april 5, 2012

Well, it is not a short story:

It was a dark stormy night, somewhere to be certain. But in Nashville one night, it was clear, cool and starry. The bus was parked there in the Kroger lot where we met to embark on a “tour” which is actually just a 2 or 3 nights of weekend gigs in the country music world.

I happened (well not just happened, having worked to make it happen for a very long time in Southern California) to be working for a country artist named Gary Allan. Not a household name to be sure, but during my tenure with Gary we were able to sell a few million records. The other guitarist in the band was Jody Maphis, whose father was the great Joe Maphis, the great California country music icon.

This night, Jody had yet to show up, and I had been waiting for him. In his possession were a couple of amps: Standel amps. Anyone who knows their country music guitar player nerd history knows that Joe Maphis (along with his wife Rose Lee) played his famous double neck Mosrite through a Standel. Rose played her acoustic through a two-tone pink and black Standel, which was eventually given to Jody for Christmas when he was five years old along with a blue miniature Mosrite guitar.

In the 1990’s, when Danny Mckinney restarted Standel with the blessings and help of the original Standel founder Bob Crooks, a catalog appeared at Jody’s house. Of course, Jody and I looked at that catalog with great scrutiny: trying to figure what was different from the original 25L15, what was the same, and most importantly, what would we order if we were to get the opportunity to do so.

While working for a signed artist was great, the pay wasn’t. So while we dreamt of such things happening, for me it wouldn’t be a reality; I have a wife and kids and my meager sideman income was…okay, let’s say wasn’t…buying me any Nudie suits or Standel amps.

However, little did I know that Jody, who wasn’t bound by the same marital or parental bindings that I owned, arrange a deal (the details which I am still not privy to) to procure a pair of amps for us to use (and own). Perhaps the best part is they were not 25L15’s but rather prototypes of new models Standel was looking to use to expand their line. Not, that a pair of 25L15’s would have been a bad thing.

No, I was wrong: that wasn’t the best part. The best part is that they were aesthetically created for what we both wanted. Jody’s was two-tone red and black, and mine was two-tone seafoam and cream.

No, that wasn’t the best part either. The amps were seemingly created for each of our playing styles. (Okay, this may be a stretch here, but it sure felt this way.) Jody’s amp was the prototype for the Switchmaster. Jody was playing a pretty rock n’ roll style at this point, and his amp had two 10” speakers. I believe he either had a master volume and/or and extra gain stage, and perhaps reverb.

My amp was a new model with a resurrected name: the Artist model. The preamp was basically a modified 25L15 pre-amp as I was after more traditional sounds, but the power section was more powerful (what can I say…we played way too loud). I think it was rated at 100 watts provided by four 6550 tubes. The speaker was a single 15” Standel recreation of the JBL D-130 (originally, replaced by a Standel recreation of the JBL D-130f). Also built into this amp was a effects loop which never was used and might not have be functional, and…wait for it…

Naw…I’m not going to tell you.

Okay, I will: a three knob reverb which drove a three-spring Accutronic pan. A couple of months before the amp went missing, I had replaced the pan with a two-spring unit as used on a Fender Twin Reverb and I liked it much more than the original.

The amp also had a piezo input, which sounded great with my Gretsch, but one of the tone controls didn’t work with it. I may have used that input to record with once or twice, but I never used it live.

The amp sounded great, but I guess I wouldn’t need to tell anyone that. Whenever I played or recorded, that was what I used. I always got compliments on my tone, and the looks of the amp was always a conversation starter.

There were a couple of times it was in the shop. Once, when we were playing the Austin rodeo there was a power spike that blew the screen resistors. And, I blew the speaker, hence the replacement with Danny’s D-130f. The reverb pan went out, as they do, but replacing it with a 2 spring unit worked better for me.

In fact, most of the stages we played were so springy (no pun intended), that the reverb couldn’t be used without a tremendous crashing noise happening if there was any kind of a show going on.

I switch guitars a couple of times, but I always used the Standel.

Even after my time with Gary ended (too soon in my opinion), I used the Standel. I started using the Gretsch again (Gibson had given me a Chet Country Gentleman and I used a couple of Tomkins custom guitars for a while), and I was in tonal heaven playing the clubs on lower Broadway in Nashville (even if I may stepped down in quality of gigs).

I tried to always be gracious and let other guitarist sit in when I was playing on lower Broad. I figured the more mojo playing into the guitar, the better. Once I had done so and took the opportunity to relieve myself. While in the restroom I heard some guy tearing it up (in the good way), and I swear I momentarily thought,” I wish my rig sounded that good!” before I realized it was my rig!

Then, it really was a dark and stormy night. Nashville was suffering a fairly heavy rainstorm, as it is wanting to do now and then. Who would go out an a night light this?

The answer is someone who knows no one would go out on a night like this. Under cover of the night, and with rain and thunder covering up the sounds of his/her/their actions, the garage was broken into.

I admit that I hold responsibility in its taking. The garage was not attached to the house (see what you insurance policy says about that). I should have wheeled the amp into the house (it was in a road case). I didn’t, and believe me I regret it.

The next morning a neighbor knocked on the door, but I was unable to get up and dressed in time to answer in before they thought it a futile task. After I pulled on my trousers, I ventured down the street to see what was so important that someone would knock on the door at seven in the morning.

When I saw the garage door open my heart sank. When I looked inside my heart stopped beating for a moment.

Not only was the amp gone, but my pedalboard, too. But the pedalboard (with some vintage and nifty pedals) didn’t matter. It was the amp that mattered.

It would be a lie to say not a day went by without me searching for the amp in the five years it was missing. But, I can say I doubt there was more than three days in between searches.

The first thing I did was call the police. You want the police report. You want to give them serial numbers (you have them right? If not, stop reading now, and go right them down and email them to yourself so you have them forever!). I did that. I made a copy of a picture of my amp and took it to pawn shops. I checked the internet. I posted on my website, my myspace page (whatever that is), facebook…

This was nice: There’s a website call screamingstone dot com, and they contacted me and asked if they could post my info on their site. Screaming Stone is all about the retrieval of stolen musical instruments, and worthy of checking out. They have tools on their site that allows you to search all craigslist at once, as well as other places that sells gear on line.

For me, these searches didn’t turn up anything…but it is still worth doing.

I also happen to write Danny at Standel. My best move, even if I didn’t know it at the time.

Years later, on a dark and stormy night…just kidding…Danny sends a respond to my original “my amp was stolen” email (we talked on the phone in between, so the non-response on the email was a non-issue) saying something alone the lines of, “I think your amp had found me.”

Again, my heart stopped beating. In my searches on the net I have found a few amp with the same color scheme. Once, or twice my heart may have skipped a beat. This time it stopped. It wasn’t close. It wasn’t looked like. It was.

At first I thought Danny had it. I don’t read emails all that well the first time through and usually I read what I want to hear. But the amp was not in his possession. He simply received an email from someone who had it.

I am certain the guy who had it didn’t know it was stolen. I felt that deep inside, but I couldn’t tell you why.

I didn’t feel he was the guy who stole it, but, what I did feel was…what….how do you not scare away a butterfly, a stray dog, a wild horse? Actually, I don’t know what I didn’t want to scare away other than the guy that has my amp that I would love to get back.

Ponder, ponder, and ponder. PONDER!

I asked Danny at Standel to let him know that amp was the one he built for me, that it was stolen, and he was sure I would like it back. And he did.

The next day I received an email with the subject line: Long Lost Standel. And, that he wanted to see it returned to its rightful owner.

There were a few emails exchanged in between him and me. I have to say he responded to each I had sent him, but it was the time between each that was killing me. From the day Danny said he received the first email, and today, the day the amp was returned to me, seems like a few months or a year. Actually, it was only three weeks.

I wanted Ben, because the guy that had the amp was named Ben, to feel comfortable.

No longer in Nashville (since moved back to Southern California), I needed a surrogate to act on my behalf to get the amp (I knew from what Danny had told me in subsequent conversations since the email that the amp was still in Nashville). There was only one call that needed to be place. The most trustworthy guy in nearly the entire world was already in Nashville, and as luck would have it, was already a friend of mine. Let’s call him “Jeff”.

Eventually, a date was sent up (and that would be today) that Ben, the guy with the amp, and Jeff, the guy that would pick it up on my behalf, would meet in the parking lot of the Home Depot at 100 Oaks in Nashville.

This happened without a hitch, but only because of the characters involved.

First, Ben. For being a stand up guy, wanting to do the right thing and actually doing it.

Jeff: because even when the world is coming to an end you could count on him.

Danny: who just has goodness in his heart.

After Jeff met Ben today to pick up the amp, he left me a voice message and said Ben was a real steady guy…polite…the kind of person we’d all want our kids to be. And, when Jeff said how much it was appreciated and such things should be rewarded, he said just doing the right thing was reward enough.

And I think that is great: a tribute to Ben and his parents.

This isn’t about me (okay, I get a prized amp back), but Ben is going to be rewarded for his doing the right thing with a custom guitar I used with the amp. I hope he is happy with it and feels…well, at least a portion as happy as he has made me feel today.

There are more details than that in this story, but this is the just…the short version!

aug. 20, 2009

hey friends and others with whom i've crossed paths,

it's been a while since i've written y'all, but dang it all to "h" "e" double hockey sticks not a lot has been going on. but then, the big whistle blows and somebody starts up the big machinery and it's back to work. or at least, that what i'm hoping.

there's a couple of fun shows coming up. i'm playing guitar with chad harvey and this saturday we're playing grubfest (yes, i said "grubfest") in osgood, indiana. conveniently (or un-conveniently depending how you think) located between indianapolis and cincinnati with reasonable proximity to louisville, osgood is hosting this event that features warrant (yes, i said warrant) and a roster of other bands (including the afore mentioned chad harvey.)

you can find the down low here: www.thegrubfest.com

just so you know...tickets the day of the show are $40, but a mere $25 if you buy on line. what to do with the extra 15 bucks? you can buy your favorite guitarist a beer for a start.

if that is too soon or too far for you to make; chad, myself, and the rest of the band are playing saturday aug. 29th at the foo bar too in nashville. this, my friends, is a free show with a killer lineup of americana, roots country and rockabilly bands. what to do with the money you save by coming to a free show?

you can start by buying your favorite guitarist a beer.

my smile of the week came in the form of an email from nancy apple. for those of you not hip to this cadillac cowgirl, i implore you to check out her stuff (www.nancyapple.com & www.myspace.com/nancyapple). anyway...nancy , our good friend phil lee, and yours truly were lucky enough to have some folks come out and video our show for release on dvd. actually, there is now part 2, for those of y'all that saw the first one already.

the smile came when nancy sent me a late posted review of the show. you can read what the critic has to say here: http://genecdvd.blogspot.com/

and view the videos for yourself to see if he got it right here:

part 1...http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HRbIyFDZfzc


part two...http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=icneCXPOuiQ

but enough about me. how are you? and what did you do this summer?

good. take care friends and hope to see you soon.



novemeber 1, 2008

why memphis is so beautiful in the fall

dear friends,

as i sip on my rum and orange juice (it's 10:45 in the morning pacific time, but what good is it being a writer if you can't drink), i'm thinking about the future. louis prima said, 'enjoy yourself, it's later than you think.' and it may be true.

the radio is squaking about the markets being down, bailouts that are ineffective, car builders needed loans, lost jobs (i think it pronouced yobbs...with the soft 'j'), and the musician's food bank running low on sam's club beer.

tradgic? yes.

but what are we going to do? i know i need to leave it all to better minds than mine.

by now, you're scratching your head and wondering what the point is...my point, my point, is this...

yes, we need bread, but we need roses, too.

we need to feed our bodies, but we also need to feed our souls. and you can do both with apple. nancy apple. and i'm going to do my best to bring out the best in her on november 8 there in memphis.

me and my friend chad harvey. we're going to pack up the pickup truck and motor west to play kudzu's in nashville for her song picker showdown.

this is particularly cool for me (i'm not so secretly in love with nancy and her music), but particularly cool for chad harvey fans, jake kelly fans and hopefully fans of nancy. we're going to be backing each other up for three hours (thereabouts) of music. each of us are going to pull the best songs out of our catalogs, and pull the best performances out of each other.

you can forget your blues, while you listen to us sing the blues, the country, the rock and the rhythm and soul music in a great memphis atmosphere. kudzu's serves up good slop (and cold brew) at a good price and is located in a funky, yet safe and comfortable, place in memphis with plenty of free parking.

the leaves should be just starting to turn, and there's plenty more to do in town to make it more than worthy for the trip.

so in short (is it too late for that now?), you're invited to kudzu's in memphis to meet and greet chad harvey, nancy apple, and yours truly for a night of fun.

hope to see you there!



thursday, August 21, 2008

what good is it being a writer...

hello fine people of the planet earth...

it has been a slow week. aside from a rehearsal with my compredre, brother-in-arms and namesake of his own country in africa last sunday i've been my own boss. and what good is it being a writer, being your own boss, and not be able to have a white russian whenever you desire. so, with that, hold on while i fix a drink.

okay, thanks.

it's not that i advocate drinking irresponsible. and if i were working on an assignment, i certainly would have abstained until the coveted five o'clock hour. but fay found her way to the florida coast (a good 900 miles from me) but still seems to effect me nonetheless. women do that to me.

so, with this loll in the writing game i've taken the opportunity to resume working on the next jake kelly cd, tentatively titled "test pattern" (i'll be posting the cover art shortly), and a demo for what perhaps will be a track on the next chad harvey cd. and, oddly enough (or not), they both have "barstool" in the title.

the song i've been working on for my record is "barstool in barstow". some time ago, back when i was in my tender years, i started working for someone who i thought would become a contender in commercial country music. we needed a demo and we had a few songs we'd written, but we were down one.

so i brought to the table "barstool in barstow", a song that i wrote with rod lewis, a former bandmate in the laura wesley band. rod's photo can be found in my pictures on myspace. great guy. great hair.

the song was a big hit, in the clubs anyway. it was often requested wherever we played (as long as they knew about it), and worthy of a record (in my own humble). however, the song lost favor with the singer, so what's a what a songwriter to do. hence, the recording of this soon to be honky tonk classic, by moi...the french me.

while i had the microphone out and the guitar tuned up, i layed down some simple tracks for a song we ran through at the last band beer drink/remember this song/wii fest and rehearsal: chad's "sitting on a bartool".

this, too, turned out to be an older song. it was one of the first song's that chad's pen happened to touch to paper. it was fun to record and is still in developement (hence the word "demo"), but still it is fun to watch a song start taking shape. perhaps chad will post the song as it developes.

okay, time to refill. hold on...


this evening chad and i will be hitting the road yet again. we have a radio show tomorrow (aug 22, 2008) on wnku at dos (2 p.m.). you can listen live at www.wknu.org

and tomorrow night (will you remember the things you said tonight) at the whammy bar at the music mill in the city of indianapolis, chad and band (including the french me, moi) will be punching in our time cards at 8:45 and hitting the stage at 9 sharp. which guitar should i play? red or green?

okay, enough about me. what's going on with you? how about a drink?

hope to see you on that honky tonk highway sometime soon.



july 09, 2008

will you come see me?

hello friends and enemies mine!

whew! i hope y'all had a happy 4th of july and a good fifth to go with it. (that joke never grows old.)

my fourth was spent with some friends and i even cracked open a few beers for the occasion. the last couple of weeks i'd been suffering from a headache that wouldn't give up.

it got to the point where i was thinking it was either a golf ball size tumor, or a grapefruit sized tumor. through the miracle of modern medicine and mechanics, a picture of my brain showed that there was nothing wrong with me. my physical brain anyway.

anyway, that's all behind me now. no idea what the cause of the headache was and i'm back in the saddle again…hi ho silver, away!

and by away, i guess i mean evansville, indiana.

on july 12th i'll be playing guitar with chad harvey celebrating the release of his first cd "get lit" which is available on indy 500 records. this is pretty rockin stuff, radio friendly, fun to listen to and fun to play.

this is a whole band affair, and i wanted you all to know you're invited. many of you asked when i'd be playing, and this is one of those time!

and for those of you in the greater nashville area, i will be playing with chad in our trio setting (two guitars and fiddle) at third and lindsley on aug. 5

there's also a couple calorina (both upper and lower) shows in the beginning of august that i'll be posting on my page, if you want to keep an eye that.

it has been too long people, so come on out to the shows and let's get reacquainted! plus, this is a great way to show support for the independent artist -- and without you it'd never happen.

rock the day, and i hope to see you soon.



june 8, 2008

hello heros,

i have reveived a few note asking what's going on, and that i haven't posted a blog in the last bit. so here it is:

well it is, or just was, that time of year where a bunch of good folks decend down upon (or up onto) this fair (and sometimes unfair) city of nashville. i avoided the low spots for the most part, which is ashame cause i know that a bunch of you were in town and it would have most certainly been nice to see you all.

i did venture out to the pancake pantry, where i got to meet up with bill and pat. (two eggs over medium, asked for sausage and got bacon instead (oh well) and substituted 2 blueberry pancakes for the buttermilk ones). where we got to catch up. without the travelings, there some folks i get to see only once a year.

when i asked them what they were doing after breakfast, they got kinda quite and tried to change the subject. when i asked again, they said they were going to gary's fan club party. (by the way...i put up a couple of photos from the younger days). i toyed with the idea of crashing the party. so i could say hello to those of you who were there, but i decided against it. but i did tell pat and bill to tell those i know i said howdy hi.

at this point i realized that allan tomkins must be in town; he's always there for the fan club party. however he hadn't called, so i tracked him down.

so wednesday night, i wandered over to the sheriton where allan was holding his tomkins guitar showcase. it was great visiting with allan and barbara and i sat in a little to jam with some of austrialia's finer bands. i heard that kandy from texas got her new tomkins guitar. i saw the pictures, but i didn't get to see it in person though.

and at that point, i made plans to return on friday with some friends including steel guitar virtuoso mike fried. but some of my other friends couldn't make it, so we switched it to last night (saturday) instead.

one of the friends i was with was chad harvey. chad is an americana country-rock singer/guitarist who is on the cusp of releasing his first cd (you will look him up won't you?).

i met chad a while back as he was passing though nashville, and met up with him again at a friend’s wedding. recently, chad moved to nashville (thanks for not asking me to help you move, chad, that is the sign of a true friend), and asked if i would join his band.

sadly, it was too late to play on his record. happily, not too late to start doing some traviling around these great 50 or so states.

allan tomkins was nice enough to call chad up to the stage to sing last night, and i followed in tow. it was the first time chad and i played together live, so i guess you could call it the world premier.

i had invited bill and pat over to the tomkins showcase, so we got a little extra hang time. they both took some cool photos of chad and i on stage. they promised to email them to me, so when i get them i'll post them here and at the humble jake kelly myspace page.

who knows what the future is going to offer up in the next bit, I’m optimistic.

so, i hope y'all had a great week as well. looking forward to hearing your stories, sorted thought they may be.

live large, live well,


p.s. chad havery can be found at either www.chadharvey.com or directly to his myspace page (click here)


april 30, 2008

death of an old friend and one i wish i knew.

yesterday's l.a. times ran an orbituary for chris gaffney almost a whole page, which is impressive for a bar musician. every piece of music i hear of his was cool. amoung the coolest stuff i heard. i didn't know him, but i knew of him and i know people he worked with.

if you're interested in real music, check out his hacienda brothers stuff.

since it's a time of passing, i thought i post here a column published in singer & musician magazine (www.ilivetoplay.net) last august. cheers...

today america witnessed the death rattle of the cd, the once savior of the music industry.

though not unexpected, the demise of this medium comes as a shock not only to the millions who bought into to format, but also to those who depended on it's status as a revenue source, a source of employment and those stock holders who thought the good times would never end.

able to rise up through auspicious beginnings, the cd struggled to find it's way in the beginning. while being heralded as "the next big thing", it was priced way over the head of common man. only those who were most affluent could afford to buy the discs, and the players that were needed to play them were priced somewhere in the realm of top-loading vcrs (and sony's beta players).

but with the advent of the microchip, and cheap labor in china, the players soon came down in price. the people embraced the technology. after all, who wouldn't want music that sounded better, never fluttered, and would withstand scratch that had horrid effects on it's predecessors, even if it's price never lowered in the market place.

in fact, at the point that cds became cheaper to produce than the common cassette (1970-1990), when manufacturing costs became cheaper, the price of a cd never fluttered, even though the disc did.

yes, it is sad to report that just as the cd disc resembled the lps from days of yore in shape, they were also susceptible to the same rough handling. the scratches looked the same, and had the same effect. Although the scratches sounded different, they were equally annoying.

but there were larger hurdles for the cd to cross: the promise of high sound quality.

while being capable of recording (even at the early days low bit rate) at much broader bandwidth than lps and cassettes, the virtues of cd's archiving ability over-shadowed what the discs were initially meant to be: a higher standard of sound reproduction. in other words, direct copies of the original mastered recordings were used as the standard.

the only problem was that mastered recordings were compensated to make up for the loss of high-end that happened in the manufacturing of vinyl lps. the end result: cds sounded harsh and trebly (yes, that is a word).

but like so many adolescents that were able to overcome the troubles of their youth, the difficult ones that held so much potential, the cd rose to take the crown both on the shelf and on end caps in both record stores and big box outlets alike.

and the masses rejoiced. no longer was audiophile quality something for the more affluent. even if the price didn't drop, the most meager could afford to plop down 18 bucks for the new jon bon jovi or john mellencamp (or was it cougar back then?) cd when it hit the racks.

no one could see the dark cloud forming on the horizon.

ironic is the fact that same technology that made music sound better was the same technology that allows exact duplicates to be made without the sound derogation. The sound derogation that happens when sound is transferred its archaic predecessor, analog, to another analog medium. worse yet, was the advent of the mp3: digital compression. it takes up less zeros and ones on your computers hard drive, and no one seems to mind the lesser sound quality (some think it sounds better!).

but what at first seemed was a dark cloud, was in fact a storm. the internet came along, and no longer was sharing a new album just something you might do with your friends, but something you might do with the entire on-line world.

and an empire crumbled in the aftermath. records stores crumbled (good-bye tower records). record labels crumbled (r.i.p.).

where once stood shelves of brilliantly colored phonograph albums, then small smaller, equally proportionately sized cds. and now, there stands a single ipod.

this might as well be the obituary for album art, and the album cut for that matter.

what is to become of the beautiful, intriguing, and sometimes thought-provoking art that was once 12" by12", which was then reduced to 5" by 5" for the cd? is it now to be a mere afterthought? art placed on the downloading site for the few that care?

and what about the album cuts, where the real art takes place?

when they are no longer subsidized by the hits, as it bound to happen with this sad day of the cd's demise, will they still be produced? will they still exist to hold their place of virtue in an industry that almost has none? can recording artist still call themselves artists without them? should we just call them hitmakers? it might as well be tupperware.

kudos to the small and mighty: those that realize that the small run (those that allow artist to sell their wares at the gig) is the small woolly mammal in the time of dinosaurs. They recognize that the cd is merely a transfer device. so when an artists sells an album at a show it might actually makes it to the listener's mp3 player. relying on a guest who saw your performance to actually log onto your website is akin to a starving songwriter winning the lottery. perhaps slightly better, but who says if they even log in, will they'll buy. better to get them when there guard is down, you know…when they have been drinking. a hand in the bush…

don't blame yourselves. and don't blame the ipod. Like the edison cylinder, 78, recording wire, the 45, the lp, the reel to reel, and the cassette, its time has passed. it cannot be helped. george harrison once said, "all things must pass." haven't heard it? let me email it over to you.

so, in closing…farewell, my plastic friend that served me well and took up approximately 25% of my meager musician's income. today we place you in the ground, and in about 25,000 years you'll be nothing more than the minerals and petroleum products of which you were born. i thank you for the good times.



mar. 24, 2008

hello heroes and hero worshippers alike,

so, i was out shooting rabbits yesterday morning. i couldn't sleep from saturday night's semi-toxic semi-potable experimentation (did you know that there's something legal what wasn't for a long time, but now is again), pull out the .22 and sat out on the deck until my eyes adjusted to the darkness.

then i could make out small shapes moving about the vegetable garden (veggies just starting to sprout) and the flower beds. i had lost my night scope to one of the more sticky hands in the tour bus days, so all i could tell was there was movement...not what it was.

the horizon started turning a pinker shade of blue and i stared to notice more movement than i previously had. and then wow...

in my neighbor's yard to the east was about the second biggest rabbit i had ever seen. i had to rub my eyes (very tired eyes, and the drink i had was suppose to be halicigenic...so i wasn't sure) to see if what i was seeing was real. but seeing those two huge ears had me thinking rabbit, coyote, or a damn big fox.

i like foxes (oh, do i), and coyote's do perform a public service (depending on your veiw of smaller domestic animals), but rabbits eat the best (how do they know?) of the garden, and the flowers...

so i carefully take aim. now, i know...you never cut another man's lawn, and you don't hunt in another man's pasture, but this big ass rabbit down on all fours, started -- swear it -- to climb the fence and waving in a very threatening manner a huge paw.

now, i started to get gripped with fear. a rabbit the size of a doberman pincher working it's way over then fence. now, i'm thinking danger...i take aim again.

suddenly i'm distracted, in my neighbor's window a woman in a bathrobe and two kids are waving to me with a horrified look on their faces...they have seen the beast, too, and they're encouraging me to kill it.

the reminates of alcohol in my body turns to adenine. now, it's not just me against this beast, but a whole other family i'm protecting. i take heart, i take aim a third time.

now, i don't believe in ghosts or spirits, but somehow this animal knew my name and could communicate to me without speaking. without any feature on it's face moving it said, "jake, please don't shoot."

and, then as if it had insight into my psyche, "you've been drinking."

just then, the church bell down the way began ringing, my finger tensed on the trigger, and the sun rose across my neighbors yard straight down the barrel of my .22 rifle.

the bullet flew out of the gun before i even realized what i had done. the recoil knocked me off the two rear legs on the chair i leaning back on the way semi-intoxicated people do and i hit my head against the wall of the house behind me. an it was only later i found out what actually happened.

my bullet missed the intended target and instead sailed across the town, and pierced the pitcher of sunrise service wine, which was fortunate because the priest's robe was on fire from a hand warmer incident that went array. the wine spilled out and put out the fire that had started on his gown.

after i knocked myself unconscious, i fell off the balcony onto a cougar that was stocking my neighbor dressed up like, of all things...the easter bunny. (no, really, who knew it was easter?).

so, apparently, miracles do happen. the night before i was given a fortune cookie that said i would witness a miracle. i believe.

hope you had a great day, too!



mar. 5, 2008

oh, just see it for yourself...

buenas noches, mi compardres,

i just fixed myself the first drink that i have had in a long time...jeeze, it must be close to 20 some hours. i had a hard day at work, and thought it might be time to relax and put some chill on.

last night i was hanging out with chad (one of my friends...you should check out his page...great singer...emerging artist in his own right), and we were pulling some guitars out of the cases that i haven't been using in the last bit. the guitars...they were like poor orphan children..."oh, please, sir, won't you play me a little..."

one of my favorites (and you'd think that i'd been playing it if it was one of my favorite)(wait...they're all my favorites!), is the gold epiphone that i used so much on the "bitter...party of one...you're table is ready" cd and the "i run with scissors" cd. it sounds great and looks like a million bucks.

i'll have to post a picture...but not now.

anyway, in the wee hours of the morning when the sun started to rise, the bottles were empty and chad crawled home, for some reason i started to think of this song i wrote way too long ago. i had high hope it would make an album someday...and it might be my next one.

and pulling out my headphones, and picking up my gold epiphone guitar out of the chair, i pulled off an impromptu version of "see it for yourself".

now, i want you to be a little forgiving when you listen to this...i was playing in the style of chet atkins, but my chops may have gotten a little rusty. i haven't done fingerpicking in a while (i'm almost grateful) but rather concentrating on writing what not. but still, i thought the gold epiphone had a beautiful voice...i just wished...

i had poperly warmed up. so this is the next best thing that you might have waking up next to me.

so, in short, "see it for yourself" is what i thought might be a little gem from the past. but, in truth, i guess you get to decide that for yourself...

yours in the brotherhood of the grape,



feb. 25, 2008

good evening, ladies and gentlemen.

i have to admit, while i don't like watching the cma's, the acm's, and the grammies, except to see who's lip synching and the occassional faux pas, i do enjoy watching the oscars and the golden globes.

i love golden globes, or rather the golden globes. i love that they have champaign and wine (and other spirits i assume), and the effect that it has on the tongues of the actors and actresses (and those that wish they really were). i saw jack nicholson bend over and make like he was talking out his ass. that is good t.v.

i also like the golden glodes because they mix both the t.v. actors (and those that wish they were) with the movie actors (and those that wish they were). i'm not really in the mind that they are two different kind of animals, thought a fair amount of movie people seem to think they are -- until the checks stop coming in, then they'll do anything. even dancing with the stars (and no, i don't watch that).

and some of the t.v. folk would give their eye-teeth to get into the movie side of things. go figure.

the oscars are a bigger deal, though the idea of the industry giving itself awards is slightly asinine and equally slightly arogent. but everyone loves a parade, beautiful people (of which is a prerequisite for most acting gigs), and a little competition. so...let the good times roll.


they give awards for music. soundtracks can make a film (well, some), break a film (for me anyways), good film better (again some), and i'm sure by now you are getting the idea.

there was a nice little performance of the song "falling slowly" from the film "once" (seen it? never even heard of it!) but i did enjoy the song. apparently, the song was written by glen hansard and marketa irglova.

and, lo and behold, the oscar goes to...glen hansard and marketa irglova for falling slowly.

they both get little golden statues (that are very heavy, which is why you can only carry two at a time), glen gives his speach...ending it with a hardy cheer "make art, make art!" which i thought was a beautiful way to end a speach,

then when marketa go to the mic, the music was qued and she gracefully backed away without even being able to say thank you. and the show broke away to a commercial. heartbreaking.

but on the return of the show, jon stewart (and apparently the producer gil cates of the oscars) brought her back so she could give her speach in its entirity...and it was one of my favorite speaches ever:

"Hi everyone. I just want to thank you so much.

This is such a big deal, not only for us, but for all other independent musicians and artists that spend most of their time struggling, and this, the fact that we're standing here tonight, the fact that we're able to hold this, it's just to prove no matter how far out your dreams are, it's possible.

And, you know, fair play to those who dare to dream and don't give up.

And this song was written from a perspective of hope, and hope at the end of the day connects us all, no matter how different we are.

And so thank you so much, who helped us along the way. Thank you."

--Marketa Irglova

so with that, i'm going to say goodnight irene. keep dreaming fine americans and good people of the world.


p.s. you know i could not leave well enough alone, but before i go i'd like to personally reflect on my second favorite award show moment. it's the cma's where faith hill pulls a zoolander moment. she at first thinks she wins, then can't believe that she didn't. she screams "what?" from the side of the stage so loud it was audible from the presenter's mic and storms off. of course, it wasn't until the next day her p.r. people said it was just a joke.

here's the link: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kyZRiEJnIag

i do also have to say, if i had just performed the song right before the award was being given, i would have been fairly certain that i was going to be the winner...especially if i had the tallent that faith hill has. but still, this is a good watch.



feb 12, 2008

hello fine americans.

as i enjoy my white russian and read though some of the notes and letters y'all had written, i thought this might be a good time let you know what's what.

about a year and some change ago, i perchanced to meet nancy apple. not to mix fruits and vegetables un-wittingly, we got along like carrots and peas. her wit, her sense o' style, her twang, and her taste in outerware had me believing that we were seperated at birth.

not too surprising should it be then, that she felt the same way...except for her, it was peas and carrots.

we talked some that day, and i recorded her playing a song about the day johnny cash died (which is sublime and i listen to it now and then and again). we had our picture taken, talked about mutual friends...a one mr. mike fried had recorded with nancy...yucked it up and said good bye there in the convention hall in the great city generally referred to as memphis, but commonly known as the brithplace of rock 'n' roll.

we lost touch for a bit, until i was forced to recall from the back recesses of what once was my mind someone who lives in memphis who could take a photograph of a music store out that way for the cover of a magazine that i write for.

nancy should have been wearing a cape for the hero feat she pulled off. working under deadline (i wouldn't have it any other way), she came up with several photo of which one did in fact make the cover.

i know many of you are asked to pull off impossible feats at work, and this wasn't one of those for me...but still i (meaning nancy) was able to do something good for my job, and i (meaning her) saved the day.

anyway..this put the two of us back in contact with each other and nancy, who never heard my stuff, ask if i'd send her a cd. which i did.

but, she must be used to people saying they'd do something and then never do it, because she wrote me an email saying something along the lines of (if not verbatum) "wow, you actually sent the cd."

she also said something aloing the lines of (if not verbatum), "this isn't what i expected but i really like it."

not too long after that, she shot me an email telling about a t.v. pilot she was taping and asking if i wanted to come play on it with her and the incredible phil lee (actually, i think it is the mighty king of love phil lee) to which i readily agreed.

and it was at that point, she sent me her cds, including "shoulda lied about that" which contains the song "my boyfriend". which is a song that brought the house down at the t.v. taping.

knowing a good thing when i see it (or hear it), and keeping with a country music tradition (for those of you who have the n-r-g, look up "wild side of life" and "it wasn't god who made honky tonk angeles") i wrote the answer to her song.

so in short (guess it's really too late for that now) "my girlfriend" is the answer to her "my boyfriend" which can be found right here (or there) on miss nancy apple's myspace page. it's very worthy of a listen. (http://www.myspace.com/nancyapple)

so there, there's the story. nancy and i are not engaged, as a couple of you might have thought, we just happen to have the same taste in western wear, music, lyrics, and what not.

i'm going to play a show with nancy this weekend, and i'm sure "my boyfriend" and "my girlfriend" will be served together like....like...carrots and peas.

or peas and carrots.

hope your evening is going down as smoothly as mine.



jan. 29, 2008

my fellow americans,

with is with deep sadness in my heart and drink in my hand that i write this: the official end to the "jake in oh eight" presidential campaign. severe lack of funds, support, and motivation has caused what i believe is a travesty to the amaerican people.

perhaps, it was because i couldn't get my message out:

shorter work week.
reduced loan rates for working teachers.
cheaper beer.
lower concert ticket prices.
world peace.
yada, yada.

can't say it wasn't great while it lasted, i'd personally like to that everyone who worked so hard to what happened happen. it was a great run.

i'm personally undecided if i'll run again in 2012. (sure as hell, jake in '12)

now...my the best man win!



jan. 22, 2008


i trust the new year is treating you right. i figured while i have the chance and an internet connection i'd said a note telling y'all about the progress of the new cd. there's quite a bit of focus going into writing and re-writing some songs, and making some demos of them to pass onto the musicians.

it appears there's going to be a little change up on the musicians for this recording sessions. mike fried will be making a return, of course, a finer player one would be hard pressed to find. bass and drums will be handled by the husband and wife time of kenny and ruth griffen. back in the day, i played in a band with kenny and ruth backing the incredibly talented tracy huffman. i have always loved their feel when laying down a groove, and now i get to record with them. how cool is that?

if you want to make use of that guitar you have stashed away, and learn to play the guitar in a fun easy way, check out www.easymusiclessons.com. these are video guitar lessons that you can either learn sitting at your computer or take guitar lessons on dvd. save gas, save frustration, and make yourself a better person.

hope y'all are safe and warm...i am...

be good, do good things.


dec 31, 2007

happy happy last day o' the year.

is it just me, or did this last year seem to take forever. no mind, however as we are currently counting down the hours. ten...nine...eight...seven...six...cinco,,.

although i have had better years (i open a bottle of 1962 cab that was muy bueno), i have to say i was not disappointed with this current one. my life as black sheep of the familia remains intact, even as my brother vie to hold the title by acting unruly in public situations, speaking a little too loudly in socially sensitive situations, sitting in standing room only situations, and making situations out of a situation that had no desire of becoming a situation.

still, i am king. or the black sheep among off-white sheep. it's so cute. they try. but don't get me wrong, i like my brothers (in small doses) and i'm sure they like me (to a smaller degree). and the holidays have been filled with fun and just just about all that i need to last me through the next year.

and you?

how was your holiday?

i'm not sure i would know, my guestbook has been suffering from a large amount of spam. sadly, it gets filled up daily with offers to make me larger (not in a career way, or at least, the path that i have chosen), opportunities to me new people (you know, the kind i'd really like to met), or "self improvement" (like i could get any better---in that way). so every now and now and now and then i get a note from someone who wants to leave me a message that actually knows me. still, if you make the effort and get through, let me say mucho gracias. i must say i was blessed to go out on the road and meet so many great people and i'm glad we were, have been and will continue to stay in touch.

miss nancy apple perchanced (not really a word i'm told) called to say the video tape shot a millennium ago (it seems) apparently looks real good, save for the airbrushing they had to do to even out my complexion, sounds good, and might even have enough footage for two shows.

i'm not too surprised seeing the talent i was working with. nancy is great, as is the great mighty king of love, phil lee. in fact, phil sang on the show a yet-to-be-released song called "lovers everywhere" that is the best song i've heard since luke reed played me "one step at a time". a song that someone i know turned down and george strait went on to record and had a number one hit with.

"lovers everywhere" might actually be my most favorite song ever...and i know the songwriter!!

and nancy has game, too. the last song i wrote is actually inspired by, or i really should say co-written with the apple of my eye.

and you can look for it on the next jake kelly album (cd, record, tape or whatever you want to call it), which i am currently looking to schedule for recording this january. exciting stuff i have instore for 2008. the cards look good, the crystal ball says so, the gypsy looks fine in silk.

do what you need to do, do want you want, make this year your year. who knows how much longer we are going to have to take advantage of what we have. don't be one who said, "i should have...", but the one who said, "wow!"

happy new year! this white russian is for you!

(in the last few hours of the year that will never be again, 2007)


dec 23, 2007

merry christmas and happy holidays to all,

yes, to all. even to the sorry guy that borrowed my amp without my say so. i hope the drink you bought satisfied your thirst or better yet, you were able to put some bread on the table and some bacon in the pan. if you were drawn to do such a thing i would guess that it was desperation. if you're someone i know, wow, i don't know if i'm more insulted that you did this, or didn't come to me for assistance.

anyway, in the spirit of el holidias...all is forgiven. i would still like the amp back, of course, and i hope it finds it's way to me. so when i sit on santa's lap, or the lap of ones of his cute little helpers at the mall shooting pictures (you know who you are, you're wearing red and green fingernail polish), i know exactly what to ask for.

so, what is on your list for x-mas this year? new bike, new love, new job (or is it yob -- soft "j"), new car, slippers, wii, walkie talkies, cd, dvd, hdtv, set of drums, bottle of rum, new doggy pup, new set of cups, sailboat, johnboat, candle floats, kiddy pool, disco old school, new hat, tiger-striped cat, spice rack, rosemary and thyme, dictionary that rhymes, laptop computer, becoming a telecommuter, cell phone with bluetooth, bottle of gin and vermouth, gift card for amount that you choose, tin toys, subscription to playboy, playmates, playtime, games to play, gambling party, party with friends, party that never ends, deck of cards, new swimming pool, friend who think you're cool, xm radio, leather jacket, boots to match, low-rise pants, the end of this rant...

okay fine, i forgive you too.

i must say i am somewhat disappointed that i did not get one fruitcake this year. i never had a fruitcake that i liked, but rumor has it that fruitcake is rum soaked, so it might have some redeeming quality that i have previously been unable to palette. i have just heard that the top layer of a british traditional wedding cake is fruit cake, rum soaked, of course, that they eat upon the birth of their first child. whew, they might need.

there is a full moon tonight. so we should all turn and howl. and it is mark's birthday which we celebrated a day early (and a day before the full moon). mark lives on a hill over the beach. when we met all those years ago, those around us thought we had been friends since we were born. everyone should have someone so forgiving and so understanding in their lives. happy birthday, marco.

the new year is quickly approaching, just about ten days away which is fairly close. chances are if we blink, it'll be here.

the new year always has us re-evaluating our options and i'm happy to say i'm optimistic about what lies on the horizon. the t.v. show i did with miss nancy apple will be airing shortly, there's actual jake kelly shows that i'll be playing, a new cd and some surprises...

but we can go into all of that later...i'm going to sign off now, but...

remember, times are not what they were a few years ago. so there's more out there that need your consideration. i hope santa finds you, but things are tough at the north pole as well. addresses are not always easy to find. between the toy shortage, the big storm that happened at the pole this year and the goblins breaking into the storeroom, there's a chance you might not get what you wanted this year. but hold onto hope. things will bet better.

that's my wish for the new year. all the best to you and yours. merry christmas,


oct. 22, 2007

hello all, hope the world is going your way.

i, myself, had a fairly killer weekend. actually, the whole week rocked. in preparing for the weekend taping of nancy apple's song slinger showdown, i got together for coffee (actually coffee and beer) with phil lee. phil...what can i say...writes great songs and you know he is serious.

serious in a sometimes funny way. what a good hang.

anyway, while we were running through some songs, i couldn't help but reach over and turn on the recorder to capture the moment. the little comments between the verses were small pearls amongst diamonds. and the comments between songs were filled with humor and insight. and a voice as cool as f..., as f....., as factory air can be. great guitar style, too.

and he left me with his discs (the mighty king of love, you should have known me then) which happen to be produced by my favorite producer, richard bennett.

i ran down to the post office the day after i got together with phil, open my box and found an envelope with some cds that rounds out my nancy apple collection.

so during the rest of the week i absorbed myself in the preparation for the show, listening to all this great material. also, though, in the back of my mind, i started thinking "what songs am i going to play?"

i was going to need my best songs, and a little practice as well. i was going up against some pretty big guns.

by friday i felt like i was in pretty good shape, so i had an early dinner, a walk around the neighborhood, skipped my usual friday night cocktail, and went to bed early so i'd be well rested and refreshed for the big day.

when the sun came up saturday morning, i rose, too. was shocked to realize i had left my powder blue tux at the cleaners (which isn't open on saturday), so i had to opt for whatever clothes i had left, that were clean. i chose a pair of 501, t-shirt, western button down, and a pair of black boots. with that down, i came to choosing which vehicle i would drive to the home of both stax and sun records. wanting to arrive in style, i wanted to take the '57 ford t-bird. unfortunately, it doesn't exist. i chose the pickup truck instead.

after a leisurely pleasant drive on a sunny autumn day through western tennessee, i was soon rolling up to the famous luxurious peabody hotel. i thought the hotel i was staying at share parking facilities with the peabody, but i was wrong. in fact my hotel was yet a couple of blocks north. no problem, i still had plenty of time.

arriving at the club, i shaw the t.v. crew chewing the fat out front. the building was built in the late 1800's, right near a spur of a railway line that was used as far back as the civil war. in fact, a corner of the building was sliced away because of the rail spur. the joint was funky, with all the history one would expect in a 100+ year old building.

the owner of the place, steve, started kudzus' in 1990, it would be a perfect honky tonk if it had a stage. but for our purpose we didn't need a stage. with he focus being on songwriters, we just needed three chairs set in a circle near the center of the club.

as the sound system was being set up, guitars were pulled out and turned, harmonicas galore (all three of us play harmonica) were set on the triangular table set in the middle of the chairs, microphones (thanks to ryan smith and SHURE microphones) checked, and set sheets were placed discretely out of sights of the three t.v. cameras.

with all that in place, we simply kicked back as the bar opened and folks came in, drank the drink, eat the food (great burgers), and waited for the show to begin.

nancy kicked off the show by introducing phil and myself, and singing a song. phil played next, then myself and around it went till for an hour or so, and then we took a short break so the t.v. crew could change tape and we could replenish our drinks.

boom, we were back at it again.

of course, nancy's and phil's songs were great and well received. while this was the first time that the show was taped for t.v., nancy has been holding these song slinger showdowns for some time. and phil has been a regular guest on the show. and many of the crowd regularly attend these events. this was my first time, and i was playing my songs for quite a few people for the first time.

the proof will be on the tape, but i believe i did well. seated directly behind me was nancy's sister cindy, and when i finished playing a song (or most songs) i could hear her say "wow", or "great song". it was like having a lover coo in your ear.

i should also mention that phil and nancy are quick at the wit, and the banter between songs was one that you'd want to be on your toes to participate in. i think i held my own, but if not, i'm sure that careful editing in the t.v. studio should help.

after our final round of songs we said good night, ordered some cheeseburgers, signed some cds, mingled with crowd. the cheeseburgers devoured, the crowd exited the club by twos, i said good night, grabbed my guitar and headed back to the hotel.

sleep came easily, the dreams were pleasant and the morning came too soon.

the drive back to nashville was as equally pleasant as the one to memphis. by the way, having your mp3 player (i have the zen creative video. love it.) with the radio unit that allows you to play your mp3s over the car radio is the deal. i was able to listen anything in my fairly extensive music collection as my fancy desires. that, plus the radio game show, "wait, wait, don't tell me", is available as podcast. the hours melt away.

all told, a great event. when broadcast information is available, you hear it here. perhaps a dvd release as well.

i hope you weekend was equally enjoyable. do good work.



september 8, 2007

good morning fair friends,

the sun, that giver of life, is creeping up and smiling at me through the window. this is only just a minor hindrance to looking into the computer screen to write this. the monitor on my laptop is not super bright, just ordinary bright. obviously, my window faces the east, and obviously it is early in the day--not even eight yet--and i'm two cups of java into it.

this is part of the day that i don't usually see (sorry to all that see it on a regular basis) when i'm "living like a rock star" playing clubs and bars, then making my way home when the moon is the ruler of the sky

there's a little bit of a creative spark simmering down inside my soul, and some up it has been trickling up my arm, causing spasms of movement in my wrist, which in turn causes ink to flow from the pen that i'm holding onto the paper directly beneath it . i do declare that when i'm writing the way that i really enjoy writing, it is almost involuntary.

of my own personal favorite songs that i have written (starting tomorrow, today sucks, but no you, to name a few) most of them have been written in under 20 minutes. some under 10. its not to say that there wasn't a little tweaking that needed to be done afterwards, but there certainly wasn't the anguish and struggle of trying to craft a message, a story, or the right rhyming words.

while i personally don't have anything against rhymes, i do think that they are over-rated. i much rather the lines feel right than rhyme. and i don't want to be boxed in to use specially (or rather specifically) chosen words. let's face it, if it must rhymne, there is only a limited number of words you get to chose from.

anyway, when you write, or when i'm writiting how i like to write, it should feel like magic is happening, and i'm happy to say i haven't lost that loving feeling.

according to the los angeles times, the cd turned 25 years old this week. the last issue of singer&musician magazine published my obituary of the compact disc. with my tongue firmly planted in my cheek, i wrote a brief essay on the medium and its effect on the music industry.

charlie crow, former long-time guitarist for brooks and dunn, was nice enough to write and tell me he enjoyed the story after finding a copy of the magazine at a music store in nashville. and i would suppose that those of you who are in the proximity of nashville that have the desire to do so can find the magazine at guitar center, sam ash, corner music, world music, s.i.r. studios, and guitar centers and sam ash stores in l.a. detroit, cleveland, chicago, etc. those of you savvy enough might find it on the web., i have not published it on my website yet, but i have placed it in one of the internet community sites.

fairly soon, it will come up on www.ilivetoplay.net, which is where you can find pervious back issues of the magazine. my regularly appearing column in on the back page of the magazine, just for easy reference.

i saw a posting from steve who is in iraq (so sorry) who wrote that his finance (yes, i know...but i just watched raising arizona again, and that what she said.) thought she saw me with my former employer on sept. 3. no, i wasn't there, but i do appreciate that you keep me in mind.

i do miss playing on the big stage and traveling to the cities where i can visit with y'all. but, i also get a thrill playing my green gretsch guitar through an amp (my standel), singing and playing country music in a honky tonk the way it was intended to be. and a bigger thrill still, is when one or two of y'all wander into the bar that i'm playing.

there has been some experimentation with a video camera happening in my world, too. these are primitive first tries, so be forgiving when you view them. it's early yet, but i believe i'm going to document the recording of material that will be my next...what? cd? digital release? multi-media experience?

well, i guess i'll let you get to your day, i'm going to get getting to mine.

all the best of the best!



august 18, 2007

hello one, hello all,

by my count, june 17 to august 18 is just over two months. my absence from website, or at least posting news, hasn't escaped me. sorry i was gone so long. you, the reader, get to guess why from one of the three possibilities.

1. i am just coming out of my amnesia, and coming to recognize the faces around me. i had bumped my head when jumping out of an airplane while on a special ops operation for the u.s. government in a new world, third world, country that is anti-american and a major oil producer. missing my target by a couple of hundred miles (government work), i landed in the desolate hills where the unknown takes refuge. while trying to recover i was taken in by a group of indigenous women who live in the jungle, nursed me back to health (!) and performed anti-government operations of their own (!). they are also masters of archery, and of the ways of love. needless to say my recovery was anything but speedy. i never would have returned, except for our military's policy of never leaving a man behind, even if he wanted to be left.

2. out of great concern for our environment, i gave up my presidential campaign (no jake in 2008), donned my hudson bay blanket coat, felt cowboy hat, ear muffs, thermolite lined cowboy boots, pennelton shirt, union suit, rag wool socks, 501's, denim jacket, and packed up my antique iroquois snow shoes, surplus army tent, a few dead men, bow and arrows, some buffalo jerky and pemmican, laptop computer with satellite link, pencils and notebook, iconic gibson guitar, and charted a bush pilot to take me to the north pole so that i might monitor the melting of the ice caps (and hoping that no one noticed the fact that a few glass sized chunks were chipped away in my efforts to keep myself from freezing by drinking a potent potable, but also having it chilled as to lower my body temperature to match those of my surroundings), while...all the while...reporting my findings back to the u.n. commission on global warming, and writing songs for the next jake kelly cd, “songs from the north.”

3. American idol makeover. simon cowell called me for fear that america might actually start buying what they are selling. "pop is dead as dead as, well, the skunk in the road that roger miller was talking about."

"wow!" i exclaimed, "you know who roger miller is!"

"seriously, jake," he says, continuing, " i do know SOMETHING!"

"that is a jim stafford song." i reply stiffly.

"let's not get off the point. great singers do sell songs, no doubt, but shouldn't we be looking at the songs first? after all, even on my show, where we're seeking great natural talent, they are not writing their own material, just regurgitating hits the public already loves. and, in nashville, don't most of the singers there cover material by other writers? who is writing this fluff, ah, stuff anyway, i mean?"

"there are artists writing their own material"

"pointless...are you going to help us or not?"

"well, what are we talking about?"


"no, i mean in money."

there you have it. which is it going to be?

1, 2 or 3?
none of the above.

the truth is...i am a juvenile delinquent. i hadn't always been that way, but i think i might be going though my second childhood.

nope...that's not it either.

it has been the vicarious combination of being busy and being creative. more busy than creative, i'm afraid, but still the creative element is there. a greater awareness have i of those who are trying their best to write the great american novel (or novella), the poem that enlightens mankind, the screenplay that hollywood will embrace, the band that would rock your face off given the opportunity, the one who acts so believable that people ask what you have gone through, paint like a photographer, paint and people ask "what is that?", make photos like a painter, lead like a Shepherd, debate with the truth on your side, aim with dead aim, run the good race, set the pace for others to follow, make the trend, break the trend, make amends, say amen!

let me here you say "amen!"

the job job that i have is a great job. i get to write, be published, work from whatever local i happen to be (one that benefits my employer as much as myself), and do such extra-curricular activities, such as attend the folk alliance convention in memphis, do podcasts and webcasts on whatever it is that i do.

but still, there are things, aspects, of work that are work. and at the end of the day, you're tired. and creating that great piece of art, the treatise of life in america, and the campaign to run the country seem just a little less important.

luckily for me that hasn't happened.

i still fight the good fight, when necessary, live to see another day, drink another beer and more importantly, write the song, sing the song, ring a gong. sometimes record it, get it pitched to where it needs to be pitched, and hear the occasional word of encouragement when that doesn’t happen.

however, if i’m not writing here, it doesn't mean that i have forgotten you.

but i would be forsaken here if i didn't say thank you to those of you who have taken the time to write me and tell me that you're wondering what is happening and why nothing has been posted in the last bit. a smile crosses my face when i read such letters. why? i'll get to that in a bit.

but, i have been writing. writing a few good songs. some not so much. and playing. playing is good. i have gotten back chops that i haven't used in years, and developed some new ones....some freedom of expression that is granted to me by the constitution of these united states. got to play without something stuck in my ears (there are those of you who know how good that is), played my gretsch guitar (always good), and got back to luckenbach texas.

and i started to make some small films. crude though they are (roma wasn’t build in a dia) they are fun and another outlet of my expression. it is interesting to get a look at yourself how people view you (or so you think).

still, i haven’t been writing...so, in a word...sorry.


and here’s the get to it later part. my music has always been my music. there are those who get what i do(and those who don‘t). and i wanted to say thanks. and i also wanted to say thanks for keeping in touch. i’m going to “keep on, keeping on” but your reaching out hasn’t gone by unnoticed.

but most of all, what i want to say is...hats off to all the weekend warriors: the artisans at their typewriters and canvases, the debaters and students, and those who hit the field and play ball. having a job doesn’t mean giving up on your dreams, but it does make them more of a challenge. fight the good fight.

i am standing there beside you,



june 17, 2007

happy father's day to all you fathers out there, and to all the mothers that have to be fathers, too. and a special happy father's day to those that are not with their families today (or at least the one that aren't home against their will), may your travels be safe and the trip home uneventful and soon.

as i write this and drink this coffee, i'm sitting in nashville. the weather today is toasty warm. the humidity is low, but the temperature is going to be about 95 degrees. which means drinking hot coffee in the morning is something you do cause you have to (a musician's morning starts at 11:00), and not because you want to. it has been said that this fabulous elixir not only clears the cobwebs from one's mind, but also helps protect your liver if you happen to be one who consumes alcohol.

i might of had one or three drinks last night.

it was good to see those that i did see during fanfair. i hope those of you who made it out had a fab time.

down on lower broad, i was sweating and a-grinning play with jim hampton along with mike fried at one of those smoky honky tonks thank believes air conditioning is optional (or hot customers drink more.) jim has a great voice, is tall as the day is long, and has the chiseled good looks of screen acting cowboy.

a while back we wrote a song together called "the ballad of josephine bell." we have been known to play that live with the band.

jim was nice enough to come in a sing it when i did my little jake kelly solo acoustic show over at the hotel preston just out of town, albeit, the single guitar, harmonica and big voice version of it.

i have to say, i loved doing that acoustic show. some of these song have very intimate lyrics and sometimes i think a whole band production in the live situation can be hard to contain--not unlike trying to hold jello together with rubber bands. but when it just you (meaning me) and a guitar (meaning guitars and harmonica) and perhaps one other (meaning mike fried). it is a whole lot easier.

it was cool to play a couple songs i know the audience hadn't heard before, and to have a chance to tell the story behind some of the songs, and the opportunity to change up some of the lyrics to make them more prevalent to what is going on in my life these days and events of the recent past. and tell a joke or two...and learn a couple of jokes when it was all over.

i had primed myself for the nashville show by doing one in memphis. the memphis songwriters association had asked me if i was come speak to their group and play my set. so they set up a like gig for me at Memphis Originals, a very hip coffee house/art gallery across from the university.

now, my take on songwriting is a little different than most and i told them so, but there was a slight look of disgust on one woman's face when i happened to use a swear word in my 1st amendment rights protected freedom of speech song "today sucks". then i gave her the universal advice every songwriter gives aspiring songwriters, "you got to write what you know." i think she might of been even slightly more offended after that, but as ricky nelson told me at a garden party, "you can't please everyone so you got to please yourself."

in the wee hours of the morning before i went to sleep, i was giving a listen to the new john lennon tribube record. some of the artist that contributed to this really seemed to be channeling the spirit of john. the production and experimentation of instruments and sounds are compelling.

i have placing so much emphasis on playing and performing, and basically trying to get better at the guitar, that i have largely left my recording gear untouched. but i have the songs, and now i'm starting to get the desire to start digging in and see what i can do for cd #6. i wonder where i'll land?

once again it was good see you all. thanks for all of you who wrote notes saying how you wished you could have been there. fear not (or fear) there will be more.

as an extra added treat, if you click on the link below, you can hear a demo "the ballad of josephine bell". that's jim hampton on the vocals, mike fried on the dobro guitar, and humble jake kelly playing everything else.

live large, love large,



may 13, 2007

hello long lost,

i'd like to invite any of you who happen to be making the trip to nashville for fanfair, those in nashville for some other reason, those that live in the greater nashville area, or those looking for a good excuse to come to nashville to a show...
the jake kelly solo acoustic show at the Preston Hotel on june 7, 2007 at 8:00 p.m.

immediate following will be jim hampton and the hayseeds featuring jake kelly on guitar and mike fried on pedal steel.

cost of admission: free!

cost of parking: free!

cost of a drink: depends on what you're drinking

value of the night: priceless

seriously, y'all have supported me through the years, and i wanted to repay the favor (in part, anyway). come hear some songs, a little beat poetry, and a story or two. bring a friend, tell a friend or two, the more the merrier.

the Preston Hotel is located at interstate 40 and Briley parkway near the airport. big building, big dreams. meet you at the bar.

hope to see you there. no r.s.v.p. necessary.



april 8, 2007

happy easter!

it is amazing how quickly time is passing. the truth is, i fell like i have been on a long vacation. i see to it that i pick up the guitar daily to play and sing. the magazine writing and other what not keeps me busy and i find i'm logging long hours that only seem like a few minutes. the coffee is good, there's a happy hour every day, and the commute is vary tolerable, working at home and all.

this internet thing is most amazing. not only can i work from home, but i can pitch songs to various folks looking for music by just pressing my fingers to a couple of keys. it is done one of two ways; i either attach a mp3 to an email, or send an email that has a link to my publishing company's website. no trees have to give up their life, and my letters show up nearly at the speed of light.

turn out, that the speed of light is no longer the universe's speed limit. electrons, those little tiny things that zip around the nucleus of an atom, act kind of like twins. i'm sure y'all have heard one of the stories about a twin that was sure something was wrong with their sibling, placed a phone call or such and the twin was rescued from some disaster, perhaps saved from drowning. well, electrons have the same kind of inter-connectivity (and yes, that is a word). if one spins, the other one spins at exactly the same time, regardless of the amount of distance between them.

or so i read. and this is quite different than what einstein said would happen. the rules of the universe is not unlike one of those funny children books: the one where if you flip the book over, you get another story. there's one set of rules for the big things: stars, planets, black holes, space ships, man. and then, a whole new set of rules for the smallest things: neutrons, protons, electrons, quarks they have a word of their own. quantum physics.

for those of you wondering where i read this, it's called "a short history of nearly everything" by bill bryson.

anyway, back to the internet...

there's a couple of tracks on "blacksheep" that were helped by the miracle of the internet. the piano on "now it's really time to cry" was record when mike webb was on the road, and the emailed back to me. same with the steel guitar on "bad childhood".

music done in this manner is kind of cool, because the musician can record whenever he feels inspired to record, whether it be one in the afternoon, or two in the morning. schedules don't need to coincide.

of course, you need musicians you trust. they are working unsupervised, and their vision of what the song should be, or their role in it, might be different than what you'd expect. that was not a concern of mine as the players on this disc are more like brothers to me than my own brothers are. perhaps, they're the black sheeps of their family as well, and we...ahem...tend to flock together.

but then again, there is no substitute for when musicians play together. there's an energy there, an electricity, perhaps quantum physics at work.

i know you all have felt the magic when the music is working, and that is what i'm talking about. sure, there's nights, or shows, where the musicians are playing by rote. they have the look in their eyes that they'd rather be someplace else, as oppose to the look in their eye when the music is happening. the look that they are in some other place. i'm longing for that feeling.

i'm headed back to nashville, and i'm going to put my playing jacket on. in addition to hitting honky tonks, i'm thinking about coffee houses and house concerts.

thanks to all that wrote in expressing interest in holding a house concert. y'all will be getting an email from me shortly that will explain it all a little bit more. perhaps we, together, can get this in motion.

till then, enjoy the ham and relish the company of family. spring is here. april is national poetry month, so perhaps your pencil should touch the pad. see what flows from the tip o' the pen. if you come up with anything exciting, let me know.

be good, and be good to one another. look for me on the highway.



march 6, 2007

cd is now in the store!

buenos noches!


march 1, 2007

good morning good citizens,

after a few weeks in the shop my trustworthy standel amplifier (turquoise and cream, like a '57 chevy bel aire, or even better like a '61 ford f100 pickup) is back up and running with sneakers. i had to play a few gig with one of my back-up amps. not all together a bad, kinda a different tone. but, when i got the standel put back together, plugged in and turned on, a smile did cross my face.

last weekend i headed to memphis and spent some time in the land o' elvis, b.b.king, sun studios, and stax records for the national folk alliance convention. i loaded up my piece of truck with a couple guitars (one leather covered. thanks again tom hartley!) some recording equipment, and a change of clothes with the idea of recording some of the artists the converged on the city.

if you're thinking folk music is peter, paul and mary or "a mighty wind" you might be right. but this convention is so much more. how much more? swing, bluegrass, country, jazz, string quartets, electrified jug bands, a capella, acoustic rock, and even mariachi!

i was lucky enough to record a pretty fair cross section of artists in the convention hall for iradio, the internet radio station of singer&musician magazine and www.ilivetoplay.net, which the more astute might recognize as the magazine that i write for.

i also pass off a copy of "black sheep" to my boss, who also happens to program iradio. now, i don't know if i'm going to get airplay, but i wouldn't be surprised.

speaking of "black sheep", i have got word that the dics are stocked in a warehouse in portland, oregon and is currently being uploaded to the store's website. meaning, the disc could be available any moment. now, buying this cd doesn't assure you passage way into heaven, but it is 35 minutes of safe haven.

okay, i'd like to write more, but i have to coffee up and get myself rolling to one of the carolinas. jim hampton and i have a gig out that way . it's a benefit for jim's brother who's business burnt to the ground. i'll let you know how it goes. it'll already be good...i'm playing through a standel.

peace in our time.




feb. 15, 2007

good afternoon fair people of the world.

nothing makes the end of the day more satisfying than being able to watch the sunset with a cool drink of your own personal persuasion, knowing than you have done a good days work for fair wages. that's where i'm in my day right now.

i was lucky enough to turn on the television and catch "bound for glory" a kind of cheesey film on the life of one woody guthrie. love the fact that david carridine is play a gibson guitar as he mugs his way through the film. as chance would have it, last night i was goofing around on the computer last night the computer matched my face with david carridine.

funny, i was always told that i looked like robert carridine. his revenge of the nerds movie made me a very popular guy among cheerleaders back in the day. what's even more fun, is just now randy quaid came on the screen (a very young randy quaid), and he so very much reminds me of my friend charles otis.

got to see charles the ottra day, eat some fine cuisine from south of the border and talk about the state of the state of country music. i'm still waiting to do my televised broadcast. the concessions is we could use a man like buck owens again. and jimmie rodgers, and ole' woody guthrie.

but time changes, things change, best not to dwell (one of only three words that start with the letters "dw") on el paso.

if you're reading this, and it's highly likely that you are, you might of clicked on the homepage first and noticed a photo with a particularly fine looking guitar in it. if it looks different from any other guitar you've seen you'd be wrong. and you'd be right, too.

back in the louisianna hayride days there was this young guy, former truck driver who found his jake nitche' in life. his name was elvis arron presley, hey, but you can just call him the king. he played a guitar (his was one of those of the martin variety) that was covered with tooled leather.

well...a good friend of mine, tom hartley, out of the goodness of his very large heart, tooled a piece of leather for months and months and then spent countless winter nights stitching into the form of my gibson (finest kind) j-45 in the same manner as elvis presley, buddy holly, ricky nelson and waylon jennings.

i love being a member of this club along with tom. the artists, their covered guitars and the men and women who made them. and i believe that when we are all together a great debate will ensue on who's cover is best. i know i've won, but those other guys are legends. i'll let them feel good about themselves. but, i know i've won. tom won. my guitar looks the best out of all of 'em.

and, another perk: i'm still alive. for now anyway.

que singing choir..."we are the champion my friends".

someone wrote in to ask about what the cover did to the guitar sound wise. just drapping your arm over the guitar to strum it changes the way it sounds, so it's fair game asking what a big old piece of leather will do. it changes up the sound and gives the guitar a kind of low-fi effect. think of "across the universe" by the beatles. or, maybe, "that's alright mama" by the afore mentioned elvis presley.

it helps if you start with a great sounding guitar (gibsons are my favorite), than it's almost impossible to make them sound bad (playing excluded), you're more just changing the tone. that guitar with the cover on it sounds exceptional either way. oh, the cover can be removed in ten seconds. can't beat that.

i am currently sitting on a box of "black sheep" cds. i don't know why, but i have delayed in sending out to the merch people. the basis for this reluctance is beyond my grasp. it's done and it looks pretty, and thanks to efforts of all the fine friends/musicians that played on it, it sounds mighty fine, too. One or two copies might have escaped my grasp. oops.

anyway, i'll make a point of getting them to the place where you can get them. perhaps a record release party and the band playing some of the cuts live wouldn't be a bad thing.

i was in a music store the day before yesterday and happened run into seth rausch, and caught up with his going ons. apparently time off the road doesn't disagree with him. studio work came knocking on his door and his altruistic side started to shine through as well.

well, the glass is nearly empty, which means i'm going to have to find someone run to the store for me. still, before i leave, i hope y'all had a fine valentine's day filled with all those great things that happen on valentine's day: flowers, chocolate, music, lingerie, and love, love, love.

and if not, well, there's always next year. and next week. why wait?

okay, i go box those cds up and send them out.

be good, be good to others.



dec. 25, 2006

happy christmas!

dec. 22, 2006

hola amigos,

out here in the greater southern california area, in leau of snow we are using frost. amazingly enough, it is colder in el lay than it is in nashville. gasp!

cold enough that ice has formed on my mother's koi pond, and i have to scratch ice off the windsheild of my beat to sh*t suv (my beat to sh*t truck lives in "music city, usa").

the scrapping off the ice is my own fault. i should of known one of the gifts i was going to get my boys was going to be the hottest item of the holidays, and i've been waking early to be there when the doors open. i've been doing this for several days now as kind of a climax for weeks of searching.

all of this goes against my nature. hell, just rising early goes against my entire being as a musician.

and, sadly, it's been to no avail. actually, it's been frustraiting. i walked into a store yesterday afternoon to find i was about one minute too late.

arriving back to my humble abode, i found my boys out playing in the shed. i told them (they already had a good idea that they were going to get that hard to find) that the search has been unfruitful...and that i was letting them know so they wouldn't be disappointed.

my oldest son simply said, "don't worry dad, we're not that way."

i don't what i've done to deserve such good children.

nor do i know what i've done to have so many good friends that have shown so much support during the years. not just during the good times, but also in the valleys of the sine wave of this honky tonk life.

so in short, let me say thank you.

in it's longer form, let me say thank you, and at some time i hope to be able to return the favor.

let the warmth of the holidays wrap around you like a hudson bay blanket. enjoy the family, the friends, the food, the drink and the music. be safe, be careful and be grateful for not only what you get, and what you got, but that you able to give.

cheers! happy chanukah, happy christmas!!


dec. 16, 2006

happy christmas,

well, actually, happy christmas, happy chanukah, happy kwanza, and happy new year (premature). i hope this finds y’all well. once again, i’m a little delinquent in posting on this here site. but, with all the holiday parties, gift shopping and general malaise, where is one to find the time.

one full day of mine this last week was spent with boozest bassist jeff jackson. some of you might know jeff from another job that provides a mostly steady paycheck (an assumption on my part) for him. other might know jeff from his fine bass playing ability on jake kelly cds from the days of yore.

proximity and scheduling have kept jefe’ and myself apart for too long. even in my foray into lost wages, oops, i mean las vegas, time constrictions kept us from catching up with each other. but a dip in his itinerary and bleep in mine had dos amigos in the same greater southern california area. and luckily, out here, liquor is cheap. and, time is money.

the end result was, we had some good hang time, but i had to pay him two hundred dollars.

i didn’t, but truth be known, i do owe him money. don’t tell.

so just a short drive away here was one of my best friends. what could i do?? i cancelled all appointments, and drove over the hills and through the woods.

if memory serves me correctly, they last time i saw sir jackson was when we were tracking the bass parts for my new cd...and much material had been recorded, mixed, and mastered since then. so the jefferater (tell me when this gets tired) hadn’t heard the completed project.

did i tell you it was done??

anyway, i opened the bar, warmed up the tubes, pre-chilled the glasses, cooked wearing nothing put an apron, baked a cake, cleaned the pipes, lowered the lights, lite some candles, showered, shaved and put on some perfume, dressed in something sexy, lowered my voice and walked casually back into the living room and gave jeff the preview of his life.

or at least, i played him the new cd.

after the paramedics left, jeff said he was worn out and needed to get back to his hotel for some r & r, but before the taxi arrived, i had a chance to ask what he thought of the music. in between breaths he muttered “(something unintellageable) (profanity)”.

if you are anything like me, you take this as a compliment.

actually we hung into the not-so-wee hours of the night, but still we were able to make a serious dent in government cheese, water crackers, sam’s club beer, a slightly diluted bottle of vodka, beef stew, corn muffins, and animal cookies....the pink and white ones with sprinkles. have to tell you, though the beer cold, the drinks strong, the stew hardy, the cheese spunky, crackers crumbly, the muffins crumbly too, and cookies sweet, the sweetest part was jeff’s response to the music. he seemed happy.

guess at this point i might tell you that i have changed the title of the yet-to-be released album: what was going to be “me and my guitar” is now “black sheep”.

my oldest son pointed out that “me and my guitar” was bad grammar. of course, this didn’t prevent me from putting out “me and my guitar” acoustic cd. i would guess it would depend on how you used the words.


would you say, “there was no one in the club aside except for me and my guitar.”

but i like the title “blacksheep”. hell, i wrote a song called “blacksheep”, so why wouldn’t i like it for the title of an album?

but back to jeff-a-roo.

with the jeff-man back out on the road, i was able to turn my focus back to the artwork for the album. initially, i wasn’t happy with my son’s photographs. but then i realized that it was digital photography and my mind’s eye that was the problem.

see, in my head i look like brad pitt and sing like otis redding.

but then i realized that i don’t look like brad pitt.


still, i wasn’t willing to give up on my son’s photography brilliance. nor computer technology. so i took a second look at what was done, and those that friends and family liked...

then taking another friend’s advice, i took another look at some classic record covers...in particular bobby d’s world gone wrong cover.

then tapping the resource of my niece, who recently graduated from school with a degree in design (why she didn’t design the cover i don’t know. wait! i do know...i can’t afford her), i worked reworded and revised the work that i reworoked and came up with the cd cover pictured here:

okay, you can’t see it here. but check back and you’ll see the cover and one or two other teasers here soon. the music is done, the artwork is done, the typesetting is done. i should send this stuff to the shop. are you ready to listen to it??

i must get back to the city sidewalks, busy sidewalks dressed in holiday style.

may the holidays treat you well. i hope you get what all that you want, and you’re able to find what you want to give to others. i hope the holiday spirit find you, but be careful consuming holiday spirits.

celebrate, forgive and love!

as john said: happy christmas!! and love, love, love...


dec. 9, 2006,

hello wayfaring strangers,

i started writng this on monday: boy, does time fly...

too much idle times on my hand had me reaching for the throttle. why idle when you can drive. the highway had been calling me for some time anyways, so when i had the opportunity and enough spare change from playing street corners in westwood (just kidding) to fill the tank, you couldn’t color me more gone.

and what better place to go than viva las vegas, baby.

my editor lives in sin city, and his invite was, well, inviting. business in vegas aside, it turns out that some other friends were in town, either to play a show or watch one, as well.

so social hour was called. i was able to spend at least an hour or so at the different casinos i visited. must say, it was good seeing some of my compodres again.

living in southern california, my proximity to vegas is such that one can drive. this fared well for me as i don’t enjoy flying as much as one would think one who has a gyspy bone would. so, i loaded my six-string and six pack, some beans and balogna, a notebook and a nebulizer into my p.o.s. s.u.v. and headed off into the dry dessert air. east, with the sunset behind me.

i did not have to go too far before a song title enter my head, and within ten minutes (like most of my best songs) another creation was created. i love it when this happens, and my trip, if for no other reason, was already a success.

and now, it’s saturday...

i forgot to tell how the singer i’ve been working with in nashville paid a visit to my humble adobe out on the prairie, the fact that my radio is tuned to pick up radio stations from the past, how my good friend, tom hartley has finished a handcrafted gift for me, and sunspots are cauing not just interference with the television, but giving me glimpse into what looks like a glorious future and it looks like satin being waved in front of flash bulbs. you should be here now!

another song has relieved itself from my pen tonight. the beer is cold, the patio still warm from the afternoon’s heat, the forecasted rain never materialized, and all seems to be right in the world. the computer that was misbehaving like an adolescent child, and... i gotta go.

i’ll write more, now that i’m connected and all.

live life to it’s fullest, and if not let me fight for you.


november 28, 2006

boy, oh boy, does the time fly when you are away. far too much time has past since i have written last. i hope that y’all haven’t given up on me.

the sand that has passed though the hour glass since this scribe last scribbled has not been for naught. much work has been done and mulled over. much prodigious productivity and prosperous prodding, such as the doctor prescribed, has been pondered upon and perpetuated.

which is to say: i called the musicians and forced them into indentured servitude and they responded with great affection and effect.

in other words: i called upon my friends and they responded in the way that loving friends will and recorded kick-ass parts.

i’m happpy to say the tracking for the next lastest and greatest is finished, and i didn’t have to go to finland to get it done. though, it did feel like i had to pull some icelandia to get get it done.

on top of old smokey, the mixing is finished as well. and the mastering...well, i think i can put the nail in that coffin too.

in short, i think that all is well on the western front, which (not ironically) is where the last great battle to get this whale landed ended.

but enough about me. how are you?

i know that it has been far too long since i’ve last posted on this spot. please forgive me. and let me give thanks to those who were thoughtful enough (and missed me so much) as to write and say “jake, what’s going on?? please post an update.” never one to leave the masses (or the few, the strong, the vocal) waiting (longer than necessary) i am picking up on my long lost pledge.

thanksgiving has come and gone, as has halloween.

for those that care: argh, i was a pirate, with my first mate roy by my side. out on the pacific coast we wave our swords and pillaged and plundered the likes of our neighborhood. alas, we walked away with nothing but candy, but left some wenches shivering in our wake. eye, i t was a good night.

after talking to the local authorities the next day to clear our name, we re-assumed our roles as musician and elementary school student the next day. and things sailed along smoothly for the next month.

i hail-tailed it back to nashville to work on the long-delayed project and roy worked the city school system approximation of a coal mine. not to brag, but i think i got the better end of the deal.

anyway, after the afore mentioned toiling and begging player to work on my project, i was able to turn off the recorder for what i thought would be the final time. with the master tapes under my arms, i boarded a winged carriage and flew back to the golden west only to find that my golden ears did not quite match up to that of the sun setting on the ocean.

i was bottom heavy, and i not referring to the sugar-laden bounty of our plunger on halloween. there was to much low end in the end result. but fear not fair friends. the beauty of of today’s recording technology lies in it’s zero and ones and the computer ability to sort through them at close to the speed of light.

in leau of tape, today’s records are made on computers and computer-based equipement. truth be know, if you can read this, it is highly likely that you could have s studio quality recorder in your living room (or wherever your computer happens to be).

so by the same j.r.r. tolkien, i had the same mastering tools in my west coast base as i do in my nashville one. so with a few clicks (actually more than a few, and a little latency time to boot, plus boot up time, and waiting for the other shoe to drop) the problemo was corrected.

tapes are circling to a few trusted friends for review (“you can take it with you”), and a few friends are receiving previews (“let me play something for you”), just i can be sure.

i’m trying my best to make this something we can all be proud of.

thanksgiving has come.

hope yours was filled with all the food and family you could stomach. the weather turn a bit cooler, as is nice for the holidays. good excuse to wear the flannel. and i don’t mind a clingy sweaters either, when properly displayed. heavy food also comes into vogue. turkey, stuffing, mashed potatoes...is there any wonder why it’s my favorite holiday?

the only way it could get better is if you dressed as pirates for thanksgiving.

christmas is around the corner, and it’ll be time to load up the plates again.

okay...i guess i’m going to have to run. know this: the recording is done. i’m moving on to artwork for the cd jacket while enjoying the eggnog. roy is going to be my photographer, i think. marketing is on my mind, and i’d love to reach out further so i can set up a touring schedule. i want to make my way back to y’all. it’s been too long.

it’s time to light the bar-b-que and get the meat on the grill, the buns in the oven. hope you are doing well and enjoying what life has to offer.




october 29,2006

good morning fine folk everywhere,

daylight savings time is over, and now when the sun decides to call it a day, night is going to fall fast. if your body clock is set to the sun, say if you were a farmer, you’d still rise with the sun and work until it sets. this is still a shorter day during the fall and winter, especially in the north, but it makes up for the real long ones in the summer.

the best part about the end of daylight saving time (for me, anyways) is that when halloween night comes, it’s already dark and the spirits come out just a little earlier. naw, who am i fooling, the spirits come out of the liquor cabinet when ever i summons them to.

my son’s school halloween carnival was last night, and it had the currently popular pirate theme. in place of the usual haunted house, there was a haunted pirate ship. my son volunteered to work on the haunted ship and actually got to be the captain, steering the ship to it’s doom. i have to say, i am a proud father.

out here in so-cal, fall is season you plant a new lawn or re-seed the old one. most areas in the country the grass is dying off and preparing for a long winter’s nap. winter is our wet season, rarely does it rain during the summer. so this is the time you want to give your yard the good running start to help it pull through the long dry bummer of a summer.

i re-seeded, and spread forty bags of steer manure around the yard. i have to say, boy, does that smell good. and the flies like it, too!

yesterday i noticed some alfred hitchcock type activity going on in the back yard. this morning it ways even worse. birds.

the one’s from yesterday apparently went out and told all their buddies that we were laying out the feed bag. funny how they liked the back yard and not the front.
why would that be??

well the front yard is decorated for halloween, and there’s a ghost and a scarecrow. i’m guessing that it was the scarecrow that was keeping our fine feathered friends from feasting on the seed in the front and deciding to curb their appetite a little farther away from the curb.

now, the first thought that stuck my mind was taking the scarecrow from the front yard and putting it in the back. luckily, i decided first to have a cup of coffee and clear the halloween-type cobwebs from my mind.

sometime into my second cup i figured out what you are already thinking. without a scarecrow in the front, i’d just gave the birds a change of venue. so i went off to my closet and pulled out some of my hardly worn, the unwanted portions of the sunday times, my old straw hat, a microphone stand and a burlap sack.
fisher-price my first scarecrow. country music doesn’t mean i grew up on a farm, it just means i play country music.

well, since my scarecrow has been hanging (yes, i hung him, poor guy. i figured a little bit of movement wouldn’t hurt {me, not him}) and keep the birds at bay. guess i was right, as i peer out my window i see very little in terms of aviary activity.
i do feel bad, however, ‘cause there’s a new member of my family without a name. i’m thinking "joe", as in "scarecrow joe, stylist mo-fo". whatever that means. i do like his sense of style.

aside from the daily sit and strum sessions in my wood-paneled den, i can’t say i have been doing too much in the terms of music, but that will be changing in the later part of this week when i return to music city, usa. the longer i’m away from this current project, the more i’m itching to get it done.

i’m also missing the stage somewhat and ready to hit the bars and pick and grin and see how many of the old country standards i still can recall.

when i get the cd a little nearer to completion, i’ll send out a mailing to those on my email list to give clues to where you can listen to samples hidden on my website. those that own my previous cds will have the upper hand, but all will be able to look and see what they can find.

if i don’t write again before then, happy halloween to all y’all. be safe and don’t scare me.



ctober 22, 2006

good Sunday, good church going people, and the rest of us.

I was part of the early to bed, early to rise crowd last night. i’m writing this to you from sunny and warm southern california where yesterday the temperature peaked at (you wait while I look it up) 91 degrees. take that northeasterners. I laugh in the face of snow. at least I do when i’m in so-cal slathering up my body with suntan lotion so I can achieve that bronze look favored by paris hilton and britney spears.

when i’m hanging out with them, I don’t want to pale in comparison.

from what I understand, I can actually get “misted”, which I believe is also called a spray on tan. those of you who know me best know that I have close to zero concern about being tan. close to zero, you ask?

yes, that’s right. other than my face, neck and arms I don’t care. farmer’s tan. hard to maintain if you take your shirt off. there was a time i’d lay in the tanning bed with my clothes on just to achieve this prized look, but closing the lid of the contraption kept crushing my hat.

I have become so absorbed in making the new cd, that I felt I needed to take a step or two back and catch my breath. that, and the fact that I hadn’t been in california for a good stretch and I needed to deal with some pressing business here had me packing up my hobo bandana and jumping a west bound freight.

not true. I flew.

sorting through my mail after I got home I found that I have regained some of the rights of the music I had written back from mca music (now called universal music). such titles as: barstool in barstow (a perennial favorite), see it for yourself, and never felt so blue (someone I know loves this song).

back when I recorded my first cd, it was actually supposed to be my second. the first cd was going to be a solo guitar only cd. it was going to be called “don’t pick on me, i’m picking on my guitar”. but then when I played some song demos for the musicians that became my band they talked me into recording those songs instead by volunteering their services pro bono. that disc was the critically acclaimed (by me) cd “I shouldn’t talk when I drink.”

anyway, the next cd was going to be the songs I had written with songwriter extraordinare luke reed, and it was going to be called “the gospel according to luke and john.” but mca still owned (and still owns) the rights to those songs.

but while recording the first cd, I was writing up a storm and before the first cd came out, I had written what would become cd numero dos, “bitter...party of one...your table is ready.”

sorry, I lost my train of thought for a second.

but, somewhere in my list of cds I wanted to record, one was “jake kelly, the mca years”. that is not going to happen yet, as they still hold onto many of titles I had envisioned on the disc. but still, it nice to have these few titles reverted back to someone who cares about their well-being. that would be me.

the fine folks that operate dewey, cheatum & howe, should be thrusting these songs forward for other artists to record. i’ll keep y’all posted on any advancement on that front.

anyway...i’ve been enjoying pulling some of my vintage guitars out of the closet and plugging them in. tone that inspires you to play. I hate thinking they have been laying unplayed for so long. sorry.

alright then...I need to wrap this up. yes, it’s sunday, but still there’s things to do.

i’m reviewing the tapes of what’s recorded so far, and i’m waiting on some folks (the mikes) so we can finish up the tracking on the new cd. i’m really liking what I hear so far. after the tracking, the disc needs to be mixed, then mastered, then manufactured. it’ll take a little time, but I swear, it’ll be worth it.

that’s the down low for now. ‘course, I left out the part about the blown tire and waffles, but i’ll need something to write about next time, right?

do good work, love one another.


october 9, 2006

hello friends and neighbors,

hope all is going well in your world.

mine?? it is going well. it didn’t start off that way, though. last week started with me playing out backing a singer in some smoke filled honky tonk. there’s a saying among musicians that goes like this: “i’ve always wanted to play guitar in the worse way, and tonight i did it.”

i felt i never executed what i was reaching out for. but then, oddly enough, i got more compliments that night than i have the other times i’ve played out this week. fortunately, i feel better about my playing this last weekend than the earlier part of last week.

and play i did...eight hours on saturday. i’m lucky enough to be working with some top-notch musicians who are both generous and forgiving and always eager to smile. it helps take the music to the exciting places, and make it more exciting to those folks who wander into the bar.

i do have to say i miss seeing y’all, and i’m looking forward to my next road gig, whenever that may be.

but for now i got this cd to finish. someone asked if jeff showed up, which he did. he was only a couple of minutes late. we set up a time to meet, but i didn’t tell him when “oilspot” was. ha, ha...i’m cracking myself up.

jeff layed down some great parts and pulled the tracks together. we drank a few beers, had a few laughs and we went our ways, for each of us had work to do that night.

later in the week, i bought a twelve pack of beer and made my way over to mike webb’s studio where we layed down some killer organ parts. and when i say we, i mean he. most everything he played just had me nodding my head “yes.” and anytime i didn’t like a part he was working on, he always stopped before i said anything and would say something along the lines of “i don’t like what i was playing there...let me try something else.”

after laying down the tracks, we high-tailed to el patio for some more beers and tacos. we watched the sunset and lived happily ever after. actually, not unlike when jeff was recording his parts, mike would go on to meet the bus, and i would go out to play a not-so-local watering hole a few miles from nashville.

the recording is going great, and some samples should be posted soon. but there’s still more...much more that needs to be done. piano on a few tracks, some steel guitar, the whole song “mi waka wini” which i left the production of to one mike fried, our residential hawaiian who actually resides in nashville. how does that work?? and all i’ve had is coffee today.

vocals, and harmonies. editing, mixing and mastering. it would be happening faster if i wasn’t handling so many chores myself. hey, but the price is right. i keep the right hours.

one thing i’d like to take care of before i get back at it:

apparently, on some web boards out there, there is some controversy. i haven’t read it, but i know that some people are concerned. i, personally, don’t want to be drawn into it. no one speaks for me other than myself, and the only thing i have to say is this: i wish nothing but the best for gary and the guys, i hope they find continued success, and i’m anxious to play the stage and/or studio with each of them again.

whew! there...that takes care of that. now back to creating what will be the “me and my band” cd.

i hope the harvest moon smiled down upon you as it did to me, remember there are those less fortunate than ourselves, and our role here is to take care of one another.


october 2, 2006

a good monday morning to y’all!

my last post had me recognizing that i hadn’t written in more than a week, and that’s because it had been a fairly busy week. but it finally came to an end, which was sad in a way because if was a most productive one.

in the early part of the it, all my preproduction skills made themselves self-evident. all the pieces came together in a way that would make milton bradley proud. everyone showed up on time (for the most part), all the gear was in order, every thing worked, everyone put their hearts into it, and the world was at peace.

dogs and cats got along, harley-davidsons stopped leaking oil (if just for those few hours), guitars all played in tune (if just for those few hours), beer was half price, and there actually was two girls for every guy.

the recording is sounding so good, i actually can’t believe it’s mine. of course, i can’t take all the credit. i’ve been lucky (or smart) enough to surround myself with tallented, dedicated people.

i mentioned them in the last post, but i am so grateful (and they so deserving) that i put their name in print again: matt dolan, brent sparks, mike fried and ryan smith.

where, you ask, is jeff jackson on this list??

actually, i’m waiting for jeff right now. he gave me a 1:00 target time and as i write this it’s 12:51.

he makes it on time, he gets his name posted.

jeff was out last week, thursday i believe and cut some tracks, but the atmosphere was so relaxed and the pressure was off from the earlier part of the week we didn’t get through all that we wanted to.

plus, it gave us an excuse to get together again today.

anyway, i’m rested, have a good attitude, and ready to get back to work. guess i’ll get back to it.

jeff has four minutes...

peace, love and luck,


p.s. hello fall, it’s good to see you!

september 29, 2006

hello one and all,

i don't know how it happened but ten days went by since i last post. wow.

i'm thinking of heading to the mountains for some well deserved rest and relaxation, but before i go i wanted to give a big and very public thanks to mike fried, brent sparks, matt dolan and jeff jackson for making the week's session all that they were. y'all sound great, and it's an honor to work with guys like you.

i'd also like to thanks ryan smith over at shure microphones for hooking me up with the same mics they use in the best studios in the world. ryan, the drums sound better because of you.

well, gotta run. hope y'all have as good of weekend as i'm planning on having.



september 19, 2006

good day sunshine,

unlike yesterday, the sun decided to show his face. a little of fall is creeping into the atmosphere. all of this made for a great day to take my coffee outside. for some reason the mosquitoes that had found me so appetizing have changed their minds and are leaving me alone. guess we have made our peace. i use to say what abbie hoffman would say: “death to the facist insects that feed off the blood of the people”, but now i say what paul mccartney says: “live and let live”.

or better yet, what john lennon said: “love, love, love”.

so, the sun is resetting my body clock. good thing, too, it was running slow.

great music for the price of a cheeseburger...

i headed downtown last night with my green gretsch guitar and turquoise standel amp in tow and spent the later hours of the evening sitting in with jim hampton's honky tonk band playing country music the way that god intended it to be.

i have to say it felt good to be able to stretch out a little bit and play, but i also have to say i’m a little rusty. luckily, the band was forgiving and encouraging. the other guitarist, brian davidson, allowed me to shake off solos when he more than generously offered them up. i don’t want to follow when someone plays that good.

the evening was good for the spirit, good for the soul, and passed way too quickly.

it also reminded me that i need to woodshed for a while and get my chops back. perhaps, i might go back to my old rig of vintage pedals rather than the modern digital all in one thing i’ve been using. yes, i’m going to do that.

the recording of the new record has been going well. for the most part it’s more of a rock ‘n’ roll record than a country one. not too different than “i run with scissors”, but a whole lot better.


the band, that’s why.

the line up of musicians reads like this:

mike webb: piano and organ
matt dolan: drums and percussion
jake kelly: guitars, vocal and harmonica
mike fried: steel guitar and dobro
jeff jackson: acoustic and electric bass

and they’ll be some guest musicians as well, but i’ll save that till, well, i guess until they get their butts in and record their parts.

alright. we both better be getting back to work, but it’s been great hanging out at the water cooler with you.

remember what john said: “love, love, love”,


p.s. the great eight free downloads, copy ‘em, pass ‘em on. j

september 18, 2006

sorry everyone, i didn't know my guestbook was full till i got jaymes email. thanks jaymes. y'all can post when you care too.


september 18, 2006

good evening wayfaring strangers,

surely, (and don’t call me shirley), it’s not every day that i find it in myself to write at midnight in the evening. usually i have better things to do: shake, not stir, hum a country tune, think about papa being a rolling stone, being a rolling stone, think of what keith was to gram, what don was to buck, what a buck is worth these day, how may days does it take to get from here to the indian reservation in wyoming, how many people live in wyoming, and does that make enough people (including the native americans, sorry i said indian earlier) to fill a honky tonk, and if it is honky, is it dory?

this is some serious stuff at hand. we need to get a grip on this. help. please.

i thought today was going to be a nothing day. it started out nothing enough. didn’t sleep well, woke up too soon, had bad snoozing dreams when it tied to get back to sleep, gave in, but didn’t get up. snoozed some more, dreamt more, wondered what for.

i sat down to record, and some worth while stuff came out.

the coffee tasted good as it should.

made a few phone calls. some went through, some didn’t.

a radio show was coming on, but lacking the makings of a good white russian i could not bring it to its full fruition. so, i opted for some good mexican beer instead.

russia---mexico: what’s the connection?

everyone knows that russia had a marxist communist revolution in 1917, which led to the formation of the soviet union. but where did the first marxist revolution take place?

if you said mexico in 1910: ding...you won!

well, sort of. it’s still under debate. even almost a hundred years later, the argument on whether it was a marxist revolution or not still takes place. there’s more than a few people who would shutter to think that such would happen touching our borders.

but for me, that’s not the point.

my point is dos exuis is a cervacias mas finas!

i listen to the radio show, most of it anyway, until my phone calls started to be returned. it was good to hear the voices; connect with friends on a lonely sunday.

then, i got myself made up and went downtown to meet some of my old honky tonk compradres, to further help take some of the idleness out of the day.

showing up unfashionably early and being unfed, i opted to stop by a bar and grill on the way into town to fill my undernourished belly and quench my thrist.

then as it so often happens in nashville (or greater nashville area), a band started setting up in the corner of the saloon.

before my burger even arrived, a kick-ass (can i say ass here?) country band started playing. the guitar player switched between steel and guitar the way that junior brown dreams about at night. the bass was thumping. the drums were drumming. the rhythm stirring.

it was then i knew that everything was right in the universe: great music for the price of a cheeseburger!

i can’t say my fingers were not itching on friday night (nor saturday), but i am (and was) passing the hours i would of been on stage in the studio (or some variation thereof) working on the next jake kelly cd. it sounds good to me, and i’m grateful to have the support of a few friends helping me out, and the time to do it right.

i hope to be soon posting samples here on the site, and, as always, i’ll keep you informed of the going ons.

tilll then, i hope y’all find the happiness you deserve, and then you serve up everyone ice cream. it’s delicious!


september 13, 2006

goodness gracious great cup of coffee

good morning caffeine achievers and others,

there is something nearly medicinal about a good cup of joe. it starts when you first brew it up, the aroma fills the air and takes you to some exotic locale. perhaps a hacienda in central america over looking the hills where the coffee beans are grown. or perhaps in the seirra neveda mountains, with the sound of the river rushing near by, the coffee more cooking than brewing on a grill over the coals that were rejuvenated from the night before.

add to that the smell of bacon cooking and you really got something.

then you feel the warmth of the cup in your hands. after first poured, you always wrap two hands around the mug. always. this act is more greatly appreciated during the winter than the summer, but is done all year round nevertheless. the first time you raise the mug to your face is not to taste the coffee, but to inhale the steam and breath in the rich fragrance.

the steam clears your head and from it you can gauge just how hot the coffee is.

then you take your first sip. always a sip the first time. big earthly flavors fill your mouth. not too hot, you take another sip this time...just a little bigger. then mouthful swallows.

soon you’re ready to face the day.

a few months back my old friend and former editor called me. he had gotten involved with a young magazine and given the task of turning it into world class publication.
the name of the magazine is ‘singer and musician’ (www.ilivetoplay.net) , and it’s target audience is the independent artist.

i guess it’s that target he had in mind when he recruited me to write for the magazine. my on-going assignment is to write a philosophical column on the music business.

recently he called me requesting my third installment (has it been two months already?), and told me the first two have been published already.

now, i haven’t seen an actual paper copy of the magazine yet, but i’m told it’s out there. so if you find yourself wandering by a newsstand and see the music section of magazines, check to see if you can ‘singer and musician’, and write me and let me know about it.

my column is located in the prestigious spot: last page. all you have to do is open the back cover and my philosophy will come spilling out.

i have been working on the “me and my band” cd, but i can’t say i have been doing much recording.

i’ve upgraded tape recorders (though they’re not really tape recorders anymore, they don’t use tape) and the previous files (computer files actually) were in a different format than the new ones. so, i guess you can say i have been converting.

there is always a learning curve when you get something new and technologically advanced, and this is no different. i’ve been successful in transferring from one to the other now, so i know what to do.

once this is finished, i’ll get the guys together and start recording again. so far, things sound good.

if you’re reading this, it is most likely you saw the “great eight” banner on my home page. while my radio airplay is too limited to have anyone determine what would be my greatest hits, this is a fairly good sampling of each of my four cds.

these eight song are free for you to download and burn onto cd if you care to.

you know how commercial cds have a “unauthorized duplication is a violation of applicable laws” statement on the back cover?

well, i’m giving you authorization to burn and pass among your friends “the great eight” (as i like to call ‘em) cd. just be sure to label the cd with “jakekelly.com”

hope you like free music, hope you like good coffee, hope you have a rockin’ day.


september 10, 2006

in having a good conversation with a good friend, the idea came up that “everyone should feel special.”

and based on our conversation, it sounds like a grand idea to me. give encouragement when no one else believes, be a champion to the underdog, and take care of the ones we love and those that need love.

Obviously, much has been going on in my world. and i’m more than willing to open the door to let in a little fresh air. i’ll write more when the sun peaks through the curtain in the morrow, but for now...shouldn’t everyone feel special?

do good deeds, live light hearted.


september 4, 2006

hey y'all,

thanks for all the kind words and support. but this wasn't meant to be an obituary or anything. i'm still making music and i'll still do anything in my power to bring it to you. "we still have trunks of memories still to come" --neil young


september 4, 2006

dear friends,

the next few words are probably going to be nearly as shocking to you as they were to me.

i’m no longer with the gary allan organization.

i can’t say it hasn’t be a good run. double negative i know. but, it’s been fun from the first audition to the last gig. lots of successes in the last thirteen plus years. few people in life get to experience the thrills of not just watching, but participating in, an act going from the smallest of honky tonks to the biggest arenas. and i have no reason to doubt that gary’s star is going to shine brighter as time goes on.

for me, truthfully, the biggest thrill of all is that i got to travel the country and meet so many cool people. that would be y’all.

in my mind, it would be pointless to travel the country without meeting the people, seeing the sights, eating the food and (of course) drinking the drink. you are what’s made this special.

and, you’ve made me feel special. you’ve always been friendly, supplied kind words, inspiration, and supported my projects. so, in a word, thanks.

i’m hardly through my second white russian, so what the future holds i’m not sure. but i have an inkling that it has something to do with music. the last record (the white album?) seems to be doing well, and the follow up record is still in progress. and i’ve been putting the paper to the pad, so there’s more songs to follow.

i look forward to many future musical endeavors with all my now former band mates, including gary, and will keep you posted on developments. i look forward to whatever opportunities raise their heads, but mostly, i look forward to my next chance to bring music (and hopefully joy) into the stereos, honky tonks, and heart of the people who have supported me over all these years...you.

keep coming back. i’ll make music for as long as you’ll listen.

love, love, love,


august 28, 2006

buenos dias mi amigos,

as the java courses through my vines, my mind starts to fire synapses and, voila, out comes the written word.

somebody put something in my drink last night, and i believe it was alcohol. not that i’m complaining...au contraire...i was glad to have it. then. anyways. it took everything i had to get up this morning, and it’s gonna take everything i can muster up to be able to drink this afternoon. but, i’m going to give it a good ol’ college try.

we played the louisville fair yesterday to what must have been a sold out crowd. some folks, i feel for them, had nose bleed seats behind(!) the stage. i tried to rock ‘em.

as much fun as playing to these huge crowds is (and it is), i miss the intimacy of the small club and being able to hang with folks afterwards to knock back a couple of cold ones and have some laughs. the problem is gary’s become so popular that i fear our club days are behind us.

and there’s more to it than that. y’all are kinda spread out so if i book something in nashville, a large chunk of my fan base is not going be able to see the show. that is, unless you're in nashville already for an event like fanfare. and, i’m not sure what my turn out would be if i were to play a show in any one city, like kansas city.

but, i’m thinking about it.

back in the early days of folk music, and still today i’d guess, were house parties. several musicians would go to their host’s house and perform for their guests. this differs from hiring musicians to play at your party in as much as it actually a concert (albeit unplugged and for a small crowd) rather than background music. so, clean up the house, i’m coming over.

maybe i can talk the other losers into a small winter tour, or perhaps i can talk some other singer/songwriters into a lose coalition and tour with them. or, if the g.a. organization is wrapping up a tour, say in a place like louisville, perhaps the band can play in some pub the next night before heading home. or, maybe i’ll just hop a freight train with my guitar in tow and see where fate takes me. i want to play. i’m going to have to figure something out.

so, the reason it is so hot is that the earth has broken out of it’s orbit and is hurling itself towards the sun.

there are some misnomers about why it’s hot during the summer. or at least one. just about everyone knows that the earth orbit is elliptical: it’s not perfectly round, but somewhat egg shaped. with that knowledge in hand, it easy to see why so many think that when it summertime, the earth is closer to the sun.

that couldn't be further from the truth. nor could the earth be further from the sun. as it turns out, the earth is the furthest from the sun during our (the northern hemisphere) summer. during the winter we’re closest!

so, why is it warmer in the summer?

the answer is direct light. well, that and a couple of other things, but mostly direct light.

the earth is tilted. the earth’s axis (the north and south pole) are slanted in their relationship with the sun. so as we make our journey around the sun, the north pole is pointed more towards the sun during summer, and away from the sun during winter.

okay, so what is direct light?

when the sun is directly over head, the sun is giving us direct light. direct light is when the light is at 90 degrees (the angle not the temp) to a surface. so when the sun rises in the morning, it is not direct light but as it races its chariot above us it becomes direct light.

now, i know that the term is somewhat misleading. it brings to mind reflected light, defused light and other things you’d think direct light is the opposite of. sorry. it’s not.

direct light is more efficient at heating than indirect light is. think of a building at high noon in the summer. the roof of the building will be hotter than the sides would be. but during the morning, the side facing the sun would be warmer than the roof; it’s closer to 90 degrees when the sun hasn’t climbed high in the sky.

there is a simple experiment that anyone can do. simply place two pieces of black poster board outside for a half hour or so when the sun is straight over head. have one laying flat and have the other on tilted at a 45 degree angle. after the 30 minute mark see if you can feel which is hotter.

during the winter time the sun does not rise over head but forms a lower arc on the horizon. indirect light. it still heats, just not as efficiently.

another factor of summertime heat is the length of day and night. during summer the days are longer and the nights are shorter, so there’s more time for the sun to heat the planet's surface and less time for it to cool off.

all of this because our axis is tilted. what a great gift: winter and summer as a matched set, and spring and fall thrown in as a bonus. and if you don’t think of it as a great gift, imagine what it’d be like living on uranus.

uranus’ axis is on its side, pointing towards the sun during the summer and winter. if you lived near a pole, you would not have sunlight for half of uranus’ 84 earth year orbit.

and while we’re on planets. good-bye pluto we’re going to miss you. actually we’re not losing pluto, but pluto is no longer considered to be a planet. so, there’s only eight planets in our solar system. one less thing for the kids to have to learn.

now they can put their attention into direct lighting.

as a man wiser than myself said, learn like you’re going to live forever, live like you’re going to die tomorrow.

class dismissed.


august 24, 2006

dear good doers of the world,

we’ll i survived my birthday, but just barely. it started with the obligatory white russians followed by beer and then tempered with some good mexican food and good company. when 9:45 came around i could hardly keep my eyes open. surely this is a sign of a good celebration.

i would dare to say that the party actually started the night before in ohio where we played a full-length gary allan headline show. i’m sure it’s no surprise to any of you that have come out to see on tour with the rascal flatts gang that our shows are slightly shorter than usual. so when we get the stage like we did the night before last, it’s fun ‘casue we get to stretch out a little bit.

the pre-show party extended itself into a post-show party at some bar somewhere, where my compadres and other assorted friends plied me with alcohol. thanks everyone!!

also big thanks to those sent me birth messages. i’m sorry my guestbook was too full to allow all the messages to get through, but i could feel them in my heart.

in honor of my birthday, i have a gift for y’all:

you can purchase my first three cds for the low price of $15. yes, that’s right, for the rest of the month you can buy “i shouldn’t talk when i drink”, “bitter...party of one...your table’s ready”, and “i run with scissors” for fifteen bones.

simply add all three to your shopping cart and go to check out and there you’ll see the special sale price of...do i need to say it again? okay, 15 clams. if you already own one of the three, by all three anyways and give someone the gift of music. it wouldn’t hurt for me to expand my fan base.


my pen has found it’s way to the page. for some unknown reason i started writing songs again. i penned three songs between phoenix and nashville when i was flying back after taking some time off. and more are banging around in my head waiting (or wanting) to come out. so if i have a far away look in my eyes it’s because i’m writing, i’m not ignoring you. wait, i actually might be ignoring you because i’m writing. please be understanding.

i could muse about the heat, but today feels pretty damn good, and i have a few other things i need to do today, so i’m going to save it for next time.

live, love and be good to one another,



august 14, 2006

good word, good friends,

i received confirmation (and don't we all like to be confirmed?) that the "me & my guitar" cds are back in stock. order away, tell a friend.

i just got off the road, and i'm kinda blurry eyed. after i get some of this road washed off me, i'm going to send out the next batch of bonus tracks to those faithfull supporters of mine who bought the cd. gracias, gracias, gracias!


august 10, 2006

well, my spending all night awake was without warrant. here i was thinking, how in the world am i going to sell all these copies of my new cd, when i get an email from my distributor asking me to send more. they sold out!!

luckily, there is express mail service. if you haven't bought the disc yet, you are NOT out of luck. they'll be in early next week. they're good people, both the post people and the distributor guys.

because they sold out before my friday deadline was up, i'm extending my bonus track offer until friday next week. big gracias to those who have already bought theirs! your bonus tracks will be on their way.

to recap: new deadline to buy the cd and receive bonus tracks is friday, august 18. sorry for the incon...inconveen...all the trouble and confusion.

peace, love and bobby sherman.


august 10, 2006

hello fellow inhabitants of earth,

again, sleep is elusive.

the air in tennessee is thick as wool and non-conducive to comfort during the day, but, in the earliest hours of the day, before the sun decides to raise his head and go to work, you can sit outside and enjoy the quiet without the chill you’d feel in my part of southern california.

but during the day, wow. my hat’s off to you that work outside when summer comes on strong like it is doing right now.

the other day, when we were playing near kansas city, we took the stage for a soundcheck and the sweat poured off my body. i felt i couldn’t get back to the bus to cool off soon enough. the sun set shortly before we played that evening, luckily.

but that didn’t help our crew too much, they spent the hottest part of the day setting up the stage for the show. the reason things run so smoothly and look and sound so good is because these guys are so good at their jobs, and are not deterred by a little thing like oppressive heat. big thanks to the crew, remind me to buy you guys a drink.

it goes without saying that i am grateful to all of you that jumped onboard early and purchased my new cd. i have already sent out one batch of bonus tracks to the first who purchased the disc, and will be sending out more soon.

for those of you not in the know, for a limited time (till friday, august 11) i’m saying thanks for buying my “my & my guitar” by sending bonus tracks via email. click on the store link and buy your copy now to get yours.

my previous cds are also on sale for a reduced price, including the highly ignored “bitter... party of one...your table is ready” cd. this sale, too, is ending soon.

now, as many of you know, i have sent out an email stating such in the last few days.

when i send out a mailing to those who signed up to join my list, i get back several failure notices. usually i just delete them, but this last time i actually went through and cleaned up my mailing list. fear not, if you received a letter from me dated august 8, you’re still on my list and will continue receiving word about updates to my website, news on forthcoming projects and heads up on sales and other promotions.

but, if you didn’t and you want to start receiving such, feel free to hit the email link above and i’ll gladly add you to the list.

i guess i am going to give up on trying to get back to sleep and move right into the coffee portion of the day so i can move onto the white russian portion of the day.

hope thing are running smoothly for you and as always, thanks for your continued support.


august 2, 2006

good evening lovers, friends and others,

it’s rare that i write at this time at night, or this early in the morning as the case might be. at first when i tried to sleep, but sleep would not find me, i thought that perhaps there was a full moon. a full moon that i could howl at. but, alas, the moon is only 28% of what it could be. which, is actually more than what it sounds like.

the moon, of course, is a sphere. round like a ball, not flat like a pancake. so...from our vantage point on earth the most we can see of the moon (when it is full) is half. there is a misconception that when the moon looks like half of a pancake that that is a “half moon”. but, in truth, this is a quarter moon.

so, the phases of the moon are: new, first quarter, full, and last quarter.

i was asked once about a full moon, and told the questioner that what we were seeing was only half of the moon, to which she responded, “where is the other half?”

to which i responded, “it’s on the other side.”

anyway, 28% of the moon means we can see 56% percent of all we can see of the moon from our humble vantage site.

i am howling at the moon anyway. it is a constant companion that you can count on, though periodically she disappears every twenty-eight days.

but she always comes back.

and, gratefully, she always shows you the same face. never changes, bless her heart.

i may have written about this lover of mine in past postings, dressed in silver and always looking sexy and inspiring love. most poets do: her love is abundant and she has the ability to please many men (and women) each night.

and while i don’t want to remove any of her mystery, i will reveal one of her secrets: she is unbalanced.

science is not the nemesis of art. (you might ask me what the nemesis of science is, sometime if you’re brave enough.) in fact, science and art constantly head off into the bedroom together. i’ve seen it at some of the parties we have frequented.

no, the moon does not lack any more of her romantic behavior (or inspiration), by me telling you this little fact (of which i may have done before, but i drink...therefore i am...):

the moon rotates around the earth every 28 days, and the moon spins on it’s own axis every 28 days, so she always has her face facing us. at first i thought this was an amazing coincidence. one of the great mysteries of the universe. after all, for one heavenly body to rotate around the other means the mass of one must meet the gravitational pull of the other. balance. perhaps the key to everything. (note to self; seek balance)

but the moon is not balanced. sure, she weighs the right amount to keep her locked to her earthy lover. but like so many of us, her weight is distributed un-proportionally. on the inside, more mass (her heart??) is shifted more on one side (ours) than the others (everyone else not living on the blue marble).

gravity (love), not only keeps her around, but also keeps her best face forward. still, she finds us repulsive every now and then, and runs off to get a little time to herself. who could blame her, we lack perfection. but she always comes back (bless her heart).

isn’t it just like laurie anderson??

i’m going to howl at the moon anyway, just so she knows that i still care.

can i fix anyone a drink while i’m up??

this land is our land, and that ribbon of highway has carried us mucho miles over the past couple of weeks. for me, gratefully, we worked our way out west.

my disposition always seems to get better the further west we go, and the california run had us about as furthest west we could go without dropping off into the ocean.

is it furthest of farthest?

furthest is degree and farthest is distance, so i guess i should have said the farther west we go, the further my disposition improves.

although, i have to say that heat without the humidity is not all that it’s cracked up to be. when the heat is in the 110 area. dry heat is dry, but you can still bake a cake, fry an egg, and lose your mind wandering around in it for too long.

for the second time in a row, the new bus (and the last new bus) on its virgin run, decided that air-conditioning is not an inaugural luxury. again, as on the first run of the last bus, the a/c went out as we were headed to great desert of the southwest. we survived, of course, and our attitude is, as always, the show most go on.

but still, this writer harkens back to the day of hank williams (the elder, not the junior), when the touring was done not in a bus but in a station wagon touring in the south during the summer and before the advent of air-conditioning.

and i think our road is long.

in chet flippo’s book, “your cheating heart,” hank would have his driver, most likely one of the musicians in the band, pull over to a service station (that is what we now call a gas station, but an employee would pump the gas for you, another would ask to check your oil, one would wash your windows, and it was highly likely that someone whould check your tire pressure and add air to one, two, three or four of them if needed) and dip his toupee into the ice cooler where the coke-a-cola was stored and put the dripping wet (and most likely highly smelly) rug back on his head.

like mr. t, i pity the fool who pulled one of those ice cool beverages out of the cooler after mr. williams dunked his deal into it. nuff said.

i guess that we have it good, we just don’t appreciate like we should. are we too soft??

moving on...

let me give a shout out to those of you who purchased my new “me & my guitar” cd. thanks from the bottom of my honky tonk heart.

my new distributor, www.cdbaby.com, keeps me informed of who’s bought the discs: so i know who you are. i have your email addresses and your bonus tracks are forthcoming. fear not, i shall not forsake you. the quality of the tracks i was going to send are not up to snuff, so i’m going to do a redo before they get sent out. only the best (or the best that i can do) for you.

if you haven’t bought the disc yet, please do so soon. the bonus tracks i’m sending out are for a limited time only, as my way of saying thanks for buying early on.

and if you are interested in getting more acoustic tracks, you might be interested in this:

my distributor (again, www.cdbaby.com), is looking to increase their costumer base, just as i am looking to increase my fan base. so whoever sells the best in the month of august will be offered a spot on their promotional best-sellers cd. i would love to have a track on that disc, but it’s really more up to you whether happens than it is to me.

so, hence, the referral program.

it’s simple. if you think someone might like what i do, turn them on to my website. from there, they can sample my music. if they like what the hear, they can purchase a disc. the catch is, when they purchase the disc they’ll be asked who referred them to purchase the disc. have them enter your email address.

when that is done, the world is your oyster. you’ll receive additional mp3’s that will give you a glimpse into a mind that has gone mad. mine.

as the hour makes its way toward five, i’m think that some sleep might be better than no sleep at all, so i’m going to sign off now. but know this...without you i’m nothing. so thanks for your continued support.

we’ll see you soon, take care of one another, do your best, and take to the high road,


p.s. someone sent me some new photos, so check them out at your leisure: new photos.

august 1, 2006

short, but sweet...

the new cd is available now. will write more soon, but today...today...today is white russian day. so, pour yourself a white russian, put on the big lebowski, AND RELAX!

the dude abides,


july 7, 2006

hello walls, (hello, hello)

it is friday, july 7th. i know that i haven’t posted in a while, and i wish i had a good excuse. but you know what? i’m the boss of this site. so i guess i don’t report to anyone.
everyone should have a website. that way everyone would have a “domain” that they rule over.

summer is now in full swing, and the reason i haven’t written is that i have been on vacation. the road did come to an end, at least temporarily, and i flew back to sunny (and by sunny, i mean hot and sunny) southern california. i had a great fourth of julio iglesias with plenty of cold beer (ben franklin would have been proud) and the most american of drinks margaritas.

the yard bird cooked perfectly. the hand-made ice cream turned out rich and creamy. the hot dogs were, well, hot dogs. it’s hard to mess those up.

the house didn’t burn down. that’s always a plus, though the nightly news showed that three houses in the greater los angeles area did not fare so well.

i hope you all had a safe and sane fourth of july, with all the fixings.

the big news here is the new jake kelly cds have arrived from the manufacturer. yes, the “me and my guitar” discs are now here. i’m looking at them right now.

the next step is to get them to my distributor. i don’t know if i can do that today or not, but if not today, then soon.

a little later this afternoon, we’re headed to altamont, new york, to play what i like to call a country-western show. today will be the maiden voyage of the brand new tour bus that gary recently designed. on the outside, as on the inside, it pretty much looks like last year’s bus (which is now the crew bus), but this one has what is called a pull-out: a portion of the bus, when parked, extends out another three or four feet, making the front lounge a living room: spacious!!

anyway, i hope your summer has kicked into high gear, you get to make a road trip, and it’s to wherever we are. keep looking for the new “me and my guitar” cd, it’ll be out soon, and be good to one another.


june 12, 2006

hello survivors,

i've been able to get one cup of java down since our rolling submarine was able to navigate the streets of nashville and the long ribbon of highway that laid between this stop and the one before it.

sleep for me came easy last night, as the night before was filled with excitement and the other thing...anticipation, knowing that we were going be to in cleveland . now, cleveland is not the birthplace of rock n roll, but it is home of the rock n roll hall of fame. why?? you might ask.

well supposedly, this is where the term rock n roll was first coined my alan freed, the legendary concert promoter. i would guess that there are at least fifty rhythm and blues songs with the words rock and roll in it, but let’s not split hairs. no one likes split ends, though i do have some recollection of some punk rockers having them. and cleveland, to their credit, did build a world-class museum. and it was a fine day to see what that was about. you know, seeing how we were there and all.

jake kelly band bass player jeff jackson checked into our arrangements for our big black camper as i was mentally preparing myself for the day by drinking bailys irish cream in my cup of joe (and goosed up a little bit with some vodka). it was then that i learned that the main rotating exhibit was that of one bob dylan.

you might not have known this, but i kinda like bob dylan’s stuff. hell, i'm the deputy marshal of dylan county. so, this was a great thing for me and some of the other band mates, especially david steele and mike w

ebb. both were sporting bobby d t-shirts for the occasion, as was i wearing my badge. unfortunately, spending so much time in the dylan section left me unable to visit the ricky nelson and roy orbison portion of the museum as well as other parts of the permanent display.

but sitting in the middle of one of the rooms and hearing acoustic guitar, harmonica and that nasal distinctive voice coming from all directions was a feeling of ecstasy. and, perhaps, could be the inspiration to put out this acoustic guitar and voice cd of my own that i’ve been questioning whether or not to release. p.s. it’s finished, and it’s called me and my guitar.

alas, we had to leave all too soon to go rock a record-breaking crowd at the huge arena there in cleveland...

but lets get back to that in a minute.

it was good to see such a large turnout at gary’s fan club party last week. but again, i didn’t have the time to visit with all the people i wanted to. i saw some familiar faces who waited patiently for when i would be free, but it never seemed to happen. then we had to play the show, and when i made my way back out, many of y'all cleared out. in short, id like to voice my regrets to all of those that i didn’t get to at least say hello to.

we had a day off in between the fan club party and our spot opening up for brooks and dunn and hank, jr. at the arena over across the river in front of another large crowd. i saw some of y’all there walking the line in front of the stage. so big thanks goes out to y’all that did that. kinda of made it double. and, of course, a triple for those of you who came to the jake kelly band show with matt warren and the jackalopes.

matt did a great job (i thought), and i know it’s the first time that many of you got to hear him. i thought the version of putting memories away was fun. we all know what a meaningful song it is, but matt's version is highly presentable to those who are unfamiliar with the history. matt is a soulful singer and mass success is just a few shows like this away. you can say you saw him when.

we did have to hightail it out of nashville after the arena show to continue our tour with rascal flatts and the wreckers. some of these shows have sold out quickly, and i’m not sure if there are tickets available at all. but id check...

gary has put together a great looking stage with a few little magical things that happen during the show.

and in terms of full-scale production, the rascal flatts folk have spared no expense. video screen in the back and the front of the stage, pyro, computer lighting, the list goes on. it's something to see. i have gone out almost every night to catch part of the show (i have to leave when my cup gets empty), and i’m amazed every night.

but i also really enjoy the no-tech show of the wreckers, and listening to them sing has become part of my pre-show ritual.

well, i guess i’m going to shower and wash some of this road off of me. guitar builder allan tomkins and his wife, barbara, are in town and we’re going to grab some mexican food and perhaps, drink.

that kinda catches you up for now.

no, wait, i almost forgot...

once again, jake kelly t-shirts are on sale directly from me. you’ll need to have a paypal account. i’ll put up a button on my home page, and you can see if you’re interested.

that’s the up-to-date.

make today a good one, first for someone else and then yourself.


june 6, 2006

hello good people of earth,

big thanks go out to those who made it to the show last night! sorry i didn't get to sit and visit with y'all longer than i did. it had been a while since i had to move my own gear, settle business with the club, settle with our merch guy chris.

i'm not going to say i'm spoiled (but to any of the crew out there that might be reading this, i will say, you spoil me), but i sure gotten comfortable with not having to do those things.

it's humbling, and it's also part of my roots. it's how we use to do it in the old days.

it's also a treat to have y'all come out and support my little independent project. you make it fun for me, and i'll always try to make it that way for you. i say i'll try. if i haven't yet, don't give up on me.

anyway, i believe i'll see a good number of you at gary's fcp today and since we have the crew there, i promise i'll spend more time visiting.

thanks again for making my dreams come true,



June 1, 2006

hello compadres, cowboys, and cowgirls.

never, since the beginning of time, the discovery of fire or the cure for the common cold have things been more exciting.

first...we are only two years away from having a complete total change in the political system. i’m already declaring victory on the yet to be held 2008 presidential election. see, there’s one thing i’ve learned (and apparently one thing only); if you say it often enough, people will believe it. so believe this:

i’m the new president of these united states. watch out world.

and i’m already getting good press.

there is a magazine; paste magazine, that specializes in true music; the truth, wherever it lies, be it mainstream or independent. this is no underground press, it’s available at any newsstand and/or record store with any integrity all. a very handsome book, featuring bob dylan on the cover this month, which makes the next paragraph even more special to this hombre.

if you all turn to page 112, you’ll see a review of a little record i recorded that i like to call “i run with scissors.” the writer, holly gleason, is a very respected music journalist. i am honored.

now, this good press doesn’t relate to me as a politician, but damn it, wouldn’t you rather have a musician in the white house? and all this as i’m trying to upgrade my lifestyle. the timing couldn’t be any better. i’ve heard the “residency” is cool. looks that way on film and t.v. i could get used to that way of living. of course, it would never affect my judgment.

we are now banging our heads in unison as we near the june 5th jake kelly band show at the mercy lounge in nashville. folks, this is just days away. i can’t wait.

we had a rehearsal yesterday, and things are sounding muy bueno.

and we have winners!

thanks goes out to everyone who entered the contest. i have information on y’all that i will be turning over to the nsa as soon as i become president. it was entertaining to read the stories and there were some good ones. hard to choose a winner with all the entrants, but in the end, i went with my gut.

these essays will be posted shortly.


do you hear that??

i think that the beer is calling me.

but before i go, a question. i have demoed up the songs for the next cd and put together a kind of a package that says; what if this was an acoustic guitar and voice cd. i still want to do this with the band, but i was wondering if there was a market for an old-school work tape/demo that shows the songs in all their naked glory, and if that were to happen, would that alienate you from buying a full on produced band version later.

okay, the refrigerator is calling. as is the road. and my mom. i think i hear my mother calling me. the streetlights are on. i gotta go.

maybe you should go home, too. be good to the ones you love. pretend you love the ones you don’t.


may 16, 2006

good morning fellow honky tonkers,

my morning is oft to a slow start, it was two for one night last night at a place where the beer is already remarkably cheap. that made so so happy, but it has put a little hindrance in kick starting the day. but, fear not, for my head is clear and my body is moving in close to usual motion. just a little slow, that’s all.

back in the day, i use to write for a musician’s magazine called “gig”. for the most part i wrote a column about playing guitar on stage (that’s a no brainer) and the occasional review of a guitar, amp, or some related piece of gear. loved doing it. some bits and pieces can still be found on the web if you dig really deep.

but not being one blessed with alchemist touch, the magazine folded and i’m not just talking about where its stapled together. years pass.

my former editor called me the other day and asked if was interested in writing for a magazine that he just got involved with called “singer and musician”.

rather than writing on (or about) playing guitar on stage (though i could do that, too), he said if i decided to take the job, my column would be, or could be, on anything including my take on the state of the music business.

to this i almost fell of my throne laughing.

i had to remind him that i had become somewhat jaded, and probably would be unable to hide that fact in anything that i’d write, especially when addressing another group of musicians.

now it was fairly early in the day, and he was on the west coast, so i’m sure it was even earlier in the day for him (time zones!), so i doubt he was drinking (yet), but he said he didn’t care and, perhaps, he even encouraged it.

how could i say no to that.

so, yesterday, after moving from the coffee portion of the day’s program to the more potent potables, i wrote the first installment of my new column. i reread it this morning (checking for more than just grammatical errors. hell, the title of my first cd is “i shouldn’t talk when i drink”, so having a chance to go back and make sure i didn’t say something i really wanted to say but didn’t think that i should say it seemed like a good idea. that last sentence is called a run on sentence. and to my son’s fourth grade teacher, i apologize. but not really.), deemed it worthy and sent it.

when (and if) it’s published, i’ll let you know. for those who care, you can check out the magazine’s website, though i have nothing on there yet, it’s still a worthy read. www.singermagazine.com.

i don’t have a title for my column (i’ll take suggestions), but it will be the back page feature. open the back cover and...viola’! there it’ll be.

yes, we are ramping up for the great jake kelly band show on june 5, starting at 6:00 sharp. i just gave the band set lists and charts and i’m sure they have already torn through the material. rehearsals will commence soon.

there is no advance purchase of tickets, you simply pay at the door. yes, i’m still having a contest to get winners into the show, i’ve just run into a little “i don’t know how to create a form without help” problem. but i hope to have tech support shortly.

anyway, hope to see you there. be good to one another, especially to the ones you don’t like.


may 3, 2006

hello one and all,

so, i finally got a hold of my mechanic, and apparently i didn’t crack the block of my truck. nor did i blow a head gasket. see, i'm slightly elated by this news as replacing the blown hose is going to cost considerably less moola.

being of sound mind and body, however, i am going to put some of the money that i would have had to put into rebuilding my engine into the engine anyways just to see if i can keep from having to rebuild it sometime in the future.

speaking of the future, i am very disappointed that i don’t have a personal flying vehicle such as the ones i was promised as a kid. sure i see them in the movies, but it's just not quite the same as actually owning one. that, and time travel, and telepods. yes, the future has let me down.

boy, does a white russian make one hell of a breakfast drink!

so what does the future hold for us now??

so glad you asked, as i was meaning to write about it in the last installment, but i got side-tracked reminiscing about my wayward ute. that show is forever imprinted in my mind, but it’s one i wish i could forget.

see, in the biz, this is called a segue.

“i wish i could forget” is a title of a song that most likely will be on the next (count ‘em, that’s four!) jake kelly album.

i've been using my down not-driving time to sit down in front of the microphone and work up some acoustic guitar, voice, harmonica demos for the new cd. and i have to say, the songs are starting to sound pretty good. well, to me, as i am the only one who’s heard them.

sure, i tried to debut one the other night at the club, but somewhere between the tequila and the radiator fluid (see truck story above) i lost track of the lyrics. for those of you who missed it, this is as far as i got:

twenty-six guitars
with a hundred and fifty-six strings
internet cell telephones
with customized rings
hand-stitched western shirts
cowboy boots to match
brand new white pickup truck
brand new white stetson hat
a house in california
a mountain cabin too
money in the bank
but no you

there...do you want to hear more??

the cd will be out soon. i hope. got to get these demos done and figure out a way to record this band of losers. if you’re wondering what you can do to help speed this process along, let me tell you this (and i’ve said it before): each of my cds helps finance the next one. the budget for numero quatro is not completed yet, but your future purchase of the cds available now will help raise the thermometer of blood, sweat and beers and ring the bell of our common fund raising goals.

some of the other titles are “bad childhood” and “now it’s really time to cry”, which i wrote the morning i heard buck owens had left us to rejoin don rich in the sky.

onto other, and happier, matters at hand...

win and win big!

there will be a contest in the next few weeks for free tickets to the jake kelly band/matt warren and the jackalopes show that’s now at the mercy lounge on june 5th at 6 p.m. there’s already a button on the website index page for it (actually for both the “win” and “the show”). i’m in the process of making the entry form for the ticket contest. should be fun. i have an idea...well, you’ll see when it’s finished.

that’s it for now. there’s work to be done. come back and visit me when you get it done.



april 27, 2006

greetings from nashville, usa.

well, i think i might have cracked the engine block of my p.o.s. truck, and i’m waiting to hear from my mechanic. what better way to do that than fill my friends in the goings on.

first...and foremost, june 5th is still on, but there’s been a change of venue and time. the new venue is the mercy lounge (www.mercylounge.com), and the new time is 6 p.m. i’d rather not changed, but it wasn’t up to moi. but, as a man greater than myself once said, “we shall overcome.”

this is the jake kelly band and matt warren & the jackalopes...two great bands for the price of one. anyway, the mercy lounge is a much cooler place, so bring your smoking jacket, your high heel shoes and leopard skin pillbox hat.

last monday, i did sit in and play matt’s writers in the round, thanks to all who came out to the show. not my best night. besides blowing up my truck, i learned that the club was bumping us out of our slot, i was running late...i couldn’t remember the lyrics to a song that i was premiering. once i choked on that, i got paranoid. at that point, i couldn’t even remember the titles to my songs. at least the guitar stayed in tune.

so onward and upward. not the worst show i ever played, but not the best either.
okay, go ahead and ask.

the worse show i ever played was a talent show when i was in the sixth grade. i was very excited about this show, so i bought new guitar strings. this was, perhaps, the first time i changed the strings myself. who knew they ever needed changing anyway?

well, i thought, big gig, new strings.

now, if i had changed strings before i would have known that new strings need to stretch out before they’ll stay in tune. and knowing that, i wouldn’t have changed the strings right before the show.

hell, the guitar was hard to tune as it was. it wasn’t the best guitar. still though, now days, there are electronic tuners that can be used to tune a guitar perfectly. back then, all i had to tune with was a harmonica and my untrained ears.

i restrung the guitar, tuned it up, and put it back in it’s case and waited for the show to begin. i was to perform somewhere in the middle of the deal. some teacher came and got me when i was next. i pulled my guitar out of the case (i didn’t need to check the tuning ‘cause i tuned it before putting it in the case). i walked boldly onto the stage, sat in front of the microphone, introduced the song i was going to play first (heart of gold, for those that care), strummed the guitar and loudly acclaimed (over the mic), “wow! that sounds like shit!”

this might have been deemed as inappropriate language for an audience of schoolchildren (of which i was one), and perhaps, i would have got in some kind of trouble for it, had i not been totally humiliated.

embarrassed, i practically ran off the stage while my eyes started to well up.

a compassionate teach, mr. stegal, who also happened to be a guitar player, came over to the lunch tables where i was sitting and tuned the guitar for me with his trained ears. he said they’d put my songs in a little later in the program, and told me of the necessity of stretching out guitar strings after putting on a new set.

then we kissed.

naw, we didn’t. i just wanted to see if you were paying attention.

i was called back in, not so boldly strode back to the microphone and meekly sang the first song. i might have been jittery, i don’t remember. ha!

the second song went a little better than the first, i stood up, bowed like i’d seen the beatles do, and got myself off that scary stage as quickly as i could. it was over.

talking to some of my friends on the schoolyard after the show, they told me they thought it was a gag when i walked off stage the first time. if i didn’t swear and joked and laughed about it (when i was on stage), they’d never known that it wasn’t.

it was then i realized what show business is: smoke and mirrors.
boy, i hope i’m not telling you something you don’t already know, or remove the mystic of this glamorous business we like to call “show”, but the truth is...you’ll never know.

know why?

smoke and mirrors.

anyhow...it was good to get my worst show out so early in my career. and how reassuring for you, the audience, to know that when you come see me play, you’ll never see my worst show. it happened a long time ago. quality entertainment from now on.

i hope y’all conquer your fears and move on and achieve your dreams.



p.s. i hope i didn’t offend anyone too bad when i said “shit.” damn. did it again. j


april 4, 2006

good day to you!

so i decided to wake up this morning and see if i could get some level of productivity out of myself. and...what do you know...i did. some. we’ll have to see how the rest of the day shakes out.

i started by putting a post-it note on my home screen. i’d be surprised if you missed it as you’re reading this, and i assume (never) that you were there before you were here. well, the post-it announces another jake kelly and band show that is, coincidence or not, the night before gary allan’s fanclub party. the date of my show is june 5th at 8:00 p.m. at 3rd and lindsley, that’s the name of the club and the address. it’s about half of mile south of broadway in downtown nashville. don’t be late.

and this won’t be one of the short ones, it’ll be a full show. lots of songs.

the band and i are opening for my good friend matt warren(that’s why you don’t want to be late) who wrote ‘putting memories away’ with one gary allan. chances are you’ll recognize matt’s guitar player: a fine bispeckled guy who wears a cowboy hat.

after matt and i play, we’re hoping to have some friends sit in and jam with us, and we’ll finish off the night with a rousing chorus of ‘we are the world.’ should be fun.

for fun, i put up another page of photos, and took one down, don’t want too much clutter. anyway, there’s another page of candid photos from the first jake kelly and band show.

those that are looking have found some of the fun things i put in my site. you might want to poke around yourself as these items are not going to remain there forever. but, new little tidbits (tidbits!) will pop up from time to time.

i am sad to say that mike fried is no longer part of the gary allan organization, and he was missed on these last couple of tours. mike has been working on his own album and we’re waiting with bated coffee breath for him to get it to market. i have heard some of the tracks and let me say “smoooooth.” mike has his own website www.mike-fried.com. visit. say hi. don’t drink all the beer.

we had a fairly good time up in the northeast part of what i like to call the united states of america. josh “long black train” turner opened up all three of the shows for us this last weekend. we don’t get up that ways too often. let me say thanks to those waited for us to finally make our way up there. fun shows. good times. cold beer.

guess i’ll stop writing this so i can get it posted to you.

oh, i believe i’m playing another matt warren and friends acoustic songwriters showcase on april 24 at 3rd and lindsley 6 p.m. you’ll know when i know.

all the best the world has to offer,


march 16, 2006

‘morning y’all.

i’m letting the constant drip of my coffee i.v. bring me back to the land of the living and it seems to be working, albeit, slowly.

tuesday night was a blast! apparently it took me a day to recover. here’s a quick rundown for those who missed it (and i knew you really wanted to be there).

billy block’s western beat is a roots music/americana showcase which hosts about five bands each week. the shows are on tuesdays which allow world-class musicians to play (and play for free) and still leave the lucrative weekend open for gigs. it is also broadcast on various radio stations throughout the country, and i believe a webcast, too. in other words, it’s a promotional deal in the tradition of the grand ole opry but with hip acts and you don’t give up your weekend to do it. an impressive line of artists have walked through billy’s door. i’m not going to list them here, but you can find out more at www.westernbeat.com.

we had the middle slot in the line up and billy was not there. an old friend dean miller was handling the hosting chores and closed the show with a pretty cool set. but i’m getting slightly ahead of myself.

after we loaded our gear in we fed ourselves in the dining room attached to the showroom. and that was cool, as it provided an almost cocktail reception air to the proceedings; a little meet and greet with the folks that had traveled so far.

the band had a table, and after our order was taken, one or two band members would peel away from the table and go visit, beer in tow. this dining room also has a stage and a little jazz combo set up and started playing as our food arrived....how cool is that? that stage and the band’s presence in the room might have confused some who came to the show, but i believe that everyone got it figured out by the time we left and went into the showroom. i hope.

we listened to the first couple of acts on the bill while awaiting our turn. some good talent, very country, and kinda different than the folk/rock/country potpourri we stir up,
which we started once we got our queue took the stage.

now we had a limited amount of time to play, which was a shame, as we wanted to make it worthwhile for those who made the trek out. so we made up for the shortness of set with quality. okay, humor.

after a nice intro by dean, any band member with a microphone (and those who didn’t) who had something funny to say said it, setting the tone for the entire set.

in our limited time we played:

“you know who you are”
“she’s not my girl”
“she don’t want me (she wants my money)”
“today sucks”

it all went well, and i’m glad for that as it’s the first time i fronted my own band live since college. that’s a few years back. i’m going to do more shows, and they will be longer, full-length shows. but this one was important to me ‘cause this one was the first.

so with that being said, let me say a special thanks to everyone who came to show their support for me. i know some of y’all traveled great distances, took time off of work, spent some of your hard earned, and i’m humbled. THANK YOU SO MUCH!!!

look! i used capitol letters!

gracias to the band; jeff jackson, mike fried, david steele, seth rausch & mike webb, and to my guitar tech, carlos. thanks also needs to go to brian arsonault for rehearsing the band.

to tom & diane, thank you for the beautiful guitar straps (i’m going to try to post some pictures of them). tom has been tooling leather in the great western tradition. i’m lucky enough to be the recipient of a few of them and have been wearing them at our shows. he has a steady hand and a good eye for design. he also captures the personality of the people he’s making straps for. what more could you ask for? thanks.

my apologies for the confusion on the acoustic songwriter’s night last monday. i hope that those who did go found the show to their liking.

so to recap:

good band, good show, good people. will do it again, but longer. nice guitar straps. big thanks.



march 14, 2006

good day, good friends,

this is the beginning, or perhaps the termination, of an era. tonight i take the stage with the band (right now informally called “the other losers” as in “jake kelly and the other losers”) and to calm my nerves i had to have a drink. okay, i’m not really nervous, i just wanted the drink.

i’ve been working my fingers to the bone on the keyboard and clicking the mouse to bring to you what you might already know, i guess you would if you’re reading this, the new and improved www.jakekelly.com!

in keeping with my new year’s resolutions (playing live shows, getting “it” out there, a better attitude, drinking less {that was just to see if you were paying attention}, working on a new album, and re-doing the website), i’m batting a solid 500.

no one needs to tell me that i can do better. this i know. so i put up some new photos, and i’ll try to keep adding them. but it’s conditional. you’ll need to send the photos in. i can’t take them myself. thanks goes to the proud, the few, that took the time to mail some in. gracias, mi amigos.

you’ll want to visit the site on a somewhat regular basis, as i plan on adding little surprises that will only be up for a limited time. these will be anything from candid photos, free song downloads, sound bites...anything i can think of to put a smile on your face. they won’t be easy to find, but think of it as a treasure hunt. nothing’s free, but for the same price you’re paying (or your boss is paying) for internet access, you can have all this! a bargain at any price.

well, i’d like to stay and chat, but i got to get my head right for the show. i was just thinking, perhaps i’ll do a california show soon. okay. thanks in advance for those who made the trek to sunny nashville for this night. hope you enjoyed the matt warren/gary allan deal last night. i know matt is grateful for the support.

as am i. next on my to do list is making demos for jake kelly cd #4.

buy a cd and help me make this next one happen. it is a self-supporting artistic venture. the sales of this disc (or the earlier ones) fund the next one. oh, i have new distribution for my discs, and i couldn’t be more excited. now you can hear audio clips of several cuts from my cds, and listen before you buy. soon my material will be on itunes, yahoo music and other digital music download outlets. i’ll keep you posted.

alright. big thanks for visiting. bigger thanks to those who come to the show and buy the cds.

peace, love...out,


february 26, 2006

hello one, hello all...

i thought i’d drop y’all a line while i was waiting for the coffee to finish brewing up. i was going to try to get back asleep, but no can do, bob. sad, really. now the plan is to drink just enough java to keep my head from exploding and then moving to the smooth, rich, refreshing taste of a white russian. then a nap.

it is, after all, a lazy saturday. and by lazy, i mean i don’t have to work tonight. our current calendar shows a bunch of lazy saturdays, so if anyone has a hammock for sale (cheap) let me know. i’ll string it up between the winter and the hole in the ozone.

keeping myself occupied is or should be a full-time job. i’ve played a couple of writer’s night things, and actually, just added another one to the books.

what works out well about this one is that it’s on march 13 (and it’s at 3rd and lindsley in nashville), which is the day before the...you guessed it...march 14, the date i’ll be playing with my band at billy block’s western beat.

this is (or could be) a boon for those coming a long way. you know, spending an extra night in an exotic location...that would be great...but instead you can spend it in nashville.

march 13 (6 p.m.) is matt warren’s songwriters in the round. matt, a couple of other top nashville songwriters and i trade off playing hits, songs we believe should be hits, and in my case, songs that never will be, acoustically and intimately in a dimly-lit room that serves alcohol. i think they call it a bar. never been to one, but heard they are much fun.

march 14 i strike up the band. the western beat is a great showcase for roots music, with five or so bands rocking the house from 7 till the bovine come to roost. my band (guess we should have a band naming contest) consists of many familiar faces from the g.a. world. joining me on guitar is david steele. drum chores are handled by seth rausch. the mikes are there...mike fried on steel and mike f. webb on keys. and on bass, the one, the only, jeff jackson.

i’d be lying to you if i didn’t tell you i’ve been drinking coffee while writing this. it finished brewing while i was on the first paragraph.

thanks to those who made it out to the last few acoustic things i’ve done. and thanks in advance to those who are planning to head out next month. and as always, thanks for visiting www.jakekelly.com & www.jakekelly.net.

hope your lazy saturday is filled with all the nothing you don’t want to do. what does that mean??

jake in ‘08

p.s. yes, i’m still running for president.

february 15, 2006

happy post valentine’s day hangover.

this is gonna be kinda quick so don’t blink.

matt is hosting another writer’s night at grandstands in herndersonville, tn just about an inch above nashville on a map the size of a desktop. say 20 miles. and, well, he asked me if i’d play. i’m gonna do it.

mark it, know it, love it. grandstands, hendersonville, tn, tuesday, february 21, 8:00 p.m.

hope all is whatever you want it to be.


february 9, 2006

a hardy buenos noches to all!

i’m sitting and drinking and eating cheetos with my dog. we have made up and all is right in the world. hey watch this....”bundy...get me a beer.” see...there he goes! this is the next best thing to having your kids cut the lawn.


the show the other night was the most fun i’ve had with my clothes on in a long time. before i go on...you know who you are...the fine folks that made the trek out to the venue de noir (franlish?) to hear the fine renderings of jamie hanna, jason graumlich, and the other high life drinkers in the bunch; you have my deepest appreciation from the bottom of my soggy heart.. my only regret is that it ended to soon. thanks, thanks, thanks.

for those who might of missed it, it was free car night! everyone in the audience got a new toyota hybrid as part of my political campaign promotion zero emissions. well, no not really, but i am so grateful to the faithful that i would of given a car.

“bundy, pour us a shot.” he said “woof.”

over at the store, they told me that they need more copies of “i shouldn’t talk when i drink.” they are in my hot little hands and as soon as i can afford the petro to deliver them to the shop they will be sent out. the delay is my own, so throw the blame where necessary, but also know they are on the way. sorry for any inconvenience. know that they’re forthcoming. i have them and the store don’t, so it’s really more of a geographical problem than a supply and demand one.

went to billy block’s western beat 10th anniversary show the other night and saw kristi rose (www.kristirose.com) perform. saw mike webb play. there were other highlights during the night. what a great time. i’m counting the days when i’m on the stage with the band.

when is that, jake, you ask??

march 14th, 7:00 p.m. billy block’s western beat showcase at the exit/in in nashville. hope y’all make it out.

okay, the bus is going to leave and i guess i’ll need to be on it ‘cause rent is coming due. be good to one another, live the good life, and vote for me in 2008.

jake, esq.


january 21, 2006

hello friends, hello walls,

today let us address the issues that really matter. american idiot contests, quantum physics (my favorite new hot bed topic), and the lack of one’s ability to do a live show.

okay, i have a good grip on the last one. while my last solo venture gig dates back to the prozac era, i have been able to muster up a date for the books. after hooking up with fellow california compadre billy block, we arm wrestled with a slot on his western beat showcase lying in the balance. now, i’m not going to tell you who won, but i have that slot on his nashville-based roots/americana (that’s country to y’all) weekly tuesday night showcase.

that’s right: you asked for it, you got it: a jake kelly show.
tuesday, march 14, 2006 at the exit inn in nashville, 7:00 p.m.

in addition to thanking billy, i must also give a rant out to mike webb the catalyst to making the what is now being known as "the great arm to arm combat contest of all time," or "how the western beat was lost" happen. miguel, happened (knowingly or unknowingly) into billy at billy’s premier, long running, landmark, central tennessee institution, the western beat showcase (y’all need to check this out: www.westernbeat.com), and accidentally (i would guess) committed himself to backing me up after telling billy i had put out my third cd "i run with scissors."

subsequent conversations with other gary allan personnel confirmed that i had enough players committed to make what would be a band and the phone call/arm wresting challenge that ensued cemented the gig the same way that the tar pits in la brea assured future generations that they would know what a woolly mammoth would look like.
the line up for the band, as of this moment, is jeff jackson on bass and vocals, david steele on guitar, seth rausch on drums, the mikes: mike webb on keys and mike fried on steel, and yours truly doing that thing i do.

the western beat showcase has been going on in nashville for quite some time, being homebase to many of the more artistic of the artists in nashville and from abroad, hosting a variety of acts from the legendary, to the eccentric, to the mainstream and all those little niches in between. while always keeping his eye towards the those true to the country music tradition (and we’re not talking about your typical country radio acts here), billy has never been afraid to turn his audiences on to the occasional mainstream act with virtue, a rock-a-billy act that does more than regurgitate the past, or a lone singer armed with nothing more than a guitar and a message that no one else dares to say. i have played billy’s showcase before with gary, and i’m anxious to get up on the stage.

anyway, if you’re in the greater nashville area on the 14th of march you should come out and see the show. i could use your support.

let’s see...elsewhere in the news...gary et al headed up to colorado to tape a tv thing. while i’m not exactly clear (i drink) on what the taping was for, i believe that the mtv people are going high definition, or "hi-def" as we say here around the offices of jeremiad records, and they wanted to debut the "hi-def" channel with concert performances by cutting edge acts. gary was the country one, and the goo-goo dolls were the rock ‘n’ roll one. there were more, but my memory (i drink) eludes me at the moment. i believe they were of a more ‘pop’ variety.

now, i’m not sure how many of you hang around outside in january in the rocky mountains in colorado, but those of you who do know that it can get a little chilly. the band bundled up and hit the stage like it was any other show, albeit, a little colder than usual. i can’t say it was a landmark performance, but went as well as our frozen fingers would allow.

a special muchas gracias go to our amigos y amigas that braved the sub-freezing temperatures to see this show. they will most likely be rewarded by being on the big screen (in "hi-def") themselves as the cameras were often turned to the ample crowd.
post show we hit some of the finer drinking establishments (i drink) and hung with the locals listening to what live music the town had to offer.

way too soon we were headed back to guitar town and we are all finishing our sabbatical.
before i go, the matt warren showcase has been postponed for the time being as we continue to put the spit and polish on his tape which features a new orleans version of "putting memories away." the fun...does it ever...you know...stop?

well, folks that’s all the news that fits. call the airlines and book yourself for nashville mid march. we’ll talk before then.

live large,


december 18, 2005

holiday greetings to all,

the cooling autumn days of southern california have changed from blue skies and 74 degree weather to the chilly blue skies and 72 degree weather of winter. i write this as i sip spiked coffee in a quiet house while all the little ones (not so small anymore) have visions of high-tech gadgets dancing in their heads.

the holidays are upon us, and i hope you are all in the spirit of the season. i have been preparing my children for disappointment while at the same time going overboard (they are seldom disappointed) with the preparation of christmas morning. and...i’ve been a good boy this year (no, really) and i’m hoping that santa is good to me. i don’t really need a new guitar...but, gee, one more couldn’t hurt. and you gotta plug that thing into something...

the gary allan band and crew wrapped up the year with a tour of the golden state along with a stop in sin city and arizona. yes, virginia there is an arizona, i don’t know what that girl was yapping about. i was there, i saw if for myself.

our bellies were still full from the thanksgiving feasts of the previous weekend. being a california hombre, i merely jumped to tucson while the other poor saps had to ride the rolling cigar from lands to the east. with the generosity of our founder, the bus is equipped with all the finest amenities, primarily the bar, that one (read "musician") could hope for. this is a positive thing on shorter trips, but can reap havoc with one’s (read "a musician’s") self-discipline on longer journeys across this great country i like to call "the united states of america."

after a short recovery period for the guys, we were ready to play. i flew in, and we met up and started playing all the casinos we could in the following ten days.

perhaps for me the highlight was one of the guests that we had riding on the bus for a portion of those diez dias, a one matt warren.
those of you who actually read the small print on a cd jacket, you already know that matt co-wrote "putting memories away" with gary on his new cd. for those of you who don’t read the fine print on the cds, matt is the guy that co-wrote "putting memories away" with gary on his new cd.

matt is a fine singer himself. several lucky california audiences got to here matt sing when gary called him out onto the stage to sing the second half of that song and to play some ol’ mouth harp on a few others.

during the dog days of summer (remember when it was more than warm) matt asked me to play guitar and produce a few tracks to see what kind of attention he could attract in the music industry in the greater central tennessee area, primarily nashville, where there’s a huge amount of business and interest in country music.

matt had come up with a plan, and instead of recording the tracks in nashville, we loaded up our gear into a few p.o.s. trucks and headed down to muscle shoals, alabama. muscle shoals is the home of r&b and some of our favorite songs were recorded there. some of your favorite songs were recorded there, too. anyway, matt had an in at the world famous fame studios down there, and a connection to neil young’s keyboard player spooner oldham, whom he booked for the sessions.
despite a few hiccups in the studio early in the day, it was soon clear we were onto something. our second day in the studio was more inspiring than the first, in spite of the late evening antics the night before. with our new tape tucked under our arms, we loaded back up our stuff in brand new cadillacs, smoked some big cigars and headed back to music city, tennessee.

over the course of the next few weeks we brought in various members of the g.a. organization to add a little sweetening. mike webb brought out the accordion, mike fried played some pedal steel, and levi dennis sawed away on the fiddle. the end result? matt now has a kick-ass tape and is attracting attention of some of the big labels in nashville.

i bring all this up because i’m going to have to cut my vacation short by a couple of weeks and head back to nashville. i’m lucky enough that matt has asked me to come back to town and play lead guitar for a showcase that is currently planned near the end of january. poor me, cutting my time off short to play guitar for another great singer. shortly after that, the gary allan group will be getting back together to start rehearsals for the next year, and back to work we go.

i’d like to thank those of you who bought my new cd, "i run with scissors." i realize that this disc is a departure from the previous two and is more rocking and less conventional. your purchase of this disc (and the others) will allow me to continue my pursuit of pure artistic expression without "big brother" looking over my shoulder. i might say something a little shocking every now and i don’t mean to offend, but i’m trying to say the things we feel that no one else is willing to say, and no record company wants to take the risk for, especially the one located in the buckle of the bible belt.

freedom of expression. show your support of it by buying "i run with scissors," my first two cds and/or the releases of other truly independent artists. i will do my best to never let you down and bring the occasional smile to your face. i’ll make ‘em as long as you buy ‘em.

may all the blessings of the holiday season be yours. show love and compassion to those family members you don’t really want to see, and commit the random act of kindness.

merry christmas, feliz navidad, happy hanukah, and if i don’t write between then and now, a happy new year.



november 21, 2005

attention holiday shoppers!

first let me tell you my biggest nightmare came true. standard edition versions of “i run with scissors” went out in the first few shipments instead of the limited edition. my merch people are aware of the problem and are taking action to see that those deserving fans get the limited edition. i hate, hate, hate that this happened and appreciate both your patronage and patience while this gets ironed out.

still, it was a thrill to see so many of the “scissors” discs at these last strings of shows. you have my deepest gratitude.

i have yet to wash the road off me, and the coffee is taking a little longer today in getting my heart rate back up to normal. so this short is going to be note.

i hope y’all have a great thanksgiving holiday filled with all the fixings. drink heartedly, but let someone else do the driving. be safe. love one another.



november 12, 2005

hello one, hello all,

every day should be like this. the day your cd becomes available is one of the great pleasures of life. i want each and every one of you to record a cd so you can experience this feeling. and i’m pretty sure it’s not just the early afternoon white russians that are talking now.

it is a long road from writing a song, re-writing it, recording it, adding to the recording, mastering the mother, conceiving the art, putting the package together, and all the rest that goes into lining up the dominoes. this record (i guess the kids call them cd’s) was to hit the stands before now, but those pesky dominoes, it’s hard to make sure they fall in the right order.

anyhow...after the trials and tribulations, the cd is in the store. now i can sleep!

i’m proud of this disc, and i’m proud of all of y’all (that’s the plural form of “y’all”) that take that leap of faith and buy the thing.

‘cause it’s a funny thing about art: it’s a challenge on both sides of the counter. the writer hopes he or she does something viable, and the buyer...well, they hope that he or she did, too. i swear, i’ll do my best to never let you down.

i’m going to stop writing this, i’m starting to sound a little on the sappy side.

“i run with scissors” is available now! make a stand. show your appreciation of the independent artist. let your freak flag fly.

yours in the brotherhood,


p.s. there are fifty copies of a limited edition version of "i run with scissors" that go to the first buyers. on this disc are a few extra surprises to those that act early. it's my way of saying thanks. walk on the wild side. j

november 9, 2005

dear friends,

the world as we now know it is coming to an end, or so the pier one imports website site so told me. in lieu of listening to the voices in my head (and not doing nearly as much songwriting) i’ve taken to browsing websites, which are cleverly disguised as ways to rid me of my hard earned. as if the musician’s friend catalog isn’t enough.

and material objects, the ones that weigh me down, seem to be availing themselves to me in abundance. okay, perhaps not abundance, but they do keep showing their pretty face. and, a pretty face is hard to object to. object, abundance, tomato, tomato.

the land in the south pacific is, or was, treating us very well. each time we head down there seems to better than the one before. living upside down isn’t easy though, though we did our best to live that way. first and foremost, let us (aright...me) just say it was great seeing our friends allan and barbara tomkins, and steve ford & band. also a few folks that we met on previous journeys down under that thought what we do is so worthwhile that they’d come see us again. a special thanks goes out to those folks too numerous to name here.

but let me also say hello to some new folks from australia that found their way here to my humble site. thanks for stopping by. perhaps i’ll make my way back to your glorious country and travel with steve ford et al the way that he does with us when he’s in the etats unis. it couldn’t happen soon enough with or without the gary.

i do have to say that a trip to australia without gary probably wouldn’t be as much fun. gary is never one to let a good time pass him by, so when we had a few spare days off he (along with our booking agent) booked us a pontoon plane to take us out to the great coral reef (that’s for you, levi), i mean the great barrier reef.

after seeing the islands surrounding the main land, our plane (with captain gary allan manning the controls!) flew out to the reef where we landed on the water and met up with the boat(!) chartered for our excursion. through the glass bottom of the boat we saw the secrets that nature has kept a hundred miles off shore of some of the prettiest country i have seen.

docking (parking, whatever it is you do with a boat) in a gap within the reef, snorkeling gear was brought out and the likes of our group were soon lost in the vast expanse of the ocean. well, i think we all surfaced from time to time to see that the boat was still there...the plane was practically lost on the horizon. if you have ever seen those little tiny colorful tropical fish in a pet store, you have only the minimal experience to even begin to understand what we saw.

imagine a rainbow colored (maybe even neon colored) fish that would have more than filled a typical frying pan. or a less colorful fish of more tremendous proportions that looks as if it could take your arm off it wanted to. which brings us to the shark. i saw it, and jeff saw it. and it had me swimming for the boat as fast as i could without directing any attention to myself.

our boat captain informed me that it was merely a reef shark and of no threat. after i got my wits about myself, i set out in the great blue to see if i could find it again, but to no avail. but in keeping out my eagle eye, i did see a ray flying through the water. i followed the ray for a while, but it turn away sharply when it found mike webb and levi dennis harassing a mollusk without mercy. okay, i might have joined in...such was the nature of the trip.

it ended way to soon for all of us, due to the late raising nature of musicians on the road, but after captain levi dennis flew us back, we did cap it off with a few bottles of wine and a fine seafood dinner (the mollusk escaped unharmed and uneaten) with many humorous stories being told and recounted.

the concerts went really well, in my mind, with many tomkins guitars being unveiled for the first time. gary received a replacement for a battered guitar he retired, i gave a fairly good workout on an acoustic-electric prototype and jimbo modeled a guitar that was given away on the tour. i believe that jimbo will be carrying a tomkins guitar at his merch booth that’s just like one of gary’s, so keep an eye out for that.

richards and southern, who do merch for both gary and i, now have “i run with scissors in their possession, so we’re merely counting the ticks of the second hand before it’s available to you. check back often, as you’ll want to be among the first to own the disc. that will get you my undying gratitude. that, and it’ll allow me to put out my next album.

friends, fans, thanks for your time. i hope all is well in your world. something is going to happen, i just don’t know what it is. be safe.



october 25, 2005

hello fans, friends, and supporters of independent artists,

greetings from australia, where i'm writing this now, upside-down. just kidding...that was last night. we are all having a big time down here, and i wish i had time to report more of the going ons, but time and prudence prevents such.

when we first got here, a few of us went directly to a t.v. studio to do an acoustic version of 'best i ever had' and a snippet of runaway as a teaser, then moved directly onto a pub to celebrate the stellar first week of sales of gary's new 'tough all over'. more than 100,000 copies (first reported as 99,600, but some last coming figures pushed the number over the magic point). thanks for keeping us in the biz.

we are touring with our friend steve ford and finding refuge in his tour bus, the only one in the country. the shows have been going great.

during these shows i've been playing tomkins guitar prototype guitar that sounds and functions as both an electric and acoustic guitar. it feels great and kinda cool to play a whole show without having to change guitars at all. good job allan. check out his site at:

i guess i should wrap this up, but before i do...

with this australia trip and being out of the country and all, my new cd "i run with scissors" has been pushed back a little and will come out shortly after my return to the states. those on my email list (you have signed up, haven't you?) will be notified when it happens. the first to order will get the limited edition version, but either way you get ten great songs (says me!) and will be part of the few, the proud. thanks for your patience.

your mate (i'm down under, remember?),



september 15, 2005

hello one, hello all.

i’m taking a break from the task of constructing the artwork for my upcoming cd “i run with scissors,” and thought i might fill you in with some of the going ons in the life of the wayward and foreworn (musicians).

first, let me tell you nothing is better for the soul than “chicken skin music” by ry cooder. it puts you in a new orleans state of mind, and i think the folks of new orleans, and those other soulful cities on the gulf coast, could use all the good thoughts that we can muster up. if you can, donate to the red cross. pray that we’ll never have to count on the kindness and charity of others, but if we do, let it be a reflection on how we reacted when we heard the call.

of course, our show in new orleans was cancelled, it was to be directly after our nashville show and i think the date was oct. 7. i’m looking forward to coming down to the big easy and the big easy lifestyle whenever we can get it rescheduled.

we have been working the last dozen or so shows with our new guitarist david steel, and it’s been fun. he plays some funky guitars and has a greasy style, so you know it stirs my heart. the combination of david steel and keyboardist mike webb, along with the usual suspects make this one of the most fun lineups we ever had, and i believe it translates to the stage.

sadly, with two buses, the fun is divided up. so now it is not uncommon to see band and crew moving between the two buses during the bright hours and after that golden orb sets in the west. it’s interesting to see who mixes up the best drinks!

thanks to all who posted the birthday wishes. i had a grand time on my birthday. taking the bull by the cajones, i threw myself a party on the bus while we were in louisville. seeing how it was the middle of the summer, i thought pina coladas would be a tasty break from the usual fare that flows from our liquor cabinet. the only thing that was missing was the little umbrellas.

i got a new guitar for my birthday! it’s an epiphone wildkat, and it sounds great. while i have an affection for vintage guitars and pricey high end instruments, i also like playing guitars that can be afforded by the masses and this guitar is such an instrument. i love the color, too: candy apple red. it looks like a hotrod.

anyway, anyhow, we have been kinda busy the last month or so, so while i have recorded all the music and such for the next cd, there is other aspects of producing a cd that i haven’t yet been able to complete, such as the artwork. but that’s on the agenda for today. perhaps i should get back at it.

this world keeps spinning, there’s no stopping that. hope it spins your way.


well, i wrote the above and got myself back to work, and finished! this morning i sent it off to be manufactured! whew!!

the idea of a limited edition version is still weighing on my mind. and that weight made this idea come out: there still will be two versions of the cd; the limited edition and the standard version. only fifty of the ltd. ed. will be available, and those will go to the first fifty that buy the cd. the standard will have the same great songs(?...isn’t that really for you to determine?) but will lack the spoken word poetry and other audio extras. either way, it’s a bargain at any price.

those on the email list will be the first to be in the

know this...i value your support through the cds and
the years.

yours in the brotherhood of musicians,


august 11, 2005

hello one, hello all!

a man wiser than myself once said “the times, they are a’changing.” and that couldn’t be more true than right now. the g.a. organization has anteed up for the big league and outfitted our outfit with a second tour bus and another (actually, our former) trailer to carry our high-tech lighting system, the genius behind them (our new lighting director, han), and the mass of keyboards and spinning speaker cabinets used by our new pianist/organist mike web.

needless to say, the sound is huge with a look to match. kudos off to steve spergl for putting together such a great production package, and band leader brian arsonault for finding the right guy and working him in so seamlessly.

these last few shows were landmark for that reason alone. but there’s more to why those that got to see those shows were treated to something special. eddie perez, sadly, is leaving us again. actually, he’s already left.

there should be no doubt that someone with eddie’s talent would be courted by someone else. actually, most everyone in the band has been approached by other bands seeking their considerable talents. but rarely is the offer presented by someone with any sizeable vision and artist integrity, and even if they possessed such traits, there’d be little reason to leave an organization that provides everyone an artistic outlet for their own vision and comforts that smoothes the bumps off the road in the way that gary does.

but the offer that dwight yoakam provided eddie must have been fairly sweet (and you know it was: a private jet was sent to pick eddie up from our last show), ‘cause eddie said yes and is now a member of a band that influenced the honky tonk wranglers back in the days of yore. for the uninitiated this would be the equivalent of being asked to join the beatles. while sad to see eddie’s taillights in our rearview mirror, no one holds back any good wishes for ed’s bright future and we all look forward to the day where our paths cross and we’re playing shows together.

so...what do we do in the interim?

well, we have our guy. and he’ll start in a week or so. rehearsals are scheduled for after our next set of shows. but, until he takes his place and the stage, we’re going to use our guitar tech, carlos to fill in the position. carlos is a formidable player and can often be seen gigging downtown when the battered and beaten band returns to town. he sat in at sound check yesterday, and showed that he’s up for the challenge. these next three shows are going to rock.

my own project has taken on a life of its own, and now i know with all my heart that there’ll be two versions of it: a limited edition version with some poetry (okay...spoken word), alternative mixes, and some noises that i love, and the standard version that’ll just have the songs. see how i care: you only have to get the version you’re interested in. it’s pretty late in the summer, so, how’s september sound to you??

a simple thanks goes out to those who have purchased either or both of the first two cds. your support allows me to do these projects. so if you buy them, i’ll make ‘em. but if you don’t....

alright then. i’m going to wash some of this road off of me, put on some clean duds and see what the world has to offer. live wisely, live a life worth living.



july 4, 2005

greetings fellow americans,

this is the fourth of july, which is, if i’m not mistaken, a holiday of considerable merit. it started out as a fairly good one for me, as my pen found the paper and words spilled forth and i wrote a song. for those of you who are not songwriters, songs are little gifts from the heavens. they don’t come often enough, are precious, and needed to be transcribed with precision, otherwise you can mess the whole thing up.

think of a movie based on a book that you’ve read. that is, you read the book before you even knew there was going to be a movie based on it. was the film as good as the version you created in your head?? no? see, man is fallible. we can mess things up in translations, transcriptions and trans continental travel.

have you ever heard of a word in chinese that doesn’t translate into english? but yet we try to put it into english words, even though we’ve already been told it doesn’t translate. fear not, i’m sure the chinese try to do the same thing with english words.

anyway, back to songwriting.

i often get asked about how i go about writing a song, and there’s no one way that i do it. sometimes i stumble onto something unique when i’m sitting about messing with my guitar. sometimes the tones of a guitar or piano invoke a mood, or make you play something you never done before. sometimes you sit down with the goal of writing a song with someone in the great nashville tradition of the songwriting appointment. but my favorite is when out of nowhere, the muse sneaks up behind you lifts you out of your seat, mysteriously places paper and pen in your hands and whispers in your ear the truth...and all you have to do is write it down.

the craft of songwriting is what you do while you’re waiting for the muse to come to you. sometimes she comes when you’re at the songwriting appointment (and sometimes not, and you craft a cleaver song, if not truly inspired, in the nashville tradition), and sometimes she comes at less opportune moments. it’s a crap shoot really.

in the top ten things i hate, number one must be having the gift of song come to you, and not being able to get it committed to paper and it drifts away like prairie dust. my memory fails me at times. hate thinking about the ones that got away. but...not today. hell, i can go back to bed! got a song!

back to the fourth.

which of the founding fathers are your favorites??

i have two: thomas jefferson and benjamin franklin.

tom jefferson (as i like to call him) eloquently drafted the declaration of independence which when presented to king george of england started not only a new country, but a new form of government: democracy. this form of governing (much different than being “ruled”, was one that was intended to be in tune with nature, devoid of tyranny, and placed us all as people on equal footing. royal bloodlines are not honored here. “all men are created equal” tom wrote, with the unalienable rights of life and liberty (and the pursuit of happiness!). to save you the trouble of looking up “unalienable” in the dictionary i’ve looked it up for you. it means “can’t be surrendered”. i don’t think it translates into chinese. yep, hard to argue about freedom.

ben franklin (i like to call him ben), played guitar and was quoted as saying “beer is proof that there is a god, and he wants us to be happy.”

our relatives slept a little warmer back in the day because of his stove. and when my eyes get weaker, i will still be able to enjoy his writings because of his invention of bifocals. he gave “go fly a kite” a whole new meaning.

and onto the road,

we played one in a row this last weekend, so there’s not too much to write about in our journeys. however, as short as the trip might have been, we played at fort sill in oklahoma as a early fourth of july celebration. thanks to the army for the warm hospitality. thanks for the fireworks. thanks to all for serving our country so well, and may god watch over you.

time to light up the grill and put ben franklin’s words to the test.

happy fourth of july, may freedom ring!


june 14, 2005

hello again,

as i wipe the sleep away from my eyes and wait for the coffee (which takes its own sweet time) to finish brewing, i thought i might fill you in on some of the goings on. but first let me say “good morning, you were great last night.”

our rolling can of beans left music city (usa), last thursday night after having enough time off that i was actually able to fly to sunny socal and back again. my youngest son gave a piano recital and i was lucky enough to see it, as this gypsy caravan lifestyle keeps those who even live in town (music city, usa!) from partaking in the usual family festivities. he rocked, my son, and i couldn’t be more proud of him.

our friend from the deep south, allan tomkins, maker of fine custom instruments favored by the likes of gary allan, had made his way to the states to deliver gary his newest guitar personally. allan jumped up on the bus and traveled with us for a couple of days. always a good hang. in fact, allan and his wife barbara treated me and a few of my friends to dinner last night and the conversation(s) lasted hours, the beer cold, the company extraordinary.

sadly, allan left this morning, texas bound. i’m sure the he’s going to meet up with dale watson down in austin. but the good news is we won’t have to wait too long before we visit again. gary et al (that would mean the band and crew) will be traveling down under in october. see, when i said that allan tomkins was from the deep south, i meant australia. for those of you who haven’t yet done so, you should check out allan’s website: http://www.users.bigpond.com/tomkinsguitars/index.html, where you’ll find pictures of his instruments and some of gary, mike, jody maphis, eddie perez, and your humble scribe that you won’t find anywhere else.

coffee’s ready.

alright. this is much better. i can already feel the magic brew seeping into my veins; waking my muscles and lubing the synapses of my mind. viva the coffee bean and all of its mystic properties!

in part, allan’s visit here coincided with fan fair (or whatever the cma is trying to call it these days) where he can visit with his growing base of recording artists that play his instruments. i’m sure that a few of y’all packed the bags and made your way to music city (usa) to see some of your favorites stars and catch some of the cooler shows and bands on lower broad. i heard that even mr. telephone himself, russell crowe (another australian!) was here or thereabouts.

of course, we weren’t here, which is a shame as it usually gives me a chance to talk with y’all. i hope that all of you who made the pilgrimage had a great time, and got out of the trip what you wanted.

the sound of squealing guitars is still echoing through my head, and i got plenty of it on tape as i round the corner of this last bit of recording that i have been doing. not entirely country music, though there is a thread to be pulled there, it might be more of a listening challenge than y’all are ready for, as i was recently reminded.

some of the best music (art) that i have heard has been by artists that you’d rarely hear on the radio, or perhaps, hear on the radio anymore. sometimes the lyrics and the message supercedes the sound of the singer’s voice. there are those who don’t like bob dylan, but the message is undeniable. i have heard a nashville executive say that there’s no way dylan would get signed these days. sadly, i believe he is right. but i don’t believe that that is right.

and some of the best conventional sounding music i have heard, well, they won’t get signed either. too old, too fat, too individualistic...you get the idea...to fit into the video mindset, marketing ideas that drive the music industry. it’s easier to sell good looking singers that sing radio friendly songs. see, it’s a profit deal. and that’s fine, that’s business and how businesses stay in business.

but, if you’re reading this, you’re most likely one of those who supports independent ventures (or at least mine) and encourages it even if it’s not your cup of coffee. i raise my mug to you! the advancement of music and poetry and prose and painting and sculpture and drawing and so on benefits from the boundaries being pushed and the exhibition of personal expression. a bitter pill at times, but we’re all the better for it.

damn, how’d i get up here?

there’s more going on. i have been talking with matt warren, and he has asked me to help him produce his next tape. i have literally been lying awake thinking about this project. matt is one of my favorite singers in the whole world, writing the best material he’s ever written and i get to record with him!

current plans are to record in muscle shoals, alabama, next month with mike fried playing steel and levi dennis on fiddle. of course, all this needs to fit around the band schedule and we are entering into the busy season with routing by those who don’t have to travel with us, so you know we’re going to be logging some long miles.

for those who want to know more of what matt is about (and i don’t think this one is a bitter pill to swallow), you can get your feet wet at http://www.stonewallrecords.com/catalog/papa_joe.htm.

well, i got to get to tuning the bongos. there’s a song that i want to finish recording today, and i’m not getting any younger.

venus is going to hang out with the crescent moon tonight. western sky, sunset. be there.


may 24, 2005

i’m wallowing knee deep into this new recording project, which is suspect to being the next cd. these noises in my head are dying to come out, but it’s gonna be a little bit of a challenge to the listener as some of the...well, i don’t want to say too much.

which reminds me of a conversation with some folks i met after our show in cleveland a week or so ago, when i was as sick as a dog. apparently, that show had been scheduled for the month before and got postponed for one reason or another. these folks didn’t get the word of the new date and came into town anyway. upon their learning of the cancellation (for that night anyway) they decided to make the best of the evening and catch whatever band that happened to be playing.

as it turned out, it was a tribute band to a very popular music group in the seventies that broke up and would never do a show again regardless of the money offered. well, they lied. they did get back together and charged big bucks for tickets. it might have been for the money.

when they mentioned the name of the band that the band was tributing, i spouted out a line from a film that doesn’t reflect on the band in a very positive light. of course it was just a line from a film and not my personal feelings, but they kinda took a slight offense at the comment. that actually might be a little of a stretch, they weren’t offended they just wondered what i had against the group.

i told them of the film, and that while i thought the band actually does have merit (and used to be one of my favorite), i thought that they are kinda bland (these days). which led into a conversation of which artists from the same era that i liked (still) that i believe are vibrant artists (as in creating art).

so after i spurted out the names of a few, they responded that they didn’t like the voice of any of the artists i mentioned. go figure!

now, i want to note this was a pleasant intelligent conversation that in no way was confrontational and the folks were very good natured and know that i was slightly bent.

well, a friend of mine said i have a response for everything, and this situation was not any different. i merely said, “great art isn’t always supposed to be easy.”

we yuked it up for a while said our good nights and i’m pleased to say they looked up this site and signed on for email. hopefully they’ll buy a cd or two. welcome joan and kermit.

flash forward a few days and you’ll find a bunch of haggard looking guys riding in the front of a tour bus clicking through various video channels on the tv and taking notice of who is doing what in terms of the music industry.

it put me in mind of the conversation with my new friends from nights before. if the stuff i was hearing was food for the mind, it was cotton candy. i like cotton candy. i like sweets. i like chocolate. but...

i don’t think you should make it the largest part of your diet.

reach out for substance and reap the rewards there within. sometimes it’s not easy, sometimes it’s a challenge. sometimes you’ll by a disc and be disappointed. but sometimes you’ll stumble across a gem that is worth more than all the other stones in the field. you’ll find that as you challenge your intellect you’ll experience personal growth in the same way that eating right and exercising is reflected in your body. and listen to the cotton candy for dessert.

most of you are gary allan fans, so i know i’m preaching to the proverbial choir. however, i’d like to champion the cause of the independent artist, the independent record labels and the stores, radio stations and people that support them.

someone wrote me and suggested that i put up a section on the site that lists my recommendations, and i’ll think about that. but in the interim, for those who care too, check out www.randyweeks.com. i’ve been getting into randy’s “madeline” cd, which is available on his site and can be downloaded from some of the music servers.

hope all is as well as it can be on your side of the planet.


may 9, 2005

hey y’all,

i couldn’t resist it, but in spite of being sick (in body not of mind) i poured myself a white russian. gonna feel better one way or another.

we were the rocking and rolling med-vac this last weekend with numerous band members and crew feeling all not that well. as for me, i walked and talked like i was a super hero: bullet proof and cape wearing. but alas, on the last night of the tour i got the cough that beats all coughs, the kind of sleep that pitches you dreams of a more psychedelic nature, usually involving the desert, an empty canteen, senoritas that are always out of reach, and ancient zuni art. i’d like to tell you i woke up with the sheets soaking wet, i didn’t, but the freight train was running through the middle of my head. i felt off kilter, and it continued on today.

but still, the show must go on.

and another thing that’s bugging me, is the commercial on t.v. no! that’s not what i wanted to say. it’s headphones. we wear them during the show, i wear them in my bunk when i go to sleep at night, and i’m using them as i track what i guess is going to be the next jake kelly cd. and i’m not sure, but i think i might be going crazy. it’s either that, or i’m reaching what might be my artistic peak. or surpassed my artistic peak and fell into the bottomless abyss that lays just beyond it. hey, is that jon bon jovi??

wait, i forgot, i have a parachute. a soft parachute of many colors made from dolly parton’s old coat. and a flask! okay, no flask. did you know that if you have a flask on you when you’re pulled over, it’s considered driving with an open container? there was a day...

my landing is soft and i continue on on foot. hoofing it as the cowboys would say. hoofing it wearing headphones. and i’m not sure, but i think they’re driving me to the edge. i hear these sounds anyways, and i’m trying to put them down on memory chips. we use to say putting them down on tape (as in recording tape) but those days are as dead as dead is. but this record, ahem...cd...it’s not going to be what you think it might be. that is, if it truly is the next cd.

but these voices, you know the ones i’m talking about. i try to listen to them (well, except for the ones that tell me to kill), and do what they say. there is a vision here, a calling. and i’m following. not that there isn’t going to be something you can’t hang onto to, but this isn’t going to be “the easy listening hour,” not that my first two cds were easy pills to sallow.

it could be my greatest artistic achievement to date, or my downfall. perhaps it could be the end of western civilization. perhaps my current philosophy of love, love, love will impregnate the world (for lack of a better term). perhaps, you’re not ready for it, and cd numero tres will stay in the can, and i’ll move on to number four and record something along the lines of the first and second cd and release that instead so you have something to grip onto.

i know that there are those who are gary allan fans who have found their way to my site, perhaps you bought my cd and expected me to sound like him. sorry. my bond with gary is strong, but we are not cut from the same cloth. he has gifts that i envy, and a direction that i find i envy, too. i’m thrilled to be a part of what he does in even the smallest terms. but what i say and what i do is not gary and sometimes it’s not easy for me or the listener. but i enjoy a challenge, and i am grateful for the support i’ve been shown by the few, the brave, and those with $15 of disposable cash have shown me that have purchased my previous cds. i’ll keep them coming as long as you buy ‘em. the cd you purchase from me today allows me to record the next one. when it stops, i’m done.

but just don’t give up, even if you give up on me. there are many great independent recording artists out there that can use the support. some of the best singers, guitarists, songwriters, piano players and musicians of considerable talent that i know of are passed by because the industry doesn’t believe they have “marketability.”

hey, is somebody banging on my green car door?

one more thing. if you’re a player or singer i encourage you to put your project together and find the bliss and satisfaction that i have found singing in your own voice, your own way.

may the muse smile down upon you,


april 24, 2005

hello friends,

how’s your world spinning? i hope it’s spinning your way.

we have covered much ground since i had last found it in me to write. it’s been big fun with the brooks and dunn folks in the last series of hillbilly/country/rock/punk shows (well, i feel like a punk. this might have to do with potent potables i consumed last evening. or it might have to do with the fact i actually am a punk) in the greater northeast area and the south this last weekend.

since we had toured with the b&d folks before, it's kinda cool to hang with our old amigos and find out what has been going on in their world. a little bit of horse trading has been happening on the side. i’ve seen guitar amplifier tubes trade hands, strings flying in every direction, and my boss talking b&d guitarist tony king out of a vintage martin d-28. while i’m sure money may trade hands at some point, i think the deal was just a barter for lawn service. unfortunately, tony did not bring enough free (okay, barter) guitars for everybody. but then again, i’m allergic to lawn work.

i must say, the guitar is sweet sounding, and it fits the owner’s persona. it’s a good find, and a must have. we are back in the studio this week to work some more on the next g.a. project and i’m hoping to use it on some of the tracks.

mi compadre miguel fried has been seen carrying what looks to be a violin case about, but it actually contains contraband. no, actually, it’s a tenor uke, from the hawaiian islands, made out of koa (a very pretty figured wood native to the islands), and strung with nylon strings. his dog has fleas.

the shoe fits, as mike has been working on a cd to call his very of hawaiian musique. i’ve heard some of his tracks and it’s cool stuff. the pedal steel guitar, mike’s main instrument, is offshoot or even a refinement of the hawaiian guitar (which mike collects and plays well). here’s a fun fact for y’all, what we consider standard style of guitar playing is called “spanish guitar” and when you play with a steel bar and the instrument sits on your lap (or stands on legs) it’s “hawaiian guitar.”

now mike has been fielding the question over the course of years if it’s a keyboard he’s playing (i’d say it’s the legs that has them fooled), and in fact addresses that question on the front page of his website (www.mike-fried.com) which is worth checking out and should provide you with news of his upcoming release. of course, you all know that mike played steel guitar and dobro on my cds.

a while back i wrote a hawaiian cowboy song with the assistance of mr. fried, called “you can’t get further west than this.” the song isn’t going to change anybody’s life, but it is fun and, dare i say it, educational.

okay, hawaii isn’t in the south pacific like the musical wants you to think it is, but is in (yep, you guessed it) the north pacific. the highest peak is mauna kea, which is close to 14,000 ft. in elevation. so while we generally think of hawaii as having a tropical climate, the slopes of mauna kea are covered with snow during the winter. ski hawaii! there are two major ranches on hawaii and the cattle (with the unfortunate hawaiian name of “pipi”) are wrangled by “paniolo,” the hawaiian cowboys. hence the hawaiian cowboy song i wrote, and ones written by those who have gone before me. perhaps it should be a bonus track on the mike fried cd. who knows?

‘cause i’m frying fish of my own. finding myself with a notebook of songs and some time on my hands, i bought myself a new recorder. using a good portion of the latest technology, it allows me to lay down tracks just about anywhere i am, and just about everywhere i go. and it’s shaping up to be...jake kelly cd numero tres? too early to tell. but things are shaping up, i’m able to put down the sounds that i hear in my head, if not the voices.

so, in short, sorry i haven’t put anything up on this site in the last bit, but the muse has been calling, and she gets my attention. i find it best not to get on her bad side.

oh, i been asked to put up some new photos, and i hope to do that soon. if you have any you like that you think i’ll like, send ‘em in.

alright, i’m moving from coffee to white russians and from the page to the recorder, so i guess i’ll say fare thee well. thanks for stopping by, the long term support, the cd and t-shirt purchases, and good thoughts. i’ll pull the rip cord and get the world spinning for you whenever i can.


march 21, 2005

hello friends,

tonight we embark on a great adventure. we are going to build ourselves a rocket ship. tell me, what do you want to take along? ‘cause it’s pick and choose the one you want to dance with time.

okay, we’ll use some fifty gallon drums and weld them together for the fuel tanks. using the current technology we’re going to be burning fossil fuels. sad, yes, it’s true. you’d think that after the energy crisis of the seventies (you remember the seventies, right? or at least the t.v. show...) you’d think we’d be smarter than that. you know, move along, find some smarter alternative. nope we’re gonna have to dig up alaska to make this baby fly.

so? who are you going to take along? a friend, a lover, a confidant? i’ll tell you one thing, you’re going to need a band.

the shell of this thing, this spaceship, is going to have to be something. i suggest copper. it patinas so well. did you know that turquoise is largely copper based? why do you think it’s the color that it is? there’s nothing more that i love than a little ring of turquoise green. so we now have a copper and/or green spaceship with fifty gallon fuel tanks. good start.

or course, it’ll have to be electronically based. and i think we’ll use guitar cables. maybe not the everyday guitar cables, but the multi-stranded ones like the one james johnson made for me. one hell of a guitar cable. it has a send and a return, and i think in a spaceship you want to go and come back, so that works.

so, perhaps, you not only want to think of who you want to run off with, but who you’d like to come back with as well.

we have had a great week working with the new guys, seth and brent, drums and stage manager, respectively. never has the glove fit and we had not to acquit so easily. the groove should always be like this.

so at this point i’m thinking we need a space capsule. we’ll name her bertha. and right now, in the state of mind i’m in, and the actual state i’m in, i’m thinking cadillac. something in a mid sixties coupe de ville (that’s french. that sounds good...).

yes, that is good.

time for me to sign off and see where this thing takes us. there’s only room for six, so choose your partners carefully.



p.s. for those of you who have bought “bitter...party of one...your table is ready,”you might go to www.hollygleason.com, find the yummy list and read the listing under “Kerouac's Birthday, Eat Your Ice Cream, Good Red Wine & New Jewels,” and know that perhaps you have been enlightened.

those who have yet to be enlightened go to www.hollygleason.com, find the yummy list and read the listing under “Kerouac's Birthday, Eat Your Ice Cream, Good Red Wine & New Jewels” and have your fears validated.

for those who are too scared to do either, read this, an excerpt, and dare to do what’s best for you.

Bitter. Party of One. Your Table's Ready Jake Kelly

Kelly evokes Buddy Holly's inner hick -- except that he's a walking lexicon of Southern California country music, with a strong side order of the California rock that Neil Young & Crazy Horse pioneered, and he's got the wry wit that makes him the guy to always pay attention to 'cause it's his off-handed comments that are the most lethally funny.
Bitter moves from keening to irreverent to just plain "bite me."

don’t know about y’all, but i’m thinking i’ll take holly on a little spaceship ride.

really, that’s all i got to say about that. the beer bottle is empty and the bartender ain’t paying me no mind.



march 3, 2005

hello all.

there are signs. there are signs everywhere. they tell us to do different things, they warn us of things to come, or tell us of great things to come. they move us in directions different then we are use to moving, they tell us when we have done wrong and of all the things we have done right.

and then there’s the other signs. signs our bodies tells us. cycles, energy, deficiencies. people who are tuned into their bodies know this.

have you ever craved orange juice? that’s your body’s way of saying you need a screwdriver.

do your bones ache? perhaps you’re lacking calcium. i recommend drinking a white russian.

lack of yeast? beer.

there is a drink for every whoa. and a drink for every woe! a guy for every girl. a sunset for every sunrise. an end to every beginning, a song for every radio, a time for every place, a now for every then, a ying for every yang, a today for every tomorrow, a tomorrow for every yesterday, a yes for every no, a no for every yes, a this for every that, a that for every what, a star for every grain of sand, a beach for every ocean, a purpose for every cause, a writer for every poem, a song for each singer, a singer for every song, a place we’re suppose to be, a place we should have been, a time to speak up, a time we shouldn’t say a word, a teacher we have missed, a teacher we should have noticed more, a song we should of sung, a time we should have said thanks and we didn’t, a moment to say things did, opportunities to be taken advantage of, and opportunities yet to come.

i raise my glass and toast the chances to do things right in the future.



february 23, 2005


tonight there’s going to be a full moon. that’s something special...viva la luna! one of the great coincidences is that, well, where do i start? the sun is very big and very far away from us. the moon is much smaller and is closer. the coincidence is that they have the same apparent size from our standpoint. so, the much smaller moon can completely (but barely) black out the sun during an eclipse.

wait, there’s more. the moon orbits the earth. no news there. but few people know that the moon, like earth, spin on it’s axis. the moon’s journey around the earth takes close to 28 days. and the moon spins on it’s axis just about once every 28 days!

this means the humble (and not some humble) people of earth only see the same side of the moon, even during her various phases. she turns so she is always facing the earth, just like ring-around-the-rosie.

we all know that the earth revolves around the sun in 365 (and some change) days. if one divides 365 by the mystical number 13, you get 28.076. folks, we should have 13 months a year, with 28 days in the each. and need i mention the 28 day cycle of our human existence?

mardi gras came a little early this year, as i stated in previous letters. fat tuesday (mardi gras in french) is the tuesday before ash wednesday, which is the beginning of lent: the six weeks before easter. easter changes dates from year to year. sometimes late sometimes early. how do they determine when easter is going to be?

the moon.

easter is on the first sunday (it didn’t always used to be this way), after the first full moon that falls on or after the spring equinox. the direct opposite of the better known “harvest moon”, the spring equivalent is called the “paschal moon.”

the distance between the earth and moon is about ten times the distance around earth’s equator. so it’s about 24,000 miles around the equator and 240,000 miles to the moon.

aside from the science, there is much romance with the moon. determined to be feminine, she is the perfect counter to the male sun, despite the ‘man in the moon’ image seen from our vantage point. lovers, poets and songwriters owe her a great debt. nar i say one can find someone who has had more sonnets, odes, poems and other tributaries written to a person place or thing. she blesses us with her beauty and she’s my favorite night light.

but now, i am going to violate one of her secrets. the reason she always faces the earth is because of unequal placement of her mass. apparently the heavens mimic life on earth. she is heavier on one side than the other, and earth’s gravitational pull holds her unseen comic hands and she swings around us, or as we swing her around.

yes, i have a ‘moon song’ and someday perhaps mine will be revealed to you.

as you know, the road goes on and on, and we’re back from our texas trip and about to head out to the great northeast. the more we play, the more normal our lives seem to fall into line.

more rehearsals are on the books, and we’re looking to bump up the concert experience. now, if only we could use the moon for some stage lighting.


february 9, 2005:

the first cold one of the day is the finest thing. it puts you back in line with nature. it was also the drink of nobles and through the grace of the industrial revolution, mass produced for...the masses. it’s an interesting thing: prohibition was the first constitutional amendment that took away rights rather than guaranteeing them. it didn’t work very well. you do something like that, you gotta take it back. that amendment is number 18, and the one that repealed it was amendment 21.

oh, the things you reflect on as you drink that numero uno, which is, in fact, what i’m doing now.

i hope the week has treated you as well as it’s treated us. for starters, we’ve been back in the hole breaking in the new/old guitarist in the gary allan world. eddie is, in addition to being a great guitarist/vocalist, one who is most eager to laugh than anyone i know. the rehearsal cell was all one-liners, innuendo and one-upmanship. you know it’s a good time on a stick when you have to wait a few before you’re able and/or want to drive home.

sometimes i felt like we could have got more done, but i’ve been assured by the authorities that there’s more rehearsals on the books and i don’t think anyone fears the camaraderie, humor and creativity that comes from such gatherings.

the wheels were soon humming as we hit the asphalt for tejas. with the sole show that we were playing being a multi-band affair, we were looking forward to renewing some of our inter-band friendships that might have gone stagnate over the past few months. apparently, there was nothing to worry about. the only thing that might have happened during the off-season was the further fermenting of the liquor cabinet. which isn’t necessarily a bad thing, really. good fences make good neighbors (and there’s a story about that which will pop up somewhere...maybe here...sometime later), but strong drink...sorry, i lost my train of thought.

naw, i know what i was going to say. it’s a social thing: “come on up, let’s have a beer.” this was kinda a homecoming for us, and...

mardis gras!

fat tuesday immediately precedes ash wednesday. it precedes it by, believe it or not, one day. yep, i’m that quick. lent is upon us and eater is a mere six weeks away. boy, is this year moving fast? actually, it’s not. easter comes early this year. know why?? blame it on the rodney crowell song.

our first show was on a saturday, but was a mardis gras precursor. and what fun. aside from the band reunion and the reunions of bands, there were beads and...more beads! beads, beads, beads. i love beads.

our show lasted one mere hour, hardly enough after being gone so long. but i guess it’s better than not playing at all. it felt good when the lights went down and i heard the familiar sound of waves hitting the rocks. the show went by way too fast. the music was good, and the sound wasn’t too bad considering we were in a building that was rumored to be the inverted hull of huge ship.

it was also great to renew our friendship with so many who made the trek out to see what’s what, considering this is the first (true) show of the year. and also those who didn’t make trek: those who are lucky enough to live in the greater dallas/fort worth area and just wandered out to see us. it was good seeing y’all. i know it’s only been a few cycles of the moon, but it seems so much longer than that.

there must have been some concern with us doing too much too fast, so we came back to nashville for some rest. but, not too much. wednesday night (ash wednesday!) we’ll be hitting it hard again. hope to see you there, and if i don’t, i hope to see you soon when we swing by your geographic area.


january 31, 2005

hello again.

i can’t say that i’m anxious to leave home, but i am anxious to get back to work.

just for fun i picked up my guitar to see if i could still play. As it turns out yes i can. i’d like to lie to you and tell you that I have spent numerous hours refining my guitar playing skills. But that would be, well, a lie.

my creative juices have been flowing from my pen and i tend to compose away from the guitar these days, even though i’m writing the words and music at the same time. As it turns out, the guitar parts sound the same in real life as they do in my head. without the guitar to distract me, the lyrics come out in a continuous stream and... voila...a song in near record time.

when your day starts that way (writing a song), it’s a success before it’s really begun, and you can focus your energies elsewhere. or at least, i can. so i try a little bit of sight-reading on the piano. my youngest son has been taking piano lessons for a few months now, and santa brought him a digital keyboard -- even though we have two (two!) pianos in the house, one a steinway grand. the digital keyboard, well, it’s addictive. it sounds good, doesn’t need to be tuned , and has a variety of cool sounds.

my son’s music book sits on top of the keyboard. i’m tempted. i sit. i try. he will soon surely surpass me with his music reading ability (plus, he’s got a great ear). but for right now, i can still read and play what he’s learning.

my older son, he’s more of an intellectual and a mathematical genius. i cannot touch what he does on paper. he’s the one who helps me.

so with a little of piano playing under my pelt, i move on to some reading. i have a backlog of books vying for my attention and you know i love them all equally. but, alas, i can only give my to them one at a time. to tell the truth, i’m involved with two right now. one is the bob dylan autobiography, and the other shall remain nameless.

the good news is, i fly tomorrow and flying is the prime time for reading.

yep, the day after tomorrow we start rehearsals for the new and improved. so my staying away from the guitar blues that i’ve been suffering from is coming to a close. and hopefully, we’ll be coming to a town near you.

till then, relax and have a cold one, and know we are on the way.


january 18, 2005

at this point, i guess i just want to yawn. there seems to be a lack of cognitive thought in my mind. the synapses of mind power is not firing the thought-making cylinders in the right order. but you know what? that’s alright. screw conventionality. right now, anyway.

did i say hello?

the year has begun, and we actually have a gig under our belts already. i deem our trip to colorado a success. it was a success before the wheels of the big flying cigar that brought me to the red state even thought of kissing the ground in denver, as I wrote a song (titled "don’t come crying to me"), and a poem (who’s title shall remain nameless, to protect the innocent) with considerable depth. all of that before the day five could be x’d out or torn off the garfield calendar of life.

before the trip was over, my pen had scratched another song and another poem onto the pages of a notebook, which has metamorphosed from a standard college ruled bound stack of papers into a study of a mind left to wander in the wilderness too long. too bad it wasn’t the highly acclaimed forty days and forty nights i’ve heard so much about. what is it about biblical proportions that drive us so wild? it’s kinda like eating at the claim jumper restaurants: biblical proportions.

my wish for the new year has come true, at least in some part, ‘cause the words seem to be coming to me. not that i want to jinx that, but come they do. and what can i do besides write them down. now, whether they mean anything or not, that remains (by you) to be seen.

while in colorado, we saw some of the best bands texas (see, it was a texas music festival in colorado which featured, among others, californian gary allan) had to offer. i did not groove to everything i heard, i must say. but the thing about a groove is that you have to be in one and follow it around before you realize that you’re in a groove and not just an elongated hole. but there was stuff that i instantly recognized as viable, which is to say it appealed to me instantly. jack ingram (and his most excellent guitarist chris) was one such example.

i don’t think i’m gonna be changing my style because of what i saw at these shows, but i think the spirit in which these acts (and where were the female acts?) presented themselves was an inspiration, not to be redundant.

from the red state, we, the usual and unconventional suspects, rode back to nashville and entered into the studio to put a start to the new gary allan project. gary seems to have had some creative influx of his own, penning a few of the compositions put on my music stand. like a fine wine, the music flowed from the strings to the audio tape. what a great feeling to have captured so many great moments to a medium which i know you’ll hear. the artistic workshop environment that gary and his producer, mark wright, create in the studio brings out the best in the already world class musicians that gary has shown his dedication to.

i returned to california after the recording sessions to continue my mandatory r & r (rest and relaxation, not rock ‘n’ roll), but i’m fighting the desire to get back to work. there’s a burning desire to put out another cd. i wonder what it will be??

unfortunately, there’s still some wait time before we get back to work. so i’ll bide it in the usual way: drinking, writing and playing guitar. that and doing the things that need to be done out here in sunny and guilty of the weather california. still, i’m doing the best i can.

i hope you’re doing the best you can and the first few days of the new year are treating you as well as they’re treating me.


december 30, 2004:

hello friends,

it’s time to cast off 2004 like wet clothes. or perhaps like dry clothes in a rush to enter into heated close intimate contact. anyway, the old year is nearly over and the new one upon us.

and...like so many different journals and magazines, the nostalgic and the romantics, fortune tellers and alchemists, it’s hard not to look back and reflect on the past 365 or so, and give our take on events, things we should have done, and things we’ve should have done better, question why fate dealt us the hand that it did, count the blessings, lick the wounds, take stock in what we have, judge, be judged, be grateful, forgive, forget, try and forget, hold grudges, hold grudge matches, and the general potpourri of watching the daily pedals fall from an annual flower.

and why not? as we learn from history. we learn from our mistakes (well, some of us do). and armed with this knowledge we can forge on ahead, as we must.

i hope that when you do the above, you look back at 2004 as a success and you hold no fear as we blaze our way into the future.

as for me, the last year has proven to be a most interesting one, with parts that i’m way ready to have behind me, and some of my greatest feats happening within the same general time span. so let me say thanks to those of you who showed sympathy and encouragement, let me say thanks to those of you who bought me a beer when i needed one, let me say thanks to those who continue to come to gary allan shows, requesting gary’s music on the radio and buying the records, let me say thanks to those who support my art by buying jake kelly cds and shirts.

the world is a big, and apparently, a complex place. it’s hard to figure why such horrific events take place, such as the earthquake and tsunami on the other side of the world. let us send our support and prayers to help those in time of need, as others will do (and have done) for us when we’re in the time of ours.

warm thoughts and gratitude goes to our troops overseas, come home soon, safely.

i hope that the next year brings me the wisdom to figure out the vast puzzle such is life here on earth, and then a muse to help me put it down on paper (and on disc) so there’s a record of it in song.

when the final seconds of this year are upon us, lift your glass, as will i, and toast all of those who have gone before us, and all of those that are with us now.

and when you wake up in 2005, look on the floor and see the castaway clothes of 2004 and say to yourself, "that was a good time."

happy new year!


december 20, 2004:

as the holiday approaches, i can find myself slipping inch by millimeter closer to the christmas spirit. even here in southern california where the daytime temp is in the eighties. it cools off nicely to the high fifties in the evenings and i find i cut short the endless stream of cold beer and find myself drinking hot cocoa.

by the way, don't accept that stuff you mix with water, that hot chocolate mix. don't. take the time (about five to ten minutes) and follow the instructions on the side of the hershey's cocoa box. you deserve the best.

there's still shopping to be done, and i'll soon be out there doing it. i'm lucky in as much as i could wait until after the weekend crowds return to their weekday chores before going out. can i pick anything up for you?? it send tingles down my spine when the "just right" gift is found.

my boys are getting excited, too. perhaps i'm living the holiday vicariously through my kids. i've made mistakes as a parent, but there's one i'd never forgive myself for, and that would be not making the holiday magical for them.

back in tennessee there was a number one party for nothing on but the radio, and i hated missing out on that. it's good to have some good news like that happen to add some cheer into the holidays. thanks to all who requested the song at their radio station and make the song what it was. a number one hit. look at what we can do together.

i hope the holidays are everything they can be for you. i hope you get what you want, but remember the spirit in which a gift is given is the gift itself, the other part is just stuff. eat a candycane, see the polar express movie in 3-d and feel like a kid again.

i wish you all a merry christmas!


december 17, 2004:

hey there, y'all.

hot on the heels of the lil' old christmas present i put on the website, i made a few small changes to www.jakekelly.net, and y'all should check it out.

i was able to get the sample for the new cd up and running. so now you can preview before you buy. AND speaking of buying...today is the last day to order the cd (or cds and t-shirts) with delivery before christmas. don't delay, it's the perfect gift.

there is also a new guestbook, so you can prove you've visited the site.

and also, under the story on the index or front page of the site, you'll see a listing for "news". here you'll find frequent messages and journal entries from moi.

apparently there was a problem for signing up for email, and that is fixed now.

so, my work here is finished. time for a white russian!

but, let me close by saying thanks for your continued support and i wish you and yours the finest for the holidays. may there be a guitar under your tree, i'm hoping there's one under mine!

yours with warmest regards,


p.s. i'm glad y'all liked the christmas song. for those of you who haven't heard it yet, click on the green bow when you go to www.jakekelly.net. cheers!

december 14, 2004:

dear fine folks of america and abroad,

i hope you're enjoying the holiday spirits as much as i am.

this is going to be short, 'cause it's kinda late and nothing says "christmas" like eggnog. by the way, if you're wondering which christmas "spirit" to put in eggnog, it's captain morgan's spiced rum. don't think i'm coming over to your house if you don't have the captain morgan's.

anyway, i got you somethin' for the holidays. a little gift of sorts. go to www.jakekelly.net and click on the bow to unwrap your present. it's rough, it's raw, it's all me. sorta like your kid bringing home that ceramic thing...what is that thing...that you love so much.

i hope you all have a holiday that's filled with the kind of magic that you had when you were a kid. when you raise your glass to toast, think of me and all the ones who went before us. i wish you the best.



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