What am I doing?

It's a reasonable question. We ask it of ourselves from time to time. I did earlier this week.

While rummaging through the rabbit hole that is YouTube, I came across a video of Gerry, John, and myself playing at City Winery NYC from 2013. It was the only time I played there, about four years ago this month. I remember it well, feeling like, "Okay... this is good. This is a huge step in the right direction. Let's keep this going." It was celebratory. It was magical. We were opening for the Grammy-winning Steep Canyon Rangers, and I felt like this was a springboard to bigger opportunities.

There was a little sadness in my heart while watching the video. I think it stemmed from feeling like I'm in the same place that I was in back then - like I haven't advanced. I felt a little hopeless wondering why I haven't played there again, wondering if I'll ever have a career to substantiate playing venues like that, in front of audiences that big. I was circling around a hole of self-pity wondering why I wasn't "further along." All the demons of self-doubt came swooping in. These were shitty feelings I haven't felt in a long time.

"What am I doing?" It's a question that comes up once in a while. It came up the other night. I usually ask it of myself when I feel like I'm doing something wrong. I should ask it of myself when I'm evaluating what I'm doing right. In the context of the other night, while feeling sorry for myself, I asked it - you guessed it - in a negative sense. What are you doing on the couch watching a video of yourself? You haven't gotten very far, have you? That's as good as it's ever gonna get, and you haven't even done it again. What are you doing? Such negative thoughts. Not a good head space.

It's been a few days since this little bout of self-pity. I'm back in a better place. I just wanted to share this story because I know other people, other artists, feel this way once in a while. I wholly appreciate that things could always be worse, and that is always one of my first considerations to help myself get back on track. I guess I just wanted people that are experiencing self-doubt to know that other people experience it too. We can hold each other up and help each other out, sometimes just by sharing our stories.

Here's to doing.



I have a lot to say.

I have a lot to say.

First off, I'd like to say thank you to everyone that has been so kind to my wife, myself, and my 6 week old daughter, Lennon. To be honest, I wasn't aware that people go get gifts for the parents of newborn children. It wasn't on my radar. I've learned that it's "a thing" though, and we've been the recipients of some wonderful generosity. Some friends made us food (and delivered it to us). Some friends got clothes, books, stuffed animals, blankets and more for Lennon. Some friends offered us an afternoon happy hour (our fellow parents of newborns). It's the spirit of love, kindness and generosity that has touched me so deeply. I am immensely thankful.

Second, I have been re-thinking social media. Prior to sites like MySpace, Facebook, Twitter, etc., I used a message board on my website. Since the message board was part of the overall website, I think readers were a little more invested when visiting and reading those posts. Those entries had a longer shelf life. With the advent of social media, my posts/thoughts/etc. are now disposable. That is to say, I can post something, and several hours later it's gone, awash in a sea of football, politics, complaints, and pictures of food. I don't like that. I'd like my words to live a little longer. Plus, I don't want to give Mark Zuckerscam any more content to make money off of (that's probably worthy another blog post). But to my point, I aim to use social media more responsibly, to promote music related stuff, mostly. I'm going to try and save my insights/thoughts for this blog.

Which leads me to this; It's amazing (not in a good way) what social media has done to me. My thoughts have been reformatted to think in posts: "This would make a great post! That would be a funny comment! This post is going to show how much smarter I am than Trump and it will change the world and everyone will agree with me!" I don't want to think in terms of "posts." I just want to think. If I'm going to format thoughts into anything, I want to format them into songs. If not songs, then something that avoids the relative cesspool that is social media. Thus, the blog. I'm really going to make an effort to keep up with it.

With those preliminary "announcements" out of the way, welcome to my thought bubble. More to come next week.



Another Year (My Thank You for all the birthday wishes)

Hey there!

I should be practicing right now. But, my new memory cards for my computer finally arrived and I was eager to install them. Luckily, it solved the problem of a very slow, unusable aging MacBook, thus enabling me to catch up on some things, including a big Thank You for all the birthday wishes!

THANK YOU FOR ALL THE BIRTHDAY WISHES! Y'all are very kind. The Facebook posts, the texts, the phone calls... It meant a lot on a rather dreary day up here in the Northeast. I truly appreciate it! Seriously. This ain't no lip service. I truly, wholeheartedly appreciate the "Happy Birthdays" and stuff. I love you!

As I mentioned once or twice before, my new year coincides with THE New Year. Therefore, the new year and my birthday always held a nostalgic value to me, prompting me to look back on the past year's accomplishments as well as look to the future of setting and hopefully achieving new goals. I don't suppose this year is any different. Once again I've looked back at the past year, noting what I've done, what I didn't do, what I should have done, and what I can look forward to doing. I suspect I'm not the only person that does this.

One thing that is a constant is my personal "ABC," if you will. That is, Always Be Creating. 41 years on this rotating hunk of water, carbon, and bad pizza, and I still have the desire to be creative. Maybe not just desire... More of a need... If I'm not being creative, I feel dead. I don't want to feel dead. This past year, I've whittled my creating to specifically focusing on song craft. Although I didn't write as much as I wanted to, I was very happy with the results, writing what I believe to be some of my finest work to date. But, I never want to write my best song. Thus, I will always be in pursuit of writing my best song, creating all along the way. Hopefully, that means I'll write a lot of songs. I have a lot to say. And, if by chance I start feeling creative with paint, or photography, or graphic design again, hell... I'll surely go for that too. After all, it follows suit with my philosophy of "ABC."

So before this whole "thank you" thing gets laboriously long, I'm going to end it around here. I wish you and yours the best the universe can muster. But remember, the universe only gives back what you give. So my wish for you is that you are kind, understanding, giving, and thoughtful to others, to the creatures that roam this beautiful and one-and-only earth, and to the environment. I guarantee it will be worth the effort.

Thank you, again.

Peace, love, rock & roll...