Sunday March 4, 2007




Well, I'm still a bit depressed this morning. Oh well, it's cyclical for me (Isn't it for everyone?). I'll get that way occasionally even when things are going great. I might as well blow it out of my system now and get on with it.

A new song called "Elevens & Eyelids" was in my head this morning when I woke up. I captured it. It's more or less just lyrics right now, (which is rare for me) but I kind of dig it. We'll see if it gets some flesh on it.

Today, Josh, Joe and I wanted to rehearse but Frank couldn't get it together since he rescheduled so he could do yesterday (which Josh didn't make). That didn't help my depression. We have so got to get it together.

Since we weren't rehearsing, I decided to put up some vid clips from our first (and so far only) acoustic show. It was Joe's first appearance and Mike's penultimate. It was fun for what it was. It cracks me up that it looks so empty. There were actually quite a lot of people there, they just chose to sit on the sides of the field in the more shady area. I got "Towel Cape Song", "I Won't Stand Still" and "Phony" up before Charter problems stopped me in my tracks. I'm still going to attempt to put 4 more songs up if possible. I think the UGA Music Business Class did a heck of a job of putting that DVD together and editing it with multiple camera angles. Check out the vids by clicking here and post some comments. We wanna know what you think!

After giving up on uploading for the day, I just relaxed (as I so enjoy to do) with Amanda and the Sunday FOX lineup. I even enjoyed the 2 episodes of The Winner that I saw. I'm looking forward to seeing how that show develops.

And goodnight.





Saturday March 3, 2007



Well, my Kris Kristofferson pics are now up at WireImage. Feel free to click here to see' em. They're not up to what I'd usually like to have but it was the best that could be gotten from my position!

Today was built around rehearsal. At least it was for most of us. Frank, Joe and I all got there in time. We were ready to go. The only thing is that Josh never showed up. Of course, me being me, I forgot to bring his phone number so we just waited. And waited. After an hour or so we got down to it with just the three of us. I'd be lying if I said it wasn't extremely disappointing and de-motivating. On top of it, I was very tired from the last 2 days and both Frank and I had changed our work plans to be here. Man, it was depressing. Still, it didn't stop us from moving forward. I worked up new 2-guitar arrangements of "Happy Here & Now" and "Worms On The Pavement" that may take THE ROCK totally too far. I was really hoping to cut loose and just sing on those but I don't know if I'll be able to resist now that I know what we can do with two guitars wailing. Maybe we'll have to have 2 versions of each depending on our mood. We'll see. Either way, they'll rock and as soon as Josh is ready to add some new songs to our collective arsenal, those 2 are near the top of the list.

I went home depressed due to Josh not being there. Amanda and I had switched places from 24 hours ago. She did her best to cheer me and did a pretty good job but I just couldn't shake the bad feeling. Sometimes when it starts, it's hard to let it go. And there's not even really a problem. I spoke to Josh right when I got home and everything's cool. There was a simple little mix up, that's all. And yet it's brought me down. I'm sure the tiredness has something to do with it but either way, it's no fun.

I just have to tell myself that we got some killer new arrangements and both Frank and Joe brought out some potentially amazing new pieces to work out later. Not to mention, I got to play drums for the first time in a long time. I forgot that I don't suck at it. And that was fun despite the reason for me being back there.




Friday March 2, 2007

Kris Kristofferson beats the devil in Atlanta.


As you probably expected, I edited my pics of Billy Joel from last night all morning, then uploaded them to WireImage. You can check out the images for yourself by clicking here!

The big surprise today was that I heard from Greg Davis for the first time in who knows how long. I learned the practical (non-ear training) aspects of how to produce and engineer music by working with him on a couple of my first solo records and the Q-Sign album, which he co-produced with the band (i.e., me and O'Gorman). It was good to hear from him even if it strikes me a bit odd that he's yet another ole compatriot who's gone into the service of The Lord. He's working as a Christian minstrel (more or less) and is currently based in Germany with his wife and kids. I'm happy for him and thrilled that he's doing something so important to him and I wish him all the best.

I simply find it strange that so many people that I have worked with are in the Christian service (as it were). Heck, C'mon, Accept Your Joy was even used as a title for a sermon not long after we released the record. Some people even believe the fish on the cover is symbolic. What do you think? I don't know. But I was happy to hear from Greg. He's supremely talented and I'm thrilled to know he's making the most of his skills. I'm also glad to know that he's still listening to Q-Sign!

Strangely enough, some comments on Greg's site (see link above) got Amanda a bit depressed. We discussed it all the way to Atlanta and most of the way back. I tried to find a positive spin but I couldn't. It's her turn to be in that mode, I guess.

Still, how lucky are we? Tonight, we went to see Kris Kristofferson at Symphony Hall. I've always wanted to see him. He's absolutely one of the best songwriters in the world. And yet I still wasn't prepared for the power of his songs in person. There he stood with just a guitar and harmonica and tore me apart. On top of that, he brought me to tears from laughter during "Sky King". Maybe the song was only that hilarious after the raw emotional exorcisms of the other masterpieces but it was cathartic either way. Whether I was laughing, crying, angry, mad or ecstatic, I was FEELING. And I couldn't help thinking of my Dad throughout the night. He loved a lot of those songs as much as I do, maybe more. And unlike the CSNY crowd last summer, this allegedly conservative country crowd got it just fine. They were moved by lyrics like "Don't Let The Bastards Get You Down", "Love Is The Way", "They Killed Him" and "In The News" as much as I was. And that was just a tiny piece of the 33-song show. Don't get me started on the perfect backup vocals from the audience on "This Old Road" (which even moved Kris) or the chills that ran through me during "For The Good Times", "Here Comes That Rainbow Again" (dedicated as a present to Johnny Cash's birthday), "Me & Bobby McGee", "The Pilgrim", "Sunday Morning Coming Down" or "Why Me". Even with its flaws (maybe especially with its flaws), this performance was flawless. I'm humbled to have been there.

I've got to say that the shoot wasn't so good. Rough lighting and no variety in angles gave me several shots of him that looked like the Shroud Of Turin came to life. Aside from that, I had an amazing time. (Thanks, Caren!)

Just look at this set list! Seriously, who else can pull something like that from their own catalog. It's going to take some mighty fine shows to pull this one from the top of my best of '07 list!

Kris Kristofferson - Atlanta - Symphony Hall - March 2, 2007

1. Shipwrecked In The '80s
2. Darby's Castle
3. Me & Bobby McGee
4. Best Of All Possible Worlds
5. In The News
6. Here Comes That Rainbow Again
7. They Killed Him
8. Help Me Make It Through The Night
9. Casey's Last Ride
10. Nobody Wins
11. The Heart
12. From Here To Forever
13. The Hero
14. Loving Her Was Easier (Than Anything I'll Ever Do Again)
15. Just The Other Side Of Nowhere
16. Sky King
17. Jody & The Kid
18. The Pilgrim
19. To Beat The Devil
20. Chase The Feeling
21. Love Is The Last Thing To Go
22. Pilgrim's Progress
23. This Old Road
24. The Promise
25. Final Attraction
26. Sunday Morning Coming Down
27. The Silver Tongued Devil & I
28. For The Good Times
29. Love Is The Way
30. Thank You For Life
31. A Moment Of Forever
32. Don't Let The Bastards Get You Down
33. Why Me, Lord?

And just for fun, I'm reposting this here...

Don't Let The Bastards (Get You Down)

by Kris Kristofferson

Righteous killin' in the name of freedom
We've been down that sorry road before
They let us hang around a little longer than they should've
It's too late to fool us anymore

We've seen the ones who kill the ones with vision
Cold blooded murder right before your eyes
Today they hold the power and the money and the guns
It's gettin' hard to listen to their lies

And I just gotta wonder what my Daddy woulda done
If he'd seen the way they'd turned his dream around
I gotta go by what he told me
Try to tell the truth and stand your ground
Don't let the bastards get ya down

Bombin' Baghdad back into the stone age, 'round the clock
Non-stop for 40 days, killed 'em in their homes and on their highways Now after a decade of cripplin' sanctions,
we're talkin' about goin' back in there and doin' it all over again...
fightin' terrorism

And I just gotta wonder what my Daddy woulda done
If he'd seen the way they'd turned his dream around
I gotta go by what he told me
Try to tell the truth and stand your ground
Don't let the bastards get ya down

Don't let the bastards get ya down
Don't let the bastards....get ya down...

Preach on, Brother Kris!



Thursday March 1, 2007

Billy Joel channels his "Angry Young Man" at Philips Arena in Atlanta.



Well, today's the day. The Critical Darlings are a full lineup again for the first time since October of 2005. I made the official announcement this afternoon. Instead of doing a big, formal press release, I decided to keep it more low key and personal. I believe that's the way to go at this point. I can't say enough how proud I am of this group of guys already. To have four such intense and creative personalities in a band is almost unheard of and to find four that work toward the best of the band (instead of personal best) is even more unheard of. I cannot wait to show 'em off.

In addition to that, I got the first update of Concert Shots done since last summer. This update contains pics and / or reviews of Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young, Train, P!NK, Nickel Creek, 13 Stories, Aqualung, Beyond Tomorrow, Five Star Iris, Grayson Hill, Honest To Jordan, Mat Kearney, State Of Man, Poison, Cinderella, Carlos Mencia and Brad Williams. That's not bad for a start. Click this paragraph to check it out for yourself.

In the evening, I went back for my first Atlanta concert shoot since December 12. Tonight it was with Billy Joel (and Chainsaw). Before the show, I got a bit of a lecture from super-photog Rick Diamond on the way I handled the Luke Brian photo deal a couple of weeks ago. Unfortunately, Rick didn't have all the information and he seemed a little irritated with me. Fortunately, what he said was extremely helpful for the future. I think our talk did me some good.

As for the show itself, I had a great time despite the fact that we had the worst seats we've EVER had at Philips. We were in the 300 section of the balcony on the side of the stage. The sound was pretty rough up there. Still, it was a killer show and despite the difficulty of the shoot itself (No pit, start on stage right in crowd for first song, move back and to middle for second song and finish up on stage left with his back turned to us), I managed to get some pretty good stuff. I really lucked out with my middle position and got shots that none of the others got. I haven't seen a fully Billy Joel concert in a very, very long time. As always, it was great to see the sway that great songwriting has over a crowd. I desperately wanted to hear "Pressure" and "Allentown" since I missed them on previous tours. At least I got "Allentown" (Of course, he did "Allentown" AND "Pressure" in Greenville a couple of weeks ago. I was going to go to that one but I had to work the Luke Bryan gig). So what. "Allentown" made my night. Other personal favorites were "My Life", "Movin' Out", "Don't Ask Me Why" and the triple shot of rock finale of "Big Shot", "It's Still Rock 'N' Roll To Me" and "You May Be Right". He usually drives me crazy by "wasting time" covering other artists but the covers he did last night were even acceptable. I enjoyed his "Stand By Me / An Innocent Man" segue more than I thought I would. I also appreciated the performance of "River Of Dreams" which is a song I've always disliked. Tonight, the energy carried that goofy song over. And speaking of energy, at one point, Billy brought out a roadie named Chainsaw to perform a cover of AC/DC's "Highway To Hell." Billy played guitar while Chainsaw did a dead on Bon Scott imitation. I was surprised at how many Billy Joel fans knew every word to the song and everyone was on their feet. Chainsaw's "Highway To Hell" actually wound up getting the biggest ovation of the night...and he deserved it! During the final encore of "Piano Man", Amanda and I walked right down to the front row on the back of the stage to see him close the show. The view looking out over the crowd was virtually the same that the band and Billy saw. It was somewhat awe-inspiring to look out at all of those happy faces singing along. It's been a while since I've had a view like this. It's really getting me pumped up again about performing.

If you're interested, here's a link to the Atlanta Journal-Constitution review of the show.

And here's the full set list!

  1. Prelude/Angry Young Man

  2. My LIfe

  3. Everybody Loves You Now

  4. The Entertainer

  5. Vienna (voted by the audience over “All About Soul” though it was close)

  6. Allentown

  7. Zanzibar

  8. New York State of Mind

  9. Root Beer Rag

  10. Movin' Out

  11. Stand By Me / An Innocent Man

  12. Sittin' on the Dock of the Bay

  13. Don't Ask Me Why

  14. She's Always a Woman

  15. Keeping the Faith

  16. River of Dreams (Including "Good Golly Miss Molly")

  17. Highway to Hell (by his roadie Chainsaw while Billy played guitar)

  18. We Didn't Start the Fire

  19. Big Shot

  20. It's Still Rock-n-Roll To Me

  21. You May Be Right


22. Only The Good Die Young

23. Scenes From An Italian Restaurant

24. Georgia On My Mind

25. Piano Man




Wednesday February 28, 2007




Well, today was a mostly good day. Amanda officially got a clean bill of health regarding her stint on crutches. She's free now. It's been more than 2 months and it's been rough. With me seemingly better as well, it feels like we're finally able to move forward. It's a good feeling.

I got more pics for Concert Shots ready today and I even got the pages completed so the long-promised update is coming very, very soon. I also got the new Critical Darlings promo shots edited and ready to go.

I also spent some time uploading those press shots here and I created live shot pages for Joe and Josh. Click dem dere blue links to see 'em for yourself.

The only bad news was that I lost the mix of my cover of Prince's "17 Days" that I wanted to post immediately. There was an apparent disc error. I'm going to try to salvage it but it's not looking good right now. Oh well, one bad thing amongst all the progress is to be expected, innit?



Tuesday February 27, 2007








Okay, I'm exhausted today. I got through yesterday remarkably well but then I couldn't sleep last night. I felt awful and wound up throwing the whole day away. I did nothing to amount to anything. Blech.



Monday February 26, 2007




I had to get up bright and early to pick up my Grandmother today. We had another meeting with her lawyer to tidy things up just a little bit more. It was a good meeting and everything should be about as secure as it can get now.

The meeting ran late so I was doubtful that I'd be able to get back home in time for practice tonight. Still, we decided to run some errands for Grandma before picking up Amanda to go to lunch. On the way out of town, we all went to LHOP. Mike met up with us there to give us a new version of "An Uncertain Flight" with his drumming on it. He declined to join us for the partaking of said food but let us know that his life's (melo)drama continues. I feel so bad for him. Again, he's one of the most talented people I know and he's allowed himself to get stuck in the tar baby. I know it's his life but he has so much to offer that I feel bad that he's in a place where he can't take advantage of his talent, much less grow. I hope that sooner than later he'll get back on track and head out of that place to a greener pasture. If anyone I know could use a fresh start, it's him.

After lunch, Amanda and I trucked on back to Athens. With just barely enough time to take Amanda to the west side of town and then head back to Nuci's with my equipment, I made it. Let me tell you. It was a great rehearsal tonight. Things are coming together. The set list is getting cleaner and more powerful each time we juggle it. By the time we get in front of an audience, it'll be hard to beat. 'Twas a good way to end the day!

Click here for home and the official introduction of the new Darlings...