December 31 2020

Wake Up America

As I write this, there is less than 7 hours in this 2020.

Oh what a strange and wild year this has been. First, I learned of the corona in March of this year. Only weeks after my Wedding. We traveled into New Mexico because I wanted to be wed in Lincoln County. I originally asked her to marry me at the state line between Texas and New Mexico and since we have been together New Mexico has been our home away from home. Don’t get me wrong I’ll always call myself TEXAN, but I do love the New Mexico landscape. Sandy desert and sage and cactus and rock and in a matter of minutes I can view the most lush and beautiful evergreen and the majestic snow- capped peaks.

Besides the “rona” there has been crazy times even somewhat scary times. Our economy has been unstable. The politics of this country have been insane. 2020 was an election year. I voted too. Everybody has a point of view. All have picked sides. Ok I will say it. I voted Republican. I had my reasons. And the Democrats have their own. I truly don’t care who you voted for because it was your right and your freedom. I am not here to justify or debate my own reasons. The Republican party claims that the Democrats cheated. That things are not being fair. The Democrats are blaming the Republicans for everything that has gone wrong. The way the government has handled the virus, the economy. It doesn’t really matter. What is done is done. Right now we need a solution not more pollution. Until the left and the right can see through the same pair of glasses my fear is that the struggles will continue. I am proud of my country. I served this Nation. I am not proud of the way Americans are acting today. Things have got to get better. Things WILL get better. How can they not. If they don’t we are all gonna be screwed it will not matter anyway. We will probably all end up dead or worse. In a bloody battle to the end of time. Only the strong, only the chosen will survive. Does anyone remember Earl Pitts? “WAKE UP AMERICA!”

As I write this, I have faith. Faith in our nation. Faith that the virus will become controllable. Faith in the great state of TEXAS and New Mexico. Faith in the Republicans and the Democrats. Faith that one day we will all just get along again Most importantly I have faith that GOD has a plan.

Enough of my rant….

As I write this, I have gratitude for the life I am building. I am grateful for God, Country, and my Sobriety. As of May 19, 2021, I will have 12 years sober. This New Years Eve is my 11th New Years to be sober. I am grateful for the music and the ones who make it. I am grateful for the release and the escape that music has given me from these troubled times.  As I write this, I am grateful for the friends and my family. MY FAMILY- a loving, tolerant wife. Two beautiful daughters and a son. A mom and dad who are still active and alive. Wonderful in laws. Countless cousins, aunts, and uncles. As I write this, I want to thank each of you who have taken time to read and support this blog in these trying last few months.

As I write this, I want to wish each of you the happiest of New Years. I hope you all can be safe and healthy this New Year’s Eve. I hope each of you can be reminded of what you can be grateful for as well.

Wake Up America,

Pancho.

December 11 2020

Stuff In My Head

On the empty packaging of some sanitary napkins that he found in a New York hotel room bathroom, Willie Nelson wrote the song, Shotgun Willie.

Well, you can’t make a record if you ain’t got nothing to say

You can’t make a record if you ain’t got nothing to say

You can’t play music if you don’t know nothing to play

Shotgun Willie was released in June 1973. In spite of poor sales, the album received good reviews and gained Nelson major recognition with younger audiences. The recording was one of the first albums of outlaw country—a new subgenre of country music and an alternative to the conservative restrictions of the Nashville sound, the dominant style in the genre at the time.– Wikepedia

This week, I have felt this way about my blog. I guess some would call it writer’s block. I just have called it meh…

Well you can’t write a blog if you ain’t got nothing to say

You can’t publish to your website if you ain’t got nothing to say

You won’t get  followers if you don’t feel like blogging  every day

So today, I recall some old cowboy wisdom. When you fall off the horse, climb back on and ride again.

Shotgun Willie is a sentimental song to me. It is one of the few things that I recall from the night I took my last drink of alcohol. I had the record on the turntable playing loud. I had beaten myself stupid with the bottle one more time. One more time King alcohol had won. Thanks to God and the people in AA, I have been sober since May 19th of 2009.

Never give up. Shotgun Willie reminds me of my will to try and try again.

“When I started counting my blessings my whole life turned around”-

Willie Nelson

I wrote the other day about having an “off day.” Now it seems more like it has been an “off month.” There is the writer’s block, and the lack of Christmas Spirit.

A good friend and huge inspiration in my life used to say often, “Thank God for the capacity of pain and suffering.”

I am blessed by these words today. In this rough patch I have noticed a few things about myself. I have to go through the rainy season in order to enjoy the sunny weather. My life could be a lot worse than it is. I need to stop listening to the voices in my head and start being thankful each day that I still have life. Thank God I didn’t have to take a drink at it today.

I am not saying that if you drink you are wrong. I will defend your right to drink as much as I defend my own right to stay sober. I just know that a drink isn’t the answer for me today.

I am a writer and I write about my personal thoughts and experiences. Music helps me sort out the stuff in my head so I can understand the stuff in my head.

You can’t play music if you don’t know nothing to play

Pancho.

October 26 2020

Happy Anniversary Waylon and Jessi

On October 26th of 1969 Waylon Jennings and Jessi Colter were married in Phoenix, Arizona. The two instantly became the Outlaw movements “It” couple. The marriage lasted until Waylon’s death February 13, 2002.

Kris Kristofferson once described their marriage,

“A beautiful love affair.”

Kris Kristofferson

Waylon had been married three times prior to his wedding with Jessi. Waylon’s song, “This Time” had been inspired by his string of marriage and divorce.

Jessi Colter was born, Mirriam Johnson, May 25 1943 in Phoenix. Her professional name came from a story her father once told her about an associate of Jesse James, Jesse Colter.

Prior to her marriage to Waylon she had been married to guitarist Duane Eddy.

Eddy’s records were produced by Lee Hazlewood. In the late 1950’s and early 60’s Eddy was known for his “twang.” He had sold 12 million records by 1963.

After meeting Waylon, Jessi Colter pursued her career in country music. She was one of the few female artists in the genre of “outlaw country.” She released her first LP “A Country Star is Born,” In 1970

A Country Star is Born” was released on RCA. The album was produced by Waylon Jennings and Chet Atkins. The album was not successful in the country market and Jessi soon left RCA.

Jessi signed with Capitol Records and released “I’m Not Lisa” in January, 1975. This would become Colter’s first hit. The song charted Number one on the Billboard Country Chart and number four on the Billboard Pop Chart.

In 1976 Jessi would record again at RCA along with her husband Waylon, Willie Nelson, and Tompall Glaser, on a compilation album “Wanted! The Outlaws.” The album would be the first country music album to sell over a million copies.

In 1976 Jessi would also release two more albums at Capitol. “Jessi,” and “Diamond in the Rough.”

Shooter Jennings, the couples only child was born in 1979. Shooter has been an active musician since 1996 in the outlaw country and southern rock genre.  

In 1981 Colter and her husband would release a duet album “Leather and Lace.” The albums first single, “Storms Never Last” was written by Jessi Colter. The album was certified Gold in sales.

In the early 1980’s Waylon and Jessi nearly divorced due to Waylon’s substance abuse.

“Jessi went through hell,” Waylon told People Magazine.

I’d go out and sit by the pool in the dark and think about what it was going to do to me, to my people and to my family.

Waylon Jennings

With the help of Johnny Cash, Waylon, who once had a 1500 dollar a day cocaine habit sobered up completely in 1984.

Stevie Nicks, who wrote the title track of the album, heard that Jessi and Waylon might divorce. She also released “Leather and Lace” as a duet with Don Henley that year. It peaked at number 6 on the pop chart.

Colter has released several more albums since 1981 but her popularity has faded. To date, she has 11 studio albums and 3 compilation albums. Her latest albums are “Out of The Ashes,” and “The Psalms.”

as an Amazon Associate I may recieve a small commission for your purchase

Happy Anniversary Waylon and Jessi

Pancho.

September 26 2020

Falling and Flying

Growing up in a record store in Ft Worth, Texas owned by his jazz drumming father was just the beginning for a singer- songwriter and actor Stephen Bruton.

Stephen’s father, Sumter Bruton was a highly regarded jazz musician from New Jersey. He would often tell Stephen, “If you are going to listen to music, listen to the best music.”

In my own personal reflection, this statement by Bruton’s father is a reminder of what my own Dad is always telling me.

As long as you are dreaming, dream big

Jerry Wayne “Fathead” Watson

Bruton would spend his teen years recording tracks in a makeshift home studio with musician T- Bone Burnett. He and pals like Lubbock musician Delbert McClinton would pick bluegrass by day and then soak up those soul grinding blues rifts by night on the “other side of town”.

The local clubs in Ft Worth at that time were highlighting guys like Freddie King . King’s power house voice along with a distinct guitar style soon inspired many musicians.

Stephen would soon set his sails East to Woodstock. By chance , while on his way to a gig in Manhattan he’d run into old friend Kris Kristofferson. He was offered the guitar gig in the rising stars band , launching two decades of roadwork with Kris.

Stephen would also tour with Bonnie Raitt, Christine McVie, and others.

As a studio artist, He would record with Raitt, Delbert McClinton, the Wallflowers, Ray Wiley Hubbard and too many more to list.

Stephen Bruton was inducted into the Texas Heritage song writers Hall of Fame.

Through Bruton’s long association with Kris Kristofferson, he took up acting. Appearing in films “A star is born”, “Heaven’s Gate”, and “Miss Congeniality”. He appeared alongside Kris in the movie “Convoy”. Stephen would appear on TV in a mini series titled “Amerika” and on the series, “Matlock.”

Stephen Bruton co-wrote many of the songs from the soundtrack of the movie “Crazy Heart”. He consulted Jeff Bridges and was a guitar teacher to him on the set.

Sadly , Stephen Bruton lost his battle to cancer shortly after the movie was made. “Crazy Heart”, was dedicated to this Ft Worth artists life and influential music.

My little brother turned me onto the song “Fallin’ & Flyin’ ” , not long after I sobered up. I believe the song paints a perfect picture of the insanity my life had become because of my addictions.

It’s funny how fallin’ feels like flyin’
For a little while
Funny how fallin’ feels like flyin’
For a little while

Song by Colin Farrell and Jeff Brides
Songwriters:Gary Nicholson / Stephen Bruton