Knowledge is not skill. Knowledge plus ten-thousand times is skill.
— Shinichi Suzuki

I was struck by lighting / Walkin’ down the street / I was hit by something last night in my sleep

It’s a dead man’s party… / Who could ask for more?

Everybody’s comin’, leave your body at the door… / Leave your body and soul at the door …

— Oingo Boingo, "Dead Man’s Party"

My family just got back from Disney World’s “Mickey’s Not So Scary Halloween Party” last week. It was way more fun than I had expected.

They played the “Grim Grinning Ghosts” theme from the Haunted Mansion ride several times, and each time I wondered if someone had ever done a remix? Here’s a good one!


Thirty Different versions of “Wagon Wheel” 

Around ten years ago, I sat down and transcribed the words and guitar chords for Old Crow Medicine Show’s “Wagon Wheel,” and I posted them on HickoryWind.org. (It was a younger time. I don’t post full lyrics anymore to protect folks IP.)

Until I revamped the site last year, it was pretty consistently one of the most hit pages — if not the MOST hit page — on our site.

Now, ten years later, you can listen to THIRTY different versions of the song on Rdio. Crazy times, man. Crazy. Times.


Some beautiful writing from my friend,


I can’t sing for anything, but when my daughter was a baby, I used to sing to her. Babies are wonderfully nonjudgmental that way.

When my daughter was a baby, I was single mother living in poverty. I was scared and confused all the time. I had no idea how I was going to survive. But I held on to two fundamental beliefs: that if I worked hard and long enough, I would earn a better life, and that I would eventually find someone, or someones, to join me on the journey.

The song I sang most often to my daughter was a slowed-down version of Bruce Springsteen’s “Born to Run.” It was the easiest way to tell her the story of where we were and where we were going. Except I really wasn’t telling her. I was telling myself, over and over again, so I would not forget and I would not give up.

I moved quickly out of the small town she was born in, the town I grew up in, and she grew up in another city. Now we’re moving from that city. We’re not just moving from one place to another, though. I don’t intend to ever do that again. We’re moving to a different way of life. We’re finally both old enough and strong enough to explore, to travel, to jump from place to place, not because we need to get away from something but because we have things to offer to the world. People to meet, connections to make. New journeys to take.

“I realized after I put all those people in all those cars, I was going to have to figure out some place for them to go.” The questions you ask yourself about what you want are always the same, but, if you put enough effort and time in, you learn how to be honest and brave enough to change the answers.

And, after that, it’s probably time to go.



Finally waking up from a “moving into a new house” funk. Looking forward to blogging music again soon…. promise!

(I’ve been working on an "Intro to Electronic Music" playlist similar to the intro to Radiohead and Wilco playlists of yesteryear. Still a work in progress, but I hope to publish it soon.)


Wow, just found this band: Pirates Canoe, an amazing Bluegrass/Folk band of Japanese nationals. The first minute is just chatter in Japanese, but singing is gorgeous accent-less English. Great guitar, mandolin, fiddle, dobro and banjo playing. Harmonies are good live but even better on their album.

Father Christmas, give us some money / Don’t mess around with those silly toys / We’ll beat you up if you don’t hand it over / We want your bread so don’t make us annoyed / Give all the toys / to the little rich boys
— The Kinks, “Father Christmas" (the most rockin’est Christmas song ever)