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Showing posts from May, 2012

R.I.P. Doc Watson

Damn . . .

As it loosing Earl Scruggs wasn't enough for this year alone . . . I just read where we've lost Doc Watson, perhaps one of the more famous flatpick folk guitarists and singers in Amereica.  He was 89 years old.  

For one of the many news articles about his life . . . click here.

Doc's Guitar Webpage announcement is here.

We have lost some special people this year . . . mentors, sages and elders all.
God's grace, and music, still amaze me . . . ><>

Tigger update . . . and life goes on . . . cause it has to . . .

An update about Tigger, our Sheltie who died on May 20th.  We received his ashes the following Wednesday, and gave them a noble spot in my wife pottery display case.  We walk by the cedar  box his ashes are in several times a day.  It feels good to have his "with us" as we continue to grieve.

Much appreciation, by the way, to those of you who read this blog, who responded directly to us with calls and cards.  My family all checked in with calls and test messages.  I have a good family.
Life goes on . . . because it has to . . . at least in my case. 
The day after Tigger died, I sang at one of my regular Monday nursing home gigs.   Can't remember a time I cut loose singing and playing guitar like I did that morning.  It was good for those in attendance, as many sang with me, clapped hands and yelled "Ye-Haw".  
It was therapeutic to me as well.  A great release of emotions in a positive way.  
Then . . . life came calling big time.
I officiated the funeral of an…

Goodbye to our beloved "old man" . . .

This blog of mine has served many purposes.  It is a way to share what I am thinking and feeling about the journey of life.  It is a way to promote my thoughts about music, and why I sing and play guitar.  It's a way of sharing my thoughts about spiritual things.

It is also a journal of sorts . . . at times a public journal, when I have something to share that seems better suited to an audience than to my personal private review at some point down the road.

Some of those sharing times come when you are grieving a loss of something loved and dear.

As a general rule, I don't share information about my family in this blog, out of respect for their wishes.  This time I am breaking that rule, but just a bit.  This time I don't think they will mind that much.

Last night, May 20, 2012, we lost a member of the Mang family . . . our beloved Sheltie . . . our beloved "old man,"  . . . Tigger.

He was 14+ years old.  This had been a bad year for him health wise . . . our ve…

Can music bring peace?

I guess I'm in a rambling writing mood these last couple of days.  I haven't written this much in some time, and I do feel I have rambled on a bit, jumping from subject to subject.

One of the concerns / passions on my heart these past few years is to answer the question, "can music help bring peace?"

I think the answer is "yes."  I want to believe the answer is "yes."  I want to hope that the answer is "yes."  I am not sure to what extent . . . guess I have to sing some more, play some more, and preach what I believe a peaceful preferred future can look like.

Part of the deal for me, is that I have to work toward a common of peace.  I'm an ordained United Methodist pastor.  I really have no choice.  To say that working for peace, between individuals, families, groups, communities, nations, cultures . . . is a waste time, and not worth the effort . . . well I don't get to travel that easy road.  My ordination, and the belief syste…

What I do know about guitars . . .

Oh, I guess I should say this . . . because I know it to be a fact.

The best sounding 12-string guitar . . . is the Guild F-412 (maple) or Guild F-512 (rosewood.)

I should know . . . I have played both, and own the rosewood.  If you are an old John Denver folkie like me . . . you understand.

So far, I haven't played a Taylor, or any other brand of 12-string guitar, that is even in the same ball park.

A Guild F-412 or F-512 is worth every single penny you send on it.

It will last you a lifetime and beyond if you treat it with love and respect.

Warning!   They are heavy guitars.  Seriously, they are heavy guitars.

Sing loud and strum on!!!!

God's grace, and my silly personal opinions, still amaze me . . . ><>

What I know about acoustic guitars has been tossed on it's ear . . .

I don't know 'nuthin . . .

Let me explain.

Today, I sang with Jim Newton and Paul Hill of Hugworks.  We all use Guild Jumbo's (theirs have maple, and mine are rosewood.)   Great guitars.  I love mine a lot.  My Guild F50R was the perfect guitar for my week at Philmont Scout Ranch this past September.  I played outside for all the stuff I did there.

I took my new Taylor Custom GS to play when singing with Jim and Paul today.  Was basically told to not bring my Guild back, but bring the Taylor back when I sing with them next.

Again, let me explain.

I am somewhat old school about acoustic guitars.  At least I have some old school assumptions.

1)  A "good" acoustic guitar has to have a spruce top and rosewood back and sides.

2)  A "good" acoustic guitar has to be a Martin, Guild or Gibson.

3)  A "good" guitar has to have phosphor-bronze strings.

4)  A "good" guitar has to be made in America.

5)  A "good" guitar has to be "…

Singing at Cook Children's Medical Center today . . .

Today I return to singing in area hospitals for children with Jim Newton and Paul G. Hill of Hugworks.

I took a needed break from public singing that began before Lent.  But today, thanks to my schedule not being so full this week, I will leave here shortly for the drive into Ft. Worth to Cook Children's Medical Center.  We will sing in individual patient and activity/game rooms this morning, and then do the same after lunch.

Jim and Paul are my music mentors, for both singing and guitar playing.  I always pick up an answer from then for a question I might have . . . as well as an answer or two to questions I hadn't thought to ask yet.

There are both very good at teaching me something I need to know.  But then, that is the nature of our relationship.  I am the student/learning in this relationship.  They are the mentors.  They have the experience I both want and wish I had.  I think having mentors in various areas of life is a very proactive thing.  Even at age 55, I have so …

We will be spending some time in Arkansas . . .

Yesterday I received word that I have been approved as a new board member at the Mount Sequoyah UMC Retreat and Conference Center in Fayetteville, Arkansas.

I do sooooo love the Ozarks.

As a board member, I will be at Mt. Sequoyah several times a year for board meetings, perhaps serving on a sub-committee this first year, and helping to raise money and spread the word about this sacred place that means so much to my wife and I.  

More info on this in the future.

God's grace still amazes me . . . ><>
One would believe that someone as big as I am . . . even though I have lost 35+ pounds in the past 4 months, would intimidate children.

I think it's the guitar that wins them over!    As Willie Nelson said, "As long as I have my guitar, I'll be fine."  I'll 2nd that.

I believe that children can read people's hearts instantly, and I hope what they "read" about me is that I am not a threat, but someone who cares, and who has some important things to share with them along the way of their life journey.  Yeah, I will always be "Pastor Rick" to the one's at the church, and the guy from "Hugworks" to the children at hospitals in the Dallas-Ft. Worth area, but I am also a friend, and one who genuinely cares about the world we are leaving them.

I've reached 55 years old . . . still have my health, still have a loving wife and a great family, who are receiving much more of me these days than I have seen fit to give them in the pas…

Mother's Day "Children's Time" . . .

A great Mother's Day song  . . . sung to the tune of the Oscar Meyer bologna song . . .

My mommy has a special name, it's M-O-M-M-Y . . .
My mommy has a special name, it's M-O-M-M-Y . . .
I love to hug and kiss her everyday
And if you ask me "why?" I'll say . . . . .
I love my mommy yes I do,
I L-O-V-E Y-O-U!

The response wasn't half bad! 

Thank's to Tommy Green of our church for the photo.  This was my first time to use the new Taylor sinker-redwood BTO in public.  Loving this guitar.

God's grace, and Mom's, still amaze me . . . ><>

Wow! Over 15,000 page views and counting . . .

Mercy . . . I just noticed that there have been just over 15,000 page views of this blog since 2007.  And that doesn't count the number of views back when I accidently deleted the entire blog before that.

Thank you everyone.  Hope you've found something good to read, and that all of you are making your own joyful noise as best you can!

God's grace still amazes me . . . ><>

Yeah, I'm 55 now . . .

Could be why kids like to hear me sing . . . I sound like a grandpa . . .

Could be why seniors like to hear me sing . . . the musical "slightly younger brother" . . .
I turned 55 yesterday.  A good day.

There is something to say about a "positive collaborative combination of maturity and experience."
God's grace still amazes me . . . ><>

Another blessing on it's way . . .

Well, the one-of-a-kind custom Taylor GS sinker redwood topped guitar that I wrote about earlier . . .

It seems that Sean Simon (the best sponsor a children's and nursing home singer could ever have) at the Grapevine Guitar Works store (the best guitar store in the world) made arrangements for me to have it.  It is scheduled to be delivered by UPS this Thursday.  I do work for Sean at the store as my schedule allows, and he has been a very generous sponsor of my music ministry for over 6 years.  I got mad at him a while back for allowing me to use such good stuff.

His response . . . "never ever stop anyone from having the opportunity to be generous."

Funny, as I pastor, I should already know that.

I started out singing in nursing homes years ago with instruments that were crap.  Only had a Sigma guitar I got back in the early 90's.  Then, just before I came to Grapevine in 2005, my friends Joe and Floyd, along with a grant from the Central Texas Methodist Foundation…

Singing to seniors again . . .

On Monday, I sang at the Legend's Health Care and Rehab Center in Euless at my new 1st Monday at 3:30 PM time slot.

It appears that I am the once-a-month "before dinner" entertainment.

Works for me!

When I started, there were 7 waiting for me.  When I finished 50 minutes later, there were over 30 in the room.  I think we all had a blast.

When we sing to children in hospitals, our catalog of songs is limited to those that have been vetted for us by child life specialists and other experts.  The reasons for that are many, and all good.  I'll touch on them in another blog in the future.

When I sing to seniors, however, I have access to a much, much larger catalog of songs.  Songs I sang on Monday included . . .

-A Thing Called Love (maybe Jerry Reed's best song)
-For Bobbie (one of John Denver's best ballads)
-Route 66
-Love Me Tender (a favorite Elvis song for many of them)
-This Land is Your Land
-Blowing in the Wind
-Inside, Inside (a great TME song for kids and sen…

A busy day of singing yesterday . . .

Well, I announced that I was going to start singing in public again as part of my ministry after a 10+ week break.

Yesterday, I sang at Silverlake Elementary here in Grapevine, TX for 4 of the 3rd grade classes, as part of Career Day.   I went to share my work as a Theraputic Music Entertainer singing to children in hospitals and to senior adults in nursing home/rehab centers. 

It was fun . . . the kids were great.  Most of the other presenters gave talks, etc.   I shared that the best way to tell the kids about what I do musically, was to do it with them. 

It was awesome.

Last night, I had the honor and privilege of presenting a concert for the Southwest Retired BSA Executives Reunion at the Hyatt Park Hotel.  I sang a selection of folk and camp fire songs, and threw in a couple Elvis tunes so folks could sing and clap together.  A fine bunch of people, including two of the guys who planted the seed in my head several years ago about going to Philmont Scout Ranch as a Chaplain.

My …