Wondering about the relative worth of work and capital in a land that has always had winners and losers. It still is a great country, still struggling to figure itself out.

I’ve certainly experienced a tremendous amount in this last month on the road. I’ve seen snow in New England and summer shine in Tennessee, crisscrossed the Big River and the Big Muddy, traced the footsteps of Lewis & Clark and driven America’s Main Street. I’ve stood at Amelia Earhart’s birthplace and watched bald eagles making ready to leave theirs. I feel like Johnny Cash - “I’ve been everywhere, man”...

Sometimes we are lucky enough to be present in large moments in one young person's life.

Most of us remember big moments in our early lives. Some childhood event where we did something either unexpected, beyond our perceived abilities, or in some way accomplished some thing for the first time. They are easier to mark in our early years - first day of school, first successful ride on a bike, etc. As a grownup, it is easy to forget how much of a lifelong impact some of those positive milestones will be.

I had the privilege to be witness to three different young people that I care deeply about having such a moment, all in a single day last week...

Music is life, and life is sweet. A rich tapestry of music and the soul from the pews to Panama.

This last month has brought me a whole new understanding of how deeply intertwined human existence is with the magic of rhythm, melody and occasionally lyric.

Music may have been around for as long as humans have had language. For rituals, for comfort, and for celebrations; since they first used tools man and woman have likely beat rhythms on gourds and skulls, and blown into hollow tubes...

A look at the contrast between how two big political corporate oligarchies see our national future, versus life in a real community.

It's been a rough couple of weeks in our little village. The blizzard of 2016 - dubbed Snowzilla - took shape almost exactly as predicted and lived up to 3 feet of hype. Being cooped up at home for days can bring out the worst in people, especially when compounded by health issues or other serious concerns. School was out for over a week, and as parents had to return to work, we scrambled to help one another watching kids and moving enormous amounts of snow.

It's hard on everything else too, especially for structures that aren't built to hold that load...

The recent passing of David Bowie, Glenn Frey and Pete Huttlinger has me reflecting a lot about a lot of things in life. Each was a mentor and/or an icon to me in their own way. None of them had any idea that they had been. I think about the ways that they each shaped my life, in the context that none of us live forever on this earth. When we are young, we are shaped like clay on the potter’s wheel by many hands - parents and family, friends and community, and by those who inspire us - icons from afar and mentors up close. I realize that I now still keep close touch with many mentors who’ve profoundly influenced me, but I have also long been aware that I may also play that role for many, including plenty of people about whom I may never know.

Fitting perhaps that it is on a Monday that we wake to learn of the passing of David Bowie. As someone who deeply appreciates artistic diversity, perhaps no creative spirit in my time wandered more galaxies in pursuit of his muse - music, theatre, fashion and more. Bowie was more than one of a kind, he pulled the curtains back on so many different things it makes my head spin pondering it.

Happy New Year one and all - may 2016 be an improvement on 2015, no matter what kind of year you had. May we all treat each other with a bit more humanity even when our sensibilities seem challenged...

Give yourself the gift of an expanded toolbox and the joy of knowing more than Four Pillars of Western Civilization (root, IV, V and the VI or relative minor). Some of these lovely Christmas chestnuts from the Great Songbook feature a wonderful opportunity to understand substituting chords to rotate to a different apparent tone center...

A prayer for peace seems like asking for the absurd this year, so maybe start with a hope to build a simple foundation of empathy.

We put up our Christmas tree together tonight, the three of us. In this season of Advent and high holy days for many of the world's faiths, it feels though this year the darkness draws a little closer and a little tighter. The winter's long nights are upon us, and while the days have been bright and mild here in Virginia, it still feels like the solstice and Christmas can't get here fast enough.

Some might think this day in America is a bit overdone, and that we really should practice gratitude every day. Of course, I certainly am a believer in the latter, but I also think it's a fine thing to set aside a day or two dedicated to such...

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Tour Dates

  • 10/25/2017
    The Music Cafe - Damascus, MD
     
  • 10/29/2017
    Unitarian Universalist Fellowship of Greater Cumberland - Cumberland, MD
     
  • 10/29/2017
    Tree of Life Yoga Studio - Bedford, PA
     
  • 10/30/2017
    Institute of Musical Traditions, Saint Mark Presbyterian Church - Rockville, MD
     
  • 11/02/2017
    The Blue Side - Frederick, MD
     

HAPPENINGS

SPECIAL THANKS

Andrew is a grateful Endorsing Artist for Elixir Strings and Fairbuilt Guitars, and a member of the Virginia Commission for the Arts Touring Artist Roster. He also is a member of The Standing "O" Project and Concerts in Your Home.

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