Ok- so I'm going to warn this is gonna be a long message, but I figure a lot of us are sitting around with a lot of extra time on our hands while everything in our world is rapidly changing and unraveling in ways that most of us never could have imagined even within the last few weeks.
Let's start with some positives. We're all taking some reflection time to see what is truly most important in our lives. I have been having some valuable serious and fun time with my children and my wife as we navigate the uncertainty in our world. I'm taking time to explore and practice music that I've been wanting to learn and experience. Also, the spirit of collaboration and sharing is soaring to some all-time highs. I've been making little videos and posting them on my normally neglected youtube channel. Please subscribe and check them out. Leave some comments and suggestions and hopefully enjoy and share with your friends! Music has a great way of making us feel better!
Now, the obvious negatives. The touring schedule for the AMB has been decimated for the next 2 months, and that could be extended. (We have to prepare for the worst and hope for the best.) As most of you know, this is how I make my living as well as most of the guys that perform in our band. Like many other people in the service and sales industries, musicians everywhere are completely out of work and have no idea when they might be able to start getting income again. This is not a guilt trip or begging. Just letting you know what the situation is for myself and millions of others. When we get out of this international health crisis, large segments of our population will be struggling in ways that far exceeded anything that could've been planned for. I ask that we all have patience and compassion for our fellow citizens in our communities, regions, country and throughout the world. There is not a part of this world that isn't affected by this.
If you enjoy my music, I hope you will consider purchasing some of our merchandise. We have some newly available classic recordings by my father now in our store that are not available on any of the streaming or download sites. We have a myriad of shirts, pins, music and other memorabilia that we hope can add some happiness to your life.
Other good news! We will be streaming a live, acoustic performance from my living room next Friday, March 27 at 7 pm Eastern time. As of right now, I will be performing with Tom Haller, our former bandmate Joe Tierney and possibly Paddy King as we all live in close proximity to each other and have been staying as quarantined as possible. We'll be playing requests and accepting donations for the performance via our store's "Support the Band" option or directly on PayPal.
Next good news! I'm in the studio with Tom constantly working on new music. Some of this is for projects that have been in progress for a while. Some are new creations and others are songs we've been wanting to work on over the years. My next idea, Iknow that many of our fans are creative in a myriad of ways. We want to help that creativity if there is a song you'd like us to write and record for you, email or Facebook message me with your ideas for commissioning us. You can determine the type of song, instrumental or vocal (or provide your original music or original lyrics that I'll set to music), what instruments to feature, accompaniment style or even just a title and I'll get to work on a quote for the amount of time it will take for me and the AMB guys or other remote collaborators to produce the track. If you desire a video and/ or written music these are all possible and could help employ the guys and me to feed our families. I'm open to your ideas and hope we can create some memorable music for our fans.
One more!! I'm home. It's been a while since I've been doing regular teaching, but I'm available to do teaching through FB messenger and/or facetime. Email or Facebook message me if you think you'd like me to help with your personal music-making. I can give lessons on Piano accordion, Diatonic Button accordion, Trumpet, Music Theory, history and analysis of polka and jazz music styles. Try me, we can figure something out to enrich our lives.
Lastly, but definitely not any least important, I am so thankful for the support and love of my wife Paula. She is continuing to hold down the fort with me and the kids when they are here. She is amazingly talented and loving. She continues to be working with kids with severe autism through this crisis providing them and their families with much-needed assistance. During this time, we can't forget that there are also large portions of our population (either through afflictions, or lack of age/ experience) that can't understand anything that is going on and their lives, as well as needs, continue. We can all take the lead of our dog, Banjo he's oblivious and loving. (okay, don't take his lead on never participating in social distancing!) Just try to be as normal as possible and have love in our homes.
Much love and please choose happiness,