Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Video: Ray Charles and Dolly Parton Indian Leg Wrestle!

Grateful. That’s what I am today. I try and remain grateful all the time. Sometimes it’s hard because life can throw more curve balls than Sandy Koufax. I got to watch my daughter’s play tonight (Willie Wonka Jr., she plays the role of Charlie!!) and was blown away. Yes, I am her father and I’ll always think she’s an amazing genius, but she IS! She obviously got more of her mother’s genes than mine! She’s beautiful inside and out just like her mother. 
 All day I’ve been watching the Conrad Murray trial on HLN. Propofol. AEG. Millions of dollars and at the end of the day, just a sad end to a tremendously talented, under-appreciated artist. My thoughts keep going to Michael Jackson’s children. My daughter is roughly the same age and she can see and hear CNN so I’m sure they do too. Hearing the graphic, gruesome details of your father’s passing is horrible. They’re in my prayers. 
 I’m grateful for my wife. My best friend, my most trusted confidant, my “Yoko of the South”! No one gets me more than she does. I’m grateful for my friends. They listen to me vent, worry, fret, revel, howl, brag, joke, cajole, and often just make a jackass out of myself. I’m grateful for my family. My mom, my brother, my in-laws, my adopted-laws, my MF brothers, my friends who don’t even realize we’re friends.
 I’m grateful for not so spiritual stuff too, of course. I’m grateful for my Jimi Hendrix collection. I’m grateful for Jimi Hendrix! I’m grateful for my guitar collection (humble by guitar player standards but still pretty goofy). I’m grateful for my truck that defies all mechanical logic and continues to operate perfectly. I am especially grateful for a certain guitar that allows me to “cheat” on her periodically and simply reminds me of her perfection every time I pick her up. 
 Sometimes it’s hard to be positive. Sometimes, it’s hard to be grateful. It’s easy to wallow in the mire of your own personal misery and feel like you invented woe and trouble. I’m ashamed to say that I am guilty of that sometimes. There’s a saying in the South; “I’ve got more than I can say grace over.” It usually means; “I have more responsibilities than I can deal with.” For some reason, I always hear it the other way; “I’m being blessed so much, I can’t thank for all of it!” I always think of that phrase when I get pissy. I can’t thank for everything, because I can’t THINK of everything. I’ve got more than I can say grace over. When I go to bed tonight, I’ll pray like every night. I’ll pray for my wife and daughter, my family and friends, my soul, the sick and hurting, and YOU. I can’t think of it all, so I just remember what I can. I’m grateful for you. I am GRATEFUL!

Monday, September 26, 2011

Rick Perry and Mitt Romney both name Scott Holt their favorite guitar player!

Driving home from the gym today, I took a route that I don’t usually drive on. It got me to thinking about the fact that when you live in a town (wether it’s all your life or just for a couple of years) you tend to “learn your way around”. You learn the fastest routes, the best routes for red lights or traffic and even the route that allows you to do all of your errands in order!
 As a traveling musician, there’s a similar thing that happens from being on the road. The more you travel on certain roads, the more you learn about the area. Whenever we get a new person in the bus with us, they comment on how we seem to know where every Starbucks on the interstate. We also are pretty good at remembering where we left the Red Robins, Chipotles, Five Guys and every bbq joint we’ve ever been too. 
 Lately, we’ve been running the same route through St. Louis, just about every week. It goes like this; Nashville to Paducah, KY on I-24. Then through Metropolis, IL., Mount Vernon, IL., East St. Louis and then St. Louis. From there we might go north or west. Funny how we always manage to hit St. Louis at lunch time and Zia’s is always “on the way”!
 Between Nashville and Paducah, there are only two Starbucks. Both in Paducah; one’s at Lourdes Hospital (always fun to stop at the hospital with a new guy and tell him we’re going in for a quick blood transfusion!) and one’s in the mall. Depends on what time we’re blowing through town and just how fast we’re rolling as to which one we stop at. Coming out of Nashville on I-24 there’s a big hill that you have to drive over and it has two big cell towers on the south side of the interstate. If you’re rolling before daybreak and especially if it’s foggy, the flashing lights on top of the cell towers look just like police blue lights. Always a great way to get the heart rate up for driving! Passing through Clarksville I always think of Jimi Hendrix and his time there with the 101’st Airborne and gigging there and later in Nashville with Billy Cox. Metropolis; I look for the water tank with Superman on it. There’s also a Exxon gas station on I-24 that sells BBQ’ed fried baloney sandwiches! I’m pretty sure there not that good for you. Mostly because they taste soooo good! Carbondale is the next place for Starbucks and they also have a Steak and Shake right across the street. Good place to re-fuel at the Flying J too. On I-64, especially coming home, I see the signs for Nashville, IL and it always feels like a cruel joke knowing that we’ve still got some miles to go. Crossing those rivers; the Tennessee, the Ohio and especially the Mississippi still excites me. I never get used to the magnitude of those big rivers. 
 Then of course there’s the soundtrack. When you’re driving, it’s important that you’ve got good music to listen to. Also, it’s important that you have the right music to listen to. Usually, we leave Nashville and it’s been a couple of days since we’ve seen each other. It’s usually about a half-hour to an hour of what’s been going on at home and general chit-chat before everyone settles into “long-drive” mode. Some sleep (I’ve been in too many wrecks for that ever really work for me), some read and everyone pops the little white ear plugs that Apple kindly gave us (for a nominal fee of course) and for the next 5-6 hours it’s dead silence. Somebody will get a phone call or maybe need to stop for something but for the most part an entire CD can play through before you stop. You need music that keeps you engaged and alert, not soothing stuff, no matter how much you enjoy it. Depending on my mood and what I’m into at the time anything can go either way. Lately “good” driving music has been; Jimi Hendrix, Hank Williams, Muddy Waters, Waylon Jennings, George Jones, Tammy Wynette, BB King, Dwight Yoakam and Steve Earle. “Not good” music is usually instrumental music. Bach can get you killed if you’re not careful! If the ‘drowseys’ start to set in, just wake somebody up and get them talking. Sometimes that’s as good as a cup of coffee for getting you back on point. As I read back through this ramble, I realize that the person writing it could very well be a truck driver or a traveling salesman. The only thing that makes what we do different is the gig at the end of the trip. Thank God for the gig!

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Scott Holt Road Diaries / Dispatches From The Sonic Front: Going to the Chapel and we're gonna get marrarrarr...

Scott Holt Road Diaries / Dispatches From The Sonic Front: Going to the Chapel and we're gonna get marrarrarr...: Twenty years ago, I knew everything. Smart! I was fresh out of school, fresh off the farm and playing guitar for a living and a legend. Wis...

Going to the Chapel and we're gonna get marrarrarried...

 Twenty years ago, I knew everything. Smart! I was fresh out of school, fresh off the farm and playing guitar for a living and a legend. Wise! I was rubbing elbows with Clapton and Santana, I was playing the same stage with the Rolling Stones and traveling the globe. Worldly! I had really, really great hair and no tattoos. Twenty years ago, in the midst of all my “smartness”, I did the smartest thing I’ve ever done. I walked into a church, in my hometown and in front of God and everybody, I promised Buffy “‘til death do us part”. 
 I was late. The wedding was supposed to start at 6:00 and I think I showed up at 5:50. Technically on time, but by all other standards...late. Cold feet? Not even cool feet! As a matter of fact, I had hot feet! I’ve been hot footing it after Buffy since I first saw her! One of my best friends and groomsmen, Joe Frye and I went shooting. .45 automatics at helpless cans and bottles (I should write a coffee table book; “Death Of A Budwieser Bottle”). Being born and raised in Tennessee, popping away in a corn field is a good way to keep nerves at bay. If I’d had any...nerves that is. I’ve been sure, completely sure, of only a few things in my life but marrying my wife was one of them. I have loved her since the first day I laid eyes on her, (that’s not an exaggeration). The second time I laid eyes on her I knew we would be married someday. These days, every time I lay eyes on her I know it was one of the smartest things I ever did. 
 Shooting with Joe wasn’t actually what made me late. Technically, I wasn’t late. Twenty years ago I thought that being ‘technically’ right was all that mattered. I went home, showered, wrote letters to my parents, put on my fancy tuxedo and rolled over to the church at 5:50, right on time! Twenty years ago being ‘technically’ on time was being “on time”. 
 I stood at the front of the church with the preacher and my best men; my dad and my brother. Candles were lit, family and friends were all seated, one of my favorite musicians was playing songs I had chosen on piano, (yes I had Hendrix, Clapton and Albert King played at my wedding). The doors opened and all the breath went out of me. (I don’t know everything) I had just seen her the day before. I had looked at her practically everyday since we’d met. I knew she was beautiful. I knew she was amazing. As she walked down the aisle, I realized that I had no idea how beautiful she was. I realized that I had never really seen her. I realized that I had never, ever had my breath truly taken away. (I don’t know anything). She had to help me light the unity candle because my hand was shaking so bad, cutting the cake and taking pictures went by in a blur, we left in my Jeep with the top down (the confetti was still in there 6 months later). I went into the church being the smartest guy in the world. I walked out knowing nothing. 
 Twenty years later, I’m used to her shaking her pretty little head at me when I do something that I think is smart. I’m used to hands on the hips and rolled eyes. I’m used to being the fourth smartest person in our house (I’m just behind Henry, our Labrador). I’ve learned that “technically” is never to be used as a defense...ever! I did one very smart thing, twenty years ago and if I never do another one, I’ll be just fine with that. Happy anniversary Mrs. Buffy Holt, you are the absolute love of my life...‘technically’ I wasn’t late...:)