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Double Bluegrass...Back To Dollywood...An Award Nomination


Wednesday October 18, 2023


Wednesday arises and it’s a busy Hump Day today. A little warmer in Nashville today with a high of 73 coming our way.



I wrote with Brent Baxter online. He was in Missouri and he invited Arkansas bluegrass artist Casey Penn to join us as she’s getting ready to record a new album for Mountain Fever Records and is looking for songs. Turns out I had met Casey as she has been to a “Hits & Grins” show in Arkansas and also attended a Freedom Sings USA event in Little Rock when I was there with a group of writers writing songs with veterans. So we hit it off pretty quickly and we actually cranked out 2 bluegrass songs for her and her band. 


Casey lives in Benton, Arkansas which is home to a great little burger place that I found on a road trip once with Linda Davis and Lang Scott called “The Burger Shack”. A model train runs in a circle at the top of the roof and the burgers, fries and shakes are awesome. Highly recommended. And just up the sidewalk is a theater that the late actor-comedian Jerry Van Dyke once owned and supported. Cool little road stop if you’re ever taking I-40 across Arkansas.


So we had a good day on the computer yesterday.



I also got three quarters packed for a 10-11 day run to the coast this weekend starting Thursday at the Blast on the Bay Songwriters Festival and finishing up at the big Parrot Head gathering in Gulf Shores MOTM.

One of the places I’ll be playing in Gulf Shores is Lulu’s owned by Jimmy Buffet’s sister. My beach friend Brent Burns is hosting a week’s worth of songwriters there and I’ll be playing there twice. So I’ve got a bag stuffed with shorts, t-shirts, and flip flops good to go.



I also found out yesterday that our “Hits & Grins” trio is going to play at Dollywood twice next year. Monday March 11 to open a songwriter series there at the Palace Theater and then we’ll also play once more on Sunday April 11. Three shows in Dolly’s great theme park. More details to come, but Victoria Venier, Steve Dean and me are looking forward to returning to that stage after playing there last year for Dolly’s “I Will Always Love You” 50th Anniversary Celebration.


To my friend Jerry Salley, co-writer and the head of Billy Blue Records which is the label and publishing company I write songs for. Jerry just found out he has the new single on Chris StapletonIt Takes A Woman” which is already getting a ton of airplay. So awesome. Life changing kind of news if you’re a songwriter. I could not be happier for my friend who was responsible for getting me signed to Billy Blue Publishing as a songwriter. And I’m also happy for me because from now on every time I go to lunch with him or have a drink…he’s buying!



I also found out yesterday that the song I wrote with Scott Southworth "Country No Matter What Country" is up for a Josie Award this weekend here in Nashville for "Vocal Event of the Year". Pretty cool. Scott plays overseas some so I took this idea to the writing room that days about how traditional country music translates into the thought of "that's country no matter what country you're in". I had it partially written, he liked it, we finished it and then Scott recorded it and released it as a single last year using 6 different country singer from 6 different countries to sing the song with him. Great idea Scott. The awards show will be at the Grand Ole Opry House this Sunday. Wish us luck.  


Wisconsin and Illinois have both reported having one case of measles in each of those two states.


A groundbreaking study uncovered a promising avenue in cancer research using bee venom to target and kill cancer cells.

 A woman loses her leg to the flu and is encouraging everyone to get their flu shot.




Cher became the latest celebrity to say she was going to leave the country over politics. She said basically if Donald Trump would win the election she’s leaving the U.S.  First off, I’m not sure if anyone really cares if a celebrity leaves the country. And secondly, wouldn’t you love to see one person who opens their mouth and says such a thing that they would be forced to leave the country? I don’t even know how many times notable folks have expressed that but none have ever actually left. Might be because when they sober up they understand it’s a pretty great country no matter politics.



The more you weigh, the harder you are to kidnap. Stay safe. Eat cake.




5 Spider

4 Hot Dog

3 Bat

2 Bumblebee

And the number 1 costume for pets?  A Pumpkin.


I had a gerbil once. It was IMPOSSIBLE to find a Halloween costume that would fit him.



Wanted Man Tried To Throw Cops Off With This Sign.

Proof again folks that one doesn't have to be an Einstein to be a criminal.



I’m writing with my friends Wil Nance an Irene Kelley today. First time as a trio. I’ve written with both several times individually, but this will be our first collaboration together. Wil heard Irene sing for the first time at the Gatlinburg Songwriters Festival this past August and told me he’d love to write with her so I set that up. On top of being one of our leading female bluegrass singers and writers Irene has been starring recently in a Farm Bureau Insurance commercial. That’s her on the left in the picture below. So Wil and I will be asking for a discount on our insurance policies today before we start rhyming.



I’m playing for a fund raiser for the organization Mercy Chefs who provide great food for emergency workers…FEMA etc. Those on the front line started by a chef after he witnessed the food that was being served to volunteers at those kind of event. So tonight I’ll join my friends Linda Davis and Lang Scott who had a big hand in making this happen along with songwriters Bobby Tomberlin, Tess Frizzell (part of the famous Frizzell family and her Mom is Shelly West) as well as my talented friend Lauren Mascitti. Happy to part of something this worthwhile.



Then tomorrow dark and early I’ll be on the road to Port St. Joe, Florida for the Blast on the Bay Songwriters Festival. So tomorrow morning’s blog may be very short as I’ll be traveling.



Have a great Wednesday!


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