Sunday, October 28, 2012

Photos and more photos


I wanted to share some pics and rather than do several Twitter posts or Facebook posts I thought I'd just post it as a blog entry... Hope you enjoy!

First, I want to mention our baby boy is now 19 years old! Here's a pic of him and his girlfriend during his birthday dinner...

and outside afterward with Vanessa too...

Friday night I was asked to sit in on lead at Halls with NashVegas (the band I used to play bass for).

Vanessa's caption for this pic on Facebook - "Playing lead tonight on one of the first guitars his dad bought him. Uncle John picked it out cause it was a "hot lead" guitar. :) "   Yes - this is the Gretsch that daddy bought me with the Alvarez to learn on. Since I took to acoustic first and foremost, this guitar didn't get much play. I used it with Heaven's Echos and used it in the studio, but never did a ton of lead work. It was fun playing off of Max on steel though - swapping licks and filling in. And of course supplying vocals. Always a good time. :-)

Saturday I was booked for the River Arts Festival in Memphis...

When we saw that Cumberland Collective were going to on the same stage, we decided to head down early! We saw these find people and musicians at Music City Roots back in June and were VERY excited to see them again! We got there early enough to meet up with Mike, Noah and others before they took the stage and won the crowd over (they had already won us over). If you EVER get the chance to see these fine cats, DO IT. You will not be disappointed, no matter what your genre of music. The energy that they use on stage is enough to get anyone excited about music. :-)

Here's a shot of them doing their thing...

They called me and a few others up on stage to help with their last number...

When you do go see them, tell them we send our love...

I then had the pleasure of sharing the stage with a new friend from the Memphis area - Bobby O'Neal. Here's a shot of us getting ready to swap out on a few songs - writers in the round style...

He finished with The Reckoning and had asked me to supply some "jamming lead." Those of you that know me know I never pass up an opportunity to play. :-) He posted it on YouTube this morning...

Just a few more quick pics... If you follow me on Twitter or Facebook you saw this one already...

Yamaha had a promotion a couple of months back where you got a free tuner and book for "test driving" a new A series guitar. I was actually impressed with one that I found at Guitar Center in Terra Houte, Indiana. Well I got the tuner and posted that pic and earlier this week I got the book. One page has a pic of basically my old Yamaha guitar I picked in Nashville - got it for a song! (pun intended)

That's it for now! Hope to see you down the road, on a dance floor or in a listening room somewhere soon!

Sunday, October 21, 2012

October 2012 Updates

Howdy! I know it's been a while since I've posted here, but I've been posting on Facebook and Twitter as things have happened. Well now I have so much to talk about that it's too much to try and say 140 characters at a time. :-)

First, in case you haven't heard, my writing is still continuing. I had the pleasure of co-writing a song with someone I met on the NSAI forums. It's my first "cheatin' song" and is posted on my YouTube channel at

I was asked to come play bass at Henderson last Saturday night. I only sang a few, but that's okay. I knew I was being hired to play bass and it was a good time. I do enjoy bass, but prefer guitar of course, but still get a kick out of people that think I'm only a bass player. There are people that have known I've been a musician for years and have never heard me play bass, but now there are people that have only seen me play at dances and think I'm just a bass player. Kinda funny. :-)

So anyway, I played that and was asked to play a couple of Thursday nights, but was not able to make it.

We still drop in at Halls from time to time to dance a few and see Max and Sue. We dropped in last week and Max took a few minutes after the dance to show me some things on the steel guitar. That's the instrument I'd like to tackle next, but they are NOT cheap... Going to keep my ears open though.

So anyway, it's normal while we're there for them to get me on stage to do a few songs. Sometimes I'll play the bass and sometimes I'll play the lead. The lead player has a nice Telecaster with three pickups (Nashville style) and it's fun to trade licks with Max. Well at the end of the night the band leader asked if I was booked next week. "No," I replied, so he asked me to come and sit in all night - on LEAD.

Last night I changed the strings on my Gretsch and took time to polish it up real good and dress the neck as well. Here's a couple of pics I took...

Kyle has offered the use of his amp before, so last night I took time to make some adjustments on three of the presets. It's a 50 watt Johnson with built in modeling and effects, so I'll be taking it and using it. As I said above, I prefer guitar, so I'm really looking forward to this. :-)

Had some other things happen... Yesterday we sung at Ripley at a benefit for the park. Vanessa and I sang some covers and I did some original songs as well. It was a fun afternoon - perfect weather (not hot at all, but not cold either) - and a retired teacher and her husband came out to see us perform! Thanks again for the fish dinner you two!

Then today... Ahh... As long time readers of my blogs know, I used to play in a gospel group known as New Heaven's Echos. I was with them for about 7-1/2 years. They continued together for a few years after I left them and then finally broke up into two other groups. One of the groups is still singing regularly and the other is, as far as I know, not really traveling, but still doing a few songs together.

Well yesterday we found out that the part that doesn't sing as much anymore are members at a church where the others were scheduled to sing for Homecoming. Vanessa and I thought it would be GREAT to go and see them! When we got there I was asked if I had my guitar, and of course the story goes that if I have my pants, I have my guitar, and I *DID* have pants on...

So the singing started with Living Truth, a group of guys that we've known for some time. Rusty Petty used to play piano with The Joylanders - Hal Rodgers has two sons and used to have a family group - Joe Gant has been singing for longer than I've known him - and Grady Fowler with whom I had the pleasure of meeting at last year's Quartet Convention.

Anyway, they started out, then Hershell's group, Blessed Assurance, took the stage. Hershell asked me to join them on guitar, and of course I did. Afterward some people from the church sang and Rusty and I played for Vanessa to sing God Will Make this Trial a Blessing. Seems that the unplanned theme of the day was miracles.

Then Pam, Cindy and Rachel sang a few songs, then they invited Hershell and Jean to the stage. This meant the four singing parts from New Heaven's Echos were on the same stage again for the first time in a LONG time! The pictures are a little blurry, but you'll get the idea...


Needless to say it was a special moment of which I am VERY grateful to have been a part. That was the signature song "Miracle in Me" being performed.

A great time for sure! Love you guys!

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Polishing a Guitar

There was a tweet from Takamine the other day where they had a follower ask a question. I was going to send a link to my blog post on the subject, but it's one of the ones from my old iWeb site that is no more, so I dug the info out of the archives and am reposting it here... Hope it helps someone...

The other thing I mentioned the other day was making my guitar look new again... I stumbled upon a video at from the Taylor Guitar shop that showed how to polish, clean, etc. your guitar. Basically, it’s one of the things you’d take it to a professional for. It wasn’t how to “setup” a guitar (string height, etc.), and that’s something that people still pay others to do, but this was an overhaul, so to speak.

Here’s the page where you’ll find the video - - Look down the page to Elixir. If you’re interested, and I assume you are if you’re reading this, watch the video. I bought some low tack blue masking tape, some boiled linseed oil, some 0000 steel wool and found the exact same Turtle Wax product that the guy mentions. I started with the Turtle Wax.

(EDIT: here's a direct link to the YouTube video

You may notice that the guitar he’s polishing is not in bad shape at all, so the gloss doesn’t show that much. My guitar has just had the occasional guitar polish added over the years, but nothing nearly to this degree. I took an old T-shirt and used it to add the Turtle Wax and then to buff it out and MAN you can really see the gloss and shine! It really made the body look new again, and even slicked up the back of the neck...

I forgot to mention that I took the strings off and saved them... After polishing the body, I took the 0000 steel wool and rubbed in (not scrubbed it) in a buffing pattern WITH the grain up and down the neck. I did not use it like a file to wear down anything in particular, just to rub the neck. I noticed that a lot of the black residue was pulling from the frets. I did NOT press down harder, but continued to rub up and down. The frets really cleaned up, best I could tell.

I forgot to mention that I put the tape over the sound hole like the tech shows. He mentions to do this to keep the steel shavings out of the body of the guitar. He was VERY correct... You can’t SEE the shavings on the video, but they were sure there! The only thing he had in the video that I didn’t buy was a soft bristle paint brush to help brush off the shavings. I didn’t think it was that big a deal, and I couldn’t find one soft enough, but before I do this again I’ll pick one up.

(EDIT: I *DID* pick one up, so this made it easier to brush and go on)

When I was done with the steel wool, I could see shavings all over the body of the guitar. I used my old T-shirt and brushed it off. Do NOT rub, or else you take a chance on scratching the finish. Once it was clean again, I took the boiled linseed oil and followed the application technique the guy described and demonstrated. I did NOT soak it, but buffed it into the neck like he showed. It seemed to really make the fingerboard feel new and normal again, and not try and cracking, like 21 year old wood will do. :-)

I also noticed on the ‘clean side’ of the paper towel that it was coming off BLACK from all of the dirt and grime over the years. I turned to another ‘clean side’ and continued to pick up some grime, but much less. Then a third ‘clean side’ came back clean, so I stopped. Now the frets shined like they were new again. :-)

Next came the application of new strings. I thought I had another set of RotoSound, but did not, so I used some Martin Marquis. I tuned up and played a few licks. MAN! It even sounded better - more crisp - better action with the neck. And I was able to do some faster picking... The Turtle Wax on the back of the neck coupled with the conditioned fingerboard and clean frets really made for easy play!

What did I do with the old strings? Remember - I saved them... I put them on a cheap guitar that Benny picked up at an auction. It’s a CHEAP guitar, but will hold a decent tune as long as you’re in the first five frets. These strings made a big difference over what came on it, so I decided to take it to work. Today it sits leaning against the wall near my desk. If something happens to it, nothing is lost, but as long as I have it it’s nice to be able to just pick up and strum, play something that’s on my mind or just grab it to play during a break to clear my head...

Oh yeah - I also took a socket and tightened the tuning pegs like he shows in the video. Most of them were slightly loose, but that got them snug. I also took a small screwdriver and made sure all the screws on the end of the peg handles were snug. I can’t tell that it  stays in tune better, because that guitar has always held a good tune, but it seems a little “tighter.”

There you go! Hope that helps someone!

Saturday, August 25, 2012

upcoming shows

Hey folks! Just a quick update to let you know what's coming up in the near future...

First - I'm still posting my schedule over on Reverb Nation at

and of course if you follow me on Twitter - @jimmylogan or if we're friends on Facebook - Jimmy Anderson then you'll see my mentions of shows up to the showtime, and sometimes pictures from the shows. :-)

Okay - I've been uploading more and more videos to my YouTube channel -

I've uploaded a few covers, but mostly I've been posting my original songs, including one I just wrote last night and uploaded this morning.

As for upcoming things, tomorrow morning I will be auditioning at Bluebird Cafe again. This will be my third time and I'm feeling VERY good about it! I feel closer to "the truth" the last time, and I'm even more confident now about both the song and my talent. Wish me luck! :-)

This Thursday night, the 30th, I'll be performing at Lupo's for a Lion's Club benefit. They will be getting a portion of the food sales and of course ALL of my tips for the night will be donated. I'll also donate a portion of my merch sales for the night.

The Dyer County Fair begins Labor Day, and I'll be performing for Senior Citizens Day on Thursday, September 6 at "The Back Porch Stage." I'm scheduled to play from 11 AM until noon. Senior Citizens get in free - others can visit the show with only a $5 admission at the gate.

I'll return to the Fair on Friday Night, September 7. I'm scheduled to have the stage from 6 PM till 9 PM - same one as above - The Back Porch Stage in Sorgum Valley. Gate admission is $8.

My next StageIt show is on September 13th at 7 PM. It's also a benefit and all proceeds will go to Playing for Change music foundation. The show link is

As of today I'm scheduled to return to Commodore Grill on September 18th, but stay tuned... I'm working with the promotor to have a longer show with me as a featured performer and will be sometime in November...

On October 6th, I'll be playing at the Friendship Street Festival. There will be a talent show before the full band comes on and I'll be performing in exhibition while the judges do their thing. I'm looking forward to returning to one of the places I first played out in public and bringing my own songs to the street.

Well that's it for now! Thanks for ALL your support!


Thursday, July 19, 2012

Fitting In

I played a gig at a little cafe last Friday night and really felt "on my game." I had several people come by just because I was going to be there, so that felt good too. It's a "play for tips" place and the tips weren't bad either. All in all, I thought it was a good night. :-) Until the call today...

The cafe owner cancelled the gig booked for later this month. Turns out my style was a little too "traditional." I kinda felt like Hank Williams, Jr. :-) The regular "entertainment" they have is more subdued and more like muzak than an authentic performance.

Now, does this get me down? Not at all! Earlier that week I played a set at Commodore Grille and had a GREAT response. The night after that gig I played a songwriter's night at Ripley. Again, GREAT response, plus some words of encouragement from someone who speaks few words, so when he does you better listen.

So - what did I learn from this? That I truly do have a "style" that is developing, and that this style will not be what everyone is looking for, but for those that do like it... Well, they REALLY like it. :-)

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Commodore Grille

If you follow me on Facebook or Twitter, you know I'm getting ready to head to Nashville for my first "official booking" as a songwriter... Yep - I'm headed to Holiday Inn West End to play in a writer's round tonight at 9:30. Two of my sisters and at least one person from work is going. I'm expecting to see at least one friend from high school there. Then of course my number one fan, without whom NONE of this would be possible - my soul mate - my lover - my wife - Vanessa. She will never truly know how much her support means to me.

I guess I should do some catch up on this blog... Why am I even here? Someone overnight made a comment on a previous post... and it really just reminded me that this is here. Since I've created the new web site I don't think about this one as much. That and I've been posting more and more on Facebook and Twitter, but there are some things you just need more than 140 characters to convey.

One more thing - take a look at this blog and say a prayer...

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Living the Dream

This post has been writing itself for several hours now... It's WAY more info than can fit in a Twitter or Facebook post, but it's something I think I need to say - both to myself and to you, gentle reader.

I'm living the dream. There - I've said it. No, I'm not living in Nashville, doing studio music, traveling the country or getting cuts left and right. But yes - I'm living the dream.

When I was a very young boy I thought I wanted to play guitar, but didn't follow through. When I got older I decided I did, in fact, want to. When I was 13/14 my dad encouraged me and brought home a CHEAP electric guitar from the auction. It was terrible, but it was something I could at least put my hands on. My first REAL guitar was one he bought me when he saw that I was serious about it and seemed to have a modicum of talent.

Then, when I'd been playing for a bit, I'd take my guitar with me lots of places and play every chance I got. I'd hear something and want to play along. I'd be playing something my uncle had talk me and I'd be learning to improvise. You name it, I was trying it.

Anyway, there was a specific day when I was playing "guitar boogie" and practicing double hits and slurred notes. He just shook his head and said, "son, I know people that would pay a million dollars to do what you're doing." I replied, "it's not that good, but I'm trying." He said, "you are already doing more than I ever could - I can hear it, but I WISH I could do it."

So, in that respect, I was living the dream way back then. I could grab a guitar, tune it, play some chords, play a melody that you could understand... Already that was more than a non-musical person could do, but I didn't appreciate it. Later I was introduced to TRUE bluegrass and loved it! I then found out that I could play by ear and hear the chord changes. My first performance out of the house was playing electric guitar for Cindy Young at Gadsden at the little Hee Haw show. She did Rosanne Cash's "Blue Moon with Heartache" and I did the "lead turnaround notes." It wasn't much, but it was magical! I didn't know it, but I was living the dream at the time...

Later, I got with a local bluegrass group and learned even more. I played backup in some performances and learned what it was like to stand in front of crowds of people. Then I broke off and did some talent shows (never won any, but was great experience!) before winding up with some buddies in a group we called The Bare Basics. I learned how much more fun it is to just sit and play with others and to bounce ideas and chords off each other. I was living the dream, I just didn't know it. How? How many other people out there were wishing they could do it... How many people heard us at the Cancer Society Hee Haw show or the Rotary Club luncheons or the Saturday in the Park trailer show and wish they could do it?

Later still I was called into the ministry as a musician for Jesus. I wound up with New Heaven's Echos and made a TON of wonderful friends that I still know today! I was playing every weekend. No, not with them, necessarily, but if 'we' didn't have a singing Vanessa and I were with the Barnetts or the Dills or the Jones Family or Gospel Edition... Then there was Camp Meeting or the Quartet Convention - even more chances for fellowship, camaraderie and performing. Living the dream - touching lives - being blessed more and more myself...

Then I was out of it for a long time. If you've read my blog, you know of the odd ball chances here and there to do a little, but nothing serious and nothing solid. Well I finally started going back to Jackson to do some bluegrass jamming at the Old Country Store and quickly made friends with a person I know call a buddy - James Wallace. He and I have picked off and on together for some time, but I digress... That led me to being more involved and being asked to play regularly on Friday nights. This led to me singing more and stretching myself. I'd still love to play the Opry some day, but how many people can say they get to climb up on stage EVERY week and have people come to hear them and to dance to their music? Living the dream...

Lately I've felt Jesus calling me to give back - to get back into His service more... We've never stopped loving our great friends (and family) The Barnetts but went for a long time with little to no contact. We see them at Friendship at a benefit and start to see them more and more and next thing I know we're climbing on the bus with them for almost every singing they've had the past couple of months. God is using me again in an ancillary role, and I'm proud for it! I'm living the dream...

Last night I went to an open mic in Jackson at Music Crossroads. This was not my first Open Mic - I've played the Bluebird Cafe and even did an official audition there. I've played at the Commodore in Nashville as well. This was very much like that... We would take the stage one by one (the stage, by the way, is reportedly the one that Carl Perkins would perform on in a club in Jackson and is reportedly where he FIRST performed Blue Suede Shoes in public) and most would do covers. The hostess, another guy and I did original material. It was a listening room atmosphere and I felt like I had good response from the crowd... Again, living the dream.

So as I drove back home and as I've thought on these facts today, I've decided that I many NEVER have a song cut... I may never work in a studio in Nashville... I may never play to thousands of people... I may never play the Ryman or the Opry... But I'm living the dream... I've written songs and had people enjoy them. I've even had people request them at the dance. I've gotten to sing in public with Vanessa. I've gotten to work in a studio. I've gotten to "travel" on a tour bus with four different groups at different times... All of these things are things that people EVERY day wish they could do - and I'm doing it. I really, REALLY don't want to take that for granted, because it's a joy and a thrill and a blessing to get to do what I do...

Thanks for reading!

Wednesday, January 4, 2012


If you follow me on Facebook or Twitter, you probably already know that I joined NSAI - Nashville Songwriters Association International -

When I double checked the requirements for the audition at Bluebird that I'm wanting to sign up for, I read that you must live within 100 miles of Nashville OR be an active member of NSAI. Since I'm not part of the former, I became part of the latter. :-)

I had a moment when I was signing up where I had to stop and question myself... It's $200 to join (I opted for the $50 today and $50 over the next three months) so it's not a whim. I had to stop and make a commitment to myself. Actually I already made a commitment to "go to the next level," I just had to stop and confirm with myself that I was serious about this. Since I am, I did. :-)

I also linked my YouTube video to my ReverbNation page. I had intentions of recording the two songs I wrote this past weekend and posting them on ReverbNation as well, but didn't get around to it. Maybe tomorrow. :-)

I also want to get an EPK (electronic press kit) going to share with the wineries and such that I want to do some solo acoustic stuff with. I figure I can record a line or two (or a chorus) of several appropriate songs and string that together as a demo of sorts. Any suggestions on appropriate songs?

Thanks for reading...

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

contest entered

Okay - I finished the song at lunch today at my favorite writing spot - a booth at Pizza Hut. :-)

As I said yesterday, I had the hook and I had a ton of notes. Today I looked back over them and kinda "saw something..." I really have no way of explaining it - it just happened.

Anyway, I finished the song and even had the tune. I grabbed my iPhone and mumbled the song into the voice recorder so I wouldn't lose the tune to it. :-) When I got home I worked on the key and the timing and such, and even tweaked the words a bit. I recorded it simply with PhotoBooth on a MacBook Air - nothing fancy. It's sitting on YouTube now waiting on Martin to add it officially to the site.

At that point, I'll be asking you to vote for my video. Thank you in advance. :-)

This post is more than just about that though... I also had two other things music related happen today... First, I noticed after I'd practiced the song and then recorded it that I even sound to myself after the fact that I was putting everything into it... I realized that I really DO "feel" the words. The song was inspired by the contest, but I didn't write a Martin advertisement at all... I wrote a song that I would want to hear. That's something that Don Schlitz told me last week at the Bluebird - "write what you want to hear."

Speaking of Bluebird Cafe - that's the other thing I wanted to mention. I kinda got goose bumps this morning when I got their email newsletter... They only have auditions a few times a year for their Sunday writer's night. They announced that they'll be taking registration on January 20 and then the audition will be on a Sunday in February. I'm going to go online FIRST THING after the window opens and try my best to get in line for an audition... I have about five songs that I would feel comfortable performing for others, and I plan to have several more by the time February gets here. :-)

I'll keep you posted... Thanks for reading!

Monday, January 2, 2012

another songwriting contest

I'm planning to ask you, gentle reader, for your help on this one... Seems Martin Guitar Company is giving away a very nice D-28 to the winner of a songwriting contest. I'll share a link below to the full rules, but the short story is that it must be an ORIGINAL song posted to YouTube and using the lyric "lifespan" somewhere inside. The top three videos per viewer vote will go into the finals.

First - I'd like to win, just because I'm always happy to win a $3,000 MSRP guitar. :-) I've never owned a Martin before...

Second - I see it as a challenge, and I've already started on my song. I have the 'hook' - I just have to finish it and get it posted.

Here's the link -

I'll post again when my video is live and you can vote on it. :-)

Also - just a quick note - I took my old Alvarez into the shop today... The guy in Dyersburg made me a good price for the repair, and he says he's done similar repairs, so I took it to him... Keeping my fingers crossed...

Yes, I was going to do it myself, and I'd still like to say that I did, but at this point I'd rather know it's done "correct" than to just say that I did it myself.

Good night all!

Sunday, January 1, 2012

Happy New Year !!!

I didn't write in my blog yesterday because I was doing a different type of writing... I awoke yesterday to a quiet house and decided to pull out some notes from a previous attempt at writing a song. I am so very glad that I now write down my ideas as they happen and I don't throw anything away. :-)

I pulled out a song that started from an exercise that Adam Levy mentioned in his blog post that I quoted before. This was the exercise where you take a picture and just write all you can about it. Well the picture was a pairing in a co-workers office. It was a barn with a stump in the foreground. This intrigued me, so I started making notes. I ended up taking a picture of it with my phone so I'd be able to refer back to it.

Anyway, I had some ideas, but my subconscious took it another direction. I sat down several weeks ago and tried to write the song, but I couldn't really "finish" it, you know? That was the night I stopped working on it and went back to my "Paradise Exercise" and finished that song about daddy.

So anyway, I "finish" the song yesterday, then go to my notes. The very first (hence oldest) note that had not been acted on turned into a fast write of a simple 3/4 time bluegrass tune. It's one of those that I don't see being a "hit" on the radio (wrong genre, wrong hook, etc.) but I can see it being played around a jam circle where different people take turns with the musical breaks. Very "classic bluegrass" in that sense. :-)

So that's why I didn't blog yesterday. This morning, though, I'd like to say Happy New Year to all my friends out there! I pray that this year is the VERY best one so far for you!!!

By the way, do you do resolutions? I don't technically do "new year's resolutions." I think that ANYTIME you decide to do something better with your life that it's okay to do it right then - you don't have to wait till January 1. But, I also know that some people need a trigger, and if the first day of the year is that trigger then good luck and more power to you. ;-)

So, that being said, I still intend to do more with my music this year - to move to the "next level," whatever that may be... Last night I successfully sat in with another group and played bass and sang a few songs. It was a "new years eve" gig so it was VERY late when it was over and very late when I got home. I do NOT want to do that every week... :-)

But anyway, it felt good to be able to sit in and play and not be lost. :-) It helped to reinforce my confidence and give me the push to keep doing more. Also - I'm planning to look into doing more "home town" gigs in an acoustic sense. We had a steak at Dusty Joe's yesterday and I asked them if they ever had live music. The waitress said they had had a band just the night before, so I left my card for her to give the owners...

That's all for now...