This was a big year. There were a lot of highs, a whole lot of lows and endless surprises.
In April I made the decision to be a full time musician. This is was a choice made with my wife as it is a bit of a crazy life to jump into at 35 with a family. We had the intention of moving back to the United States and setting up there for the long haul, and I would do the music hustle while we went through the long process of getting a green card, then get on a bird and come back home and hit the ground running as we would have had adequate time to get our new life in America organized.
That was the plan.
Within a month of my last day at work I found out that our apartment was full of mold, so we would have to move. Then we found out that my wife was pregnant with our second child, so we would have to move RIGHT AWAY. This put a bit of a wrinkle in our notion to move to the United States, and made life as a professional musician a difficult, but not impossible, goal. But as my good friend Fabian Bouthillett said, “What is conviction if it is not tested?”
In the last seven months since this adventure began in earnest, I have played dozens of gigs, put over 15,000 miles on my car, raged for hours busking on the streets of Nürnberg, Ingolstadt, Prague and Berlin, learned from some of my heroes and friends, met thousands of people and I even started teaching a music class in my daughter’s kindergarten. It has not all been roses and chocolate, but every step of the way, especially the steps where I fell, has helped me to learn and grow as a musician and as a person. Sometimes it takes a good ass kicking, or several, to make you stronger.
It is going to be a great relief when 2016 is over, but I am going to look back on this year realizing that this is when everything changed. 2017 is already shaping up to be a barn burner. My son will be arriving, gigs are booked for the Netherlands, Czech Republic as well as several places all throughout Germany, it looks like there will be some pub shows in the United States in March, 2 CD’s will be out in the first 6 months of the year, workshops are getting organized with some of the best I’ve ever known to pick up a guitar, more work with my daughter and kids her age, and did I mention MY SON WILL BE ARRIVING??!! And to top it off, I am working on the most fun and exciting project I’ve ever conceived with some truly amazing people (stay tuned).
2016, you’ve been hell, but I think one day I’ll thank you for every piece that you threw at me.
2017, BRING IT.