Monday, January 25, 2016


Several folks have written and asked me about the bronze star I wear the lower part of my jacket.

Let me explain:

My father died about five days before I was born. My step father was a very fine man, but when I found out about my real dad when I was 12 years old, he became a striking mystery to me. As I grew up, I found that I missed him greatly, wished he was nearby, longed to know what the sound of his voice was like when he called my name.

The very first male relative I met of my father's was my son, MichaelB. When he was born and finally opened his eyes, I saw ... for the very first time ... a reflection of my own father.

Eventually I went on a search for my dad's past and his family and finally found them. My cousin, Laddie, became very proactive in seeking out belongings and artifacts of my dads.

One of them was my father's bronze star.

I do not wear it on my chest as the star is not mine. I put it on my lower jacket as a tribute to my father. I wear it, not as a military or political statement, not as a pro or con statement of any kind. I wear it in honor of my father who earned it. It let's him be with me when I am on stage ... and I find it comforting.

I always wondered what our relationship would be like. Would he like me? Would he be proud of me? Would we be close as a father and son should be?

All I know is this: if I was to leave this life I would hope my son would love me enough to publicly remember me and be proud of me. This I am doing for my father.


Saturday, January 23, 2016



I do understand, with respect, that our Governor is trying to balance the books. I'm sure the waste in spending equals or surpasses what we spend to encourage the arts, and in turn I'm sure the arts council could do a better, more fair, job at spreading the grants. Having said that, I would hope our good government officials would consider the possible words of Winston Churchill, when considering cutting money for the arts in order to fund the war effort:

"Then what are we fighting for?"

Whether Churchill actually said this or not is irrelevant. The point is simple, you can not provide a good place to live when the quality of life is not inspiring. Kentucky will not attract the lucrative "creative class" (I always hated that phrase, anyway*) if the creative atmosphere of Kentucky is desolate. The arts are in fact an investment to attract families, tourism and entrepreneurs to the Commonwealth. It pays for itself many times over.

Re-directing HOW arts money is spent may be a wiser and more lucrative course, instead of cutting it. But that's a whole-nuther issue and nobody has yet asked my opinion :)

I hope everyone reading this would consider becoming a member of the WoodSongs Front Porch Association as we send massive roots music education into classrooms and home school families. Free. We call our members SongFarmers. I think the government and arts council might study what we are doing just to see how much good can be accomplished on so very little. Visit us at ( is being rebuilt so it may not be ready when you read this)


* Why I hate the term "creative class."
Simple, artists should never be separated from the spirit of their audience. Being an artist, making a living as one, comes from the grace and good heart of the audience. "Creative Class" somehow implies the artist is special, more blessed, more important than the audience that provides for them. Bull-dinkies, I say. An artist is best positioned as a servant, a laborer of heart and spirit underwritten by the audience that accepts their work. I'll give you an example of why this class structure doesn't work: Michael Jackson, arguably an impressive talent, jumped the shark when he floated a statue of himself down the Themes River. Michael Jackson wasn't god-like because he was famous, rich or had a massive audience. He was a fragile, flawed, mortal person EXACTLY like his audience. He would have been less lonely and a lot more stable if he viewed his position in a humble manner.

To quote Pete Seeger: "It is better to have friends than fans."

'nuff said.