Greetings and salutations!
Hope you all are having a lovely weekend!
I know I know it's been awhile since my last post. The past few weeks have been really busy with the girls finishing cheerleading, Halloween and just the normal busy life of having a career and being a parent.
Good news is that things have eased up a bit with the schedule, so I've had some time to reflect on this past year, our first show which was last night and the things I saw on my phone when I got home.
Looking back on this whole year as it almost comes to a close next month (dear lord did that go fast!) although busy and sometimes filled with some stressful periods (as most lives are) I can't believe the changes that have occurred with me personally doing this whole HEAL album and project.
There are times like this week where I watch clips of us playing live or just photos in general of myself and I would catch myself complaining like "ugh...why is your neck so fat? My god you look so big still what the fuck?".
Maybe it was because I had taken a few weeks off from yoga due to some recent pains, or because Ive been stuck on a plateau again weight wise but I felt like because I'm still 40lbs away from my goal of under 200 by 2016 I was feeling a little bit like I had failed or was failing.
But then I made this......
When I made this website, started thinking about doing my own music and doing something about my health I honestly was hoping for the best, but just like in the past I wasn't sure if it would stick.
Sooooo many times I would decide to get healthier; do great for a month or two but before I knew it I would go right back to my bad habits. I knew that if I wanted to make music again, perform in front of a crowd and just be happy I had to change my life dramatically.
Cut to a month shy of a year later, I spent the evening playing my first show in over 2 1/2 years with my own band, playing songs from HEAL....a concept that back then all I had was a title and a picture of a heart. We played an open mic that my dear friend Barry put on in Katona to raise money for the Appalachia Service Project he is a part of and although when I got there I was a little concerned due to eh....age range and atmosphere of the room, by the time I walked off the stage I felt something that I haven't really felt in a long time....true happiness.
Since we were splitting up the set doing a few songs here and there between other artists we had a quick meeting to decide whether to start off with "shock and awe" (the more louder stuff) or "just the tip" which were the keyboard songs....looking out at the people we decided on the latter 😉
Once we broke into the very first song of the night though I was listening to a full band playing a song I wrote on my own while I'm singing and playing keyboards in front of an audience not only stone cold sober....but in the best shape I've been in since....forever.
I also realized when we were hanging out before and after the show how extremely lucky I am to have such an incredible band backing me up. Besides Pete, who has always been a brother to me and was the very first person that when he heard I was recording new music said "I'm in no matter what" the rest of the band were complete strangers I found on a website. It took a few months of getting to know eachother, figuring out schedules and whatnot but now it's like I have found some new close friends.
Instead of shaking hands, getting in the car and racing away or just looking for a paycheck at the end of the gig, after every practice or like the gig last night we just love to hang outside and chat. We laugh all the time and are complete goofballs but are professionals when it comes to playing. When you see us play live besides our new bassist Mike who is quietly laying it down in the back ( he's the new guy he literally joined two weeks ago so we are breaking him in slowly) we are all jumping around, smiling, being animated and having a good time.
We had a few friends come out to see us, which was nice to see and catch up too and by the end of our last set I felt like we did a phenomenal first show and it seemed like we impressed the crowd.
So by the end of the night as I was driving home jacked on coffee and good vibes, I was so happy and excited to see what the future is in store for us. I'm really looking forward to getting out there and playing more shows with my new musical family . Plus for once, I wasn't worried about how much I drank and if I was ok to drive home after the show. All of the hard work these past few months musically and physically had really paid off.
Then I looked at my phone, read all of the horrendous things that had happened in Paris that same night and was sick to my stomach.
to be perfectly honest, I really try not to get too political. Of course it's our right as Americans to speak our minds, to shout from the rooftops and hashtag as much as we want. Fuck, people are dying more and more all over the world every single day and in some places of the world like Paris for something as simple as drawing a cartoon or speaking their minds when they are told not to.
Even on our own soil we've experienced thousands of people die in burning buildings from terrorists in planes full of innocent people, children gunned down by our own in places of learning, places of worship, movie theaters and we even saw a dictator threaten innocent lives and cripple a major network over a stupid Seth Rogen film.
But yet i scroll on this phone all the time and I see ridiculous posts of "don't take my guns!" Or "let's build a wall on our borders!" Even people crying that they took away the confederate flag. It's good for a laugh at times, but are you that heartbroken that you can't watch The Dukes Of Hazzard anymore? Were you DVR'ing that shit? People are getting killed all over the world for having rights that you are outraged over. You don't like something? Don't look at it and move on.
I mean holy fuckballs I'm watching "the news" and we have a reality show host running for president...and he's ahead in the polls.
Is it just me or do you feel like we are all doomed?
Without knowing what was going on across the other side of the world at the time, we were jumping around having the time of our lives on stage playing a song I wrote and released as a single last year called "Awake".
I wrote the music for that song in my home studio one morning during the week and literally as I finished the last note on it I got a call from my mother in law crying and panicked that there was a shooting in a Newtown school which is not far from where we live. After I was finally able to get my girls out of school and home safe, I knew what that song was going to be about. It wrote itself it's all about all of the horrible tragedies going on in America and how we need to "take this as a sign to Awake"
At the end of the song not planned I blurted out "years have past since I wrote this and sadly..nothing has changed"
Hours later I'm watching bodies being dragged out of a club leaving blood trails.