We're not in Kansas anymore...

Thursday we drove all day to get to Kansas City where we stayed with John's Aunt Carol and Kim. We had a blast. They had a pot roast supper waiting for us when we arrived and Marissa (John's cousin's little girl) was staying with them for the week. She is sooooo adorable. After supper we took a drive around KC to see the Christmas lights, the Plaza and downtown.

Friday morning we took off to finish our trip to Nebraska to visit my family. Wow. Can't believe how much AJ and Katie have grown. AND, that Cassy is only about five months from graduating from high school... she's 18 already?! Where did the time go? Oh yeah... and my Mom's new kitchen is FABULOUS.

Christmas Eve, all the Petersen's assembled at Mom & Dad's for dinner (that's lunch time on the farm). That new kitchen was just the ticket... we all were able to sit in the same room for ham, potatoes, salad, peas and homemade cream puffs. Yum. After dinner, we the kids opened their presents. It was a riot... can't wait til I get back to Nashvegas so I can post pics of all the excitement.

On Christmas Day, John and I went on a movie adventure in Yankton, SD with Cassy and AJ. Dick and Jane was a pretty average movie, but getting to hang with those two was priceless. We had a blast.

Today, Monday, we spent the morning saying goodbye to the Petersens. (Time flies when you're having fun!) At around 12:30 we hit the highway toward Yankton, SD where we met up with Ronnie, a long time friend, for coffee. We talked for more than two hours over coffee at the Fryin' Pan. Good times.

Then, we were off to Sioux Falls to see Denice, Shannan, Brent, Shelly and Dave. Spezia's was the scene for great food and reminiscing about the old times and new times. More good stuff.

Right now, I'm hanging with Denice... JTC just went to bed... so we'll be able to leave for Christmas with John's family Iowa on Tuesday. Can't wait.

Miss you! I'll write again on Friday when I get back to Nashville... provided my computer is all better.

Hope you had a MERRY CHRISTMAS and wishing you a HAPPY New Year.
Be safe.


Proud iPod owner

JTC got me an iPod for Christmas. It's so pretty... I'm so excited.

The bummer is that our computer at home crashed AGAIN and I won't be able to load it up until we get back from our holiday travels.

(The computer is staying at Media Tech until we get back... hopefully it will be all healthy by then... a Mac is looking better and better. SO tired of freaking viruses.)

Anyway... There's room for more than 7,500 songs and I've got more than 500 CDs to transfer to it... so if anyone has some good iPod tips for me... HIT ME!

Songwriter links and holiday travels

Check out the blogroll over there to the left... I added some new links for some of my songwriter friends. Just discovered that they've all got MySpace sites. Pretty cool. I'll keep adding them as I find more...

On another note, JTC and I are on a holiday adventure... Touring Nebraska, Iowa and South Dakota. We'll be back on 12/30... so watch for photos of the trip when we get back. In the meantime, I'll be posting as often as I can get to a computer.

I'll be thinking of y'all here in "balmy" Nashville.


Hey you...

Draw Me Something
**Tips hat to Emily**

Simon Sez Santa

Remember the subservient chicken?

Well... Now there's a Simon Sez Santa.


Sittin' in with Jonell

Hey! Check it out...

My friend Dirk snapped some pics of me sittin' in with Jonell at 3rd on Friday night.

We sang the "Woke up" song and had a blast.

That's Craig Krampf on drums, Tom Brit (plays w/Vince Gill) on guitar and Don Johnson (no not that Don Johnson!) on bass.

How cool is that?!


Do NOT press.

Seriously, I mean it.
(Do NOT press.)
You'll seem insane and crazy to everyone around you.
Trust me on this one.

Egg and muffin toaster dreams...

I still haven't bought one of these.
Wonder if Santa will be good to me?
If not, I wonder if Target will have them on clearance after Christmas?
One way or the other, I will have one.
It is my destiny.


Hermitage, Pat and Jonell

Got my work Christmas Party (yes... I said CHRISTmas) tonight at 6:30. It's at the Hermitage Hotel, with open bar until supper is served at 7:30. JTC is going with me, so I have a designated driver, which means I can have a few adult beverages. Wheeeeeeee... haven't done that since my night of fun at Durango back in October. Crazy.

Then, we're going to bug out at 9:30 or so to catch Pat McLaughlin's first set at Douglas Corner. I promised Lindsey Rhoades we'd be there before I remembered we had the Christmas Party tonight, so it will be a good excuse to make a gracious exit.

From there (11:00 or so), we're going to go catch Jonell's last set at 3rd & Lindsley. Love her... she is such a dear friend and incredible singer. I want to make sure we end up there last so we get to talk a little and exchange presents. AND, Craig Krampf has been playing drums with her lately... he's amazing.


Price of loyalty keeps going up.

A friend of mine just noticed that the bid is up to $900... AND, it looks like the seller has been making the rounds on Knoxville TV stations.

What a hoot!
Can't wait to what team this guy ends up with and how much he makes "selling his UT loyalty."

Oh the drama of it all!

To be continued...


OK... I must say... seeing Bonnie Raitt and Lyle Lovett on the same stage at the CMT Crossroads taping last night was absolutely incredible. Definitely makes the highlight reel for 2005 for me.

Loved the room where it was shot at The Factory in Franklin. It had that cozy industrial loft feel and the set was amazing. It was also pretty intimate... I'd guess there weren't more than 200 or so people packed in there. I'm sure it will look great on TV.

Lyle and Bonnie were on stage together throughout the entire taping. She's so tiny! And, he is such a class act. They are obviously good friends. Talk about communicating musically! They were locked in all night and so were the bands.

First, they performed a few of Lyle's songs with his band: My Baby Don't Tolerate, In My Own Mind, North Dakota... and one more that I can't think of right now.

Then they performed a few of Bonnie's songs with her band: I Don't Want Anything to Change, Something to Talk About, Thing Called Love... hmmm and the other escapes me again. (Drat!)

They combined members of both bands to perform "Do Right Woman" as the last song. They ended up doing three takes of it... they wanted to get it just right. All THREE takes were amazing. Very cool.

Bonnie's voice was absolutely flawless. She has an unmistakable playing style that permeated all the songs. And... what a spunky lady. I'll bet she's a straight shooter, too. Besides that, she also gives props to the songwriter constantly. Bonnie said at one point in the night that she considers herself a fan of great songwriters... and that she wanted to get it right with so many of the "authors" in the audience. Love that.

Lyle's voice and grace on stage are impecable... I've been impressed with him every time I've seen him. When he sings and talks, you feel like he's singing / talking right to you. His songs are so expressive. Love the way he writes and delivers his songs. Yum.

Lyle's spectacular band was made up of Viktor Krauss (upright bass), Russ Kunkel (Drums), Matt Rollings (keys), John Hagen(cello), Mitch Watkins (guitar)and James Gilmer(percussion). He didn't have the horns / background singers with him on the gig, but it was great nonetheless. These players take Lyles incredible songs to the next level. They play with precision and feel and they are so locked in. One of the coolest parts of the night was Russ was playing a cajon (that he was using as his drum throne- like JTC does) while James played the cabasa inside that beat during North Dakota. They were so precise and there was so much space... but it didn't sound stiff. It felt like a heartbeat. And, Matt Rollings was weaving his delicate piano moves in and out and between those beats. Incredible. I could feel myself out on the prarie in North Dakota as they played.

Bonnie's groovey feeling band was made-up of George Marinelli (Guitar/Vocals), James 'Hutch' Hutchinson (Bass/Vocals), Jon Cleary (Keyboards), and Ricky Fataar (Drums). When they hit the stage the vibe was loosley tight... if you know what I mean. They have an incredible feel like Lyle's band, but in a completely different way. I wish I could explain it better, but they communicate musically so well together. They are one instrument when they play together... they read Bonnie like a book (and vice versa).

I'm sure the order and presentation of the night will change-up after the edit / post process is complete... but that is the gist of the set list. Can't wait to see it in its final form on CMT.


Standing in the Crossroads audience

Guess what I get to do tonight?! I'm sooooo excited... I'm just beside myself.

Lala invited me to attend a taping of CMT's Crossroads featuring Bonnie Raitt and Lyle Lovett with her.


I'm taking my camera... if they'll let me.
**fingers crossed**


Random 1

Has anyone else seen this show on A&E? I ran across it as I was surfing a couple weeks ago and then again last night.

Basically, these two guys drive around in an old beat-up Ford truck they call "Jackie" and find "Random" people to help.

They have 24 hours to make a difference in someone's life. Sometimes it works and sometimes it doesn't... but it doesn't matter. The show is all about giving without conditions. Love it.

Please watch it... I wish there were more shows like this out there but it won't last long without eyeballs.

Check it out and tell me what you think. It airs on A&E, Tuesdays at 9 p.m. (central).

Falling from the sky

I'm sure everyone knows about this story already... since it's been everywhere all week. But, last night I was mesmerized by an interview with Shayna Richardson on CNN.

In October, during her first solo dive, Shayna's parachute didn't work. Then her reserve chute malfunctioned as well. She fell 3,000 feet out of the sky, hit the an asphalt parking lot going 50 miles an hour and survived to tell about it. To top it all off she found out that she was two weeks pregnant in the emergency room after the fall... and the baby survived, too.

A miracle perhaps?!
I think so.

Do you suppose that child is bound for greatness? I mean, really. For her life and the baby's life to be spared, she must be carrying a future world leader or something! Wouldn't that be wild?


Selling Vols Loyalty on E-bay

OK... for the record, I have no opinion on this except to say:

1. It is a clever way to express dis-satisfaction.
2. Hysterical.
3. This person may not have enough to do.

From the description on e-Bay:
I've been a loyal TN Vols fan for more than twenty five years but after The Hiring made for this University football team. I’m DONE!!!!!!! I'm selling my services as a College Football League fan to the highest bidder. I CAN BE A FAN FOR YOUR TEAM! The winning bidder will get to pick my new favorite College team. I will root loudly and enthusiastically for my new team for the remainder of the 2005-2006 season (If in a Bowl game) and the entire 2006-2007 season. >>read more

What a hoot.


Pandora's box

Just ran across a post about www.pandora.com on Pith in the Wind.

Pandora is a site designed to deliver your own personal radio station online. All you have to do is type in an artist or song that you like, it creates a playlist inline with your selection. I'm listening to it right now... so far it is spot on.

If you click the thumbnail of the album cover in the playlist, you'll see several cool options... it is very intuitive. It gives you the option to buy the song from iTunes or the album from Amazon, you can vote on whether you like the album, start a new station from the album playing or find out why Pandora added a song to your playlist.

This really is one of the best uses of the Internet that I've ever seen.

Wish I'd have thought of it!

Go ahead... take it for a spin!

12/23: The Sutler is closing

Last night I went to a show at the Sutler. It's just one of many I've attended there over the past five years. If you've never been there, you've only got two more weeks to experience more than 30 years of Nashville Music history. On 12/23 The Sutler will be closing its doors for good. For more info, CMT has a news story about its closing and the many closing of long-time music venues across the country.

The Sutler is an honest to goodness bar with some of the best, most varied music in Nashville. You'll hear anything from a label showcase to a songwriter's night to live radio show taping to bands on the rise.

It's longevity is probably most notably marked by the wall behind the bar and the bar itself. The wall is probably 15 feet high and almost entirely comprised of intricately hand carved wood that encases a gigantic mirror. Dozens of liquor bottles and various bar necessities rest atop a marble counter in front of the mirror. I sure hope someone is able to save this stunning piece of historic craftsmanship. Once that is gone, there's no getting it back.

The room is divided by a saloon like rail. The floor is half painted / half carpet. The tables are worn and dark from years of drinks and dinners being served on them. And, yes, there is that old familiar bar / club smell. These things make the Sutler a "real" place to hang out. You don't have to be hip or "in" to be there... it's just a place where everyone let's you be yourself.

Perfomers test out their newly written songs on a stage that is positioned almost among the audience. Dozens, maybe hundreds, of up-and-coming artists have played the stage over the years. If you look around at the photos on the wall, you'll see photos of everyone from Trisha Yearwood to the Night Hawks to Keith Urban. Pretty amazing.

I've known that the old building was on its way out for several months now. But, I didn't know until recently that the Sutler wouldn't be rebuilt.

Now, I realize this is the busiest time of the year with traveling, Christmas parties and shopping for Santa... but, if you can swing it, please stop by, take-in some authentic Nashville music and say goodbye to a piece of Nashville's history before 12/23.

Blockhead calculation

If you've ever wondered just how big Charlie Brown's noggin' is... look no farther. Our blogger friend and architecht, Tim Morgan, has solved the mystery.

Given his calculations, it's really amazing that Charlie Brown can stand up at all.


Do you have to grunt?

OK... first of all... I must issue a big shout out to Shannan (if you click... scroll down the page half way for a pic), my long-time friend, who called last night to let me know she and her new hubby are expecting in May.
Congrats sistah!

What you don't know about Shannan, is that she hates the word "poop". Always has... probably always will. (Of course this is license for me to find many ways to use the word in a conversation when we talk... I'm evil. But I tease only the people I love. **wink**)

Anyway, so, I asked her what she was going to say when her baby had to go, (whispered) "Will you say that word you don't like?"

She responded, "You mean poop?"

(And, as she was saying poop on the phone, JTC, who was sitting next to me on the couch, started saying "poop poop poop poop poop poop...over and over again. It was hysterical... but I digress.)

I said, "yes."

Shannan relented, "I might have to use it... but when we were kids my mom called it a BM."

Although she said her sister pointed out when they were older that BM was dumb... because you wouldn't say, "Do you have to bowel movement?"


Of course, JTC was listening to the conversation and weighed in with, "Do you have to go lay some pipe?"

The funniest of all is what my family called it. As I think about it, I can hear Mom asking, "Do you have to grunt?"

No lie.

The funniest part is that I didn't realize how ridiculous it sounded until I was in college. (Yes... the cruel realization of just one of my family's many unique weird but lovable dysfunctional traits is an embarassing story that I will not bore entertain you with at the moment. Let's just say I didn't get out into the world much before I went to college... and have some pretty funny stories to prove it. **wink**)

Later, I talked to Denice and told her Shannan's good news. We were laughing about Shannan's poop dilema and proceeded to go back and forth about ways to say poop without saying poop.

Again... hysterical.

As adults, Denice reminded me that she and Kenny would refer to it as, "Going to the library" because Kenny liked to "read in the bathroom."

Denice's family said, "Number one or number two?" and sometimes "Do you have to go potty?"

The last alternative is probably the most universal... and a little less boring than "Do you have to go to the bathroom?" Especially if you're trying to avoid using the words "poop" or "grunt."

How 'bout you?
What did / do you call it?
Got any embarassing "grunt" stories to share?
Hit me... I can handle it.


Monday musical makeover

My Monday night definitely made up for the ho-hum beginning of the day. Last night I went on a whirlwind music extravaganza.

First, Karleen and I met for supper at 3rd to catch Keith Anderson and the band. There we met up with our friend Warren Sellers (songwriter for 3 Ring Circus / Windswept).

Keith was supposed to go on at 8 but didn't start until after 9... which was a little annoying, but we had fun nonetheless. We only got to see three songs before we left to go to 12 & Porter for Anthony Smith's show. Which was phenomenal. Chris Wallin's wife (sorry... my brain is farting and I can't remember her first name right now... I think it might be Michelle) plays bass with Anthony and she was so in the pocket. She made me want to be a bass player!

Anthony's show ended at 10:30, so Warren asked Karleen and I if we wanted to write with him at Windswept. Of course we jumped at the chance and had a ball. While I'm a little tired today, it was worth it. We got as far as two verses and half a chorus... so we're almost there. Hopefully we'll get to finish it yet this week before Warren heads back to L.A. on Sunday.
**fingers crossed**

See... Monday's aren't so bad!


I'm having a Monday.

Usually, Monday's aren't really a big deal to me. I actually look forward to them most week. But, for some reason, today is different. The weekend seemed non-existent and Monday just came way to soon.
  • Maybe it is because last night I had a "slap in the face" realization that in just three weeks, we'll be home for Christmas and I have absolutely nothing done / ready. No presents bought. No treats made. I'm way behind. (But as of the weekend I do have a list... so that is something!)
  • Maybe it is because I realized this morning that three weeks to Christmas also means less than three weeks to finish some very major projects at work. I've already been coming in early and staying late the past couple weeks in an effort to make this happen... with progress I might add... but it is still freaking me out a little.
  • Maybe it is because I've been working on the 2006 BB plan. You know... what I am going to accomplish for myself, not my job, next year. The plan / goals are pretty aggressive... and I'm feeling a little overwhelmed that time is closing in I have to put some discipline behind it starting January 1. Yikers!

I guess what it really boils down to is that it is all of these reasons.

So, it's time to kick it into gear and make a few things happen around here! Going to quit whinin' and go into "mind-over-matter" mode... JTC can tell you all about BB in this mode.

All I can say is, watch out. Tasmanian devil like behavior is soon to ensue.


Good Gigs...


7 p.m.
Ashley Clevland
3rd & Lindsley

9 p.m.
Blue Mother Tupelo
Douglas Corner

9 p.m.
Spin Doctors (yes... the "two princes" band)
3rd & Lindsley

I'm going to try to hit both of the 9 p.m. shows.
Maybe I'll see you there!

Idaho honors Napoleon Dynamite

For my friends who love Napoleon Dynamite, I thought you'd like to know that Idaho is honoring the movie's creators.

No joke.

According to Snopes, this NOT a myth.

You can now pass this on without a guilty conscience.


Number One Reception

I was fortunate enough to attend my first "#1 reception" at BMI yesterday... and I hope it is not my last. The event celebrated Montgomery Gentry's successful climb to the top of the country charts with "Somethin' to be Proud of," penned by Jeffrey Steele (BMI) and Chris Wallins (ASCAP).

The whole event was centered around celebrating the song and the writers. Noteables in the audeince (that I know of anyway) were Montgomerry Gentry (of course), Jeffrey Steele (of course), Chris Wallin (songwriter), Steve Markland (Windswept Pacific), David Preston (BMI) and John Grady (SonyBMG). And, to my surprise, several friends (who are just as notable but not necessarily well known) were there, too... Steve C, Cat Miller, Tommy Mac, Tom Hambridge, Karleen Watt, Randy Hauser, Ken Johnson, Lucy Angel, Randi Perkins... and more I'm just not remembering right now.

It was great to be there to support Jeff and hang with my peeps. I even got to meet Eddie Montgomery... he's really nice. (He makes me think of my older brother.) Kinda cool.

The whole event was an inspiring. I was surrounded by people who were living their dreams... yeah... I'm sure they have doubts and frustrations with the "business" just like anyone else... but the fact of the matter is that they don't settle. They are doing what they love. They are doing what they would do whether it made it to #1 or not. I really respect that... and it fuels my motivation to keep writing and to get more focused on my own musical path.

I've got work to do!
Stay tuned... you'll see way more from BB in 2006.