Wednesday, March 9, 2016

Life in the woods...

Greetings to you on this eve of Spring!! The weather is finally starting to warm up and soon the trees around us will be green and blooming. Spring in the woods of Chapmansboro will be amazing.

"I went to the woods because I wished to live deliberately, to front only the essential facts of life, and see if I could not learn what it had to teach, and not, when I came to die, discover that I had not lived."
Henry David Thoreau

I hope that your week is amazing. Ponder this Henry David Thoreau quote as we watch Spring come.

"This world is but a canvas to our imagination."

Wherever you live, wherever you are, create your future in your imagination. This is where our reality is born.

Have a blessed day!!


Tuesday, February 16, 2016

Sometimes you need a change...

Greetings from Chapmansboro, Tennessee!!

After living in Franklin, TN for many years, my Wife and I decided to get out of town and find some peace and quiet. Well we found it in Chapmansboro, Tennessee. Never heard of it? Well I hadn't either. We managed to find 25 wooded acres with a glorious house on it. This picture is from our bedroom window. I feel so blessed to live here.

So my plan is to really kick the songwriting into high gear now that we're settled. I have a great front porch for guitar playing. The only audience is the birds, squirrels and deer. My favorite audience.

Blessings to all today,


Thursday, October 15, 2015

Music heals! A story for all Singer/Songwriters

Music heals! A story for all Singer/Songwriters

As a singer/songwriter, we often think our efforts go unnoticed or unappreciated. We often think our work doesn't matter if our songs aren't recorded by a major artist. I have felt this way many times. When those thoughts enter my brain, I remember this story.

I was singing at a Sunday service at a small church in Columbia, TN. I had been invited to perform by Sharon, a coworker of my wife. Sharon brought her Mother to church with her this particular Sunday. She seemed like a wonderful older woman.

Backing up to that morning. I had already had a crazy morning and was rushed to get to the church. At this point I wished I had never agreed to sing. Yes, I was in a bad mood and was not handling it well. I finally made it to the church just in time to get on the stage and start singing. I sang a few of my old favorite gospel tunes and a few that I had written. A voice in my head (God) told me to sing "Amazing Grace".

I decided to end my performance by singing "Amazing Grace". After singing my final song, I proceeded to get off the stage and head back to my seat. Once the service was over, my Wife's coworker came up to me and hugged me like I've never been hugged. With tears in her eyes she said, "Thank you, thank you for giving me my Mother back!" She hugged me again and would not let go. At that point I did not know what she meant by "giving her Mother back. I inquired once the hugs were over.

Through her tears she proceeded to tell me that her Mother suffers from dementia as she is very old. She had not heard her Mother sing in years. She told me as soon as I started singing "Amazing Grace", her Mother started singing along with me. She had forgotten what a beautiful voice she had. She told me it took her back to her childhood and a time before her Mother was ill.

Now I understand why she hugged me so tight. Now I understand that no talent is ever wasted or goes unnoticed. Now I understand the real reason why I sing and write songs. We should never question that little voice in our head. Never doubt that each moment can be inspired.

Love, peace and joy to all,



Tuesday, September 29, 2015

Loving Mary - Drinking with you.

I told you they were awesome!!!

If you will remember, last year I decided I wanted Loving Mary to perform at Phil's Jam for FSHD. I was so excited when they agreed to perform. Everybody was asking, "Who is Loving Mary"?? I told them all, "You just wait, they'll be awesome and they'll be huge"!! Meeting Rebecca Lynn Howard and the band is truly one of the highlights of my time here in Nashville. Having them perform at my fundraiser was huge for me. The last Phil's Jam was in July of 2014.

Since then they have really done some incredible things. They backed up Steven Tyler on the finale of American Idol. They have played music all over the country and made us all very proud. They have released some incredible music and I think you need to check it out. I was a fan before, but now I might just be a super fan.

I knew this group was going to impress, especially with the talent level in the group. Go check out their website or simply google them. I think you will be impressed too.

Enjoy this beautiful Fall weather and listen to some Loving Mary!!!

Peace and Love,


P.S Read My story of hope, regarding life with FSHD.

Thursday, September 17, 2015

The Growing Conversation with Kathy McHugh

"The world needs your happy ass!" Kathy McHugh

Every now and then you run across a person who lights up your world. Someone that has that indescribable ability to lift your spirits with just a few words on a page. When God allows a person like this to cross your path it makes you briefly understand how it all works. How we are all connected. How there is order in the Universe and how wonderful life can be if we simply acknowledge the beauty of a random meeting. It restores your faith in all things. Whenever this happens to me, I make sure to tell the person that they have affected my world in a positive manner.

Kathy is such a person to me. It all started by me reading a few Facebook quotes from her and that lead to me clicking on Kathy's website, The Growing Conversation. Then I followed her on twitter and Instagram. Then Kristi and I went to hear her speak at The City Winery a few weeks back. Her words are healing, empowering, true and brilliant. She uses stories from her own life to inspire you to believe that you can get through this crazy experience called life. She is funny, enlightening and real. At the very, very least she can bring a smile to your face. This conversation of Kathy's is about being happy in a place that is truly imperfect and to embrace that imperfection and grow from that. Feeling pain in a way that you grow from the hurt versus push it aside and be doomed to relive it a year later. Embracing pain, joy, loss and everything that crosses your path.

I could go on and on. Take some time and spread some Love today for someone in your life that has made a difference. That is my goal with this post today. Kathy you made us smile when we needed a smile. That is a precious gift that did not go unnoticed. I am sure there will be many more.

Thank you!!!

Peace and Joy to all,


Sunday, August 30, 2015

How Wayne Dyer changed my life.

This is a repost from 2008. It was actually my very first blog post. As soon as I heard of Wayne Dyer's passing today, I felt I had to repost it in his honor. God used this great man to help so many people believe again.

Hello everyone!!

Here's a quick Wayne Dyer story and a perfect example of how God works in mysterious ways. It was 2000 and I was in a horrible relationship, considering selling my guitars (I had already sold one) and never playing music again or writing or anything. I was at the lowest point that I can remember. I was sitting in my living room pondering everything and wondering what the hell I did to deserve all this...pity party. Deep down I still wanted to move to Nashville, write music, perform and live the dream, but it seemed so far away, I was ready to quit.

I was flipping the channels and paused on PBS just long enough to hear Wayne Dyer say, "Don't let your music die with you." Now that made me immediately break down. It was like God himself had spoken in an audible voice straight to me.

So, that week I wrote a song, "Don't let your fire go out.". It was the first of many songs that jump started me. A year later, the bad relationship was history, I was living in Nashville and starting a wonderful journey that has led me right here and now.

It was an amazing experience and I will never forget it. I just wanted to share that with you all.

Keep the faith!!

Peace and love,


Wednesday, August 19, 2015

Ask yourself...who do you write for?

Who do you write for?

I am not going to lie. I have been struggling lately when it comes to songwriting. I've not been struggling to write, just pondering a serious question. What is the point of writing a song if nobody is going to hear it. I think it is a common thought that passes through the heads of many songwriters. I even took a little break from songwriting, but my subconscious didn't get the memo because I wake up with tunes and lyrics in my head.

A lot of songwriters, me included, think too much about the end result like radio play, major artist cuts and the like. But way back when, songwriting to me meant living in the moment and capturing a feeling versus making money.
For example:

"Are the streets paved in gold?
Does heaven look as beautiful as we've been told?
Is it everything you hoped it would be?
What I really want to know, is what's it like in eternity?"

This is a verse of a song I wrote many years ago after losing my Dad. I have never sang this song for anyone. I really don't plan on it because it is so personal and sad. I wrote this song for myself. I have written many songs that I have never played for anyone. These were written entirely for me for either therapeutic reasons or just to put a thought down and maybe come back to it later. Sometimes I steal a line from a song I wrote years ago.

I posed this very question to my songwriter friends on Facebook. "Would you continue to write songs if you knew nobody would hear them?" The majority said they would continue writing regardless of the audience or lack thereof. I found that the majority of artists perform their art for personal reasons that run so deep it cannot be explained. One friend said they can't imagine their life without songwriting. To me, that's sounds like something on the soul level. That is so much more than a hobby.

I had a family member tell me once, "When you finally get Nashville outta your system, come on back home to Missouri." Well songwriting is something that never leaves your system I've found. Living here in Nashville is just a bonus and I'm not going away anytime soon.

For me...I just want to write a songs that means something to me. I truly do not care if anyone hears them. But it would be icing on the cake if they did hear and they did enjoy. Speaking of which, here is the link to my music.

I hope you continue writing for you. If you build it, they will come...right? I sure hope so.

Love to all,


Saturday, June 27, 2015

Steve Wariner, CGP, Singer, Songwriter

Steve Wariner

My Wife and I had the pleasure of sitting a few rows back from the stage to see Steve Wariner the other night at the City Winery in Nashville, TN. I knew Steve's background from working with Chet Atkins and his songwriting talent. I guess I had forgotten what an amazing guitar player he is.

I was raised on Chet Atkins music. Countless evening were spent listening to my Uncle play all of Chet Atkins songs on his Martin D-28. Those are very precious memories to me. Listening to Steve play all my favorites the other night made me appreciate this music all over again.

I was also thrilled to see that Mr. Wariner has passed his talents onto his children. He has his sons on stage with him jamming. I was so impressed with both of them.

All in all, this is one of the best shows I have EVER seen. If you get a chance to see Steve Wariner, you won't be disappointed.

God bless and play on,


My favorite Songwriter Joel Shewmake

Quote of the year...

“Be not the judges of men, but love your brothers and sisters, and find ways to reach out to them in common goals and aspirations. Where there is love in common, the divisions of creed will melt away and reveal the true nature of man’s eternal destiny -- one of unity in purpose, to be perfect as the Father is perfect."

Author Brilliant but Unknown

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