Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Be a DAD for South Africa

Bono did his part...G.W.Bush did his part...now it's your turn to be a hero to the children of South Africa. For only a Dollar A Day, you can be a DAD. (Get it?).

Living Hope is an organization made up of some really amazing people in Cape Town who've seen what can only be described as miracles as a result of their faithfulness. This group is losing a huge chunk of its budget formerly supplied by PEPFAR funds (supplied by you and me, my fellow taxpayer, thanks in large part to the leadership of the former administration and the exhortation of the U2 frontman; an odd marriage of interests if ever there was one). This means their work, essential in preventing the continued destruction of life and hope in their nation by AIDS, is facing a crisis of its own.

Can we help? Answer: YES WE CAN! (Get the ironic reference? Good, just checking). See the 2-minute video for info on how.

And here's the 6-minute version with more details.

For info on my own involvement with this group of great folks, scroll down and see the links on the right side of this page.

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Pat Terry house concert August 29!

Really looking forward to this gig! One of my songwriting heroes, Pat Terry, has agreed to share a carport stage with me at a house concert (well, after me, actually). Between his fans and my friends (new and old), and thanks to the generosity of host Doug Floyd in Louisville, Tennessee, it should be a good time for all. That's Saturday evening, August 29.

Louisville is near my alma mater, the University of Tennessee, Knoxville, and I'm hoping I'll get to see some college friends. (My friend Bob, who puts the "fanatic" in "UT sports fan," was quick to note this event is a week before the first football game of the season...so we're safe. Thanks, Bob).

Coincidentally, ancestors of mine via both my maternal grandparents, the Kelly's and the Vaughts, lived & worked in the area c. 1800 before moving further south. It seems likely they knew each other, given that Alexander Kelly owned a mill and represented the county in the new state legislature. So this concert will be a reunion on many levels (if some are only in my imagination).

Y'all come (and bring a chair)!

Download the press release here
Download a print-ready picture of Pat Terry here
...and share the jpeg flyer below (click to see the full-size image).

Hit songwriter and veteran music artist Pat Terry will be the featured artist at a house concert at the home of Doug Floyd in Louisville, Tennessee, on Saturday, August 29.

Following an optional potluck dinner at 6 p.m., Nashville songwriter Mark Kelly Hall will open the concert at 7:30 p.m. Both will perform songs written mostly for grownups but fit for the whole family, celebrating life, love, faith and trampolines.

Pat Terry is well known to many from his days in the Pat Terry Group, part of the first wave of contemporary Christian music, a.k.a. "Jesus Music," in the 70's.

By the 80's Terry had gone solo as an artist. Feeling the need to reach beyond the mold of the CCM market, Terry penned lyrics that were more introspective and less overtly "religious" in some cases but still spiritually sound, and with greater artistic depth. His talents continued to find an outlet in the Nashville country market; his songwriting credits include "National Working Woman's Holiday" (Sammy Kershaw), "It's a Little Too Late" (Tanya Tucker) and Travis Tritt’s first #1 single, "Help Me Hold On."

On Terry’s new independent release, “Laugh For a Million Years,” this been-there-done-that artist offers songs that offer not only the wisdom of experience but also enough passion, hope and humor to inspire much younger souls. Declaring that it’s a “Brand New Day,” dreaming of “Someplace Green,” and pondering what it would be like “If Jesus Was Like Me,” Terry’s songs touch all the bases of his storied career, and head for home.

Mark Kelly Hall's songs reflect the spiritual heritage of the Bible-belt South, combined with a lifelong fascination with American pop culture. Since his years as a student at the University of Tennessee, church-related volunteer work has taken him and his guitar to Puerto Rico, Harlem, Hawaii, the Pacific Northwest, Minsk and, most recently, South Africa.

Hall offers a disclaimer:
“I’m not famous—I don’t even know many famous people, including that other Mark Hall who has all those Dove awards—I don’t have what most people consider success in the music industry, I don’t do any great guitar licks, and I’m not bad-looking but I’m no model. But I do have something to say, and I’ve been told I’m a pretty good writer and a decent performer, and I get a laugh now and then—usually on purpose—so I do what I can to make my time on stage better than a poke in the eye with a sharp stick. And I hope the audience enjoys it, too.”

“Whosoever will” may attend. Reservations are suggested, but not required. A suggested donation will be requested at the door (or near it). Attendees should bring a lawn chair (bean bags also welcome). Early arrivals (6 p.m.) may bring dinner or a potluck dish to share. For more info, including address and directions, contact host Doug Floyd at me@douglasfloyd.com or 865-983-9015.

Thursday, July 09, 2009

I can relate

Lifted from Facebook:

United Airlines luggage handlers broke this guy's guitar and passengers in the plane witnessed it getting tossed around. After a year of trying to get United to pay, this guy wrote a song about it.

Click here for more details.

I had something similar happen on a Spring Break mission trip to Puerto Rico in 1985. When we landed, I was dismayed to find my guitar looking like this coming off the belt, with all the socks, T-shirts I had stuffed in it (I used all the space I had available!) spilling out:

I used to have a picture of what it looked like inside the case. I carried the picture on a trip or two after that to help convince the flight crew they needed to let me carry the guitar on. I lost it at some point. Painful memory, anyway.

The good news was that I had recently been given a new guitar (after telling my dad I put it on layaway already, and would never ask for another Christmas present again!) and planned to sell this one cheap when I got back. And Delta apologized and paid me all I requested.

Plus I got a laugh when I told everyone it looked like they used it to stop the plane. Hopefully they have other techniques by now.