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!