Monte Skelton

Monte Skelton- Album Release, and the Week Ahead

For me, this year has been full of growth in every single way.  Growth in understanding the world outside of my normal everyday perspective has been a major part of that.  My schedule has been full of teaching lessons, performing in new places, and sharing all the love and smiles in the world with old and new friends and family.  I’ve also been working on a very bold, very fresh new album, which I have entitled ‘<My World>’, to be released September 1, 2018.

This album is 11 tracks, and I would say, an upgrade from my 2017 project .  This time around, I decided to truly embrace the things that make me who I am.  You’ll notice a very unique blend of analog and digital instruments in these tracks, a quirky blend of soulful and nerdy, which pretty much paints a picture of my personality.  <My World> tells a story- A very optimistic beginning quickly gives way to reality and how lonely that can sometimes feel.  However, quickly you learn how to make the best out of reality- that’s where you find true wisdom, true happiness, and true love, all in its many forms.  You will hear this shift in tonality and intensity throughout the album.   This album also features vocal tracks.  ‘Nothing Left,’ beautifully sung by Maigyn Jackson, begins a story of heartbreak and loneliness, followed by a period of ‘Recovery,’ with vocals by Justin Purdy.  ‘Recovery’ is about having those walls up that we all have, but then realizing those walls may not be as thick as we thought, with the right person.  There is one song in particular that I felt I really wanted to sing on my own.  Continuing from the songs from ‘<Inside My Mind>’, I wrote a song named ‘Chapter 3- What is True Love?’  This song features Eric Duke playing percussion along with some djembe, talking drum, and hand drum work of my own.  This song probably took me the longest to make, with over 81 tracks of percussion, ukulele, guitar, flute, clarinet, trumpet, trombone, bass, and vocals.  I have NEVER sang on a song before… so this is going to truly be a step outside of my comfort zone.  Of course, a major part of my happiness recently has been my kitten PJ, so you know he has a track dedicated to him on the album!  So, yes- it’s called ‘PJ’s Song,’ and you’ll hear me playing it at my performances now!!!!

This album has tracks featuring me playing saxophone, EWI, and bass.  Altogether, I believe I have played a total of 21 different instruments to create the full project.  It is truly a special album for me, and it is my hopes that it has a positive impact on whoever decides to listen to it.

I want to send a special thank you to all those who have supported me to this point. I hope that you can make it to one or both of the special events this week, and I hope you can catch the interviews! Here’s a brief rundown of what’s to come:

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Monday- Local Lifestyles with Ange Humphrey on WEHT, 10am

Tuesday- 91.5 FM WUEV, 5pm

Wednesday- Facebook/YouTube Live, Time TBD

Friday- Best Day Ever with Gretchin Irons on WEVV, 8:40am

Friday- Album Pre-Release Event- CK Newsome Center, Evansville, IN

6:30pm- Doors Open

7:00pm- Interview/Livestream on YouTube, Facebook, Instagram

Live open question and answer after the interview

Saturday, September 1st- Front Porch Festival, 611 SE 1st St. Evansville, IN

5:00- Festivities Begin

Sneak Peek Friday- Chapter 1

Chapter 1

This is the only track that was written before I decided to work on this album as a whole. Chapter 1 was originally written for an EP that I had put together a couple years ago.  Graciously played for months on the local jazz radio station 91.5 FM WUEV, the project as a whole only sold a few physical copies and never left the ground.  But, I really like the song, so I decided to ‘re-release’ this track to the public on Inside My Mind.  I believe the idea for this originally started as something I made to see what I could do as far as layering EWI parts, and turned into a tune that symbolizes a new way for me to show expression on a digital instrument.  Since it was originally recorded, I’ve found new techniques to getting a more ‘human’ sound on the EWI, which you’ll hear on some of the other tracks, but this is pretty much where it started. Recently this tune has been taken to and freshened up for the whole Team Skelton band- get ready for that release!  I hope you enjoy this beginning into a new venture.

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!!!!  🙂

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! 

#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!