made a few phone calls and looked through some old pictures and became convinced it probably WAS my friend's old guitar.  The person who traded in the guitar said it came from an estate, and the original owner once played in a band called the Hurt Brothers.  He said he had gotten the guitar in a trade, for a pickup truck.

I learned enough so that I was pretty sure he was talking about Forrest Hurd, who along with his brother, Doug, were the foundation of The Hurd Brothers Band.  They were seasoned road warriors, playing anywhere and everywhere, from roadside joints to opening shows for Robin Trower and other top notch acts.  I had even jammed with them onstage. They truly were two of the nicest guys I ever knew in addition to be great musicians.

They burned up the road until an early morning in 2004, while returning homw from a gig, their truck was struck by a drunk driver.  The truck turned over and burst into flames and unfortunately, both Hurd brothers were killed.

I went to the music store and looked the guitar over.  Of course they were asking more than what it was worth, especially because of it's condition and the fact it had been altered with a Floyd Rose bridge.  Since I felt strongly it was my friend's guitar though, I bought it.  It was more than simply reliced.  What finish was left on the guitar was turned deep brown, no doubt by the flames on the night they lost their lives.

I took it to Timothy Korts at Stringworks in Paducah, KY, who does a lot of my guitar work.  It needed more than a setup.  It needed refretting among other things.  What a surprise when Korts pulled the neck, and there in the pocket was my old friend Forrest Hurd's signature!

It really was Forrest's guitar.  It took a lot of work on Kort's part, but in the end, I had a great sounding guitar with a sentimental value no measured in dollars.  I love playing Forrest's old strat, even though I'll never play it as well as he did.

Wednesday, July 2, 2014

Homemade Recipe for Weed B Gone/Roundup!

This should save LOTS of money! A recipe to make your own spray weed killer from simple, cheaper, household items!

Thursday, June 12, 2014

7 Years and Counting....

Hard to believe but it's been 7 years now since I left the world of TV News/Meteorology and went into marketing and business consulting!  I'm very lucky in that I still get to do meteorology work in my job with Bristol Broadcasting, but I also do so much more.

I'm often asked if "I miss it?"  The answer kind of has 2 parts.  I DO miss being the steady hand on the wheel during severe weather episodes.  Those were the times I felt like I was really making a difference in life and death situations and got a lot of wonderful feedback from viewers on handling those situations!

On the other hand, in the time since, I discovered a lot about myself and the "real world."  I discovered I had a knack for helping local businesses grow their bottom line.  I didn't really have a secret formula.  I just was myself. I was honest. I analyzed data. I made honest recommendations based upon my research on how to best approach a campaign. If it benefitted me. Great.  If it didn't benefit me, but benefitted the business. Great. The choice was and is always, what benefits the business I'm trying to help.  I was never a "hard sell" or "high energy salesperson."  Mostly because I am NOT a salesperson! I just like helping people.  Of course, along the way, I also discovered that being a major revenue source for a company pays better than being a revenue drain for a company. Yes, it's better to MAKE money for a company than COST them money through a salary.  Sad but true. A person with the ability to bring in a lot of money is valued more than someone who can accurately forecast the weather!  Although I try to do both well.

Where did I learn about running a business and how to be sucessfull?  That's easy! My band!  I learned how to run the business, market the business, treat clients and customers and seek out additional revenue streams.  The shocking part is although I'm not a full time, touring musician, I earn MORE in royalties than many full time, touring musicians.  That includes many names you might recognize!  The cool thing is, now I can share my knowledge with other musicians.  Some are full time, career musicians, who I've found, I can help.  I can help them find additional revenue sources they may not have known or thought of.  I look up to many of them and am so thrilled to help put more money in their hard working pockets!  It's so sad, but many times great musical artists are exploited in the music business, and miss out on a lot of money which is actually intended to be THEIR'S. I really enjoy meeting with them, talking to them, and helping FIND that money for them.  After all they EARNED it.

Will I ever go back to TV News? Well I never say never, but it's doubtful.  I would most likely have to take a pay cut at most stations.  The money, along with the audience size,  is not what it used to be in TV.  Then there's my age.  Although I've had contact with several stations since leaving "the biz," it hasn't worked out, either because of reservations on their end, or mine. I'm OK with that. I'm picky about who I work for, and I really do enjoy the creative freedom I have in my current endeavors.

Maybe I'll go back to TV weather on a part-time basis when I semi-retire in a few years. Then again, maybe I'll just play more music, where and when and for how much I want, while working with other bands and artists to help THEM make more money.  Who knows.  The only thing I know for sure is God will lead me and let me know.  He didn't steer me wrong when he led me to leave.  He opened a new door for me, and showed me I had talents I never realized I had!

Friday, May 30, 2014

The Greatest Live Shot EVER!!!

Someone found this old clip and sent it to me. It's from 1993. It was Elvis' birthday and the Post Office began selling the Elvis Stamp.  The cast of characters includes myself, Tom Butler and the great Wayne Wallace!  It was my favorite live report ever and after seeing it, after more than 20 years, it brought back a lot of memories and cracked me up again!  Tom Butler's response was as usual, perfect!  Just click on the video below to play.

Sunday, May 25, 2014

Remember Those "Booms" Heard In The Area?

Remember back in the winter?  When there were all those reports of loud "booms" heard throughout the region?  There was a LOT of speculation about where they were coming from.  Well, I can report while having dinner last week with a large bunch, a few of the people in attendence admitted THEY were the source of most of the reports.

Yep, it was a folgers coffee can, filled with tannerite, and then shot by them.  LOUD explosions and therefore BOOMS resulted.  Good fun was had by a few. Good questions were raised by MANY others!

There ya go..... BOOM.

Saturday, May 10, 2014

My Trip To The Blues Music Awards, 2014

Had a great time at the 35th Annual Blues Awards in Memphis! Haven't been in a few years.  Great to see a lot of old friends and make a few new ones..... (click on the picture for a larger view)

Several remarked to me this Blues Music Awards Week would long be remembered by them as the first one which brought together the 2 top meteorologist/blues guitarist IN THE WORLD: Myself and the great Kevin Selfe, of Delta Groove artist Kevin Selfe and the Tornadoes, and The Mannish Boys.  Ok....maybe not as many mentioned it...but it was true.

You know you're in Memphis, when in the hotel lobby, you see a grown man sporting an Elvis tattoo on his calf.

Carlene Roach from North Alabama.  She was raised in Columbus, KY and along with her husband, Robert, were quite possibly the only people at the BMAs who knew where Fulton was!  What a sweet couple!

Some Blues fans are quite particular about proper Blues dress! I noticed this was a blue plaid.

Great crowd for the reception at the Cannon Center in Memphis!

Last time I went to the BMAs, we put Bobby Rush on the phone with my wife, Bridget. She thought we were fooling and said some wild things to Bobby.  It was priceless.  This time, Bobby offered his condolences and prayed with me.  No  wonder, in addition to being one of my favorite artists, he's one of my favorite people.

Packed house at the Cannon Center for the awards show! They didn't want us to go to the stage to take pictures and requested we stay in our seats.  That's why this is the only picture I took inside the hall. It was a great show though!

Scott Holt, a fellow Native Tennessean, is a hoot!  I opened for him years ago at the Jenn Jam in Cairo, IL

My favorite living, left handed guitarist: Tom Holland.  This guy's a MONSTER player.

Your standard, obligatory Beale Street shot.

Still. One of the coolest things we did the past year, was play one of his songs for his granddaughter.

FLASHBACK: October, 2013 with Kala Bland and her lovely mom, Melanie McDaniel
Friday, I decided to do something during the day I hadn't done and check out some of the museums I hadn't been to.  I'd been to Sun Studios, Graceland and the National Civil Rights Museum (all of which I recommend). This time, I went to the Rock and Soul Museum, and found this 1954 Gibson Reissue Scotty Moore model.

Also, this G&L presented to Carl Perkins by Leo Fender! I met Carl several times during my time in Jackson, TN.  Such a nice man, in addition to his legend. Nice!

Back for the dedication of the Blues Foundation's Blues Hall of Fame on Main Street in Memphis.

An Elvfie!

Lunch at Blues City Cafe for "wet" ribs.  I love the dry ones at Rendezvous, too.  Truth is, there are dozens of places in Memphis where you can get the "best ribs in town!"

Went through the Gibson guitar factory tour.  No pictures because they are afraid someone would take the pictures and began manufacturing guitars just as good as Gibson, and if there are no pictures, no one will ever know how they are made.....please.  I love you Gibson.  Even play a couple of yours.

This is the coolest toilet seat ever.

Friday afternoon. Went to the Stax Museum of American Soul Music.  This may have been be the best museum I visited this day.  Great stuff!

This tape really interested me there.  I remembered it from Tom Dowd's documentary "The Language of Music."  If you haven't seen this documentary, YOU NEED TO!  What a story, about this tape in particular.

This is the tape machine on which it was recorded.

And YES, what Tom Dowd said in the doc was true about the markings....

This is most depressing part of the tour for me.  The part about how Stax Records used to use antiquated typewriters in the 70s.  The I recognized it as EXACTLY the ones we used to produce newscasts at WBBJ-TV in the 80S!!!

Otis Redding's Grammy for "Dock of the Bay"  Pretty cool.

Friday night: Hit the road for Clarksdale, MS

Haven't seen Candye Kane perform in 20 years.  Bridget was with me last time, in Nashville, where she played a show with Marcia Ball and Kim Wilson.

Great show.  Great voice. Great entertainer.  Laura Chavez rocked it on guitar, too.

Late night snack in the Delta.

Saturday.  Back home on the bluff. Overlooking the Mississippi Delta.

Monday, March 17, 2014

The Blazin' Wings Challenge at Buffalo Wild Wings

So Thursday and Friday, I'll probably have lunch at Buffalo Wild Wings while enjoying the NCAA Tournament.  Kind of a tradition.  THIS year, I found out, they now have the "Blazin' Wings Challenge!"  Blazin' is their hottest sauce.  It's VERY hot. I have it every so often when I'm at Buffalo Wild Wings!  I'm thinking, I should do THIS! I can handle Blazin'. Have many times.  Here are the rules:

  1. The Blazin’ Challenge consists of eating 12 Blazin’ wings in 6 minutes or less.
  2. Participants must be timed by a Buffalo Wild Wings employee.
  3. All chicken wing meat must be removed by participant from the bone with the mouth only.
  4. All wing meat must be off the bone and into the mouth at the times-up signal. All wing meat that goes into the mouth must be swallowed
  5. Anyone who vomits during the course of the event is automatically disqualified.
  6. No drinks of any kind can be consumed while participating in the Blazin’ Challenge
  7. Participant cannot use: celery, Bleu Cheese or Ranch Dressing during the Blazin’ Challenge
  8. Once the Blazin’ Challenge is successfully completed, Participant must agree to have his or her photo taken and give permission to display on the Blazin’ Wall.
  9. Upon the successful completion of the Blazin’ Challenge Participant acknowledges that an “I survived the Blazin’ Challenge” t-shirt is available for purchase by participant.
SO I'm reading the rules and it's OK, UNTIL I get to the last one.  "I survived the Blazin' Wings Challenge t-shirt is available for purchase by participant.  WHAT? IF I BUY the wings, IF I eat the wings in 6 minutes. You'll ALLOW me to BUY the t-shirt, which prolly cost them $2? I dunno man. Seems like they'd get ALOT more participation is they GAVE you the cheap t-shirt. 

The phrase is "Been there, done that, got the t-shirt to prove it!" NOT "Been there, done that, BOUGHT the t-shirt to prove it"  COME ON MAN, BWW!