16 songs into the new double CD and planning another short tour for May,

and here I'm coming up on my 44th birthday.

This causes me to reflect on my more than twenty years in music...well, I started music as a wee lad. My first memory is of my Mom (Lilias Circle) teaching me "Battle Hymn of the Republic" at about age four. Why she chose a song of war I dunno. But through music, she taught me lyrics and through lyrics she taught me to read at that young age. I'm grateful. She'll be 82 two weeks to the day after my birthday...I'm April 12th, she's April 26th. Oh, and today is my brother Eric's birthday...old man at 49! ;) Music has always been a part of my life, and yet I intended first to be a visual artist, but was no good at it, followed by a writer. Turns out I was (maybe still am) good at that, but found it too solitary. Stands to reason (or emotion?) that I moved into songwriting without a real thought as to why. It just seemed fun. I suppose that the eclectic nature of my songwriting is a result of my never giving conscious thought to a chosen style when writing a song. And here I am. 44 years after my birth (8 weeks premature in 1966), still wondering what in the fuck I'm doing and why.

Now, after more than two decades as a working musician (3 in Albuquerque, New Mexico, 21 in Chicago), I often sit on my couch and wonder if there was something else I shoulda/woulda/coulda done. Answers? No, no, plenty. Allowing yourself to be driven by the love of what you do, regardless of whether you achieve some great level of fame, or income, is far less important than the gratification you get when you look back and smile for having followed your heart.

I have regrets. Anyone who says otherwise is lying to themselves. But my regrets are related to things outside my work as an artist. Certainly, I can say that there were times I might have done differently in my work or should have pushed myself harder or remained more focused. But in the end, I have created freely and honestly and will never regret that. An artist is a communicator and I've never held back. I love teaching, I love creating, I love love love performing!! Music is a very giving artform...all of them are...but this may be the one artform that not a soul on the planet lives without. Even fourth world cultures create and enjoy music. Even people who profess little interest in the musical form would certainly know the difference if the music was removed from the soundtrack of their favorite movie. The whole planet needs this. The whole planet needs to breathe and for their heart to beat. I'm proud to offer even a little.

So here I am, I'm not going away, yes I can do nothing but stay. Hope you enjoy the latest recordings which I'll be uploading immediately after saving this blog. And if you are in Chicago and out and about Saturday, April 10th or Sunday April 11th, I'm playing at Montrose Saloon and Hops and Barley, respectively. Sorry, Monday, my actual birthday, I'll be at the Cubs home opener. My girl Megan bought us tickets vs. The Brewers. She's from Wisconsin. Hat dahgs, get yer freakin hat dahgs!

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