Month: February 2017

Exciting Weekend for Team Skelton!

Team Skelton has some great events that we’re playing for this weekend that you definitely don’t want to miss!  Special thanks to Jordan Green, our incredible guitarist, for making the graphics for these events!  Here’s the rundown:

Friday, February 24th, 5:30pm- Team Skelton @ Lamasco Bar.  All Ages!!!!!

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Saturday, February 25th, 9:00pm- Team Skelton @ Mojo’s Boneyard!  No Cover Charge!!!

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We hope that you can make it to both of these shows!  We’ve been working on some really awesome new tunes!!!!  🙂

Life- Divorce, Rebuilding, Becoming Wise.

**DISCLAIMER** Just letting you know, this is a very atypical post for me.  I never post about emotionally sensitive things, but as part of my life is very public, this post is necessary, as I still get people that ask me about it.  It is not my intention to offend anyone or damage the reputation of anyone involved.  Okay, so that being said…

Yes, I am divorced.  On August 31st of last year, my (now ex-)wife came home and told me she didn’t want to be married to me anymore.  After talking and some begging, I realized there was no changing her mind.  I was told to move out within the next couple of days.  You all have to understand, I felt that I was on top of the world.  I felt I had everything I needed in life- a musical career with my partner, a family, a joyful job, a beautiful house on the north side of town, a family that, even though it was a difficult process, had religious respect and love for God…  I had it all.  Heck, I even had my own man-cave, haha.  And, no, our lives weren’t perfect at all, we had issues that arose throughout our time together- not every moment was joyful, but that’s just life/marriage.  And to have my core, this family life that we worked so hard to build, taken away so suddenly, left me in a state of shock, confusion, and bewilderment.  In my mind, no matter what, our marriage was forever.  Never in my mind did I think that divorce was even an real option.  But, things change, people change, and there is nothing you can do when a person’s mind is made up.

So, there I was.  Back at my mom’s house, the majority of my things in storage, trying to figure out what in the world just happened.  I was a mess for a little while, as you could probably imagine.  But, as my mom always taught me, we learn from every situation.  And I began to grow. Before long, I started to realize my own faults and weaknesses.  It was very humbling, to say the least.  Along with that, though, I began to realize the strength and wisdom that I had gained from my experiences.  I bowed my head and thanked God for the strength and wisdom He had given me to this point.  To this very day I do the same thing, and I constantly pray for more.  I began to talk and hang out with my positive-minded friends again.  Man, there are some people out there that have really shown me a lot of kindness and love.  You know who you are, and I am in your debt for helping me rebuild my joy, and for putting up with me having some very emotional days and moments, haha.  But anyways, taking the time to reflect on all the positive things that were happening around me- seeing all the smiling faces at my performances, getting to see and talk to my friends, the people waiting to give me a hug and talk to me that share my faith, of course the smiles and laughter that takes place in the music lessons that I teach, the festivities of the Jazz & Wine Festival last year, I could go on… I asked myself, ‘How could I NOT be joyful!?’ I’ve already been given what I need, to not only survive, but grow!  I’ve just been given a different perspective to see it from.  So a few months later, I found an apartment, changed a few things about myself, and started working on a better state of mind.  The result?

Here I am today, and I can honestly say that I am happier and healthier than I have been in a very, very long time.  Actually, let me rephrase that- I finally found joy and contentment within myself.  I finally really understand the value of friends, the value of faith, the value of showing love to others and being there to help those around me.  My incredibly wonderful Mom always told me the same thing- COUNT YOUR BLESSINGS EVERY SINGLE DAY.  I recommend everyone follow those words.  You will realize how special and amazing your life really is.  In my Instagram/Facebook posts, I often use the hashtag #blessed.  The reason why I do is because I am truly thankful for every opportunity I have to share my music and my thoughts with others.  I feel blessed to have legs to stand on, fingers that move in a way that helps me express myself through music, a brain that works well enough to help me be a logical, understanding, and calm person.  I feel very blessed and honored to have a mom that simply refuses to let me stay down if I fall, no matter what.  I am thankful that I had the short experience of being a father figure, something I wanted for a long time and which helped me grow up tremendously.  I feel blessed to have friends, inside and outside of my profession, that I can call on for anything.  I feel blessed to know what unconditional, true love feels like and what it takes to have and show that love.  I am very blessed to have my own incredible safe place to call home, filled with the things that bring me joy.  Amidst all the crazy things that are happening all around us in the world, I am blessed that I have the ability to not let it bring me down and blessed with the strength to rise above the negativity that surrounds us all.

Things change, people change, situations arise.  We all have choices in life.  Some are easy to see, some not so much, some take research and some are based on simplicity and intuition/faith.  If we make the right choice, awesome!  Take it to the next level.  If we make the wrong choice, learn from it and grow so we can become better.  Failure is an essential part of success.  Strive to become rich- not with material things, but rich in heart, in joy, in understanding.  Understand that we are all works in progress. I know I sure am, and I have a LOOOOOONG way to go.  But never give up on yourself: you are capable of a lot more than what meets the eye.  But you have to be strong mentally to realize your full potential.

That’s my little bit of wisdom for today.  Once again I hope that this clears some things up for those of you wondering where I am in my life at this point.  I’m happy, I’ve definitely been humbled in a good way, and I’m looking forward to seeing what this new chapter in my life has in store for me.  By the way, I got new glasses, the band is working on some insanely awesome new originals, and I’m working on a few new tunes for a solo album myself!  Thanks for reading this everyone, until next time!

Music Workshop at Delaware!

Yesterday, I was blessed with the opportunity to teach a workshop to the 4-6th grade classes at Delaware Elementary School.  What a fun time we had!  These excited young ones shared with me the instruments that they play, as well as letting me in on the instruments they’d like to play in the future.  I was able to help them understand the value of practice and how long it takes to get to the ‘professional level’ of musicianship. And of course, I showed them what I do as far as looping and playing multiple instruments. After explaining the EWI, my ‘odd’ 6 string bass guitar, and alto and soprano saxophones, I played a few songs for them. At the very end, after answering as many questions as I could, I got just a little snippet of video and some selfies with these awesome young kids!  Here’s what I got:

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Words just cannot describe how much happiness and joy I received from all the students, and having an opportunity to get them motivated and excited about music that isn’t just delivered to them via cell phone or a push of a button.  But real, live music made in front of them by a musician.  My heart is so full of joy!

Please stay tuned to the website.  My next post will be a very important one, or should I say, a very rare post coming from me.  Cheers!

Monte