Hello my friends. It’s been awhile! So much has changed over the last few years. Allow me to share my story with you.
Late in 2014 I went back into the recording studio to begin recording a new cd. I was excited and energized to be back and making new music. My schedule was busy but I had three songs recorded and finished by the end of that year. I was looking forward to creating more in 2015. But the year to come had much more in store for me than I could have imagined.
On January 29th of 2015—which is a day I’ll never forget--I lost two-and-a-half fingers on my right hand in a table saw accident. After the accident, all that remained was my shredded right hand with my middle finger, half of my pointer finger and my thumb.
My middle finger was severely damaged and for the first 8 weeks after the accident, the surgeons warned me that I may lose that finger. I thought I was done as a musician. I thought I’d never play my guitar again. The “Never Again List” in my head started to grow. I was creating boundaries and limitations for myself with things I thought I wouldn’t be able to do again.
For several months after the accident, I’d sit with my guitar on my lap just to feel the comfortable, familiar feeling of my old friend. On one of those days, I strummed my guitar with my thumb. I felt a hundred pounds of weight fall off my chest. It was one of the most wonderful sounds that I thought I’d never hear again.
As the bandages slowly came off and the therapy, wound clinics and doctor visits went on, I continued strumming. Somewhere in that time, the surgeon said that my middle finger was finally coming around and amputation was no longer a worry. Another hundred pounds of weight fell off my chest.
So, with that great news I decided to try finger picking with my thumb and one-remaining finger. It was clunky at first to say the least, but…it was something. The damage to my middle finger left it with no sensation, so I can’t feel the guitar strings, but the challenge to play like I did before the accident was on.
I’m not going to lie and tell you that every day was wonderful and worry free after that, because it wasn’t. Far from it. But I had something to hold onto, my guitar and my music. And most importantly I had the monumental blessings of my wife, closest family and a handful of some of the best friends who are just like family, who were my backbone when I had none, who believed in me when I didn’t believe in myself, who helped me stand back up when I wanted to stay down.
Along with all of them, I had the blessings of the radio stations who continued to play my songs, the most incredible fans and well-wishers from around the world, who all seemed to resonate with the reminder of my own song, “You’re Not Alone.”
So, with all that love and motivation, I practiced almost every day. I was getting the hang of finger picking again and could play the most difficult songs in my personal music library.
To hell with that “Never Again List!”
I thought if I could play as well as I did before the accident with the same intensity, I’d start writing songs again. And I did.
Which brings us current and to my new release. “this.”
A statement of the journey over the last few years, my new songs, new life with my hand, the continuation of my musical approach to the happenings in Indian Country and who I am, and everything else, is humbly and simply:
With love, respect and appreciation,