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TWO WAYS TO APPROACH FAME (WILLIE NELSON VERSUS BOB DYLAN)

  OK, that was a trap, now wasn’t it? No one should ever write the words Willie Nelson VERSUS Bob Dylan. For musicianship, I would go with Willie just for his Django Reinhart riffs alone (which I am trying to steal to this day), but as a writer, it’s impossible to compare this caliber of artists. The lyrics for Dylan’s … Read More

HORSES DON’T GIVE RECORD DEALS! (FORT COLLINS TO LOS ANGELES)

  From 2003 to 2007 I lived in the gorgeous and peaceful Colorado town of Fort Collins, Colorado, aka the front range. Brutal winters but every other season was perfect. Hiking and biking trails, good food, and a perfect little tree-lined downtown that reminded me of our school days in Lawrence, Kansas (rock chalk, baby). I had a gray little … Read More

“DON’T DIE IN A SCHLOTZSKY’S BATHROOM” (AUSTIN, TEXAS)

  So I’m at SXSW a few years back. I flew down to speak on a panel, so sadly the band was not with me. I’m staying north of town with our former tour manager Tony Hubbard (Ohio Tony), one of the smartest and funniest mofos you will meet in your life. If you remember the band’s DVD Little America, … Read More

WHY IN THE WORLD IS A ROCK BAND TALKING ABOUT FINANCIAL LITERACY?

  Hello, sports fans! Heading out on the I-40E today from Nashville to play a couple of month’s worth of shows around the Midwest and discuss financial equality. The coffee is hot, the skies are gray and beautiful, and the band is rehearsed and ready for war. Here are the four questions I am most often asked about why we … Read More

MEETING CHUCK BERRY

  RIP Chuck Berry. The Grandfather of Rock ’n’ Roll. Chuck gave us guitar slingers as much of a path forward as anyone. Keith Richards stole all his early riffs from Chuck, as did about 100,000 more of us. I remember working round the clock to learn the intro riff of “Johnny B Goode” for one of my first bands … Read More

THREE SONGS THAT WILL HELP YOU AVOID WHITE LINE FEVER

Any road dogs, big truckers, or folks with long commutes know this feeling well…You shift in your seat as your eyes start to glaze over. You pound coffee, roll the windows down for cold air, or scream song lyrics at the top of your lungs, hoping some magic force will keep you awake. I realize we shouldn’t drive when we … Read More

THE KINDNESS OF STRANGERS

A few years ago we played the Chinook Tavern in Denver, Colorado. Out of nowhere, rain clouds gathered that even us Kansas boys were nervous about. Hoping the tents above us would hold, we pressed on, and without warning, a solid sheet of water fell upon us and started pummeling all of the gear we had set up. We attempted … Read More

DAILY ROUTINE OF A TOURING BASS PLAYER

Wake up at least an hour before check out time. Drink coffee and wander around the hotel and get strange looks from people. Play with my phone and read the news. Return to the room and a) either shower or b) wait a few days. Brush, floss and rinse mouth. Minty fresh. Pack my suitcase, gather my belongings and go … Read More

Jesse Says Thanks

First a big thank you to all of you who wrote, or called, or posted in to wish me Happy Birthday a few weeks back.  I’d like to pay respect and wish “sleep tight” to Charlie Parker, and Michael Jackson too, whom without, I may be compelled year to year to keep August 29 all to myself. As it turned … Read More

How to Tour, Indie Style

How does one tour, you ask?  Touring is kind of like packing for a long vacation, except you will work harder than any job you’ll ever have. For many years I’ve kept the same regimen. Pack two weeks worth of clothes because you never know when you’re gonna come near a washer and dryer.  I calculate this by figuring how … Read More

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