Just finished updating the web site.... Long overdue. Gonna try to be a little more prudent in that department.
OK... It's embarrassing how long it takes me to update things on here, but here's the latest:
After 5 1/2 years of being together, Janet and I have decided to split. It's all friendly. We just decided it was time. She is going to be pursuing her music and I plan to help her any way I can... as usual.
I'm playing in the American Idol house band this season! That should be really fun.
Also, I bought a new house. The studio has plenty of room to stretch out. I'll have some pics up soon.
That's about all the news for now.... Thanks for checking in!
Two years to catch up on...
I have parted ways with my publishing company OLE. I've been writing and recording demos this year. It's been a learning experience pitching my own songs. Makes me really appreciate my song pluggers in the past!
Janet and I have just moved into a new place. It's a nice change. More later...
Okay... Clearly it's been a while since I left a blog on here. Lots to catch up on I suppose.
First: Sixwire... We've been playing a LOT here in Nashville. Mostly at 12th & Porter. It's our favorite place to play. Jennifer and Paula, the owners, take great care of us as does our honorary 6th member, Kyle the sound guy. We've been writing and recording a lot of new things. We're REALLY sounding better than ever. We've finally reached a place where we're ready to invite some labels to hear us. We've been busy putting our "team" together. We have the luxury of not really being in a big hurry, which is a liberating position to be in. We made a few crucial mistakes our last time out. We intend to get it right this time. If you're in the area come check us out. I promise it's worth seeing. Also, check out or myspace page www.myspace.com/sixwire.
We're gearing up for a new season of Nashville Star. The show goes into rehearsal right after Christmas with the premiere airing right after the first of the year. Sixwire is opening the premiere party at the Wildhorse saloon. The show will air on Thursdays this year on USA Network.
CMA week came and went with all the usual banquets and such. Janet and I shined up and went to the SESAC banquet. SESAC is my performing rights company. When I have a song that i wrote that makes it on the radio, SESAC sees to it that I get paid. (They're my favorite people...) We sat with my new publisher Robert Ott who owns OLE along with his beautiful wife Robin. It's always a nice evening. And it gives me my once a year chance to wear my suit... Janet cleans up pretty well, don't you think?
Our little Josie grew up. (I told Janet not to feed her...) She is such a great dog. She's almost exactly the size of Emma and they are GREAT friends. (I'm going to teach her how to rake...)
In other news; The Small Time Rock Stars are playing every Thursday at the Tin Roof in downtown Nashville from 10-2. You can also catch us at every Saturday Predators game. (Nashville's NHL team.... Go Preds!!!) Check out the "Small Time Rock Stars" page.
I'm playing solo every Friday night at the new "Tin Roof 2" south of Nashville in Cool Springs from about 9-1. I haven't played solo EVER! (If you can believe that...) It's a lot of fun.
I bought a BMW 735il. It's a black 1989 that I bought off of Ebay for $3,300. It is the COOLEST!! I bought it from a VERY nice guy in Detroit. I flew up one morning by myself and drove it back to Nashville that same day. It was a really nice trip.
Janet and I fight over who gets to drive it. The Escalade just sits in the driveway. Actually, now we're selling the Escalade AND the Jeep and we're going to get another older car. Maybe another old BMW. They are SO sweet!
Thanks for letting me gush...
Other than that, everyone's good and life's pretty sweet. If you HAVE been checking back, I apologize for taking so long to write. If not... then you have no idea what I'm talking about.... Best to you....
Janet and I took one of our usual trips of watching the Chicago Cubs play in a city close to us. This time it was Cincinnati to play the Reds. We stayed at the Westin Hotel which is where the Cubs stay as well. I'm embarrassed to say that THAT was not a coincidence. (... Come on... let me be a kid every once in a while, okay??)
My good friend Keith Brown set us up with FRONT ROW tickets!!! They were right next to the enemy's dugout, but I could still say things to the players that changed their performance on the field. I told Carlos Zambrano as he was walking by right before the game started, "Go get 'em Carlos..." so.... you can see what I'm talking about... I pretty much changed the entire comlexion of his pitching approach right there!! I'll tell you what, a few encouraging words from me and he was feeling PRET-TEE good about himself and he pitched accordingly... LIGHTS OUT!!! ( I do what I can...)
Anyway, the Cubs beat the Reds (of course...) Michael Barrett hit a grand slam and that pretty much sealed it up. The game ended graciously for the Reds and we headed back to the hotel about the same time that the team got back. We rode the escalator up to the lobby with center fielder, Juan Pierre and 2nd baseman, Todd Walker, got to the elevator and said hello to the play by play announcer, Len Kasper. By the time the elevator door closed we were on the elevator with Juan Pierre, Todd Walker, Len Kasper, catcher Michael Barrett (the hero of the night), first baseman Phil Nevin, pitcher Kerry Wood and pitcher Roberto Novoa!!! We rode up the elevator a few floors and the doors opened to a poor little cubs fan with his cubs t-shirt on. He looked in the elevator and i thought he was going to pass out. (He was probably eaten up with envy to see me there with my new best friends.) One by one they all got off the elevators and went to their rooms. It was a night game followed by a day game so naturally WE all needed our rest.
We had really great seats for the following game as well. (we won... of course...) The picture of Janet and me was taken from our seats for the second game. The picture on the right was taken from our front row seats...
It was a great trip!! We love going to the games....
You may ask, "Why didn't you say something to the Cubs players when you had the chance or get a picture or something..." Well, dear readers, here's why...
Friends just don't do that.... (and i was afraid i would embarrass Janet...)
Tim Dubois and I are about to branch out with our publishing company. We are excited to announce that we're signing a co-venture with a Canadian based company called OLE. OLE just opened a new office in Nashville and the opportunities they offer us are unbelievable. Also, sweetening the pot, the song pluggers and creative department at OLE are some of the best in the business and have all been friends of mine for several years, including Shane Barrett (Formerly MCA A&R and an independent song plugger, Tammy Brown (Formerly Sony A&R) and Norbert Nix (who was on the management team for Sixwire). Norbert has always been one of my favorite people in this town and I have vowed on more than one occasion that we would work together again soon. Looks like I was right! Click the OLE logo to learn more. I couldn't be more excited!
We mastered Erika Jo's first three songs. They turned out SO good.
I've been really busy writing and recording. This new publishing venture has gotten me fired up and I've been taking every opportunity I can to get some new songs ready for the new catalog. I'll be posting some new things soon....
One of the perks of doing the Nashville Star TV show is getting to meet some great people. We actually performed two songs with "The Gambler" himself, Kenny Rogers. I've played on three of his albums in years past and as usual, he was as gracious as ever. He was nice enough to take a picture with Chuck, John and me. We also met mega-producer David Foster (yes, I was practically humping his leg before the show... not a proud moment...) We performed with Sara Evans and Trace Adkins. This week we get to perform with Hank Williams Jr.
Another real treat was meeting Patti Labelle. (Pictured right with John and me...) She was AMAZINGLY nice. Janet met her as well. She was practically speechless around her. Patti Labelle is one of her idols. It was pretty cool.
The show ends week after next. It's been a lot of fun, but it keeps me so busy I don't have time for much of anything else. I'll be ready to get my life back...
Well, we said our goodbyes to Texana. It was kinda sad around here for a while. Even our other dog Emma was acting strange. She's not sure where Tex went. But, the time was right and I'm sure it doesn't hurt for her to walk around now. Actually, Janet and I are convinced that she visited us the other night... but that's another story.
On another subject, we're starting on Erika Jo's new record on Thursday. We're cutting three new songs to get the project started with the hope that the first single is in there somewhere.
I'm afraid I have some very sad news. We had to put little Texana to sleep yesterday. She had been battling with tumors and arthritis over the last few years. She had been steadily going downhill and took a pretty serious turn for the worst over the last few weeks and then developed a serious eye infection.
More than 14 years ago I brought her home when she was only 6 weeks old. She rode home on my shoulder. She would have turned 15 on July 12th. We loved her and miss her SO much. She left an empty place in our home.
Sleep well little girl...
We've all discovered MySpace! (and obviously the last to do so...) It's been a lot of fun. Janet and I built some cool little pages. You can check mine out by clicking HERE. From there you can look at my "friends" list and check out other pages. Janet, Sixwire, Andy Childs, John Howard, Robb Houston and Chuck Tilley all have pages.
Tunerat is getting ever closer to launching! (No... really) We're working on an online magazine that will be featured along with the TuneRat site. As soon as that's ready to go, then we go live!!
Nashville Star has been taking up the bulk of my time lately. I think we have a lot of really good talent this year. It's hard to pick a winner...
Speaking of Nashville Star winners, We are starting to begin the record making process on Erika Jo for her sophomore release. We're in the song selection phase now. More on that later...
Tomorrow is OPENING DAY for baseball!!!! It was a long cold winter.... Go CUBBIES!!!
It's been a busy month. One of my songs was cut by Broken Bow Recording artist Craig Morgan. The song is called "The Ballad Of Mr. Jenkins". (You can hear my demo version of it on my music page) I'm thrilled because I really like Craig as an artist and I have always thought he has recorded really great songs. It's a nice compliment! Thanks Craig!
Sixwire has added several shows including a show at the Wildhorse Saloon at the Nashville Star premiere party on March 14th. We're looking forward to playing again. Check the Sixwire page for more info.
Speaking of Nashville Star, we taped our first episode so it's under way. I think the show is going to be great this year. Tune into USA Network on Tuesday the 14th! The band is almost the same as last year so it should be a lot of fun. Chuck and John and I can be seen on any episode as long as you have a keen eye and a Tivo with a pause button. Seriously, we get our moments from time to time to be seen. After all, it's not about the house band... it's about the contestants. The singers are really good this year... Check it out if you get the chance.
We're working full steam ahead on Sixwire. We added a new date April 13th at Douglas Corner in Nashville. More shows will be added soon.
Mark Wills cut "Entertaining Angels" that I wrote with my good friends Keith Brown and Willie Mack. My friend Brett James produced the record. Brett and I have written several songs over the years and is a fellow member of the PBR All Stars with me. He's singing most of the songs on that record. There are rumors of "Entertaining Angels" being a single for Mark. I'll keep you posted on that.
I've been recording a lot of new material lately. I should have a couple of new songs on the music page really soon.
I guess the biggest news that I have is that Sixwire is going to start playing around Nashville again. I've added a new "Sixwire" page on the site to keep you up to date on what's going on. Check it out if you get the chance. There is a calendar and some new songs we're working on. We're all very excited to be playing together again.
I just added a bunch of music to the site so if you want to hear some music check out the music page or click here.
We're getting geared up for season 4 of Nashville Star. The new hosts are Wynonna Judd and Cowboy Troy. There are going to be some great guest artists as well. Stay tuned to the USA Network for more details.
Well, it's finally done. At last I made good on my vow to learn how to build a web site. I built this one from scratch. I'm sure I'll find a million things wrong with it as I go on, but hey... it's a start.
My intention is to keep current events on this page, but since this is the first one, I have a little catching up to do.
CAREER STUFF- I just got back from NYC. We went up to play a date with Sir Cliff Richard. He was doing sort of a "showcase" up there to generate some interest here in the states. I produced a couple of songs on his latest album, "Something's Going On". I also wrote three songs including the title track. For those of you who are unaware of Clifff, over the course of his career he has sold more record than anyone in England. To give you a bit of perspective... The Beatles came in second. It seems a bit strange for an artist of Cliff's pedigree to do a "showcase". However, he was as magnetic and humble as ever... as always. You'd never know he was a celebrity at all. He loves to hang and absolutely loves to perform. Getting the opportunity to produce some of his last record was such a thrill. Getting to perform with him was an honor in itself. I look forward to any opportunity to be involved with his career again... On any level. It is truly an absolute pleasure.
Small Time Rock Stars got a double treat a few months back. We were asked to perform with Dolly Parton for a private concert at Opryland Hotel. Our drummer Chuck Tilley toured with her last year and she needed players to play with her for her show and then play a rockin' set afterward so everyone could dance.
Dolly Parton is absolutely an icon. However in much the same way as Cliff, she is totally unaffected. She gives 200% on stage, off stage, in rehearsal... She was gracious enough to stop and take a picture with my mom, sister, jan and me. Once again I was humbled and honored to be on stage with such a great performer and one incredibly nice lady.
We also had a nice surprise at the Tin Roof a couple of months back. Mike Huckabee, the governor of Arkansas stopped by. Not only did he stop by, but he got up on stage and played bass! I think we played "Honky Tonk Women" and a couple of other things like that. He was actually pretty good. So naturally a guy with connections like that can have John's job whenever he gets through with his political career. Sorry John, but you can't pardon me if I get in any serious trouble. I'm sure you understand...
Thanks for checking out the site. Since I consider myself a bit of a "tech-head" and putting a web site together was something I've always been curious about. It was actually pretty fun to do. For you other "tech-heads" out there, I found a great web site called "lynda.com". It's basically a tutorial site that teaches how to use hundreds of software titles. This site was constructed using"dreamweaver". Lynda.com had an easy to follow and detailed video tutorial on "dreamweaver". It cost $25/month for unlimited access to all their tutorials. This is not a shameless plug. They have no idea that I'm doing this or even have a clue who I am. It was just very helpful and I thought I'd pass it along.
I'll be in touch....