As humans, we're all born with a few "not-so-adorable" traits that really get on other people’s nerves. It's ok though. Hopefully we've all learned to tolerate each other and to get along well for the most part. But despite our generally good, accepting and forgiving nature, there are certain things we can do that really try the patience of everybody around us, especially as we sit in theaters, bars, concerts and restaurants. These things are on full display to us musicians, who spend a good bit of…Read more
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Last week I played the longest bridal procession of my career. About 4 solid minutes with about 50 “brides” coming down the aisle. It was a Thursday morning “gig” at 7:30am in an elementary school cafeteria. If this sounds like fake news, let me clarify. It wasn’t a real bridal procession and there was no wedding. It was a special activity that took place at this month’s All Pro Dad breakfast at the the school where I teach. And, despite being thoroughly pretend, this wedding was still moving to many…Read more
Me time. A phrase a we hear often. True, everybody needs a little “me time”. But the problem for many of us, and for our culture in general, is that our whole existence is about me time. It’s always 5 o’clock somewhere, but it’s always me o’clock everywhere.
Being a musician can make things worse, and that’s why I have what I call InstaGuilt. The constant pressure to promote gigs and get people to notice my projects goes against my natural tendencies, against the virtues that build strong community…Read more
Last weekend I played a ballroom dance gig where a guy was celebrating his 100th birthday. He zipped across the floor with several different partners all night long, rarely taking a break. He outlasted most of the other dancers, sticking around for our final set while many of the others were in their cars, already half way home. It was impressive! And inspirational. And it made me wonder how you arrive at being 100 years old, in great shape, and living a full life. As a modern day human who demands…Read more
Today I had the honor of playing at the funeral of a great man. I never met him. Wasn't aware of his accomplishments. Didn't know any of his stories. Not until his service and wake did I know anything about him at all. But by the end of the day, I was glad to have been part of this man's tribute and also thankful for the reminders his memorial service provided.
Part of what Tom Brokaw deems "The Greatest Generation", this man had overcome living through The Great Depression. He served heroically with…Read more