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Home from Gatlinburg.



I had a full and very fun weekend in Gatlinburg this weekend.  The air was crisp just outside my balcony window at the old Gatlinburg Inn staring out at the Smoky Mountains.





I rode I-40 east with my talented friend Brady Seals giving us a chance to catch up.  Brady is truly one of those talented dudes who can do it all.  He was with Little Texas of course...and then with this great group HOT APPLE PIE  that he formed who were just so dang good...and then had a long solo career. 


But what's ahead I found out is really interesting for my friend.  He and Dash Croft's daughter have gotten together for form "Seals And Crofts 2". How cool is that?  "Summer breeze...make me feel fine"...which Brady sang Saturday night during our show.  And on top of that he will soon become Tom Petty in an all star tribute band that will play some dates here in town for sure...and maybe some road dates.  So...we've vowed to start writing again....in hopes of writing something that might fit Seals and Crofts 2.



So we arrive Friday afternoon and join up with my "Hits & Grins" trio that includes Steve Dean and Victoria Venier and we are separated to write with 6 or 7 other folks.  Brady and Victoria took one group, Steve and I took a second group.  We each wrote a song with our groups Friday evening and then a second one Saturday morning after breakfast.  What a great group of folks too...and I made lots of new friends during the experience.


One memorable moment stands out in my mind as we were writing.  I was trying to insert a lyric about how this woman was kicking this guy out and telling him he'd be doing his own cooking and better get himself a "George Foreman".  A young 20 something girl googled and then ask..."why would we want a boxer in this song"?  She had no clue about the George Foreman grill existing.  Made us all laugh...including her...but we did change the line to "George Foreman Grill" to make sure everyone understood that line. 



We gathered at the Crystelle Creek Restaurant where the four of us had dinner and then performed for a couple of hours.  Way too much fun.  And we played all four of the songs we wrote with our groups for the first time...and almost all of the group participants and some family members were there for the experience.  And getting to hear Brady sing "God Bless Texas" and "My Love" and some of his other big hits was just a big ole bonus to go with our "Hits & Grins" trio.


My thanks o PJ who owns Crystelle Creek and is in this picture as well as Cyndy Montgomery Reeves of the Smoky Mt. Songwriters Festival for making this happen. And to young Alannah Moore for opening our show. So much fun!





I got home in time to run my daughter Heather to the airport.  She's now sitting in Miami waiting to hear if she'll be called to jump on a plane and fly somewhere in the world for American.  She's on standby so she never knows.


And then my wife settled back in and did watch a fair amount of the Academy Awards.  I did not see but one nominated film...but did see the Tonya Harding movie so I was glad to see Allison Janney win for best actress portraying Tonya's mother.  Even though I never saw the other nominees...I can't imagine a better one than the one Allison turned in in ITonya.  If you missed it..."Shape Of Water" was "Best Picture", Gary Oldman won for his portrayal of Winston Churchhill in "Darkest Hour" (on my list to see).



At the Awards show they have free swag for the stars...like they need it.  You stroll in a tent and take the item you want.  Trips, jewelry, spa treatments you name it.  I actually got do that once...and can't remember what I took off the table that day at some awards show I was covering back in the day.  But I remember my Cincinnati radio partner Amanda Orlando took home a Chinese instrument called an erhu.  I'm guessing she's annoying her family with that whiny sound still today. 


Believe it or not...the hot swag item at the Academy Awards Show this year was some kind of sweatshirt.  True.



How about the new Mary Poppins movie that the Oscars premiered last night starring Emily Blunt as Mary?  I can't imagine a sequel to what Julie Andrews and Dick Van Dyke did...but I'm intrigued after seeing the trailer.  How bout you?



Well...you can tell we are on the cusp of Spring because of all the lady bugs showing up in the house.  Lot of em'.  We're sweeping and picking them up as they come out of their hiding places for "warmth" before they move towards the woods to eat whatever lady bugs eat.  Weird.



In Sweden...they've just opened a Klingon Welcome Center.  Yes...like in Star Trek "Klingons".  I'm not sure which country will open the "Tribbles" welcoming center...but surely there will be one.







A Mom in NYC buys a gun.  When asked why she replied, "I wanted to be a good mom, so I got a gun".  So let the T-shirts start printing, "I'm A Good Mom And I Got A Gun".



Get this.  Experts predict that voice shopping sales will top 40 BILLION by 2022.  "Alexa...order dinner".  "Alexa...purchase a Toyota Camry".  We may never ever have to leave our couches again.  "Alexa...order new batteries for my remote control".



"A Python Tries To Eat A Deer And Has To Spit It Out".  A dang snake...trying to swallow a deer!  Remind me to not get near the Everglades in Florida.



Back to writing.  This morning it's my Missouri pal Wil Nance and Lauren Mascitti who's gathering songs for her album that her talented boyfriend-artist-musician Shawn Camp is producing.  So...here's hoping we can add to that pile of songs.


Have a great Monday!


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