The patter of tapping fingers

I can look back just a few years ago to when I had little exposure to the thoughts exposed on the internet. I saw it mainly as a vehicle for research as I sought sources for various topics I was writing about.

Then seven year ago, I realized that as a musical artist and actor, I had to begin the process of making a presence on the web or others would totally define who and what I was as a performer. Another side of that was engaging in social media. Connecting with others, seeing what was important to them in their lives through their posts and interactions and telling others what was important to me. It was like being Jimmy Stewart in the film “Rear Window.”

I could peer into other people’s lives but not through a window looking out into other people’s apartment windows but through the window we all now allow into our lives – a screen connected to the internet. The only difference was what is seen is what people want others to see. Unlike Stewart’s character in the film who was seeing people going through their lives without editing except for what happened outside of view.

As I have watched interaction over social media in recent months, I have seen that people often say things without concern for others. They are sometimes cruel, feeling free to express opinions that might at one time would have been shared with a circle of five or six, that now reach thousands.

Why does this matter? Well let’s think, if someone said something you might consider to be mean spirited or cruel about you or one of your loved ones and thousands of people had the ability to read it, does that matter?

Would it matter if what they said was the truth or an untruth? Would it matter if the words they typed just shared their opinion of you, but to your knowledge, they do not know you, never met you, but based on something they read, something someone else said, they reached a negative conclusion about you and shared it without consideration to its impact upon you?

It used to be public bullying and hate-filled gossip was limited within the reach of our small circle of friends, the school we attended, the business in which we worked, the town that we lived. If something was too much to take, often the choice was leave that group and move on to another group. Beyond that, national meanness or ridicule was left to celebrities, politicians and public figures. Pre-computer tabloids stuffed the ridiculous between their pages and the masses lapped it up like the final drops of spiked punch in the bowl.

Today, no one is immune to a social media attack. Sometimes, we get ourselves into these opportunities but what I find so distasteful, are those who choose to state an uninformed opinion on a subject and then feel emboldened to attack someone else as part of their thoughts who was not even engaged in their social media discussion. Then others pile upon their assertion creating a cascade of a false narrative that then causes harm or hurt to someone else.

The ability to sit and malign others has become a pastime for many. In some cases, it is done in anonymity. The impact of this seen in deaths resulting as a response to online bullying, and even physical actions against others spurred by things said within social media.

If I was not a public person, I would choose not to be engaged in social media. Now that would not stop others from possibly typing something about me, but at least it would not be something I could read without some effort.

We often say we stuck our foot in our mouth about taking the wrong path in something said. I don’t know what could be a proper analogy in the social media age but the tapping of letters into a keyboard can now move public policy, drive people to end their lives and even topple a government. It would seem to me that greater care should be given when letting one fingers do the walking across other’s lives! Next time you are led to tweet or share on Facebook or some other medium, think first then type. Do you really know anything about what you are considering to share? If not, maybe you should let others think you are smart by not typing anything rather than letting your fingers show your real hand.

Bluegrass artist Larry Cordle’s new CD “Give Me Jesus Now”

Larry Cordle, a Kentucky Music Hall of Famer, is also a multi-award IBMA Award Winner, two-time Grammy nominee, and one of Nashville’s most revered Singer-Songwriters penning such hits as “Murder on Music Row” and “Highway 40 Blues.” His songs have been recorded by artists such as Ricky Skaggs, Alison Krauss, Rhonda Vincent, Garth Brooks, George Strait, Trisha Yearwood, Reba McEntire, Diamond Rio, Alan Jackson, Trace Adkins and many others.

He rounded up some of his closest friends to bring the album to life.  He is joined by Carl Jackson, Jerry Salley, Val Storey, Don Rigsby, Bradley Walker, Lethal Jackson Angie La Primm and Gail Mayes on vocals.

“I’ve been working on this new gospel album for about a year and a half,” he said. “I had to practically stop working on it while I was undergoing chemo for my leukemia, which by the grace of God is now in remission. I want to thank you all for the prayers sent up for me during and since my treatment.”

Cordle and Larry Shell wrote three songs on the album including one of the stand out tracks “The Old Thing’s Walkin’ About.”

Shell wrote on the liner notes, “The Lord, knowing that Larry is a songwriter, gave him the words and melodies to many of these songs. In fact, if you listen to this collection, you will literally hear Larry’s personal testimony of his strong and enduring faith.” 

“The Lonesome Road” includes lead vocals by Carl Jackson’s dad, Lethal Jackson and also “God Had A Hand In It,” written by Carl Jackson and Jerry Salley, featuring guest vocalists Carl Jackson, Jerry Salley, Bradley Walker and Chris Latham.

He tours and records with his band Lonesome Standard Time, performs with as a Trio with Carl Jackson and Jerry Salley, and performs every Monday night for New Monday at the Station Inn in Nashville with Val Storey, Carl Jackson and more friends.  In addition to his songwriting and role as a bandleader, Cordle is sometimes featured as a lead and/or background vocalist on some of Nashville’s most awarded and popular music. He’s provided harmony vocals for artists such as Garth Brooks, Blake Shelton, Bradley Walker, Billy Yates, Rebecca Lynn Howard and co-writing pal, Jerry Salley.

His lead and harmony singing is featured on Livin, Lovin, Losin: A Tribute to the Louvin Brothers, which won a GRAMMY for Best Country Album in 2003 and the 2004 IBMA Recorded Event of the Year Award.  He’s also featured on two tracks of Moody Bluegrass, alongside artists such as Tim O’Brien, Alison Krauss, John Cowan, Harley Allen and again featured as lead vocalist on Moody Bluegrass II.  

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Musicians Roy Clark and Bobby Osborne, true originals


Two of America’s top musicians Roy Clark and Bobby Osborne have new happenings in their careers.

I have been blessed to be inspired by and to know both of these American icons.

Country Music Hall of Fame member Roy Clark is being honored with his own exhibit at the American Banjo Museum in Oklahoma City. The exhibit, titled America’s Super Picker – Roy Clark, will run through the end of March 2018.
“The banjo is about as Americana as you can get,” Clark said. “It’s such an honor to have an exhibition highlighting my career in the American Banjo Museum.”
The exhibit will feature artifacts from the entirety of his musical career including photographs from his personal collection. Clark was also recently inducted into the American Banjo Museum Hall of Fame.

Clark is one of the top entertainers ever in country music, and he has the CMA and ACM awards to prove it. Despite all of the well-deserved accolades for the Country Music Hall of Fame member, Clark remains a household name after two decades of spreading the gospel of country music from Kornfield Kounty into the living rooms of America.

Clark co-hosted HEE HAW for more than two decades after it premiered on June 15, 1969. HEE HAW became one of the longest-running shows in syndication (1971–1992). In addition to his television triumphs, Clark has headlined some of the world’s most prestigious venues such as Carnegie Hall, Madison Square Garden, Grand Palace in Brussels and the Rossiya Theatre in Moscow.

A partial list of his many awards include the Academy of Country Music’s Entertainer of the Year, Academy of Country Music’s Comedy Act of the Year and a Grammy for “Alabama Jubilee.” Clark became a Grand Ole Opry member in 1987. He was also the first country music artist to guest host Johnny Carson’s “Tonight Show.” Clark and wife Barbara live in Oklahoma where he finds time to fish, fly his airplanes and ride motorcycles.
For more information, visit

One of the acts I often appeared on shows with was the Osborne Brothers whose hits such as “Rocky Top” became part of the American popular culture fabric.

Multiple Bluegrass Hall of Fame inductee Bobby Osborne has created a new classic with his release, ORIGINAL.

It features the pioneering high-lead vocalist in fine form, floating above inspired song choices and holding court over an all-star group of bluegrass pickers and singers including Sierra Hull, Del McCoury, Sam Bush, Vince Gill, Jim Lauderdale, Claire Lynch, Michael Cleveland, Stuart Duncan, Rob Ickes, Trey Hensley, Missy Raines, Josh Williams, Molly Tuttle, Todd Phillips, and more.

The project’s participants were hand-picked by producer banjo stylist Alison Brown of Compass Records.

Bobby which are available now at the Opry store everywhere else June 2.


New CD features bluegrass icon Ralph Stanley

From my earliest days in bluegrass music, the Stanley Brothers sound was an inspiration that touched my musical soul. I never imagined that one day I would stand on stage with Ralph Stanley, record with him or produce him. But life is amazing and often takes us where we never dreamed it could.

With the release of the film O Brother, Where Art Thou?, Ralph cemented his place as an American music legend. His iconic voice became the voice of the mountains, and the last fifteen years of his life and career proved to be a celebration of this, with Grammy awards, all-star collaborations, and induction into the Grand Ole Opry. In a unique piece of musical history, the legacy of Ralph Stanley can be witnessed for posterity’s sake with the release of Ralph Stanley: Live At The Bottom Line, available now at all physical and digital retailers. The release is distributed exclusively by BFD through RED distribution.

The live set, recorded at the legendary New York City nightspot on June 12, 2002, features many of Stanley’s signature songs, including “Man of Constant Sorrow,” “Pretty Polly,” and “O Death,” which opens the set. For such a prestigious performance, Stanley carried nothing but the best line-up of musicians with him, with Stuart Duncan (violin), Mike Compton (mandolin), James Shelton (guitar), Dennis Crouch (bass) all lending their award-winning talents to the night’s performance.

The evening marked the only time that Stanley played the venue, but the singer was one of many country/bluegrass to showcase their talents at the Big Apple hotspot, with others including Dolly Parton, Waylon Jennings, Doc Watson, and Emmylou Harris.

The album’s executive producers are Allan Pepper and Stanley Snadowsky, and Bob Frank. Pepper, who was co-founder of The Bottom Line with Snadowsky, remains mindful of the impact a performance there had on the musical world.

“You could get the New York Times, and Rolling Stone, and The Daily News, and The New York Post, all covering your gig,” he states. “And the record companies would get celebrities to come to the shows, so suddenly you see Andy Warhol coming to see Dolly Parton, and there’s a picture and a big story about that. There was a buzz factor that played heavily into building this scene nationally. An artist could be on a morning or an evening news show, and could even do a live radio broadcast. In that way, New York was pretty big for the country music scene. Plus at our place, you could sit, and it was comfortable and intimate, and that was very important for getting the fans and press to come out. It was all part of the star-making machinery.”

Ralph Stanley: Live At The Bottom Line is the first album released featuring the International Bluegrass Music Hall of Honor inductee since his passing in June 2016. I encourage you, if you have never included Ralph in your listening, to check out this good opportunity.