My musical and professional careers have taken many unexpected turns. Sometimes the winding road has left me feeling, if not lost, at least out of place. As a teacher, I’m a meteorologist (my MS is in meteorology from Penn State University) in a physics and astronomy department. As a musician, I only picked up a guitar in my 20s. Though I play novice- to intermediate-level mandolin, banjo and accordion, I barely read music and am intimidated when I’m in a room or on stage with real musicians.
I’ve managed to live this “imposter” lifestyle by either faking it, acting, or a combination of both. Well, my acting chops are again being put to the test — I’m playing the role of an accordion-playing Southern Baptist preacher (Reverend Mervin Oglethorpe) in Starkville Community Theater‘s upcoming production of “Smoke on the Mountain.” If you’re in the Starkville area at the end of October/early November, please consider coming (masked) and enjoying the show. I’m paired up with a very talented cast — again, I’m the newcomer to the SCT world just trying to keep up some gifted veterans.
Speaking of both community and gifted veterans, I would be remiss if I don’t make mention of a very nice “Thank you” card I recently received. During my 2021 Summer Tour, I made a swing through Walthall and Pike Counties. It was at the McComb, MS library that I had the great pleasure to meet “Miss Mattie” (Mattie Rials). Even though she retired from over four decades of service as children’s librarian in the Pike-Amite-Walthall library system, “Miss Mattie” still volunteers and was there to greet me for my visit. It is no small thing to receive a token of appreciation from someone who has done so much for her community.
Someone else who is making an impact on his community is Patrick Adams. Patrick has started a “Kindie Rock Stars” podcast and was nice enough to interview me recently and feature two of my songs, “How Hot Is It?” and “Whale of a Tail.”
If you dig those tunes and want me to bring my songs and show to your community, please reach out — I’m currently booking my Summer 2022 tour.