**WE CONTINUE TO TOUGH IT OUT THIS WEEK
ON TOBY KEITH’S AMERICA’S TOUGHEST TOUR!!**
Thursday July 30-Memphis,TN.
**for more August dates with Toby,please visit EVENTS page**
**WE CONTINUE TO TOUGH IT OUT THIS WEEK
ON TOBY KEITH’S AMERICA’S TOUGHEST TOUR!!**
Thursday July 30-Memphis,TN.
**for more August dates with Toby,please visit EVENTS page**
on the bike again
It was one of those things: yer hangin’ out havin’ a few pops and somebody asks if you’d be interested in doing something that at the time might not seem so crazy-I’ve committed to going bungee-jumping and skydiving in the past while under the influence and when reminded later—when stone cold sober– I denied ever having consented. I’m sure you’ve done that, right? Hasn’t every body?
So I was at the Cowboy Palace and Jeff Yapp asks me if I can ride a motorcycle-and I can, it’s just been a verrry long time-and I say (truthfully) “I grew up on one,” Which is accurate and it’s also accurate to note that I have not sat on motor-driven cycle of any kind (outside of an ATV which I nearly killed myself on in Canada in 2002, but that’s another story) in many, many years and I have never held a license to do so.
But Jeff is riding to/at Sturgis w/ Toby and maybe some of Toby’s business people and this (at least come tax return time) would be a business trip and would I like to go?
Under the influence of a few Budweiser’s “HELL YEAH.”
Now the next day the logistics of the whole undertaking seem a lil’ insurmountable, I’m in L.A. at the moment. I’m on my way to NY, and I’m a TN resident…that’s’ one consideration, the next consideration is I haven’t sat on a motorized cycle in????…the time it will take to get Sturgis is another and the cost of doing it is a biggie; actually at first it’s my biggest concern and then I’m thinking “how can I afford NOT to go?”
So I fly to NY and I get to my mom’s and I do some research on-line and make some calls and the folks atGowanda Harley in NY are very helpful but NO I can’t just get a license in NY if I live in TN and that becomes the major issue and I wonder if I can’t just be a bandit on this thing and NO, that won’t work. I can’t rent one like that and If I did and there were problems I’d lose my house so I call Boswells in Nashville and yes, they can get me licensed if I go one-on-one with and instructor and again cost is an issue and again “how can I afford NOT to go?” So I sign up for one-on-one with their guy and I call Black Hills Harley and I reserve a bike and I get plane flights and I’m all set. Or so I think.
I get back to Nashvegas late Monday night. Motorcycle school is the next morning It starts raining during the night and I’m thinking they’ll cancel class and with no time left to get a license I’ll be royally screwed: the plane, the bike is paid for (or I should say it’s been charged to my credit card) and If I can’t get certified in the next two days I can kiss my money goodbye. The weather in the morning has not improved. This ain’t heavy rain but it’s steady rain, I’m thinking the class won’t happen, but they call me at noon and say to show up at one regardless of the rain.
So, did I mention I haven’t been on a motorcycle in a loooong time?
I would have liked to have gotten in a lil bike-time time before I split NY. Randy’s buddy Bumby has a Honda he’ll let me ride, but the weather there was god awful in the days before I headed back to TN and it didn’t happen. Joe D has a dirt bike but I’m not comfortable asking him to let me play on it. So I’m getting on a big bike (or so I expect) and I’m doing it cold.
I show up to Boswell and Kelly-in-charge-of Riders-edge takes care of hookimng me up with gloves and a helmet-I could go cheep or I could go hip-I opt for hip. And I start doing the math and WOW…I better have some fun on this trip is all I know. The “hip” helmet is so much smaller, why does it cost more? And I’m not a clothes hog but they’ve got a pair of steel-toe biker boots that are just bad-ass looking and I ask to try ‘em on and they’re comfortable as hell so, what’s another buck-and-a-half?
MAN, I better have fun.
Kelly introduces me to James, my instructor. James himself has opted for SAFE in his riding attire: full face helmet, orange reflecting rain wear (very heavy duty) florescent chartreuse long-sleeve shirt that says “can you see me NOW?”
James is from California, is a musician himself and is very enthusiastic about his job. He asks me a lot of questions we talk about Merle Haggard and he and offers a lot of advice and I nod my head and say “yup” alot and we take baby steps with the throttle and the clutch as though I’ve never ever been on a bike before. It’s a matter of finding and finessing the clutch’s friction-zone while adding throttle and getting a sense for what the engine is doing. This stuff all comes back like yesterday. After a few exercises designed to deconstruct the whole throttle/clutch thing I’m allowed to get’r moving and put both feet on the pegs. Again, it all comes back like it was yesterday. I was worried that maybe I wouldn’t remember or sense when it’s the right time to shift-more like I knew it and felt it right away. And it all good, except, did I mention I grew up riding dirt bikes?
Did I mention I haven’t been on one in a loooong time?
James starts putting me through the paces out there in the rain: clutch control, brake control, balance control, and again, it’s all pretty good and pretty natural. A few times I turn the bike around tight and counterweight without really even thinking about it and its like “you’re a natural” and I end the day on a high note after hours of riding around the parking lot. The next day I return with a lot of confidence and we start off where we left off and it’s like I’d forgotten everything I’d learned the day before and now I can’t make the tight turns with out dropping my feet off the pegs and I get frustrated and tighten up and my previously great form all goes to shit. I’m trying to make these figure eights and I’m over thinking it and I know it and it’s fun either way but I’m swearing under my breath and finally I try to cut a tight left turn on a slight grade at slow speed and I lock up the front break and drop the bike right there. Signal broken. Me just fine.
“What happened?” say James. Not mad, just patient.
“Um, I was trying to establish the performance parameters of this machine..and now I think I know what they are.”
Again, I’m overthinking. I’m trying to recall what it was like when I was such a little kid and my dad bought home that Honda 125 and set me up on it. How the hell do you teach an eight year old how to shift gears? My father would hold the handle bars for me and steady the bike as I gained speed and then LET GO. I’d ride around the field behind our cottage and when I wanted off I’d ride by and he’d grab the handlebars back and hop on.
Did I mention what a cool dad Big Bill was?
I remember him teaching me to give’r gas going up and throttle down going down. Use the back break when you have to and the front break when you need to, Listen to the engine, pull in the clutch and kick her up with the left foot when she revs and let that clutch out gentle.
I was EIGHT.
Now here I am many, many years later and there’s probably a lot that James dissected in my technique that Big Bill would have never picked apart, but then who cares if you dump a dirt bike? After hours and hours of practice James tells me I’m ready and it’s time to go through the course with the clip board and I manage to pass the test with only one li’l glitch (so I crossed the line a little on the figure- eight?) . And I take the written test and ace it and I go right to the DMV and get my license and I’m sitting here in Kansas City waiting to go onstage and I’m looking at the knap-sack I’ve got packed in the back and the helmet and the boots and that biker jacket that I’ve had forever that I’m actually going to wear riding a motorcycle, and it’s like HOLY SHIT I’m really going to Sturgis the day after tomorrow..and I’m getting on a Harley and riding halfway across Montana by myself.
I must be friggin’ nuts.
I bet Big Bill’s proud.
P.O. Box 160780
Nashville, TN 37216-0780
check out my new video for ‘DOLLAR AIN’T WORTH A DIME” on cmt.com NOW
well after a little stumble we are UP on CMT!!!!
Online that is
HERE’S the link:
please cut and paste it into your browser and watch it AGAIN and AGAIN
(the powers-that-be pay attention to how much traffic these things get)
so watch, enjoy, tell friends…and smoke ‘em if ya got ‘em
PEACE and THANKS!!
if you haven’t heard already, the video for “Dollar Ain’t Worth a Dime” is online at CMT.com
click here to watch
I NEED your help in bumping me to heavy rotation after next Mondays premier on the network
PLEASE visit the site and play the video, and when yer done, leave ‘em a comment:
Another deed that is greatly appreciated is to leave a comment/review at itunes regarding the song:
THANK YOU THANK YOU THANK YOU
p.s to all our friends in Ohio….did ya see where we’re playing at June 19th?
To all our friends “nort a da border”
I have a lot of ambiguity with contests. Insomuch as I’m not sure what they accomplish even if you win, and I’ve won a few and I got some cool stuff. When I was twenty or so I entered one of those “shred” contests where you walk up onstage with a guitar and you have 60 seconds to impress the judges. On one hand that was kinda cool ‘cause I won a guitar, and I bested some friends and got some bragging rights. On the other hand I beat out some of my own students at the time and I felt like a chump for it.
It was a long time ago.
I don’t think I entered an official competition again until I got seduced into doing the Nashville Star thing and I started out feeling like a chump getting involved in that and then when it was the regional in Nashville (you’d figure that’d be the hardest one) I won it, and there again were some bragging rights and some thinking that maybe it would kick-start my career and then I got to the TV show and it was “think again,” and I’m back to being a chump.
I subscribe the this web service called sonicbids. Sonic bids is one of the coolest most useful things a self-promoting musician can put to use outside of myspace. What it entails is a site that posts gig listings, publishers looking for music, bands looking for players, etc…and basically everything on the site is a contest of sorts. Some listings are more overtly contest-like than others: specifically they post a lot of songwriting competitions and they send you emails every day (sometime a bunch every day) and if the entrance fee ain’t too high, I seem to have a hard time not dropping my chip into just about everything they got.
And it’s not like it’s a total waste of time—I think. Through sonicbids I’ve gotten accepted to showcase at NACA (national association for campus activities) a couple times, and that’s lead to some gigs and some money and that’s cool. In fact, I’ve gotten a bunch of gigs from the site—a few of them even paid something, I’ve gotten in magazines and on a few CD compilations. Maybe that’ll all lead to something somewhere…I have faith.
I approach the songwriting competitons about the same way I did Nashville Star. I mean, I have made a living as a songwriter (emphasis on past-tense) and I have had a few cuts (not that they’ve made big $$) and most of these contests are for amateurs (since I don’t make a living solely from writing or at least can’t claim more than 20% of my income by their defintion, I qualify) but, like I said, my ego does want to show the next guy that I’m better than he/she is.
That’s the American way. Dammit.
And so far I’ve had some success with the song-competition thing: I was a finalist at the first (and last) Riverbluff competition ( I didn’t go). I was co-winner at Mountainstage NewSong (it was a good excuse to go to West Virginia and they gave me three hundred bucks and a discount on pressing my last CD) I won the Great American Song competition (I think I got an online gigs subscription and some magazines for that) was a finalist at the International Songwriting Competition (got beat by some real pros with big cuts) at the Mid Atlantic awards ( got some strings?) Won November at Song-of-the Year (think I got magazines for that) won the 2006 Independent music awards (got a free musicians atlas for that–I use the thing a lot–and they put me on a sampler…and I think I got magazines) and oh yeah, there’s that chart over at garageband.com…and I was in the top five on that forever and I don’t think it meant a damned thing to anybody.
Really, the only contest (other than the grammys, maybe) that means jack to a songwriter is the contest that goes on every time a producer takes an artist into the studio without enough songs to make a whole record. That contest is won when your name is on the bottom corner screen of the video and the ASCAP check comes in and it buys more than just your groceries.
No one seems to give a damn if you win any of these amateur trophies, no matter how brilliant your song is, but you write a nugget like “Wink” or “Watermelon Crawl” and it goes #1 and your artist sell a lot of records… hell that impresses somebody–maybe not somebody like me–but somebody with a desk on music row absolutely.
(And don’t get me wrong–I would LOVE to be able to say I wrote “Watermelon Crawl.”)
So, the sonicbids thing sends me these emails all the time and one came in a couple months or so ago and I couldn’t resist and I entered a song in it and forgot all about it. Then, maybe a month ago I get an email congratulating me on being selected as a finalist and they’ve picked five people out of I-don’t-know how many and I should be proud….whatever, I’m like “great, maybe I’ll get a box of strings, or better yet some more magazines I won’t read,” And then I get some more emails regarding the thing and it turns out that they get down to me and somebody else and basically I lose by like a vote or something to this other person and it’s like whatever, they share the judges critiques with me and for the most part everybody seems to agree that I show promise I guess and it’s nice, but I’m not getting any guitar strings this time, no magazines, no 10% discount on my next CD….no the winner of this one get’s to FLY TO FREAKING LONDON TO RECORD WITH THE DUDE WHO PRODUCES STING.
I lost by ONE lousy vote!
I’ve been through
“Sorry Mr McGraw, per ( a producer who I won’t name who came on board at the last minute) your song (which a BIG artist had kept on hold for months…telling my publisher that it was a “career” song for them) has been passed on (the day after the session on which they kept on swearing they were going to record the song)”
“And the first contestant we’ll be sending home is” (my name)
“Sorry guys (insert name of mega star county dude) had decided to jump over to this label and that changes our budget at the label, so regarding that deal we offered you….”
“Boy, go fetch me a godamn drink will youins?”
And now this!!
Tommorow’s another day.
BTW. I’m up for the Independent Music Awards again
click here if you’d like to help me out with a vote:
That Musicians Atlas is pretty cool….
So the deal is the gear stays in the trailer sometimes and the trailer sits at the house sometimes and the house is at the bottom of a long hill and that would not be an issue except for the house is not too far off the shores of Lake Erie and in the winter time that can mean lot’s of snow and this winter it’s been especially snowy and it’s seems it’s even more especially snowy when the gear is in the trailer at the bottom of the hill and I have a gig and need the gear in the trailer.
I grew up in snow. LOT”S of snow. And I ski downhill and I ski cross-country and I snow shoe and I play hockey and I have a nice toboggan and I don’t mind winter one bit for about the first six or seven months of it, but up in the great white north where I grew up they got hit with a couple feet of snow at Thanksgiving and it’s never really let up and I would love it save for driving in it pulling a trailer, save for pulling that trailer to gigs in bad weather when the snow’s so heavy you can’t see the road, save for when there’s two feet of it on the driveway where the trailer is at the bottom with the gear in it half buried under the drifts of snow around the gear and it’s time to get on the road but NO, there will be shoveling before anything moves and not just a little shoveling, but a LOT of shoveling.
When I say the driveway is long I do not employ the typical Yankee over-statement. The driveway is not long by say, Texas or Montana standards, but in upstate NY 600 feet is long and 600 feet on an incline one would hesitate to skate board down (based on previous experience) is plenty long, especially when the trailer with the gear is at the bottom of it and the vehicle you drive while, otherwise a wonderful method of economic travel, is equipped not with a utilitarian four-wheel drive package, but with the more economical, less consumptive front wheel drive.
And I love that truck in the summer, but it SUCKS when we’re haulin’ in snow.
I come up from Gnash-Vegas the second weekend of January. Mainly to showcase the band at the NY Fairs Convention in Rochester, and around the showcase I book a few gas-money gigs near my hometown and we play orig and old-school stuff to college kids one night and it’s BIG fun and the next night I play solo for the snowmobilers out in Amish Country and that’s big fun too, but I’m playing til 1am and then it’s a drive through the snow in the back country (there are roads they call “seasonal use” roads in NY–mostly surrounding where I grew up) and the way I’d usually go in the summer is on the now-unplowed “seasonal use road” (that’s WNY talk for “snowmobile trail” and I used to love taking the 4wd 4-Runner through them when I owned it, but now that would be even more of a stupid thing to do seeing how the temperature outside is about five-degrees and these parts are remote enough that it might be at least a day before a sledder would find my frozen carcass should something go wrong so I drive the bigger roads and I get home after 2am on a night when I’ve told the band repeatedly:
“Be at the house at EIGHT A.M. NO later…that means YOU Randy Hofgren.”
The deal being that we-the band are required (or so we’re told) to be present at a “production meeting” at the Rochester Convention Center at TWELVE NOON–NO LATER on January the 18th 2009, or else.
Or else somebody else on the showcase will get to be the first to offer up the use of their drum kit and therefor be allowed to showcase first on the program, which past experience has taught me is the spot you want to have, and these things don’t cost and arm and a leg to showcase at, but by the virtue of being a “showcase” they don’t pay anything either and it’s not like my guys don’t do me favors all the time, but whatever I can pay them is cheap knowing that they’re sacrificing a whole day to mostly sit around and wait to play all of fifteen minutes in the hopes of getting some good paying gigs.
Showcases are a gamble.
I keep on doing ‘em.
I keep getting my ass handed to me.
I figure the odds are bound to change.
There I am, having driven back to the house and what would usually be a half hours trip is more like an hour and fifteen. It hasn’t snowed here at the edge of town , but the wind has been howling. I get to the house. The driveway is navigable (on the way down) but there’s snow blowing over the drifts on the one side and it’s getting kinda deep. “No worries” I’m thinkin,’ the neighbor guy with the plow will come through early in the AM and I’ll dig out that mountain of snow blocking the trailer and we’ll be on our way. I get in the house, grab a snack, go upstairs to crawl in bed. Set the alarm for 6:30
It’s 3am as I do this.
So the alarm goes off what seems like ten minutes later and it’s light outside so I get right up and throw on some clothes and hobble downstairs to take a look outside and NOPE, the neighbor-with-the-plow has NOT been through. “NO worries” I’m thinkin’ I’ll just go out and dig out a path around the snow mountain and maybe a little around the barn to get a running start with the trailer and we’ll be outta here no problem. And I put on what I think a good pair of winter boots and the Carhardts and I grab a shovel and hit it hard and about five minutes later I’m about to have a coronary and I’m soaked with sweat but my feet are frozen and my hands are numb and I’m digging and digging and starting to swear a little under my breath and I dig some more and dig some more and the mountain hasn’t moved much and I’m now swearing out loud—who cares, it’s 7am, who’s up? –and my back hurts now and I’m thinkin’ “don’t be such a wussy little girl..” and I’m shoveling and shoveling and the mountain ain’t moving and the swearing is now shouting (I really wish I could say it wasn’t) And its ” Mother&^$ing, Son of a!!…” and I’ve moved maybe enough of the mountain to get the truck around it and I come up with the brilliant idea that I’ll just Baja around the driveway a few times and stomp down a path with that 2wd Mitsubishi of mine and I hop in and start her up and get about three-quarters of the way around the drive and I’m bottomed out in the snow and I get out and I’m swearing LOUDLY and I go grab the shovel and start digging out from under the truck with my numb fingers having a hard time holding onto the handle and I move a lot of snow and hop back in and start her up again and NO, I can’t get things to go anywhere so I start digging in front of the vehicle and Sh%t! This is a lot of F^%ing snow! And I try moving the truck again. No dice. I go looking for the G&%dammed rock salt, there’s NO F*&ing ROCK salt!! I dig some more This is BullS$%T!! I hate f&#ing WINTER!!
I tear the barn apart looking for the God*&%$med rock salt, I find 30-30-30 plant food instead. close enough. 100lbs of Nitrogen-Potasium-Sodium dumped on the ground, Not Enough, another 100lbs all the way around the drive. I get back in the SUV. Drop it into the low “traction” gear (traction, my ASS, I’m thinking) the truck moves. I get some momentum going, I make it around the circular part of the driveway I figure I’ll do some laps to pack the snow down, make a path. I start doing laps. I’m skidding around half out of control and it’s fun-to be honest–it’s also very stoopid and red-necked (which is WHY I suppose it’s fun) and I do about twenty laps and decide I should straighten it out as I pass the house and try and see if I can’t make it up the hill. In all the years–almost since I started driving– that I’ve been driving up that driveway in the winter, I have never, never EVER gotten so stuck I couldn’t make it to the top–eventually. I’ve seen lesser men lose their way and end up in the grapes or in the neighbor yard, but not me. Not my dad, not my mom. Maybe my sister Lizzie once. Once.
And so I get enough of a head of steam workin’ and I straighten it out when I pass the steps and I negotiate around the huge old maple tree and I get her goin’up the drive and I’m three quarters up and the wheels start spinning and I start sliding back down. No biggie. I drop it in reverse and back it down to the house and start slow around the maple tree and drop her into “low” gear and give it some gas and stay out of my tracks and get a head of steam up and get almost to the top of the driveway into the road and she starts sliding again and it’s “Son of a B*^Tch, I hate this Godd*&med vehicle and I hate F%#oin’ winter!!!” and I back it down again and do a lap around the circular part of the drive and get a head of steam up and get around the maple tree and gun it up the hill and make it almost to the road and “Son of a B%$tch! I’m sliding again and I’m really pissed off now and I’m wondering what the hell time it is and where are the guys and how the F&^k am I gonna get the trailer out??–and speaking of the trailer I haven’t even loaded it yet and “sonofaB&%tch!” we’re gonna be late for the showcase and get stuck going on last and this whole damned day will be a waste of time and money and god-forbid the last thing, the very last thing I want to have happen is for my guys to show up and me to be stuck and in the name of us getting where we have to go we ALL have to shovel. NO. I DO NOT want to have to ask for that kind of help and I start backing back down the driveway and I’m sweating and I’m swearing and I’m sliding and….. son-of a B%$Tch…. I am IN the GRAPES.
Drp it into forward, No Go. Drop it into R. Now even more into the grapes. Forward. Digging into the soft ground, throwing dirt into to snow. Going nowhere.
Walk back down to the house. Consider calling wrecker. No. Joe has a BIG truck. GMC. , diesel. 4wd. Armor plated with 50 cal machine guns mounted on the hood.
“Dude. It’s Sean, um…don’t freak out and don’t hate me yet…but, do you have a come-along, or maybe some towing straps?”
And Joe is very calm and assuring “It’ll be okay, I have all the stuff , No Worries.”
And he gets to the house about two minutes later and backs down the driveway to my truck and before he’s even down to me HE starts sliding and bottoming out and Randy’s here and I’m like “dude, I’m like, just f&%king SORRY this shit always happens.” and Joe is now just plain stuck. The big GMC 4wd ain’t goin’anywhere either and there we are, the three of us, shoveling snow just like I could see it happening..I get more 30-30-30 -from the barn and pour it under and around Joe’s truck and we get him unstuck and it’s me and Joe and Randy shoveling 600 ft of driveway and we shovel a whole lot down near my vehicle and put the tow-straps on her and nope…we’re goin’ further into the grapes and we back up the GMC and try it on the rear axle of my vehicle and nope, we’re going even more into the grapes and now we’re going into a telephone pole (placed there specifically to add more stress to a stressful situation) and it’s dig some more and walk back down to the house and F&%k it.!!
I’m calling a wrecker.
And the guys come in the house and we’re all soaking wet–me in the clothes that I wore all day yesterday and Randy and Joe in the nice clothes they have on to wear on stage today. I’m keeping my head on a swivel. Randy or Joe would never cause me physical harm, I know that. I also know that they would be perfectly justified to bludgeon me with one of these beloved snow shovels right now. They could put me out of my misery and chuck me over the cliff into the creek. I’d thaw out sometime next May after having washed out into the lake, sink to the bottom next to some old British ship wreck and have my bones found by divers years from now, long after anyone has forgotten that Joe and Randy ever played in a band with me. I’m seeing it all before my eyes…
And I guess I ran up to grab my stage clothes and guitars and here comes the wrecker down the hill and I see the guy hooking up the cable from the window and I come down stairs and Randy and Joe have found the left-over case of Labatt’s from Christmas on the front porch and–we always say “Tonight we won’t drink,” but it’s only 8:30 am and Joe’s like (and not in a funny way–but in a “I’m drinking to stave off a homicidal rage” way) “I just think we could use a little less stress this morning.” And say what you want about drinking early, we’re sweaty , we’re having a rough start, but at least now we’re smiling.
And I walk up the drive to see if I can get in the way and dude is like “hop in an throw her neutral and listen to what I tell you to do.” and he says this very quietly and I’m like
“Hop in and roll your window down!”
And I do and dude starts up the winch and there some grinding sounds and I’m not going anywhere and he try’s chaining shit up somewhere else and I’m still not going anywhere and he decides to pull up and the winch get me out and I’m up the drive.
And the wrecker’s goin’ nowhere.
And I don’t wanna get in the guys way so I walk back down to the house and figure the dude’s got a duelly and a winch he’ll get out and I call the contact at NY Fairs and guess what? We really DON”T need to be there at noon like the memo says..”whenever you get here’s fine, yer going on fourth regardless, no one else has a drum set, take your time ..”
Well, what the F????
I’m tired, I’m stressed, screw it…I’m drinking beer and making breafast.
And so we all sit down to a nice plate of eggs, bacon and Canadian beer, and after a half-an-hour along comes another wrecker to pull ours out of the grapes and this wrecker comes down and plows us out of the driveway and we hitch up the trailer, make it to Rochester, and wait for six hours after we got there to play for all of fifteen minutes.
Maybe we’ll get a gig or two out of it.
God I F&%ing hope so.
well after nearly 3,000 miles on the road in one long weekend it was nice to take last fri/sat off, even if that did mean going for a bar-hop around downtown Nashville, and a big time was had by all…congrats to my friends from Pittsburgh N.O.M.A.D, who put on a stellar performance at their Nashville debut at the Cadillac Ranch. My old band mate Todd Sansom was across the street at Legends and he just tore the place up as well.
My buds. They rock.
This week has me off the road and in the studio doing some contract work at Beaird Music Group. If you’re singer/songwriter/musician looking to make a great recording at a great price I highly recommend them (I recorded my latest CD at Beairds in it’s entirety) Great folks. Really take care of you.
I’ve been writing as well. New Material with cowriter Deric Ruttan, Michele McCord, Ruth Collins, Bruce Wallace and Canadian Artist Karen-Lee Batten…and speaking of Canadian Artists, I’m so, so happy to report that I’ll have not one, but two singles relaeased in Canada by Artists covering my songs within the next few months. Jaydee Bixbee of “Canadian Idol” fame is poised to put his version of “My So Called Life” on the airwaves of the great white North, and Juno-Nominee Aaron Pritchette is not only taking “Hell Bent For Buffalo” to radio, but he’ll be making a video of the song as well.
In other news…it’s been really hard to watch the news lately huh? Describing the economy with words like “freefall” and “off a cliff” ain’t exactly reassuring…and when times are bad all someone like me can do is write a song about it and try and turn it to my advantage, and to that end I’ve sent copies of Dollar Ain’t Worth a Dime” to radio…how relevant is that song at the moment?? Damn..me and David Kroll wrote it before any of this bail-out stuff even started. I couldn’t have guessed that lyric would have started to sound like it came from the headlines…and I couldn’t have guessed that I’d ever think to give that song away…but for the next week, ending on St Paddy’s day it’s your for FREE at myspace, at ilike and at garageband.com
that’s right FREE.
One last note: please help my wife Renee raise money for cancer research! She’s participating in a half-ironman in the memory of my father, William J. McGraw, who we lost to cancer two years ago this July. Once a coach for Team-In-Training, this is her first triathalon, and for someone who I know does NOT take to the water like a duck, this is a very brave undertaking and I’m very proud of her. I’ve run two marathons for Team in Training myself, and I can tell you that no other charity spends less on overhead and more on the cause that TNT.
To make a donation to Renee’s race in honor of “Big Bill” please visit:
and that’s all the news for now.
Saturday, Oct 11th, Valentines Place will host a benefit for the McKinnons,
a Fredonia family who lost two young songs in a
tragic house fire in September. I will be performing with my band and some surprise local guests. Suggested donation at the
door is $5 with all proceeds going to the McKinnon’s, who’s home and possessions were completely destroyed.
or visit http://www.mckinnonfredonia.com/
Event starts at 9pm.
Valentines Place is located at 12 Water St. Just off the Square in Fredonia, NY.
Donations may also be made to:
Mckinnon Family Fund c/o Lake Shore Savings Bank 128 E 4th St. Dunkirk NY 14048