I hope you're all enjoying a wonderful Christmas season. It was such a hectic year that I didn't get a chance to check in with you guys nearly enough. I am making it one of my new year's resolutions to make sure that I take the time to check in an see how you are all doing while also improving my communication skills to let you know what I've been up to. I'm sure many great opportunities were missed due to my hectic schedule, therefore, I'd like to take the time to give shout-outs to some of the people and events that made 2017 a memorable year for me. I hope that given the nature of this past year which was, at times, tumultuous to say the least, that you and yours close to you were able to arrive at this point healthy and happy. We lost many greats this past year, making it now 2 years of consecutive heartache in the departure of my many musical heroes. Godspeed to Tom Petty, Chris Cornell, Fats Domino, Greg Allman, Chester Bennington, Malcolm Young, Walter Becker, Della Reese,Wayne Cochran, Mel Tillis, Charles Brantley, David Cassidy and many more. You will all be missed....
One of my career highlights as well as 2017 highlights came just recently in getting a chance to participate with a little group of musician friends called "Rock n Soul Breakfast Club". The idea is to meet a few times a year for breakfast and just chat about the current state of affairs both socially and in the music business or just about whatever and in addition see what things we can use our talents for to improve our local communities. The club was founded by the amazing Greg Billings, a great human being, musician, songwriter and organizer, who's spirit and enthusiasm can light up all of Tampa Bay. At a recent charity event at The Whistle Stop in Safety Harbor, we split into 7 groups of three (most of us which had never performed with each other before) and performed three songs per group. A song of choice, a song by an artist lost recently and a Christmas song. I was blessed and honored to be teamed up with the very talented Janelle Sadler and Robin Swenson. They were truly fantastic to work with and it was great fun. Janelle came to the table with a terrific version of 'Fly like an eagle' by Steve Miller. Lyrically, that choice was a perfect fit, matching not only the social tone of our charity, which was providing shoes for the local homeless or in-need and raising money for the Jennifer Nolletti Arts Foundation, but it also mirrored the current state of affairs in the world. I thought it was a great choice. Next, I backed up Janelle and Robin on a jazzy, swingin' version of 'Baby it's cold outside' which was an outstanding crowd-pleaser. Finally, for my contribution which kicked off the set, a Chris Cornell composed song called 'Say hello 2 Heaven' as originally perfromed by Chris with 'Temple of the Dog' TOTD's one and only self-titled album is recommended listening by the way if you've never heard it. All said, we managed to raise $1500 for the Jen Nolletti Foundation well as provided countless bins of new and gently used sneakers to the Refuge in Clearwater. It was good vibes all around and I just wanted to take a moment to recognize all that were involved in making that December night a special one. Here's to the 'Rock n Soul Breakfast Club' and all it's members.