“Whammy Bar Diaries”
Entry 002, 1976 Madisonville, TN

1976 – Madisonville, TN

Me and my buddies are downing sugar packets in a booth at Wilson’s drugstore. Afterwards we go outside and start punching each other in the arm. My friend Keith says, “I made you flinch.” He draws an X on my arm and hits it with his middle knuckle poking out. My muscle pops out for a split second where his knuckle landed. “Frog!” he says laughing. I play along, biding my time, waiting for them to head home, then I go back in to the magazine rack at the front of the store. I’m hoping no one else is at the rack. I prefer to read alone, if I read at all. The pictures are the best part. The magazine rack is my private space; my hideout; my imaginary friend. The big clock on the wall says 4:05, which doesn’t leave much time before I walk to my dad’s gas station where Mom picks me up at 4:30.… READ MORE...

“Whammy Bar Diaries”
Entry 001, August, 1987

I was heading east on the California Trail. The first transcontinental Railroad ran parallel just a few miles north of the highway. This was the route the emigrants traveled by wagon train during the gold rush. The sun melted in my rearview as I drove past the last service exits of Reno/Sparks and Fernley into the long desolate stretch of interstate 80. I should’ve fueled up back there, but I left Sonoma County without much forethought, unprepared for the vast and lonesome darkness of the high sierra. It seemed not much had changed since the frontier days. There were very few cars passing and it was a relief to see any sort of illumination. It brought to mind alien abduction and unsolved murders. The radio was static and the cassette player was broken so I hummed a tune I had been working on. At a quarter tank of gas panic began to set in.… READ MORE...

“Las Cruces Sunset”

Here’s a new song called “Las Cruces Sunset” which will be on my next record coming out (hopefully) in February. The song was intended to be about my bus ride to the west coast way back in 1982 in pursuit of the rock and roll dream. Instead, it took a mind of its own (which songs often do) into the social current and heartbreak territory of immigration. I do make a brief appearance in the song, but as it turns out, there were other dreamers on that bus.

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The Shed and Doodle Soup with Mic

Thanks to everyone who came out to all the August shows, including the girls CD release shows! While continuing to work on my next album I’ll be playing a couple shows with Mic and the boys. Saturday the 8th we’ll be doing at twin-bill at The Shed down in Maryville with Blue Mother Tupelo for the Harbours Gate Benefit. Always love playing The Shed!

Then Saturday the 22nd we’ll be playing “Doodle Soup Days” in Mic’s hometown of Bradford, TN. This is a free event that also features music by Resurrection – A Journey Tribute and The Buzz Kings. Y’all make plans to come cheer us on!

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