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Hot Springs...Fort Smith...and Ken Burns

Sep 16 | Posted by: Bill Whyte |

How can it possibly be September 16 already?  And how can the temps still be up in the 90’s?



I’m home after two really great shows in Arkansas with my Hit’s & Grins trio featuring Steve Dean and Victoria Venier. 


The first show was at the gorgeous Woodlands Auditorium in Hot Springs Village and then Friday night we returned for a second time to play in the beautiful home owned by Gary and Lana Taber Hunt in Fort Smith. 



At the Woodlands one of the nice surprises was that they put the film of “We Shot The Pictures"  up on a big screen as Steve Dean sang that song that he wrote with Viet Nam veteran Bruce Wesson who was a photographer.  Unreal moment to say the least.  Click the link to watch this video if you’ve not seen or heard this great song.  It was truly a great concert experience in that beautiful auditorium and I’m pretty sure we’ll be back there again next year from the way things sound.  Everything from load in to load out was just SO professionally handled.  Thank you Larry Wilson for your attention to detail and for having us!


That show was Thursday night and Steve Dean’s Father and his new bride came to the show with some friends and that was special.  Friday was Mr. Dean’s 91st birthday so we drove to Little Rock to have breakfast with him and his wife Darlene.  And Mr. Dean insisted buying breakfast on his own dang birthday!  What’s wrong with that picture?  Thank you Mr. Dean…and Happy Birthday my friend.



Then Friday night we played a house concert in Fort Smith for Gary and Lana Taber Hunt in Fort Smith.  Fort Smith, Arkansas is the home of “The Hanging Judge”. You can look it up.  Fortunately…there were no nooses hanging to the big wood rafters above our head in their gorgeous home as we played music to about 40 or so of their friends.  So intimate and so fun.  Gary and Lana heard our trio one night when they were being tourists in Nashville and booked a date last Spring.  Victoria got so sick she could not go…so the first time it was just Steve and me.  So it was really great to let their friends hear the entire trio in their home.


And…Gary & Lana introduced us to their first little bitty grandchild “Jagger” who was wearing a little onesie with our trio’s logo on the front.  BUT…instead of saying “Hits & Grins”…they had doctored this one to read “Shits & Grins”.  We’re still laughing!  Go to my Facebook picture if you’d like to see and have a laugh yourself.


Thank you Arkansas for such a good time.



I am worried about my mental health as on this road trip Victoria Venier got me to try the meatless “Impossible Whopper” for the first time.  AND I had a gluten free Rice Krispy treat.  I’m making a doctor’s appointment this week to see if I’m okay.


For the record?  The burger was not bad.  I lived to blog about it.



While I was on the road Lang Scott who’s a third of our “Evening In The Round” trio informed me we have added another date.  This one for South Pittsburgh, Tennessee which is nudged right up against Chattanooga.  That date will be Friday night February 8 at a gorgeous restored theater there.  Complete details coming soon on my calendar.



Well, the Ken Burns documentary started last night and I thought it was great.  I can only imagine what the ratings will be here in a town full of music folks.  But for anyone really wanting to gig into the history of Country Music and how it got to where it is today?  This would be essential viewing.  Last night we found out just how influential the Carter Family was alongside the “Singing Brakemen” Jimmy Rodgers.  Although I think I know quite a bit about our historical roots…I’m learning new things too.  Can’t wait for Episode 2 tonight.



That Peloton bike that’s so popular?  It’s being sued for the tune of 300 million bucks.  Turns out the music they’re using?  Apparently they have not licensed for that…or not nearly enough. I hope they collect every dime of that. We live in an era of digital downloading and somehow folks have convinced themselves that music is free…even big companies like Peloton.  If they’re using one of my songs without permission?  Can I get a bike for free?



Halloween ornaments are out…like in decorate your Christmas tree for Halloween.  Uh-no.  Wonder if you even have to decorate a tree for Arbor Day? 



With that Saudi oil refinery getting bombed?  Look for the price at the pump to shoot up.  Geez.  I have a Prius sitting out in my driveway that’s rarely driven anymore.  But it may get a dusting off depending on how high the price at the pump goes. 



“Man Being Fired Brings Emotional Support Clown To Meeting”.  Boss, (I’m guessing) turn in your keys, your computer and tell your clown to stop honking that dang horn”. 



The start of a very busy week.  I’m writing today and tomorrow and then Wednesday and Thursday my friend Brent Burns from Gulf Shores will be back in town to finish recording his new album.  And then early Friday morning I’ll be back on the road to Little Rock with Freedom Sings USA…the organization that writes songs with Veterans.  An honor to do so for sure and I’m looking forward to that experience again.


Have a great Monday!

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