Category: Daily Dispatch

  • The Devil You Know

    The company that owns Facebook is allegedly purging 15% of its workforce. I am worried about the longevity of the platform. For a while, I have been concerned that we may need an alternative. I regularly live stream on Facebook. For a lot of people in our community, it’s the only way that we communicate. […]

  • Hand Song 2.0

    Wednesday Words I thought about writing you a poem With words like cherish and adore Too bad, I’m not a poet I thought about picking you some flowers I would put them in a vase with water Too bad, they would make me sneeze So, I’ll give you my hand It’s all I can afford […]

  • Taco Tuesday 2022

    It’s national taco day. I know it is the food equivalent of a greeting card holiday. It’s a fake occasion created to enable restaurants to attract customers and sell more. I am fine with all of the deceit because I love tacos. Whether you are celebrating this fake holiday or not, you should listen to […]

  • History

    I was helping Hannah study for a giant U.S. history test. A lot has changed in the last five hundred years but people are basically the same. She knows a tremendous amount of random facts. She will do great on this test. I am an idiot and know nothing.

  • October

    We are in the middle of a weekend roadtrip to visit my in-laws. I had forgotten about the leaves. The trees were not yet in their full splendor but they were showing their colors. There were some deep purples and some bright reds. All of the colors made the trip magnificent. “I’m so glad to […]

  • 1MC : Brown Eyed Girl

    It’s Saturday morning – Pull Up the Covers “Brown Eyed Girl” by Van Morrison is a perfect fall song. It has nostalgia, unrequited love, school references, and a sing-along chorus. Here you go, sing along with me. Watch on YouTube. or you can find it on Instagram.

  • Automation

    To the best of my knowledge, my post from yesterday was never sent. It was posted to the website but the email version is missing. I am sure that your life is no different without my daily dispatch. You probably didn’t even notice that you missed it. Normally, when I tap the button labeled publish, […]

  • Festive Fall Party

    On Saturday we engaged in some autumn-themed activities. We traveled to a nearby orchard and purchased season-defining produce. The van was full of apples, squash, and pumpkins for carving. We ate apple slices dipped in caramel. We dug Halloween decorations out of the attic. We listened to some music on a “fall playlist.” We declared […]

  • Crooked Horn

    Wednesday Words Grab that old devil By his crooked horn And let him know Today’s the day that you’re… What word is next? Gone? Born? Done? These words have been simmering on the back burner for almost a year. One evening last October, I stumbled upon a great riff. The riff will probably receive a […]

  • One Minute Songs – end of summer 2022

    I made a batch of my One Minute Song videos. I’m not sure when they will get posted to the general public but I thought you might enjoy them today. All of the links below will take you to the corresponding video on YouTube. “Johnson’s Reel” is the ultimate summertime song. This is the verse […]

  • Every Day

    I’m supposed to write a post every day. It’s called the Daily Dispatch. Daily is in the title. It’s something that I have decided is important. It’s a goal. But not today. I don’t feel like writing today. I’m tired and I don’t want to sit down and write. I’m skipping it today. I will […]

  • Open Windows 2022

    In the fall of 2020, I worked on a record called Open Windows. It is two years old today. I made this record with my friends in the band Dragonfly Grove. I love the people in this band. It was great to collaborate with them. The songs are great representations of who we are individually […]

  • 1MC : Free Fallin’

    It’s Saturday morning – Pull Up the Covers She’s a good girl. I’m a bad boy. “Free Fallin’” by Tom Petty is one of my favorite songs to cover on the banjo. Watch on YouTube. or you can find it on Instagram.

  • A Sailing Metaphor

    I realized yesterday that I have been sailing through the water at full speed without a rudder. I’ve been productive and I’m getting a lot done but I have no plan or direction. I’m going through the motions. I have a firmly entrenched routine that has allowed my creative process to continue. Everything is smooth […]

  • Happy Autumn 2022

    This is one of my favorite days. Christmas is fine but I don’t go crazy for it. I’m rather indifferent to my birthday. I love the autumnal equinox. Grab your favorite old sweater. Happy fall!!! Listen to some fall vibes here.

  • Good Characters in a Bad Story

    I’ve been reading a disappointing book. I won’t mention the title because I would hate to accidentally recommend it. To be honest, I’m near the end and I’m embarrassed about the amount of time that I’ve lost with this book. The story is weak and the style is weird. I would simply stop reading it […]

  • Boring is Best

    Somedays, I have trouble thinking of something to write about. Somedays are very boring. Today was a boring day. I had some phone calls to make. I needed to run an errand. It was the boring kind of errand, no fun adventures. I paid some bills. I didn’t do any laundry. It was so boring […]

  • Queen of Hearts

    I recently missed a family discussion about Halloween costumes. We have twins and they have very different personalities. We have rarely dressed them alike but Halloween is an opportunity that cat be missed. A cohesive theme is too cute to pass up. Mrs Brother Jack: Tell your father about the theme for Halloween. Little E: […]

  • Bullseye

    If you live in the northeastern part of the United States, you are aware of deer ticks and Lyme disease. It’s a part of life. If you have a dog, you deal with ticks often. If you spend a healthy amount of time outside, you’ve pulled a tick from a warm intimate spot of your […]

  • 1MC : What’s Up

    It’s Saturday morning – Pull Up the Covers Hey, what’s going on? Watch on YouTube. or you can find it on Instagram.

  • Let it Grow

    When the seasons start to change, I get the urge to change my face. I’m not talking about plastic surgery. As a beautifully bearded gentleman, I am referring to beard length. I suppose non-bearded individuals would experience the same sentiment. The equivalency would probably be the desire to have your hair cut or styled differently […]

  • Blooper : Fake Running

    Here is a blooper reel from the archives. Recording this video was hard work. I wish I could claim to be in better shape now. I guess I am still not properly motivated. Watch the blooper on YouTube.

  • Robots Love the B-52’s

    I shared a video yesterday about my songwriting process. It begins with an idea for a new song and leads into the song called “Rock Lobster” by the B-52’s. The corresponding post on Instagram received 60,000 views in a very short amount of time. I know this doesn’t qualify as “going viral” but it’s a […]

  • Rock Lobster

    I was working on a new song. It started with a riff and some yeah, yeah, yeah’s. I needed some real words. The riff became “Rock Bottom Revival.” I was playing this over and over. That is the best way to figure out where a song is going. It started to sound familiar. Ahhhhhhh. It […]

  • Clowns are Trash

    Does the proper usage of a trash receptacle require fun and whimsy? If you know me, you know that I have a pathological fear of clowns. I don’t understand why anybody thought this was a good plan. Clowns are trash.

  • Short Fuses

    Today was one of those days. When I woke up, I was immediately aware that it was going to require a little bit extra. Two weeks of a school routine has kicked my kids’ butts. They were all tired and grumpy from the start. Our cannons were primed with really short fuses. Everything that happened […]

  • 1MC : Three Little Birds

    It’s Saturday morning – Pull Up the Covers You know that song, you would never say it’s your favorite song, but every time you hear it you feel really good. This Bob Marley song is that song for me. It always makes me happy. What is that song for you? Watch “Three Little Birds” on […]

  • The Wedding Industrial Complex

    My baby girl (age 6) is obsessed with weddings. She was privileged to be the flower girl for some friends at their wedding over the summer. Now weddings are a big deal for her. She just informed me that when she grows up she will have all her kids before she gets married so that […]

  • 1MS : I Like to Run

    If you have been slacking off with regular exercise, I’ve got you covered. Just stand up and pretend to run while watching a video of me pretending to run. The song is called, “I Like to Run.” It’s all about finding the proper motivation. Watch on YouTube.

  • Perfect Conditions

    Wednesday Words I like to run, it jiggles my brain I like to run, it’s quite insane When I go for a run I pretend there are zombies chasing me It’s really quite a thrill I like to run… except when its raining… or too hot… or too dark… or so bright that the sun […]

  • God Willin’ and the Creek Don’t Rise

    God willing and the creek don’t rise… I close my live streams and most of my other videos with this sentiment. It’s an old saying. It’s the kind of thing that was often said by my grandparents. It fits my vibe and sets a tone. I like it because it expresses intention with some wiggle […]

  • Another Day Older and Deeper in Debt

    It’s a Holiday – Pull Up the Covers It’s Labor Day in the United States. Many people have a day from work. Stay in bed a little longer today and enjoy this classic from my Pull Up the Covers series. Click here to watch on YouTube.

  • Sleep On It

    There is an app on my phone that I use to shoot all of my videos. The camera on a newer phone is really good. This app provides an additional level of control that puts a phone on par with any other professional video setup. I cleared the day to shoot a batch of one-minute […]

  • 1MC : Sixteen Tons

    It’s Saturday morning – Pull Up the Covers When it comes to hard work, I’d rather sing about it than participate. This is my favorite song about working for the man. “Sixteen Tons” was made famous by Tennessee Ernie Ford and written by Merle Travis. or you can watch it on Instagram right here.

  • Songs of the Season

    The fall equinox is still a couple of weeks away. The weather continues to feel like summer weather. But my internal calendar has flipped to autumn. The Christmas season has its songs. Some songs feel like pure summertime. Every major holiday claims its own songs. But the fall song category is a rare beast. Nobody […]

  • Yearly Tune-Up

    I just completed my yearly physical with the doctor. I am blessed to live where I have access to good doctors. I feel extremely blessed that my family has an adequate health care plan. The doctor said I should be good to go for another 1000 miles. Although I fear that there may be some […]

  • If I Were King

    Wednesday Words If I were king of a nation at war I would make sure He was in the front lines If I were king He’d throw himself out the window at my word If he happened to die There’s nothing anyone could say -David

  • 1MS : David

    I posted a new one-minute song today. It is funny to refer to it as ”new.” This song is the oldest song in my repertoire that I still play regularly. I think it was written way back in 2000. This song is 22 years old. It is based on King David from the Christian Bible. […]

  • Ride the Song : August 28, 2022

    I just got finished playing a park concert with my friends in Ride the Song. It went well and everything worked the way that it was supposed to work. This is incredibly rare. It was the last outside event on my calendar for the summer season. It must be time to move from sweaty outside […]

  • Pull Up the Covers Again

    A while back, I made a video series called Pull Up the Covers. It involved a green screen, an air mattress, and a photo of an interesting bed found on the internet. I was working on this series at a time in my history when I was trying to learn how to make great videos. […]

  • 1MC : For What It’s Worth

    It’s Saturday morning – Pull Up the Covers This song was released by Buffalo Springfield back in 1966. The words feel like they could have been written right now. It’s difficult for a protest song to stand the test of time. This song is timeless. Check out my one-minute-version of “For What It’s Worth.” or […]

  • The Click

    I finally got myself back into the studio. I have been itching to work on a new arrangement of an old song. The acoustic guitar is supposed to be the foundation for the recording. I know how to play guitar. I have been doing it for a long time. This part is not difficult but […]

  • Summer Guilt Trip

    At the end of every August, I feel guilty about not doing enough with my kids while they were on summer break from school. We had lots of fun and spent a lot of time together. It was all really great but it feels like there wasn’t enough of it. It’s probably normal parental emotions. […]

  • Clean Slate 2022

    It’s the first day of school for all three of my children. I always loved the first day of school. It was a clean slate. Nobody will remember all of the dumb stuff that happened the previous school year. Summer is like a magic memory potion. Not one classmate will remember when you got confused […]

  • Robots Hate John Prine

    I have been making a lot of short videos for the Reels platform on Instagram. Allegedly, this is one of the only ways to find interested people that might enjoy my work on any social media platform without paying the ridiculous expense associated with advertising. On Saturday mornings I am posting a series of cover […]

  • Ch-ch-ch-changes

    School is back in session this week and 4/5 of my family will be back into a regular routine. I should be able to find more available time or at least something resembling a consistent work schedule. It looks like we will have to be flexible and adjust some times. -My morning schedule will be […]

  • Youth Orchestra

    My oldest kid joined the youth orchestra this summer. She just participated in her first concert with the group. The kids were the warm-up act for our local symphony orchestra. Our town is not big enough to have some of the things you would find in a big urban center but we are big enough […]

  • 1MC : Spanish Pipe Dream

    It’s Saturday morning – Pull Up the Covers This is one of my favorite John Prine songs. It pairs well with some BBQ. or you can watch it on Instagram right here.

  • A Singing Koala

    I was putting the twins to bed and we were reading a bedtime story about a guy and his pet pug. Thing1 asked if I would ever want to have a pet pug (she knows that I have always wanted a dog). I told her I would not want a pug because I prefer big […]

  • The Mouse

    We have a mouse in the house. It’s a natural part of living in the world. Occasionally, a little rodent may find a way into our domicile. It ran across the room, under the tv, and into the ductwork. Thing-1 wants to catch it and keep it as a pet. I set out some traps. […]

  • Words From the Bottom of the Barrel

    Wednesday Words Rock rock rock rock bottom Rock rock rock rock bottom Rock rock rock rock bottom Revival I’ve been scraping the bottom for so long And all I’ve got is this lousy song Rock rock rock rock bottom Rock rock rock rock bottom Rock rock rock rock bottom Revival Someone is trying to keep […]

  • Bridesmaids

    We were at a wedding over the weekend, it was beautiful. My kids were involved with the ceremony and I think they enjoyed the attention that came with it. My boy danced with every bridesmaid at least twice. His secret was that he fought hard and pretended to hate every second of it. I wish […]

  • Lots of Compliments

    Over the weekend we celebrated the marriage of some dear friends. It was a glorious occasion and we are so happy for everyone involved. My twins were in the wedding party. Baby girl was living her dreams. There was a fancy dress, flowers in her hair, and lots of dancing. The only thing that could […]

  • Tents > Hotel Rooms

    A family of five in a six man tent is better than a family of five in a normal hotel room. At least with a tent, the entire great outdoors are available for escape. In a hotel room, you can only hide in the bathroom for so long.

  • 1MC : In the Summertime

    It’s Saturday morning – Pull Up the Covers Throw open the windows and sing along with this one minute cover song. Originally recorded by Mungo Jerry this song is called In the Summertime. or you can watch it on Instagram right here.

  • Let’s Go (So We Can Get Back)

    I just finished reading a book called Let’s Go (So We Can Get Back) by Jeff Tweedy. I don’t think I would recommend it to everybody but it was a life changer for me. Jeff Tweedy is one of my favorite songwriters. Like any good autobiography, it has plenty of childhood material. There is lots […]

  • Kisses to the Bone Pile

    I’ve been working on a new song called Kiss and Mean It. I brainstormed several ideas. One idea involved the biological response the body undergoes during a kiss. Another idea had to do with a pathological fear of intimacy. The option that I spent the most time with involved an alternate ending for Romeo and […]

  • Romeo Bails

    Wednesday Words Romeo says Hey Juliet Are you sure this is a good plan I know all about those passionate kisses But this seems like a lot I’ve been thinking about taking a trip down to Venice I wanted to see what’s going on down there This has been great… really… But I gotta go […]

  • 1MS : Naked Eyes

    My wife and two of my kids have blue eyes. My baby girl has eyes the same color as mine. She looked me in the eye and said, “Hey, we match… except mine are white on the edges and yours are red.” I have a new one minute song out today. It’s about eyes.

  • Peppers and Fairies

    A friend gave me a couple of green bell peppers last week. My garden doesn’t contain any pepper plants. I love peppers but they give me awful heartburn. It seems more prudent to avoid the temptation. I’m grateful for the kindness of friends. My twins are convinced that they love red peppers but hate green […]

  • Joyous Noise From An Old Rooster

    I was playing at a music festival. Like all good festivals, it was a field in the middle of nowhere with a stage in the middle. There were tents everywhere full of sleepy music lovers. This particular field in the middle of nowhere had a neighbor with chickens. When those sleepy music lovers finally crawled […]

  • Bone Pile

    The bone pile is a gruesome place. It’s where a good song idea goes to die when it is too painful to actually write. It’s where a particularly poetic line wanders aimlessly without form. It’s where a great hook is doomed to repeat on loop, over and over and over. It’s where a lonely bridge […]

  • New vs. Familiar

    I was working on a batch of cover song videos. There were three songs on my to-do list. I had never played two of the songs and it had been a long time since I had played the third. It became immediately obvious that attempting unfamiliar songs was inefficient (stupid). I swapped this list for […]

  • I Start With A Calendar

    I have been working on a series of one-minute songs. The goal is that this video series will align with “current trends in media consumption.” You can read more about this series here and here. I think the majority of creators in my field start with an idea, make a video, and then post it. […]

  • Naked Eyes V2

    Wednesday Words I’ve been enjoying this verse lately. It’s 20 years old and I’m still proud of it. I find it amusing in a completely different way than when it was new. You say that you love to get lost in my eyes I say that’s a scary place without a map You say that […]

  • Apple Dumpling Gang

    I have kids. This means that when I watch a movie, it is a kid’s movie. This is fine because my favorite genre of film is “dumb kid’s movie.” This might not be an official category that is recognized by the academy when they are handing out awards but it will always be my favorite. […]

  • Cakeballs

    My wife wanted to make amazing chocolate cupcakes for a special occasion. For some reason, maybe barometric pressure, the cupcakes got weird and crumbly. She was able to patch together enough beautiful cupcakes for the special occasion but was stuck with a tray of cupcake pieces. Thanks to google, peanut butter icing, and some melted […]

  • Change of Plans Friday

    I was planning on having a “No Plan Friday.” That is what I call it when I do a Livestream on Friday afternoons. It looked like the “No Plan Friday” might turn into a “Fiddlin’ Friday.” That is what we call it when my kid plays fiddle with me on a Livestream on a Friday […]

  • Hey Sunshine

    It was a rather overcast day. It was alternating between spitting rain and oppressive humidity. Unexpectedly, the clouds parted and the sunshine beamed down. It was glorious and it reminded me of you. I am the luckiest man alive. I make songs and people like you listen to them. Thank you so much for being […]

  • Bad Songs

    If you want to write a good song, there is one thing that you must do first. You must get very comfortable writing bad songs. Be proud of your mediocre songs and keep writing. I have never hummed one of my very forgettable tunes while driving down the road. I’ve never sung one of my […]

  • You Are Enough

    Broken and Beautiful – Part 5 Today we will examine iterations of the third verse from my song called Broken and Beautiful. If you want to read more about this song, click here. 1. I thought this was a finished verse. What I mean is that it wasn’t just the first thing that I threw […]

  • Backwards Process

    When writing a song, you can start with a melody or some words. That’s it. Those are the only two options. Most songwriters have a preference. If you are a melody person, you groove on your melody until you find some words. If you are more of a words person, you write the words and […]

  • Petroleum-Based Lubricant

    I’ve written songs about pancakes, chickens, dying on the toilet, and seagulls farting. I think my strangest song topic is a petroleum-based lubricant. Cosmoline is a brand-name lubricant that is often used by the military. Initially, it is greasy like all other kinds of oil. After some time it becomes waxy and impossible to remove […]

  • 1MS : Cosmoline (banjo)

    This one has it all… drama, intrigue, explosions… petroleum based lubricants. Here is the first verse of my song called Cosmoline.

  • Fiddlin’ Friday

    Sometimes on Friday afternoons, I do a livestream with my friends on Facebook. When I can convince (beg and bribe) my oldest offspring to bust out her violin, the show is a Fiddlin’ Friday. There is no greater thrill than playing music with family. If you listen closely to our latest show, you will hear […]

  • An Obi-Wan Sandwich

    Several days ago, I had some harsh words regarding the new Obi-Wan Kenobi series. I love all things Star Wars but felt the first two episodes of this series were very slow. Now that I have watched the entire thing, I feel it’s only fair that I give an update. Obi-Wan is one of my […]

  • A Billion Tiny Whispers

    Did you hear that? It is a billion tiny whispers all happening at the same time. In his book called This Is Marketing, Seth Godin refers to the internet as a billion tiny whispers. I like this idea. I can choose to listen to whichever whisper seems the most urgent. I can ignore all of […]

  • If Only You Could Feel Strong

    Broken and Beautiful – Part 4 I am working on a new song called Broken and Beautiful. It’s actually an old idea that was resurrected from the bone pile. If you want the back story, you can check out part 1 and part 2. I thought I finally had all of the words figured out. […]

  • Tuesdays Were Made for Happy Hour

    Monday is fine. It can be difficult to get moving on a Monday after a long weekend. A Monday can be miserable but you know what you are getting with Monday. Monday is low expectations and very few surprises. Wednesday is half way to the next weekend. It is full of hope and promise. Everything […]

  • Rock and Blues Festival Unplugged

    I was scheduled to kick off the final day of the RTE 22 Rock and Blues Festival. This was the first time they planned music for the third day of their event. The lineup was comprised of acoustic acts to keep things simple for the new, bonus day. The sound guy didn’t get the memo […]

  • Unwavering Laws of the Universe #2

    I am a huge Star Wars fan. From the beginning of the franchise, it’s been a part of my life. When I was a kid, a sick day from school included a Star Wars movie marathon. It was only three movies back then. I am also a tolerant Star Wars fan. I love all of […]

  • VooDoo

    I’m a witch… Or is it a wizard… I’m a voodoo master… Nope, just a guy with a big mouth. Check out this one minute cover song.

  • Thursdays Are Special Too

    Today’s Dispatch is a small bit of fiction. I don’t think it is going anywhere. Who knows, maybe there is a Weird Folk novel in the future. I had a bottle of whiskey that I bought with the tip money I’d been saving from playing songs out in front of the post office. I was […]

  • Picnic

    I informed my twins (age 6) that we are halfway through their summer break. I asked if there is anything that they desperately want to do before they go back to school. I thought they might mention a baseball game, museum, amusement park, more camping, or anything equally epic. It turns out that the absolute, […]

  • Pancake Words

    Common sense dictates that a song should never begin with the phrase, “that smell gets me every time.” If you are the type of person that abandons a song during the first line, this song is not for you. It is a long-haul type of song. To enjoy this song, you must possess enough patience […]

  • Sycamore Anniversary 1

    Last summer on this date, I released a single. My kid heard it and said, “even people my age might like this song.” Check out this recording of my song called “Kissing Tree.” The b-side is a cover of a song that I love. Here is “Kissing Tree” on YouTube.

  • Edison

    On vacation last week, we saw a quote regarding Thomas Edison’s work habits and Mrs. Brother Jack said that he and I have similar creative output. I was honored to be compared to such a prolific idea machine. Edison intended that he and all of the inventors that worked for him would produce “a minor […]

  • 1MS : Kissing Tree

    Scratch in the dirt and plant a kiss Dig a hole for someone you miss I know it’s somewhat self-indulgent but I want a chorus of little children to sing this song at my funeral. Here is the one minute version of my song called Kissing Tree.

  • Tent Math

    I can speak from experience that a camping tent marketed as a “six-person tent” comfortably holds a family of three. I have been reminded why we have done very little tent camping since becoming a family of five.

  • No Plan Is Still A Plan

    A set list is a standard tool used by performers all over the world since the beginning of time. To make a set list, you write down the songs that you intend to play in an order that you think will be pleasing. Sometimes a lot of careful planning is done to ensure the setlist […]

  • Blooper : Firework

    It’s another installment of ”what are the words to that song.” Watch the blooper on YouTube.

  • Port in the Storm

    There are days when it continues to be hard to locate a port in the storm. On rare days, there is no storm at all. Most of the time, I drop anchor and weather the winds. Even though we are tossed about Just trying to hang on We got no ritual, no routine No port […]

  • Fort Roberdeau

    We spent some time yesterday at a local historical site. It was a great way to celebrate the Fourth of July. Fort Roberdeau is a reconstructed fort from the Revolutionary War era. It was originally built to protect a lead mine. They have a wonderful celebration every year on Independence Day. There are a lot […]

  • You’re a Firework

    You are a beautiful display of light, muscles, and bone. Make some noise. Don’t give up. Check out this one minute cover song.

  • Uncle Jay

    I just had a great jam with a new friend. I guess we should refer to him as Uncle Jay to provide him with some anonymity. It’s always exciting to jam with someone new. It’s a little bit like dating. You don’t know if you will have any chemistry. He might be a phenomenal bass […]

  • Greenfield Village

    We were on a short vacation that involved some historical touring. We traveled to the state of Michigan and visited the Henry Ford Museum and Greenfield Village. From our house, it should have been just under a six-hour drive. It took over eight hours. We had to stop and find so many bathrooms. The museum […]

  • Muddy Hug

    One of our sisters and an important part of the Weird Folk community has experienced a terrible family tragedy. She is deep in the mud. She’s going to be in the mud for a long time. There is nothing that we can do to fix it. Sometimes the best thing we can do is crawl […]

  • 3 loads of laundry, 2 cat hairballs, and 1 giant stack of mail

    We are home from vacation. It’s time to get back to work… tomorrow. P.S. When you get home after being away, what is the most important thing you must do before you can feel “back to normal?” For me it is laundry.

  • Self-Imposed Vacation Rules

    We are on a vacation. This isn’t something we have done very often. We aren’t intrinsically good at vacationing. I come from a long line of workaholics. Connecting to Wi-Fi would require some extra effort. So I have been channeling my inner Luddite and I established personal boundaries regarding technology. I have used some mental […]

  • Slave to the Connection

    Today, this is the best that I can do. My Daily Dispatch requires a healthy dose of the internet. I have very limited access right now and can’t change it. Our communication/work/purpose is inherently tied to our ability to utilize the available resources. Do your best but don’t give up or blame yourself when you […]

  • Weird Folk Manifesto

    1. Pancakes fix a lot of problems. 2. Some days a song and a smile is the best you can do and that is enough. 3. If you are stuck in the mud, stomp your feet, clap your hands, and wait for the sun to dry up all that mud (try to find a friend […]

  • Musselman’s Grove

    Today, I played a show with Ride the Song at a venue called Musselman’s Grove. It was incredibly hot but completely worth it. This venue had been host to a comprehensive list of country music legends. They claim that Hank Williams and the Carter Family played on their stage. I saw photos of Grandpa Jones […]

  • Joyful Noise

    I almost didn’t get today’s Dispatch out. It’s been a busy week. Hannah has had school stuff all week and a music camp in the evenings. It’s called the Joyful Noise camp and it’s sponsored by a local church. She has been attending since she was an itty-bitty violin player. This was their first in-person […]

  • Existential Crisis

    I am facing a self-imposed existential crisis. As a songwriter, the goal is to find people that will listen to my songs. It would also be nice if every person who heard my songs loved them without limits. I know there are already many fantastic people that appreciate my work. I don’t want it to […]

  • When One Door Closes

    This may sound crazy but I was getting sick of strawberries. It hasn’t been a great strawberry year but I still ate enough berries to give myself a healthy pink glow. My hands are permanently berry-stained. My breath has a constant strawberry aroma but not in the pleasing way you might imagine. It’s more like […]

  • Broken and Beautiful

    Your baby blues are bloodshot now You’ve been at it way too long I know it hurts It’s gonna hurt for a while You traded trust for heartache That wasn’t a very good deal You wanted someone to love you But we’re all so unreliable Broken and beautiful That’s how I see you Broken and […]

  • Lost – the Haircuts

    Way back in 2004, the television show called Lost premiered. It was instantly my favorite show of all time. I recently decided that it was time to indoctrinate my oldest kid. So far, no one is disappointed. We just celebrated Father’s Day at my house. I detest greeting card holidays but I’m a sucker for […]

  • 1MS : Chicken Skin Shake

    I wrote a song during the ”Great Shutdown of 2020” called the Chicken Skin Shake. I had some doubts that it would stand the test of time. The song felt like it was topically from a specific moment in history and might not be relatable beyond that point. I don’t know. It might still work. […]

  • Fatherhood

    Becoming a father is the greatest thing to ever happen to me. Father’s Day should not be about celebrating fathers. Father’s Day is an opportunity for a father to celebrate the amazing gift of fatherhood. My kids are the best.

  • Who Am I?

    It’s the summer festival season. The preparation for this kind of show includes questions, interviews, and general self-aggrandizement. I was raised in a family where being humble was a foundational virtue. Modesty was valued over all other personality traits. Braggarts could find themselves in the bottom circle of hell. Writing press releases about myself is […]

  • Seeds

    The great American institution of “putting in the garden” happens every spring as soon as the threat of frost has passed. Gardens miraculously spring forth from empty soil over the course of a weekend at the end of May. I love to garden but I’m not good at it. It’s mid-June and I finally planted […]

  • The Remote

    We were gathered around the television, bingeing episodes of our current favorite show. It’s Bluey. If you don’t know Bluey, you should change that. Someday, I will probably write a very long post extolling the many virtues of this fantastic show. My boy was dominating the remote control. “Hey Pops, I can still use the […]

  • Best Chorus Ever

    I’ve forgotten how to kiss and mean it Eyes wide open, I’m staring at the sun With every slip of the tongue I become a little more dumb I love these words but I have no idea where to go with it. Any ideas?

  • Plump on the Vine

    I was recently complaining about the state of our strawberry patch. We had some unusually hot and dry weather that seemed to stunt the set of berries. I was fairly confident we would have our worst strawberry yield in ten years. I should not have tempted fate, Mother Nature, or the berry fairies. We received […]

  • Bowling

    The twins were invited to a classmate’s birthday party. It was at a bowling alley. A bunch of little kids throwing heavy balls equal to a third of their body weight at a wooden floor is something that must be witnessed to be understood. It’s a rare and specific kind of chaos that is unlike […]

  • 1MS : Broken and Beautiful

    Broken and Beautiful – Part 3 I wrote a new song. It might be written from the perspective of a benevolent deity. More likely, it is a heartbroken father trying to comfort a child after life has done the damage that life always does. We are all broken and beautiful. Check out this one minute […]

  • Whistle Your Favorite Song

    She wasn’t happy with her brother. She thought he should be doing what she wanted him to be doing. She got bossy and demanding in an attempt to bend his will. I explained that if he didn’t want to play with her and her fluffy unicorns, he didn’t have to play with her and it […]

  • Obligatory Cat Post

    I just brought this old lady home from the doctor with a clean bill of health. Maggie Mae turned 17 in May. We’ve had a couple of bumps on the road in the last year but the veterinarian says that everything looks good. She doesn’t hear as well as she used to and she’s got […]

  • Moving Day – Old Photos

    Yesterday, I helped my Dad unload his worldly possessions into a new house. He is a preacher and as part of the occupational compensation, a home came along with the church. He was at his first church for ten years and the second for 15. This was not standard at the time. Preachers in his […]

  • All That Weight

    Broken and Beautiful – part 2 I wrote a song in 2013 that wasn’t very good. You can read more about that in Part 1. Despite being damaged beyond repair, I was able to scavenge a few lines. I put these borrowed lines together to make a first verse and chorus. Your baby blues are […]

  • I Got Sunshine

    I’ve been feeling rather isolated and disconnected the last couple of days. It felt like the abyss was about to open up and swallow me whole. As overwhelming as it felt, it turns out the solution was quite simple. I spent all day “working in the garden.” That’s code for eating strawberries as fast as […]

  • One Minute Videos

    Lately, I’ve been making a lot of videos that are one minute long. One-minute-long videos are the current big thing. The internet gods have decreed that our attention spans can only stay focused for a maximum of one minute. I doubt this is truly due to our attention spans but one minute is what they […]

  • My Forgotten Valentine

    Broken and Beautiful – part 1 I wrote a song on Valentine’s Day in 2013. I vividly remember writing the song. It was a very emotional process and it felt really important at the time. It was about neglect, child abuse, and kids exchanging Valentine cards at school. I called it My Forgotten Valentine. You […]

  • Me and Julio

    It’s Saturday and I know that you don’t want to get out of bed. Pull up the covers with some weird folk. I made a one-minute-long version of the Paul Simon classic called Me and Julio Down By the Schoolyard. You can watch it on YouTube, follow this link. Typically, when I post cover songs […]

  • American Legion

    I played a show with Ride the Song last night and it went well. There was some doubt during the week about it happening due to various medical situations. Don’t judge us. I am the youngest guy in the band and I’m no spring chicken. Being an aging wanna-be-rockstar is physically demanding. The American Legion […]

  • Shriveled on the Vine

    We tasted the first strawberries of the season today. It’s a sacred day in my family. Eleven years ago we planted our tiny little berry patch in our average city yard. Some years it has produced so many berries that I don’t mind sharing with the bunnies and the birds. It’s been a great return […]

  • Silence

    I wake up in the night and it’s so quiet I’m listening for that snore What I wouldn’t give to hear you breathing Nothing sounds like the silence Hello darkness, hello my old friend I’m talking to myself again Reciting all my prayers, I need some noise Nothing sounds like the silence I miss every […]

  • Kindergarten

    Today is kindergarten graduation. I still think of my twins as itty-bitty babies. I can’t believe they are already through their first year of school. I don’t know what else to say about it. I feel like I am bleeding time.

  • 1MS : Silence

    I wrote a new song and it showed up out of nowhere. Usually I sit with an idea for a while and let it steep. This showed up all at once after a funeral. I guess it is about grief or loneliness or general loss. Check out this one minute version of the song.

  • Hamburgers

    It’s a holiday weekend in the United States. Monday is Memorial Day which is when we honor the men and women that have died in military conflict. I am grateful for their sacrifices. When I was a kid we went to visit my Grandpap every Memorial Day. He felt very strongly that it was important […]

  • Why I Don’t Wear Red

    At the end of every school day, I drive to the school and pick up the twins. The school has a well-organized system for the exchange of children. We line up in two long rows in an overflow parking lot and when the kids are dismissed, they are herded out to us in the order […]

  • Total Wardrobe Change

    As the school year comes to a close and we are transitioning to warm weather attire, it was time to tidy the wardrobe. When kids are little, it’s so easy to sort through and pull out large chunks of clothing by size. It feels safe to assume that they won’t be wearing the same size […]

  • Sherlock Holmes Has A Cousin

    I am reading a collection by Arthur Conan Doyle called The Complete Brigadier Gerard Stories. I am a big Sherlock Holmes fan but it had never occurred to me that he had written anything other than Sherlock. When I found this, I was excited to give it a go. These short stories were done as […]

  • Be-Bop-a-Rebop

    Rhubarb Pie I don’t eat a lot of sweets but I can’t turn down a slice of pie. My favorite is rhubarb. Don’t ask for the recipe, I tend to make it up as I go. My wife says I would never survive as a baker. Rhubarb is my favorite because it is so special. […]

  • Sounds Like Silence

    Two days ago I announced that I was not going to continue with my Sad Song Series. The muses have decided that I am not done yet. Before abandoning the project, I had been thinking about the sounds of loneliness. I really enjoy the sound of peace and quiet. But there is a fine line […]

  • One Word

    Everybody knows the song called Folsom Prison Blues by Johnny Cash. Even if you hate country music, you have heard this song. Every line in this song is fantastic but at the end of the second verse is one of the most iconic lines of all time. But I shot a man in Reno just […]

  • Abandon the Sad, Sinking Ship

    I started a project focused on sad cover songs. I planned to learn a new sad song every month. I intended to release the cover at the beginning of each month and then spend the rest of the month breaking down the song and exploring new, related song ideas. I haven’t even made it through […]

  • At Any Moment

    We were at a funeral yesterday. Petey was my Dad’s brother-in-law. He had been sick for a while, so it wasn’t a surprise. That doesn’t make it easier. Everybody that knew him, loved him. I don’t mean that in the “say nice things because it’s a funeral” kind of way. He was a special human […]

  • Take Me Out to the Ballgame

    I played a gig last night at the local minor league baseball stadium. I was the warm-up act on the party deck for the hour before game time. It was a fun night of baseball. The best part was that my family showed up to enjoy the festivities. Most of my gigs are in bars […]

  • Taking Requests (Moonwalking With Einstein)

    I recently finished reading a great book on the art of memorizing called Moonwalking With Einstein. It was a deep dive into the training that is necessary to be a national memory champion. Yes, that is an actual contest. The book, unfortunately, had no actionable information to help me get better at memorizing songs. I […]

  • A Little Bit Left

    I love to celebrate anniversaries of my songs and projects. Today is an occasion that is less joyous than most. A good friend lost her battle with cancer on this day eleven years ago. My song called Grief was inspired by losing her. As an emotion, grief is a festering wound that never heals completely. […]

  • A Tree Cricket Walked Into A Bar

    I just heard an audio story on the show Radiolab about tree crickets. Everybody knows that a male peacock uses its tail feathers to attract a mate. The biggest and brightest plumage gets the best hens. Tree crickets have a similar system but they are all about the loudest and longest song. It’s all about […]

  • One Minute Songs

    I try to share new videos with the Daily Dispatch subscribers before they go out to the hoi polloi. For a while, the Monday Dispatch has been reserved for the current week’s One Minute Song. Life has been oppressive and I am far behind schedule. I can not share with you the new video for […]

  • The Loneliest Sound

    I’m doing a sad song series where we take a classic sad song and figure out what makes it sad. I want to learn how to make the most epic sad song of all time. Our sad song for May is the song called I’m So Lonesome I Could Cry by the legendary Hank Williams. […]

  • Love Bug

    Yesterday was my birthday. It was a nice day. We had some fantastic Chinese takeout. Then I forced my family to sit down and watch a movie with me. I subjected them to the original Herbie movie from 1968. The Love Bug is about a tiny, magic VW that loves to race. I am aware […]

  • 1st Annual Weird Folk Day

    Today is the first annual Weird Folk Day. I have huge aspirations for what this holiday could become. I was intending to start slow this year and just lay the foundation. I was planning a live stream and some pancakes. There was going to be a new t-shirt design that I was going to print […]

  • When Did My Grandpap Get Here?

    I have arrived at the stage in life when I can’t get up from the floor (or tie my shoes) without making a particular noise. I can remember Grandpap making the same noise. It’s a loud exhale mixed with a grunt. It’s similar to the sound made by Olympic weight lifters. The difference is that […]

  • Unusual Wikipedia

    Songwriting Secrets #1 A song idea can be gleaned from some really weird sources. One of my favorite places to look for the spark of an idea is called Unusual Wikipedia. It is exactly what it sounds like, a list of unusual topics found on Wikipedia. Late one evening I was perusing this source and […]

  • Tulips

    The tulips around the house are starting to look rather ragged. We had some heavy rain and they couldn’t stand up to the abuse. I was admiring them with the kids at the end of last week before they lost their battle with Mother Nature. Little E said, “Do you remember last year when the […]

  • 1MS : Hen House

    Some people spend all year waiting for the next summer hit song. Some people love their childhood classics. Some people insist that a song should have a purpose and change minds. Keep your seasonal hits, big hair, and songs with a purpose. I love songs about breakfast. Watch the one minute version of Hen House.

  • Mother’s Day 2022

    Of all the stupid greeting card holidays, Mother’s Day is the most acceptable. Mothers and motherly types make this existence bearable. If you fit into this category, thank you. I wouldn’t be who I am today without my mother and all of the aunts, friends, and grandmothers that have meant so much to me. I […]

  • What’s Up Doc

    I took two-thirds of my children to the doctor’s office yesterday. Our health saga continues. Don’t worry, everything turned out alright. We saw a young, female doctor who was new for us. After she left the exam room, my boy expressed his admiration for her. I asked why he liked this doctor so much. He […]

  • Video Killed the Radio Star

    Three of my five most recent dispatches have focused on video content. When I signed up to be a songwriter many years ago, I did not anticipate the need for video-making skills. The majority of what I now do involves a video component. It’s not enough to make pleasant melodies and thought-provoking lyrics. You can […]

  • Blooper : Successful

    I have always had trouble pronouncing the word successful. It might be some deeply entrenched, Freudian pathology. I think it is more likely a lingering lisp combined with too many c’s and s’s. My children are incapable of saying the word as well. Maybe it is hereditary. If the video doesn’t play in your browser, […]

  • Cosmoline

    Cosmoline, Cosmoline Cosmoline, so pure and clean When fire reigns down from the sky Everything I knew is turned to ash I bury my face into the mud To cool my burning flesh When fire reigns down from the sky Empty and burned up without you Cosmoline, Cosmoline Cosmoline, so pure and clean When I […]

  • Another Sick Day

    I feel that I’ve been complaining a lot lately about my kids being sick. We have had pink eye, strep throat, and many different upper respiratory viruses. Right now we have a two for the price of one happening. We have one with a virus and strep throat and the other has a separate, brand […]

  • 1MS : Little Bird 2

    This verse was inspired by a photo that hangs on our wall. This image includes a friend that died shortly after the photo was taken. Everytime that I look at those faces, I am reminded that at the moment it was taken, she had no idea what would happen next. I wanted this verse to […]

  • We Are the Lonesome Ones

    We were playing a gig at a retirement community. I play a lot of traditional folk music which tends to be appreciated by this particular demographic. I’ve always gotten along well with old ladies. Often these shows are dinner shows with all of the residents present. This particular event was a Tuesday social group. I […]

  • Unwavering Laws of the Universe #1

    Recently, I developed a standing appointment with my two youngest children. Every Saturday morning we spend some time watching cartoons. Not the recent stuff, we only watch the classics. Thing2 loves Tom and Jerry. Thing1 likes Pink Panther (because he is pink, of course). I love Bugs Bunny and Elmer Fudd. We all enjoy the […]

  • Vague Generalities

    I like to have a plan. My family often teased me for requiring a preconceived plan when playing imaginary games as a little kid. My friends like to point out that I have been known to schedule an evening to be spontaneous and then plan out the details. I even have a daily plan that […]

  • Anniversary – Banjo Love

    I made Banjo Love back in 2011. At the time I was lost and floundering. I had been trying to be a musician and it wasn’t working. I wasn’t playing anywhere. I had no new songs. My computer had crashed and I was trying to figure out a new studio setup. I also had this […]

  • Self Sabotage

    Twin 1 is sick again. Our twins are six and in kindergarten. They have been rotating illnesses every other week since the first of the year. It’s been a constant stream of coughing and snot. It would be so much easier if they could get on the same schedule and give me a week off […]

  • Sad Song Series

    I love sad songs. I am a happy, optimistic kind of guy. But there is just something about a truly sad song that can hit you way deep down. I want to write a really sad song. It feels like the songwriting equivalent to a superpower. Hannah pointed out that I’ve written a couple of […]

  • 1MS : Banjo Love

    I wrote a song called Banjo Love back in 2011. I have never been able to determine if this composition is a love song about the banjo or a love song on a banjo. I think it’s probably proof that love songs can exist despite the banjo. Check out the One Minute version of Banjo […]

  • Lost Cause Review : April 23, 2022

    We played out last night. We were at Olde Bedford Brewing in Bedford, Pennsylvania. We are starting to regain some of our pre-covid chemistry. I love playing with Tim. Whenever I forget the words, he is always there with a mandolin lick to cover my butt. I hope you enjoy this tiny clip from last […]

  • Equivalencies

    I’ve been dealing with several nagging injuries. I am working hard, trying to get back to a functional level of health. While slogging along on a slow jog, I had an incredible insight. Training through a back injury is equal to being an entertainer with a family. I considered listing the similarities or making a […]

  • Run When Someone Is Watching

    I like to run for fun. When I was younger, I would do my best jogging early in the morning. It seemed to suit my natural rhythms. Another nice thing about running early is that there are not many people around. Running can be easier with less traffic and fewer people in the park. I […]

  • Back to Work

    I am back to work after almost five full days away. Between sick kids and a holiday, it was easier to call it a vacation. There comes a point when productivity is so poor that it makes more sense to stop trying. In case my family is reading this, I enjoyed our time together. However, […]

  • Dear Library

    My kids had an extra day away from school for their spring break. We spent some time in our local public library. We used to spend a lot of time in this library. It was closed for a while during the pandemic and as a result, we forgot our library routines. When something happens that […]

  • The Easter Snow

    It snowed yesterday. I assumed winter was over. The songbirds assumed winter was over. The daffodils also assumed winter was over. The delicate yellow flowers were straining against the weight of the wet spring snow. It was poetic. It feels like a beautiful metaphor for something. I don’t care, I am sick of snow.

  • 1MS : Ghosts 2

    Sometimes the ghosts show up. Typically it is when I am working on a song. It’s always when I am deep in introspection and chiseling away at a rough edge. All I want is for the ghost to smile reassuringly. I can see the ghost so clearly and his expression usually resembles something like disappointment. […]

  • Hannah’s First Job

    Hannah was involved with a string quartet that had the opportunity to accompany a church choir as they presented their Easter cantata. It was beautiful. It was her first official “job” as a violinist. I’m a proud papa. Unfortunately, I didn’t get any pictures or video. Happy Easter.

  • Better Late Than Never

    This post almost didn’t happen. I am too preoccupied with birthdays, holidays, and dental pain. I also screwed up my back again. I don’t feel like I have anything to contribute to the universal experience today. I have nothing to say. The thing about my Daily Dispatch is that it’s supposed to be daily. I […]

  • Root Canal

    I just finished what is supposed to be the last appointment necessary to fix a damaged tooth. It started with a sinus infection back at the beginning of December. The sinus infection was caused by a bad tooth. I had cracked the tooth and don’t know how long it had been that way. It may […]

  • How to Play : Idea 9

    Recently, I was asked how to play one of my newer songs. It will forever blow my mind when another human chooses to play something I created. I recorded a quick video demonstrating the song. How to play Idea 9.

  • Tuesdays are for Songwriting

    For a while, I’ve been blocking out time on Tuesdays for songwriting. A lot of songwriters stress the importance of writing every day. That has never been a routine that works for me. I have a regular collection of lines and notions for songs. Once a week I sit down to see if any of […]

  • Cartoon Day

    My boy had to stay home from school today. He had a weird crusty eye. I think it is related to something that was going around the classroom last week. I was upset and worried because he was sick. We watched a lot of cartoons. I was stressed and annoyed that I was on the […]

  • 1MS : Old Man Judas

    If you are of the Christian persuasion, you know the story of Easter. You probably know the story of Judas. He is the guy that sold out Jesus for 30 pieces of silver. I have always felt bad for that guy. They were friends. I don’t think he intended for it all to go down […]

  • Get to the Point

    I tend to prattle on and on, expounding effortlessly for long durations of time. I would like to learn the fine art of brevity but I end up with so many leftover words.

  • Creating a New Holiday

    If I were to create a new holiday, it would be called Weird Folk Day. It would be a celebration of all weird folk (both the music and the people). There would be songs, smiles, stories, and coffee. And of course, Weird Folk Day would not be complete without pancakes. If I were to create […]

  • Tha-thump

    Hannah is playing in a string quartet for the upcoming Easter holiday. We were on our way home from her practice. We were almost home and a cute little calico ran across the street as we crested the top of the hill. It was followed by a very black cat. It was dark. Hannah: watch […]

  • Blooper : Painted Smiles Announcemet

    Here is another installment of “Brother Jack talks real good.” It’s not easy being this articulate. Mrs. Brother Jack is a math teacher. Don’t tell her that I thought five was the same as eight. If the video doesn’t play in your browser, click here to play on YouTube.

  • Songwriting Season Has Ended

    I love the classic bit with Bugs Bunny and Daffy Duck where they argue with Elmer Fudd. “Duck season!” “Wabbit season!” “Duck season!” “Wabbit season!” I’ve been feeling the seasonal tug between songwriting season and gig season. I tend to do my creative work in batches and it often follows some yearly cycles. I wrote […]

  • Toy-age (rhymes with garage)

    Me (visibly angry after stepping on random toys): You kids have too many toys!!! I can’t even walk through the room!!! We need to get rid of some of this junk!!! My Son (feeling that he has solved the problem): We should park the van next to the road like normal people and fill the […]

  • 1MS : Cosmoline

    I wrote a new song called Cosmoline. The word Cosmoline is the brand name of a petroleum based lubricant. I like this word. It got stuck in my head and I wrote a chorus. I had no idea where a song about a petroleum based lubricant was going to take me. Here is my first […]

  • Ghosts

    If I squint my eyes When I squint my eyes It’s the time of day when the light begins to play I look across the room and see her standing there There is a girl that I never knew She’s got a blue flowered dress Her hair hangs over her shoulder in a single plait […]

  • Memorizing Songs (Moonwalking With Einstein)

    I have always considered myself to have a bad memory. I struggle to memorize songs. I’ve had several head injuries and I assume there is a correlation. Even with songs that I have played 100 times, I have trouble remembering the words. The difference between a good folk musician and a mediocre one is the […]

  • Death Metal Folk

    I have made an important life decision. I am trading in my kazoo for some melt-your-face level distortion. I think weird folk will convert nicely into some thrashing death metal. April Fool’s It’s another stupid holiday. I hope you have a fantastic day free of surprise firecrackers, ridiculous untruths, and odd substances smeared on the […]

  • Some of My Favorite Words

    I keep an ongoing list of words that I like. There is no clear criteria for how a word might make this list. If I come across a word and it feels good, it goes on the list. The following are five words from my list: Malarkey Tommyrot Apocryphal Cosmoline Raconteur What are your favorite […]

  • Project Anniversaries (Moonwalking With Einstein)

    I am not big on celebrating birthdays. I don’t like cake and I don’t think we should require a 365 day waiting period to have a party for people we love. I am also bad at anniversaries. I can never remember if my wedding anniversary is on the 28th or 29th of November. I just […]

  • Museum 2

    On Sunday we traveled to Pittsburgh to visit the Carnegie Museum of Natural History. The kids love the dinosaurs. I love the dinosaurs. My twins (age 6) have trouble saying “Museum of Natural History.” They call it the “Museum of Nostril Pickery.” I am not sure that this is an entirely honest mistake.

  • 1MS : Ghosts 1

    I have a song that I have been working on for over a year. I don’t usually hang onto a song that long. This tune kept haunting me. Check out the one minute version of my new song called Ghosts. I think this will probably be the first verse and chorus.

  • Encanto

    We just finished watching Encanto for the 9,000th time. Some scenes continue to elicit an emotional response even after this many viewings. It’s a great movie. If you haven’t watched the movie, be advised that the next part contains spoilers. I love the way this movie addresses generational trauma. Generational trauma is devastating and can […]

  • Crossword Puzzles

    I recently started doing crossword puzzles. My theory was that it would be a good exercise for my brain. I could learn some new vocabulary words and keep my mental reflexes sharp. The truth is that it has become another flashing object in a long line of daily distractions. The solution to 17down stands between […]

  • Painted Smiles Release Day!!! (and on sale)

    Our new/old record is out today. It’s been on its way for a long time but it all happened very quickly. You know what I mean. You can listen to the tracks for free on our website, here. The CD version is on our store and on sale for the rest of the month!!! The […]

  • Painted Smiles – Old Photos

    It’s time for a throwback Thursday. This is me and my baby sister. These photos were taken during the writing phase of our Painted Smiles project. It’s been 18 years, six kids, and a full head of hair.

  • 1MS : Gwen

    This song is called Gwen and my sister wrote it for a record that we made together back in 2004. All of the songs on the record are about female archetypes. This is the first time that I’ve covered one of the songs from that project. It feels weird but hopefully it works. The studio […]

  • Lyrics : Julie

    I’ve got another early listen for you from Painted Smiles. Check out Julie. The full record is available on Friday.

  • Painted Smiles – Artwork

    In case you haven’t heard, I am reissuing a record that we made back in 2004. It’s called Painted Smiles. I made this music with my sister and I am very proud to be putting it out now. Mrs. Brother Jack made the artwork for the project. The CD insert lists her with her maiden […]

  • Debbie

    I got home from work early Put the dinner on the stove Longing for the “I love you’s” You’d whisper when we were alone I yearn for the yesterdays When I was your prize You’d walk me around With your big dreams in your eyes With a big house and a family A family with […]

  • Shaking Off the Rust on a Perfect Spring Day

    Last night I played some music with my friends in the band called Ride the Song. This was our first long set together since before the madness. It was good to shake off the rust. We had some minor hiccups but it was a great time. It’s always satisfying to play music with other people, […]

  • New Music from 2004?!?

    I’ve got some new music coming out. Well… it was new back in 2004. But you have never heard it so it still counts as new music. I wrote these songs with my sister and we got together with some friends to make Painted Smiles. We put it out into the world with big dreams. […]

  • St. Patrick’s Day

    I hate greeting card holidays. Valentine’s Day is a scam to sell chocolate. Mother’s Day, although well meaning, is perpetuated by the floral industry. Father’s Day is propped up by the grill industry. They are all fake special days designed to pick our pockets. St. Patrick’s Day is a holiday I can support. It’s all […]

  • Ghosts – Some Words

    If I squint my eyes When I squint my eyes This time of day when the light begins to play I look across the room and see her standing there There is a girl that I never knew She’s got a blue flowered dress Her hair hangs over her shoulder in a single plait She’s […]

  • Unicorn + Dinosaur

    Our twins just turned six. We have one boy and one girl. They are definitely not identical twins (see above gender reference). When discussions regarding their birthday cake began, one child was set on a dinosaur theme and the other was desperate for unicorns. In her infinite wisdom, their mother introduced the concept of a […]

  • Mr Malarkey – One Minute Songs

    check out the words

  • Sacrament of Coffee and Age 6

    I wrote a song about life with my children and my perpetual struggle to drink a cup of coffee while it is still hot. The song was officially released to the world two years ago. It also features my old pump organ. Today is also the twin’s birthday. They are six. I can’t believe they […]

  • Ghosts – An Idea

    I had an idea for a song way back in December of 2020. It was a groove on the ukulele and a notion about ghosts. I regularly played the groove but I couldn’t get myself around to the actual writing. Playing this hook never fails to make my kids dance around the room. Off and […]

  • My Dad’s Birthday – Time is Weird

    Today is my Dad’s 70th birthday. He is a fantastic human being. Things have not always been perfect but I can give him full credit for most of my best qualities. He has had a positive impact on many lives. His 70 years have been a great example of the best way to go about […]

  • Homegrown Rocker

    I remember the first time that I heard my music on the radio. I’m not gonna lie, it was rather incredible. I just heard myself on the radio again. I’m not gonna lie, it is always rather incredible. There is a show on our local radio called Homegrown Rocker that features regional music. It’s hosted […]

  • Never Underestimate a Good Title

    If a song is worth anything, it will stick in your craw without any help or reinforcement. A good song shouldn’t need to be written down. As I am aging, I trust my memory less and less. I require some basic notes to preserve the idea. Most of my songs grow from a tiny initial […]

  • When I Grow Up

    My youngest kids are twins, one of each, and they are five.   It was the butt crack of dawn and we were awake.  My little girl crawled into my lap and informed me that when she grows up she wants to be either a teacher or a doctor.  My boy appears out of nowhere […]

  • Blue Ribbon – One Minute Songs

    check out the words

  • Idea 9

    Never again, I feel the wind brush my cheek Never again, I see the flowers reach for the sky Never again, I see the moon reflecting down Looking down on me Looking down on me Here we are now, at the end of the line With nothing more to do All I got here is […]

  • I Really Had To Pee

    We had a weekend at my in-law’s big, old- fashioned house. Mrs. Brother Jack’s father turned 70. It was great to celebrate his life. He has had a tremendous impact on who I am. He doesn’t get the credit he deserves and it was nice to have a party for him. All five members of […]

  • Deliver Us From Evil

    I don’t often write poetry. This is a rare poem that I wrote while mostly asleep. Sometimes I get lonely Maybe I’m out for a bite to eat The waitress walks over with a menu She smiles just right Her name tag says Jazzmine Spelled with a double “Z” She has the reminder of an […]

  • Whistle Fail

    I wrote this song about whistling. I don’t know why I did that. Whistling is even in the title. I don’t know what I was thinking. I have never been a good whistler.

  • Snow Shovel

    This snow shovel has been leaning against the chimney for the last three months. I have made the diplomatic decision that it’s time to return the shovel to the garage. The shovel tasted snow several times this winter but it hasn’t been bad. To be honest this shovel is a magical talisman. As a warning […]

  • Idea 9 – One Minute Songs

    check out the words

  • Follow the Bugs

    I am working on a rough mix of my song called Bugs. The parts were recorded almost two years ago. It didn’t fit with any other projects at the time and was relegated to the back of the queue. As I am currently between projects (completely directionless), this mix has now found its way to […]

  • Wild Game Feed

    Yesterday I played some music with my friends in Ride the Song. We’ve been playing music together in some form or capacity for 10 years. We always have fun jamming some classics. We were playing at a wild game potluck. To get in you had to bring some food. There was crawdad stew, venison pot […]

  • Lost Cause Review : February 25, 2022

    The Lost Cause played at Olde Bedford Brewing. It was a good show. There were a lot of crazy requests from the audience. No, we don’t know any Slayer… It was our first public performance with a new microphone setup. Josephine did a great job. Even Mrs. Brother Jack agreed that it was a good […]

  • This is Josephine

    I bought a new microphone. It’s called Josephine. She came to me with that name. I didn’t name her. Ear Trumpet Labs has a line of hand-built, vintage looking, large diagram condenser microphones. Each model has a different feminine sounding name. I just bought a Josephine. This new microphone will be my primary setup for […]

  • A Bunch of Songs

    I have written six new songs in three months. I don’t know how it compares to other songwriters but for me it is a respectable rate. I’m talking about six complete songs. This does not include the bad songs, social media snippets, and song fragments headed to the bone pile. I feel as though I […]

  • Rivers of Light – One Minute Songs

    check out the words

  • My Back / I’m Back

    I had developed some healthy routines by the end of last year. I was getting some daily exercise which included a return to recreational running. It took some practice but I got to the point where my jogging was no longer embarrassing. I had surpassed the Frankenstein crawl. The holidays happened and all of my […]

  • Valentine’s Day Massacre – One Minute Songs

    check out the words

  • A Chance – One Minute Songs

    check out the words

  • I Like to Run

    I like to run.

  • The Return of Vrump

    Vrump returns!

  • A Song About Running

    I wrote a new song about running.

  • The Guru’s Bad Advice

    Is unsolicited advice always bad advice?

  • Writers Block

    Sometimes I can’t make a decision.

  • New Music Monday – Valley of Dry Bones

    New Music Monday – Valley of Dry Bones

  • Sketchy Snake

    This is a seriously sketchy snake.

  • Spitting Bugs

    When you are throwing down a groove, you better include the hand motions.

  • The Great Pumpkin

    Is your pumpkin patch sincere?

  • Trick or Treat

  • New Music Monday – Bugs

    New track out today. Listen to Bugs.

  • Task Oriented

    How many pages did I read today?

  • Old Man Vocals

    I sound like my future.

  • Boom, It’s an Organ

    This sounds like a vintage scary movie.

  • Songwriting with Scouts

    I helped write a song about campfires.

  • He Was Running

    He was running.

  • New Music Monday – Boom

    New track is available, Boom.

  • Trombone

    This made my lips swell.

  • Give Me Your Pancakes

    I want all your pancakes.

  • Tuesday

    Tuesday means Happy Hour.

  • New Music Monday – Snake Ate My Radio

    New Music Monday – Snake Ate My Radio

  • Next to Last

    Check out the penultimate Busted Banjo track.

  • Banging the Kettle

    Hit it with a stick and see what it sounds like.

  • Eisenheim

    Sometimes I watch movies. They are almost always a cartoon.

  • Seed of Doubt

    What type of flower grows form the seed of doubt?

  • New Music Monday – Pedal Down

    We got a big stock pot and some new music.

  • No Plan Friday

    It’s a “No Plan Friday” on Saturday.

  • Let Me Tell You About My Pancakes

    Let me tell you about my pancakes.

  • No Filter Needed

    This was all me.

  • Pull Up the Covers

    Pull up your covers.

  • Change

    Change is hard.

  • Lots of Rain

    It rained a lot today.

  • Meet the Teacher Night

    Did you meet the teacher?

  • Pancakes on a Busted Banjo

    Pancakes on a Busted Banjo with lots of butter.

  • Hannah and the Handbells

    Handbells are the perfect instrument for an octopus.

  • First Day of School

    Tomorrow I will be home alone and I will take a nap.

  • Quasi-Daily

    This is sneaky. It is number three from Busted Banjo.

  • Busted Banjo Number 3

    This is sneaky. It is number three from Busted Banjo.

  • Rainy Day

    I love rainy days.

  • Vrump

    Vrump – vrump – vrump, that is all.

  • Sometimes It Happens

    Sometimes other stuff happens.

  • Joyous Noise on a Tiny Blue Drum Kit

    I’m not too big to play a tiny blue drum kit.

  • Tiny Blue Drum Kit

    Everybody needs a tiny blue drum kit.

  • More Sunk Costs

    If it doesn’t work, get rid of it.

  • Band Practice

    We were hanging out and jamming in the garage.

  • Losing My Live Studio Audience

    What am I going to do without my live studio audience?

  • Bedtime Stories

    I’m going to live here forever.

  • One Hour

    Set lists are hard.

  • Museum

    Today, we learned that urinals have a limited purpose.

  • Busted Artwork

    It took several attempts but this is how a Busted Banjo looks.

  • Green Guitar

    This green guitar is the reason that I am so incredibly cool.

  • Pink Ukulele

    Nothing is complete without a pink ukulele.

  • Thursday

    The only day that is better than Thursday is tomorrow.

  • Chord Charts

    This is how you play the weird folk.

  • Sunk Cost Fallacy

    July 19, 2021 Sunk Cost Fallacy This economic principle states that we demonstrate a greater tendency to continue something once time, money, or effort has been invested.   I wrapped up production on the new mix for Pancakes.  This is the Busted Banjo version of Pancakes.  When I conceived this arrangement of the song almost […]

  • Sanctified

    Where do songs come from?

  • Pump Organ

    One time, I bought a pump organ for $1.

  • New Job

    Everybody loves toast.

  • Pancakeversary

    A year full of pancakes.

  • New Music

    New music out, who cares!?!

  • Always On

    Never not working.

  • Bleeding Time – 1 year anniversary

    I’m lying on the deck and bleeding out time.

  • Hammocks

    Sometimes a hammock isn’t just a hammock.

  • Change of Plans

    Sometimes, things turn out better than anything I could have planned.

  • Sabbath

    Many mushrooms

  • A Shocking Tale

    This is a shocking tale.