Friday, December 31, 2010

Happy New Year

“For last year's words belong to last year's language and next year's words await another voice.”  T.S. Eliot

So many wonderful things happened this year and that is what I am focusing on. Even the flood brought us all closer together and caused us to not take anything for granted. So take this day to give thanks for friends, family, another year of happiness and all the blessings we have received this year.

Here is wishing all of you a happy, healthy, abundant New Year. Peace, love and joy to all,


Friday, December 24, 2010

"I'll be home for Christmas" written by Buck Ram

This wonderful Christmas classic was written in 1943 by Buck Ram, Kim Gannon and Walter Kent, though Buck was the main lyricist. It's just more proof that one single song can affect so many lives.

Never give up on your dreams. May Santa bring you a great song this year. :)

Merry Christmas to all,


I'm dreamin' tonight of a place I love
Even more then I usually do
And although I know it's a long road back
I promise you

I'll be home for Christmas
You can count on me
Please have snow and mistletoe
And presents under the tree
Christmas Eve will find me
Where the love light beams
I'll be home for Christmas
If only in my dreams

Christmas Eve will find me
Where the love light beams
I'll be home for Christmas
If only in my dreams.

Thursday, December 2, 2010

Believing is everything!

This is a repost from about a year ago, but it is one of my favorite inspirational posts of mine.

As songwriters, we spend way too much time and energy worrying about "how" we are going to get to where we want to be. We read books, do market research and worry about how to get our songs in the right hands. Here's the problem from a songwriter's perspective.
Now my ultimate goal is to write a song that 1) Gets recorded 2) Gets released 3) Gets to #1 4) Gets nominated for song of the year 5) WINS!! So now that I have that settled, I have two things I must do; write that song and believe it will happen. It is really that simple.
For example, I can waste an entire day/week creating online profiles, uploading music and networking. It's beneficial to have an online presence and you also need an EPK (electronic press kit) for your business card or correspondence, but I forget sometimes to get in my quiet room, write and just simply believe.
I don't care if you say God/Spirit/Universe/Allah/Jesus, there is a spiritual aspect to our lives and we cannot afford to get so busy that we forget to simply believe. If you believe in your music, believe that God will supply the rest.
I believe in Divine intervention. I believe God will put the right person on my path so I stumble over them, a demo CD falls out of my coat pocket and lands on the radio. It's that simple.
You are not climbing this mountain alone. In the words of Wayne Dyer, "If you knew who walked beside you at all times on this path that you have chosen, you could never acheive this fear and doubt again".
Pick a specific...and BELIEVE.
Until next time, keep the faith.

Saturday, November 27, 2010

Judy Rodman...shared from her Facebook.

Judy Rodman is a vocal coach, creator of pro vocal training method "Power, Path & Performance", an award-winning recording artist, stage and television performer, multi-genre hit songwriter with song catalogs at BMG, Universal, Warner Music, Chrysalis Music and Favorable Wind Songs, a top session singer, and a very active studio producer and vocal consultant.

Judy is a published author with two music blogs at and and over 60 articles at . Her blogposts and articles have appeared in magazines and websites such as Vocals Magazine, Indie Connect Magazine, Music After 50, Nashville Music Pros, A2Z Vocal Coach ezine, Music Competition Network ezine and many more. She developed and hosts “All Things Vocal” internet radio show, gives advanced workshops on the voice and vocal production, and is an active member of AFTRA, SAG and AFofM.

Judy's students include top recording artists and indie musicians. Her latest songwriting success is a song she co-wrote with Michael Black titled "Missing Child". Judy produced the cut on pop artist Emil Bishaw; his recording and the accompanying video has been featured on Nancy Grace and appears on the CNN website. Her latest creative enterprise is creating and hosting her own internet show "All Things Vocal Radio" which plays to international audiences on www.New Artist

For specific credits, go to her website about page

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Two words...Thank you!

The decision to live in gratitude has changed my life over the past couple years. Kristi and I were looking at a list we made a year and a half ago...a list of goals. I was blown away by how many things we were able to mark off the list. So when you walk through our house you will notice we have gratitude paintings and thank you notes all over the place to remind us to give thanks every minute of every day.

It is simple to me. The more you thank God for the things in your life, the more he sends you things to be thankful for. I will borrow a passage from an email that was sent to me from My wonderful sister-in-law Karen. It is so fitting for Thanksgiving week.

"Remember, if you are criticizing, you are not being grateful. If you are blaming, you are not being grateful. If you are complaining, you are not being grateful. If you are feeling tension, you are not being grateful. If you are rushing or are in a bad mood, you are not being grateful. Gratitude can transform your life. Are you allowing minor things to get in the way of your transformation and the life you deserve?"

Thank you all for reading my blog and thank God for another year of blessings.

Love and peace,


Saturday, November 13, 2010

Allow your soul the freedom to sing

May today there be peace within.
May you trust that you are exactly where you are meant to be.
May you not forget the infinite possibilities that are born of faith in yourself and others.
May you use the gifts that you have received, and pass on the love that has been given to you.
May you be content with yourself just the way you are.
Allow your soul the freedom to sing, dance, praise and love.

I was told this was written by Mother Theresa and I just wanted to share it with you all.

Bless you all today,


Thursday, November 11, 2010

Thursday, November 4, 2010

I thank God for such beauty...

We just got back from a short road trip to the Great Smoky Mountains. If you have never drove up the Blue Ridge Parkway, you have missed a million wonderful sights. From Nashville, TN it is about a 6-7 hour drive to some of the most beautiful scenery in the world.

What does all this have to do with songwriting? For me it is inspiring. Looking at a gigantic range of mountains, I feel close to God and therefore closer to the source of all my inspiration. God=Beauty=inspiration

Just thought I would share one of my pictures. I hope you are able to see these mountains for yourself...soon.

Peace and love,


Thursday, September 2, 2010

Support MDA! They support me!

Well, it's hard to believe it is that time of year again. Time for the annual MDA Labor Day Telethon. I have been watching this for years and will continue to watch.

When I was young, I knew there was something different about Grandpa. He walked funny and had some other quirks. Nobody in the family knew what was wrong with him and he never went to the doctor to find out. His son, my Uncle, also showed signs of the ailment, but they didn't do anything to find out what the problem was.

So when I was in my late teens, I started noticing some muscle weakness in my shoulders and legs. In my early twenties I decided to find a doctor that could tell me what was going on. After several trips to several different doctors, I finally wound up at the MDA Clinic. They diagnosed me with Fascioscapulohumeral Dystrophy. Finally the family mystery was solved.

Now I am in my 40's and living life to the fullest. MDA has always been there to help and someday soon...very soon...they will have a treatment/cure for this disease. Luckily for me, FSHD is a somewhat mild form of Muscular Dystrophy and I expect to live a long, happy life. But there are daily challenges in my world.

I don't know why God chose to make me this way. But I am sure he had a reason. I may never run a marathon, but running is overrated anyway...haha.

Peace and joy to all,


Thursday, August 12, 2010

Ghost In The Machine - "Never Trust A Pirate" Official Music Video

This is different from anything I have posted in the past. My nephew's metal band Ghost in the machine released the video to their song, "Never trust a pirate". It is definately worth a look...maybe even two.

I hope you enjoy it and I warn you, it's not Country. But it's awesome!!


Monday, August 9, 2010

Johanna Jacobsen...the coolest songwriter I never met.

I was browsing through a couple years ago and ran across Johanna and her song, "Walking into walls". I immediately put the song in my favorites and after listening to all her other music, she became one of my favorites.

Since then I have kept in touch with her through myspace, reverbnation and facebook. This week I found out through her facebook page that she just got one of her songs cut and I couldn't be happier for the coolest songwriter I never met.

Keep up the good work Johanna!!!



Friday, August 6, 2010

Keep your head up!!

If you read many stories in my blog, you know I don't ramble about the music business much. I basically post whatever is on my mind and I am not going to change that. It is important to not focus on the negative factors of the music business, but remain aware of them. Enjoy the journey and don't worry about the potholes. Like I have always said, if it was easy, anyone could do it.

This is your dream, you didn't choose chose you. I have often said that I sometimes wish my dream was to be a doctor. It's simple! 1. Go to school. 2. Get a Doctorate degree 3.Pass all your tests...BOOM!! You're a Doctor.

But I am a songwriter. That's the dream that has been floating in my head since I first laid hands on my Bugs Bunny guitar at the age of 2. The good news is it can be as simple or as hard as you want it to be. I choose to focus on the good and try to write good music. Worry only blocks creativity and creativity is a songwriter's fuel.

Peace and joy,


Friday, July 16, 2010

Hank Cochran...a true songwriting genius.

I am ashamed to say that I did not realize just how many songs Hank Cochran wrote. The list is astonishing. But "I fall to pieces" and "Make the world go away" are probably my favorites. Well, maybe "Don't you ever get tired of hurting me" or "Is it raining at your house" or...well you get the idea. The list is enormous.

So here's to Hank Cochran and his legacy. I'm sorry I never got to meet you, but I will sing your songs until I die.

God bless you,


Monday, July 12, 2010

My favorite songwriter, Joel Shewmake...

If you ever get the chance to hear Joel, drop your other plans and do it. I have been listening to this guy ever since I moved to Nashville in 2002. He just has a way of getting his thoughts across that is different from everybody else. He has truly inspired me to be a better songwriter. I finally got to thank him last night when he played at The Commodore Grill.

Drop by his myspace page and give him a listen. I promise you will like it.



Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Come join us at The Whistle Stop & The Commodore

My cousin CT Robinson and I are doing two shows this weekend. Saturday night, July 10th, we will be at The Whistle Stop Diner in Thompson Station. We play from 6-9 pm. Come out and join us for some great food, drinks and music. It is located at 1549 Thompson Station Rd W, Thompson Station, TN 37179.

Sunday night, July 11th, we are doing a round at The Commodore Grill, 2613 West End Avenue, Nashville, TN 37203. Debi Champion has hosted this songwriter night for as long as I remember. If you have never been, well I think it is time you did. We go on at 8:30.

Have a great week and keep those cards and letters coming.



Friday, June 25, 2010

Karmen & Jared sittin in a tree...

I just wanted to send my love to my amazing Niece Karmen and her new husband Jared. They got married in Hawaii earlier this month, but the celebration is this weekend. I can't wait to party with my family this weekend.

I love you both!!

Uncle Phil

Saturday, June 12, 2010

The Whistle Stop Diner in Thompson's Station, TN

Kristi and I were out wandering around Williamson County Thursday afternoon and found the coolest place. It's call The Whistle Stop Diner and it's in Thompson's Station, TN just south of Franklin. What a great atmosphere and menu!

It it one of those places you will want to visit on a regular basis. The food was awesome and the service was great. We started off with fried green tomatoes and fried dill pickles. For the entree, I had the ribs and Kristi had the catfish. I had to steal some catfish from Kristi and I have to say that it was amazing.

The most unexpected bonus was the entertainment. The band Coaltrain played acoustic versions of their originals and cover tunes. I was most impressed with the guys and their talent. They were even cool enough to let me get up and sing a song.

I highly recommend this place for lunch or dinner. I know we will be back soon. So go see them and tell them Phil sent you.

Peace and love,


Friday, May 28, 2010

The Preacher's Kid

The Preacher's Kid
By Phil Bennett
The preacher's kid sat in the second row and sang "Amazing Grace"
He listened to the words his Daddy spoke...still in his place.
I always wondered if they actually listened to him speak
then why did they only live it one day a week.
Never knew how he couldn't see
That I needed him more than the sinners on Sunday.
They were a lost cause anyway.
I was not a sinner yet, maybe I needed to be
to get what I needed from him.
In many ways, he was a hero to me
And I wanted to be like him and not them.
I always knew he was doing the best he could
He didn't know any other way.
I still remember the sermons he preached
He felt it and tried his best to live it,
but he couldn't get them to see and it finally got the best of him.
"Don't you ever give up on God," he would say.
I listened, but they never did.
And in a million ways, because of him
the preacher's kid is a better man today.

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Every time I think of giving up...I read this from Wayne Dyer

"Don't die with your music still in you. Find your passion. Your passion is what stirs your soul and makes you feel like you're totally in harmony with why you showed up here in the first place." - Dr. Wayne Dyer

It makes me want to pick my guitar up, stop whining and write what is in my soul. It's that simple to me.

Peace and joy,


Monday, May 3, 2010

One day it started raining and didn't stop...

Saturday morning started like many others...there was storms moving into the Nashville area. We didn't put that much thought into the forecast other than changing our plans from outdoors to indoors. Little did we know what was in store for us. In the next 36-40 hours, our town of Franklin, TN would get 15 inches of rain. Nashville got about 13 which more than doubled the record set in 1979.

This is a picture of our back yard. It came two feet from getting in the house. We were very fortunate especially when you consider people just down the road were under water. Friends of mine had 7 feet of water in their house. Long story short, it finally quit raining last night...nearly two days later.

The best news is the mama cardinal sat on her nest through the entire storm. Babies are doing fine. Mama Cardinal will be nominated for the "Mama of the Year" award.

So, appreciate what you have, be thankful every minute of everyday. Love like there is no tomorrow and always, always thank God for everything.

Peace and love,


Saturday, April 24, 2010

I guess birds love me!!

Last year about this time I documented the mama and daddy robins raising birds in a planter on my front porch. The blog post was titled, "From death comes life". Well, this year in our new house in Franklin, I have a mama cardinal sitting on her nest of eggs just outside the window of our office.

I hope to post many more pictures of this event. Check back often.



Friday, April 2, 2010

Nile Peaytt...Quite a guy!

Hello folks and Happy Easter.
I want to introduce you to Nile Peaytt. I found out about him through Facebook and Myspace. He is a Nashville songwriter among many other things, but I know him best as cancer's worst nightmare. This guy has dedicated his life to helping kids with who have cancer. Nile's wife Wendy died of cancer March 29th, 2005 which is why he spends so much of his time raising money, visiting kids in the hospital or helping families who have been affected by this disease.

His website and all contact information can be found at or or

Please, please drop him a line and wish him well. Best of luck Nile. Now if we could just do something about that Yankees hat...hahaha. (Cards fan here)

Peace, joy and hope,


Saturday, March 6, 2010

"Every time two fools collide" Songwriter Jan Dyer

The first thing I noticed when I walked into Jan Dyer's house was a gold record hanging on the wall. I didn't want to seem too obvious so I just kept glancing at it out of the corner of my eye. It is an amazing thing to see. Kenny Rogers and Dottie West recorded "Everytime two fools collide" in 1978 which Jan co-wrote. I have had the pleasure of hearing Jan sing it several times.

That day was awesome. The collection of songwriters she welcomed into her home for a gumbo feast was amazing as was the gumbo. It was such a wonderful day of music, food and friendship. I hope there are many more events like this in the future.

As for Jan, she is a wonderful, down-home person that doesn't know a stranger. She continues to write and perform. I am sure 2010 will bring Jan an abundance of success. She is a treaure and I am so glad to call her a friend.

Peace and love to all,


Tuesday, March 2, 2010

My cousin CT Robinson is a songwriter??

I thought I would share the story of how I reconnected with my cousin CT Robinson. I have lived in Nashville since 2002 and in that time I have written and recorded a lot of music, but all along I wanted to find a good co writer. In an earlier post, I wrote about how co writing is worse than dating. And just like dating, when you finally give up walks the person you were meant to find all along.

Well, late last year when we moved to Franklin I decided that I was in this thing alone. I just had to buckle down and do it all by myself. I don't need a co writer anyway. That same week, my Mom called me and said, "Did you know your cousin Teddy is a songwriter and sings?" I just kinda laughed and said no.

So, I found him on myspace, listened to his music and sent him a message. Now I hadn't seen my cousin CT (I knew him as Teddy) in 20 years. He was also a cool kid, but now he is a great writer, singer and guitar player. EXACTLY what I was looking for. I knew this had to be God's timing.

Long story short, CT and I are making plans to write, record and perform all over town. It has been wonderful reconnecting with my long, lost cousin. We played our first show together last week at the Commodore Sports Grille and it went great. We have many things planned for this year.

Keep the faith people, you never know what is right around the corner.

Peace and love,


Sunday, February 21, 2010

Now this guy is a Cardinal baseball fan!!

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This is an actual satelite photo from google maps. This guy takes being a St. Louis Cardinal fan to a whole new level. So cool!!



Sunday, February 14, 2010

"On the Wall" a short story by Cagney Bennett

"On the Wall"

By Cagney Bennett

She had been gone a few weeks now. The only thing I felt was emptiness. And I think the wind felt the same. It whipped around me, through me. Biting my cheeks and lips. Telling me it was going to rain. I had never felt this cold before. And alone.

Alone, a word I associated to old people. I didn't think I'd be that alone.

It was probably a month before I could go through her things. Her house, which still smelled like her, was like a dead body. I didn't want to go near it, afraid of what I might find. But that morning, I took a deep breath, and walked quickly to her house. I was only a few blocks away. I had decided to stay in a hotel for now. How could I handle the ghosts of her memories floating the hallways? When I entered the house, I turned on all the lights. I wanted to scare her ghosts away.

I tread carefully into the living room. I had been in this house millions of times, yet, I felt hesitant to touch anything. The only picture of her sat on an end table. I tried not to look at it, but I couldn't help myself. I squatted down and looked at it face to face.


There was no words to tell her. To describe how it felt to be alone. But maybe she already knew. She had only me for twenty years. And I hadn't always been wonderful company. On that thought, I stood up quickly. I didn't want to think about her pain anymore. I walked out of the room.

When I heard a crash and glass breaking, I screamed. But, it was only the picture of her. I must have knocked it or something else... For a second, I stood there, staring. Then, I bent and started to pick up the pieces of glass. The glass was shattered and the frame bent. I started to take the picture out of the frame with the intent of putting it another. But another picture was behind the picture of my mother. A man, standing proud in uniform and smiling at the camera. A man..maybe my mother wasn't always alone.

For a second, I grasped something in my memory. A chance for understanding. This wasn't the first time I had found this picture. In a closet along with musty envelopes. Envelopes addressed to my mother. But I was only seven years, I didn't understand. I was proud of my discovery and showed the picture and letters to my mother. My mother said she threw them out. "Trash...pure trash." Was there resentment in her voice? I could no longer remember the sound.

I turned the picture over and there, in my mother's print, was the man's name. John Hull. My mother had never mentioned that name. Or any name at all. It had always been just me and her. My Momma.

"Catherine?""Yes, momma?"

"You are loved, always will be. Please don't forget that."

"I know you love me, Momma." She smiled to herself.

"We'll be watching you from up there. We love you very much."

I never thought to ask who We were before she closed her eyes for the last time. I sat there looking at that picture for a long time before deciding what to do.

I made sure to get a window seat on the plane. I always enjoyed looking over the tiny land as we rise higher and higher. The airport wasn't crowded so, I made my way quickly out of there. I hadn't brought much, but I had forgotten an umbrella. It was drizzling when I walked outside. I stepped slowly, almost dreading what I had to do. In the airport, I had picked up some flowers. Not knowing what he would want with flowers, I carried them with hope.

When I arrived, there was no one else around. I looked for his name in the book, carefully. What if it wasn't there? But it was there in thick black ink, Hull, John. I took several deep breaths and felt the first drops of rain. I started to march up the long hill and the tears gathered in my eyes. The butterflies in my stomach intensified. I almost turned back. But it was too late now, I was here.

I put my hand on the smooth rock of the soaring wall. I traced his name, surrounded by thousands of others. I set the flowers down, now wet from my tears and the rain. But they looked beautiful. I laid my forehead on the wall and let my tears glide over his name. I wished I had known him. But the pride for him and what he had done was too strong and I couldn't feel regret.


I kissed the letters engraved on the wet marble. And said good-bye to his name on the wall.

Now if you have read down this far, you can see that my daughter is a great writer. A few years ago, I wrote a song called, "Daddy". I sent Cagney the lyrics to let her read them. About an hour later, she sends me back this wonderful story. Listen to the song if you would like. I appreciate you taking the time to read my blog.

Click on the link to hear "Daddy".

Saturday, February 6, 2010

Prayers for Brandt McCarville...

My nephew's best friend is battling cancer and needs your prayers, positive energy, love and good thoughts. His name is Brandt. Read his story here. He is one of the coolest people I have ever met and he just found out he is going to be a Dad!!

Keep the faith man. May God continue to bless you with strength, energy, love and healing.


Friday, February 5, 2010

The house of 1000 mirrors...

The House of 1000 Mirrors

A Japanese Folktale

Long ago in a small, far away village, there was a place known as the House of 1000 Mirrors. A small, happy little dog learned of this place and decided to visit. When he arrived, he bounced happily up the stairs to the doorway of the house. He looked through the doorway with his ears lifted high and his tail wagging as fast as it could. To his great surprise, he found himself staring at 1000 other happy little dogs with their tails wagging just as fast as his. He smiled a great smile, and was answered with 1000 great smiles just as warm and friendly. As he left the house, he thought to himself, "This is a wonderful place. I will come back and visit it often.

"In this same village, another little dog, who was not quite as happy as the first one, decided to visit the house. He slowly climbed the stairs and hung his head low as he looked into the door. When he saw the 1000 unfriendly looking dogs staring back at him, he growled at them and was horrified to see 1000 little dogs growling back at him. As he left, he thought to himself, "That is a horrible place, and I will never go back there again."

All the faces in the world are mirrors. What kind of reflections do you see in the faces of the people you meet?

Peace, love and FUN,


Wednesday, January 20, 2010

The Hopeful Pumpkin

Be sure to check out my Daughter's blog. It is really cool what she is doing. Her name is Cagney Bennett and she is amazing.

Check it out and tell her I sent you.



You must visit Leiper's Fork, Tennessee

This past weekend, the little woman and I took a Sunday drive out to Leiper's Fork, Tennessee just a few miles outside of Franklin. We ate at a wonderful cafe, visited an art gallery, hit a few antique stores and wound up in Puckett's Grocery. I have to say that I fell in love with the little village of Leiper's fork and will be visiting often. That was the coolest 3 hours I have spent in a long time.

Check it out on your next trip to the Nashville area. I highly recommend it!!

Peace and love,


Friday, January 8, 2010

Too cold to go out, might as well write some music...

Happy belated New Year to you all. We have had some seriously cold weather here in Franklin, Tennessee. So I have spent most of the week inside playing my guitar and watching the squirrels and birds play in the back yard. I had a few unexpected days off and I really tried to make the most of them.

There is something spiritual about sitting in a quiet house and playing guitar. I swear the squirrels outside gather around the back deck and listen to me. They make a great audience.

So I am working on a few songs and trying to finish a few others. I like that my fingers are hurting from playing so much this week. I am also practising up for a songwriter night at The Commodore Grill on February 21st. I will be joined by CT Robinson, a long-lost cousin that I reconnected with last month. (More on that later)

So stay warm, enjoy the winter while it lasts and keep writing. Also, keep the faith. 2010 is going to be an awesome year.



Monday, January 4, 2010

Let me introduce you to Brodie Fisher. He is the newest addition to the family and he was born on January 3rd at 2:14 am. He is my step-grandson and as I was holding this tiny little guy, I was thinking. This baby is the closest thing to God you can hold. He came straight from heaven.

I cannot wait to watch this little guy grow up. What a great way to start out 2010.

Peace and joy to all,


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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