Monday, October 30, 2006

Big Day For Michelle

Michelle had a wonderful day Sunday. We had a picnic before the Bengals/Falcons game and then had a big time in the stadium parking lot with the tailgaters. She loved seeing the horse and then watching the crazy football fans preparing for the game.

This dude sitting on the bench reading his book has been there every time we go by. I was curious as to what he was reading, so I introduced myself and saw that he was reading John Coltrane's biography. The reader was really shy and didn't say a word to me. Oh well, if he was reading the Coltrane book he had to be pretty cool.

Later that evening I took Michelle and her twin brother Matt to "Terror on Tates Creek", a Halloween haunted trail. They both were scared and loved every minute of it. It was a great day.

Friday, October 27, 2006

Big Fishin'

My son Matt and I love to fish. Perhaps the best fisherman I know is my friend Fred Stevens. He lives on Lake Cumberland and fishes it nearly every day. Each year in November I take Matt, his cousin Nathan, and my cousin Jeff to visit Fred for a day of striper fishing on Cumberland.

This was a successful day

The trip is always one of the most fun days of the year for us. We leave my house around 4:00 in the morning. As my passengers sleep I listen to Sonny Rollins cds while driving. I don't know what it is, but every time I listen to Sonny Rollins on my way to a lake I end up having a successful day of fishing.

Fish be warned! We are coming for you next month! And be advised...Alfie's Theme, 'Round Midnight, and St. Thomas will be cranking on my van stereo on our way down.

This might happen if I forget my Sonny Rollins cds

Monday, October 23, 2006

Bengals Pregame

Melody and Matthew

Part of the fun for us of going to a Bengals game is the time we spend together prior to the game. Yesterday we grilled up smoked sausage, broke out the Doritos and threw some football around the lot. Playing the quarterback position like Carson Palmer, I connected on several forty yard bombs to Matt and threw some short screen passes to Melody. The Bengals won the big game in thrilling fashion by coming from behind in the fourth quarter to outscore the Panters 17-14. Carson's pass to Chad Johnson was very similar to my fantastic throw to Matt just hours earlier.

The similarity of Carson's form to mine is simply uncanny! I'm sure he has studied film of my throwing technique and incorporated my style into his delivery. Who Dey!

Sunday, October 15, 2006

A Great Gig

My gig was a lot of fun last night playing at the BJ Thomas and Billy Joe Royal Show. The band was exceptional and both of them were excellent performers and great guys.

With Billy Joe Royal

Billy Joe made hits from the 1960's through the 1990's. Last night he performed such hits as "Down In The Boondocks", "Please Come To Boston", "I'll Pin A Note On Your Pillow", "It Keeps Right On Hurting", and "Tell It Like It Is".

With BJ Thomas

BJ is a five time grammy award winner and has sold over 70 million records worldwide. They include 15 top 40 pop/rock records and 11 gold records. He is interviewed in the 9/24/06 issue of Pentecostal Evangel where talks about his career and his faith.

Last night he sang many of his hits including "Hooked On A Feeling", "Raindrops Keep Falling On My Head", "(Hey, Won't You Play) Another Somebody Done Somebody Wrong Song", "Eyes Of A New York Woman", "Rock And Roll Lullaby", "Two Car Garage", and "Whatever Happened To Old Fashioned Love". He and Billy Joe performed together on a wonderful version of "You've Lost That Lovin' Feelin'".

The band was excellent. John Sterling Francis was on bass. He has been with BJ for 30 years. BJ said that drummer Larry Chavis has been his drummer for 24 years. Nashville guitarist Tom Wild has been with the group for 4 years. Leo Finn played tasty keyboards the entire evening.

I enjoyed chatting with Weston Mays, BJ's road manager. He talked about the current tour and how much BJ and Billy Joe enjoy working together. BJ told me that the combination of the two of them touring together "is a perfect fit". When talking with Billy Joe, he told me a story about a wild gig he played years ago at The Continental Inn in Lexington. He was funny and enjoyed recalling that trip to Lexington.

This was a concert by a couple of old pros that have really paid their dues. I had lots of fun and am looking forward to the next time I see them.

Tuesday, October 10, 2006

Looking Forward To BJ Thomas/Billy Joe Royal Gig

I'm not going to be able to make it to Caproni's this Saturday night, as I am booked to perform at the BJ Thomas and Billy Joe Royal Show in Lexington. Before the show I'll have the opportunity to meet and have dinner backstage with them.

I think opportunities like this are one of my favorite perks of being a professional musician. One of my favorite memories of this type is recalling spending time with Bob Hope. I was playing in his orchestra for a show years ago at Tom Gentry's horse farm. During the time period between the rehearsal and the show Mr. Hope chatted with me one on one for about twenty minutes as we watched the beautiful thoroughbred horses across Mr. Gentry's farm. He was great.

Sunday, October 01, 2006

Rosemary Clooney Festival 2006

With Songwriter/Performer Neil Sedaka

As always, I had a great time playing in Maysville during the annual Rosemary Clooney Festival weekend. The popular Neil Sedaka played many of his hits for the enthusiastic crowd. He has written and performed many hits including "Breaking Up Is Hard To Do", "Oh Carol", "Calendar Girl" and "Happy Birthday Sweet Sixteen".

With Entertainer Nick Clooney

My friend Nick Clooney was in attendance and enjoyed the festival music very much. Throughout the year he and his family visit Caproni's to enjoy the fine food and to hear me play.

With Miss America 2000 Heather Renee French

I always enjoy chatting with Heather Renee French. She is a wonderful lady and is very proud of Maysville, her hometown. She is executive director of the Heather French Foundation for Veterans.

With Miss America and KY Lt. Governor Steve Henry

If you've never been to the festival, you owe it to yourself to put it on your schedule. You will see celebrities, enjoy tasty food and music at Caproni's, and enjoy a great concert by some of America's great entertainers. Past performers include Roberta Flack, Linda Ronstadt, Alison Krauss, and Neil Sedaka.