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Moonshine April Fooled....Carlsbad Caverns...Lemurs & Yoga

Apr 4 | Posted by: Bill Whyte |

Thursday morning and we’re into the mid to upper 70’s today and for the next several days.  And…it’s Opening Day for our minor league baseball team.  So all is right with the world this morning.



My songwriting appointment was with Irene Kelley who greeted me at the door with her new CD that has an official release date of May 10.  The CD is titled “Benny’s TV Repair” and that’s a tribute to her late Father in Pennsylvania where she grew up.  Her Dad ran a little repair shop back in the day so Irene paid tribute to some her childhood with this album title.  She’s already had TWO number one bluegrass songs off of this and I’m pleased that two songs we wrote together “Faster Than Angels Could Fly” and “Walk With Me Today” are part of this great 11 song CD.  And I’m also thrilled to hear that my friends Darin and Brooke Aldridge sang the background harmonies on both of my songs.  Thank you for loving these songs Irene.



Now here’s a joke that we played on ourselves yesterday.  Irene had sent me an article she found about a tunnel they found under the Smoky Mountains in the National Park there where moonshiners ran trying to keep away from the revenuers and the tax.  That sounded like a bluegrass song so we sat down to write it and Irene then played me the audio version of this story on the computer.  There we sit making notes as we listened and at the very end of this incredible story the narrator reveals it’s an April Fools joke!  Good grief.  We’d been had. 


So there goes our song right?  Not really.  We were so tuned into this tale of moonshining in east Tennessee that we went ahead and wrote a moonshiners true story about Marvin Popcorn Sutton who did run illegal moonshine about the time he turned 60 years of age.  He became famous…got arrested for selling it to undercover cops and went to jail.  When moonshine became legal in Tennessee…they stole “Popcorn’s” recipe and no you can drink it without fear of being jailed.  Poor Marvin was just ahead of his time.


So we got April Fooled big time but we still got a great historically accurate moonshine-bluegrass tune out of it.



Artesia, New Mexico just got added officially to my tour schedule this year.  That will be yet another show with “Evening In The Round” with Linda Davis, Lang Scott and me.  I know little abut Artesia except for the fact that they have a beautiful intimate Performing Arts Center that we will play AND Carlsbad Cavern is near enough for us to say with the day we have off right after that show before doing five more shows scattered across New Mexico, Texas and Arkansas on this tour coming up at the end of May.  Can’t wait to play and go spelunking all on the same trip.



Today is “National Burrito Day”.  That makes tomorrow national Pepto Bismol day for me.



That’s the great song my friend Steve Dean who’s in my “Hits & Grins” trio co-wrote one day with the artist Rodney Atkins and songwriter Brian White.  I sing and play along on that song every night we have a “Hits & Grins” show.  And it’s always a highlight as folks recognize and love this tune and they help us sing the last chorus…sometimes LOUDLY. 


Get this.  Stacker (an online publication) just listed the top 100 Country Songs from 1959 to present.  Steve’s song landed at 37…ALL time.  It’s a great song…so well written with a great moral message for all us Fathers.  Congrats to my long time buddy.


Here’s the complete ARTICLE allowing you to see if your favorite country song made the list.



Loretta Lynn will turn 87 April 14.  A few nights ago they celebrated the Queen's birthday at the Bridgestone Arena where celebrity after celebrity got up and sang their favorite Loretta songs.  That list includes the lieks of Garth, Trisha, Martina, Miranda, Keith Urban and on and on and on.  Rightfully so for a true legend. 


But the performance that stole the show according to critics may have been this one from the least country person that showed up to sing.  That would be Brandi Carlile who tore up “She’s Got You”.


And what’s interesting about that song is the fact that Patsy Cline had a big hit with it too and there’s a Lifetime Movie coming out soon that was shot here in Nashville titled “Loretta & Patsy” which centers on their friendship.  Be looking for that.



It’s Christmas all ready?!  Vince and Amy as in Gill & Grant have a big ad announcing their Christmas Show run at the Ryman Auditorium this December will open up tickets sales this Friday morning.  9 shows in all in December and they sell out quickly.  That’s how iconic the show has become from the husband wife team at Christmas.  So…you could get your Christmas shopping done REALLY early this year.



There’s a petition underway to get the Grammy folks to give Jimmy Buffett a lifetime Grammy award.  Yes…I’m voting yes. 


When I was in my early 20’s a friend gave me the first three Jimmy Buffett albums (vinyl) and told me, “you’ve got to listen to this guy”.  I had heard of him of course but had not really listened to his music.  So that night I took them home and put the albums on the turntable and dropped a needle on the albums “White Sport Coat & Pink Crustacean”, “A1A” (still one of my favorite albums) and “Living And Dying In ¾ Time”.  I listened to them over and over.  And I remember in particular the song “Pirate Looks At 40” just reeling me in as a forever fan.


And now I write a lot of Trop Rock music…and play at some of those events near the ocean where the Jimmy Buffett fans gather to celebrate.


I’ve met Jimmy…interviewed him more than once.  He’s always fun.  And how could he not be?  He figured out what life could be all about years ago writing songs as a young nobody in Key West, Florida.  He created a flip flop empire.  Yes…I’m voting yes.



The town of Hillsboro, California needs to get a grip.  They are trying to get rid of a Flintstone House (yea…like from the cartoon) because they consider it an “eyesore”.  Take a LOOK for yourself.  Looks pretty danged cool to me.  Wonder if the owner’s car is powered by bare feet?  Lighten up a little California and have a “yabba dabba do time”.



I don’t think I need to take Lemoga Class.  Nope.  It’s yoga with a lemur.  We’re past goats now.  Folks in spandex and leggings are bending with a lemur.  Wow.


I have heard that class size is dwindling for Python Yoga.



I’m off to finish up a fun song idea with Jenny Tolman and Dave Brainerd that we started on last week and then ran out of time to finish.  Always a pleasure being in their talented company.


Have a great Thursday!









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