5 Things that Inspire Me (or a Shot in the Arm)

Some days man…some days. It can’t just be me. I’m sure everyone opens their eyes, looks at the ceiling and thinks…eff this ish (you’d think I could cuss in my own blog…but then there we are).  With every thing that’s going on these days, I’ve been finding it hard to recognize inspiration. The aforementioned notwithstanding, I’ve simultaneously felt an overwhelming urge to create instead of consume. These two feelings are equal and maddening, like being so hungry you can’t eat. Inspiration is all around they say; Socrates said “The unexamined life is not worth living.”  However, it can be hard to see the forest for the trees, as it were. Sometimes, the mud gets too deep and much like Artax, the only inspiration to be found is the will to just let the bog over take you and fade into the abyss, but not today. Today, I will be Atreyu.  I’ll find that doggone tortoise and pull you along, whether you want to or not. I think I’ve beaten this “never ending” metaphor much past its death (the layers of puns are deep right here…)  I once heard that the soul is comprised of two wolves, one evil and one good. The purpose of this blog is to feed the good wolf in myself, and hopefully you as well. It is my hope that these 5 things will inspire you to create or at least to breath a little easier.

BOOKS: What are these things anyways. I haven’t read one in a while, but if you are into recording or the Beatles and looking for inspiration about the art as a craft.  You really need to read “Here, There, Everywhere” by Geoff Emerich. He’s the guy that engineered a lot of the Beatles albums and Pink Floyd and some other very notables from the 60s and 70s. What I like about the book is it reminds me that music, at its core, along with other art forms, is a trade, something to be practiced, studied, and exercised.

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PLACES: Oh the places we will go… In my opinion, nothing clears the mind than travelling to a new place and seeing new things.  That being said, it doesn’t really have to be new; it can be familiar, but for me, it simply must be a place where I’m free to be what ever I want to be, free from the perceptions that a home town carries: perceptions that other people have of me; perceptions that I have of other people. It’s only by shedding expectations that one can truly grow into the person they are meant to be. Lately, my haven has been Blackwater Falls State Park, more specifically, Thomas, WV, even more specifically, The Purple Fiddle: a haven of live music in the most inexplicable of places. Go check it out!


PEOPLE: I don’t say this lightly, but I’m not much for kids. Be they mine, I’m sure I’d feel differently, but, for the most part, I don’t melt when I see kids doing cute things.  Spoiler alert: your kid isn’t that cute, and no one cares. Alright…that’s a bit harsh, but I digress.  When I saw this little ball of pure light, and heard her sing, my Grinch heart swelled to three times that of my normal, likely diseased and oft abused, heart. Double points: this girl has perfect pitch. Meet Claire Crosby…she’s been on Ellen, and you may have already seen her, but watch her again anyway:


BLOGS: I mostly read industry blogs about business, specifically the DIY music business.  I’m always trying to figure out the best way be able to do what I love while still affording the ability to eat or otherwise live the life that I’m accustomed. That being said, one blog stands out from the rest. Danny Barnes (https://dannybarnes.com). Danny is not a professional blogger, he’s actually quite a talented songwriter and banjo phenom; that being said, he’s got some real gems.  In particular, I read “How to Make a Living Playing Music” when I need to check and see if I still want to do this music thing for a living. The following passage is one of many highlights in this particular blog:

“if you don’t have the music where you want it art-wise, you might want to go work on that, this article isn’t going to help you much either. you will be better off by practicing and studying and working on your music instead. you will need to get the art pretty close to where you want it, before you should worry about making much of a living out of it.”


MUSIC: Given that I fancy myself a songwriter, the first thing I seek is new music (double points if they are contemporaries), despite that fact that this is last thing I’ve included in this blog; save the best for last , right?  Inevitably, nothing kicks me in the butt more than seeing my friends create, whether it’s a new song, video, or poem. In no particular order and for varying reasons.,  these fine folks are inspiring me right now:

Gretchen Pleuss (https://www.gretchenpleuss.com)

Anna PS (www.annapsmusic.com)

Pomplamoose & Dodie


If you’ve made it this far, then I hope your inspired! Just the act of writing this has inspired me. I find making myself go through the act of writing usually does the trick.  If you like what you’ve read, feel free to join my mailing list! I don’t send messages out very regularly, so it’s likely that if you get one, it will be at least marginally interesting! In the comments below, tell me what inspires you! Also, check out my schedule to come see me play music in a town near you!!!!  Finally, should the spirit move you; create something. In fact, create as much as you consume because: “In the end, the love you take is equal to the love you make” (The Beatles).

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