Monday, February 12, 2018

What Got You Started?

When did you first start paying attention to music? Who were your early musical influences? I was a music fan first, and didn't learn to play guitar until I was in my early 20's. I didn't pay much attention to music until I saw the Beatles in 1964 on the Ed Sullivan show. That was also the moment when I decided I had to be a guitar player.

After that first exposure to the Beatles, I began listening to the radio. The mid-1960's was a spectacular time for rock and roll and pop music. We had the British Invasion, American surf music, Motown, blues rock, folk and folk-rock, and just plain rock and roll.

Saturday, October 14, 2017

Gentle On Our Minds

Glen Campbell died in August 2017 at age 81, bringing to a close a decades long musical career filled with incredible songs. He was best known as a Grammy winning singer, television host, and occasional actor. What many don't know is that before the movies and television shows, and before the hit songs, he was one of the most sought after session guitarists in the business.

Saturday, October 7, 2017

Tom Petty - An American Original

Tom Petty was an American original. I know – we say that about a lot of well-known figures, and obviously, that's what it takes to make someone worthy of such acclaim. Some people are famous for all the wrong reasons. 

Petty was famous for all the right ones. We know him because he wrote and sang some of the greatest songs of our time. His style was unmistakable, with a twang in his voice, and powerful, guitar-driven songs that you want to listen to over and over.

Friday, July 15, 2016

Privileged Witnesses

The Ellison High School Wind Ensemble,
Mr. Smith conducting. Photo courtesy Mr. Raul Munoz
Some experiences leave a lasting impression. Sometimes they are grand in scale, and sometimes not, but they are significant enough to become etched in your mind and your heart. Music has such power, especially live performance. People playing musical instruments can move your soul; they can astonish and electrify, they can transfix and captivate. Sometimes, when everything is just right, you feel privileged to have witnessed it.
A high school band, including my son Brendan, and a piccolo player provided such a memorable experience on a rainy May night.

Thursday, May 19, 2016

King of the Texas Troubadours

I was a passenger in a car on Interstate 35 just entering Austin, Texas, when I read the news on my phone. It was Tuesday, May 17, and Texas singer, songwriter, and luthier Guy Clark had died earlier that day. After reading the news, I looked up and the first thing I saw was an American flag at half-staff.

Wednesday, April 13, 2016


He was one of those one-name guys – someone whose first name alone left no doubt who you were talking about. Like Waylon, Willie, Jerry Jeff, and maybe even Elvis, all you had to say was one name, and everyone knew.

Saturday, February 20, 2016

Glenn Frey: A Unique and Memorable Talent

Glen Frey spent the past 40 plus years writing and performing some of the best music many of us have ever heard. As frontman for the Eagles and a solo artist, his music captured and held our imaginations and our interest as we grew from teenagers into adulthood, through middle age, and beyond.