Family

#Blessed.

“Pray constantly. Give thanks for everything.”- 1 Thessalonians 5:17, 18a.

On many of my posts on Facebook, I use the hashtag ‘blessed.’  How true this really is!  I am so grateful for the things I have been blessed with in my life, even the little things.  Never take that for granted!  Just reflecting on the past few days:

Thursday evening I performed at a fundraiser for the Tri-State Multiple Sclerosis Association.  I had an absolute blast, and made some new friends in the process.  Before I began though, my attention was drawn to the cord that I use for my EWI.  I noticed that the very end of it was missing… Of course, first thing anyone would do is panic, which I almost did, especially after I realized on further investigation that the other end was stuck inside the very pedal that I use to connect the EWI to everything else.  But, remembering what my mom always taught me, I kept my cool and figured out another way to route my EWI on the fly so that it would still work for the evening.  Lesson learned: Thank you mom for always teaching me patience, and helping me live up to the quote, “when in doubt, improvise.”  It was so much fun performing for that event.

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Friday morning I got up and realized that I had to do something about the broken cord and piece lodged inside my pedal.  So I took the whole thing apart, got the piece out, and ran over to Guitar Center to see if they would replace the cord for me (that’s where I originally bought the cord.)  Thankfully, they replaced it for free, which was great since we’re on an extremely tight budget right now.  Brand new cord for free?  I’ll take it.  And yes, I count that as a blessing.

A few hours later, I started teaching my lessons over at Evansville Music Academy.  My first student is an older gentleman with special needs.  He just started playing guitar with me a few weeks ago as a source of musical therapy.  He is a quiet individual, but has so much positivity and happiness in his heart.  He came in for his lesson and showed me that he had been working on using one finger across all the strings on one fret, an amazing accomplishment.  Taking from what he learned, I showed him a simple power chord, or ‘cowboy chord’ as some may call it.  So he struggled a little bit with getting his finger up to the 2nd fret and keeping it there, but after a few minutes, he was able to play the E chord.  I showed him a strumming pattern, and before you know it, he was playing a simple blues pattern.  After a few more minutes, he was playing a few other notes as a solo, while I played a simple blues progression underneath.  After playing for a few minutes, he looked up, smiling ear to ear, and just started laughing, saying, ‘I’m playing the blues!  I’m playing the blues!’  Let me tell you all, there is no greater joy than that.  The rest of the day was amazing with the rest of my students as well, laughing about ‘scooping’ sounds on the saxophone, watching students play brand new songs that they learned on their own, and watching them progress exponentially in the short 30 minutes I have with them.  Once again, I’m so blessed to be a part of that growing process.

Later that evening, I played at Schaum’s Pizzeria, a local pizza bar that normally my wife and I perform at every first Friday of every month.  Since she is still recovering, I played the gig by myself, and it went very well.  One of my students and his family who always come out and support us was there, and the most beautiful thing happened- I invited him and his brother and sister on stage and they sang a couple songs with me.  It was so awesome!  It’s so very encouraging to see such young ones with a passion for all kinds of music.  What an amazing, loving family they are!  (The video is on facebook… those who are friends with me, check it out on my page!)

Saturday was a very busy day!  The day started off with some wonderful spiritual encouragement at the assembly.  Just what I needed for sure.  After that, I came home to my darling wife, and right back on the road for another gig, a benefit for the local UCS.  before I performed, I watched my beautiful daughter as she took pics for the prom she went to that evening.  Of course, I had to get a selfie before I had to run off to my gig.

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The gig went extremely well also!  I got to see some great and very talented fellow musicians, and their sound check was amazing!  Gotta love the love musicians can show towards one another.  Oh yeah, and the venue was incredibly beautiful (thank you ONB Downtown Evansville)!

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And then, there was yesterday.  So many amazing, talented individuals!  I had the grand privilege of performing with L.A. R&B/Jazz vocalist and Evansville native Clif Payne, as well as the incredibly talented family of Eli, Jordan and Bob Green.  I was so nervous, especially backing such an incredible artist on bass.  But I tell you, everyone had my back.  We had a huge wall-to-wall crowd, and we really had a party!  I had so much fun; thank you to all those guys, and everyone who came out to support!  It was such an amazing time.

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My weekend was amazing, but on top of all that, there is nothing like being a husband and a father.  Being able to come home after all of that and cook dinner for my family, take care of my wife, work in the garage (which is going to be really cool soon, hopefully lol), just the everyday things… it brings its own source of joy and happiness.

Give thanks for everything my friends!  We are a very blessed people!

 

Updates!

First off, I want to thank all of you so much for the support you give my family and I!  We value and cherish all of our friends so much, and you’re always in our thoughts and prayers.

Are you in the Evansville area?  Looking for a place to have dinner tonight?  Come join me at Kanpai; I’ll be playing a solo loop set from 7-9pm.  Kanpai has some of the best sushi in town; you’ve gotta check it out!  In fact, go in there and ask for the Monte Roll.  Seriously!  🙂

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**Update**I actually fixed my car myself!  Well, for the most part.  There are a couple fragments still frozen in ice in the driveway, but besides a small hole, it looks pretty normal, haha!

Also coming up at the end of the week, Skelton’s Monoturage will be performing at Mojo’s Boneyard, starting at 9pm.  We’ll be playing some of our new tunes; don’t miss the fun times!  Also next week, my darling wife and I will be playing for the Brown Bag Luncheon downtown in Evansville!  That is always such a fun performance; don’t miss it!  That same day, I’ll be jamming on the top floor of Zuki Downtown around 6pm, so you can get a double dose of fun music!

I LOVE working with the students and staff at Evansville Music Academy.   My students have all been so great!  And it is just such a great experience to work one-on-one with someone else, to see how they think and grow, to watch the light bulb turn on when they really understand- there’s nothing like it!  And by the way, if you’re interested in taking lessons, let me know!

So the next post will be the exciting conclusion to my 2015 Reflection.  I can’t wait!  So, I leave you with this thought:

Never, ever underestimate the power of a genuine smile.