Two New Orleans performances in March 2017 inspired a great feeling of a career come full circle, as I had the opportunity to play for 4,000 attendees of Marriott Corporation’s Owner and General Manager Conference at the New Orleans Convention Center. The “Art of Local” presentation was designed to entertain an audience from all over the nation and the world with examples of art and artists who are products of New Orleans. I began what grew into a music career while in high school and college in New Orleans, although it’s been a long time since I lived there. But if you’re “from New Orleans”, it doesn’t matter where you live now or how long ago it was, there’s always that intangible bond like with no other city…and it was great fun and an honor to represent New Orleans’ musicians.
I headed north immediately after the second day at the convention center with plans to squeeze in a trip to Chanhassen, Minnesota and a guided tour of Prince’s Paisley Park home and studio complex before commencing the recording of new original music in Nashville, Tennessee and Maumee, Ohio. The combination of a great gig in New Orleans, intense travel, little sleep, and a completely surreal visit to Prince’s house when he definitely wasn’t home proved to be just what the doctor ordered. On the drive back to Ohio I wrote a song about the Paisley Park tour that ended up on the new CD and I headed to the first recording session in Nashville a few days later feeling energized and inspired. “Rock & Roll Soul”, my fourth record, was recorded and released the “old-fashioned” way: it’s a full-length work (nine songs, not an EP); it was financed without asking friends or fans for money (no “GoFundMe” or “pre-sale” tactics); and it features the performances of nine musicians (and zero machines.) Of anything I may have accomplished over the course of a nearly 30-year music career, I am most proud of the musical company that I am so fortunate to keep. The new record serves as a really good (and honest) testament to the level of musicianship one can expect at one of our performances.
Along with the excitement of performing new tunes in 2018, the year will also mark some milestones.
2018 is the fifth consecutive year that I’ve served as the exclusive entertainment provider for all events east of the Rockies for Global Exchange Events, part of a Fortune 100 company that is a leader in the creation, design and organization of appointment-based events for a wide variety of industries. Global Exchange Events are held at the nation’s finest resort properties, and they are produced with an unsurpassed standard of excellence. As evidence of the consistent level of quality and professionalism that we provide to our live music clients, I couldn’t be more proud of my relationship with such a prestigious, discriminating company.
Sometime during the second half of 2018, I will play the 4,000th performance of my career. The 4,000th show might be a concert at an amphitheater in a beautiful city park in Northern Michigan; it could take place at an oceanside bandshell concert venue, or a poolside corporate engagement in Florida; it could very-well happen at a private event in the Carolina Lowcountry or a French Quarter hotel…or a summer festival or concert series in Toledo or Northwest Ohio. You never know in this business, and that’s only one of the things I love about it. I am eternally grateful to my fellow musicians and the patrons of the arts who have made four thousand live music performances a huge part of my past…the present…and the future.
See you soon,