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Freedom Sings Weekend...T-Shirt...Mr. Burns Today


Monday August 14, 2023


Monday morning…back home from Little Rock.



I was on the road to Little Rock Friday morning with songwriter Irene Kelley riding shotgun when we hit a traffic JAM. And I do mean jam. 45 minutes or more. Both sides of I-40. Two wrecks on the one side, and apparently some kind of drug chasing shooting incident with police on the other. Wow. I have never seen a line of cars so backed up in my life. Deep breath, patience and we finally rolled into Little Rock an hour later than expected.


Once there we checked into our hotel, had a small break, and then headed for the VA Center for an early dinner and each of the songwriters got up and sang a song or two.


Wood Newton sang an appropriate song “I Can See Arkansas” as he’s a Razorback.  Steve Wariner and others recorded this great song. 


And then his fellow Arkie Steve Dean got up and sang a couple of songs he’s written with veterans through the years that was inspiring including this one about Paul Tull who now writes with our group and volunteers.


Irene Kelly sang a song about her Father “Bennie’s RepairShop” as her Dad ran a home TV repair shop from the home basement in Pennsylvania.


And I did this little smile song about solving the world’s problems by “Jiggling the Handle”. 


A late night dinner after that with our group and everyone crashed big time after the long day.



We were back at it Saturday morning as each songwriter was paired with a veteran. Mine was Craig Keeter who sat down and told me about his Grandfather who served in the trenches in World War I. Came home with a scar in his right hand from a bayonet wound with the enemy. Craig told me early on his Grandfather was his hero and was the kind of man that he himself wanted to be. So he joined the Army and signed up for infantry like his Grandfather. He fired missiles into Baghdad from one of those mobile units that could launch one or a Budweiser 12 pack as he called it. Craig was the launch guy. So he fired just like his grandaddy did sort of  The name of his song is “The Man I Wanted To Be”. 



When I played him the song from the notes I had taken he broke down. He was SO moved. And of course that moved to me big time. To please a veteran like that?  I can’t tell you what a rewarding experience that truly is.



Our group was on stage with each songwriter sitting next to the veterans we had written with yesterday morning performing their songs. Just a cool moving experience every single time.



At the end of the evening we shot a special video to send to a soldier who’s not in the greatest condition health wise. A soldier who’s song was once written too. This one just got a call from the President telling him he would be receiving the Medal of Honor for his heroic action when as a pilot he ignored orders and saved a bunch of men from sure death. Every veteran got on stage while my friend Steve Dean sang his song. And this will be sent to that brave airman. 



My thanks once again to the great staff and group that is Freedom Sings USA for allowing me to be part of this great cause.




On the drive to Little Rock Friday Irene Kelly and I got to talking about a young bluegrass artist from North Carolina named Caroline Owens. And then she mentioned she thought Caroline had recorded one of our songs “Another Morning in the South”. I said “what?!” I had no idea. So she texted our mutual friend Darin Aldridge who is the producer on the new album and Darin confirmed that indeed they have recorded our song. The things you find out on a road trip!


Here’s an example of Caroline…her new single from the album I’m talking about “No More Blue Moons In Kentucky”. The incredible harmonies you hear on this is from Darin and Brooke Aldridge.



While I was in Little Rock my daughter Heather and her husband Casey were in Switzerland. Sigh. My weekend was awesome, but their view was just a little more magnificent.




This is pretty cool. Jessie Ritter’s fun new single “Gone ToSee America” that I wrote with her and Steve Dean has spawned this T-shirt!  Going to have to get one of these bad boys. And if you have not seen the fun video or heard this song just click the link above and enjoy. 




I had mentioned in a couple of Blogs that the new Scott Southworth album that I have two songs on would be released this past Friday. Not!  Release date is actually coming up in September. I’ll remind me and y’all when that date rolls around.




Microplastics have been found in human hearts for the first time. Apparently the tiny particles can get in through our noses, mouth, and other body cavities.


A study just released says that when cities welcome new pro sports, flu deaths jump up to 25%.


Another study says that not many folks are experiencing loss of taste or smell as a symptom of COVID. It’s changed. The Omicron variant was more about coughing and sneezing as a symptom. And with a new variant out there?  The tell-tale signs could be different yet again according to recent research.



Wow…this Billboard is now up in Nashville. So when you stop at your local Starbucks to get jacked up on your way to work, take your pistol in with you as you order your latte and a donut.




There have been so many shark sightings that in New York officials are flying drones over the shorelines to help spot Jaws. All good. But I’m thinking if I’m at the beach and I see a drone looking for sharks?  I’m going back to the pool.



Several weeks in and BARBIE is still the number one movie at the box office. Who could have predicted? Not me. Every movie producer must now be thinking what toy can we turn into a blockbuster? Furby maybe?





The city that defunded the police has been listed as the #1 city that residents are considering leaving because of safety concerns. Didn’t take a psychic to figure that out did it? Homicides skyrocketed 24% last year, and vehicle thefts jumped 30%.



“Nudists Want Clothing Banned On The Beach…It Makes Them Uncomfortable”.  (Pretty sure that works the other way too)



I’m back online to write with my crazy long time beach friend Brent Burns down in Gulf Shores. So that means as always there will be twice as many laughs as there are lyrics.



Have a great Monday.


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