Stormin' Bob Swanson

Blogging Bob

Imposter syndrome

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.

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