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What A Blast...Ugly Bike...Gulf Shores Next


Monday October 23, 2023


Monday morning in Port St. Joe Florida, and the guitar and bags are packed again for a trip to Gulf Shores after finishing up a great 4 days at the Blast on the Bay. 



Mine started early Friday morning at the Blast on the Bay Songwriters Festival where he played a 9 am show for the elementary school kids here who packed an auditorium and clapped along and sang and participated and made us feel good. 



Always a treat to meet young kinds into music. In fact when Steve Dean of our trio sang his #1 hit for Rodney Atkins “Watching You”…a bunch of them were singing with Steve. And we’re talking about kids who were born long AFTER the song was being played a ton on the radio. And I know that touched Steve’s heart. Pretty cool moment.




Our trio played at Scallop Republic which sits right on the water to a full house of enthusiastic fans of songwriters. The make and serve their own craft beers which is pretty darned good. We saw a lot of old friends and fans of the trio many of whom we see every year at this Festival and that’s always great. We played 90 minutes then had late dinner at a wood-fired pizza place that filled out bellies and made us sleep ready for bed.




Saturday morning all the songwriters here in Port St. Joe were invited to a free breakfast. How’s this for a breakfast view? 



A couple who own a home with this view put the entire thing together with help from their friends and the festival organizers. Pretty awesome way to start a Saturday and we got to see most of the other songwriters who were performing.




Our 2 pm show was at one of our favorite listening rooms down here the Lookout Out Lounge which is closer to Mexico Beach than Port St. Joe. Once again a wonderful crowd who were so great to play for and one of our favorite sound guys Rick Ott that you see in the picture had us sounding so good.  The owners there are also so nice and gave each of us a gift bag that include a bottle of their local wine which ain’t bad folks. So thanks to the Lookout for hosting us Saturday afternoon.




Our last “Hits & Grins” show at the festival this year was at the View In Windmark which is a little community of upscale condos, shops, and gorgeous sunset views like this one that we say from the stage on Saturday night.



We actually stopped our show so that we and the audience could snap some pictures of God’s handiwork we were witnessing. Incredible.




 Once again, just a wonderful crowd that included some old friends. Not a bad way to end the trio’s run in beautiful Port St. Joe. 




Steve Dean and Victoria Venier left for Nashville at the crack of dark, but not before Victoria and I became bird chasers. One got in the house we were staying in and we had quite the adventure trying to convince our little friend that going out the door again would be in his best interest. Nothing quite like chasing foul at 5 AM in the morning. Sort of like convincing a jumper to not leap from the ledge. The good news is the bird left, was not harmed... but is in therapy now.



And that was at Indian Pass Raw Bar…a place known for its oysters but during the festival it turns into the finale for the Blast on The Bay Songwriters Festival. 



I was honored to share the stage with 4 big hit songwriters including left to right in the picture below Aaron Barker who’s written multiple George Strait hits including “Baby Blue”. Donny Lowery who penned “OldFlame" For Alabama. Dana Hunt Black who wrote “Check Yes Or Now” for George Strait, me and on my left my buddy Jerry Salley who has the new single for Chris StapletonIt Takes A Woman” that he sang. Pretty cool way to end this great festival for me.



My thanks to all the folks who work so hard to make this one of the best songwriter festivals in the country. Can’t wait for October of 2024 when we’ll get to do it all over again.




How about this new Smartwatch that can test your blood sugar level painlessly in seconds?


Word is that AI can detect diabetes just by listening to your voice for 10 seconds.


The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition says that just two servings of red meat per week can increase your chances of developing Type 2 Diabetes.



I want to say congrats to Jim Denny who was one of my radio partners for a couple of years when I shared the morning show with him and Kevin Freeman when I was at WFMS in Indianapolis. He announced his retirement from radio Friday morning after hosting that show in the Circle City for 35 years! He too was inducted a few years ago into the Country Radio Broadcast Hall of Fame.



I sent him a “congrats” note and he sent these words back to me.


It’s funny… when I decided it was time your words came to mind. You said No matter how you leave when you do… walk out that door with pride and know you have done something not many have.


 I actually don’t remember that but Jim held onto that after all these years. Quite the career and he’s one of the good guys. Jimmy…enjoy your retirement my brother. I’m glad we have some memories to share.



Because of the song “Going Ugly Early Tonight” that I wrote with Brent Burns, folks send pictures related to that from time to time. Thank you to my friends Bill & Karen Stewart for sending this on that made me laugh.



And now Hank Williams Jr. will open a bar on Lower Broadway to go with I don’t know how many celebrity bars here in Nashville. His will be called the “Boogie Bar”. And I’m guessing “All His Rowdy Friends” will be showing up big time.



Word is that by this time next year folks in Italy and the UK will be able to get drone delivery from Amazon from this bad boy.


I’m sure the U.S. will not be far behinds. You know those little bad boys will have a camera so remind yourself to put some clothes on before you go outdoors to retrieve your package. Nobody needs to see that.



I’m making the 5 hour trip or so over to Gulf Shores where I’ll be playing a show tonight with Brent Burns at Lulu’s as part of the big Parrot Head gathering there known as MOTM. I’ll be in town all week for that colorful event. Hope to see some of you there.


Have a great Monday!


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