The Piano

I remember the first time I saw it. As a five year old, climbing the stairs to the stage seemed like a great feat. There it sat on it’s huge metal casters, hidden beneath it’s quilted cover. I remember pulling back the black tarp and opening the lid. When I pressed the keys it seemed like the sound filled the entire hall. My first notes summoned an angry Minister of Music (the late Anita Tritt) who quickly scolded me for banging on her grand piano.

Little did we both know then, I would go on to be asked to play that very piano for church functions, memorials, and retirement parties. Every Sunday during my teenage years you could find me seated at the Baldwin, working out anything from original compositions to the slow part of Eric Clapton’s Layla. Sometimes I’d have to skip Sunday school (much to my parents’ dismay) just to spend some extra time at the keys.

Now 25 years later, anytime I’m in my hometown of Charlotte, North Carolina, I find my way to the church I grew up in. There on the same stage still sits the Baldwin. The stage doesn’t seem quite as high now, but the sight of the piano still makes me catch my breath. The keys are cracked and yellowed today, and she (?) wears her scratches and dents proudly. The action is perfect like a worn in baseball glove. For a moment, I’m five years old again - and then I play.

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Myers Park Baptist Church 2019

October Favorites

It’s been a minute. Sorry I’ve been MIA, things have been busy around here. I’ve had a month long bout of Bronchitis and have been spending most of my energy trying to get healthy. Currently, I’m still unable to sing but am making progress. Meanwhile, I’ve got some gigs coming up where I’m just playing guitar so keep an eye out for me around town. Hope everyone is well! Thought I would just post a few of my current favorite things so here we go:

Jason Isbell and his mighty band just released a live album from a performance at the Ryman in Nashville. Incredible energy on this record - what you’d expect from such a talented artist in this sacred space. Love all the live versions but hard not to be moved by this take of “Cover Me Up.” When Isbell sings his lyric “…but I sobered up and swore off that stuff,” the audience erupts in roar of cheers. As a recovering alcoholic, this must be a deeply moving moment for him. Go listen to it on  ITUNES  or  SPOTIFY .

Jason Isbell and his mighty band just released a live album from a performance at the Ryman in Nashville. Incredible energy on this record - what you’d expect from such a talented artist in this sacred space. Love all the live versions but hard not to be moved by this take of “Cover Me Up.” When Isbell sings his lyric “…but I sobered up and swore off that stuff,” the audience erupts in roar of cheers. As a recovering alcoholic, this must be a deeply moving moment for him. Go listen to it on ITUNES or SPOTIFY.

My sister Rosemary came to visit me in NYC last week. It was the first time I’ve seen her in almost a year. She studied abroad in China last semester so we haven’t had the chance to see each other outside of Skype. Enjoyed showing her the city and catching up. Definitely a favorite.

My sister Rosemary came to visit me in NYC last week. It was the first time I’ve seen her in almost a year. She studied abroad in China last semester so we haven’t had the chance to see each other outside of Skype. Enjoyed showing her the city and catching up. Definitely a favorite.

We lost our beloved Aretha Franklin recently. This is a subway platform on my way home in Brooklyn. Love this tribute.

We lost our beloved Aretha Franklin recently. This is a subway platform on my way home in Brooklyn. Love this tribute.

This song has been on repeat for a week at my house. Jamie and Allen are forces of nature. Obsessed with this groove.

Current favorite book. Been getting inspired about the world again (easy to get blue with current affairs). Looking forward to checking some of these places off on tour. Get it  here .

Current favorite book. Been getting inspired about the world again (easy to get blue with current affairs). Looking forward to checking some of these places off on tour. Get it here.

Dream House is hard to find even if you are looking for it. Located at  275 Church Street  in Manhattan, the entrance to Dream House is just another nondescript doorway on a busy city street. Ring the buzzer to get in and follow a long flight of stairs. There you will be greeted by an attendant who will kindly request that you remove your shoes and pay the $10 donation/entry fee. Upon entering the space a fairly jarring tone fills the air. It’s a little off putting at first, but as time passes it becomes almost pleasant. The tone is drone of lower and mid frequencies. I noticed that depending on the tilt of the head, the tone changes ever so slightly. Lit by only purple and blue ambient lighting, the space does really feel dream-like. The entire area is completely empty other than a few art pieces on the walls. In the main room a large tapestry covers the largest wall. Behind the tapestry is a projector that seems to bring certain patterns to life as you look at it. The floor is carpeted and I found myself sitting staring at the wall. Other folks wander in and out of the space, sometimes laying down or using one of the provided cushions to sit. This experience is hard to describe and probably sounds pretty trippy - which I guess it is. I thought I had been in Dream House for maybe a 30 mins but when I left it had been over an hour.Afterwards, I felt extremely calm and relaxed.. Later on I did a little research and found that Dream House has been an installation since the 90s and the likes of Brian Eno and David Byrne have made visits. If you’re in the NYC area or are visiting soon try to make time to check this out. More information can be found  here . Also check out this write up in Rolling Stone magazine  here .

Dream House is hard to find even if you are looking for it. Located at 275 Church Street in Manhattan, the entrance to Dream House is just another nondescript doorway on a busy city street. Ring the buzzer to get in and follow a long flight of stairs. There you will be greeted by an attendant who will kindly request that you remove your shoes and pay the $10 donation/entry fee. Upon entering the space a fairly jarring tone fills the air. It’s a little off putting at first, but as time passes it becomes almost pleasant. The tone is drone of lower and mid frequencies. I noticed that depending on the tilt of the head, the tone changes ever so slightly. Lit by only purple and blue ambient lighting, the space does really feel dream-like. The entire area is completely empty other than a few art pieces on the walls. In the main room a large tapestry covers the largest wall. Behind the tapestry is a projector that seems to bring certain patterns to life as you look at it. The floor is carpeted and I found myself sitting staring at the wall. Other folks wander in and out of the space, sometimes laying down or using one of the provided cushions to sit. This experience is hard to describe and probably sounds pretty trippy - which I guess it is. I thought I had been in Dream House for maybe a 30 mins but when I left it had been over an hour.Afterwards, I felt extremely calm and relaxed.. Later on I did a little research and found that Dream House has been an installation since the 90s and the likes of Brian Eno and David Byrne have made visits. If you’re in the NYC area or are visiting soon try to make time to check this out. More information can be found here. Also check out this write up in Rolling Stone magazine here.


That’s all I got for now.

Be well! xo




Me & Mr. Clapton

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The people we idolize when we are young can have such a lasting impact on our lives. Sometime in junior high school I discovered the music of Eric Clapton. This was a pivotal moment in my journey. Clapton was one of the first players I came across that used his guitar as an extension of his voice. I was obsessed with my new found guitar hero, and spent most of my teenage years studying every nuance of his playing and legacy. I've even owned two of his signature Stratocasters.

I quickly identified with Clapton’s persona. He seems a bit introverted and shy, and really lets his music do the talking. His stage shows typically have a pretty simple set up - not a lot of flash, and he is always diplomatic when it comes to sharing the stage. This is something I’ve always tried to embody as a performer. Surrounding yourself with excellent musicians and allowing them space to shine is one the greatest thrills of being on stage.

One of the first Clapton records I got my hands on was a live CD/DVD recording called One More Car, One More Rider. I probably watched that thing hundreds of times. Many members of his live band are some of my favorite players today - Nathan East, Steve Gadd, and Billy Preston - just to name a few. The first time I saw Clapton in concert I remember being overwhelmed to the point of tears.

Whether Clapton is your guitar hero or not, it’s hard to deny his impact on blues and rock music. I think his larger legacy is keeping blues music alive. Clapton has put the spotlight on so many blues artists that may have fallen by the wayside in their later years - B.B. King, Robert Cray, Buddy Guy , JJ Cale - the list goes on and on. He also paved the way for so many younger players from Richie Sambora to John Mayer. Clapton is largely responsible for introducing Bob Marley's music to American audiences as well. 

I imagine our childhood heroes are much like our first boyfriends or girlfriends. Even though we go on to experience other things, they always hold a special place in our hearts. I still find inspiration in Eric’s records today. I saw recently he will be playing two dates this fall at Madison Square Garden. I’ll probably grab a ticket -  it will most likely be my last chance to see my hero. 

Happy New Year!

I wanted to take a minute and wish everyone a Happy New Year! 2017 was a memorable one. Thank you for your continued support. This past year, shipments of my album were sent to Japan, Austria, France and Brasil - not to mention across the United States.  2017 brought some great moments - playing at Buddy Guy's club in Chicago, spending time with friends in Nashville, and of course hanging out at Fame Studios in Muscle Shoals. This was also the year I relocated to New York. It's all been a lot to process but I'm loving every minute of it.

I just got back to New York after spending some time with family back home in North Carolina. Over the visit I was able to meet with my producer and go over some new songs for my next project. Looking forward to getting that music recorded in 2018. Everyone stay safe and I hope to see you all in the new year! Cheers!