Wednesday, December 31, 2008

DP's Best of 2008 Awards

Top 6 Gigs of 2008
1) Birchmere – Alexandria, VA 2/23, opening for Christine Lavin. The Birchmere is one of the premier venues for singer/songwriters in the country, and it was a great honor to play there, as well as to be asked by Christine Lavin to open the show. The staff and hospitality were first rate, and playing in front of a 300+ listening room audience is a rare treat in this business.
2) Magpie House Concerts – Salt Lake City, UT 2/8. A beautiful drive through snow covered mountains brought me from Las Vegas up to Salt Lake City. I had met Grant, the host of the series at the 2007 Folk Alliance Conference, and had always wanted to come back to play in Salt Lake City (I hadn’t been there since 1996). The living room was absolutely packed for the show, only a couple feet between myself and the front row of seats. It was one of the most folk friendly audiences I had ever performed for. Everyone was hanging on every word, and the whole night couldn’t have gone better. Even the pregame meal of Memphis-style barbecue was better than I could have expected. (I didn’t expect much out of barbecue in Utah, but it was the real deal)
3) Vanilla Bean Café- Pomfret, CT 6/7 with Jud Caswell. This night was a perfect example of what I love about being a touring singer/songwriter. Vanilla Bean Café is a perfect setting for acoustic music, tucked away in a very small town in the northeast corner of Connecticut. Jud and I had played 4 gigs together in the span of 2 weeks, and we finally had our act together for this show, we had figured out how to play on each other’s songs, and if I do say so myself, we sounded pretty darn good. Despite the very small audience, I have rarely had a better time performing.
4) Chapel Meeting House – Foxborough, MA 10/18 – A very quaint little venue run by a nonprofit organization, they only hold a couple of concerts per year, the room was filled nearly to capacity on a cold October night. The audience was very fun to play for, and I had a very good time making Bill Belichik jokes throughout the night.
5) Moore Music In The House – Rockville, MD with Jud Caswell 5/31. Scott and Paula Moore are among my very favorite people in the folk music community, and it was quite a pleasure to play at their house concert series. Despite having to listen to Jud, the audience seemed to have a great time:) The greater DC area has a pretty good number of venues and house concerts, and it was good to see several other concert hosts and old friends in the audience.
6) Music In The Burbs – Bloomfield Hills, MI 5/10. The last gig of a weekend swing through Indiana/Michigan, Jay and Renee were great hosts, and they had the largest crowd since they began doing house concerts. The room was very well set up for house concerts, and lent itself well to a fun night.

Best Tour of 2008 - Las Vegas/Los Angeles/Utah, February 2008. My favorite tour of the year only had a little bit to do with the concerts I played. The #2 concert of the year, Magpie House Concerts was part of this tour, but the highlights were hanging out in Las Vegas and Los Angeles. I flew into Las Vegas and spent a couple days there, playing a nice concert series called Garage-Ma-Hall. The first night I was in Vegas, I went to see Stomp! Out Loud. That is written up later in this blog. Then, I played a little blackjack in between eating pizza at New York, New York, and watching the lion tamers at the MGM Grand. After the first Vegas gig, I drove to LA, where I watched the Super Bowl with Ryan Brown. It was great to see Ryan, as well as watching one of the best football games you will ever see. Later in the trip, I got to spend some time with Rob Seals as well. And though it wasn't quite as exciting as our 2007 trip to Disneyland, Ryan, Rob and I did have a musicians day out at In 'N' Out Burger! (which is very close to Disneyland in excitement level). After LA, I drove back to Vegas and spent a few more days playing blackjack and seeing some comedy shows, before heading off to Utah for the Magpie concert.

CD of the Year – Though it actually came out in 2007, I didn’t get it until 2008, Andy Gullahorn’s ‘Reinvent The Wheel’ is fantastic. A very close 2nd is Joe Crookston’s ‘Able Baker Charile & Dog’. If you are a fan of acoustic singer/songwriters, you should definitely check out both of these artists, and

Hosts of the Year – Sam and Erin Hensley, Washington, DC. The weekend of the Birchmere gig in Alexandria, VA, I stayed for 4 nights with my friends Sam and Erin Hensley. Sam a very talented singer/songwriter, (certainly more talented than he turned out to be at NCAA Football on the Sony Playstation). Sam booked me a couple additional gigs in the area, at which he performed as well, and they were great shows. Sam and Erin had the place stocked with Vanilla Coke before I arrived, took me to some very good restaurants (even the Steak & Egg was worth a visit), and even stopped to pick me up some Ben & Jerry’s Phish Food after the Birchmere gig, so I could celebrate the great gig with a couple thousand wonderful calories. I have stayed at a LOT of places over the past 15 years and 400,000 miles, and Villa de Hensley was definitely one of the better experiences. (I’m sure the dominance of DP-led Auburn in the NCAA Football didn’t hurt my opinion of the place.)

Rental Car of the Year – In late May, I toured in Northern Virginia and Maryland, flying into Reagan Int’l Airport in DC. I have been getting stuck with a lot of PT Cruisers over the past couple years, but someone at Hertz was informed as to the fact that the amazing, world famous Dave Potts was renting a car, and they gave me a Mustang. Finally a car that could nearly match my level of awesomeness. (I am pretty sure that’s a real word)

Movie review of the Year – I’ve never heard a movie summed up so well as this; While waiting in line to buy tickets to Batman, There were a couple of college guys in front of us talking about the movies that were playing. One guy asked his friend if he intended to go see Mamma Mia! He summed up all of my deepest feelings about the idea of seeing that movie with his response.. He said, "Mamma Mia! Did you see the previews? I wanted to kill myself." Well said college guy.

Best 2nd Half of a Play – I actually attended several plays (as in live theater, like real people on the stage, you know, no editing or overdubs or re-do’s). My wife and I went to see ‘Wicked’ in Atlanta, we had both heard wonderful things about the show for years. For the first half of the show, I was beyond confused as to what the fuss was all about. It was OK I guess, but OK is the highest rating I could give it. However, just before the break and for the rest of the performance, it really picked up steam, and by the end I could say I was very impressed, and was very glad we went, even though it always against my better judgement to dress up.

Best stage performance of the year – In addition to several plays, I saw Stom Out Loud! In Las Vegas. It is a version of the touring show, Stomp, which I had always wanted to see. It was fantastic, and I will probably go see the show again if I have a chance.

Movie of the Year – In the most lopsided vote in movie of the year history, Batman:The Dark Knight is an easy choice. I only saw it 4 times in the theater, so I am glad it is being re-released prior to the Oscar’s.

Tuesday, December 30, 2008

A great Christmas Tree

Just got this photo sent to me yesterday. As far as I know, it is the first DP Christmas Tree Ornament. Thanks to Mark in Mobile, AL for including me on his tree that has over 500 ornaments from places he's visited and people he's met.

The DP Best of 2008 Awards will be posted tomorrow night!

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

DP takes over YouTube

I'm in the process of putting some new videos up on youtube. There's about a dozen videos up there now, and in the next week, I should have 5-6 more up. There's a bunch of songs from a show I did in Goshen, IN earlier this year. I am putting in some songs from a show in Pensacola, FL in 2004, and a Bluebird Cafe performance from 2003. I am working on getting a hold of some other videos from shows in the past couple years as well. Here's one from the Pensacola show;

Thursday, December 04, 2008

Big venues/small venues

I've been thinking about my Top 5 gigs of the year for 2008, always something I enjoy doing, to look back over the past year and pick out my most enjoyable concerts. It seems like it should be a no-brainer for this year. I had the opportunity to play at the famed Birchmere Concert Hall in Alexandria, VA, which is by all accounts on of the top venues in the country. I opened for Christine Lavin, who is one of the most recognized folk singers, and thanks to her, I played for an audience of around 300 people. It was quite an honor to play at the Birchmere, and even more of an honor to be asked to open for Christine.
But, does my music, and my stage persona fit at a large venue like that? I used to think, as most musicians do, that the definition of success was how high up the ladder you got, and that record deals and filling large theaters was the ultimate goal. It has become very clear to me this year that is not what I am meant for. Even if that were a possibility (which it probably is not), I am a small venue, small crowd artist. The current folk singer/songwriter scene, mostly played out in house concerts and small venues throughout the country just doesn't mesh with the big business glitz of Nashville country acts, or commercial pop/rock artists.
To be clear, The Birchmere, and venues that are large but still cater to acoustic singer/songwriters are not in the previous category, they are great venues, and the larger acts of this scene, such as Christine Lavin, John Gorka, David Wilcox, etc need a place to play.
But, there is no way a large venue can match the feel of a house concert or small venue (100 people or less), and for grass roots artists such as myself, there really is no better venue than the intimacy of a small room where the interaction with the audience really is what drives the show.

For those of you that are fans of acoustic music, where you do like to go to hear singer/songwriters? Do you prefer the local coffeehouse, or the monthly concert series held at a community center or church, or house concerts, or larger venues like clubs or theaters?

Monday, December 01, 2008

One month to work on the DP Best of 2008 Awards

My favorite journal/blog entry of every year, is always the much anticipated DP 'Best of' the Year Awards. The nomination process can now begin, as this is what I spend most of the month of December doing.
I am opening the floor to suggestions for new awards categories. If you have anything you'd like to see included in this year awards, speak now!

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Someone in Boston had a great weekend

Didn't quite work out for the Red Sox, but I had a great weekend tour in the Boston area.
I flew in Friday morning, and drove up to Topsfield, north of Boston. I played a great house concert series, hosted by Ashara who does a great job with the series. Making the show even better was being joined by Jenny Goodspeed, who some of you may remember as the harmony vocalist on my 'South Side Diner' and 'County Line Road' CD's. She is also a great singer/songwriter, and she did a wonderful opening set. During my set, she joined me for harmonies on '$12.99', 'One Mississippi', 'You're All The Stars I Need' and 'How Will You Remember Me.'
On Saturday, I headed down to Foxboro, Mass, home of the Patriots. I had one of my more enjoyable concerts in recent memory at the Chapel Meeting House. It was a beautiful little building, and pretty well full with about 40-50 people, and 5 different kinds of pie! I had a great time performing, making Bill Belichik jokes and eating desserts...The show was taped (doesn't everyone get taped when they go to Foxboro) for a local cable channel, and I'm hoping to get a copy of the show, and if I do, I'll be able to post some songs on the website.

Sunday, I met up with my friend Jud Caswell in Franklin, Mass for a house concert. Jud played some new songs which were great to hear, and we spent some time after the show talking about the state of the travelling singer/songwriter scene today and how it impacts us. I may get into some of that later.
After the concert, I went to Pizzeria Uno and polished off a deep dish pizza, which is always a good idea.

The pictures are from the Kick Off Your Shoes House Concert in Topsfield, Mass with Jenny Goodspeed, photos taken by Jenny's husband Erik Hofner.

Thursday, September 25, 2008

Political songs, what to do with them?

I've had an interesting situation come up recently, and without going into too much detail about it, I will talk about the questions it has brought up, and I'd love to hear any feedback any of you might have.

If you're not aware, the folk singer/songwriter "scene" that encompasses most of my concerts, fanbase, fellow artists, etc is very issues based, a lot of songwriters share their political and social views through their music. Often times, I disagree with the views being expressed in songs written and performed by my peers. I quite often appear on stage with other performers, doing co-bills, in-the-round concerts, etc. And, unavoidably, sometimes an artist will perform a song that offends some members of my audience. Keep in mind here that I am talking about artists who have just a few songs of strong political/social opinion, and for the most part have a catalog of songs similar to mine, and with no particular viewpoint.

I wonder if it is in any way my responsibility to distance myself from views that I diasgree with, and those that may upset some of my fans. I know I have fans on both sides of the political spectrum, and have different views on social issues from many performers that I know and like.

I have always had the opinion that a persons views on these type of issues, so long as they are not a majority of their songs, and only shared sparingly, don't bother me at all, whether I agree or disagree. But, I realize many people can take a song very seriously, or really feel the need to distance themselves from someone they have a fundemental difference of opinion from. Think about what happened to the Dixie Chicks when they made comments about Bush a few years ago. They were basically thrown out of country music. I personally could care less what Natalie Maines feels about politics. Good music is good music. Obviously, several hundred thousand other people who stopped buying their records couldn't shrug it off as easily.

So, the question I would pose and appreciate feedback on is this; If I am appearing on stage, either opening for, doing an in-the-round performance with, or otherwise on the same bill as a musician that I know has songs that I disagree with, and that some of my fans may be offended by, should I refuse to appear with that artist? Or, should I feel the need to say anything about it? What is my obligation in that sort of situation?

And, let me pose this question to you as a listener; If an artist has 25 songs that you like and 1 or 2 songs that you strongly disagree with , do those 1 or 2 songs change your opinion of the artist, or the other 25 songs that you like?
Let me know if you have any thoughts on my ramblings. As always, thanks for listening.

Monday, September 08, 2008

$18.97 on E-Bay!!

I was looking for Bernie Kosar memorabilia on ebay tonight, and decided to check on Dave Potts items while I was there. My 2nd CD, 'Music In My Soul', which I don't sell anymore, and I joke about being a "collector's item", is on sale for $18.97. I'll be honest with you, it's probably not worth $18.97, but I sure hope someone buys it. Maybe a museum will want it.

By the way, if the $18.97 copy sells before you can get there, I have a couple boxes stuffed in a closet somewhere, and I will gladly sell you one for $18.96.

Saturday, August 16, 2008

Great new CD from Joe Crookston

I've just heard a new CD, that you need to check out. It is by my friend Joe Crookston, who I met at the Northeast Regional Folk Alliance Conference. I've always liked his music, but this latest record is a step above what he's done before. The CD is called Able Baker Charlie and Dog. Before you wonder about the title, I won't ruin it, but the title cut is just a brilliant song that you need to hear.

Joe tells real stories about real people that he has met, he is a master storyteller. I am a storytelling songwriter, I suppose, but my stories are usually either autobiographical, or mostly made-up. Joe's stories are real, and you can feel the truth and it's relevance in the songs. 'Freddy the Falcon' is one of the best songs I've heard in years, I heard him play it at NERFA just after he had written it a couple years ago, and I've been humming it ever since, I'm so glad it's finally on CD. it's the story of a kid he met when he used to do work in a youth detention facility. Just a great story, even better because it's true.

In addition to 'Freddy The Falcon' and the title track, other standouts to me are 'Mending Walls' and 'Blue Tattoo'.

I highly recommend you taking a listen to this great songwriter, his website is you'll be glad you took the time.

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

$4 gas, how about $40 CD'S?

I think if all musicians united, we could convince people that paying $40 for CD's is reasonable, and necessary. You see, if you understand supply and demand, you would realize that China uses so many CD's, there are less CD's available elsewhere.
And, while there may be millions, perhaps billions of rough CD's waiting to be turned into working CD's in Alaska and off the shore of Florida, none of us knows for sure exactly how long it would take to get all those CD's dug up and dusted off. Plus, we don't know how safe it is to dig for CD's, because what if a bunch of bad music escaped, and all of a sudden Michael Bolton songs were heard on the beaches of Florida, and nobody could stop it.
For another point, I have found recently that most people have never even heard of CD speculators. Congress really needs to step in and get these people under control!
Of course, while the majority of CD's will cost $40, there are a number of you who have very sensitive ears and stereo's, you will need to purchase plus, or perhaps premium CD's. Those will be $42 and $44 respectively.

Monday, August 04, 2008

Big times in Murphy, NC/Great Quotes

Had a great time at The Daily Grind Concert Series in Murphy, NC Friday night. I shared the gig with Greg Adkins, and we always have a great time performing together. We've done enough shows together that we can sometimes sound like a duo that has actually practiced. (which we haven't). We had some nice harmony vocals, Greg knows keyboard parts to a few of my songs, and guitar parts to some others, and I can play and sing on about half of his songs as well. If you haven't yet heard Greg's music, please go have a listen at, and I highly recommend getting a copy of his 'Chase The Western Sky' CD. (which has some of the most stunningly amazing harmony vocals in the history of recorded music). Here's a pitcure of us after about 3 iced mochas.

I have 2 great "quotes of the week" to share with you;

First, my wife and I were waiting in the ticket line at the movie theater to see Batman... There were a couple of college guys in front of us talking about the movies that were playing. One guy asked his friend if he intended to go see Mamma Mia! He summed up all of my deepest feelings about the idea of seeing that movie with his response.. He said, "Mamma Mia! Did you see the previews? I wanted to kill myself." Well said college guy.

Quote #2, came from a meeting of our homeschool group yesterday afternoon. My wife was talking to some friends, when this little nugget of wisdom appeared... "Kids are like Sponge Bob. Well, they're not yellow, but they absorb." Fantastic!

Monday, July 28, 2008

Is it live or is it DP in a studio?

I had a talk with Rob Seals last week, and we chatted a little about what the next DP project might be (in between the baseball trade deadline talks).... I have been thinking about doing something a little different. I have done 7 studio CD's in my career, 4 of which are still in print, and am thinking it may be fun to do a live CD. I would love to hear your thoughts on live vs. studio CD. If I did a live CD, it would include some new songs, some old favorites, probably a couple cover songs. There would likely be a mix of solo acoustic, stuff with limited backup musicians, and a couple of full band songs...
If I did a studio CD, it would be a similar feel to '$12.99', with mostly new DP songs, along with a couple of cover songs.
If you have any opinions, thoughts, please feel free to leave a comment, or send me an e-mail. I'd love to have my devoted fans (you are devoted, aren't you?) involved in the planning stages of this next project.
There is still no timeline for this, but at least the thinking stages have begun.

Have you seen Batman yet?

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

When something's this good, gotta talk about it

Wow, Batman 'The Dark Knight' is an amazing movie. I don't care if you don't like superhero/comic book movies, I don't care if you like action movies or not, I don't care if you don't even like movies at all, you must go see this movie! It is a stunning film on so many different levels... Big budget Hollywood blockbusters are not supposed to have this much depth. But this is art, pure and simple. Fantastic.

Note : Do not take your children to see this movie. It is violent and disturbing, and probably should be rated R instead of PG-13.

Monday, July 07, 2008

To CD or not to CD?

That is the question... I am starting to think about the possibility of doing some recording in 2009, and am wondering if the CD is starting to reach the end of it's useful time? Digital music is becoming much more popular every year, and at some point, will take over for Cd's entirely. I remember in 1999 when I put out my 'County Line Road' CD, I also made cassettes. Before that point, it had been necessary to have cassettes, but soon after, cassettes were totally obsolete, and I still have a box of 'County Line Road' cassettes.
I don't want to end up with a box of thousands of a new CD while everyone is busy downloading my music, and using my old CD's as frisbees, coasters, etc.
There are becoming more ways to distribute music digitally, ITunes being the most popular. There are also download cards, which I can sell at shows. And, of course, you can download songs or full albums straight off the homepage of my website.
But, on the other hand, some people still do enjoy having an actual CD, and there are still people who haven't joined the current century, and don't know how to download music, much less put it on an mp3 player.
If you have thoughts on the 'to CD or not to CD' question, please do share!

Thursday, June 19, 2008

it's all art to me

I may be really reaching for a topic here, but this is what I've been thinking about. It started when I was at the NBA Finals in Boston last weekend....
Quite often, I hear artsy people complaining about how much everyone loves sports, and why can't people understand that music, art, etc. is more important and a better way to spend their time and money... Being a musician, I think it would be great if more people spent more of their money going out to hear obscure folk musicians rather than going to football games, but the thought that somehow art is more valid or important than sports is a pretty silly concept.
When I hear people complain about the insane amounts of money that atheletes get paid, I usually nod my head and agree for a minute, but then if I stop and think about it, that is a ridiculous thing to be upset about. Last weekend, I saw 20,000 in Boston who had payed an average of a couple hundred bucks to go to the NBA finals, and thousands more outside hoping they could find a ticket to buy. The night before, I played a concert in Connecticut, and about 30 people came, willing to pay $12 to see some darn fine folk music (if I do say so myself). Well, of course Kevin Garnett should get paid more than I do! Now, the idea that one form of entertainment is "better" than another is not something that is even worth arguing about. Some people like live music, some people like art galleries or theater. But, even more people like sports, and you know what? It seems to me that they are all serving the exact same purpose, for people to be entertained, and to have some sort of an escape from their everyday lives.
I'd be interested to hear your thoughts, so leave a comment if you want. Am I off my rocker, or are sports and art basically the same thing?

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

Two fun weekends.

I'm back from 2nd straight weekend tour of gigs with Jud Caswell ( We spent one weekend in Maryland and this past weekend in New England. There were some great shows, and it was fun spending some time with Jud, and hearing his music. I'll give you the basic rundown of the past 2 weeks, then in upcoming posts I'll go into some details about specific parts that were quite fun.
On May 29th, I started my tour in Stafford, VA, after flying into DC, and getting a vert cool rental car, a Ford Mustang. Nothing says Mustang like Dave Potts! On May 30th, I met up with Jud for a house concert in Baltimore. We spent Saturday walking around downtown Baltimore, then Saturday night, we had a house concert in Rockville, MD, with Moore Music, some of my favorite people in the folk scene.
I flew home to Alabama on Sunday, and spent a few days drinking sweet tea before flying up to Boston Thursday night. I got into Boston at midnight, and drove a couple hours north to Brunswick, Maine, to Jud's house. I slept until noon, which I hadn't done in quite a while, it was great! Friday night, after a fantastic dinner at Beale Street Barbecue in Bath, ME (more about that bbq later), Jud and I played a show at The Chocolate Church Arts Center, which is a very cool venue.
After another morning of sleeping in (only till 11 this time), Jud and I headed down to the Vanilla Bean Cafe in Pomfret, CT which has long been one of my favorite venues. It was a wonderful show, after 4 shows together, Jud and I finally had our act together and really put on a good show if I do say so myself. We made a late night jaunt back to Maine, with plans to play an open mic feature in Boston Sunday night. But, other plans came around, as 2 friends of mine from high school were going to be at Game 2 of the NBA Finals in Boston. Shane called me and asked what time my gig was, and if I'd like to try and get a ticket to the game. Open mic feature or Celtics-Lakers NBA Finals? tough call... You probably know what I chose, Game 2 of the NBA Finals was fantastic!! I'll be writing some more about that soon...
Just wanted to give you the rundown since I haven't written in a while, I'll be posting interesting details from the trips over the next couple days, and maybe even a sound clip or two from one of the concerts, so check back soon.

Monday, May 19, 2008

Great house concert!

I had a wonderful house concert last weekend to end my Michigan/Indiana tour. I was in Bloomfield Hills, MI at 'Music In The Burbs'. There was a VERY full house, and a great enthusiastic audience. It was definitely one of the best shows of the year so far, there's nothing like a house concert, as you've heard me say before. The hosts, Jay and Renee, were very hospitable, and did a great job of managing a very large crowd in the living room. My old friend Shelley, who lives in Clarkston, MI, brought me a very refreshing mason jar of sweet tea, to make the night even better. I also got to meet a very talented singer/songwriter, Jill Jack, who was a member of the audience. All in all, it was just a great night.

I also wanted to mention a new singer/songwriter I "discovered" the night before. I played an in-the-round ( in DeWitt, MI, and had the privilege of playing with Chris Castle, who was a really great artist. Do yourself a favor and go listen to a couple of his songs at

Next weekend, I've got a couple shows with Jud Caswell ( in the DC area, and then in New England the following weekend, I'll let you know how they go.

The magnolia's are in full bloom here in beautiful Auburn, and baseball season is in full swing (no pun intended) Life is good!

Thursday, May 08, 2008

Goshen, IN and the South Side Diner

Back out on the road this weekend, I flew into Detroit early this morning, and unfortunately forgot to pack my parka and mittens. It is ridiculously cold for May up here. I drove down to one of my favorite towns, Goshen, IN, home of the South Side Diner. As always, a great pre-show meal, I had the Philly Steak Hoagie today (Nick, the owner, is from Philly, and knows how to do it). Closed the meal with a great key lime pie. I was excited to find out that the diner has been fetaured on the Food Network, they're show will be airing one more time, on Fri. May 16th at 12:00est.

I performed at The Electric Brew, one of my old favorites. I have been playing at The Electric Brew about once a year since they opened in 1996. I was sad that the original owners have sold the Brew, and moved out west, but the place is still up and running just as it was, and still a great place to be.
There will be some videos from the concert up on YouTube within a couple days, so check them out.
Tomorrow I'm off to Lansing, MI. Will report from there.

Monday, April 14, 2008

David Wilcox is Back!!

Those of you that know me well, know that David Wilcox, along with John Denver, are my biggest musical influences. It was his album 'How Did You Find Me Here' that really got me into writing contemporary folk music, and is to this day, my favorite album of all-time. He has made many, many CD's over the past couple decades, all of them very good, but I've sort of slipped away from my appreciation of him. Well, not that he ever really left, but he is definitely back. He has put out a record called 'Airstream', that is all just him and his guitar, recorded in his Airstream trailor. (clever name, heh?) There are not many people that can pull off an all solo acoustic record, but he really can.

If you are a fan of music, or Airstream trailors, you will like this.

Sunday, March 23, 2008

Great new music

I've just found some amazing new music that I want to share with you... There's a songwriter named Andy Gullahorn that just put out an incredible CD called 'Reinventing The Wheel'. I have is previous CD's, that are great, but this is even better... I highly recommend checking it out, The whole CD is amazing, but if you only have time to listen to one song, check out 'That Guy', a daring song to write with an amazing message.

Also, my good friend Erik Balkey, who stopped touring full-time last year to focus more on songwriting, has really hit a new level with his writing, which was more than fantastic to begin with. Go to his myspace page,, and listen to the song 'My Daddy Is My Spiderman'.

You will be glad you took the time to listen to these writers.

Thursday, February 28, 2008

The Birchmere!

Playing at the Birchmere in Alexandria, VA was an incredible experience. The famed venue is definitely all that is cracked up to be. It was a thrill to open for legendary singer/songwriter Christine Lavin, who has been so very kind to me. She goes out of her way to help up and coming singer/songwriters like myself, and it is much appreciated!There was a crowd over over 300 people, and certainly one of the best crowds I've ever performed in front of.

The day of the concert, Feb. 23rd, was my daugther Emma Lynn's 5th birthday. It was very, very hard to be gone on her birthday, so I called her from the stage at the Birchmere and 300 people say Happy Birthday to her, and then I played her favorite song, 'In My Backyard'.

I certainly hope that I will have the opportunity to play the Birchmere again.

I also want to really thank my friends Sam and Erin Hensley for great accomodations as well as fantastic local dining experiences over the weekend. Sam is a wonderful singer/songwriter (, and he set up 2 additional concerts for me in the DC area, helping to make the weekend trip even better. He also opened both shows, and it is quite a treat to hear him sing. I wish I could say he has equal skills at NCAA football on the Sony Playstation, but it only seems right to mention that I did win the weekend series 6-4, as Auburn was quite unstoppable.

Somehow, I got the smaller font size on the street side billboard. Come on, I played first, shouldn't I be mentioned first? And, I am taller than Christine.

Thursday, February 21, 2008

It's cold here!

I am writing tonight from the cozy house of my friend Sam Hensley in Washington, DC. I just got finished a thrilling victory in Playstation NCAA Football, as my Auburn Tigers handed the Oklahoma State Cowboys an overtime defeat.
They are predicting snow and freezing rain for tonight and tomorrow, how very nice that will be. I'm hoping not to have a repeat of my February 2006 tour to Massachusetts, where I got snowed in for 2 days!

To catch you up on recent happenings, I had a wonderful time in Daphne, AL last weekend, where some very fine folks hosted their first ever house concert. It was an absolutely fantastic crowd, for mostly first time house concert attendees, with first time house concert hosts, I was thrilled with the turnout and response. Unfortunately, I was getting over a cold, and coughed my way through the second set, but the energy from the audience helped pull me through. So many of my favortite shows over the past couple years have been house concerts, and often hosted by folks just like you who have never tried it before. If you have any interest in hosting you own house concert, please get in touch with me and let's schedule one! I've got a page with hosting info at my website (

The night before the house concert, I ran sound for Johnsmith at our local Sundilla Concert Series. Johnsmith is absolutely one of the very top singer/songwriters performing today, and it's always a treat to hear him. If for some reason you're not familiar with his music, visit

I've got 3 shows in the DC area this weekend, highlighted by the show at the Birchmere with Christine Lavin, I am also doing 2 shows with Sam Hensley at local churches in DC.

Have a warm night!

Wednesday, February 13, 2008

In-N-Out West!

I had a nice trip out west last week, I played in Vegas and Salt Lake City, and got to see my good friends Ryan Brown and Rob Seals in LA.
The trip started out in Las Vegas with a show at Garage-Ma-Hall. I wasn't quite sure what to expect from a concert in somebody's garage, but it was actually a rather fantastic venue. It wasn't quite your typical two-car garage, it was actually a permanent stage in a very, very large garage, with the audience comfortably seated in couches and easy chairs. Richard and Betty have a wonderful venue, and I hope to get back there again sometime. Speaking of Vegas, it is pretty easy to lose a lot of money really fast there, not that I would know anything about that.
I drove to Los Angeles to watch the Super Bowl with Ryan Brown, my friend and drummer of the last 15 years. It was a shcoker to see the Giants upset the undefeated Pats (sorry Jud!). What a great game to watch. Of course, now that the Super Bowl is over, it is officially baseball season. Pitchers and catchers report!

What is the best thing about going on a trip out west? It very well could be In-N-Out Burger! We don't have In-N-Out down South, but then they don't have Zaxby's or sweet tea on the west coast, I guess we'll call it even!

An early candidate for concert of the year was Magpie House Concerts in Salt Lake City, UT. I met Grant, who runs the series, at last years Folk Alliance Conference. I am so glad we were able to work out a date. There was a very full crowd of 40 people jammed into a living room, it was about as full as a room can get. As I'm sure you've heard me mention before, it's not the size of a crowd in numbers as much as their interest level and how full the room is. It was really a great show, and I can't wait to get back to Utah.

Next weekend is the big show at the Birchmere opening for Christine Lavin, I will be sure to let you know how it goes,

Monday, January 21, 2008

South Florida Folk Festival

Just returned home from a great weekend in South Florida, attending the South Florida Folk Festival. We took the kids to Disney World for a couple days on the way down, and had a fantastic time. I highly recommend 'Expedition Everest" roller coaster at Animal Kingdon Park for you thrill-seekers!
I had a great house concert on Friday night before the festival, hosted by my friends the Humphrey's. They had a wonderful crowd of about 30 people, plus 3 cheesecakes! I stayed up late after the show to play Sony Playstation with their son Tim. It turns out I am a dominating force at NCAA Football, you can't stop my running game, can't stop it!

Saturday at the South Florida Folk Festival I finally found out how it feels to win one of these songwriting contests that have been my nemesis for so many years. I was very honored to be chosen as one of the 3 winners along with my good friend Jud Caswell, and Friction Farm, a great duo from the Atlanta area. My winning songs were '$12.99' and 'If I Broke The Record'. It's nice to get a pat on the back sometimes, even though I know judging songwriting is a crapshoot at best, and several of the other finalists certainly could have been chosen as the winners instead.
I got to perform 4 different times at the festival, including an in-the-round with Jud and Friction Farm at the winners concert, and an in-the-round with one of my all-time favorite groups, Storyhill. I even had the honor of having Chris and Johnny of Storyhill sing 3-part harmony with me on 'This Old Guitar', my favorite John Denver tune. It was a thrill to sing with them. If you aren't familiar with Storyhill, be sure to check them out at
Jud Caswell and I also sang a duet on stage, covering 'Houses In The Fields' by John Gorka. Jud and I are playing several shows together this spring along the east coast, and that is going to be a very fun time!

There was also a vendor at the festival selling half-pound cookies. Yeah, that's right, Half-Pound Cookies! They were pretty unbelievable.

Thanks to Matthew Taylor ( for sending me these pictures from the South Florida Folk Festival. This is me performing at the winner's concert on the festival mainstage on a cold Sunday afternoon.

Tuesday, January 01, 2008

DP Best of 2007 Awards

Happy New Year! It is one of my favorite yearly traditions, the making of the DP "Best Of The Year" Awards. I know you enjoy them almost as much as me, and without further addooooo, here we go;

Top 5 Gigs of 2007
5) Rick’s Music, Raynham, MA. 4/20. A music store/café with very nice folks. The concert was also a fundraiser for Homes For Our Troops, a great organiztion that builds homes for injured soldiers.

4) Sweet Grass Café, Oscoda, MI. 9/14. A lovely, quaint café in a small town on the shores of Lake Huron. A cool early autumn night, with homemade apple pie, and the Paul Bunyan Festival going on across the street.

3) Electric Brew, Goshen, IN with Greg Adkins. 2/10. The Electric Brew has always been one of my favorite venues, it was great to have Greg Adkins share the stage with me, playing for a full house. As usual, the pregame meal was at the South Side Diner!

2) Messages Concert Series, St. Augustine, FL 7/28. TheDP 2006 DJ of the Year, Stu Weaver of WFCF in St. Augustine started a new concert series at Flagler College, and I was the first concert of the series, quite an honor. A wonderful crowd in an old historic building on a beautiful summer night.

1) Swallow Hill, Denver, CO. 5/19. Probably the #1 gig of all-time. I got my start as a performer back in high school at Swallow Hill open mics. I also took numerous lessons and workshops at Swallow Hill, and always dreamed of performing there. To be a headliner was really an honor, made even better because the incomparable Rob Seals flew out from LA to accompany me on stage. It was a near sell-out, playing to an enthusiastic crowd filled with old friends. Perfect!

Best Tour of 2007 - February Midwest Tour with Greg Adkins – I almost always travel and perform solo, but travelling and sharing 5 gigs with Greg was a wonderful experience. We played in Indiana, Ohio and Michigan, which in retrospect, are not the best places to be in February! The gigs were great, and it was fun swapping songs with Greg, and learning his songs. Depsite being a Tennessee fan, he is still an OK guy.

Best Tour of 2007 (family version) - October tour in Ohio with my baby girl, Emma Lynn. You can read all the details of the tour complete with pictures in my blog post from October, but it was a wonderful experience having my sweet baby (she's 4 now, but she'll still be my baby even when she's 20) on the road with me.

Best New Artist of 2007 – Brad Yoder. It is true that Brad Yoder is not a “new” artist. He’s not even really new to me, as I met him in 2006, but at this year’s Northeast Folk Alliance Conference, he really caught my ear, and I became a huge fan. I now own all of his CD’s, and can’t get enough. It also turns out, he used to work at the South Side Diner in Goshen, IN. Small, wonderful world!

Best Concert of 2007 – A brief 20-minute showcase by Lowen & Navarro at the Folk Alliance Conference in Memphis is this year’s best concert. Lowen & Navarro is one of my favorite acts, and Eric Lowen is suffering from Lou Gehrig’s Disease. It was an extremely inspirational moment to see Eric, barely able to lift his hands, but still playing his heart out, even to a small crowd in a hotel room in Memphis. Magical.

Best CD of 2007 – Going to put 2 CD's on this list.
Brad Yoder - Someday Or Never. This record features some fantastic songwriting, and such solid production, that it works for me even though it is pretty far away from my normal listening range. I got this CD on November 11th, and despite only having it for 6 weeks of 2007, I know I listened to it more than any other CD I got this year. 'School Together' is my favorite song of the year, and is just one of many gems on this great project.
Greg Adkins – Chase The Western Sky. The harmony vocals on this CD are so amazing, they alone make the purchase worthwhile. (J) Seriously though, my cameo aside, this is a great, great record. Greg worked with producer Chris Rosser in Asheville, and put together a great collection of songs.

Vacation of the Year – Taking the kids to Disney World for the first time was a wonderful time. Disney World is really a great experience for the kids, and to see the joy on their faces was priceless. I kind of liked the rides too!

Musicians Day Off Day Of The Year – As if going to Disney World wasn’t enough for one year, in October, I went to Disneyland with two of my best friends and musical compatriotes. (I have no idea if that is a word). I joined Rob Seals , producer/sideman extraordinaire (and his wife the Ashbear) and Ryan Brown, long time friend and drummer for a great day of roller coasters and spinny things. If you ever go to Disneyland, you need to go with Ryan Brown, he could write the Disneyland handbook.

Sweep of the Year - The Cleveland Browns take both games from the Baltimore Suckens, I mean Ravens. The 2nd game, an overtime victory in Baltimore was sweet, with a last second, game tying field goal from Phil Dawson, that hit the upright, bounced in and out and in, and left Baltimore fans sick to their stomachs, which is how they deserve to be!

Have I Seen This Before? Football Game of the Year – Auburn defeats Florida for the second year in a row! Florida may be last year’s defending champ, and a football powerhouse, but my boy Tommy Tuberville absolutely owns Urban Meyer.

Have I Seen This 6 times Before? Football Game of the Year – Auburn beats rival Alabama for the 6th straight year. Auburn is undefeated in the Iron Bowl since the birth of Christopher Potts in 2001.

Fantasy Baseball Performance Of The Year - 'Thome's Tigers', managed by Dave Potts. This fantasy baseball team finished #5 out of 11,000 teams on

Book of the Year – Yeah, right, we’ll just pretend like I read so many books, I could never pick just one:)

Movie Of The Year – I took a lot of heat for last years choice of Talladega Nights as movie of the year. That made me very tempted to go with Blades of Glory for this years movie of the year, but I’ll refrain, and go with ‘Dan In Real Life’. Great acting by Steve Carrel, as my favorite character from another show (The Office), he did a great job of creating a new, believable character, that I never confused with Michael Scott.