Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Canada's Got Talent Audition Sept. 27th

Well, the waiting is over...or is it??  I arrived at the Rogers Centre around 11:45 am and we parked at the centre.  Parking is expensive anywhere in TO so we thought we should get the closest spot!!  We got a lot of good instruction, the security guards and the Rogers Centre staff were well informed and they guided us to the right place very quickly!  My lovely wife took the day to come with me!!  I was so glad to have her with me.  We got our wrist bands and stood in line...we were in line by 12:15 and the waiting began.  As we walked towards the line up for the people with an appointment, we saw a HUGE line of people with NO appointment - WHY would you not have per-registered?  Seriously, the website has been up for months and the line up is going to be crazy...BUT some did decide last minute.  I have not idea how long their wait was going to be!!

They walked us into the Rogers Centre shortly after 1pm.  I finally got into the Centre around 1:30, not too bad, the line was moving most of the time...slowly, but it was moving!!  Had some interesting people around me...there was a few tribute artists (Elvis - and yes they all knew Steve Kabakos...He played Elvis in the Return to Grace Show I was in at Fallsview Casino!!), there were a few people entertaining the troops in line...I use the term entertaining very loosely!!

I talked with a lady that was singing me her song in line....the song that she needed lyrics for because she just wrote the song the night before!!  REALLY??? 

So we got in, I got my number and was sitting in the stands waiting for my number to be called.  When you enter the "SkyDome" you register and they give you a number to wear and they also give you a paper to fill out the details of your performance and the song etc...This lady came and sat down in front of me and started to ask questions about the form.  Sweet lady.  She had her form partially filled out and was asking questions about EVERY SINGLE QUESTION!!  She did not even know the number on her bib (the BIG sticker they give us witha HUGE number on it!!)  I showed her that and she was grateful...then she asked about every was rather funny BUT THE BEST PART WAS TO FOLLOW - She turned to me and asked if she could sing her song for me...Not knowing exactly how to respond I shook my head in agreement...she told me that she was singing, I Will Always Love You - by Whitney Houston and she began.  She started singing..."from this moment, i have been blessed..." I looked a little concerned...she continued, "I live only for your happiness..." I started to look even more concerned and I stopped her.  I said, "Do you know that you are singing a totally different song?"  She looked stunned.  She said, "Well how does the other song go?"  I told her she better just stick to the words she knows and switch the song she was singing...SERIOUSLY!!!???  She did not event know how to sing the song she was going to audition.  I was so tempted to not say anything...but I could not do that to her!!  Shania Twain, From This Moment...sounds so similar to Whitney Houston - NOT!!!!

Anyway - my number was called and I finally able to sing Broken Wings for the producers.  They seemed to respond well, they seemed to be engaged. They asked me a number of questions after, they allowed me to sing more than we were supposed to...SO???  What does that mean?  I have not idea!!  I hope I did enough to go through...BUT one does not know...

Either way, this was a great experience and I am glad that I did it!

We now wait until October 31 to see if they contact me.  I have to admit that I will be very disappointment if this does not work.  I have sung in some pretty cool places and have had some great tours to be a part of, but this could be an amazing opportunity for some major league exposure.  I really do want this!!  Another month of waiting...what else is new!!?? 

Stay in touch - enjoy the journey with me!!  THANK YOU so much for everyone that has made this journey so much fun!


Saturday, July 2, 2011

its my fault!

I have been surrounded lately with a whole bunch of people that never do anything wrong!!! They can mess up, sometimes really badly, and it is never their fault. WOW - that is tough to blameless.

I have run across people right across this country that have a real hard time dealing with screwing up. They cannot simply take ownership of their issues, take criticism (even when it is asked for). They are like teflon - NOTHING STICKS!!

I was at a music festival with 2 stages...the one stage, the sound was pretty consistent and the overall sound was good. The other stage...was not very good at all, the entire day!! The sound man came to me 3 times during the day and said..."I wish I had a band I could mix!" Seriously, the bands were the problem??

In life - we need to take control of our own issues. We cannot play the victim. If you are constantly blaming, or always pointing the finger...BE CAREFUL!!

Well, with all of my faults (there are many) I do not suffer from this! I am sitting in BC this morning, taking stock and looking back and realizing that I have not done what I need to do with the gifts that God has given to me. I look around, and I see how much others have done with less...and it is very convicting. I have made poor decisions, i have not worked as hard as I could have. It is really tough to look at your life and realize some of your decisions have lead you to this place.

I can't blame others, I won't blame others...

BUT - where do you go from here. Taking stock is not enough. I don't want to know what I did wrong, if I keep doing it. SO - It is a time in my life that I need to move forward. Time to start making better decisions...making better choices.

It is my fault...and now I need to make is my choice, not to make the same mistakes.

Well - how is that for a little self reflection...Sometimes this BC air is too fresh!

Have a great day - and if you are finding yourself, always blaming others...LOOK INSIDE!!!!


Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Country Music...YES - My new stuff is Country!!

I have been working really hard over the last 4 years...changing my style (a little) and working on finding great new songs. This process has been painful and expensive!!

I am so excited to have the process almost over. The touring this fall will have all my new music - a complete overhaul of the show!! I debut this "new show" in September. And than there is Christmas...

I am so excited about the new challenge of playing brand new music, a little different direction...but most of all A NEW AUDIENCE!! I have wanted to expand my audience for a while now. This will take me to a whole new group of people...

Stay in to bring all my old friends with me as well :) !!!


Saturday, May 28, 2011

Really? You want to go there??

Did you just say that? Seriously? You want to take on that topic online? REALLY??

I was wondering if this kind of controversial opening line hooked you or did you just read on because you wanted to? What did you think I was going to talk about? Sex, Religion, Downloading music? Did you say downloading music??

Yeah...that's right I said it! I am curious...Do you think that downloading music for FREE (without the writer or the performer saying it's ok) is wrong.

Now let's just say it was legal (which is is stealing!!) BUT - because of the amount of this going on I have a couple questions. I would love to understand your thoughts about the following:

1. Do you feel ok about not paying for music?
2. Do you think the law should and will change?
3. Are you more willing to go see an artist in concert if you like their music that you tried for free?
4. Would you consider paying for the entire CD if the price was right and it was easy?
5. What price point would a CD have to be for you to pay for it rather than download it for free??

I know the music biz is changing...I would love to know your thoughts. Be honest...there is no judgement here...the landscape is changing and I would like to see what your opinion is!

Thanks for your time to discuss this topic!!


Monday, May 16, 2011

its been a while...

I am lying here in my bed in VANCOUVER...pondering all things, my career, my family, my friends...being away from home sometimes really feels ugly. I miss my family so much and yet I am doing what I am called to do. (Called: a Christian word totally overused...however I just used it!)

I am reviewing my dreams and my hopes for my music! I am also pondering how they intersect with my friends and my faith...deep thoughts!

I have been "dreaming" of this career thing for so long, it almost feels as though there is nothing left to dream feels so feels as though my dreams were just torture. Go after it, you can do it...or NOT!! I feel as though the last 15 years have been a constant grasping for the infamous dangled carrot, that always feels out of reach!

My dreams are still there and seem to always re-surface, but the light is dimmer all the time!! I am struggling to come to grips with quitting the reality I need to embrace...or is continuing to battle this my reality?

It's strange, this battle never gets old. I battled this at 16 and I feel I will battle this until I die.

Here is the piece of this puzzle that I truly believe is the KEY TO SUCCESS...seriously, keep reading...

As I look back...a ton of my BIG dreams have become a reality!!!

1. I sang on tour with the Gaither's
2. I sang with my vocal hero's...Michael English, Steve Archer, Russ Taff
3. I toured with Avalon
4. I am on 2 Platinum video's (one that debuted #1 on Billboard)
5. I have been full-time in music for 10 years
6. I have toured Canada, from coast to coast MANY times!!
7. I am able to pour into the lives of other artist's with my LIVE MUSIC PRODUCING
8. I have recorded 6 CD's

You see...when I look back there are many things I can see that I have accomplished...the only problem is...the dream keeps getting bigger!!! There are new dreams that I need to fight to grasp! There are new goals I need to reach...

The problem is, the striving for new goals needs to be balanced by the looking back and having gratitude!

I have the most amazing wife, 3 wonderful kids, I am doing what I believe I was made to do...and I am surrounded with incredible friends and peers that make my life rich!!!

So...have I stopped striving...NOT A CHANCE!! But with a good dose of seeing where I have come from...taking stock in where I have been and what I have done...I can continue to strive for bigger and better...

One last thing...I have to tell you that this journey without a relationship with the Almighty God is fruitless. Nothing without him is worthwhile!! HE is the reason I get up everyday and HOPE!! HE is the reason I sing...HE is the reason I love!!

Jesus Christ gives me the courage to HOPE, and DREAM when it feels like I can't go on!!

Make HIM a part of your world...your life, your dreams...HE, afterall, is the dream-maker!!



Tuesday, April 5, 2011

reflections of Return to Grace...ELVIS!

Well, I just finished nearly 4 weeks of living at Fallsview Casino performing RETURN TO GRACE...a tribute to Elvis Presley. The show was fantastic!! The players in the band were amazing, the singers were all top drawer and the one who played Elvis...WOW!! STEVE KABAKOS

I had a thought...if Steve, who is paying tribute to Elvis can be so good at bringing us joy and remembering a there a lesson to be learned??

We are (those of us that call ourselves followers of Christ) called to imitate Jesus. We are called to study His life, and to be like Him in this world. Do we do a good job? When people look at our lives do they see Jesus? Do they see a good representation of Christ? Are we bringing people joy, and leaving them wanting to know more about the one we serve?




Monday, February 14, 2011

Inside OUT...

good morning...this is our 25th Valentines Day together. 25 times that we have had the opportunity to say I Love You! 25 times that the day has dictated we say, I Love You...I really like Valentines Day! I haven't always performed well...some years I totally blew it and others I went over board as if to make up for lost time. This year i went pretty traditional. Saturday I went out in the morning and bought a dozen roses. My wife still loves flowers. We decided that we would do dinner and a movie tonight and just have a relaxed time together. No big expectation, but simple signs of our love and the fact that we still like to be together!!

Now, Valentines Day has not always been a huge priority because I try and make as many days as possible "I Love You" days! BUT - there is something special about a public day, that begs us to act out in a loving way. So I embrace that today and publicly say I LOVE YOU to the most wonderful women I could have ever married. I am glad that we are life partners...Wendy Pauls - You are my Valentine!

The interesting thing is that I have daily tried to make this relationship work. It was not always perfect and it still is not perfect...BUT - I do remember praying many days..."God, let me love Wendy more today than yesterday..." I prayed that for years. I prayed that I would continue to love her like we were newlyweds! I saw a lot of people after 20 plus years just living with someone...not passionate anymore, not really happy - just living with them!! YUCK! I did not want to be 50 - empty nest and alone with my spouse and say - honey, this is boring!!! SO - I have worked at loving my wife with everything I have...(I have fallen short far more than I have hit the mark by the way...) BUT I have tried and that has paid off.

So - this last Sunday at the Meeting House (our church) the pastor Tim Day was preaching the final message on the topic Inside Out...Real Change. "Be transformed by the renewing of your mind" - kinda change! This type of change does not happen all of a sudden. I realized the correlation of this kind of change to my marriage. A good marriage does not happen over is a process! Real change is a process...

We cannot view God as a microwave of change. He does not normally zap someone and they instantly become free of all their "stuff". Often this is a LONG is driven by US!!! This "renewing of our minds" is deep stuff. it is not as simple as "Lord, I want to be better...Help me!" This is a daily process of laying down our will, seeking His and applying it. Making decisions that lead us closer to His way of thinking. I am trying to lose weight...this is a moment by moment struggle - decision after decision - choosing the right foods...not tempting myself by sitting in front of a Krispy Kreme and hoping God will reduce my cravings!!

I have some of the same issues that plague me today, that plagued me 20 years ago...WHY? I think it is because my thinking has not changed. I have been asking for symptoms to be removed, and when they are not I simply give up!

I need to transformed by the renewing of my mind!!! What I put into my mind dictates what will come out of it...What I watch, what I read, where I spend my time...what I ponder...

If I think loving thoughts towards Wendy - I seem to find it easier to love her. If I think sinful thoughts, negative thoughts...put inappropriate images into my head...interestingly I do not feel like loving God's way...My mind is not transformed...

I am going to work hard at changing my patterns...changing the things that I can, and than allowing God to work on my heart!

This Valentines Day I want to work towards a renewed mind! Start changing my thought patterns, my reading patterns...If you do the same thing expecting a different result...well you know!

"Be transformed by the renewing of your MIND!!" I am excited to start this journey again...I love knowing that my God is the God of 2nd chances...over and over and over!!

Love your spouse, Love your God...and LOVE those around you!!!

Happy Valentines Day!


PS - Check out a new LOVE song that will be on the upcoming CD "Missing You To Death"

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

New Year...New Hopes and New Dreams!!

2011 came way too fast...I was just getting use to saying 2010 and now I need to get use to a new year! Our lives get so complex and scattered it is really hard to believe that time goes by SO FAST!! Because of this, I am trying hard to put into practice the statement on the bottom of my email..."relentlessly remove hurry from your life..."

I just finished reading a book called CRAZY LOVE!! goto - It will ROCK your world!! It has mine! I really recommend this book to anyone that has a desire to know God and to understand the TRUE meaning of what Jesus called us to. We least I have, not been a good example of what Christ called us to in the scriptures. I have taken His sayings and found ways to make them mean something else, just so they would fit better with my lifestyle! I am currently working on a new world view...a new personal and spiritual paradigm. I am challenged like never before to look at the way I view "stuff", the way I view the poor, the way I view hardship (and even how I define hardship!)

The more gadgets I have in my life, the easier life gets...the harder it is to hear the voice of God and to really believe that what He said was true...We block out certain things because of what that truth will cause us to do. If we really believe the things Christ said - and take them to heart...they will cause a response!! Sometimes that is scary!!

CRAZY LOVE is the best book I have read in a long time...I am not a big reader, but I could not put this down...two 3 hour sessions and the book was done. I could not put it down!!!

SIMPLIFY your life...FOCUS on others as much as yourself...GIVE radically...allow yourself to be OBSESSED with Jesus.

WOW - when you look at what those statements say...on the surface, I am ok with them. When you dig a little deeper and start to uncover what they mean, and how they cause us to act - they are far bigger than I have ever felt before.

I am in the process of growing my music business, trying to sing and perform well, trying to help others do the same...I want to earn a living to support my family...I want to win a Grammy one day - HOW DO I DO ALL THAT IN LIGHT OF THIS REALITY!??? That is what I am working through even as I write this!!

This is not a one size fits all...God calls us each to follow Him in our own individual way...I desperately want to live radically and find out what this new paradigm will mean for me and my family!! I haven't been this excited in a long time!!

read the book - watch some of his videos...and lets journey this together!!