Monthly Archives: April 2005

Apology for SW

If anybody from the free weekly/NAMAs happen to visit this blog, please accept my apologies for your getting dragged into the middle of an idiot’s personal vendetta with me. If I have some overly-zealous fans, I hope that their zeal didn’t throw off the count too much and I assure you that I did not encourage such behavior. However, I’m very thankful for them as they tend to balance the struggle to deal with and accept the tiresome scheming and whining of my singular “anti-fan”, who cowardly (and puzzlingly) refers to himself as “Silently Watching”. We just can’t get him to shut up.

I’m thankful for the award and I’m thankful to my fans and friends for getting out and voting for me. I realize that with the NAMAs it truly is more of an honor just to be nominated (I have no idea how that happens) and that the award itself is just for fun.

As per my recent blog that I wasn’t going to let SW piss everybody off anymore, I’ve decided to delete his most recent comments. However, let it be known that SW just continues to give us proof of what a petty little ass he truly is. If you’re reading some of the recent comments and they don’t make sense, it’s because they were response to SW. Next time folks, ignore him and let me know and I’ll get it off of there as soon as I can.

Thanks, ya’ll! 🙂

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Posted by on April 30, 2005 in Uncategorized


"and the 2005 NAMA award for Best Singer/Songwriter – Male category goes to…

SHACK! a.k.a. Derek Shacklett….”

whew! So, it’s official. I’ve got a plaque and everything! Big thank yous to all who got online and voted for me. obviously I wouldn’t have my cool plaque if it weren’t for you. I realize it’s pretty silly, but it helps with the publicity efforts. If I could, I’d give each and every one of your own little plaques that say “Northwest Arkansas Best Fans/Friends”!

Who knows, maybe I’ll start booking some more gigs! I mean who wouldn’t want to book or come out to see Northwest Arkansas’s best singer/songwriter?

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Posted by on April 29, 2005 in Uncategorized


Thanks For Nothing

So, this weekend has been kind of interesting. On Friday night, I played a short solo set to open for Thanks For Nothing at a place called Bourbon Boys. On Saturday morning, I played keyboard on a couple of songs with Thanks for Nothing at Springfest in Fayetteville. And finally, tonight I played a short solo set to open & played keyboard on a couple of songs for the band at Ryleighs.

The cool part is that the guys have set everything up (including the keyboard) and put my songs early in the set so that I can take off pretty early. The Bourbon Boys gig was pretty much a bust, the Springfest gig was kind of weird, but the Rylieghs gig was pretty fun. There was a good, responsive crowd and I felt like they even paid attention when I was opening. All of that, and I’m home and getting ready for bed by 11:30.

Anyway, I think I may have written about these guys on my blog before, but I thought I’d mention them again. We’re producing their first CD out at the new studio ( and I recorded a couple of songs for them last year. They’ve got some talent and they’re pretty fun. They just make me feel old. (two of them are 19 and the other is 20…)

If you get a chance check them out. I’ll let you know when their new CD is done. It’s pretty straight ahead pop/rock, but they’ve got a pretty good batch of songs. And of course, I think the recording is sounding pretty great.

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Posted by on April 24, 2005 in Uncategorized


the green

Everybody wants it. Everybody needs some of it. Nobody ever has enough. Nobody likes to talk about it.

It’s frustrating when you try hard to be content and to live simply and inexpensively and there’s still not enough of it.

Times were tight and look to be getting tighter for everybody.

It’s frustrating when everything else in life seems like it’s doing well: personally, socially, emotionally, spiritually, productively, professionally….but professionally doesn’t necessarily indicate financially. There, unfortunately, is the rub. And I hate it.

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Posted by on April 20, 2005 in Uncategorized


thanks & update

I just wanted to say thank you to everybody for posting your thoughts on Petey. We’ve truly loved reading your memories and stories of Petey and have felt much comfort from your sharing of our sorrow.

It’s been a little bit strange the last week, because Holly had told some friends to call us if they ever needed somebody to watch their weiner-dog, Taylor. We all thought it would be great to get Taylor together with Petey sometime, but of course, we missed out on that.

So, we’ve had Taylor since last wednesday and he went home last night. Of course, he won’t ever be Petey, but having the little guy around took the edge off the ache and made the house feel a little less lonely. (It was also weird to get used to a dog that you didn’t have to worry about him throwing up, and you didn’t have to yell at him to stop licking all the time…)

Anyway, I just wanted to say thank you for all your kind words and wonderful stories. Please don’t let this post stop you from writing more if you have them. We’d love to hear them if you think of any.

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Posted by on April 18, 2005 in Uncategorized


a Eulogy of sorts

(click on petey)
Outside1.jpg (720054 bytes)

Back in the spring of 1995, Holly and I were attending the senior’s banquet for my college. It’s not a big school and there were few enough graduates that at one point, a microphone was passed around to all the graduating seniors to announce their plans after graduation. Different people proudly shared about their new positions or internships, wedding plans and or impending birth announcements. When the microphone got to me, I mentioned that I’d be working while Holly finished her degree and excitedly declared that we were going to be getting a dog. We’d just moved into a different apartment with such atrocious carpet, we were able to negotiate the allowance of a small pet.

A day or two later, one of our professors, approached Holly and asked if we’d found our new pet yet. When she informed him that we planned to visit the local animal shelter and hadn’t got around to it yet, Dr. Isom suggested that we might consider adopting their six month old dachshund named Patches.

Apparently, Patches displayed an inordinate need for attention which caused a lot of problems for the Isom family. Their son, Kevin, who was only like 3 or 4 at the time, would get upset when Patches would grab his toys and takeoff running. Mrs. Isom would try to catch Patches and simply couldn’t (it’s surprising how quickly those short little legs maneuver…) So, when Dr. Isom would finally get home and eventually Patches would let himself be caught, he’d roll over on his back and pee to show his submission to Dr. Isom. This was proving even more of a problem because the Isom’s had just moved into a new home with all cream colored carpeting….

Dr. Isom suggested that we take Patches home for a night and see how we got along and Holly agreed that would be a great idea.

When Patches came over, I think we all knew within about 10 minutes that he was home to stay.

The first thing to deal with would be that name. Small brown patches of fur around his mouth and on his toes highlighted his dark black short-haired coat. I can only assume this observation led to Kevin’s naming the puppy Patches. Holly had heard somewhere that if you want to change a dog’s name, you should try to at least to maintain the same first consonant. We brainstormed for just a little while, and I don’t remember who first said, “Petey,” but the name stuck immediately. The Shacklett family grew from 2 to 3.

We quickly realized that Petey’s behavioral issues stemmed from that fact that he needed to give and receive lots of attention. As a young married couple, we had lots of love and affection to give.

That first year, although the apartment was really crappy, we had a little yard, and it was located just a block away from the city park. We loved putting Petey on his leash and taking him to the various arts festivals that were held in the park all the time. Numerous people would fawn over him and comment on what a friendly, good looking dog he was. We enrolled Petey in obedience school and we so proud to find that (by our own observation,) that he was easily the smartest, best behaved, most amazing, and obviously most good looking dog in his class.

We were always a family. It wasn’t like he was Holly’s dog or my dog. He never showed in inclination that he favored one of us over the other. He snuggled with both of us and played with both of us. He loved getting to ride in the car and endured long road trips to and from gig weekends better than I do.

Of course, there were things we wished were different about him. Obsessive licking, severe separation anxiety, IBS and the puking….

What I want to remember and never forget is how much joy Petey brought to our family. One time, shortly after Petey came to live with us, a friend of Holly’s said, “Derek seems so much happier now. I guess he really needed a dog…”

Petey was the best at just being there. If either of us were ever sick, he decided that it was his job to sit and cuddle and try to just offer his support. If I was ever grumpy or depressed about whatever, Petey was always glad to see me and ready and willing to love me unconditionally.

Last Thursday, I dropped Petey off at the vet to get his teeth cleaned as we headed out of town. That afternoon the vet called and said that complications with his IBS had caused some major problems when he was coming out of the anesthesia. The vet said it was really bad and that they were watching him and doing all they could do, but that he didn’t know if Petey would make it. About 6pm that evening, the vet called again and said that Petey was gone.

It is amazing at how much of a presence is missing in our house from a 12 lb. wiener dog. Every time the doorbell rings, Petey’s not freaking out at the door. Every time I leave the house, I catch myself thinking I need to let Petey out. Every time I’m out of the house I catch myself thinking that I need to get home to let him out. We’re both still prone to crying fits, and the house just feels so empty.

It’s so hard to understand and describe the relationship that develops between humans and dogs. I can’t describe how much I loved that little dog in spite of how much he was able to frustrate me at the same time.

In the story of the Velveteen Rabbit, a stuffed rabbit became real because he was so loved by a little boy. Conventional thought is that animals are not like humans and that their spirits are not eternal as many believe humans’ to be. It would be nice to think that a Petey could be so loved that we’d be with him again someday. And of course, he’d be perfect and wouldn’t puke or lick anymore.

We love you, Petey. We miss you terribly.

If you knew Petey, feel free to add memories of his antics or particular characteristics.

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Posted by on April 14, 2005 in Uncategorized


SW’s last (as in final) comment


I and many other visitors to this blog have tried again and again to tell you that your comments have are ineffective at the least. We all know that you think that you’re brave and honest and asking that “hard questions” that, in your mind, nobody else has the guts to ask.

We all know that in your mind, your comments on this blog are somehow noble whether people want to hear them or not.

Your comments have yet to enlighten anybody. The only response I’ve sensed from anybody reading this blog, including myself, is annoyance and frustration with your presence. Repeatedly, you display your ignorance, judgmental spirit and cowardice.

I’m tired of subjecting my readers and true friends to your dreck. (dreck, in this setting meaning BS…in case you didn’t understand.)

From here on, if you comment, I will not be responding on this blog. If it annoys me or anybody else, I will remove it at my first opportunity. I don’t fear you or your questions and I’ve left your final ridiculous comments for all to read as proof.

I’m not 100% certain as to your identity. If you truly were a friend of mine, you’d know that I would welcome honest discussion on any and all of the topics that you’ve raised. I’d like you to understand me and I’d like to understand you. Maybe we wouldn’t end up agreeing, but I have a number of close friends that I disagree with.

Regardless, it is obvious that you will not ever come to any understanding about me and I will not understand you any more by continueing conversation on this blog. You are free to email me if you like, but it would be better if you called me, like a real friend would.

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Posted by on April 13, 2005 in Uncategorized


VOTE FOR SHACK– or "as your heart leads…"

First to SW: Thanks for posting all of your criticism while you knew that I’d be gone for the weekend and wouldn’t even get to read your wisdom for a few days. (see TX-try again)

Secondly, I was trying to wait to let everybody know until they have the voting online enabled.

Thirdly, what the hell do you think this whole NAMA thing is for? It’s for all the artists/bands to try to motivate their fans to visit the web-site and vote. Plain and simple. In that respect, is it just kind of a stupid popularity contest? Yes, it sort of is. Does that mean that I shouldn’t try to motivate my fans AND FRIENDS to simply go to a web-page and vote for me since I got nominated? How big of an idiot are you to even suggest that I shouldn’t try to do just that? Do you think Grammy nominees’ record companies don’t campaign for the award? Do you think that Acadamy Award nominees’ companies don’t campaign for that award? Your naivete and/or utter ignorance shows itself to be truly staggering.

I could spend a lot of time trying to explain to you that being a musician, playing gigs and trying to sell CDs comes down to one simple thing: self-promotion. It’s something that I’ve always been uneasy with, but have learned to accept. However, I’m not going to try to explain it to you. I don’t think you’d ever grasp the concept or implications anyway.

If you don’t want to vote for me: DON’T!!! If you think my music is so horrible, STOP LISTENING TO IT! If you find this blog so cheesy and insincere, STOP READING IT!!!

Friends and/or fans: Sorry you’ve been caught in the middle of this. If you enjoy my music, if you’d like to help an independent singer/songwriter out, if you have nothing else to do and no strong feelings concerning any of the other candidates, I would gladly accept your vote if you’d surf on over to You need to provide a valid email address, so don’t be tempted to stuff ballots. I’ll campaign, but I don’t want to cheat. Thanks.

Personally, I plan to vote for Emily Kaitz and Trout Fishing in America as well. (yes, sw: I plan to vote for MYSELF! [GASP!] how creepy…)

SW, it is now becoming clear that you’re pissing off a lot more people than just me. I suggest you figure out a way to be constructive or just live up to your alias as Steve suggested: watch silently

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Posted by on April 11, 2005 in Uncategorized


Fayetteville Free Weekly – "It’s just nice to be nominated…"

So, I’ve been nominated for “Best singer/songwriter-Male” in the NAMA awards. (Northwest Arkansas Music Awards). I’ve been waiting to tell everybody to go vote for me online, but it doesn’t seem like they’ve got it set up to vote yet. argh!

The deadline for voting is supposed to be the 13th, so keep checking back and VOTE FOR SHACK!!! You’ll see an email from me (if you’re on the email list, if not go to and make sure…) when I get it all figured out.

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Posted by on April 7, 2005 in Uncategorized


TX-try again

If you search through this blog back a couple of months, you’ll find a story of the shack fam getting ready to leave to go to La Grange, TX (ZZ top?) and the day before we left, the transmission went out on the car we had planned to take. Long story short, it turns out the people we were to go play for realized that it wasn’t as great a time for them either, so now we’re leaving tomorrow to make up for that gig.

We’re taking a friend and spending the night with another friend in Austin on the way down and leaving the friend we’re taking there. Then, on the way back we’ll spend the night in Austin again and pick up the first friend and come back to Arkansas.

For those of you who don’t know, Holly and I used to do this sort of extended weekend/gig/trips all the time. I mean ALL THE TIME, like every weekend. It was a good living. We met lots of great people and felt to be of some use. It’s harder now.

I’m older…Road weary…maybe a little jaded… (a little?!?) For all of the great things that life held, there were an awful lot of hoops to jump and an awful lot of crap to wade through.

I often struggle with the fact that I made the best living I’ve ever made when I was in the thick of all of that. Not only that, but I received loads of affirmation and encouragement from people who, for some reason, thought that was worthy of their financial/emotional/spiritual support. I just figure that money and accolades are never the best reasons to pursue something.

I think this weekend will be good. We’re leading music for 3rd-8th graders. Kids are cool. If you stand in front of them with a guitar, they figure you must be a rock star. 🙂

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Posted by on April 7, 2005 in Uncategorized