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the Fourth Longest Day 

The fourth time I played a “Longest Day” was June 21, 2023.  The world felt a little more stable and this event itself had gotten a little more traction.  The city of Grapevine got to know me the year before and had me out to play my first ever Grapefest and Main Street Fest.  The media acknowledgement was better than in years past.  I even gave a couple of interviews beforehand and on the day of.  After having done it three times prior, I thought I was prepared and knew what to expect.  

I had a cooler of water with me, my friend Micah had taught us how to freeze rags with peppermint oil on them, I bought a window A/C unit to have on the stage, and even thought to pack a flask of whiskey for my throat.  By then, I already carried super glue in all my guitar cases so that wasn’t even a concern.  I was ready for the heat and the wear and tear on my body as we raised money to defeat Alzheimer’s forever.  I thought I was ready for whatever the day was gonna throw at me…but I was wrong.

You’ve seen it happen before.  It’s a hot day with sparse high clouds.  The sun is clear and high and even the breeze is warm.  Then it starts to get really hot, like the air is boiling.  On this certain day last year, I looked south from the stage and saw a thunderstorm look like it just came together right over DFW airport and was making it’s way North on Grapevine Main Street right at us.  I was under cover on the main stage that hosts the summer concert series so I didn’t worry too much about me.  There were volunteers and audience members who were about to experience the brunt of it so I wanted them to get clear.  No sooner had I thought to say something than a cold wind swept through the plaza.  Every pop up cover down there began to take flight and would have if not for the folks grabbing with every hand, foot, armpit, and crook of the knee they could manage.

After the wind passed, the rain started hard.  It wasn’t long before the cover I was under was reduced to a leaky cloth so it was time to clear the stage.  No time to plan an organized process.  I frantically disconnected wires, pointed at items, and grunted a command.  Volunteers grabbed things whether they knew what they were or not, and ran them to the building for cover.  I kept wondering how much gear I was going to have to replace.  We waited for the rain to subside and I had to alter my plans.  

After the rain, the stage was completely soaked, as were all of the people.  I had to wait for the stage to dry before I could set up equipment but I knew the plan was for me to keep playing.  I decided to do an acoustic show for the group that was still out there.  I just sat down on the front of the wet stage, folks pulled their chairs around, and we kept going.  There was a little kid there who just loved it and all the attention dancing babies get.

When it dried, we set the gear back up and cruised on into the night.  Brad Thompson got up and sang with me, we raised a bunch of money, and by the end of it, you’d never know we got rained on.  

I’ve chosen to take that lesson to heart.  Sometimes, things don’t go your way and you have to take cover.  Then, you have to decide when you can come back out.   After that, you have to decide what you’ll do.  I think, if you can show courage in leaving cover after something goes wrong, you can figure out an adapted way to continue forward.  If you can do that, you might be able to get back on track so that by the end, no one even remembers the trouble.  If you give up when things go wrong, no one remembers it either, but for a far sadder reason.  

On Thursday, June 20th, I’ll be doing it again. From 10:00AM to 10:00PM I’ll be on Peace Plaza in Grapevine, TX to raise money to create a world without Alzheimer’s. We will live stream the event and I’ll make sure to share the link for that. We’ll take donations in person at the event, online through a donation link, and at satellite watching parties. I am only one person, but I have many friends. Each of you are only one person, but you have many friends. If my friends, and your friends, and their friends all donate, we’ll get to reach the goal. When we reach the goal, we get closer to a world without Alzheimer’s. When we reach a world without Alzheimer’s, we won’t have to live through what so many already have.


The Second Longest Day 

The second time I played a “Longest Day” was June 21, 2020. It was a far cry from being surrounded by support and raising lots of money. I didn’t even get to play in Sundance Square because the whole facility was blocked off and closed to the public. It was after the spring break that never ended. It was when people were overusing the word “unprecedented” and fighting each other, the government, and a virus you could share without showing symptoms, die from without knowing you contracted it, and the ways to beat it kept changing. We fought about whether to wear a mask or what kind of mask to wear. We fought about whether we should go into public or whether we should stay at home. What kills the virus? How do we share it? Is the government helping or hurting? Why are people dying? Are the hospitals padding their numbers? Is this a biowarfare attack? Is anyone safe anywhere anymore or are we watching the end of it all?

When the Longest Day, 2019 concluded, we were all excited about what we had accomplished. June 21, 2020 was going to be on a Saturday so we expected to be able to increase our fundraising ability. It was going to be huge because we knew what we were doing and were cranking out growth ideas by the dozen. We couldn’t wait to SEE a world without Alzheimer’s with 2020 vision, Alzheimer’s behind us like 2020 hindsight, and I’d do 12 more hours on stage, all from memory, without repeating a song, and we would move closer to a cure. That’s not what happened. Somewhere, somehow, the seams that hold the world together came apart.

I wish the COVID 19 Pandemic was the only thing that made the Longest Day 2020 difficult, but it wasn’t. In May of that year, George Floyd was killed by police while people watched to film it. It was horrific to see the video displayed over and over on the news and social media. It was even more horrific to understand that it was preventable. What happened across the US after that event was something I had never witnessed. I had only read about the marches during the civil rights movement in the ‘50s and ‘60s, but I had never seen what was happening. Some marches turned destructive and violent, and some were completely peaceful. Some people thought racist infiltrators were escalating the events to cast dispersion on the demonstrators. All of this once again reinvigorated the debate about which lives matter. Society was starting to come apart.

I started the Longest Day on my back porch with a few songs on Facebook live but not many people watched. There were bigger, scarier things happening. I had a couple of shows scheduled that day and was going to livestream them in hopes to raise a little money, or at the very least, help viewers imagine something better. During my first show, a demonstration for BLM and George Floyd happened in the street in the Fort Worth Stockyards. I was incredibly nervous about what was going to happen, but the demonstrators, the onlookers, the police, and everyone else involved were respectful of one another’s right to exist and to peacefully express themselves. I was proud but I was tired. I signed off long before 12 hours had passed. We raised a few hundred dollars and that was all. 

2020 was a hard and scary year. Even if I had played for 12 hours, I think it was too scary for people to give money for something when we didn’t know when or if the world was going to start spinning again. It was hard to think of what the future could be when the present was all we could see. Many of us made personal commitments then. I know I will never again let fear of the unknown cause me to abandon my principles, but I also know that being right is not nearly as important as treating another person as my equal. After the world started to turn again and people came out from cover, the problems we left behind were still there.  That includes our species struggle with Alzheimer’s and the desperate need to irradicate it.

On Thursday, June 20th, I’ll be doing it again. From 10:00AM to 10:00PM I’ll be on Peace Plaza in Grapevine, TX to raise money to create a world without Alzheimer’s. We will live stream the event and I’ll make sure to share the link for that. We’ll take donations in person at the event, online through a donation link, and at satellite watching parties. I am only one person, but I have many friends. Each of you are only one person, but you have many friends. If my friends, and your friends, and their friends all donate, we’ll get to reach the goal. When we reach the goal, we get closer to a world without Alzheimer’s. When we reach a world without Alzheimer’s, we won’t have to live through what so many already have. 

The First Longest Day 

The first time I played a “Longest Day” was June 21, 2019, in Sundance Square in Fort Worth. I was excited to get to be up on the big stage right downtown. It was a Friday, so we had to keep the music low until after 5:00. If memory serves me, I had planned to play for eight hours that day, trying to raise money for the Alzheimer’s Association because they are working toward a world without Alzheimer’s. At some point during the day, one of the ladies who works with them started telling everyone I was playing for ten hours. I didn’t argue or correct her, because it was for a good cause, but I was a little concerned as I was already exhausted by that point. 

My friend, Brad Thompson, came out to play some songs with me but for some reason we couldn’t get that worked out, so he and his family ate on the patio by the stage and cheered me on. It started to get hot around 3:00 PM and the sweat was really rolling. One of the things that sweaty hands do to a guitar is make the strings gritty and they can start to rub your fingers raw. I had been taking a ten-minute break every hour (50/10) to hydrate, eat, or whatever, but now that ten-minute break was being used for something else.

As my fingertips sweat and my calluses from playing started to tear off, it was causing some pain. My friend, Mark Stevenson, brought me some super glue to put on my fingertips when my next ten-minute break started so I could blow on them in hopes they dried by the beginning of the next set. Also, I don’t remember if this was due to string breakage or just needing new strings, but my friend, Caleb Hailey, changed the strings on one of my guitars so I could have some fresh. Even as my body was wearing down, my mind was still able to come up with words and chords to perform songs I had not played yet and perform them all from memory without the aid of sheet music. 

A little later, the heat and natural fatigue from singing that long started to wear on my voice. It’s a well-known fact that a little whiskey and honey is incredible for soothing laryngitis and helping get your voice to go just a little further. Well, I asked my friend, Christine, if she would get me a little whiskey and she came back with the biggest bottle of whiskey I have ever seen. Other people were bringing me smoothies. I don’t know how many smoothies I drank that day, but none were left behind. 
Sometime in the evening, someone from the Alzheimer’s Association announced that I was playing for twelve hours. Twelve hours!! I still came up with music I had not performed, kept up with the super glue and whiskey, and played for twelve hours with ten minute breaks every hour. I learned several things that day. I learned people will come together to help someone accomplish a goal. I learned there are hundreds of people who are personally affected with Alzheimer’s but I never knew it until this event. I learned that the brain is so much stronger than the physical body. As my body broke down, I stayed mentally sharp and we raised somewhere around $12,000.00 that day.

On Thursday, June 20th, I’ll be doing it again. From 10:00AM to 10:00PM I’ll be on Peace Plaza in Grapevine, TX to raise money to create a world without Alzheimer’s. We will live stream the event and I’ll make sure to share the link for that. We’ll take donations in person at the event, online through a donation link, and at satellite watching parties. I am only one person, but I have many friends. Each of you are only one person, but you have many friends. If my friends, and your friends, and their friends all donate, we’ll get to reach the goal. When we reach the goal, we get closer to a world without Alzheimer’s. When we reach a world without Alzheimer’s, we won’t have to live through what so many already have.

My Manifesto 

My Manifesto-or-My explanation to those who may not understand,


You don’t owe me anything, but if you’re ever curious about why I do things the way I do them, I’d love if you read on. I know I am doing things the hard way and that expecting to be successful in an already ridiculously undependable field while not doing the most tried and true things, is a little farfetched. I don’t care. If I want to be successful as a musician, I should: spend a lot of time in Nashville and LA, spend my nights in a van or a motel room, play shows all across the country, pay everything I make to an agent or promoter, pay for studios to record my songs, co-write songs with writers who have cuts, pay for my singles to get played on the radio, and hope, that after all this, I have two cents to rub together. This would possibly be acceptable to me if I was the only person I had to worry about, but I am not. I have a family that I care for and who very much depends on me to earn a decent living. Not only that, but they’d like me to be around instead of on the road, and so would I. I would hate waking up in stinky rooms instead of the house my family slept in. So, all the ways people go about “making it” in the music business aren’t acceptable options for me, by my own choice. 


Instead of these previously identified methods to success, I, and my team, have opted for alternative practices. We do most of our creation in house. If you hear a track, or watch a video, and it doesn’t seem like it was created by a team of trained industry pros, that’s because it wasn’t. Since we have a hard time selling music anymore due to the streaming takeover, I have a hard time justifying spending the money it would cost to go into a studio to record. I’m not arguing that the product would be better, I’m just arguing that my money is better spent paying my mortgage, feeding my family, and providing the protection of things like insurance and IRAs. The effect of this decision makes me someone that the pros in the music industry tend to overlook, and I’m fine with that.


I also make sure that when I book a show, the venue has enough faith in me to guarantee me a decent amount of money, so I have to make up the difference in my nightly goal with tips and mech sales by a smaller percentage. We have broken down how much we need to earn and how many shows a week we need to earn it in so that we can do like I said above and pay for the things we need to pay for. This means we’re not playing lots of the real songwriter type places who want to charge a cover, want us to open for someone else for free, or want us to play a free audition night. That means, some places that don’t seem the most conducive to music, but pay us well, get preferential treatment when we’re scheduling. Rest assured, if you see me playing in front of a football crowd, I’m getting paid well. This also usually means that I don’t get to play as many of my original songs as I’d like to and while that’s a bummer, I don’t have the luxury of being a starving artist begging for someone to listen to me. I do, however, know thousands of cover songs that the people who tip me want to hear. I sure do thank you all for that! The effect of this decision makes me someone that the pros in the music industry tend to overlook, and I’m fine with that.


In my career, I have recorded in studios, paid radio promoters, played exposure gigs for free, been on the road, kissed multiple butts to try to get the attention of someone who might help me find success, but the most success I have ever had is from what I can manage in house. Just my wife and I manage to: book 3-6 shows a week, keep Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and the website calendar up to date, send out communication to our fan base, keep inventory of merchandise, maintain the PA gear and instruments, write, record, and release new music, release music videos, grow our fanbase, promote developments, maintain our vehicles, and probably more things I’m not thinking about. We keep good lists, follow up on everything (even when people don’t reciprocate) and communicate as much as we possibly can. This causes us to have to cut some corners like not having the most expensive recording equipment, taking our own pictures, and basically putting out media that seems homemade. The effect of this decision makes me someone that the pros in the music industry tend to overlook, and I’m fine with that.


What we are going for is the human interaction. You’ve heard me say that we’re not in the music business, but the people business. When COVID-19 shut the world down, I realized more than ever how much people need to be able to connect, and how powerful a tool music is to that end. I also know how much I enjoy entertaining folks on weekends or evenings. I love watching husbands and wives dance together. I love when people hear their favorite song and smile or when they like one of my songs enough that they sing the words along with me. This is the realization that showed me the steps to being a successful musician aren’t the steps I should be taking. Instead, I would like to take steps to connect people to one another using music as the vehicle to do that. The effect of this decision makes me someone that the pros in the music industry tend to overlook, and I’m fine with that.


We like to sell the merch since we can’t sell the music anymore because that’s just not how the world works. Sure, we could spend the time and money to create content that competes with Taylor Swift for your attention, but that hardly seems like the right thing to do, even if we could afford it. No, I’m gonna put out some songs, make videos with picture of my fans in them, sing my heart out on stage and hope that everyone in the audience knows that I’m giving it all I have for the sake of whoever is there, and that you’ll buy a T-shirt and stream the singles.


Our merch is provided by a local, independently owned company. Michael keeps his prices competitive, provides the best product, works with us on design, turns the jobs around quickly, and is personally invested in our satisfaction. We’ve been approached by other suppliers but are loyal customers until we have a reason not to be. When you buy merch from us, you’re keeping two small businesses in business. We take half of what you pay and deposit it for future merch buying, and half goes into the business coffers. Michael helps us make sure we always have your size, and if we don’t, we can get it quickly. All of this is run behind the scenes so we can continue to generate revenue and you can continue to look so good while you’re advertising for Joshua Ingram. I could use national print shops for musicians, or use bundled product from music publishers, like publish with me and I’ll get my friend to give you a merch discout, blah blah blah, but I prefer to work with a local who knows and cares about what I need. The effect of this decision makes me someone that the pros in the music industry tend to overlook, and I’m fine with that.


I believe in organic promotion. Nowadays, if I want you to know something, I have to pay for it to be promoted on Facebook, Instagram, Spotify, and everything else. If I want you to hear about it through print media, I’ve got to take out ads. I’ve got to spend hours a day posting and blogging, begging you to like, add, follow, subscribe, share, retweet…and it’s exhausting. I believe that if you’ll really give my product a chance, you might like it enough to do all those things yourself, and if you don’t, no matter how much bought-and-paid-for hype I create, it isn’t going to enable an unlikable product to become likable. Sometimes, I may make something that isn’t very good. That happens. I’d rather let the people who are already fans decide if they like what I put out. I hope that if you DO like what I put out, you’ll know it helps me when you share it, and that you’ll naturally want to do so. If you don’t want to do it, that’s up to you. The effect of this decision makes me someone that the pros in the music industry tend to overlook, and I’m fine with that.


If I moved to Nashville, I would be around the heart of the music industry. There would be opportunities every day for me to meet and work with successful musicians. I’d be able to collaborate with people who live and die for the music scene. The odds of my success would skyrocket because I would be in the place where successful people go. I would be far from home, far from my children, and my children would be far from me. I already miss a lot of concerts, volleyball games, and plays because of my job. If I lived in Nashville, I would miss all of them. I already miss them when they don’t sleep in my house, but if I lived in Nashville, I would miss them every night. I already miss chances to be out and about with them, but if I lived in Nashville, I would miss all of them. I know being successful in music means sacrificing a number of personal comforts, but the opportunity to raise my kids is not one of them. I will not put success in the music business above my family. The effect of this decision makes me someone that the pros in the music industry tend to overlook, and I’m fine with that.


Like I said at the beginning, I know that what I’m doing is against almost every recommended tactic to be successful in music, but that’s ok. I’m not trying to be successful in music as much as I am trying to be successful with people. We at Joshua Ingram, have the ability to create original music and video, distribute it to the world on multiple platforms, perform the material in front of an audience and be paid for it, sell merchandise to fans, and get to know people as they get to know us. I don’t chart in the top 100, I don’t play massive venues, I don’t have millions of followers, and I don’t care. That’s not why we’re doing it. The effect of this decision makes me someone that the pros in the music industry tend to overlook, and I’m fine with that.


Melogroove Interview


Melogroove Interview Questions


Could you share the story behind your latest song and what inspired its creation?


            This is actually quite unique.  Very recently, a friend reached out to me to say he was getting divorced but wanted to try to save his marriage.  He asked if there was anything I could write that would help him do that.  I asked what happened, penned some words, sent him a demo recording and he loved it.  Time will tell if it accomplished his goal, but my wife and l love the song, so we will likely release it someday.  It’s currently titled Don’t Let Go.


How do you approach the process of songwriting, and are there any specific themes or emotions you tend to explore in your music?


            I try to use songs as a response to a human condition or current situation.  When I feel something powerful, I try to capture it in a song.  I have many songs about love, life choices, stories, and human emotion.  It’s what we all live with, and I see myself as sort of a scribe to record the happenings through music.


As an indie musician, how do you navigate the balance between creative freedom and commercial appeal?


            I will let you know when I figure it out.  Mostly, I just realize anything I try to do that is dis-ingenuine will be noticed by the audience and rejected.  I have a small audience that already likes what I do, so to change to be liked on a broader scale might alienate them, and I won’t do that.  Really, I think you have to believe if you are doing what you’re supposed to be doing, this world is big enough for us all to find a place.  No one needs to change to fit some arbitrary standard.  Do you and do it well.


What do you find most challenging about being an independent artist in today's music industry?


            The hardest thing for me is not feeling that I can sell hard copies of music.  Yes, I know some people still buy CDs and vinyl, but for the most part, the phone or satellite radio is how people are listening to music.  That means, for the most part, they are streaming, which means we aren’t getting paid…at least not the way it used to be.  An indie artist has always made their money on the road, but some of that money used to come from the purchase of music.  It’s impractical now to payout to have enough hard copy to sell and carry it from show to show.  We’ve had to figure out other ways to A. get the record in front of people, and B. make up for the lost money.  It’s tricky, but doable.


Can you talk about your experiences collaborating with other artists or musicians? How does it influence your creative process?


            I co-wrote my first song a few years ago and it was a fun experience.  Being able to openly communicate ideas before they went into a song allowed for us to come up with the BEST ones, not just the only ones a person could think of.  I think if you’re with the right people, it will fuel your creativity.  If it squelches you, you need to get with some other people.

What role does technology and social media play in promoting your music and connecting with your audience?


            Technology and social media play a crucial role in promoting music, unfortunately, it does that for everyone so it can also become a saturated media where only the folks with the biggest budget get through.  It seems like a level playing field, but the misunderstanding is that the platforms are for the users benefit.  They are for the platform’s benefit, which means the richest advertisers will get the biggest notice.  In that regard, it’s no different than the outlets that existed before the internet…whoa, how old do I sound?


Are there any particular artists or genres that have had a significant impact on your musical style?


            Someone influenced every musician, no matter what they say.  My major ones are: Counting Crows, Paul Simon, Eagles, Billy Joel, Marc Cohn, Monte Montgomery, RUSH and thousands more.


Indie musicians often have a close relationship with their fanbase. How do you engage with your fans and build a dedicated community around your music?


            I’m always trying to be creative when it comes to connecting with my fans.  On the video for my last single Better With You, I asked people to send pictures of the people who make their lives better and I put them in the video.  It was well received based on the viewing numbers right out of the gate.  I’ve also invited my fans to the studio to sing on a record. We do all kinds of social media voting and so on.


Could you describe a memorable live performance experience or tour that has had a lasting impact on you and your music?


Most of my impactful memories come from playing private house parties.  Some of these can get a little wild and they’ve caused us to have to set a great number of rules for when we agree to go to someone’s house. We don’t mess around when it comes to partying.  We want everyone to be able to do it again, and again.


In an era of streaming platforms, how do you feel about the changing landscape of music consumption and its impact on independent musicians?


            As I said before, the streaming platforms cut out the need for the listener to own a hard copy, which cuts into tour income.  It also means it’s as easy to listen to a major release as it is a local or indie release so there’s not the same feel of listening to a local when the next song can be from a major label.  Lastly, it really hurts the idea of making a record as opposed to making singles, because they’re all just basically singles once they’re streaming.  Whether this is good or not is not up to me. It has and will cause people who choose to make a living making music to have to figure out a way to do it, but that’s not new.  Every generation has their challenges in that area.  I personally feel that streaming disconnects the music from the fans a little bit, but it also makes the world’s music, from all time, available to them at the click of a button, so who knows what can happen?

How Do You Eat An Elephant? 

I have a large pile of dirt to move.  That’s not a Euphemism, I literally have to move lots of dirt from a pile into a hole.  Why me?  Why now?  Here’s the story.


Several years ago, the pool at my mom’s house, the one I loved as a kid, grew to resent as a teen who had to maintain it, and have really missed over the last few weeks of unseasonable Texas heat, fell into disrepair.  After some consideration we (my mom, brothers, and I) made the decision to fill it in.  It was bittersweet but made the most sense.  We set out imagining how we’d get it done.  


There was brief talk of hiring someone, but if you know us, you know that’s not really how we do things.  We all grew up kind of taking care of things on our own.  My brothers and I decided we could fill the hole in on our own but needed to figure out the best way to get the dirt.  After a few phone calls and looking around, my youngest brother found a place that would fill up his pickup bed with dirt.  I remember when we emptied that first load and realized just how much bigger that pool hole was than the bed of his pickup.  That plan wasn’t going to work because the site was too far away and didn’t bring enough dirt all at once.


My sister-in-law found a place online where you could order a dump truck full of dirt for drop off.  This was a much better route, but the size of the trucks and layout of the yard made it impossible for the truck to get to the pool.  The first one dumped the dirt on the driveway, my brother borrowed a bobcat, and spent the day filling in the pool.  It was awesome, except that it still wasn’t all the dirt we needed.  We knew we’d need to repeat the process but couldn’t get more dirt right away.  The bobcat had to be returned, everyone went back to work, life moved on, but the job still wasn’t complete.  


Over time, it kind of slipped our minds that we had an incomplete job until the city reminded us.  It was time to crank it up again and get that hole filled, only this time, there were more schedule challenges.  There were new babies, new jobs, new responsibilities, so getting all three of us there with the dirt and the machinery proved difficult.  In fact, we decided first just to get the dirt there and figure it out as we went.  Once the dump truck showed up, it felt good to know we could get back to work. Unfortunately, we didn’t have access to the same equipment, but we talked about renting something.  We also knew this wasn’t exactly enough dirt to complete the job. We would need to get more before we rented equipment so as to only do it once.  


There were times we thought we’d just move it by hand to get it off the driveway, but getting the three of us there on a day when it wasn’t raining, no one had to work, and we didn’t have some other responsibility was almost impossible.  The dirt sat in place for a long time, while we sorted out what the perfect solution would be.  It takes a long time to come up with the perfect solution when there are so many hurdles and obstacles.


Years ago, I worked as the youth director at a church.  Sometimes I would get overwhelmed by the number of issues I had to deal with because it felt like I had to deal with them all at once.  That feeling can cause a person to freeze and not handle any issue at all.  My friend and co-worker, Trudy, would let me sit in her office and vent.  When I did, she’d ask, “How do you eat an elephant?”  It was like she wasn’t even listening to what I was saying.  She, like everyone else, didn’t really care, or so I thought.  She was really giving me the best advice because her snarky but supportive countrified answer was “One bite at a time.”  What she meant was the size of the problem can seem overwhelming, but the work of solving it isn’t, it’ll just take some time.  I still use this advice almost daily.


I have decided not to wait on the perfect way to move this dirt.  I can’t commit an entire day or week to moving this dirt, but I can commit one hour a day.  After a week and a half of committing one hour a day, I reached a breakthrough point where I could really see that I was making headway.  Now the pile is halfway gone.  I almost get excited now when I drive to the dirt because I know I’m going to do a little of something, that is part of a big something.  Soon, that dirt will be gone.  When it is, I will celebrate, but not for too long.  There will be another big job, but it will not be scary or overpowering because I will eat it one bite at a time.


There’s an expression that everyone overestimates what they can do in a day but underestimates what they can do in a month.  People also ask what you’ll tell yourself in five years that you wish you had done today.  I have a friend who said, “You can wish in one hand and poop in the other and see which one fills up first.” We can spend as much time as we want looking for the perfect solution, the right time, the best situation, or we can pick up our shovel and move a day’s worth of dirt.  I don’t know what problems you’re dealing with, but I’ll close this by saying you don’t have to do it alone.  If you want help, let me know.  Whatever it is, it’s easier when your back is not the only one carrying the load.


Don’t wait; let’s get moving.  I love you.




“I can do things you cannot, you can do things I cannot; together we can do great things.”

-Mother Theresa


The pile originally started where the shovel is leaning against the fence.

February 14 Hannah Owens, Lacey Ingram, Rachel Stacy 

Hannah Owens is a local songwriter I’ve known for several years and while this isn’t the only good thing about her, I have to say she has the most beautiful voice.  Her songs elicit emotion of all sorts and draw you in.  She has a subtle and unassuming presentation, often sitting cross legged on a stool just strumming along like she was fishing for catfish off the dock.  She has a sweetness in her soul that’s obvious to the audience, but she also has a fire in her heart that keeps her running with the best of them.  

            Her original recordings are reminiscent of a groovy kind of Alt-Americana sound like it could be from 50 years ago or 50 years from now.  The production indicates she’s willing to take some risks with what otherwise might be a pretty traditional female country sound.  I think she sounds anything but traditional, though she can drop a pretty good Dolly or Patsy tune on you.  

            You’ll want to pay close attention to the lyrics as she’ll take you on a trip through the feelings one may have in a relationship, on the road, or just looking inward.  She plays around town and collaborates a lot.  Hannah is also willing to jump onstage and sing harmony with you whenever she gets the feels.  I remember once, she came up to sing something with me and before I let her get away I started into Whiskey Lullaby.  It was the most fun I’d ever had singing that song.  

            Find Hannah around town at Magnolia Motor Lounge or countless other places where music is happening.  I’m proud to call her friend but even prouder to share this industry with her, and share her music with you.  Links are below, follow her and go see a show!


Spotify   Facebook



Lacey Ingram is, as she says, my sister from another mister… or is it that I’m her brother from another mother?  Either way, we of course enjoyed meeting each other and finding the humor in sharing the same last name and love for making music.  We instantly hit it off, like many of us do, one night in the stockyards. Lacey is such a firebrand and almost always has that devilish grin that draws you to her.  

            My favorite song she’s put out so far is Murder and Moonshine.  It’s a story type rocking song that combines elements of country, rock, blues, and even some folk and bluegrass.  The most important element in the song is her piercing voice that introduces itself, unapologetically, the line “There’s fiiiiiiiiire on the mountain!”  I get goosebumps every time I listen.  We’ve all felt pinned into a tough situation and that’s what this song addresses, though hopefully we’re not all only wanted by the long arm of the law.

            Lacey plays around town a great deal and she brings that thunder with her.  Follow her social media and streaming platforms so you’ll find out when she has new music coming.  Don’t miss Lacey while she’s still playing for you for free!  Tell her I sent you!


Spotify     Facebook


Rachel Stacy has been such a force for music for a good bit.  I’ve had massive respect for her ability and tenacity.  She has some kind of traditional country sounding stuff but also some kick-you-right-in-the-dang teeth rock music.  Rachel brings a soul to the stage that has to be moving 1000 MPH.  I dare you to go to a Rachel Stacy show and lose interest, cause she won’t let you.  There is not a part of her show that isn’t entertaining.  She sings like fire, plays guitar exceptionally, and saws a fiddle in half.  

            We play in many of the same places, but not on the same nights, so I almost never get to hear her play live.  If I did, I’d want to hear her live version of “Boomerang” which cuts to the quick.  “Wishing Well” might be new favorite song of hers.  It feels like something that came from my youth with an uplifting message about a commitment to remembering the past.  

            Rachel has a way to connect words and music to human emotion that is not super common.  When you match those notes and words to her heart wrenching voice, it makes for a powerful experience.  Go see, listen, and experience Rachel Stacy.  You’ll thank me for it.


Website     Spotify


These are three powerful women in a male dominated business, but don’t let that change how you think, cause they don’t.

February 2nd Tee Fitch, CC Cross, Colin Boyd 

It's been icy and lots of shows have canceled.  That's always tough for working musicians but this is nothing compared to 2020.  We're all a little tougher and braver now.  Since I didn't get to play much this week, and neither did many others, I'll tell you about three artists I wish I got to see more:

Tee Fitch is such a groovy songwriter I sometimes feel like he's customizing the songs for me.  Sellwood Bridge has that iconic sound like it was lifted from a nineties movie about relationships, growing up, and trying to decide which parts of life to care about and which parts to throw into the wind.  I CAN NOT stop listening to it.  If you grew up with the music I did, this will fit perfectly into that huge binder of homemade CDs with the perfect mixes for driving.  Thing For You is very catchy and since I know the person it was written for, I can tell you it's about as honest a song as a person can write.  Have you ever fallen hard for someone and don't exactly know what to do about it?  If so, this song will make perfect sense.  If not, well, sorry about you, get out there and meet some people.

I met Tee through a mutual friend when I needed someone to play bass at a show in Waco, TX.  He could not have been cooler that day as we encountered technical problem after technical problem.  He is such a good dude to have around because he doesn't get rattled, or at least he doesn't let it show.  With excellent guitar skills, great vocals, and genuine song-writing, I wish I could see more Tee Fitch shows and hear more Tee Fitch Music.  Check him out online!

Spotify   Web Site

I met CC Cross in a music competition several years ago.  Side note: I hate music competitions, but they do create an opportunity to meet and network with other musicians, and there's nothing better than that.  CC and I became fast friends, cause she's just like that.  She's sweet but not weak, tough but not mean, and walk through fire for the ones she loves.  We lost touch a few years ago and she took a break from music for a bit.  Now that she's back at it, I can't wait to see what she comes up with.  

She has an excellent cover of Angel Flying Too Close To The Ground but her single Woman of Steel is probably my favorite thing she has on Spotify.  Again, I wish you could have access to all of her material, and it may be floating around somewhere out there.  I know I still have some hard copies of the CDs she sold at shows.  I like to use the word grit to describe artists who I think really put themselves out there and don't let the difficulty of the business slow them down.  Since I use that often enough, it doesn't begin to describe the grit, tenacity, full on soul of fire that CC puts into her music.  Check her out and tell me I'm wrong.

Spotify  Reverb Nation

To round out my three this week, I'll add someone who should need no introduction, but he is someone I wish I could see more often.  Colin Boyd is someone I've known for years, and even though we don't talk much, I have crazy respect for his talent and work ethic!  You don't get to work as much and for a long in this business as Colin has if you're not working seriously hard and maintaining solid relationships.  He's got such a groovy way about it him too.  You would think it all just comes easy to him.  You know how some musicians are so loud they suck up all the energy in the room for themselves?  Well, that's not Colin.  I don't know if I've met a humbler, more gracious fellow song-writer than Colin, and if anyone had a right to be a little cocky, it'd be him. 

Tell me, when you listen to ​​​​​​​Another Heart To Break you don't feel like you're in some honky-tonk waiting in line for a cool, not cold, lite beer that'll cost a dollar and a half.  It swings, it grooves, and is a really fun listen.  Juliet is a fun song simply asking if she's found Romeo yet.  It's fun and light hearted.  I'll be listening more and more as I didn't realize until the writing of this blog that I wasn't following him on Spotify.  Let me assure you, that has been rectified.  Check out Colin at the links below, and he has tons of shows so go see him live and tell him I sent you.

Spotify Web Site

Thanks for reading!  Feel free to share this with other music fans.  Go see live music if you love music.  Be careful out there.  See you soon!

January 23 

Every Saturday I play a show at Filthy McNasty's Saloon in the Fort Worth Stockyards. I play 4:00-6:00 and take over the stage from the man who plays 2:00-4:00, Phil Wallace. Phil is one of the most entertaining musicians I know, but I don't always know how entertaining he means to be. He'll sometimes talk as much as he sings, and will let you know if he thinks you should be doing something different than you are. Phil has a unique approach to stage presence that sometimes involves not being on the stage at all.  

As long as I've known Phil, I've known him to be talented and genuine. He has an old soul and writes that way. You won't usually hear him sing the latest release from the coolest new band, but he'll sing songs that make you think and sometimes want to lay down and cry. He'll also make you laugh till you almost wet yourself. Oh yeah, if he takes a shine to you, he's liable to make you blush. Go see Phil Wallace play. Listen to his music. You've never heard anything like him.


Sometimes, when Phil can't make it on a Saturday, he'll get our buddy T-Bone Stearns to fill in for him. T-Bone has the kind of voice that will pull you in from the street because you just know someone with that voice must also have something good to sing. Whether you catch him with his band, The Low Flying Buzzards, or by himself, his shows are really cool to watch. He'll sing heart wrenching love songs and good ole beer drinking tunes. He's an inspiration to people like me because of the strength of will he shows in this business that will put your willpower to the test every second.  

T-Bone has a style that seems familiar, but not like anyone you've heard before. While he can sound just like Willie, Waylon, and Johnny, he doesn't. There's not a huge catalogue available on Spotify yet, but check out what he does have, follow, like I do, and wait for more. His new single "Buzzards" is a gritty mournful jam that takes you through an emotional desert reducing people to dogs and buzzards, reminding us to take care of the ones we love.  

I can't wait to hear what more T-Bone will have for us to listen to, but for now, he plays several shows every week. I bet you can figure out when and where to find him, like a buzzard might...


And finally, why don't I tell you about Skylar Payne. Skylar has been around for awhile (not as long as me) but long enough for most people who hang out in the DFW honky-tonks to know who he is. He hosts lots of open mic nights, open jams, songwriter nights, you name it.  

He's written some incredible music in his own right. One blew me away so much I did a cover of it on my YouTube channel. It's called "Before You Said Goodbye" and I can't even think of the song without starting to sing it in my head, cause that's where it sticks. Another, "Sittin' With A Psycho" I've only heard live, but hope he'll record it soon. 

His voice and songwriting are filled with grit, emotion, and just enough vulnerability to help you believe him but not make him seem weak. I've had the honor of watching him work for several years and can't wait to see what else he comes up with. Go see Skylar Payne.


Go see Phil, T-Bone, and Skylar. Not only are these men great musicians, but I consider them good friends. I wish we had more recorded music from them, but until then, we gotta catch the shows. Follow them on Spotify, or Apple, or wherever so you can hear when they have new music.  

Resolution and the Music Scene 

Happy New Year everyone!

I've decided I'm going to type a weekly blog about the DFW music industry.  There are so many cool people out there doing their thing, and I'd like to help be part of people knowing about it.  This first entry will be just about something that happened last night.

After my show, I had time to go to the Fort Worth Stockyards to see Dusty Moats and Aliza Ford.

Dusty is a great singer/songwriter and entertainer but what's even cooler, is that he was recording an episode of the Texas Tailgate live show on EMLK radio with Aliza as his guest.  I didn't even know Dusty Was doing this, but it was really cool to watch those guys trade stories, share songs, and kind of pull back the curtain on this crazy business.

Dusty is one of the hardest working musicians I know.  He books shows for different artists, is involved in running EMLK, an internet based radio station that plays local artists (like me, thanks EMLK!), and of course writes and performs music all over.  His single "Lakin' it Easy" has been streamed almost 200,000 times on Spotify alone.  If you're looking to find someone else to listen to, give Dusty a shot.  

I was glad to see Aliza Ford last night.  Aliza has been working at this for awhile, and just keeps getting better.  Not only are the tunes about the truest form of country music I've heard in awhile, they're insightful and just feel good to listen to.  I got to hear one he had just written (for a pretty girl, of course) and it was fun to hear him share something that new with the audience.  Even when the content is heavy, like in his song "Goodbye", there's a power in his voice that makes it easier to listen to the sad words.  I'm excited to see what Aliza comes up with for 2023 and if you'd like to hear this local talent, find him on Spotify or wherever you look for music.

I wanted to stop into Filthy McNastys to say hi to some folks before we headed home.  I knew my buddy Ben Hatton was playing in there, and to my great pleasure, he was decked out in Joshua Ingram merchandise.  What an honor!  Ben has one of the silkiest voices I've heard, especially in the Stockyards.  We've been making plans to write together so he can start putting out some original material, but scheduling is always hard when you work all the time.  Don't worry though, we'll get it done, but until then, you can see him every Thursday night at Filthy McNasty's.  

One last thing, did I mention these shows are free?  That's right, you can just walk right in and listen.  I know we get used to listening to the same old people who have "made it" on TV or the radio, and when they come to town we'll buy expensive tickets, stand in line, shove through the crowd to find our seat, pay for overpriced beer, but there are other ways to enjoy music and the people I will bring to your attention in this year will really appreciate your support.

Come to a show, stream the music, like, subscribe, share...all of these local artists count on it.  

Keep Jammin!