Merry Christmas, Happy Hanukkah, and Happy New Year.
At a time like this, it is customary to reflect on the year past, to ponder the people and things that we are thankful for, and to think about the future and what it might hold-- to review successes, learn from mistakes, and to set goals for the New Year. This year is no different, at least not for me!
First of all, I'd like to say Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays to all. I am truly thankful to God for my family, my friends, the gift of music, and the opportunity to live in a great country like the United States of America. To some, "corny" sentiments perhaps, but true and very important to meditate on nonetheless. My family, my wife in particular, has never been anything but totally supportive, and for that, I will always be grateful. I have amazing friends and an incredible support system. I have the greatest band on earth to make music with, with the best, most dedicated business manager anyone could ask for (it helps that she bakes amazing cookies too). I am also grateful to my bandmate's spouses and families, for sharing their very talented husbands and fathers with me and all of you in the No-Star Nation! We also have the greatest fans, and we live in an incredibly underestimated city-- Buffalo, New York has a talent base like no other, and we are blessed to have many other friends in the music scene that are just as dedicated to making great music, and getting it out to the people, as we are.
God has blessed Bruce and I with a perfect location for The Sonic Vault, and while things have been a little slow as to live performances over the last year, the lull in public activity (gigs and concerts) has given us some time to build a fantastic recording studio and home-base, from which we plan to not only continue to hone our craft, but to help others in the local, regional, and national scene to find their musical voices and to present the best sounding productions to all of you in the listening public. And, I promise we will be a lot more visible on-stage in 2012!
After (ulp!) 30 years in the music business, I am still learning new things, and so are all of us (Your Mighty No-Stars, that is). This past year, after years of working under less-than-ideal conditions in other folks' rooms, we have built our own studio and have put together quite a few exemplary audio and video productions (local videos for solo artists and bands, jingle work for local businesses, voice-over work for our music on-hold clients, and a new demo and some more tunes for our upcoming sophomore album). B and I took another trip to Nashville to the Producer's and Engineer's Summit, and it never fails to energize us and give us a lot to think about in terms of pursuing our best options for the future. We also helped another artist make it onto the Roots Report Charts (our second charting album!); Yvonne Schmidt has only begun to make her mark on the international Blues scene, and we want to help others get their music "out there" as well. Along those lines, we helped some other independent artists promote their music not only locally, but elsewhere in the U.S. as well; efforts we plan to expand in the upcoming year. We helped a local Blues venue raise enough money to purchase an in-house P.A. system, and we a dear friend get some sense of a financial foundation after dealing with the fallout from a life-changing illness... We expanded our annual Christmas shows, bringing some exciting music to even more WNYers this year. And, we played a bunch of gigs, and we're going to play a bunch more!
I am blessed to be a part of a great musical community. I want to thank you all for being a part of that. We all are looking forward to an amazing 2012!
Please have a very Merry Christmas.
God Bless & Good Blues, and we'll see you "next year,"