Sunday, August 28, 2011

Whisperings in Birmingham

Last night I attended a Whisperings concert in Birmingham. I had been invited to perform, but as I didn't know the hall or the piano, I decided against it.

I heard my dear friend Joseph Akins perform, in his inimitable way, some of his songs that I know and love - his arrangement of "Tennessee Waltz" and "Butterfly Ride", among others.

Lee Bartley, from Colorado, whose playing I didn't know, was TERRIFIC. His jazz stylings, facility, harmonic and rhythmic flair, place him among the handful of popular piano artists that I think are really first rate.

Walter Knapp
, who lives in Birmingham, is a wonderful player who deserves to be heard by a larger audience. His interpretation of three Chopin Etudes was inspiring, and his transcriptions of hymn fill me with envy. He sounds like Rachmaninoff! It was a great evening of wonderful music, and I felt privileged to attend.

Thursday, August 4, 2011

The Audio Czar

This morning I had a fun time with my friend Tony Wachter (a.k.a. the Audio Czar) at his wonderful home studio. Tony is an immensely talented singer, writer, engineer, and producer, and he now does most of his recording from the comfort of his own home.

Today's project was scoring for picture. I played piano, solo violin, cello ensemble, electric guitar and bass. Tony himself added the drum loop (see photo). All it takes is one finger!

Sunday, July 31, 2011

These Things I Know

When you have three or more cars, whichever car you choose to drive will be almost out of gas.

You don't buy a house, you buy a house kit.

Whoever mows your lawn makes more money than you do, even if you are Johnny Depp.

Thursday, June 2, 2011

Paradise Lost

Coming to you today from our island, which is as beautiful as ever, and we are so happy to be away for a few days.

The mystique of the place, though, has changed. Our private sanctuary has been discovered, and it just feels different here.

But I'm not complaining. I'm here with my wonderful wife, and anywhere with her is a great place. Next time, though, we'll be ready for an island adventure in another place. Tahiti, maybe?

Home next week to get ready for my concert in Shrewsbury, PA with David Nevue and Jeff Smith on June 18th.

Saturday, May 21, 2011

Numero Uno

Hello boys and girls,

Long time no post. I have been real busy, mostly with mundane things that you really don't want to hear about. In that case, no news really IS good news...

Couple of things are going on now, though. I just found out yesterday that Timeless II made it to #1 on the world airplay charts in the new age genre. Pretty cool. Check it out by visiting and clicking on the charts tab. There you can see me sitting on my throne.

I am also excited about our upcoming island vacation. Sorry I can't tell you WHICH island. You might want to crash the party, and I want to have my beautiful bride all to myself for a while. Our boy Adam will be Rileysitting at our house while we are gone. Thanks, Adam!

I will be playing at a church in Shrewsbury, PA on June 18th. I am really excited about this, because it will be the first time I have been asked to talk about my Christian life at a concert. I hope that I can do more concerts like this one.

Talk soon.

Monday, April 4, 2011

The Late Unpleasantness

That's what Charlestonians call the Civil War.

Jan and I took my mom and cousin Freida Bearden to Charleston during spring break. We stayed at the Inn at Middleton Place, which is on the grounds of Middleton Place plantation, right on the James River. Although the inn could use a little updating, the setting there is magical. We were a stone's throw from the James River; Jan and and I took nightly strolls along the lighted paths through the plantation.

We toured all of the plantations, the Magnolia plantation being our favorite. Middleton Place, by the way, was where one of the big scenes from The Patriot was filmed - where Mel Gibson and his band blew up the ship in full view of Cornwallis and his guests.

My favorite thing was being able to see the Confederate submarine, the Hunley.

Everything about Charleston oozes history, and I was fascinated by the stories that lurked around every corner. Like the discovery of the remains of the Hunley's first crew, found buried under the football stadium at The Citadel!

I was disappointed that I didn't get to see Dubose Heyward's grave - you know, he collaborated with George Gershwin on Porgy and Bess (which was based on Heyward's novel, Porgy). There's a great story about Gershwin stealing the show from the main "shouter" during a Gullah gathering around the campfire on Folly Beach. Wish I could have been there for that.

We took a Gray Line bus tour our first morning in Charleston, and I was very impressed by the delivery of our tour guide. As we got off the bus at the end of the tour, I said to her, "If you aren't a musician, you should be, because your timing is incredible." Turns out that she is in fact a music director, and she is soon taking her choir to New York to sing the Rutter Requiem in Carnegie Hall under the direction of the composer himself.

We had a great time in Charleston. My mom had never been there, and I know it is a trip that she will always remember. I could never do enough to repay her for all the trouble I was when I was growing up!

Monday, March 14, 2011

Hey, brother, can you spare a...

That was just a teaser. What I actually need is ninety thousand dollars.
The Steinway Gallery in Birmingham is going out of business - drum lines, digital pianos and camp singing have made it hard on Steinway dealerships. Maybe Steinway could branch out into ATVs and banjos.

Anyway, the full retail price of a new Steinway concert grand is $130,000 and change. I could get one today for a mere $90,000. Wonder how many micro loans I would need...

Thursday, March 10, 2011

Take a Hike

The weather has been glorious here, sunny with highs in the upper 60s and low 70s. Today, though, it's rainy and cold again. No worries. It's the perfect day for a hike.

Off we went, my buddy Riley and me, to the Moss Rock Preserve. We had the place to ourselves, so we hiked up to the Great Wall and the waterfall. I took a couple of pictures with my iPhone.

Riley and I have hiked a lot during the past couple of weeks, spending hours on old lumber trails in the Oxmoor Valley, Riley swimming in Shades Creek as it meanders its way to the Cahaba. We went to Oak Mountain a couple of times, too.

One of the great things about hiking in Alabama is that there are no bears. I remember a backpacking trip in North Carolina when we spent a day and night in a bear sanctuary - you know, the place where they take bears to get them a way from people.
I didn't sleep much that night...

Riley loves being in the woods; it turns him into a puppy again. He likes to get ahead of me on the trail, then turn and run full speed at me, only to veer off at the last possible second. He is always so alive for the rest of the day, whenever we get out in the woods.

A couple of Sundays ago, the three of us spent an afternoon walking the lumber trails, making it all the way into Bessemer before turning around. We ended the afternoon at Sonic, where Riley enjoyed a cup of vanilla ice cream. Jan fed him with a spoon.

Saturday, February 26, 2011

Just thinking...

Has it really been a month since I have posted on this blog?
I've been busy, but I am going to do better - I promise.

Radio promotion for Timeless II starts next Tuesday, March 1st. I'm thinking it's going to be a big international hit; according to the palm reader in Hueytown, Alabama, I should be able to retire to Tahiti in about a year. =)

Of course, this puts a big burden on you, dear reader, not only to buy the new CD, but several copies of each of my previous CDs.

Timeless II has already received glowing reviews from several nationally known music critics - Kathy Parsons of, Michael Diamond of Music and Media Focus, and Keith Hannaleck of Muzik Reviews.

You don't have to read the reviews, I'll just paraphase the important parts for you;

Take it from them, I'm right up there at the top, somewhere between Yanni and Beethoven, and Timeless II is another THRILLER waiting to happen.

Come to think of it, that's not so good. It COULD mean that I'll make a lot more money after I'm gone...

Still, you'd better stock up now. Posthumously, the CD price could really go through the roof!

Saturday, January 22, 2011

DIY - Du It Yourself

Don't know how it is at your house, but here's how things happen around our place: I break things, and Jan repairs them. Jan got the "Buddy" gene from her dad. Whatever was wrong, be it mechanical, electrical, plumbing, automotive - ANYTHING - Buddy could fix it. Jan has that gene, and I do not.

Last week I broke the washing machine. It all started when I decided to do some washing while Jan was at work. I was happily practicing away when the washing machine became unbalanced and started making loud knocking noises. I quickly assessed the situation and decided that the quickest solution would be for me to sit on the washing machine to make sure it didn't jump off the tile pad in the laundry room. Just in case you're wondering, this is not a good idea and will get you in lots of trouble. Now before you rush to judgment, consider my response: Let's buy a new one! Not Jan. She took a look at the washer and decided that the problem was that the lid switch had broken. So after a couple of trips to the appliance parts store, the washing machine is as good as new. Did I mention that I love this woman?
Welcome to my News Page. This is where you will find up to the minute information about recording projects, new releases, upcoming performances and more. You will want to visit every week because each FridayI will be offering a new original song for you to! In addition, from time to time I will be sharing studio happenings, what I am listening to, favorite books, and glimpses into my personal life. Please feel free to leave comments and suggestions on what you would like to know about me and my music.


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