Tag Archive: Show


You were not happy when you didn’t have shows booked for Friday and Saturday. But you thought it was a good thing when you came down with a cold because the weather was changing. You feel better Monday and feel like you can play. Whether it’s a gig or an open mic, you’re ready to get out and play. You order a glass of water with your beer – because you usually do and, well, you’re not stupid.

Then you get called to play before you’re ready. In the middle of your routine, as it were. You take your water with you. You tuned your guitar as soon as you knew you’d be playing. But it’s outside on the patio and you’re praying it stays in tune – which it usually does. But you keep checking to make sure.

You start the first song and your voice sounds better than you thought it would. Then about the third line you realize that moisture is escaping from your mouth in rapid fashion. Just before you hit the chorus, you feel a frog crawling up your throat. Well, not quite a frog really – more like one of those little frogs that used to be as prevalent in a backyard as fireflies, but you don’t see them much any more.

You turn your mouth away from the mic – hoping it’s quick and quiet – while still keeping the rhythm going. You recover in time to start the chorus – maybe a beat late. You finish the song with only a couple of incidents.

You keep drinking water. As each successive song goes by, you begin to think you’re going to pull it off. As the water begins to run out, you take a chance and push it a little, getting a little louder. You finish with another loud song. Fortunately, no one heard the coughs and gurgles.

The crowd enjoyed it and you leave the stage to get more water – hoping you didn’t do any damage to your vocal cords. The time I refer to was not too bad. Unfortunately, other times have not gone as well.

What is your “show must go on” story?

Keep writing the songs that are in your heart.

Peace be with you.

 

 

Dan Roark, Jennifer Holm, Colleen Francis

I had the good fortune to be asked by Jennifer Holm to join her and Colleen Francis for the Song & Story show on DentonRadio.com on Thursday, September 7. The two women were in place with Jake Laughlin setting up the computer and sound when I arrived. I got my guitar and the necessary accessories and settled into my chair in the studio.

We were making small talk as Jake finished getting things set up. Colleen told me she was supposed to tell me hello from Vic and Mary Brooke Casad. Keep that in mind – it will come up later. After a technical issue that caused us to restart the introductions, Jennifer welcomed the listeners and did the usual radio announcements. After which we introduced ourselves – follow the links for our info.

Then Colleen started the songs with Night Owl. While we traded off songs, the other songs she played were Wildflower, a piece from a current project, Better Than This, and Rainbow in the Night. I liked all of her songs, but I liked Better Than This best.

Jennifer was next in the rotation. Her first song was Falling, about falling in love. Her other songs were Old House, I Guess This is Goodbye, Against the House, and Fire and Ice.

When my first turn came, I played Hello Out There, my song for those on the autism spectrum. My following songs were I Just Want to Get Social, Why Now?, and Walking to Jerusalem, before ending the show and my five songs with Chocolate Eclairs and Apple Fritters. Walking to Jerusalem is a song I wrote while reading Mary Brooke Casad’s book, Road to Amazing, which she wrote with her brother, Clayton Oliphant. Mary Brooke is Colleen’s aunt in-law. Talk about a small world.

It was a delightful show and we had a lot of fun. Performing in the round is always a good time. But you don’t have to take my word for it. The video is below and you can see for yourself.

Keep writing the songs that are in your heart.

Peace be with you.

Jeff Stachowski

Friday, March 24, was the last week of regular competition in Little Anthony’s Reach for the Stars Talent Revue competition at Harbor Point Club and Grill. Regular  judges Dan Roark, Pete Corm (Party with Pete), Lonny Schonfeld, and Tonya Houston were joined by Rachael A. Gregory. Little Anthony, of course, was MC, and Tomas Pineda, Jr. manned the video camera.

Contestants on the last  week – in order of appearance – were David Burns, Linda Stone,

Linda Stone

Albert Eli, and Jeff Stachowski. Fill-in acts were Johnny Christian, Steven Perry (winner from week 11), Don Wall (also a semi-finalist) with Jack Lavender, Sheryl McGuire, Darren Rozell, Lonny Schonfeld, Michael J. (comedian), Ricky Cabug-os, Tomas Pineda, Jr., and Copperhead Taylor. Dan Roark closed the show.

The final week winner was Jeff Stachowski. Linda Stone and Albert Eli came in second and third, respectively.

More pictures will be found on my FB music page.  Next Friday begins the semi-finals. Come on out and see all of  the talented performers. Show begins at 8 p.m.

Albert Eli

Keep writing the songs that are in your heart.

Peace be with you.

Pastor Cassie Wade introducing me

Pastor Cassie Wade introducing me

I would like to thank the congregation of Jacksboro FUMC for their gracious welcome, and their generosity with the love offering at my show. They invited Cyndy and I to worship with them at the service, and I sang Follow the Angels for the offertory and played on the two closing hymns. Following the service, Pastor Cassie Wade and her husband, Kelly, served lunch at the parsonage for the four of us, and Karlene Boucher, the Choir Director. We had a nice visit over a lunch of hamburgers and potato salad, with strawberries, angel food cake, and whipped cream for dessert.

Cyndy and I have known Cassie and Kelly for years. Among other things, it was a day of Dan Roark playing in worship service 1-31-'16interesting facts and occurrences. My family lived on Hollandale Avenue in Wichita Falls in the late ‘60s. It turns out that Karlene Boucher lives on Hollandale – and has for many years -although after we lived there. She drives down on Wednesdays and Sundays to Jacksboro.

But wait, there’s more. While we were in the worship service, our granddaughter, Kelley, was sitting with the Wade’s daughter, Amber, and her daughter (the Wade’s granddaughter – if you’re keeping score), at our home church, Christ UMC, Farmers Branch. Our son, Cameron, was keeping an eye on Kelley from the A/V booth. Interesting, is it not?

Dan Roark show at FUMC 1-31-'16 fMy show was from 3-4 p.m. The audience was very receptive and attentive. It made performing for them all that much more enjoyable. A number of them had very kind words after the show. I will share a video of some of the show when it’s complete.

Peace be with you.

V-PicksAs my post on the DSA blog (re-posted here) stated, I worked the booth at the Arlington Guitar Show. I enjoy working the booth at guitar shows, because it’s a chance to play guitars I will never own. Some of them were worth so much money, I just look at them from a distance. If I see a good deal on a guitar that looks, sounds, and plays really nice, I take two deep breaths and move on. If I take another guitar home, I’ll need to take divorce papers with me. So I look at the newest gadgets, like capos, picks, etc.

For many years, most guitar players used Fender medium picks. Of course it was not entirely universal, but “as a general rule.” The shape would change, depending on the instrument. If you wanted a new sound, you changed the brand or gauge of string you used, or even the guitar. There weren’t as many different picks back then, so changing picks usually never crossed a guitar player’s mind. I did, however, change from Fender medium to John Pearse medium, which I still use. It has an offset point which is easier for me hold and attack the strings.

My statement about “most guitar players,” refers mainly to acoustic guitarists. Although a lot players I knew used medium exclusively, more and more guitarists began using heavy gauge picks for playing electric guitars. Now it’s all over the map as far as shapes, gauges, and types of materials for picks are concerned. Which is precisely my point.

Since I had to set my sights on lower cost items, I started looking into different picks at guitar shows. It’s incredible how many different materials they make picks with. Now I have a lot of different picks. But I’m still married! Then I was introduced to V-Picks. Each of the picks has a different tone or resonance. I am experimenting with different picks in their line, but my mainstays are the blue Lite Tradition and the Euro II. I stocked up at Arlington show because they always have their biggest booth there.

I also like to see the different picks they’ve come up with. Even though they’re made of an acrylic/glass type of material, they still wear down. It takes a little doing, mind you, but they still wear down. One of the good points of the picks in general – other than the unique sound – is that it sticks to your fingers with the heat in your hand. It’s hard to lose these picks while playing. Give them a try. At the very least you’ll make some good sounds and have fun.

Peace be with you.

[Re-posted from DSA blog]
Bobby Montgomery at DSA BoothThe second special event of October was the DSA booth at the Arlington Guitar Show on Saturday, October 17, and Sunday, the 18th. Bobby Montgomery set up the table on Saturday – and worked all day both days, God bless him! I joined him shortly thereafter – after waiting in line to park. I helped with the booth until about 12:30.

I was watching the booth when Bobby stepped out for a bit. I looked at my phone and saw a notification from Facebook. It was one of those “what you were doing last year” posts that Facebook does, with a picture from a year ago. It was the picture I took of Bobby behind the booth last year at the guitar show. It looked similar to the picture above, but I think the table looked better this year.

After a couple of hours I had to leave in order to host the DSA Showcase at the Farmers Branch Manske Library. I don’t know if any volunteers showed up to help Bobby after I left. I didn’t have a chance to browse the booths before I left. I did do one thing, but that is a different post.

On Sunday, Bobby and I opened the booth again with a little help from my son, Cameron. Then I had the chance to wander around and drool at the guitars, amps, and accessories. Among the wandering and drooling, I stopped at the Guitars for Vets booth. I met George Jordan, head of the Dallas Chapter.

George told me how the program worked. They give each vet ten guitar lessons. If the vet completes all ten lessons and shows interest, they give him a guitar. When I told him I was with the Dallas Songwriters, he got excited. They were trying to come up with something, after giving the vet the guitar, to keep the interest and effectiveness going.

I told him the DSA would be happy to support them in any way we could. We have worked with many veterans over the years. If music and playing guitar can help them maintain, then surely songwriting would help. Without a doubt, they have stories to tell. For several years, Dallas Songwriters distributed a cd entitled Songs from the Soul of Service: A Collection of Songs written by U.S. Soldiers, Sailors, Airmen, and Marines. Surely telling those stories through song – or even spoken word over guitar – would be comforting in nature. I will be contacting George soon. Stay tuned for future development.

Dickey Johnson and Michael Brandenberger arrived at the booth before I left in time to get Cameron back home to go to work. We talked to quite a few people at the booth over the two days. We have two pages of names and emails to enter into the mailing list and into a drawing for a chance to win a free year’s membership. If you are on that list, you should receive an email from me before too long.

Keep writing the songs that are in your heart.

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