I am so grateful to be able to write, record and perform music for a living.
Music is such a gift to us all and I appreciate it more with each passing day.
I started playing drums when I was in 5th grade and picked up other instruments along the way. My mom and dad were both always so supportive. They allowed my brother and I to have our drum sets in the living room...thats right, 2 drum sets in the LIVING ROOM, and they never once asked us NOT to play. My mom was especially supportive since she was the one home all day and had to put up with all the noise. My mom passed in 2004 and my dad passed in 2014. May God rest their beautiful souls. I thank God every day for allowing me to have them as my parents.
It is August 2019 and I feel like I am just beginning. I've been writing songs for over 30 years but I’ve never really shared them. I never felt compelled to chase after some record deal to “make it” or to go out and be “Johnny Rock Star”. I have zero interest in that and I “made it” a long time ago. However, I have always been very passionate about music and as of 2019 I’ve decided to start sharing my music with anyone who is willing to listen. My plan is to release/post one original song per month beginning in September 2019. I have a very clear vision as to how I want to share my music and how you can come along for the ride. My goal is to be as close to 100% authentic as possible. I write everything. I play everything. I release everything on my own terms. 100% Independent. Good or bad, it is all my fault. I will have more details on how I plan to move forward upon release of my first song in September 2019. I hope you will stay tuned and follow me as things develop.
Currently, my live show consists of some of my original music as well as covers of songs I like. (I only cover songs that I like.) I usually play the first portion of my show with just acoustic guitar and vocals and then ramp up to include my backing tracks. Every note of my show, pre-recorded and otherwise, is 100% my doing. I don't sequence or download anything. You probably don’t care about this, but I do. The thought of downloading or sequencing backing tracks makes my skin crawl.
Things I Love: God, my family, America, my friends, our St. Louie Blues, polite and respectful people, seeing my wife and kids smile and laugh, real instruments played by real musicians, Adriana's on The Hill, chocolate covered almonds, ice cream, the truth, a good nap, iced tea, tator chips, Popeye’s Chicken, golf, tennis...
Things I Do Not Like: PC Culture, drunk idiots, rude and disrespectful people, when the Blues lose, when I am out of chocolate covered almonds, when Popeye’s Chicken is closed, taking breaks at my shows, writer's block, virtue signaling, faux outrage...
Why don’t I take breaks at my shows? - Breaks are for pansies. (Just kidding. Don’t be offended…) The truth is that I’d rather be playing than NOT playing. The only times I have taken a break since I started playing solo 10 years ago is due to illness or equipment malfunctions. Thankfully, neither of these things happen very often.
Where did I “get” my backing tracks? - I didn’t “get” them anywhere. I made them, one track at a time, myself. Every note of my live show is my doing. If I had five sets of hands I could do it all at once but since I don’t, I have to record the other parts and play over them.
Do I play private events? - Absolutely. I play everything from corporate events to private backyard parties.
That’s enough about me for now. Now read about my friend...
A lot of people have asked what the “282” on my guitar strap is all about, so here it is…
282 is the badge number for the late law enforcement officer Tom “Fritz” Ballman. Tom was killed in the line of duty on Feb. 7th, 2008 in the tragic and senseless Kirkwood City Hall shootings.
I am proud to say that Tom Ballman was my friend. We had gone to school together since 6th grade. The very first time I ever performed music in front of anyone was in Tom’s basement during a party he hosted in 8th grade. I remember Tom being so supportive and enthusiastic about us performing at his party despite the fact that we were just starting to learn our instruments and were not very proficient, to say the least. We were brutal, yet Tom was always complimenting us. I will never forget that. I wear my “282″ strap as a way of making sure that Tom is never forgotten. Folks always come up to me at shows and ask what the 282 means and I get the pleasure of telling them all about a guy who was worth talking about. Tom “Fritz” Ballman will never be forgotten.
Tom’s wife, Cindy, has established “The Fritz Foundation” as a way of keeping Tom’s memory alive and continuing his life’s work of helping others. Please visit www.thefritzfoundation.org for more information.
Growth, Peace & Gratitude,