Tuesday, January 17, 2017

Booking & Etc

Booking is going well for 2017.  Looks like we could wind up at some festivals we've never played and in some different regions!  Part of that is we're actively pursuing playing other parts of the country and yes, possibly even overseas, and part of it is the success of our album, Rain, which as of this week is STILL on the RMR charts (25 weeks straight and counting).

In the meantime, we're getting ready to begin recording the NEXT album, and I'm really excited about the project.  It will be quite a departure from the first three CDs in that it will be much more stripped down, and actually quite dark, but it was actually very therapeutic to write about some of the dark times I've gone through over the past 10 years, since the 2006 CD, Tales From A 2 Lane.  More about that later.

In the meantime, if you or your festival would like to book us this coming year, better act fast!  I only play a limited live schedule throughout the year! 

Wednesday, January 4, 2017

2017 Here We Come

Although 2016 was a great year for us, with our first new CD in 10 years winding up staying on the RMR Contemporary Blues Charts for the entire last half of the year, and into the new year, we've got some exciting plans for the coming year, including.....

1. A new album which will drop hopefully late spring, early summer.  I'm really excited about this album as it will be a marked difference from our other projects.  It will be very "heavy" and "dark" but represents some of the stuggles I've been through over the past 10 years.

2. A more ambitious touring schedule.  Although we have a comfortable schedule of repeat performances at venues and festivals, we're planning on taking the act our further and reaching new audiences who may not have seen us perform before, and only heard us on radio etc.  In the past we've gotten requests from festivals across the nation and even overseas, and this year, we hope to make more of them.

How can you help?  Let your local festival know you'd like us to play there!  Just pass along our contact information!

Friday, December 23, 2016

Merry Christmas!

First of all, I'd like to wish you a very Merry Christmas and a happy, healthy, blessed New Year!  It's been a great year for us.  We kinda came back on the scene after a long hiatus with an album which hit the charts the same week as it's release in late July and stayed in the top 40 of the RMR Contemporary Blues Chart the rest or the year! Amazing! After that, I released a Christmas EP, Christmas Past, and it wound up being played around the world as well.

I have to  say a big "Thank You" to several, including Heath Glisson and Coffee Street Records for his support and hard work on both projects.  William Gross Magee did an outstanding job on the artwork, as he did on the last album, 10 years ago.  The guys in the band were solid as usual, along with guests Alonzo Pennington, Solon Smith and the great Col JD Wilkes!  Finally, for the project, to get us back on the scene with a splash, it was suggested we use a publicist.  When I asked around, the same name kept coming up, so that's who we went with.  Without a doubt, the album would not have done as well as it did without the hard work of Frank Roszak. He did a phenomenal job getting the album out there in the hands and ears of the right people. As in any business, you increase your chances for success if you surround yourself with the BEST. Last but not least, a huge thanks to the DJs, Program Directors and Presenters.  Without them NO ONE would have ever heard either project.

We're not sitting idle in 2017 though. Another album is already written and we'll begin recording soon.  I'm really excited about this album.  I think it will be our best work yet, although it will be VERY DARK.....  You'll hear more about it soon as we dive into the project.  In the meantime, bless you all for a year better than I deserve a hopefully an even better 2017!

Tuesday, November 22, 2016

Christmas Past

Really excited about the upcoming release of a collection of Christmas songs, Christmas Past.  The EP was recorded in Paducah, Kentucky at Coffee Street Records Studios, just like our last release, Rain.  Quote honestly, if this wasn't a seasonal release, I'd keep it in the can longer since Rain is still on the charts and doing well! 

This was a really stripped down effort, with just me on guitars, my engineer, co-producer Heath Glisson on bass and drums and, Matt Lyerla, a very talented multi-instrumentalist, on piano on 3 songs.

I wanted to record a couple or original Christmas songs I'd written, especially "Christmas Past" which I actually wrote 15 or 20 years ago but had never gotten around to recording.  The other four songs on the EP are favorites of mine which I've played for years at some local assisted living centers at Christmastime.

The EP features some rockers: "Winter Wonderland" and "Run Run Rudolph", with great piano solos by Matt, along with "Blue Christmas" which is kinda mashujp between Elvis' and Leon Redbone's.  "White Christmas" is kind of a unique arrangement.  Hard to describe, other than nowhere NEAR the familiar version.  "Christmas with my Baby" is a nice little blues shuffle with light hearted lyrics.  "Christmas Past" is kinda neat.  When I wrote it, I was surprised I'd never hear of a Christmas song with this title and covering this subject in this way.  Heath did a nice turn on the bass, too.

For you gearheads, I only used 2 guitars: a Brian Setzer 6120SSU Tiger Stripe Gretsch, and one of my favorite strats, Forrest, a '79 25th Anniversary Fender Strat, I only used 2 effects: Boss Tremolo, and Fulltone OCD.  Probably the thing which stands out most on this CD is my voice.  I'm happy to report I've now been smoke free for more than 6 months, and I'm not only hitting notes I haven't hit in 20 years, I'm hitting notes I've NEVER hit! 

Christmas Past will be released shortly after Thanksgiving!

Tuesday, November 15, 2016

Charts! Christmas!

 Hard to believe we're approaching 4 months of the Roots Music Report's Contemporary Blues Chart and still hanging in there with our latest release, Rain.  I never would have imagined, after 10 years, we'd get the reception we have from listeners, DJs, PDs and Presenters.  Thank you so much, from the bottom of my heart.

I guess the thing which is most remarkable to me, is that DJs have played ALL 10 songs on the CD, and the CD has been played all over the world!

Meanwhile, the holidays will be here before you know it, and I'm thrilled to say, we're merely days away from releasing my first collection of Christmas songs.  Christmas Past is an EP of 6 Christmas songs, 2 originals and 4 favorites, with 2 of them done with very unusual arrangements.

I always loved Christmas songs, but never recorded any until now.  The EP includes Christmas Past, a song I wrote more than 10 years ago, but never recorded until now, along with another original, Christmas With My Baby.  The old favorites are songs which I've included each year while playing Christmas shows with the band, 61 South, and also during solo/duo acoustic shows during the Christmas season.  Man y of these shows have actually been at assisted living facilities, so it's been heart warming for me as well as the residents, and it gets to more dear to my heart each year.  More about EP soon!  It's scheduled for release around Thanksgiving!

Monday, October 10, 2016

A Break from The Stage

Didn't really plan it, but after a great weekend playing 2 really fun festivals, I'll be taking a break for a few weeks.  Friday night, we played the inaugural Beltline Blues Festival in Paducah, KY at The Riff, along with Bosco France, Stacy Mitchart, Scott Holt and Eddie Turner.  A great lineup!  I was especially thrilled Eddie Turner made his first visit to the area!  Been a big fan of his for years, and it's so cool with both of us having albums on the charts right now!

Saturday night it was the Beer, Blues and Brats Festival at Discovery Park of America in Union City, TN where we shared billing with longtime friends Little Boys Blue, who have been on the charts all summer long with their latest album.  It was great to catch up and also really enjoyed hearing them play live for the first time since we both played this event last year! Last year when we played this it was FREEZING, and while it was a little chilly this year, it was warmer.  The result was the crowd was HUGE! It was a special night.  Also, this past weekend, I was finally able to play the '79 Anniversary Strat for the entire shows.  This is the guitar which belonged to my late friend, Forrest Hurd of the Hurd Brothers Band.  It took some work, but we finally got it just like I wanted and it's incredible!

The new CD, Rain, continues to stay in the Top 25 Nationwide on the Roots Music Report's Contemporary Blues Chart!  The reviews have been really great too!  Just this week, an acquaintance sent me a clipping from DownBeat Magazine, which gave us a GREAT review!  What a THRILL!  We'll continue riding this out for as long as it last.  In the meantime, I'm getting ready for Christmas! That means recording a Christmas EP and getting ready for Christmas shows in December!  I'm sorry! ALL of them are private shows, BUT if that changes, I'll let you know!

Bless you, in the Blues....

Tuesday, October 4, 2016

Charts, Shows, Christmas and 2017!

It's hard to believe but the new CD, Rain, is  closing in on 2 months on the Blues Radio Charts! What is still most amazing to me is that ALL 10 of the songs on the CD have been played by stations, and EIGHT of the songs have charted on the Singles Charts!  Needless to say, we're thrilled with it's success.

We'll be playing songs from the new album at 2 really cool festivals this weekend:  Friday night, we'll play at the inaugural Beltline Blues Festival at The Riff Concert Hall in Paducah, KY, along with one of my favorite guitar players, Bosco France.  

Saturday night, we're at Discovery Park of America in Union City, Tennessee for the Beer, Blues and Brats Festival.  We played this event last year and it was a blast, with lots of craft breweries from around the state and region, and great food!!! We'll also be performing alongside our longtime friends, Little Boys Blue! It's been a great year for both of us!  LBB has been on the charts for 5 months now with their new release!

After this, we'll have a break from shows until December, then it's time for Christmas shows and parties.  That will be fun and especially this year because, I hope to have a Christmas EP out in time for the holidays!  Recording has begun and is moving along nicely!  Still undecided whether it will be a strictly digital release or not, but it will have at least 2 original Christmas songs, along with 4 or 5 classic Christmas songs.  Stay tuned!   Of course, beginning later this month, we'll
step it up, booking for next year!  If you would like to book us for your festival or other event, contact us here!