William Lee Golden: The Singing Painter

What words would you use to describe Dixonville Alabama native, William Lee Golden, of the Oak Ridge Boys? Well I guess you could use many, Friend, Son, Father, Brother, Grandfather and Great Grandfather. You could mention his American Mountain Man appearance with his recognizable long hair and beard. Supporter of Native American rights, visionary, spiritualist, husband. Obviously singer would be thought of early on as he has been the baritone singer for the Oak Ridge Boys for 38 years, singing lead on hits like “Ozark Mountain Jubilee”, “Thank God For Kids”, “Tying To Love Two Women” and “I Wish You Could Have Turned My Head”. Here’s another word to add to that wonderful list, painter.

That’s right, about 15 years ago he began nurturing a hidden talent for painting. William Lee’s work has been on display in galleries across the U.S. as well as the Nashville International Airport and a recent show featuring his work at The Tennessee State Museum. Among high profile friends that have William’s beautiful work is George Bush. William gathers inspiration from Gods artwork. Being highly connected to the earth, William captures the beauty of the land with an eye few of us would have.

With painting as well as anything William shows an interest in, his passions run deep. Deep for country, deep for God, deep for family and friends. His interest in Native American culture has been strongly evident for over 30 years, and as a historian, he can teach you a few things.

William Lee Golden is a man that has chosen his own path in this life. He has done so with gentleness and dignity, even when he was faced with oppression and ridicule. It’s not always been an easy road, but it’s been a road that has inspired many to follow their own way, and to be true to themselves.

There is a new CD coming called the Singing Painter, which will be avaialable on William Lee’s site and info on the Oak Ridge Boys site. He has been a friend to me for 21 years and has shown me many a road in a very quiet guiding way, whether he knows it or not. Go check out this mans art and his music. It comes from the heart, I promise you !




Towing The Party Line

Where do you go for truth these days? Your local priest, pastor or rabbi ? CNN or Fox? Do we say something is true when it reinforces they way we already think? When we are challenged do we turn away? Are we sold by the rhetoric ? It’s pretty confusing to me, especially if you approach things as if you might possibly be wrong about some things, that you might actually have something to learn. I don’t know if we see that happening too often. It sure seems like the world or at least the world on TV is in no short supply of opinions, and those opinions may very well be more important than digging deep for some truth.

There’s some things I believe are true. I believe most folks that co exist on this planet with us are looking for the same things out of life. They hope for family and love. They hope for safety, maybe watch a few good sunsets. Laugh. I guess I also believe in the good of people and that they will generally do the right thing. I believe most folk have the same desire to know why they are here, how they got here, and who God really is.

Politics gets more confusing the deeper you dig. It’s a horrible place to be most times. You want to know more, to be more informed, but when you do, you walk away more confused and generally pissed off that truth isn’t something they are interested in. That’s a lousy view for sure. Maybe it’s just a necessary evil. The wars and the young men and women that have died in them only to advance a political agenda disgusts me to no end. It seems very few have been just. I think of myself as a patriot and a warrior foe the real deal, when you are truly defending home, country and family. What would Jesus say about the history of wars? All of that killing, my God….

So I don’t really know what this post is about, where it came from and certainly where it goes. Sometimes it’s just good to get words out and hopefully shake up someone to where they respond and I will learn a new angle. See things from another side, and hopefully learn and be more humble and appreciative of others views.

Maybe truth isn’t so easy to define, maybe it’s kind of like the post on reality. Maybe it has too many faces. Maybe we are just too busy being human. One day I hope to be able to ask the Maker, “when you look down, what do you think?”. I hope He does so with a good dose of humor. We must be quite a sight.

Thanks for lending me your ear !

Shine A Light: Grace Potter and the Nocturnals

As the old saying goes, “I’m getting old enough to where my children are teaching me things”. At the very least they share with me music that I might not have otherwise heard. Maybe it’s a little balance of what I’ve shared with them through the years. In this instance it’s Grace Potters music. My daughter Taylor has turned us on to Grace’s music. Make no mistake folks this chick can flat out sing !

The band is home based in Vermont and blends a cool funky kinda soul with a honest, but heavy 70’s vibe. Grace is a great singer and that Hammond B3 is so cool to hear. So go check ’em out if they come to a town near you, and without a doubt click that ole mouse and give a listen on itunes.

Here’s a cool version of the old Elvis tune Mystery Train !

Reality: Take it or leave it

There are no facts, only interpretations.  ~Friedrich Nietzsche

Maybe reality isn’t static. Maybe it’s as changing as our breath and totally personal. I would assume most of us think our view of reality is pretty positive. That all is good with the universe……until something happens or better yet when we receive knowledge that something has happened. We can be rolling along with our happy view of reality in tact, but something “bad” may have happened yesterday. Our altered state doesn’t happen until we get the news.

What is reality anyway!  It’s nothing but a collective hunch.  ~Jane Wagner, The Search for Signs of Intelligent Life in the Universe, 1985, performed by Lily Tomlin

Maybe it’s like our ole pal Nietzsche talked about “interpretations”. The Gulf Oil spill is real, but it’s reality is different for me or someone from the Gulf Coast as opposed to say, someone in Kansas. We are affected differently, therefore our reality is different.

Any thoughts out there on this? Do the circumstances change your spiritual beliefs? The direction of your life or outlook? Or is all of that temporary until the next “reality” ascends upon you? Maybe reality is just a thread of constant events and positions in our lives.

What Makes You Happy ?

If you are a little older or even if you aren’t , take a moment to remember the things through your life that have made you happy. Different stages, different things, right? I remember when a new Matchbox car could keep me smiling for days. The years wore on and the toys changed. Bikes, surfboards, cars, computers, you name it !

Through all of that stuff, I also remember the feeling of a safe home. Clean sheets that somehow deep in my spirit reminded me that my Mother loved me. Walking in the door and smelling supper being cooked. A smiling wife. Children that hug you and say they love you.

Is it that human cycle of acquiring and then letting go? Is there some mark of maturity there? Maybe it just takes a while for the “shine of things” to wear off. Realizing in your younger years if you are finding truth, that it ain’t, it’s never been stuff that really makes us happy. In a recent CNN poll they found the happiest folks in Denmark, living simpler lives.

I’m not against stuff. I’m really not, I have a good bit of it. There are things I covet for sure, but it’s sure hard to ignore that there are alot of folks with “all the stuff” who are miserable, and folks with little that are happy. Maybe it’s what we attach to the stuff. As long as you know it’s not the source of happiness then maybe you can have as much as you want and be fine. I do think it that’s not really in the human condition, cause we always want more and more. Do we expect too much or are we expecting the wrong things to make us happy?

I find a good cup of coffee and petting my dogs as God wakes up the world,  among my happier moments. Kissing my wife. Watching my kids laugh. That’s just enough for me. So what makes you happy, I’d like to know. If it’s a new BMW then say so, maybe I’m missing something. In the words of the 70’s spiritual prophet, David Cassidy, “Come On Get Happy”. We’re all sure trying !!!

Fathers Day

The older I get the heavier that word “Father” gets. It’s deep and wonderful, and a sometimes painful role that goes both ways, being a father as well as a son.

Every generation tries to hand their children a better deal. To somehow fill in the places in their spirit that you felt were missing in yours. Perhaps we all go through that stage of “well, I’m not gonna do it like my daddy did”. That kind of stuff you know. And somehow you think you are going to do everything right ! That’s pretty funny right off the bat.

And while doing all of those thoughts are courageous and I believe in them, I think we learn a little humility about fathering as we go along the way. We learn that most fathers are just doing the best they know how to do with the tools they were given. And that goes back generation after generation after generation. And I’ve surely learned that I was not always easy to teach nor easy to reach ! That maybe right choices were made, but I still went the wrong way. My father taught me a large quiet, non spoken lesson in that he didn’t own me, and allowed me a road, my own road to go and my own light to find. He was always there for the questions but never pushing.

I am a different father than mine is, and he is different than his father was. My children will become different fathers than I, trying to smooth out the rough edges for their children that I left in them. Nobody is perfect and they know I’m not, but they also know they have my heart and I am always on the wind that blows through their lives.

I hope all of us fathers will remember on this day how wonderful this journey of fatherhood is. Give a call if you can and receive a call with the wonderful gratitude of the ones you gave life.

I wish you all a deep, wonderful fathers day from the hills of Tennessee to wherever you are…..

Shine A Light: Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers

Florida born and raised Tom Petty has quite a run. Not too many artist stay this cool this long. Since bursting on the scenes in the very late 70’s, he hasn’t really slowed down and the hits keep on coming. For us Florida boys, Petty is one of our own and his music was as much a part of the fabric of our lives as brushing our teeth in the morning, and I remember may a night that turned into a new day driving the roads of the Gulf coast with my cousin, with Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers blarin’ through the speakers !

Remember “Refugee”? “American Girl”?, the into “Here Comes My Girl” and “You got Lucky”…..Have you ever listened to “Southern Accents”?. If you have and weren’t moved as a Southerner, then somebody needs to call the morgue for you, cause brother, you ain’t got a heartbeat !

The years with the Traveling Wilburys, which included Jeff Lynne, Bob Dylan, George Harrison and Roy Orbisonwas really a cool vignette for him. Those are some heavy weight names for sure and all Hall of Famers ! Whether with the  Hearbreakers, Traveling Wilburys, or just as Tom Petty there is a wealth of cool stuff to listen to. A rare sound full of soul and never slouches on being a rocker. He never did the big hair thing or mile high boots or makeup. They just walked out there as an Amercian Rock and Roll band and did it right. He effortless cool always prevailing.

Check out the new CD Mojo just released this week. It’s bound to be another great record of Heartbreaker music.