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Pool Hall Memories...#1 Song...Gatlinburg Weekend


Friday August 18, 2023


Friday morning and a familiar site is sitting right in front of me. A trip to Gatlinburg for the songwriters festival is on tap this morning. It’s going to be comfortable too with temps around 80 today and 84 tomorrow.


It’s better than being in Southern California where the first hurricane “Hillary” is set to come ashore as a Category 4 hurricane. Whoever heard of hurricanes in California? The last one was 84 years ago.



I had a great morning writing with Tim Stafford over in Knoxville yesterday morning. Tim is an author, a terrific bluegrass guitar play, songwriter, member of “Blue Highway” and is now getting ready to teach bluegrass classes at ETSU Eastern Tennessee State, as well as Appalachian State doing some online teaching for them. He also just released a great new guitarinstrumental album that he sent me after we finished writing that I’m enjoying now.



So we caught up and then I gave him a chorus for an idea about a small pool hall like we used to have in Elsberry, Missouri a one stop light town just off the Mississippi River where I graduated High School. 1000 to 1200 residents maybe. There wasn’t a ton there. But we had the Dew Drop Inn where you could get a bowl of fries and shoot pinball with the fries on top of the machine. An A*G Grocery store where I worked while in High School. We actually had a one room theater The Senate which closed and then later they reopened it. AND there was a small pool hall. My Dad did not want me or my brothers in there. Smoke, bad folks, drinking…that sort of thought. But not really. And every now and then I’d sneak in and get an eyeful of the smoke and the sound of a cue ball breaking into a rack. Played a bit but man I was not a Minnesota Fats.


But I took away those images in my head and that’s what we wrote yesterday, a song called “9-Ball Corner Pocket”. Very fun writing it with Tim and I’d be surprised if we can’t find a bluegrasser to record it. 




Early yesterday afternoon I was on a Zoom call with Veronica Mohesky who is a young reporter for the PBS TV station in St. Louis. She’s doing a story on Mo Mo the Missouri Monster to be used in October it sounds like. That famous Big Foot that turned into a record for me is 50 years old and the legend lives on. I sang a little bit of the song “live” and she asked some great questions about the legendary story that’s been a part of my own life for a very long while now. I won’t go into the history as I did some of that in yesterday’s blog so you can check that if you’d like for that info.



I hope to have a link I can share with you to watch the interview and will pass that along whenever they share that with me.



But once again, it was fun talking about Mo Mo again.




And…I got in a little baseball last night watching our Triple AAA team score a win over Charlotte. Nice to have a guitar helping me keep score during the game. Wonder how big THAT guitar case is?!




I’m so happy to be part of the new Darin and Brooke Aldridge song “Wildflower Too” that just went to the #1 spot on this independent chart you see below. And it’s only been out a couple of weeks or so. That might be a fair indication that our song is going to do pretty well with fans who love mountain-grass-Americana type music. Always great news to get great news like this.




According to CDC research E. coli strain linked to leafy greens are associated with some outbreaks.


With the tridemic on the way featuring COVID, flu and RSV the CDC is now recommending we wear masks again in tight places. Airplanes and airports being listed as one of those places.


Moderna did some trial testing and is claiming their new COVID shot has a significant boost in antibodies to combat the new Eris strain of COVID.



That half of all Americans have tried marijuana. For whatever reason, as much as I’ve been around it, been offered it, been at parties in the 70’s where it was cool and everywhere during the Woodstock generation…it just never appealed to me for some reason. Never tried it. Even though I was kind of the “oddball” in college for that reason…it all worked out in the end as I sold my share to Willie Nelson. He’s welcome.



A scientific study discovered the women with extra weight usually live longer…than men who point it out.



Hormel is singing the product I write and sing about to Hawaii. Spam. It’s a big thing there. And considering what’s going on in Maui…I’m sure it’s welcome. Still love the stuff myself. And as I said, I loved it enough to record this little Hormel ditty about the delicacy.



Some podcasters are reportedly making up to $20,000 a month from Spotify without ever saying a word on their podcast. That’s because their channel features “white noise”…the kind of stuff folks like me turn on before going to sleep to help drown out outside noise, or because they find is comforting and peaceful. Folks download the app, use it, and the commercials that come to those podcasters can garner up to 20 grand a month. Who knew?



Jason Aldean and his wife just bought a nice little beach house in Florida. 14 million dollars was the price tag. You can see now how that controversial song “Try That In A Small Town” has affected his career. 



That would be this 94 year old man who goes water skiing still on one of those “air chairs”.  And breaks a record while doing this. Check this out. (I’m just hoping I’ll have enough energy at 94 to push a checker forward on the board.)



Aliens Could Be Spiders The Size Of Elephants. (I’m going to need a lot bigger shoe heel)



Off to Gatlinburg in just a few with my buddy Steve Dean where we will play the Gatlinburg Songwriters Festival tonight and tomorrow night in the Great Smoky Mountains. Always fun to do so. You can see that the stage is set and ready to go.



I play at 6 pm tonight with “Hits & Grins” and Lauren Mascitti will join us.


Saturday I’ll play at 3 pm with my friends Brian White & Karyn Williams.


All of the songwriter shows will be held in the Gatlinburg Inn. And I hope to see some of you there!

Have a great weekend.




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