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Got Covid 19 Blues, Looking for Leadership ? 

  

  I just don't see the leadership. Too much confusion. People have talked in the news, In the communities there's confusion. The reason for the confusion is the lack of leadership. And lack of clarity. I'm seeing governors in different states using different policies. I'm seeing mayors in different cities have different protocols. This is so goofy.  

   I hate to be involved in such a goofy leadership. I think the main reason for most of the confusion in the coronavirus response in the United States is from the federal government. I have never seen such disarray. Seems like there's no one to hold their head up. No one wants to take the lead. No one wants to be the leader or maybe they do want to be the leader they just don't have the style. 

  Governor's in different states show more leadership than I'm able to see come from out of Washington DC . I've never been embarrassed  to be in America. The times that we're living in. We accept the confusion. It's sad. I know that as Americans we can do much better in dealing with this pandemic than what we are but it's going to require leadership to hold his head up more so now than any other time. I just don't see that coming  from Washington at the time. It's unfortunate.  

    I usually don't make political criticism post or statements but I have to say that it's sad because people are losing their lives unnecessarily .  

  Sure I know the pandemic it's going to do what pandemics do and the virus is going to do what the flu does. But I certainly know there are people in this country who can direct us all , people who know how to protect us all . 

  God bless us all and let's  pray for leadership.

Blues Festivals Dried Up ..On Lockdown Temporarily 

 

 Some of my musician Friends have been telling me about being out of work due to the Covid19 virus . Some have been out on the road playing but now it's all gone dry. Here's a list that I’ll share of festivals cancellation and postponed .This is the list as it was forwarded to me.

Cancelled or Postponed: 

Avila Beach Blues Festival-Avila Beach, CA-May 24 Moved to May 30 

Barnesville BBQ & Blues Festival-Barnesville, GA-April 17-18 

Barrie Jazz & Blues Festival-Barrie, Canada-June 11-22 

Baton Rouge Blues Festival-Baton Rouge, LA-April 18-19 Moved to May 16-17 

Billtown Blues Festival-Williamsport, PA-March 14 

Birding & Blues Festival-Pacific City, OR-April 17-19 

Blind Willie McTell Music Festival-Augusta, GA-May 2 

Blues Bash at the Ranch-Brooksville, FL-March 20-22 

Blues By the Sea-Kiawah Island, SC- Apr 19 

Blues Festival Baden-Baden, CH-May 23-30 

Blues from the Top-Winter Park. CO-June 27-28 

Blues Hall of Fame Museum-Closed until further notice 

Blues Music Awards & Blues Hall of Fame Inductions to be Virtual 

Blues on Broadbeach-Broadbeach, AU-May 14-17 

Bluesberry Festival-Covington, LA-May 30 moved to Oct. 3 

Bob Syke's BBQ & Blues Festival-Bessemer, AL-April 25 Moved TBA 

Bonita Blues Festival-Bonita Springs, FL-March 13-15 

Byron Bay Blues Fest-Byron Bay, AU-April 9-13 

Chelsea Blues, Rhythm & Rock Festival-London, UK Mar 28 moved to June 13 

Chesapeake Bay Blues Festival-Annapolis, MD-May 16-17 

Clarksdale Caravan Music Fest-Clarksdale, MS-May 9 

Coeur d'Alene Blues Festival- Coeur d'Alene, Idaho-Mar 20-22 

Crosby Zydeco Festival-Crosby, TX Mar 27-29 moved to June 26-28 

Delta Blues Dulcimer Revival -Clarksdale, MS-Apr 16-18 Moved to Nov 5-7 

Delta Blues Museum-Closed Temporarily 

Delta Roots Music Festival-Helena, AR April 25 moved to June 6 

European Blues Challenge-Amsterdam, NL-April 17-18 

Fantastic Negrito-Pacifica, CA-March 21 

Festival International de Louisiane-Lafayette, LA April 22-26 

Festival Jazz & Blues de Saguenay-Quebec, Canada-April 21-25 

Flagstaff Blues and Brews-Flagstaff, AZ-June 12-13 

Gator by the Bay-San Diego, CA-May 7-10 

Grand Opening of The Music they Played –Oakland Walk of Fame- Oakland, CA 
-April 3-4 

Havre de Grace Jazz & Blues Fest-Havre de Grace, MD-June 5-7 

Henderson Blues Fest-Henderson, NV-April 11 

Inner City Blues Festival-Portland, OR- Apr-25 Moved to Aug 22 

International Boogie Woogie Festival-Lugano, CH-May 22-24 

Juke Joint Festival-Clarksdale, MS-April 16-19 

Kansas City Kansas Street Blues Fest-Kansas City, KS-June 26-27 

Kimbrough Cotton Patch Soul Blues Festival-Holly Springs, MD-May 15-17-Moved TBA 

Kwadendamme Bluesfestival-Kwadendamme, NL-May 8-9 

Lincoln Blues, Rhythm & Rock Festival-UK-May 9 Moved to Sept 13 

Looe Blues, Rhythm & Rock Festival-Looe, UK, Mar 20-22 moved to Dec 11-13 

Lowcountry Cajun Festival-Charleston, SC- Apr 5 

Mifflinburg Wine, Brews & Blues Festival-Mifflinburg, PA-May 16 Moved to June 13 

Milano Blues Sessions-Milano, IT-May 16-17 

New Orleans Jazz Festival-New Orleans, LA-April 23-May 3 Move to Fall TBA 

Nidaros Blues-Trondheim, Norway-April 22-25 

North Central Florida Women in Blues Showcase-Gainesville, FL-May 17 

Phoenix-Phoenix, AZ-March 21 

Redwood Coast Music Festival-Eureka, CA-May 

River City Blues Festival-Marietta,OH-March 20-21 

Roma Blues Sessions-Rome, IT-May 18-19 

Saint Georges Blues Festival-Delaware City, DE-June 5-6 

San Felipe Blues & Arts & Fiesta,-San Felipe, Baja, MX -Mar 20-21 Moved to May 22-23 

Sedalia Center BBQ & Blues-Sedalia, VA-April 25 Moved to May 16 

Southern Arizona Blues and Brews Festival-Tucson, AZ-March 28 Moved TBA 

Spring Fling Music Festival-Mobile, Al April 4 moved to May 30 

Springing the Blues-April 3-5-Jacksonville Beach, FL 

Stevie Ray Vaughn Tribute Show-Minneapolis, MN-April 18 

Tampa Bay-St. Petersburg, FL-April 3-5 

Trinidaddio Blues & Cultural Festival-Trinidad, CO-Aug 28-29 

Waterfront Blues Festival-Portland, OR -July 2-5 

Wolverton Folk & Blues Festival-Newport, UK-May 16

CoronaVirus Blues Simplified  

 

CORONAVIRUS BLUES SIMPLIFIED

 Have you ever had a conversation  with someone and they spit in your face while talking ? Of course we all have.  Have you ever sneezed and you notice little droplets on the table where you sneezed? Or sneezed and you spit on the window or table and you can see the little droplets that came out of your mouth ? These little droplets are the carriers of covid-19 virus. These are the transmitters. Its passed along through droplets.Droplets are what we're out to protect yourself from. Not contact with the skin or touching someone or the air we breathe. It's  through these tiny droplets.  

  

  Droplets come out of everybody's mouth when we talk. Not all of them hits Us in the face, but the droplets are still there everytime we have a conversation with someone. These droplets are coming out of their mouth and nose. It's just that we can't see them. Every time we have a conversation with someone they spit in our face, but it's just that we can't always feel it.  

When I first talked to my mom about the covid-19 virus she already heard about it from tv She’s 86 yrs old dad just passed at 92,Lots of wisdom there. She called it the plague.Her mother was born in 1910 and had lived through one.  She said Son. “the best way to protect yourself from the plague is to pretend as if you already have it” She said if you act like you've already got it you probably won't get it. I laughed it off when she first said it. I thought that was so funny for her to say that. Then a few days later I heard on the television some medical professor or doctor offer that same advice.  

Act as if you already have it and you're probably not going to get it. I began to ask myself questions ? Do a little research. 

If I already had the virus how would I act?  Would I wear a mask on my face if I knew I already had the virus?  

When I sneezed would I cover my mouth or nose if I knew I already had the virus? Would go out into public places if I knew I already had this virus? 

I've heard that 80% of this virus is transmitted through droplets so by wearing a mask you have increased the possibility of not spreading a droplet.  

The next method of transmission I learned  is through picking up the virus on our hand and actually touching my face. I've heard it explained that the virus is actually alive and is actually trying to find a way into a human's mucous membrane.  

In other words the virus is trying to find a home so it wants to get into our mouth nose and eyes and into our mucous membranes.  So by touching our face, mouth, nose and eyes we actually carry it and put the virus the place it wants to be. So it makes sense to say washing one's hands 10 times a day would increase the possibility of not getting it  55%. I also learned that we humans unconsciously touch our face 200 times a day.  

Every 5 to 7 minutes we touch ourselves in the face, mouth or nose or eyes. Unconsciously that would be a pretty hard habit to break but it would be worth trying to make some effort to pay more attention to how many times a day we touch our face.   

  The virus can live on different surfaces for a long time as many as three days or 5 days or more. In other words if the virus is alive on a doorknob or on a table top on a piece of cardboard and you touch it that  living virus is transferred to your hand it's waiting for you the next time if you transfer it to your face. So it makes sense that washing our hands or disinfecting them would lessen that possibility. 

  So buy washing my hands 10 times a day,  wearing a mask as much as possible and keeping a social distant from people to avoid the droplets. Will increased the possibility of you not catching this virus by 90 %. Think about it.

Whats in a Handshake ? 

 

 I went to visit my uncle today. He's about 87 years old and lives alone. I went to check on him today after the tornado storm that went through last night. His hearing is bad so I had to knock hard on his door. I knocked several times before he came to answer. When he got to the door I was expecting his handshake.  I wasn't going to shake his hand, but I just knew that he would extend his. He has been doing it since I was a child. He always shakes my hand. He shakes everyone's hand that he greets. But this day he amazed me, he didn't reach out. I was shocked. I was so proud of him. He knew about the coronavirus. He knew to protect himself and me. He did invite me into his house to sit down with him at a comfortable distance.  

  We talked a while,  he asked me about the family,  all the questions that your uncle normally would ask. I was so proud of him . As I left his house I was thinking about how the Coronavirus is reshaping all our lives. I feel sad that I couldn't shake his hand.  I missed that firm grip of his handshake. I hope that someday it'll be comfortable to shake his hand again.

Stress or Virus Both are some serious Shit ! 

  

My homeboy called me this morning. He was stressed out like a MoFo about the coronavirus. He talked about a lot of bullshit things and tried to small talk his way through the conversation but it was apparent he was very stressed. 

 He told me he was going to be tested for the virus . He yelled on the phone and asked me,” Aren't you going to be tested?'' I told him, “ I didn't think I needed to at this time “ He asked if I would ride with him.  I told him Hell No ! Especially since he thought he needed to go. I didn't want to be around him. That stressed him even more. I told him to go ahead. That's it's a good idea that he went but I didn't want to go with him.  

  After we got off the phone I realized how stressed he was. He  already has other health conditions but on top of that he's really stressing out. I know it's a stressful time there is no denying that, but I also know that stress is just as much of a killer as this virus. Stress can have a very bad effect on a person. 

 I hear that stress can damage our immune system and make us weaker in a lot of different ways. So i'm encouraging you to be mindful of the virus but also keep an eye on that stress.

Guitar Players talking behind my back Hummm 

  I walked up on a conversation between two of my friends,  guitar players, it was as if they were talking about me. 

 I could see them struggling with the conversation. One of them said, “We were watching you play on your replay the other night, man you were tearing up. You set It off.  

I was thinking they were talking about me. But that's okay because I already know many other guitar players talk about me. Sometimes I talk about them. One thing I don't do is compare myself to anyone. 

   I know they are tons of guitar players out there and many of them have better techniques and different styles, play faster and with different tones. That's OK.  I just pride myself in being myself. I don't compare myself to anyone else or what anyone else has done. I just be myself and know that all of us are out here in the big entertainment industry.  

 It seems like when you start to compare yourself to other people you wind up hurting yourself. No one is able to do what I do and I can't do it exactly what anyone else does. There is so much Freedom in that way of seeing yourself. 

 I think it's okay to copy and mimic and learn. But to duplicate another is a waste of time. 

 If there any guitar players out there that think they want to be like me I'm telling them right  now . Dont try this at home . It requires adult supervision.  

 I might watch what you do to see if I can pick up on something but that's about it .I was offered a job by a record producer once in a recording studio to play harmonica lines for a new artists out of Pennsylvania.\ 

 I was surprised that the producer wanted to hire me instead of Mr. Boogie McCain. We were both in the same stable at that time. The producer went on to say McCain is great at what he does and you are great at what you do,  But on this particular record I need someone to do what you do .       

He said there's no such thing as one musician being better than another. But there is definitely such a thing as one being different than another. That idea helped to liberate my freedom to be myself.

Are you a Songwriter ? 

 

 I got a chance to visit the park today and Triana Alabama where I grew up. I remember playing around in the same swings underneath the same trees as a kid. I had a bunch of great memories in this park. Today the park is empty. The little daycare centers in the play areas nearby all closed up now and the church with all the kids would have been closed.  They've all moved into bigger schools in the cities now. 

  In another month there'll be more activity down here. Spring is coming and mothers bring their children down to the park during the day.  

  I had a chance to think for a while before I eat lunch. Thinking about the music, thinking about what to write about. If songwriting is a method of painting pictures or creating a snapshot of the attitude of the time, what would that be? What would you write about today? I've written songs on life but never really thought about it as intellectual property. Creating something that will last and could last forever more. Capturing a moment in time that could be shared. I'll try to write some songs about the mood of the day. What do you like to write about ? What inspires you to write songs ?

Sausage and Biscuit not like it used to be ! 

   

Good morning. Went out this morning to the parts store,  time to change the oil in my Jeep. Thought I would stop by Burger King for breakfast. Got me two sausage biscuits and a cup of coffee. Coffee was great, but the sausage biscuits really concern me.  

  The sausage was so thin and had very little taste. I took the biscuit apart and looked inside and  saw a rubbery piece of meat . Felt like rubber and had very little sausage flavor in it. The biscuit was twice the size of a regular biscuit,  way too much dough. I wonder what in the world was Burger King thinking. I took the sausage out took a good look of it, I tried to taste it, it had very little taste, What happened to the sausage? Was this a real pig or was it some kind of synthetic meat?  I was so disappointed. I guess times are a changing. I'll have to try it again someday, maybe it was just a bad batch. It's hard for me to believe that Burger King has started selling synthetic sausage and fake dough. Is this just me or have you noticed that lately ?

I'm Home, The road trip was great. Thank You ! 

  I'm glad to be back home. Road trip was fun and productive.  It's always fun to go down into the Mississippi Delta.I had a great weather weekend. It only rained one day.  

  I want to thank all of my Blues VIP fanclub for everything they've done. The girls in the Blues Room , Little B and her sister Big B and Caps Lady and others had been scheming on how to pull off my birthday wishes from across the country. They wound up inviting me to drive 300 miles to go shopping and try on some clothes. That was so fun. Thanks to everyone in the Blues VIP who pitched in !  

  While I was down in Mississippi I was able to complete my paperwork to get in the lineup for the Blues festival season. I'll be playing in some of the best of the best in blues festivals. Thank you all for everything. It was a great weekend. I'm back in Alabama.Back in the Blues Room. Thanks again

Yamaha QY 100 Cranking out the Blues 

 

 I'm starting to write new Blues songs. As the year progresses I plan to write and create more. Things have changed over the years with songwriting tools and technology. Last night I introduced you all to my QY 100 machine. A music sequencer put out by Yamaha back in the 90’s. I've used several of them in the past. This is my third one. What I like about it is that it is portable. It gives me the ability to scratchpad ideas. I was wanting  to use it with a new approach. It has a lot of phrases built into patterns and sequences. I was going through the machine library searching for sounds. It reminded me of how cheesy music has become. A  problem with music nowadays is these machines have gotten between the music and the people. I don't want that to happen in my records. The more I played with it the more the machine got in the way of what I want to say. On this next album I want to involve humans. Hire musicians and actually let live people play. The music will be better that way. The machine can help as a scratch pad and provide practice material. It's an easy way to make backing tracks. So I'll use it for that and other things but I already know the machine's is getting in my way.  

I don't want anything to get in the way of my music. I'd love from the heart to the heart music again.  The way music used to sound before machines took over. Wouldn't you like to hear music like that again ?

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