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Monday, January 18, 2010

The Year 2010

Now 2010 is well underway and so many great things seem to be in store. After celebrating a quiet New Year's Eve at home, I made my way early on New Year's Day down to Montgomery for the annual service at Hank Williams' grave. Hank passed away on new Year's Day in 1953, and after 57 years, his music and legacy are still as strong as ever. My good friend, Jay Johnson, brought an entourage from Cleveland, Ohio on a tour bus labeling themselves, The Honky Tonk Hank Tour. Playing a set with Gary Gentry, songwriter of "The Ride", and talking to Charles Carr, while 17 at the time, was driving Hank to his next booking the night he passed away, were truly highlights. It seemed like a shame to have that day end. It would just be great to be able to freeze time now and then.

January 4 and 5 are always special days, since 4 is my wife's Jolie's birthday, and 5 is my Mom's birthday. Jolie and I went to dinner on her birthday, we had dinner with Mom to celebrate her 92nd on hers. She now lives in a wonderful assisted living home and is doing great. January 7 usually has me reflecting on the anniversary of my first guitar lesson in 1963 that Mom took me to. I was only 9 at the time, and I guess the only reason I remember that date is that my muisc teacher wrote it down in the front of ny first book. January 9 & 10 usually have me thinking of my Dad, who would have been 81 on 9, and his mother's (my grandmother) birthday on 10. My band worked one night on 9 at Scooter's Pub in Kennesaw, GA. After months on the road, it is nice to spend some time at home and have a cool place to play with great people in attendance.

A new and exciting venture for me is that of teaching online guitar lessons for a Georgia Company called Watch & Learn. From all of the music experience I've had from teaching and performing, as well as many years of broadcast experience, this is an opportunity that brings everything together for me. It allows me to teach guitar styles that I love to folks that have an interest in those styles. Unlike the early days of private guitar lessons at a limited location, this now makes the material accessible to people all over the world. You can check out what I'm doing at
If you have a problem with that link, send me an email to, and we'll get it to you.

On January 13, I flew to Orange County, CA. to attend the NAMM (National Association of Musical Merchandisers) Show. It is a massive trade show where the whole music industry comes together for 4 days via manufacturers, retailers, musicans, and industry professionals alike. It is a wonderful and exausting time to network with folks you associate with long distance, but in person for a little while. Highlights for me were hanging with my friends at Taylor Guitars, National Guitars, Olympus Audio, and other companies that I work with. Some seminars with folks such as Quincy Jones, Yoko Ono, and other industry notables set the pace, along with folks I hung with such as Jorma Kaukonen of Hot Tuna and acoustic blues artist, Doug McCleod. It will take a number of days to digest all of the information I had gathered, but some great friendships were made. At this writing, I will shortly head to the airport for the trip back to Atlanta, and then in 2 days, will shoot another online guitar lesson, and then head directly to Memphis, TN to judge the International Blues Competition. I'll write about that then. If you would like to correspond, be sure to visit