Author: monteskelton

Spring Vacation (Finally!)

Here are my updates/pictures from spring break!  I really need to update this more often… but that just means you’ll get to see a lot of posts in the near future!  🙂

So a couple weeks ago, I decided to take a little mini vacation for spring break.  My hopes were to visit Memphis to check out the music scene, but unfortunately that plan didn’t quite work out for me.  So instead, I ended up heading north and visiting Indianapolis.  I left Evansville just in time to catch the end of the open mic night.  What a great experience!  My good friend Andy got me signed up to play, and though it was only one song (it was late, so they had to wind things down), I got to play on the same stage that I have seen so many of my favorite musicians- Stanley Clarke, Hiromi Uehara, Victor Wooten, Marcus Miller, the incredible Gerald Albright, and so many more!  It was such a humbling, surreal experience!  For those of you that are my facebook friends, there’s a live video you should definitely check out.

So the next day was incredible!  Click here to see all the pictures!

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So, my day started off at Circle Center Mall.  So much fun!  I ended up getting a neat little fan you may see at our upcoming gigs and a couple other family.  And of course, I had to visit the arcade you see here, haha.

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I then ran into a Rhythm discovery museum/workshop.  If you’re in Indianapolis, you HAVE to check it out!  it’s hands on, and so much fun!!!!!

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After checking out some live music in between the mall and the rhythm workshop, I decided to go to the Children’s Museum for a while.  Yes, all by myself, at 31 years of age.  And it was SO MUCH FUN!!!!  I’ve told many of friends already, I had more fun visiting as an adult than I did as a kid!!!! I would recommend everyone go take a trip and check it out, regardless of your age.  Most of these pics are in the album, but here are a couple that stood out to me.

Did you see the California Raisins in that last picture??  Yeah, childhood feels.

For the last bit of my trip, I decided to head to Greencastle and check out the ThinkGeek store. Oh you know I was happy.  🙂

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I got some pretty neat things from this store for sure.  Afterwards, I can back home and enjoyed some down time catching up on some gaming and other things.

My days since then have been filled with friends, family, trying to catch up with music stuff, and working on becoming a stronger, wiser person.  Life is life.  Life is good.  Life is what you make of it, how you overcome obstacles, how you respond in the face of fear and opportunity.  Life gives you a perspective, and sometimes gives you a chance to learn about the perspective of others.  Make an effort to understand as many perspectives as you can while maintaining your own.  It gives us strength, it gives us humility, it gives us diversity, it (hopefully) teaches us wisdom and love.  Enjoy your  life, don’t be afraid of growing.  That’s my little bit of life to share with you all, until next time!

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

Next Chapter- November 2016

This has definitely been a year of wisdom, understanding, joy, pain, confusion, happiness, and pretty much everything in between, haha!  I’ve learned so much about myself and others this year.  And though my life took a very unexpected turn a few months ago, I find it so amazing how much I’ve learned about the love and support that my true friends and family have shown.  I am so truly grateful for them, and of course, our loving Father in the heavens.

I have my own place again!!!!  I’m really excited about writing new ideas and starting some new projects.  There are some really awesome things in the works, so stay tuned for new updates!  The above picture is my new music workspace; I’m sure you’ll be seeing lots of videos coming from this area starting soon!

For you venue owners, I am now booking 2017!  make sure you contact me if you have any questions!

There are so many great things happening in Evansville currently!  If you don’t live in the area, make sure to visit soon!  It’s great to see so many local businesses working hard and thriving in this area.  If you are a local business and would like to team up, please let me know!  Check out the calendar page for information on upcoming events, including late December fun! 🙂

Reflections on Oct 2016!

Things have really taken off lately!  It is my hopes and the hopes of Team Skelton that our journeys will continue to grow from here!  Here’s a few snapshots from October:

A few pics from Mojo’s Boneyard, 10/21/16!

A little selfie from a Little Montourage gig!

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And of course, from 10/28/16:

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We have a ton of performances coming up in the next month, so stay tuned!  I will post a schedule soon!

Reflection of Jazz & Wine Festival 2016! 

So many great things happening lately. First off, Team Skelton rocked the Kenny Kent Lexus Jazz & Wine Festival this year! Despite the event being inside due to impending weather, all the musicians involved did a spectacular job. 


To top the night off, a moment that will forever be in my heart and soul. I was named the 2016 musician of the year, and who presented it to me? None other than my incredible mom. This moment could not have been any better! 

This is so very special. I think I may make a separate blog post about what this moment really means for my mom and I. 

I got to tour around a bit during the festival and got to see a lot of amazing people! On Tap Project was the first group I heard at the event, and of course with the talent of Theo Akai, Johnny Coates and Dekar Baker, you know you’re going to get an incredible show. They killed it! Of course I had to jump up and play a couple tunes with my brothers… Haha! 

I also had a little time to hear a few songs from other artists, including Stephen Horning and Big Ninja Delight, Carl Rodenberg and Company, BG3, and After Hours. All the groups really brought their A game, I was floored! And of course, my good friends Wade Baker and Jamie Taylor took the stage and truly put on an amazing performance. Shout outs to them, they are amazing people!   If you have me on Facebook, check out the live videos! 

There will be more posts, stay tuned!