Saturday, December 30, 2017


THANKFUL FOR so many things in 2017....

EP released...
 .....lots of time with the kids and grandkids....smooth(ish) ramping into the 4th Lexington Music Awards....successful gigs like Lexi-Fest 3 and songwriting workshops and a helluva birthday session work and album releases and more on the way....backing (a few on TV & radio) stellar artists like Tabi Gervis and Marsha Lee and others....having the opportunity to book students & others for some amazing gigs via Skinny Devil Booking....reaching so many personal & professional goals....being far more healthy than is warranted by my past & present lifestyle (and still slamming brutal workouts)....being blessed with amazing guitar/music students & the progress of SDML Academy of Guitar....being surrounded by more incredible & interesting humans than I could possibly deserve....the continuing success of the Guitar Gods interview series & Skinny Devil Magazine....and sooo much more.
Me and my life-long friend Gregory Francis

I am astounded every single time I wake up and realize that I'm not dreaming - I really do get to make my living in this world with a guitar in my hand and ideas in my head. Damn... and THANK YOU!! All of you!
Soundcheck with Tabi

#StayFierce #SkinnyDevil #DogsLife #CloseToTheGround #HungerAndFear #LuckyMF #WatchOut2018 #GoBigOrGoHome #JoinMe

Lexi Awards interview

Awards afterparty!

Wednesday, October 25, 2017

Happy 53 to Me

On-stage at Lexi-Fest 2017


Greg/bass, Deb/vox, Alan/perc
It has been a crazy year (here's the list of posts at SD Universe)...and as I write this, I've just published Miss Liz's latest poem at Skinny Devil Magazine (following a long list of fabulous stories, essays, interviews, and more) and about to dash out to the gym, then teaching, and then tonight's performance backing Tabi Gervis on Red Barn Radio. You may remember Tabi from "The Voice" or from her appearance this past summer (with me backing her on guitar) on Woodsongs (video below).
Drew Curtis singing!

Its a coupla days after my birthday. We had the Sunday night jam the night before, which was fantastic. When it was over, I ended up at a karaoke bar with Angelee, Deb, Marsha, and Warren....home at 1am, asleep by 2am, and up at 5:15am to get the boys ready for school.

ODIS at home
Then hit the gym and did a massive workout and at the end went for my pull-up challenge. I was shooting for 35-40 pullups in one set and ended up stalling at 25, but all things considered, I wasn't surprised OR disappointed.

But I then knocked out 10 sets of 10 pull-ups and 10 not a bad way to wrap up a workout.

ODIS at gym
Took an ODIS photo at the gym and another when I got home. Probably in better shape than when I started these photos at 50. Here is 50 and 51 and 52 for anyone who cares to compare.

Then Bryan from Woodsongs called, so I got the pleasure of booking SDML student Shelby Callahan and SDML senior instructor Paulie Felice to appear later that evening on national TV via Woodsongs. And pushed a new story by the stunningly talented writer Lindsay Caudill at SD Magazine. Then taught at COC.

Not a bad day at all.

Saturday, October 21, 2017


Here we are nearing the end of the month....and admittedly, its been a while since I've checked in.

Lots has happened, from the Lexi-Fest Festival to a national TV appearance and more....with more on the way.

More details soon....from Lexi Music Awards to radio & TV to the slew of new material at Skinny Devil Magazine.

Talk soon, friends!

Thursday, July 20, 2017

Thursday, May 25, 2017


THIS WEEKEND I'll be playing the Blues Between the Bridges festival in Lexington, KY....then announcing more ukulele and songwriting workshops....then the week of JUNE 5 we begin a new session of guitar lessons on Monday at COC and Thursdays at Willis (in Lexington).

SDML Academy of Guitar lessons available in Lexington, Shebyville, Louisville, Chicago, and more locations soon!

Thursday, May 18, 2017

RIP Chris Cornell

2, maybe 3 hours ago. I never write this soon after. I took me a day to write about Michael Jackson. 2 weeks for Prince.

I first heard Soundgarden with their 2nd album, "Louder Than Love" (from the best drummer on Planet Earth, Mike Froedge) and when their 3rd album - "Badmotorfinger" - came out, I played the cassette tape until it broke. They were among the most unique & creative bands around, and were playing at the highest level. And the singer....the singer. Chris Cornell was a god. Straight from Olympia to the stage.

My sister, Vicki, turned me on to Temple of the Dog's song "Hunger Strike" when it was released and I was stunned into silence.

Fast forward to a decade or so, and Cornell joined forces with Tom, Brad, & Tim of Rage Against the Machine, and Audioslave was born.

His work with this band was, to my ears, equally unique, creative, and of the highest order.

Fast forward another decade, and I'm sitting (guitars in hand) with Chris Norris (the biggest Cornell fan I know), and he's telling me about Cornell's solo acoustic shows. And we're talking about Cornell and Steven Tyler and only a handful of others and how so few vocalists just keep getting better with age. How so many peak in their 20s and how Cornell just doesn't stop improving...with his playing, his voice, his fearless explorations in composition. He's like a machine...moving forward...moving up...moving on....

Fast forward to 5-18-2017 at roughly 6am...and my phone chimes...and I see a text from Paulie Felice. And I read it. And I make coffee and handle the morning routine because others rely on me to get things done. And then its 9:30am...and I'm sitting here numb, but not quite numb. And I can't quite bring myself to put on his music just yet.

But I will.....

Monday, May 1, 2017

MAY Gigs

THE SHELBYVILLE GIG was fantastic...songwriting workshop at 2pm followed by the evening gig at Harvest. Looking forward to returning before the end of the year!

Just a few quick items...

1) RECITALS: The next SDML guitar student recital is Sunday, MAY 21 at Doowop Shop in Lexington! We'll start at 1pm, so drop in early to make sure you have a seat, your guitar is tuned, etc.

2) ROCK BAND: We're securing location & date of the next ROCK BAND Recital, too. Details soon!

3) NEW SESSION: The new GROUP guitar session will start the week of JUNE 5 (Monday, June 5 at COC and Thursday, June 8 at Willis Music)! 

4) WEB-SITE: Remember you have an excellent (and growing) resource on-line at our website Just go to the "resource" page and enter the password: (ask your instructor for the password)

5) YOUR GIGS: If you have gigs, be sure to keep us up-dated so we can help you promote them! If you want gigs, be sure to let me know! We have SD Booking, and thru it students are playing not just recitals & open mics, but coffee shops, restaurants, pre-show entertainment for Woodsongs and Troubadour, preshow & main stage at the Lexi Music Awards, Lexi-Fest Series, and more!
Speaking of open sure to attend the next LexJam (2nd Saturday of each month) and Open Mic SEC (every Sunday).


Lousiville May 20 (songwriting clinic) 
Lexington May 21 ("play today" ukulele clinics) 
Lexington May 28 (Blues Between the Bridges show)

7) SD MAGAZINE: Remember that Skinny Devil Magazine hosts everything from the "Guitar Gods" interview series (from unkown gurus to Grammy Award winners) to poetry, articles on the music business, and more.

Recent "Guitar Gods" intervirews with 7-time Grammy nominee Steve Morse....Michael Jackson guitarist Tommy "O" Organ....5-time Grammy nominee Ottmar Liebert.....Juno Award winner Jesse Cook....Berklee grad & SDM columnist Alan Robinson....Grammy winning blues legend Roy Rogers.....and more...with more on the way!!

8) NEW MUSIC: We just released my new 3-song EP of old blues & folk songs called "...Public Domain..." and I'm also featured on 2 songs on "Memories in Metal" by Gregory (the songs "Night Moves" and "Baker Street").

9) PRODUCTION: Working on Lexi-Fest Festival (Labor Day weekend), which should feature a dozen or more musical Lexi-Fest shows like Prince and Michael Jackson Tribute shows (which will both feature a house band and a LOT of guests)...and more!

Much more going on, but we'll leave it there for now!

Stay tuned!

“...You’re always learning about this thing everytime you pick it up...”
- Keith Richards
(guitarist, Rolling Stones)

Tuesday, April 25, 2017

Farewell Mister Pirsig

I am lamenting the passing of Robert Pirsig (author of "Zen & the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance" and "Lila"), who died yesterday.

Robert Pirsig had more impact on my intellectual development than I can measure (up there with Carl Sagan & others). He was a giant and a genius and as talented as any human who has walked Planet Earth. I cannot say enough about I will (at least for now) say no more.

Just gonna down a few shots of rum in his honor and continue to Chase the Dragon....

Here is a song I dedicated to him a few years back on the 3rd & final Alien Blue album called "The Mountain" (blues meets reggae with a George Benson-esque guitar solo)...warts and all (as it should be):

Go do something great, people. Write your name across the sky.

Thursday, April 13, 2017


I just started promoting ONE song via my Reverbnation page...but the entire 3 song EP is avai;lable for $1 (that's right, ONE dollar) at my BandCamp page.

The name of the album is "...Public Domain..." (as the songs are all very old and well within the public domain).

Soon to record my 5 song EP of new original music.....


And, by way of contrast with the above music, I got to lay some screaming electric guitar on GREGORY's cover of the 1980s Marilyn Martin song "Night Moves".

Listen HERE!


Shelbyville April 29 (songwriting deluxe clinic)
Shelbyville April 29 (performance - with guest Marsha Lee)
Lousiville May 20 (songwriting clinic)
Lexington May 21 ("play today" ukulele clinics)
Lexington May 28 (Blues Between the Bridges show)


David with the amazing GREGORY somewhere in the US.
In the past week we've posted new articles at Skinny Devil Magazine including a pentatonics guitar lesson from Alan Robinson...poetry by Liz Fink Davenport..."This Day In Music" featuring Paul McCartney & Peter Frampton & Babyface...sci-tech & Deep history in music...and our on-going "Guitar Gods" interview series featuring some of the world's best - from unknown gurus to Grammy Award winners....and MORE coming down the pipe! Our latest: 7-time Grammy nominee Steve Morse and Berklee honors grad Alan Robinson!

More soon.....

Tuesday, April 11, 2017

Ikigai or Raison d'être

WIKI defines it thus:

"...Ikigai (生き甲斐, pronounced [ikiɡai]) is a Japanese concept meaning "a reason for being", it is very similar to the French phrase Raison d'être. Everyone, according to the Japanese, has an ikigai. Finding it requires a deep and often lengthy search of self...."

I stumbled upon this graphic at a place called "Urban Samurai". Facebook suggested it for some reason, so I took a few seconds to check it out, and found this.

My mantra was always "where your interest and talent intersects", but I find this to be...deeper.

Posting here for your consideration.

Thursday, March 30, 2017

March End Up-Date

LOTS moving....including workshop and gig dates:
David (w/ Marcie) on TV-36

Lousiville (songwriting clinic)

Shelbyville April 29 (songwriting deluxe clinic)
Shelbyville April 29 (performance - with guest Marsha Lee)
Lousiville May 20 (songwriting clinic)
Lexington May 21 ("play today" ukulele clinics)
Lexington May 28 (Blues Between the Bridges show) intern meeting this Saturday with a handful of people....

...loads of new stories and interviews at Skinny Devil Magazine (including interviews with Grammy winning blues master Roy Rogers and the re-publishing of the last of the Lost Interviews from Tinfoil, including interviews ewith Bobby Ferrara, Badi Assad, BTBAM guitarist Dusty Waring, and Grammy winning Phil Keaggy).

Also lining up interviews (they aren't complete yet, so I won't name names) with a couple more Grammy nominees & winners. Hoping we'll be featuring about 80-100 new stories on SD Magazine this year (shattering our goal of 60).

Speaking of goals...just heard the mix of "In the Pines", one of 3 songs on the new EP of old (and public domain) songs. Awaiting mixes on the other two songs ("Stack o' Dollars" and "Wayfaring Stranger") and then we'll be releasing it...and getting to work recording the new EP of original music.
LexJam 10th anniversary show

Workouts have been better - very intense (today was 300 stairs, 300 push-ups, 300 squats, 300 sit-ups, 300 dips) - and guitar workouts have been yielding measurable results, too!

Had a BLAST at TV-36 the other day doing an interview and being the "house band"! Looking forward to some more of that!

More soon!

Wednesday, March 22, 2017

Recording Complete & Shelbyville, KY Gigs Confirmed

On-stage in Morehead, KY 2017
MORE DATES PENDING in Nashville, TN, Cincinnati, OH, Louisville, KY, Macon, GA, and more....for university clinics, store workshops (songwriting, inprov, etc), and public performances.

Scheduling music intern meeting(s) now for paid and non-paid projects.

Recording for the new 3 song EP of old folk & blues songs complete. Awaiting mixes now....but suffice to say it picks up where "Carnival at the Crossroads" left off. That is, these are old (public domain) songs from 19th & 20th century brought into the 21st century in all their neo-cyber glory!

Work-out schedule so far this week:

Monday (broken into 3 short work-outs across the day) - 300 push-ups, 200 stairs, 300 dips, 300 squats, 50 pull-ups, 200 sit-ups.

Tuesday (broken into 2 work-outs) - Go-dai series, Tibetan Rites, 100 squats, various light calisthenics.

Wednesday (so far) - 500 stairs, 100 pull-ups, 400 squats, 300 calf raises.

[edit: Thursday work-out - 200 push-ups, 200 dips, 200 squats, 300 sit-ups and Friday saw 100 pull-ups, 250 calf raises, 300 squats...and a few hours later another 50 pull-ups]

In addition, I finally got back to specific guitar practice (other than scales and such) and am focusing on heavy rhythm drills (polyrhythms, specifically) and fingerstyle blues (constant thumb drone against fingers for chords, licks, melodies, etc) plus a bit of arpeggio work. Realized also that I slide when soloing more than the average player, so really building on that....and other "Skinny Devil-isms", as one of my students put it (haha!).

Saturday, March 4, 2017

March: Studio, Live, Workshops, Magazine


JUST FINISHED UP in the studio working on the new EP coming soon from Marsha Lee, with Nathan Eisenberg manning the board. It ain't every day you get to jam on a folk tune in 9/8! Can't wait for the release!

Next up in the studio - throwing down some electric guitar on music by Gregory Francis (with Richard Easterling at the helm). Let's do that soon, Richard!

Then tomorrow at Willis Music Lexington is the Songwriting Workshop - Lexington...teaching thru the week at COC & Hurst Music....Thursday in Morehead for Songwriting Workshop - Morehead & David M. McLean at Pasquales....teaching & TV after that.....


NEW at Skinny Devil poetry from Liz Fink Davenport..."Guitar Gods" interview with Cody article on the adrenal response and how to crush STAGE FRIGHT so it doesn't crush of a book of poetry by none other than Johnny Cash!

More coming soon....including Thomas Suggs (starting a band, pt 2) and lessons from Alan Robinson!
....and that get's us through the first coupla weeks!!!

Wednesday, February 1, 2017

Lexi Awards, Standing Rock, & RBR

Red Barn Radio spot
Last week was a tad crazy....did the Red Barn Radio live-stream and taping on Wednesday (see the ad video here), played 3 songs at Lexington Standing with Standing Rock gathering (with Dan Ward) Friday, then the Lexington Music Awards (a show I produce) Sunday. The after-party was a fabulous experience, getting to hang out and relax, hop on stage to play guitar for both Heather Parrish and Ande Fee, and end up on piano with the fabulous David Lee Hinkle (who was REALLY playing piano!) singing "Let it Be" with Jeff Frohlich & miss Heather.
Playing with the great Dan Ward

Lots of event wrap up for the award HERE, lots of local TV coverage for the Standing Rock event, and the Red Barn Radio event will be available on their web-site first as audio and later as video....which may even yield live EPs for 3 of my 4 guests (and maybe me, as well). My guests, by the way, were the incredible Tiffaney Nesbeth, Rhyan Sinclair (of ATLP), Daisy Helmuth, and Lissy Taylor (Tiffaney is in pre-production for her debut release and the other 3 have albums available - so go get them!).

Jeff standing, me 7 DLH on piano, photo by Heather

Well, we're scheduling Kentucky - Morehead, Lexington, Richmond, and Berea - for performances, workshops, and university clinics as I write this....then moving to out-of-state gigs in WV, OH, IN, and TN.
Playing Ben Lacy's guitar on-stage

Spent last night after teaching hanging with Dustin & Joshua of Spectrum Entertainment and Sean & Tim Berg of Bergstok Guitars (the future of guitar technology).

Now doing the awards wrap-up (paying bills and such)....outlining a couple of e-books (music related, of course!)....outlining 2 acoustic recording projects (one of traditional music and one of original music)....mapping out several Lexi-Fest shows & scouting locations....eagerly awaiting a new song from Gregory on which I'm playing electric guitar....looking at reaching out to several artists for new "Guitar Gods" interviews....and much more (marching towards nailing all my 2017 goals by summer!)!

As my cousin Jami say: Life - with all is ups & downs - is an adventure!

Saturday, January 28, 2017

Pipeline Gig...and My Take on Bullies

Singing in the cold with my friend Dan Ward on flute.
I will expound below in this post to express my thoughts on this whole pipeline business (independent of how Trump is or Obama was handling - or mishandling - the situation).

For now, just wanted to express how wonderful it is to see so many young people being smart, articulate, and active. Psera & Landra organized this in days, and I was honored they asked me to play. So I called my buddy Dan Ward and we did a few songs: the old folk song "Wayfaring Stranger", the Peter Gabriel song "Biko", and what started as an instrumental version of "Amazing Grace" but ended up having the 400+ people (who were out in the dark and freezing weather) singing their hearts out.

Michael Johnathon (founder/host of the PBS show Woodsongs) also played, as did Fred Keams. Many fantastic speakers included Black Bear, Rachel Thunder, Landra Lewis, Psera Newman, and others. And it was all just fabulous.

I hope you had similar experiences and gatherings in your neck of the woods.

Aside: All photos care of Jon Ricker of Lexington, KY.

And here's a local news story: Herald-Leader

Wednesday, January 18, 2017

January 2017

Well, we're halfway into the month! 2 weeks ago I posted about my 2017 Goals and invited you along for the ride! So, quick mid-month follow-up...

On-stage at Lexi-Fest Festival 2016
Kickin' workouts so far and about to go do 1000 stairs this morning.

Did some in-studio demo-ing of Bergstok Guitars and am having a fantastic chat with the owner - more details later if anything comes of it. But the guitars are fantastic, Sean is incredibly forward-thinking, and he's gonna be rich (with or without my input) very soon. Big shout to Dustin & Joshua over at Spectrum Entertainment.

Doing some TV & radio tomorrow (Thursday), session work Saturday, big story on me in the local newspaper Sunday, back to teaching Monday, Red Barn Radio appearance Wednesday (about a dozen radio stations across the southern US), some more press through the week, and the 3rd Lexington Music Awards Sunday, January 29.

Sunday, January 1, 2017

2017 GOALS (not resolutions)

I don't mind resolutions, but it's almost a tradition to break them (haha!). So...this is all about setting goals - both "process" goals and "product" goals.
On-stage at Lexi-Fest Festival 2016

Really, it's the same as our lifestyle challenges, but those got few and far between, with most comments happening on social media instead of here. So the idea here is to use this post as a PLACE to go to keep track of your goals, keep them at the forefront of your mind, and help each other stay focused....not to mention, sometimes we can help each other on the journey by some sort of collaborative effort. are some of my goals: