My World as Best as I can Remember It…

I have not moved a lot in my life. I moved houses before I was 4 and lived in that house until I left home for college where I lived for about 8 years. Holly and I moved to NW Arkansas and have been here now for 24 years(!) Since I’ve not lived many places, I have hard time remember dates or years when things happened. It all kind of blurs together for me. Awhile ago, I compiled a little timeline of milestones to help me remember. Some dates are more precise than others and some moments have much bigger stories surrounding them. Really, this is just for me.

August, 1990 – Moved to Manhattan, KS
May, 1991 – Finally convinced Holly to be my girlfriend. Choir tour to Toronto. I believe this was my first time out of the country.
August 1991 – Began tenure with scholarship vocal ensemble: Triumphant Sound
May 1992 – Broke up with Holly. Then spent summer as music director at camp in Prescott, AZ except for 2 weeks of TS tour.
February 1993 – Asked Holly to marry me.
August 14, 1993 – Married Holly.
Fall 1993 – Worked for 1 week at Applebee’s washing dishes. Quit and got a job at Music Store. Started recording first (cassette) release of original songs with Joe Mills.
November 1993 – My friend, Tim, died.
December 1993 – Dad had heart attack and quadruple bypass. (He was 62.)
February 1994 – Dad didn’t wake up on a Sunday morning. He’d just turned 63 in January.
Spring 1994 – Released Your Luv 4 Me on cassette. Manufactured 100 cassettes at a time to sell.
December 1994 – Graduated with Bachelor of Science in Bible-Music-Ministry. All I had that last semester of school was my Senior Recital which was initially supposed to be half piano/half vocal performance, but I didn’t practice my piano enough. Ended up doing all vocal recital.
1994-1996 – Started playing with Cold Sweat and The Sleeping Adams.
Spring 1996 – Recorded and released Trying to Climb the Wisdom Tree on CD only. Helped by The Derek Shacklett Band, sometimes known as El Eminopy.
Summer 1997 – Regional Finalist in GMA Best New Song and Best New Artist. 1st Runner Up for Best Song: The Truth Hurts
Spring 1998 – Regional Finalist in GMA Best New Song and Best New Artist. Best New Song Regional Winner: Vagabond Dancing. First Mini-tour through NW Arkansas into Texas.
August 1998 – Moved to NW Arkansas to work part-time for ConC. Independently released 3rd Recording: Vagabond Dancing
Spring 2001 – Independently released P&W Recording: Fall on Me
May 2001 – Position with ConC ended. Last summer Holly and I traveled leading music for camps.
Fall 2001 – Started leading music regularly for New Springs Christian Church.
2001-2003 – Recording and Producing out of home studio.
Spring 2003 – Independently released Gypsy Heart after recording all but drums in spare bedroom.
2003-2006 – Partnered with Easthall Recording. Lots of odd jobs to supplement income including giving music lessons, performing at coffee houses, leading music at New Springs, driving for real rock stars, and moving pianos around NW Arkansas.
April 29, 2006 – Ivy Kate made me a daddy.
Summer 2006 – Entered Non-traditional Licensure program for teaching. Did not get a job that summer.
2006-2007 School Year – Substitute taught and job hunted.
Summer 2007 – Accepted overflow middle school teaching position at Prairie Grove Middle School.
May 24, 2010 – Lucy Quinn made me a daddy again.
August 2011 – Closed New Springs Christian Church, began attending Vintage Fellowship the next Sunday.
Summer 2012 – Began primary music leading position for Vintage Fellowship.
May 2014 – Answered Craigslist ad looking for people who could play piano and sing. Started visiting Willy D’s regularly that summer. Started learning songs.
September 2014 – Started first full shifts as dueling piano player at Willy D’s.
October 2014 – DM buys Willy D’s.
February 2015 – Mattie comes off the road to be staff player at Willy D’s.
August 2015 – Moved rooms and started teaching 6th grade at PGMS
June 2016 – DM freaks out first time. Tommy “fired” for two weeks.
June 2017 – DM freaks out and fires Tommy and Mattie.
July 2017 – Accepted 6th Grade ELA position at HTMS in Springdale.
December 2017 – Furloughed from Willy D’s over Christmas break because the bar couldn’t pay me.
January 2018 – First Odd Key Party shows with Shorter at The Odd Soul without DM’s knowledge.
March 2018 – Aaron asks if he can join OKP. Leaves WD’s. DM finds out about OKP after trying to convince me to come back to WD’s as a full time player and cancels dates he’s booked and tells me I’m not needed. Final show at WD’s.
May 2018 – DP shows at Casino in Tunica, MS.
May-August 2018 – OKP @ Grubbs, Boars Nest, Growler USA etc.
August 5, 2018 – OKP @ Bridal Expo
September 2018 – OKP @ BBBBQ
December 31, 2018 – OKP Opens for Full House NYE party
March 2, 2019 – OKP at Indigo Sky Casino
June, 2019 – Discussed buying WD’s with Hudek and then partners.
August 22, 2019 – Bought Willy D’s with partners.
August 29, 2019 – Soft Opening of The Piano Bar
January, 2020 – Following Christmas break, every single weekend night set a new all time sales record until…
March 13, 2020 – The Piano Bar Closes for COVID 2 or 3 months.
Summer 2020 – TPB re-opens to limited capacity and required to enforce distancing protocols.

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Posted by on August 21, 2022 in Uncategorized



Does anybody actually blog anymore? I figure it’s easier to just post your random thoughts/pictures/memes/clips to facebook/instagram/twitter/ticktock/youtube. My last blog entry, which was just a repository for a quote I wanted to remember, was over 6 years ago! The entry before that was 2 years prior.

I don’t know if anybody will see this. I’m sure nobody is looking for it. It might only be a couple of things, but I realized today that I missed payment to keep and upon rectifying the error, I decided I wanted to drop a couple of things on here just to keep them. Stay tuned… (Not that I think anybody has been tuned in to this for awhile…)

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Posted by on August 19, 2022 in Uncategorized


From: Looking for Alaska by John Green

But there’s a Sufi story that challenges the notion that people believe only because they need an opiate. Rabe’a al-Adiwiyah, a great woman saint of Sufism, was seen running through the streets of her hometown, Basra, carrying a torch in one hand and a bucket of water in the other. When someone asked her what she was doing, she answered, ‘I am going to take this bucket of water and pour it on the flames of hell, and then I am going to use this torch to burn down the gates of paradise so that people will not love God for want of heaven or fear of hell, but because He is God.’”

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Posted by on July 22, 2016 in Uncategorized



According to The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy, the meaning of life is 42.  I’m not sure about this, but I’ve never read the Hitchhiker’s Guide, so I don’t really feel beholding to the notion.  I think the only reason I know this little factoid from that work of fiction is because the band, Level 42, explained their name that way.

As I peruse the many birthday wishes on my FB timeline today, I am pleased at the variety of connections represented.  Of course there are well-wishes from family, but there are also messages from people that I’ve known virtually all of my 43 years.  There are messages from grade school-mates, Jr. High and High School classmates, church camp and New Way Singers, College friends, fellow choir members, TS members, former jobs, past concert gigs, camp gigs, old band mates, churches, former and current church families, co-teachers, and even some acquaintances that have really become cyber-friends via the insane medium of Facebook.  All that to say that I am really proud that I have friends that I am thankful for from every season of my life.

As I think about the fact that today is my 43rd birthday, I am so amazed at how blessed I am that I’m hesitant to speak it aloud for fearing of jinxing it somehow.

But here are the facts:  I live with 3 beautiful girls who utterly possess my heart. They are happy and healthy and love me beyond reason. We laugh and play a lot and cannot justify the amount of joy that our home contains. Although, I would really like figure out how to be less fat and put some muscle on these old bones, just got a checkup where the Dr. punched a bunch of number into an iphone app and said that I have a 2.05% chance of kicking the bucket from stroke or heart attack in the next 10 years. That’s not too bad.  The two other women of my life, my mom and sister, are both happy and healthy and not too far away.  With the exception of losing Dad 20.5 years ago, I know that I am exceedingly lucky to enjoy the kind of relationship with my family that very few get to cherish.  I have the honor of working in a profession that really matters with the most awesome people. I live in a house I love in a neighborhood that I love and (currently) both of our vehicles are paid for and running! There’s food in the fridge and clothes in the closets.  I am truly astounded to tell Holly on nearly a weekly basis how much I love the faith community that we have become a part.  And now, after about 8 years of virtually self-induced musical retirement, I’m again being challenged to develop and adapt my skills into a new endeavor that can provide outlet and some additional compensation for years to come.  It’s been hard and frustrating and terrifying, but at this point, I feel so good about where I’m at and the challenge to continue progressing.

So, many have offered wishes for me to have a great day.  I don’t really know what that looks like since I have such a great life.

As I wrote this, I realized that my 42nd year would actually be the year I was 41.  So, I don’t know how to comment about 42 being the meaning of life.  At 43, I’m just amazed at how good I have it.

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Posted by on August 26, 2014 in Uncategorized


Ode to Petey

funny pictures dumpaday images (1417)

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Posted by on July 4, 2013 in Uncategorized



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Posted by on June 28, 2013 in Uncategorized


Summer 2013 Catch Up

Bullets (sapphire) are good…

  • 2nd Semester of school is over.  I’m not sure, but I think that last month of school is getting harder and harder with every year.
  • Finally broke down.  I’m now paying ATT for a frakking data plan just so I can have a decent phone.
  • Worked two days the week following school for a production company that needed help with a large conference by a certain global company that is prominent where I live.  It was tiring, but kind of interesting and I got paid well.  I was mostly disturbed by how much the company’s annual meeting looked and felt exactly like what many consider to be “successful” church.  Not sure whether I’m more skeeved out by the fact that the meeting looked like church or that church looked like the meeting.  Either way, I’m glad that I don’t work for either.
  • Spent final week in a math class that I’ve been in for the last 3 summers.  1)I don’t teach math anymore.  2) 90% of the time discussion was literally semesters of Math over my head.  Glad it’s over.
  • Got home last night from spending 5 days in Saint Louis with my sister.  Lots of fun, but we’re all really wiped out now.
  • I have an ep that I (still) need to make that I need to write some songs.  I have a gig on August 20th that I’d like to have the ep completed.  I may also have a gig late in July.
  • Planning to stop wasting time lurking FB.  I rarely contribute and am usually annoyed.  Too many ads, punditry, stupidity and time wasting.  Not that I’m going dark, just plan to try to not look at FB.  Twitter/Instagram/Google+/Blogging/Songwriting will be my outlets.  Also, if you msg me on FB, I’ll get it.
  • Been skipping around on my reading and haven’t locked into anything.  Need to finish Jeff Miller’s Shadows of Tockland.  Been reading a lot of old Daredevil comics.  In the middle of the Elektra saga.
  • Summer movie of mention so far has been Before Midnight.  Every time I bring it up, either people haven’t heard of the project or just think I’m a girl for being so interested in it.  I went to it by myself.  I walked past the line out the door to see Man of Steel and watched my movie with two 60+ year old ladies.   I liked it.  I hope they make another.  Will see Man of Steel soon.
  • So, you may see a few more blog posts over the coming weeks. Hopefully,  I’ll have some more music for you to hear soon.
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Posted by on June 22, 2013 in Uncategorized


eBay is Bad for Me

So, thank you all who contributed to my little  “guitar drive”.  I am humbled and appreciative.

Unfortunately, a vulture swooped down on my ebay auction and swiped my guitar from me in the last 3 seconds.

Bad for my blood pressure and sad for my guitar fingers.

I’m still shopping for a guitar.

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Posted by on January 22, 2013 in Uncategorized


**URGENT** Short-term-DIY-Crowd-Funding! Guitar!

So, how do I put this?  I want another guitar.  Not some super expensive guitar.  Not some antique, fancy guitar.  Just a particular electric guitar that I think looks really cool.


that you can’t buy anymore because it’s a re-issue and it’s not being made.
Doesn’t it suit me?  It’s kind of quirky and weird.  I’m weird.  It’s perfect.

A friend suggested that surely I could find 35 friends to donate $10 each to the cause, right?  Well, that got me thinking…  Folks need to catch up on their shack music collection, right?

But the auction is only going on for 4 more days, so folks need incentive, right?  So, here’s the deal.

All of my previous CDs are currently available for immediate download at for just $5/each!  (How’s that for incentive?)

But wait!  There’s more!

If you purchase a download from bandcamp in next 4 days, you’ll get an email with the receipt.  Forward the receipt to and I will email you link to download a zipped file with additional mp3s as follows:

Gypsy Heart (2003) Bonus Download:  The Coffee House Cover Club– (Nearly) Live-in-the-studio recordings of cover tunes the acoustic trio (shack, James Powers on lead guitar, and Holly on BGVs and hand percussion) performed in our Coffee House performing heyday.    10 Tracks- Recording not for sale.

Fall on Me (2001)  Bonus Download:  Download this 11 track Praise & Worship digital Record and receive an additional 6 cover tunes available on the CD but not on download.  These include You Are Holy, Nails, and shack’s mashup of I Could Run Away (waterdeep) and More Faithful (Skillet)+ Chord sheets to all songs!

Vagabond Dancing (1998) Bonus Download:  This was hard to find something to add.  But I’ve got demos of  a couple of cover tunes we were doing in church concerts around that time and I’ll try to find some early demos of some of these songs.  I know that I’ve got one demo that never got released.  I’ll be shooting for about 5-6 extra tracks for this one. Not to mention it contains the title track which was the GMA’s International Song of ’98 Finalist! (Top 10 out of 1500+ songs submitted!)  This also contains the song All I See which knocked Mariah Carey AND Whitney Houston out of the Top 10 one week on a Top 10  request radio show in Riga, Latvia back in the late ’90s….

Trying to Climb the Wisdom Tree (1996) Bonus Download:  Your Luv 4 Me (1994).  No, there’s no rap on it.  I was going for a Prince vibe with the title.  Anyway, this was my very first recording released on tape only.  I even copied, cut out and stuffed the sleeves myself.  (It was really bad.)  8 tracks.   6 Original Songs and 2 Instrumentals that were in our wedding.

Boy, do I feel naked right now.

There you go.   Start filling those iPods!


Posted by on January 16, 2013 in Uncategorized


This is new…

When I was very young, I thought I could draw.  By the time I hit Jr. High and High School, I didn’t think that so much.  I think it has a lot to do with the perfectionist that lurks within…

Anyway, if I could draw, I would be really excited about this app on the Ipad called Paper by 53.  I might even be tempted to pay the $6 for the additional drawing utensils.  So, imagine my surprise when I actually drew something I kind of like.  Check it out.

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Posted by on September 16, 2012 in Uncategorized