My latest album is called “A New Day,” and most of you know why…
And today is a new day, the first day of a brand new year. I wanted to take some time today, to review last year, and share the things I look forward to this year. In 2016, I did some exciting things, and even marked off one of the things on my bucket list.
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– With my Blue South Band, we helped Gary Anton celebrate his birthday, along with mine, at Bradfordville Blues Club. If you haven’t been there yet, and you’re a true blues lover, you absolutely have to check it out. It’s one of the coolest venues I’ve EVER been in, and once you get a taste of the vibe there, you’ll want to keep going back.
– I spent some time in Nashville, which I hadn’t done in a while, had several co-writing sessions, and even performed in a writers round at the Commodore Club, hosted by Debi Champion. It was great to see and hear old friends, JC Ward, and Diane Gentes! It brought back a lot of memories from the old Bogie’s and Broken Spoke days.
– I performed at more house concerts, and I just have to say that I REALLY enjoy doing that kind of a show. It’s an intimate listening room environment, and I can practically reach out and touch my audience from the stage. I love the feeling of being so close to the fans, and they seem to enjoy the up-close-and-personal concerts.
– I did another singer/songwriter night with my longtime friend, Becky Hobbs, and Lucy Billings, at the Renaissance Arts Center Theatre in Kingsport. There’s something so comfortable about sharing the stage with friends and hearing them sing their own songs. I had the best seat in the house!
– And my friend, Michael Buffalo Smith invited me to do another writers round with Sonny Moorman and Russell Gulley, for a benefit for The Big House Museum. That was a fun afternoon, too, and it was for a good cause!
– One of the most exciting writers shows that I did was in my own hometown of Dublin, Georgia! I was part of the launching of a new songwriters series for ExploreGeorgia.org, celebrating “The Year of Georgia Music.” Levi Lowrey and Greg Hester joined me at the Historic Carnegie Library, and we sang our original songs for my hometown fans. Thanks to Lisa Love and Jody Jackson for putting that show together, and inviting me to be a part of it!
– I also did some shows up in Ohio, Indiana, Alabama, Pennsylvania, Florida, and Mississippi. From a concert in an apple orchard, to clubs, to house concerts, to a membership kickoff event for Marcia Adams and her new Indy Blues Society, to a chapel concert series, to a theater, a museum, and a yacht club, to festivals, to private parties, to a coffee house, I had a great year! I love performing for old and new fans alike, and I’m excited about some things we’re working on for this year. We’ve got some different things on the horizon, and I can’t wait to see how they turn out.
– And last year I did something I haven’t done in 20 years or more – I took a vacation, and went to Wyoming to take pictures!! I hope to knock a few more things off my bucket list this year. Stay tuned!
– Last year set a record for my photography sales! And I won more ribbons, too! I’m so thrilled that y’all like my pictures, and I’ve added some new ones to my photography page. Take a look and see what you think. And if you don’t see what you want there, that doesn’t mean that I’m sold out. I just like to change them up every so often. http://www.EGKightPhotography.com
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Coming up this year, I want you all to be watching out for the movie, “Collar,” too. Five of my songs are in it! I’ve seen a sneak preview of it, and it’s a well-written movie, and you’ll recognize some of the actors – Tom Sizemore, Rebecca DeMornay, Richard Roundtree, and David Patrick Wilson. When it comes out in theaters, be sure to go see it, and let me know what you think! Here’s a link to a brief video snippet of my songs in the movie.
As you can see, it was an incredibly busy year. This year I’ll be at home for a bit, working on a few secret projects. I’ll let you know when they’re almost ready to announce.
And I’ve booked some very cool gigs already, including the Edmonton Blues Festival. I’m excited about some things I’ll be doing, and we’re entertaining other offers, too. Keep an eye on my tour dates page for all the latest.
I’ll be at the IBC in Memphis next month! Who else is going?!? I hope to see you there!
And stay tuned for news on baby goats. I have six pregnant mamas, and expect to have babies any day now! Brownie’s about to pop!
Have I been busy lately! I’ve been traveling around the country, having a great time doing what I love – writing and playing music!
My band and I were in Montgomery, Alabama on Sunday at the Capitol Oyster Bar. It’s been quite a while since we were there and we enjoyed getting to see our friends and fans in the area. And Memphis Billy was along for the ride.
(Photo by Jimmy Jacobs)
A few months ago I performed with an old friend Becky Hobbs and a new friend, Lucy Billings, at the Renaissance Theatre in Kingsport, Tennessee. We played an “in the round” songwriters night. It’s always inspiring to hear other writers songs. An “in the round” concert is when artists take turns performing their songs. I’ve always enjoyed this type of concert and I think it’s interesting for the audience to find out the thought process behind the songs. It lets them know where your ideas come from, and how a song develops.
(LtoR: Lucy Billings, me, Becky Hobbs)
And at the end of July, I helped launch the Explore Georgia Songwriter Series at the Carnegie Library in my hometown of Dublin, Georgia! This was the first in a series of events, and I was honored to be part of the first one. Joining me was Levi Lowrey and Greg Hester. These two guys are successful writers, and I really enjoyed hearing their music, and getting to know them a little bit. Levi ended up jammin’ with me on the fiddle and we had a ball! I hope we can all work together again!
(LtoR: Greg Hester, me, Levi Lowrey)
The night before that I was in Sheffield, Alabama at George’s, a beautiful venue with great sound. Thanks to Debbie Dixon and all those who came out to get their fill of the blues!
And while we’re talking about songwriters, I spend some time in Nashville again, writing with Johnny Neel and Doug Jones, and we came up with some keepers! Johnny and I, and Joanna Cotten wrote a song that’s on Shaun Murphy‘s new album. I was honored to have another song on her album, too. I hope by now you’ve heard her CD. It’s a real true blues release and Shaun really belts it out. Check it out when you can!
Recenty I also performed in another songwriters round at the Allman Brother’s Big House in Macon, Georgia with Sonny Moorman and Russell Gulley. I’d heard about them for a long time, and really enjoyed being with them. Thanks to Michael “Buffalo” Smith for letting me be a part of it.
(LtoR: Toney Gulley, Sonny Moorman, and me. Photo by Rick Cash.)
In mid-July I did a mini-tour in Ohio and Indiana. I performed again at one of my fave places, the Hey Hey Club in Columbus, then I did a house concert in Westerville, Ohio at the Hoover House Concert series. It was outdoors, on a lovely night, and Nancy and Roy were precious hosts. It was a magical night!
The next night I helped kick off the new Indy Blues Society at an event at Wolfie’s in Noblesville, Indiana. It’s a good thing to see folks have such a passion for this great music and who are willing to start a society to help keep the blues going. Marcia and Mark Adams are dedicated to growing this blues society, and I know they will. So many good things can come from being associated with the Blues Foundation. I’m just proud to be a part of it.
I’m getting ready to head up to Ohio for the Cincy Blues Festival, and I’m really looking forward to seeing a lot of friends up there. Lots of my friends are performing on the same stage! After my set, Gaye Adegbalola will do a solo set, then Andra Faye and Scott Ballentine do a set. Then Gaye will join Andra for a “Saffire Reunion” with Cheryl Renee sitting in. This will be their first reunion since Saffire – the Uppity Blues Women retired. And even though Ann Rabson won’t be there physically, I know she’ll be there in spirit. I love performing, and I love sitting back watching my friends perform, too. I can’t wait!
After the festival, I’ll be flying to Wyoming to have a whole week of learning more about my camera, taking photos, taking in the fresh air, and just being blessed by the beautiful surroundings. This trip has been on my “bucket list” for a long time. Hopefully I’ll come back with some new exciting photos.
In the next couple of months I’ll be in Chattanooga, Pennsylvania, Georgia, Florida, Mississippi, and Nashville. When I’m home in between shows, I’m working on a new project that I hope will be ready in the next few months. I’ll let you know when it’s ready to show everybody.
Keep an eye on my schedule and I’ll see you somewhere along the way! Until then, keep a song in your heart!