October/November 2019

Time to put my 2¢ in on the latest “Burnsy” doc - OK, overall, there’s a ton of great stuff there, and there is no way to do anything like this and not have thousands of fans complain about who is left out. However, much like the Jazz (no, Satchmo didn’t invent everything) and even Baseball (there were other teams that weren’t from NYC) docs, I am again perplexed by what they left out. What I can’t figure out is; does he know what he’s leaving out and thinks putting it in will ruin his “artistry” - or is he simply ignorant of how important one artist can be in relation to the rest, instead approaching it purely academically with no real feel for the heart of the subject. 

I’m sure there’s more that should be on this list that I’m overlooking as well, but man - if they are truly into telling the whole story (and have eight episodes to do it), how the hell would it hurt this documentary to take another 10 or 15 minutes to, at least give a brief mention of these very important and influential artists instead of absolutely ignoring them? He/they, spend and inordinate amount of time on peripheral subjects at the expense of ignoring major players. I don’t get it and I never will. Yes, better to have someone doing the work and putting this out there than not, especially for the neophytes, but jeez, to me, it wouldn’t take much to shine even more light on the subject to make the story more complete. (I did take a few naps so perhaps I missed some mentions…) 

For example; I love Johnny Western, but I can understand why he wasn’t in there - but no Johnny Horton? 

Plenty of Bob Wills and rightfully so but no Hank Thompson who had a whole unique style and outsold Bob in their day? 

A whole lot of Buck Owens and Merle Haggard but no mention of Wynn Stewart? - who was developing the “Bakersfield Sound” before Buck and Merle got there. 

Buck but no Roy Clark? Good lord… 

A whole thing on Ray Charles country music but zero on Jerry Lee Lewis? 

Thankfully, there was a lot on Waylon Jennings but not one mention of Billy Joe Shaver? - Yes Waylon would’ve had a great career without BJS but he was so instrumental in Waylon’s early career and repertoire, not to mention an influential solo artist himself. Criminal (errr) he’s left out of “The Outlaw” movement. One could say the same about David Allen Coe but he didn’t do himself any favors with the x-rated and racist releases. 

They did a whole thing on the Johnny Cash TV show, which was cool - it was the episode where they got into the Country-Rock crossover stuff - yet they neglected to even mention the very cool congruent story of Neil Young being booked on Johnny’s show in Nashville, but he shined on the TV appearance because he got carried away during some recording sessions with the best Nashville cats, (which he dubbed, the Stray Gators - where most of us met Ben Keith for the first time) along with Linda Ronstadt and James Taylor, and that became most of the “Harvest” album - with those little tunes “Heart of Gold” and “Old Man” - I guess that wasn’t worth mentioning either. 

While I’m on the Country Rock/Americana thing - plenty of Gram Parsons and some Byrds, but not one mention of Rick Nelson, who was doing it before those guys, recording/performing with James Burton and Joe Maphis? 

Ditto for the Grateful Dead - I did see a brief mention of Jerry’s jug band days but hell, they were a huge part of that as well, bluegrass/jug band backgrounds, pedal steel in a rock band, covering Hank Williams, Johnny Cash and Merle Haggard, but none of this worth a lousy mention? 

To the point I’m attempting to make here - Nudie got more screen time for making clothes than these (and other) artists? 

Ray Price should’ve got more than a mention, Johnny Paycheck deserves at least a mention, Linda Ronstadt and band, another genesis moment of the style, that’s where the Eagles were born - (for the un-initiated) - another inexplicable snub. 

My question to Ken (& Co.); how would including these artists, at least a brief mention if not a whole segment, have hurt this this documentary in any way? - Ken? ….Hello?

September 2019

Lisa Daly shot a great still shoot for me and at some point it clicked in my head that I might be able to sequence a lot of those shots into a slide show video for my song "I Don't Care What You Say". Once I got to it, I think I was right!


August/September 2019

Enjoying the summer but not the news, I'm with Ringo - "Peace and Love" folks Peace and Love.  

It's been brought to my attention that my recent self-titled release is indeed now on Pandora for all you Pandoas: 

Venice Beach, CA

Venice Beach, CA

June/July 2019

I'm having the great opportunity of spending some extended time in LA working on a few projects and getting re-acquanted with many old friends and meeting new ones.  Real nice to return to where I called home for many years to re-discover things with a whole new POV.  Stay tuned.

Melody and me in Bishop, CA, on the West side of the mighty Sierras.

Melody and me in Bishop, CA, on the West side of the mighty Sierras.

May 2019

The great drummer and engineer, Shawn Norris, just put a playlist together of a bunch of songs he's played on by a great bunch of artists, so nice to be a part of that gang - thanks Shawn.  Shawn was in I See Hawks In LA, a top favorite band of mine over 10 years ago and was lucky enough to get him to drum, engineer and mix my recent album.  Check out who he plays with!


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