Dear Potential Pledger,
I won’t make any assumptions that you have come to this Pledge Music page because you’re familiar with my music…although you might be familiar with it even if you think you aren’t. That’s because some of my songs have probably found their way into your music collection on CDs and LPs recorded by other artists. When pressed for names, I usually rattle off the ones that might ring a bell- Johnny Cash, Willie Nelson, Ray Charles, B. B. King, Kathy Mattea, Alison Krauss, Art Garfunkel, Tony Rice, among others. Those folks have probably sung my songs for more people than I’ve sung them for, but I’ve been singing them, too. I’m just a well-kept secret.
Over the years I’ve made some records that got airplay, including a top ten Billboard hit called “Givers and Takers” that you might be able to hum if you were listening to country radio in late 1987 when I was part of a trio with Thom Schuyler and Fred Knobloch called SKB. There’s another song called “This Old House” that we released and made a video of back then. It got a lot of play, too, and some people tell me it made an impact on their lives. Or maybe you saw an Academy Award winning film called TENDER MERCIES in which Robert Duvall played a down and out country songwriter? If you did, then you heard me singing two of my songs in the soundtrack. Did I have to imagine myself walking a mile in the character Mac Sledge’s shoes in order to write those tunes you might ask? Hell no, I owned those shoes and my feet were often wet.
The truth is I’ve spent the better part of four decades trying to keep things real in my songs, flirting with the spotlight and scuffling to meet the bills (contrary to popular mythology, most songwriters don’t even come close to getting rich). On a few lucky occasions I’ve gotten to share the stage with Bruce Springsteen, Harry Chapin, Stephen Stills, Judy Collins, Poco and other heroes of mine. If I seem familiar to you, maybe you saw me when I opened for one of them, or when I played the Philadelphia Folk Festival in 2008, or at the Kerrville Folk Festival 20 years before that, or on any number of stages in between. You might have even caught me nervously fidgeting on the Austin City Limits TV show a while back. There’s probably a good chance you heard me sing once, but forgot my name. It’s an easy name to forget, I don’t blame you.
Back in 2001 I decided to release my first solo CD on my own label, Stone Barn Records. Since then I’ve released three more CDs, all paid for out of my own pocket, and I’ve learned a good deal about the whole process. Now I’m trying to make my fifth CD, and I’m hoping to launch it in the spring of 2014. But this time I’ve decided to try something a little bit different.