From Behind The Mic

Are the best songs gone? 

My bandmates and have discussed this topic at length, more often than not after a show with a few Bud Lights to help us think more clearly and really help the deep wisdom ooze to the surface. It's a fair question in my mind.  Are the best songs already gone?  Have the best one's already been written?  There is an argument there for each side.

Consider the likes of Elton John, The Beatles, Merle Haggard, Kris Kristofferson, Joni Mitchell, etc.  They had some really strong lyrics in some of those songs; in fact, there are actually university courses and currently a multi part documentary on Disney Plus, specifically about the Beatles and their process.  Today, much of the writing is deemed by music critics of my era to be a bit lazy in some of the bigger commercial hits.  My good friend said recently to his son, "Your generation doesn't have any music that will stand the test of time.".

I wonder if that will hold true, or if the likes of Hank Williams said the same thing.  Did Elvis fans who bopped along to "You Aint Nothing but a Hound Dog" rave about the songwriting and tell their kids they wouldn't have any music that would last?  Was Jerry Lee Lewis really tapping into the muse with Great Balls of Fire? We all know the song...goodness, gracious, you probably just sang that line out loud! I think the trouble is that people get caught up in comparing the music of the era's instead of just enjoying what is presented. Of course, most maturing adults are going to see fault in the music that is out today.  How many kids and young adults are running out of their rooms asking their parents if they can please turn the stereo down so they can think? My feeling is not many.

Todays music may or may not stand the test of time.  I would wager that there will be songs by the likes of Adele, Chris Stapleton, Eric Church, etc that are around at that time.  I went to a Garth Brooks show in Ottawa a few years ago.  He hadn't toured in 20 years. Hadn't put out any music for over a decade.  There were twenty year old people there singing every word.  The greats in country music past thought electric guitars were ruining the country music genre.  Tradition was being thrown out.  The kids that were singing along to Garth were not even born when he had initially stopped touring! 

Personal preference aside, the music of today will have a heart beat in the future.  I don't have a clue what that will look like, but there will be some hits that continue to grace us. I just read a quote about survival of the fittest and some of Darwins work.   If the mutation works, and allows that species to live then that species will continue to evolve with that new mutation.  Now I am not calling anyone a mutant, but what I am saying is that people will be influenced by the greats of the past, and will put their own flare on it.  If people like that new "breed" then it will flourish and someone will put their own flare on that and so on.  It isn't a disrespect of tradition...it could actually be considered respect for the old ways by building onto it. The DNA of the past is still there. 

Maybe it's time as a songwriter to try something new? Maybe mutate a little myself? Or, I can continue to do what I personally enjoy and have a few people sing along with me.  Currently, there is an audience that still loves the Brooks and Dunn era, but you don't hear Hank Williams on the radio much.  Eventually, the music is going to evolve to the point that the O.G.(Term of today meaning original gangster, but I prefer to use it as Old Guy) is on the shelf. I do often wonder now though, how something like "Sunday Morning Coming Down" can be written by a single writer and some of the things that come out with four and five writers don't even get close to the same standard of lyricism. That's my own thought to ponder of course...I mean I haven't had a #1 radio hit in.....jeez how about that Elvis fella? 

Waking up late 

I am not what you would call a natural "morning person", though lately I have taken steps to get up earlier than the rest of my household and the quiet time is hugely productive.  I would recommend it to anyone that doesn't have a favourite tv show that starts after 10 pm.  Getting up early though isn't really the subject I had in mind for today.  I was just thinking about that sinking feeling you get when you wake up late. 

Why is it that the ever elusive most absolute best sleep happens on a day that you simply cannot be late? Most  of the time if I have to be up at a specific time, I will wake up throughout the night and seem to get the best hour of sleep right before the alarm is set to go off.  It's almost like I worry throughout the night that I won't hear that alarm, and then with an hour or less to go the worry disappears because its so close to wake up time I can easily just drift off and coast into the finish line. That sometimes works...if your alarm isn't set to PM instead of AM, or if your phone dies because you didn't plug it in. 

The panic feeling of waking up, or getting woken up by a phone call from someone asking you where you are...it's got to be comparative to a roller coaster thrill (I can't accurately tell you as I don't strap myself into open air trains of g force...but I hear it's a real thrill).  If someone could somehow bottle that feeling and sell it they would make a fortune.  It would be funny to actually capture it all on video.  The facial expression as the confusion sets in as it turns to surprise, panic, anger all at the same time.  I bet that people who wouldn't normally curse could be heard drifting a few expletives.  I think it would make for a great reality show. 

I could have been a star if that was the case.  I woke up with less than enough time to get to the airport on two separate occasions that I remember.  It was much more of a game of chance in those days when google maps couldn't tell you specifically the fastest route to get there and what time you would arrive.  In one place that I wasn't exactly familiar with, I had to get to the airport in my rental car.  I hadn't paid much attention to the route to where I was staying and didn't explore the area while I was there, so I pretty much had a general direction to point the car towards.  Somehow, and I am still not sure to this day...but I must have made every correct turn along the way.  The relief that you feel when you actually get there late and yet on time. 

The same can't be said when you get there late and are indeed too late.  I had to open a building once where I worked.  It was my first week there and the manager needed me to open. I was literally still figuring out the best route to take to get there from my house when this responsibility got passed on to me.  I took the tour of the building the day before, wrote down all the steps to opening; turn that light on first, then open this room, etc.  I remember the feeling waking up and it dawning on me that I was late.  No kids in the house at that time so they wouldn't have heard the panicked obligatory curse that escaped my lips.  People were waiting outside waiting to get in when I got there.  Talk about embarrassing.  I apologized profusely and figured it was just me and the embarrassment left to deal with.  I hadn't counted on the fact that someone would have left in disgust and called my boss to let him know before I had the chance to.  When you deserve it, you just gotta accept it and eat crow. 

I haven't had one of those episodes in quite awhile.  I'm not sure if it's because I wake up more through the night, or if maturity is starting to grace me these days.  Now I generally double check the alarm when I need it; however, I'm also pretty lucky to have someone who knows me fairly well to elbow me in the ribs if she feels I may hit the snooze button.  Interestingly, I never wake up late for golf or hockey.  Strange.

Maybe someone will actually create that reality show and we can all get that thrill from afar. If they don't I guess I will just have to reminisce about those times or maybe get my adrenaline rush from something crazy like skydiving or simply wait till my number gets called again.  Until then, I better get this online...I wouldn't want to be late. 

 

IF 

Poetry isn't something that I dive into on a regular basis, in fact, I rarely ever read it. There are a couple that have stuck with me over the years...When I was One and Twenty; The Road not Taken....  The one that hits me now and sticks out is one I wanted to share with you today.  I feel that every single line in this poem can teach a lesson.  It's something that comes to mind every once in awhile and when it does, I take the time to look it up and read it.  This poem, hung on the wall in my parents house on a cloth scroll of sorts.  In a world that seems to be changing so much these days it seems like something to cling to.  I hope you enjoy it as much as I do.

IF by Rudyard Kipling

If you can keep your head when all about you

Are losing theirs and blaming it on you,

If you can trust yourself when all men doubt you,

But make allowance for their doubting too;

If you can wait and not be tired by waiting,

Or being lied about, don't deal in lies,

Or being hated, don't give way to hating,

And yet don't look too good, nor talk too wise;

 

If you can dream - and not make dreams your master; 

If you can think - and not make thoughts your aim;

If you can meet with Triumph and Disaster 

And treat those two imposters just the same;

If you can bear to hear the truth you've spoken

Twisted by knaves to make a trap for fools,

Or watch the things you gave your life to, broken,

And stoop and build 'em up with worn-out tools:

 

If you can make one heap of all your winnings

And risk it on one turn of pitch-and-toss,

And lose, and start again at your beginnings

And never breathe a word about your loss;

If you can force your heart and nerve and sinew

To serve your turn long after they are gone,

And so hold on when there is nothing in you

Except the Will which says to them 'Hold on!'

 

If you can talk with crowds and keep your virtue,

Or walk with Kings - nor lose the common touch,

If neither foes nor loving friends can hurt you,

If all men count with you, but none too much;

If you can fill the unforgiving minute

With sixty seconds' worth of distance run,

Yours is the Earth and everything that's in it, 

And - which is more - you'll be a Man, my son!

Its an acquired taste 

It's an acquired taste.  Isn't that a bit of a mind boggling statement? I mean who in their right mind would put something to their lips for a second time under the premise that "Hey this really sucked the first time, but maybe if I eat enough of it, I eventually won't hate it".

How many times have you seen this sort of scenario? "What?! You haven't tried scotch before?! Well you have to have some!  Here take a glass!  Yeah, yeah I know...it's an acquired taste".  Ohhhh...You mean if I keep drinking this swamp juice eventually I will trick myself into the illusion that it actually tastes good? Well then, fill er up again Sam!

As a kid, I couldn't figure out why my parents liked coffee.  I had a sip of theirs...it was horrible.  Tastes change they said...you might like it someday.  I am currently two coffee deep and its 7 am.  I may actually truly love my morning coffee.  I know exactly how it happened.  I had pulled my first and maybe only "all nighter" at school trying to get some sort of a semblance of a paper done that I had procrastinated on to truly the last minute.  I knew I wasn't going to get through the night without some sort of help, so I bought a jar of instant coffee from the grocery store on the way home to start the paper that evening.  Two heaping spoons of dirty brown crystals, a heaping spoon of coffee mate, and two sugar.  I drank at least 6 cups of that through the night.  I did finish the paper in just enough time to walk to class. I thought at that time, I would likely have had my last cup coffee...it was horrible; however, I had to pass a Tim Horton on my way to class.  Feeling great about getting the worst paper I have written done, I stopped in to load my veins with some java from the polyester clad professionals.  I ordered a double double and headed to class.  That first sip tasted so good.  I was making it all wrong! This stuff was amazing.  Thinking back now, I believe that what I was drinking all night tasted so terrible, that anything would have tasted good. The rest is history in that department. Now I'm a coffee connoisseur in my mind.

I get that one though.  There was a pay off for that.  I had to get through that night, and this sludge would help get it done.  That's understandable.  Olives aren't. Who eats an olive and immediately says "Well that was the most delicious thing I have ever put in my mouth!"?  There is absolutely no reason for a second olive in this case.  There is zero pay off. Nobody is going to starve because they didn't eat that second olive...but perhaps it is the same as the coffee.  Maybe that first olive was one of the crappy ones, and the next one is a gourmet olive (I have no idea if there is indeed a gourmet olive).  That would then make sense.  Here chew on this pellet that tastes like fermented garbage smells.  Awful huh.  Try this one...not as bad is it? Sure take another one. 

I did this experiment with my oldest son lately.  He turns 19 today actually (Happy Birthday kid..I love you).  So over the Christmas break he asks me about a good sipping tequila.  I like tequila...I acquired that taste in Mexico at a tequila bar...same logic as the coffee only the pay off was waaaay more fun. So I get the terrible gasoline down that one only makes frozen margaritas with.  I'm not here to bash any brands so I won't give that detail only to say that it was one of the cheapest ones on the shelf.  I pour him a shot of that, then I pour him a shot of Hacienda de Chihuahua, one of my favourites around here.  Take a sip of that one there. His face immediately implodes and tears stream from where his eyes used to be.  Doesn't taste too good does it? I laugh and laugh.  Now try this one.  Oh, well that is way better! Now take it easy on that stuff...its called a sipping drink for a reason. 

I guess the only thing that I can attribute the acquired taste thing to then is quality.  Likely the first time you try something that could be deemed awful, it is the cheapest version of it.  That also makes a little bit of sense.  Why on earth would someone give you their more expensive quality version of "input whatever disgusts you here" when you may just spit it out.  Likely you taste the cheap stuff first. That is about the only logic I can garner on the subject.  It still doesn't explain polka music, but it may account for why anyone may still follow my blog.  It's could be that it's an acquired taste. 

 

Public Speaking 

Many people that I get the opportunity to meet tell me that they could never get up on stage.  Some wonder how I remember all of the lyrics (sometimes I don't!), but for most I get the sense that they wonder how I can perform with all of the eyes on me.  Maybe that's like the old story about asking a spider how it can walk with its eight legs...the gist of it is the spider begins to think about it and then freezes unable to take another step.  At this point, I think that I am kind of like that spider...though I still have some butterflies each time, It just comes naturally now.  That hasn't always been the case.

My first public speaking engagement that I can remember was back in about grade 8 or grade 9.  Mrs. Blyth, a stern but fair teacher who kept her desk at the back of the room so you didn't know if she was watching you, asked the class to write a speech about any topic of your choice.  The topic I picked was moving from one place to another (It just dawned on me that this may have been a memory triggered from my last blog!).  I wrote my speech out about all of the things that I experienced in the actual move.  I put a little humour into it of course, though back then I definitely didn't have the Dad jokes to lean on.  I remember writing in that speech about the gas station stops along the way.   Moving across the country we could just stop any time we felt the urge, so the stops were spread out a bit.  I remember writing into the speech that my sister and I would race into the gas station as if we were in Olympic trials in order to get to the bathroom first should there be only one.  I remember thinking that line was pure gold.  I drew the whole speech up on cue cards, practiced looking up, and went to class the next day to deliver the speech to my classroom.

We all had speeches to do.  I knew every kid in that room.  We were all friends.  I delivered that speech as if I was talking to family.  It couldn't have gone any better. I nailed it!! What I didn't know at the time is that whoever old Mrs. Blyth felt would do the class proud would be delivering this same speech at a full school competition! That included the high school in the school that I went to.  I won my way into a lesson I still remember to this day.

The evening of the competition, I felt great.  No pressure, I was just going to get up and deliver this speech the same way that I did in class.  I'm pretty sure that I felt I had the thing won before I even arrived.  Confident? More like naive.  Did I mention that families were invited to attend? The audience was huge (I'm not talking an arena full of people, but it may have well as been to me at the time).  There were people of every shape and size and the only ones that I knew were my own parents. This wasn't the same Kansas any more Toto. No this was different.  Competitive nerves started to creep in a bit.  That isn't always a bad thing according to my coaches.  That just meant I wanted to win they would tell me at my games.  In public speaking though, you don't get to burn off those nerves by trying to avoid getting laid out on the ice! 

It's finally my turn and everyone has been great.  At this point I still feel like I have a chance.  I lock in, and begin.  As I mentioned earlier, I practiced looking up.  That was part of the lesson from Mrs. Blyth.  Don't keep your head down and just read from the cards she would say.  So I looked up. In the back row three of my buddies came to "support" me.  Remember...grade 8/9.  In mid-sentence, about 15 seconds into my speech, I see my buddies making faces and pointing at me.  I choked.  I started stammering, lost my place and all focus.  It was like a plane spiralling down at that point.  There was no recovery in sight. My face got red, I felt the sweat start in my hands and down my neck.  After what seemed like eternity, I found my place...looked at my cue cards and I read word for word from them with zero delivery.  People actually go to NASCAR races to see crashes like that!  

The first time that I played live was in a coffee shop.  I hadn't prepared for a live performance, the opportunity just happened to come up.  The same feelings came back.  I knew exactly one and a half songs. I played the first one and it went over fairly well.  The host of the Open Mic says "You can't leave us with just one", so I start the next one and finished right square in the middle of it.  That's all I knew.  My wife and I quickly left after that performance and the entire way home I kept asking her why she let me do that.  I felt like a moron. I was trembling. She just laughed and said I did great.  The performance itself wasn't, but the fact that I got up was.  It led me to where I am now. 

Now I get on stage prepared. Now it really doesn't matter if there are 5 people, 50 people, 500 people and a dog...I'll stop there as I am not sure I have played to 5000 yet, but you get the point.  Now...the songs are the familiar.  Now I have rehearsed, and do I still mess up...yes nearly every show.  Sometimes its so small that only a fellow musician would notice, but sometimes I may completely forget a line, a chord, a story, where I put my beer, etc..The difference now is that I know nothing dire is going to happen. Now I laugh at myself publicly if I make a mistake.  I think by doing that, I immediately forgive myself for it and that is the person who was in my own head choking in grade 8.  I didn't have the capacity then to realize it was ok and that I was the one making it worse.  So if you find yourself in the position that I did and you feel even the smallest inclination to get up on that stage to play, tell some jokes at a wedding, join a band for a song, whatever muse is coaxing you to get up there inside...do it.  Do it and when you mess up, not if you mess up, but when..think of that 8th grader who crashed and burned that now sits in front of strangers singing songs he wrote and playing guitar...sometimes incorrectly.

 

Where are you from? 

Where are you from?  That was always a tough question for me to answer.  For most people it would be where they were born.  Maybe they had a childhood in one place where they had the same bedroom from the time they started school until they left home.  If I was visiting another country then it would be easy..."Well, I am from Canada", but I am rarely out of the country so the question gets harder.

I was born in Fredericton NB...I'm told we stayed there for a few short weeks before my father was posted to an Air Force base in Moose Jaw, Saskatchewan.  Maybe then I am from Moose Jaw? Nope, it was just a course and we were shipped off to Edmonton Alberta by the time I was 2.  Am I an Alberta boy then? I guess I was for a couple years.  The next move was to Comox, BC.  I'm sure that you can see the pattern developing here.  Every two to three years we would move.  My dad was a Search and Rescue pilot in the Canadian Armed Forces.  

Moving wasn't so hard, at least in the beginning.  It was exciting! What new place are we going to next? I wonder what my room is going to look like? Does the hotel we are in tonight have a pool?

Once everything was packed and taken by the movers (and with any luck I would get one of the moving guys to give me one of these huge rubber bands they had that I could turn into sling shots for my own entertainment), my family would split up into pairs of parent and child (There was just the four of us, my Mother and Father, my Sister and I) to drive across Canada to our new home. This was often the time that I would get to see my grandparents and relatives as we would stop in on the way through for a few days.  One set of grandparents lived in Alberta (a very small town named Consort..home of KD Lang, and Chad Kroeger of Nickelback..until you realize just how small the town is it won't strike you on how impressive that is), and the other set lived in Renous, NB.  Talk about covering both ends of the country! It was exciting to travel across the country as a kid! Eventually that stuff wore off a bit and I was a typical teenager that was too cool care my families car just climbed Mount Washington..just let me go back to sleep and let me know when we are there.  

We always made an adventure of the move, stopping at multiple tourist targets and landmarks.  My parents always tried to make sure that there was a pool at the hotel we stayed at.  Driving any distance with my own kids now makes me wonder how they made it across.  Once we dipped down and went through the US.  I was in a huge Star Wars phase and was collecting the figures.  Kmart had the figures for waaaay cheaper than they were in Canada, or so I thought.  I had no idea what exchange on the dollar was. The lady at the counter laughed at me and asked if that was Monopoly money when I tried to use my crumpled up Canadian dollars. My parents bailed me out of that one. I also found out in a diner along that trip that iced tea is made from real tea in the USA.  Imagine that!  Picture your favourite seven year old taking a big gulp of cold tea with the expectation it was going to taste like Nestea from back home.  Barf.

So after moving from province to province it became increasingly difficult to say where I was from.  It was always the last place that I had moved from as a kid.  I was, more times than most people, the new kid in school.  Where are you from new kid?  Um, Trenton Ontario. Uh, Gander NF. In high school I did grade 10 in Winnipeg MB, grade 11 in Summerside PEI, and graduated from West Kings High School when I lived in Greenwood NS for grade 12. 

Where are you from took on a new meaning once I was out of school and on my own.  That's when it really hit me I guess that I don't have a place that I grew up as most did.  Most people I know can answer that question definitively even if they have moved. They can tell you stories about their best buddies and how they have done crazy things together since they met in first grade. My wife Kelly tells me those kinds of stories.  For the longest time growing up I thought that maybe I should just pick one of the places I lived longest?

I've learned now that where I am from is where I have family.  Even though I moved around from place to place to place, those places stayed constant.  I have no idea what any of my relatives street addresses are in NB, but I can tell you how close I am based on the old house on the right beside the big church in Rogersville; by the left hand turn after the bridge that everyone fishes under; by the old general store that has a new name that my cousins and I would walk to from their house. In the middle of prairie Alberta, I could tell you that you are almost there when you pass the sign that said 'Home of KD Lang"; just one more left at the UFA and head straight up till you see the White House with a ramp on it...green hedge all around it and the huge garden, the one kitty corner from the towns outdoor pool. 

Now I live in Nova Scotia.  I have my own family, and I haven't moved in quite awhile.  I don't expect to move in the foreseeable future but who knows, anything is possible. What I do know is that I don't need a geographic place to call home.  I don't need a specific place to say "that's my hometown".  I don't have that. If I am pressed, my answer now is "I was born in Fredericton and I currently live in Lawrencetown".  That usually satisfies anyone that really presses.  The reality is...Home is where the love is, and I am lucky to have a few places to call home....now if I could only figure out a way to bring my own bed to all of them.  

 

Guys Night 

Every year for the last two or three, my two youngest boys have been making our way through the Rocky movies.  I have of course seen them multiple times, but to my boys its all brand new.  Wouldn't that be cool to be able to experience that again for the first time?  I remember the thrill of the movies.  My first one was Star Trek, believe it or not,  when I was a kid.  I had never been to the theatre before that I remembered.  The mother of the birthday party I was attending was shocked to find that out.  I don't remember much of it other than the fact that one of the characters had a bug put in his ear and when it came out later in the show it had grown by huge proportions.  Still gross.  Still weird.  

Its funny what memories coming rushing back.  My first drive in show watching "Empire Strikes Back" which essentially formed my entire child hood from the ages of 5-10.  Grabbing a towel and wrapping it around my neck, closing it with a clothes pin to re-enact Christopher Reeve in Superman.  That was an awesome show. My friend Davey Lukes and I had watermelon that day which was a rare treat back then (none of that seedless stuff either...that didn't exist back then)  Fast forward in and around the same year, and I remember drying my eyes on my dads t-shirt when ET died right in front of my eyes.  I still remember the relief when his heart lit up in that plastic bag.   

Hence, I make it a point to watch a few movies with the family.  Rocky in particular for "guys night".  Those are the nights that Kelly escapes the lunacy that we can often surround her with.  Most often she is gone for a few hours to wade into a glass of wine and conversation with some old friends.  We (myself and my two youngest boys) take the opportunity then to order Wings, pick up a couple of Stewarts Root Beer for them and of course a couple Bud Lights for me.  We turn on the TV, rent the next version of Rocky and its on like donkey kong.  I know what's coming and I still love it.  What I realized at some point is that there are tons of life lessons in those shows.  After the show I always ask what they learned from it.  Im overwhelmed sometimes to hear their answers about never giving up, about facing fears, about chasing a dream...and here I was just enjoying making some memories. Add to that, who doesn't like walking around with kids after a show like that talking in that Rocky drawl for an hour.  Eh Yo Kid..Why you gotta eat the last wing like that?

We have wrapped up the Rocky series, so its time to start from the beginning again or find something new I guess.  They are still a little young for Die Hard I guess. Yippee Ky Yeah!! I digress.  Whatever we pick, whether its a great movie or not; whether it leaves them wondering why on earth did you make me watch that (Quite literally what my then 9 yr old shouted out when we watched Turner and Hooch...I forgot what happened to Hooch), whether it's happy or sad or action-packed; the most important thing is that it's maybe the only time it is currently accepted by my wife Kelly that I can buy wings and beer for the kids. Ha Ha! Sorry left turn there in Albuquerque (my mind occasionally does that sort of thing)... the most important thing is obviously the time we get to spend together.  It's something that is inclusive of everyone, is the end result of someones creativity, often gives us a few feel good moments and yes...Mama joins us for "Family Movie Night" which has its own unique memories as well and by rights deserves it's own blog...no wings and beer though. 

 

Day one of my blog (AKA my public journal) 

I figure that with the recent environment and the impact it has had on music that maybe I can take another avenue to entertain for awhile. I think that most people aren't exactly the same in writing versus the spoken word.  In the written world, there seems to me to be more time to think about precisely what you will say though I have been trying a bit of creative writing lately so I may jump around a bit here.  I'm not sure how many people will read this, if it will even be visible to anyone, or if it is at all interesting but I'm up for something new so here it is. 

I haven't read more than a paragraph or two of any blog so not really sure what to write about here or if there is a standard format.  My interpretation is to basically write about whatever pops into my mind.  Perhaps today a glimpse at my own introspection?  

Recently, I have been kind of taking stock of where I sit in the music world and where I want to go.  I have determined that I am simply not working hard enough.  There are some people who know me who may say that statement is ridiculous; but it is true.  I released my last album in August of 2020 and believed that the music would just kind of speak for itself.  That I could send it out there and watch it ride off like a kid that just kept pedalling a bike for the first time without falling.  My expectation was that it would get shared; that the songs I released would get added to radio, playlists, etc.  That definitely happened, but not to the degree I was expecting.  There are many reasons for that I am certain but ultimately there one specific one.  Often I hear, "How is this not getting played on radio?" or "How come I haven't heard of you before?!" or "Why aren't you in Nashville?!". The answer that I convinced myself of was that you have to be signed to a big label; radio won't play indie musicians (which isn't completely untrue in my opinion); I don't have the time or the money to market the way I need to, etc.  Excuses.

The real reason is this, which I have been pondering over the past few weeks....I haven't put in the work.  I am super proud of my albums. I believe the songs are good enough to be played, featured, added, to almost any country format.  Take me completely out of it, and the musicians that are on them, the production, etc are world class in my opinion.  What I haven't done is consistently put in the work after the fact.  I celebrated that it was out there.  I hustled for a bit to have a few added to playlists.  I took to social media and shared. I did a few interviews.  I did all the things that other indie musicians were doing and that is the key statement.  I did what everyone else was doing.  I did that and expected a different result.  To quote Robin Sharma, if you want to be in the Top 5%, you need to be willing to do what 95% are not.  I didn't do what 95% are not.  Instead, I promoted my album on social media...like everyone else; I released it on a Friday...like everyone else; I sent it off to different stations...like nearly everyone else.  I didn't get up like Kobe and hit the gym at 5, come home for breakfast, work on my trade, get another workout in, work on my trade, journal, meditate, improve.  I did what nearly everyone else does.  I got caught up in life and lived in the 95% category.  

When I began to play, people were astounded at the fact that I improved so quickly. That I was playing live shows in some great places with my own songs in such a short time.  The secret....I put in the work.  I practiced everyday for probably 3-4 hours.  l didn't even realize that the time was passing by.  I had help from a lot of people, but the more I put in, it seemed the more of those type of people were attracted into my life. I still had time with my family; I still held down a day job; but, my "spare" time was dedicated to practice...and I loved it.  That was the path to the 5%.  

Somewhere along the way, I lost focus on the process and without realizing it wandered off that path.  My life is admittedly different now than it was when I first started on that path.  My kids are into more things; Like many "maturing" adults, I have even more responsibility in my day to day; the environment and the scene are truly different...but...when I looked inside recently, when I took stock, when I stripped away all of the excuses, I realized I let "good enough" get in.  I settled.  When I started, I didn't realize that I was truly good enough to be a professional.  It was a dream, but it wasn't something I was focused on.  It just happened organically because I was focused on the process.

I recently vowed to myself that I needed to get back on that path.  I have started actioning a few things...this blog I guess is one of them! There is hard work to be done. There are some early mornings in my future.  There are some sacrifices coming. I am back to a mindset of enjoying the process without as much focus on the end result.  I am back to putting time in with my guitar.  I am back to writing. I'm grateful to be doing that.  

I'm going to wrap this up here.  I'm a little nervous about posting this which means that its probably right. My goal is to share a few thoughts most mornings.  It will keep me honest and will help get my ass in gear. With any luck, and a lot of work, I will be able to reflect back at this day 1 blog and marvel about where this path led. Thank you to all of you who do listen to the music, both live and recorded.  I am truly appreciative in sharing the experience with you and I look forward to sharing some new ideas and projects with you soon.

Summary

Sometimes short, othertimes long. Here are the thoughts and insights in BLOG form on any number of things in the world of Jason Price.