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I remember telling my kindergarten teacher, Mrs. Alas, that I didn’t need to go to college because I was going to be a singer when I grew up.

I was not lacking confidence on that day. Sure, I couldn’t spell my own name or reach the adult sized urinal. But I had guts.

My mother was very involved in church, doing solo performances and administrative work and whatever else needed done.

I sang on stage for the first time with her at the First Baptist Church of Seven Springs on Little Rd. in New Port Richey, Florida when I was maybe six years old. At that age I remember putting a Mark Schultz CD in and reading the lyrics line by line and trying to memorize and study how he had written his songs. Twenty years later that’s still how I like to listen to music – liner notes in front and reading along.

My dad is a great singer as well and he was involved in church, a well respected police officer in the community and a heck of a dad.

Then life happened.

My mother was diagnosed with a debilitating neurological disease that tore her apart in a matter of months. Almost immediately she couldn’t drive or remember our names. Every day was filled with her in denial and trying to do something that my brothers and I knew she couldn’t. It was a strange tension when the role of mother and son, caretaker and child get switched almost immediately.

Manhood had come for us. It was at our doors whether we liked it or not.

Life continued a lot like that until the secret that no one was expecting got out, and I went to school one day and didn’t go home. My dad had been arrested for physical child abuse, and we had been emancipated. It was painful and embarrassing and split all of our social circles in half as to who was on whose side. And as life would happen, I watched as my mother took her last breath about three months later. I still can’t type that line without reliving that moment.

My songs come from deep pain. They come from deep places. From broken places. So I’m not so good with feathers. I’m much better with tombstones.

This is where I come from and this is where my music comes from.

If you’d like to join the fight, click here to pre-order my debut record.

 

P.S. I recorded a song called The Hand You’re Dealt at this really cool church building in Montgomery, Alabama. So here’s a video of me all alone in this beautiful building telling my story a few hours before the show began. I’m always blown away that anybody wants to listen to my songs so I’d like to share it with you as a thank you for subscribing.

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