June 2020 News

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    For over 40 years, my professional life has centered around practicing, preparing, researching & looking for, planning, promoting & playing gigs.   Since this pandemic stopped most of that on March 15, 2020, it sure has been strange.   Dr. Blues & I have spent much of our time at home since then, tackling lists of chores & projects that have piled up over the past hectic decade or so.   For the 1st time since childhood, I went 40 days without touching a musical instrument, partly out of shock & grief over the situation, & partly due to working on so many other things.    

    Of course, we miss playing & seeing our fans, but consider ourselves lucky so far, as we feel for those who have been sick or died alone, & for all those who care for them.    We pray for better treatments & a vaccine ASAP.    

    Thankfully, our 11th Annual Boogie Woogie/Blues Piano Stomp happened 2/15/2020, before all shut down.   This year featured Barry Cuda, Victor Wainwright, Rob Rio & yours truly.   On 2/7/2020, Dr. Blues & I appeared on Tampa’s ABC-TV show Morning Blend.    

     My sister Trish Benedik surprised us & visited that week from Ohio & came to the Stomp.   Trish recently published a book entitled Franchising Without Fear, a good read for entrepreneurs.    Check it out!   Our family also welcomed Trish’s granddaughter Devna 5/1/19.   Niece Shannon surprised us all & brought Devna to my gig at The Golden Lamb in Lebanon, OH last August.   

     A year ago, our Brussels, Belgium friends Andre & Lil Hobus visited St. Pete & came to 2 of our shows.   Avid blues & boogie woogie fans, writers & photographers, it was magnifique to see them again!

     Last September, our kids Drew & Kristen, & grandkids Jackson & Julie (now 7) & Greyson (now 4) visited from Marietta/Atlanta, GA.   They’ve just moved to Charlotte, NC, so will be looking for gigs there when things open up.

     Thanks to our Frequent Fan winners of 2019:   1. Wayne K. (attended 40+ gigs!);    2. Midge P. (30+gigs!);   3. Linda M.;    4. Priscilla H.;    5. Harvey L.;    6. Sue L.;  (each 20+ gigs!);     7. Jerri E.;    8. Ruth Ann L.;    9. Johnny L.;    10. Art O.  (each 10+ gigs!).     Ask for a free card at any show & join the fun!

     We hated to lose the Architect of Rock & Roll, legendary pianist, songwriter, singer Little Richard on 5/9/2020 at age 87.   RIP also to Uncle Gerald Clark, & loyal longtime fans Ralph Nobis and Art O’Hara.   They have all enriched our lives & are missed.

     Especially now,  we’d be mighty grateful if you’d visit our STORE page & order some CD’s & merch.   Hang in there & stay well, everyone.   Hope to see you real soon!