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HOW DO I MAKE IT IN THE MUSIC BIZ? 10 ANSWERS

One of the questions I am asked and messaged about the most is some variation of —How do I make it in the music biz? —How do I get heard/found? —How do I get famous? (ugh—careful with that one, bubba) —How can you make a living doing what you love? (good one) —How do I get my song in film/TV … Read More

WISDOM, PART ONE

Things I have borrowed, begged, and stolen from books, movies, conversations, etc.   It’s not brave if you’re not scared. Perfectionism is flawed, terribly so. Courage is not a loud roar but a statement at the end of the day—“I will try again tomorrow.” Turn your fear into anger and your anger into revolution. The road to nowhere is paved … Read More

THIS GUITAR SAVED MY LIFE (A LOVE LETTER TO GUITARS AND LOST CHORDS EVERYWHERE)

The founder of CD Baby, Derek Sivers, wrote a great book called Anything You Want, with solid advice for entrepreneurs and dreamers (i.e., all musicians). He says, “Find something you love and let it kill you.” I started playing drums after seeing Kiss at Cobo Hall at age four in Detroit. Around age ten my mama felt I needed to … Read More

I LOVE AIR TRAVEL

Maybe it’s growing up in my teenage years in the Air Capital of Wichita, Kansas, maybe it’s just wanderlust, maybe it’s just being able to fly now more than ever after years of trekking the nation in old vans and trailers, but I LOVE flying. I write lyrics and dream up new schemes up in the sky more than anywhere … Read More

I’M OBSESSED WITH OLD HOTEL SIGNS

  There. I said it. It really is becoming a problem. Maybe it’s having to stay at the same Days Inn and Motel 6s for years on end, or maybe it’s just wanderlust, but it’s getting to a point where even if I’m late to something, if I see a vintage motel sign on the road, I gotta stop the … Read More

10 RECORDS THAT SHAPED ME

  These aren’t the 10 records I love or jam the most, but in looking back to what informed my tastes in music and what kind of music moves me to this day, these are 10 of my all-time faves. I don’t believe that what you start with is all you can appreciate (I got into blues, jazz, and classical … Read More

THE IMPORTANCE OF FINANCIAL LITERACY FOR STUDENTS

  It may seem strange that a rock ’n’ roll band is traveling the countryside talking to kids about saving money (believe me, it’s the last thing I thought I would be doing as a singer and songwriter), but in my mind nothing is more rock ’n’ roll than the freedom to make your own decisions and follow your own … Read More

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

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