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New single Virginia out now! 

My new single Virginia is out wherever streaming music is played, it's a bit of a different one from me and yet still familiar… I hope you enjoy it and the message. There's also a full production breakdown over on Patreon for those who want to support me and get behind-the-scenes information and even life stories told in the format of text and for the visually impaired I read it to you like an audiobook! You can find the song on Bandcamp as well over Here

But for five bucks a month on Patreon, you can help me keep the lights on and make a big impact on my ability to keep releasing music this year, as I have a LOT I want to share and talk about over there. Patreon is located: Here

Confessions Of A Songsmith 

It’s late on a Thursday evening as I type this, I’m getting a little time to myself to write out the agenda for the next weeks creative endeavors, I found this is my best way to get things done anymore… If I don’t write it down then perform the task and check it off my list, it will take a lot longer for me to get to it. So… I look at the number of projects I have stacking up and it feels like a lot!


There’s songs to mix, videos to edit, graphics to create, databases to enter venue information into and a whole lot of writing and corresponding to do.

Funny thing about being a musician is that you maybe get to spend 10% of your time being doing actual music and the rest of it is mostly spent doing a lot of other things. In 2023 that also means digital media creation and lots of administration tasks. I can see why the stars all hire someone as soon as they make enough money to pay for this to be done for them!

Photography is a big part of being an artist no matter what your main medium might be, and that has been both a blessing and a curse sometimes, but the fact remains that social media demands image, and so does a brand. I went for almost a year where I just couldn’t hardly bring myself to post anything to platforms like instagram or even this site, I was just tired of the constant hype, and to some degree I still refuse to generate unnecessary hype, but I am being much more active in the studio these days and so I suppose I probably should at least tell people about it.

My songs Time and Years have been well received, and every time that happens I keep hoping to make another song, only better! For me I have made a bit of a mental flip from being a performer and live act to being a songsmith who once in a while performs a live show, or manages to release a new video to a fledgling YouTube Channel. But the grind is real, even though I might not be very public about it I do feel like it amps up and goes through ebbs and flows of creative periods. Anyway that is about enough for this post so I will sign off now, and try and have something to share again soon.

New single released: Time  

I just want to take a moment here and say a word of thanks to everybody who helped share the new single! streaming platforms are taking their good old sweet time with launching this release for some reason and I may switch to a new distributor if they can't get their act together... 

But the response from you the listeners over on Bandcamp and on Facebook has been humbling, so thank you! This song all started on my humble studio floor one evening when I sat down on the rug with a guitar and a notebook and scribbled out the opening line and the chorus. The words just hit a flow and I went with it, it's a very simple song with a message I hope people relate to…

I wrote this song while reflecting on the fact that 20 years ago a teenager was sitting in his room listening to a lot of Doc Watson albums and plenty of singer-songwriters as well, and one night that teenager got out some paper and a pencil and began writing his first song! At some point the songs became public, and while they were juvenile and not fully formed yet, there was enough encouragement to keep going. I am glad I did! Time reflects on making life as a creative person, running towards a goal with full speed ahead, the ups and downs of life and the knowledge that win or lose I'm not alone. I think my favorite verse is the last one of the song but I'll let others chime in with what they like best also…


Twenty years of a crazy dream

Still, I wouldn’t trade it for anything

The same water that moves the boat

Is the drop that carves the stone



They say time changes everything

Who says "hold the line"

When the rough road

Puts you on the side?


Hot days and starry nights

Old guitars with tarnished strings…

Feelings that money can’t buy 

Doing right on the very first try


I still feel like I always did

I just don’t seem to get ahead

But the plan's the same

Same as it’s ever been…




In the end, we’re all the same

It’s the dreams that build our wings

In the jump, we learn to fly

And it’s love we need 

When we fall. 



New Single Years Released! 

My  new single "Years" is out! 


It's a love song kicking off a planned release later this year of the full album! But I hope you enjoy it wherever you listen to music! 

Back To My Roots 

It's kind of baffling when I look back on it... I have been making music for most of my life and now I have performed live for all of my "adult life" (whatever that is) and yet the goals rarely change.

In March of last year, I was set to make a very decent income from performing in a handful of venues that month, and the momentum was starting to feel like pre-pandemic times again! But in the span of about 48 hours, everything started to fall apart... One venue lost its license to sell alcohol, another decided to just do Karaoke instead of guitar players... The loss was rather staggering to have all at once, but as I have learned to not count money until the invoices have been paid in full I was going to be alright, however, this loss caused me to sit down and take some time to reflect...

Sitting there in my studio I seriously took a hard look at what 20 years had built up, the finite numbers I saw when it came to my social media following, my payments from streaming services... The numbers from online-only musicianship just didn't line up...

I wanted to quit. 

It crossed my mind that I could turn off all social media accounts and cancel the distribution of my art to platforms and just turn out the lights of the compound. 

After 20 years of working, two failed marriages, and many financial losses underlined by poor decision-making and even worse planning I felt like I could cash in my chips, sell off the excess gear and call it a wrap. The problem was I still LIKE playing music! At least I like playing the music I truly care about... Not the random covers. Not the homogenized generic songs that bar gigs reduce you to playing, to keep the patrons buying beer. No, I could leave that stuff behind and never miss it ever again. 

Also for the last several years, I have also been combating hand issues and chronic pain from various injuries that have never fully healed right...

Now I will jump in here and interject in the storyline that in 2020 I started down the path of trying to manage my pain better and so far I have managed little by little to do that and I can safely say that I am doing a lot better. I have scar tissue in my left wrist that has made it a good idea to switch to short-scale guitars and open tunings which have eased up the need to play as many knuckle-straining chord shapes...

Now back to the main story...

I was longing for the songs that I truly love. The ancient tones of generations that came before me... I love the ring of a truly great acoustic instrument under my command and the feel of wood and wire under tension creating a resonance and energy that compels me to strike the notes again and again. 

It was time to level up or shut up...

So for the rest of the year, I played some dates, moved some instruments around, converted my playing to largely short-scale guitars, and logged more hours on the fiddle. I also revived my use of a camera and started shooting YouTube videos again after hitting a nearly all-time low in creation in 2021. 

I arranged with Chris Ulbricht at Indianapolis Violins to create the monster Frankenstein of a fiddle that I now play almost exclusively, and somehow I found that July was the big push to complete a string of dates through some venues regionally before a self-created deadline... 

On August 1st I was officially done.

I played my last bar gig of the year and loaded my PA and all the instruments back into the van one last time after a hard night of struggling to engage with a crowd of people who were there to watch the game and drink cheap booze.

Sitting at my kitchen table with a typewriter, a notepad, and a comfortable playing guitar, a cup of something warm to sip, and usually my dog June curled up at my feet I spent a lot of happy hours last year building my songwriting muscle back up...

For the last 7 years, I have always found one reason or another to postpone making a new album. Lack of budget, time off from performing, or any number of things popped up to give me what I felt was an ironclad excuse for not releasing anything new. The truth was I felt didn't have a whole lot to say, or much drive to express myself. And I needed to reclaim that element of creativity which I had let slide a bit as I mentally clocked in and out from the bar room stage to play covers at shows. 

But suffice it to say when the dust settled over 2022 there is a notebook with the lyrics to some songs that I feel are more authentically "me" than anything I have written in years and the makings of a whole album. 

The real question now is how to fit it all together and make this album... Gear isn't an issue. (I have better stuff than ever before) My studio is more than capable of getting it done. The challenges are more along the lines of the mental gymnastics involved in self-producing, engineering, and performing an album, all without any real backing. I feel my following even after all this time is still so small that crowdfunding probably isn't viable to cover the expenses I will incur during production, and streaming will not recoup my investment in less than 10 years... Still, there's always a way around the mountain so we move forward even if it's an inch at a time...




Radio Silence... 

When I was a kid, I lived with the radio on all the time... The local Country station was a valuable asset that gave out solid weather forecasts and broke into the action when big storms loomed to keep the people informed of when it was time to take shelter. They also played a wonderful selection of classic songs and an almost curated playlist of better quality recent Country during the 90s. The local college NPR station played Old Time Radio shows and I got my drama fix from those. TV was a joke for getting any reception, unless you had a dish.

What am I trying to say? Well I guess the thing I'm trying to convey here is that I'm breaking the radio silence over here... You know the radio silence? Like when your favorite song ends and the DJ must have taken a lunch break because nothing else came on? I upload content daily to social media but despite actually paying a fee every month to have this website I rarely actually utilize this space. 

That ends today! From here on out you will be finding more information here about my comings and goings than anyplace else. 

So for right now, I figured I would open up a little bit. 

I'm making a new album, that's right! An ALBUM! Not an EP, and not another single or crude little recording in my kitchen. 

My goal is to record simple, honest songs with upfront vocals, hardly any effects, and minimal editing. The songs will be a distillation of my life's work thus far and some folks will probably recall the sound to some of my most early DIY recordings but with much better sound quality. Also, there will be a heavy amount of video action to see here too! 


DIY, why would you want to do that? 

DIY Music? Who would want to do that?! 
Ok so in the past I have been scolded for making fun of “The Voice” and at times I have been rather coy when asked to be part of some sort of arts alliance or music association but I’m going to come clean here and lay out some thinking that I have had rolling around in my head for the last month... 

Radio Shank (RIP) had a rather cool ad that sadly did nothing to help keep them thriving in the business world but it talked about DIY or “DIT” which stood for “Do It Together” and I think the Maker Community in general has had a better grasp of skill sharing than artists in the music industry have... Funny how wood workers and metal workers are artists too and yet they seem to have a better ability to get paid, and make a living from their art than musicians! 

A little history here: I grew up around skilled craftsmen who built things out of iron and wood. Fences, railings... Sculptures and wagons and carriages to name a few things that were built, funny thing was when a guy who mostly did welding got a job that might require a lot of forging he would team up with another artisan close by and the two would share resources like shop space and materials, with a fair split of the money going to each maker.... 

Now musicians seem to have two schools of thought... There’s the “I need to be on The Voice so I can get a record deal” and then there’s the crowd who basically screams from the rooftops “screw The Voice, I’lll build my career myself” and while neither option is what I consider “wrong” I hardly agree that this type of thinking is the best means to go about a task... 

First of all, yes The Voice is a TV show loosely based on reality, though I certainly feel like the reality of the winners contract looks and feels more like financial bondage and a nightmare to me... There’s some perks to being on The Voice... First of all it really does put you in a place where you may get some instantaneous exposure (More on Exposure later, but remember people die from “Exposure” every year) For instance a friend of mine had around 3’400 Likes on Facebook and was on The Voice. She was booted after the first real episode but she walked away with 25k Likes on her page! Now that’s a pretty serious hike... But how many people are now die-hard fans who will come to shows and spend money? Good question... 

Now for the folks who scream out “SCREW THE VOICE!” I say this.... 
Sure, knock it all you want, but it is good television! While you’re probably not going to see me on the show, nor have I even so much as been asked to be a contestant... I will address the idea that doing it all yourself is not going to always guarantee a better career than going for a quick fame grab on TV... 

The idea that you can make an album in your bedroom with free software and a basic computer setup and a few hundred bucks worth of hardware and microphones seems pretty romantic, doesn’t it? Sure an artist with even a ten year old laptop running free software has more sonic options available than The Beatles had when they made Revolver, but... Let me point out that The Beatles, while very hands on and involved in the creative process of their craft, did not make those albums alone... They also did not use home studios until later on when relationships got strained and John and George wanted to cut demos at home. They had guys like George Martin cracking the whip and calling the shots! 

See these days I see so many artists getting a glow in their eye and talking about wanting to take a four track recorder into the woods to some remote cabin and make an album all alone and without distraction... I ask you, have you ever done it? Have you ever made an album alone before? Because I have! In fact I have made several releases tucked away and alone from the world... Frankly it’s lonely and it starts to wear you down, to the point you can’t tell if the first take was really any better than the 5th... Also you have no positive energy to feed off of after you keep screwing up the solo on the bridge. 

I say what we need more of is DIT instead of DIY or worse DIO (Do It Ourselves) but since we like reality so much in entertainment I’m going to get real here. 
Frankly I have no budget for my next release and my fanbase is probably too small to crowd fund off of, and seemingly my best options may well be to head out alone again to forage another albums worth of finished songs... Or else reach for the stars and grab a quick dose of fame on TV and hope it gets me enough people who want to invest at the very least... 

Or what I can do is this: Hey “insert talented artist I know” I will film your EPK for YOUR Music, if you will come play tambourine and hit record in the software while I lay down MY tracks... Or hey I made this video of me singing a new song, will you share it on your page, in turn I’ll share the cool picture promoting you opening for that awesome national act you need to bring in a crowd for... See how that mutually scratched both backs? 

Look, there’s less and less money to be made in music every year it seems... But there’s more and more tools out there to make it. What we as artists need to do is band together while retaining our independence from whatever it is we are afraid of being shackled to... 

If you don’t always like each others music that’s fine but be positive, yet honest. Victor Wooten always gives three compliments for one critique, maybe we could all stand to follow that value... But if I have an awesome video camera and you have an awesome space but no video gear... Invite me over to shoot a video and in turn maybe I can shoot you some footage of your project too! If you’re good at booking gigs but horrible at recording and mixing... Trade me some gig booking (seriously I hate booking gigs) and I’d be happy to track and mix a few songs... If we could all get just as creative with how to help each other achieve our dreams as we get making excuses for why we can’t earn a living making our art, somehow I think we could ALL prosper and grow as artists and creators of things. 

I don’t think we all need a record label, and I don’t think we need “arts alliances” with boards of directors and non profit statuses to help us make art. In fact I am VERY gun-shy of “Non Profit” outfits who are out to help me make art... They seem to be fine with not making a profit, but I’m not! I want to make a freaking living here! 

If you’ve made it through this, I want to thank you, and I hope you’re getting something out of this, maybe some ideas, maybe the courage to finally ask for help instead of just making another excuse for why your new YouTube video or promo photoshoot isn’t out yet, or why your EP sounds like crap, because you somehow think you don’t have any access to gear. 

Tell you what... At the next open mic you find yourself out at, why not ask one of the other artists if there’s something you can help with, maybe they can exchange a skill too. 

Being an artist is a lot like being in a fight... You gotta fight through the noise and you gotta punch through the fog to be seen and heard... A boxer once said “When you want to break a guys nose you aim for the back of his head” I think that graphic statement is a lot like being an artists today... You want to get a million views on YouTube, better shoot a video and produce it like you want 20 million views!

Dear Ryan Adams 

Dear Ryan Adams 

I’m a big fan of yours, and your music has been a great source of inspiration to me over the years! Heartbreaker is one of my all time favorite records and Ashes And Fire has songs that I feel as though were written solely for me. My Wrecking Ball brings back a number of memories of driving my Honda around town late at night in the summer trying hard to avoid going home to my empty house every night... So many of your songs feel like a warm blanket and a cup of tea on an otherwise cold and bleak canvas of day to day life... 

But you recently posted how you feel like because of the monsters in our government that it’s kind of tough to play Buck, your famous red white and blue Harmony guitar that has almost become an icon of your brand... I get it, I see where you’re coming from but please... PLAY that guitar loudly and often! 

Ryan you and your music are just a couple of things that make this country great, you have a creative drive and stamina as an artist that inspires far too many in this country and we as a community of creatives look up to you, we need you now more than ever to represent American artists. Government has never really been what makes a country great, it has always been the people, and Ryan... You are one of those people! We NEED you to be outspoken about being from America and to tell people around the world that Americans are not hateful monsters and that our flag is not as distorted and bigoted as media outlets will tell us. 

Please play the red white and blue, keep the flag held up high, as someone with a platform and a voice people listen to, please be kind in choosing your words, but speak the truth even if your voice shakes while you do it. Be the difference for so many unheard indie voices today who rarely get time in the spotlights as you have managed to do. 

Please speak for American artists and be our loudest voice, even if you have to yell... So be it! Don’t back down due to pressure or political rhetoric that says being proud of America is not cool anymore. Be the change in our country, for Gods sake DO NOT RUN FOR OFFICE! There is far more good that could be done outside the confines of such a place... 
 Just treat people well, in public and private and be kind to animals but most importantly  keep bringing dignity to a flag so many others have burned, mocked and tread upon. 

Your fan. 



For years now it's never made sense to have New Years in January... Fall has always been the new year for me, and it wasn't until around 2011 that I learned that the Jewish calendar actually places the new year in the fall! There's something ever so peaceful about watching the leaves change from green to shades of gold and red, and the joyful sound of birds on the great migration southbound.

As I sit here at my desk the gutters are filling up with red maple leaves and the yard has squirrels feverishly hauling away the freshly fallen walnuts that grow on our land. One pudgy fellow I have nicknamed "fat boy" seems to enjoy seeing just how fast our dogs can run when they go out to do their business...

Fall has a cleansing effect sometimes too, sometimes in past years my life has changed pretty drastically during the month of October, this year things so far have been pretty calm. I'm happy to say I'm doing much better emotionally and mentally than in years passed. I'm really looking forward to the next season, even if it will be a bitter sweet departure from the warm climate that I have enjoyed for the last three years or so. Fall brings to a close the long hot nights and the blood thirsty bugs that sting and bite and raise welts that are oh so itchy.

The cooler weather also seems to afford me more time in the studio to write and record new material for spring tours and shows, though these days the shows are still pretty plentiful at the moment.

Anyway the tea is gone, and the guitars are calling me, so this post is coming to a close.



So it's been a crazy summer and I haven't updated too much online other than getting in an occasional debate among friends or sharing a few thoughts on Twitter and now it's time to give up a little news, but first... A story!

three years ago in the spring of 2013 I asked the girl of my dreams to marry me. She of course found this singer songwriter from Indiana charming and said yes. What came next was a crazy summer and action packed fall that had me selling off unused gear and re-homing furniture I no longer would be needing, packing everything I owned which was now condensed to a pile of mostly vintage wood and metal working tools and a ready stable of guitars into my Dad's Chevy van and driving south to Naples, Florida...

Once in Florida we were married and began our lives together. My new wife continued working at her job with the county Sheriff office and I lined up every gig as frontman, sideman or session man that I could hook up. With the help of a few new friends we formed a band and managed to play out 6 nights a week in a cover act in bars and clubs in the region. My playing grew and improved every week. I learned to sling a lot of twang heavy guitar solos for the hard partying beer drinking crowd and yet bring it to dead silence with a solo fiddle tune that could bring a tear to a glass eye. It was a great run there until things sort of wore out. First I noticed pain in my left wrist, the kind that made giving my wife a foot rub almost impossible... Then I started to feel the empty heaviness of performing songs that conveyed a message that I may not morally even believe in... Once that happened the fun of lugging in heavy PA gear, setting up a stage and needing to swap guitar strings 20 minutes to show time became a lot less exciting and a lot more soul sucking... The shear dread of attempting to wolf down a late night menu offering from a 24 hour hash house after a late bar gig was also making me feel sick most of the time. Again I am grateful for the chance to truly learn what it is to be a performing musician that many nights a week and to have a set routine Tuesday through Sunday night... But the harsh reality of performing that type of music was robbing me of the joy and even the ability of creating new music of my own.

Around that same time my wife Ashlea had some medical issues that made our lives change forever and my main focus needed to be her recovery. I will admit I had a lot to learn still after only a year of marriage, and our lives became shaken up a good deal... After the dust started to settle... So did I.
I took a job washing dishes part time in an effort to fend off bills, and yet still be home for my wife when she needed me, also our newly adopted Puppy Savannah needed nurturing and potty training. I still managed to move up, working a day job and it ended up one year later that instead of washing dishes I was helping run the place. But living in a tourist driven community it doesn't take long to get dug into some ruts and a few bad financial decisions here and there catch up quickly. I threw myself into my work as much as possible while still trying to balance being a husband and a creative person (I often times see that I failed at both this last year and a half) Let's just say it's been hard. On the one hand I feel like I "washed up" as a performing artist but then the writer in me points out that I wasn't actually performing my own material most of the time and I'm still rather unproven when it comes to original music and performance. I'm proud to have gone from a two night a week dish washer to being management and I couldn't have done it without the stellar crew I had to work with every night on the floor.

None-the-less it is time to make some changes. With both of us working full time the last year our marriage went through some pretty rocky stretches and some pretty lonely ones as well... Living on different schedules, going to bed and leaving at differing times, not to mention the stress it caused for our adoring dog Savannah...

I've missed home.
The realization probably hit me about the second overdraft charge of February in our bank account... The harsh reality that no matter how frugal one lives and how hard you work, that the bills increase or the landlord raises the rent, and in a town like this if you get behind, well... There's a line of people waiting for your spot on the dirt...

I have missed my family and many of the familiar faces of long lost friends, not to mention the various apple orchards and artist grade bakeries I grew up indulging in as a boy in Cincinnati. I've missed the sound of tug boats on the Ohio river and the distant rumble of freight trains hauling their cargo through the night... Missed that smell of a camp fire on a firefly infested night, and I have longed for the togetherness of a local coffee shop where good friends gather to share art and fellowship.

This spring my Dad was diagnosed with Osteoporosis and things he used to do all the time, like climbing ladders are now on the "Do Not Attempt List" so I flew up in June to help with some work around the many houses my Dad maintains... Long story short it's become clear that this Midwestern boy needs to return to his roots, get his hands dirty, and create something meaningful again. Now it's my time to climb some ladders. A house has been renovated and a lot of packing is involved, some risks and some leaps of faith are at play but it's just that season of our lives to make some changes.

In some ways it scares me and it feels a little like backtracking but the pros and cons of leaving one home for another are pretty cut and dried. I look forward to October in the hills of southeast Indiana when the oak leaves turn a crimson hue and the maple goes from green to gold, as the wind whistles a tune through the pine needles, as if to say summer is over, but Christmas will be here soon.

I will miss warm and mild winters, especially since I hate cold weather as a rule... I'll miss the taste of fresh squeezed orange juice when it is so pure and sweet that one sip will remind you that there really has to be a God. And I'll miss the old Hispanic guy who sells tomatoes in the Ace Hardware parking lot. I will miss the crew I worked and served beside at Henning's Chicago Kitchen, and I will miss the many wonderful musicians and friends I have made in the state of Florida.

A piece of my heart will always be in Southwest Florida and we plan to return often, but it's time for our new great adventure to begin. Ashlea hasn't seen snow in years and the dog never has before. There's still paint to spread and fences to repair and wood to haul but a little voice in both our heads seems to say the best is yet to come. We look forward to getting involved in our Indianapolis community and once again rejoining the wonderful people who over the years have become dear to us both.

Where music fits into the future I honestly no longer know, as I struggle through painful tendonitis that is however slowly healing and the restoration of damaged muscles and joints. Ashlea has stood by me through my months of self doubt and worry and encouraged me through the lows, and laughed with me through the good times... Now it's my turn to move up to the plate and take a swing at something a little more fulfilling than washing dishes or rambling through a cover of Wagon Wheel.

The highway is calling and the engine is warming up, we will see you there!