A New Kind of High

Songwriters are more often than not, hidden in the background. It’s the artists who turn the songs into hits. Then, we associate the song with the artist, not the songwriter.

I have a great friend, Sonny Throckmorton, who has had over twenty number one songs and well over 1,000 recorded by artists. He is a member of the Songwriter’s Hall of Fame and has been awarded Songwriter of the Year by both BMI and the Nashville Songwriter’s Association International. But, only a handful of people know the name.

However, here are some of his songs that you’re sure to recognize:

“The Way I Am” – A huge hit for Merle Haggard

“This is Where the Cowboy Rides Away” – A hit for George Strait

“The Last Cheater’s Waltz” – A #1 hit for T.G. Sheppard

“Trying To Love Two Women” – The Oak Ridge Boys

“Middle Age Crazy” – Jerry Lee Lewis

“Friday Night Blues” – John Conlee

“I Wish You Could Have Turned My head and Left My Heart Alone” – Oak Ridge Boys

And last, but certainly not least nor anywhere near the end of the list, “I Wish I Was Eighteen Again,” made famous by George Burns.

I say all of this to introduce you to a new album released by Sonny Throckmorton. I wanted you to know the calibre of songwriter I am promoting.

A New Kind of High

A NEW KIND OF HIGH is different from anything Sonny has ever done. It verges on country-funk with catchy lyrics and thought-provoking phrases.

The album opens with “A Little Bit of That.” A mix of electronica and rap, the lyrics say it all. “I’m tired of being hungry/Tired of being poor/All my friends are driving Benz/And I want a little bit more…”

While “Next” is more reminiscent of bluegrass on steroids, it is again, quite a different twist for Sonny.

Party Man” is more like the old Sonny Throckmorton style waltz with a twinge of loneliness thrown in.

Willie Nelson included “Butterfly” on his album, God’s Problem Child. Its slow easy flow is beautiful and the lyrics go deep.

Pink Limousine” has an odd combination of banjo and electronica that I’ve never heard. The lyrics go like this. “I dreamed all night of a pink limousine/Full of beautiful ladies, the cream of the cream/And I caught a ride if you know what I mean/And I rode all night in a pink limousine…”

Full-on-country, “Wasting a Fire” is a two-stepping unrequited love song.

Look What I Missed,” ramps up the countrified gospel funk to a new kind of high.

A soft flowing melody accompanies “Little Miss Out of the Blue.” I could hear someone with a smooth voice like the late Ray Price singing this and turning it into another hit for Sonny.

Deal Breaker” starts off with heavy reverb on lead guitar and a driving beat. “Looking for somebody that doesn’t have a cat/I don’t want no feline on my welcome mat/You’re a kitty lover well I’m a dirty rat/Looking for somebody that doesn’t have a cat/Well, it’s a deal-breaker…” Ha! I think we can all relate to that in one way or another whether or not it has anything to do with a cat. 🙂

The album ends with “Ride Me Back Home,” a poignant story song. “Ride me back home to a much better place/Blue skies, sunshine, plenty of space/Somewhere where they would leave you alone/Somewhere I could call home/And you would just ride me back home…”

I think it’s safe to say that Sonny Throckmorton, even at the age of 77, isn’t anywhere close to being done.

I hope I’ve piqued your curiosity enough that you’ll take a look at Sonny’s new release. Who knows. Maybe one day, we’ll hear some of these songs on the radio and soaring up the charts again for this talented phenomenal songwriter.

PURCHASE LINKS:

CDBABY

AMAZON

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Me and Sonny Throckmorton in May 2009.
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Left to Right – Jan Sikes, Janie Fricke, Rick Sikes, Sonny Throckmorton, Sharon, Sonny’s Sister

Congratulations, Jamie Richards!!

Jamie Richards, one of the most consistent and best singer/songwriters in the business, celebrated another #! hit this past week!!!

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“When You Love Somebody” is not only a chart-topper, but a song with a beautiful message!

Lyrics: “When you love somebody,  when you know you’ve found the one. You can can’t remember life without her. You can imagine life alone. When you love somebody they have your heart and soul. And everyone will know when you love somebody…”

Give it a listen here and congratulate Jamie!! When You Love Somebody

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#RRBC Holiday Train “Book Trailer” Block Party!

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It’s a PARTY and you’re invited!!

Hi, and WELCOME to the Rave Reviews Book Club Holiday Train “Book Trailer” Block Party at Writing and Music located in McKinney, Texas.

What I’m giving away:

1 set of 10 custom-made charms using your book cover or any design you choose from Dawn Judd Creations. (Shipping cost included on gift certificate.)

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1 – Ebook of Home At Last

1 – AUTOGRAPHED COPY OF “DISCOVERY – POETRY AND ART BY RICK AND JAN SIKES” (B&W EDITION) This book is hot off the press! 

NUMBER OF WINNERS – 3

FOR A CHANCE TO WIN, YOU MUST VISIT THE BOOK TRAILER VIA THE YOUTUBE LINK BELOW AND LEAVE A COMMENT. YOUR NAME WILL THEN BE ENTERED INTO A DRAWING FOR THESE COOL PRIZES!

HOME AT LAST

CLICK HERE TO VIEW BOOK TRAILER

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Released from federal prison after fifteen long years, Luke Stone boards a Greyhound bus bound for Texas, for home and the woman who holds his heart. He happily hangs up his neon dreams for a paint brush and hammer. Darlina Flowers has waited her entire adult life to become Mrs. Luke Stone, but will the hardships of starting over with nothing be too much? Their love is tested to the core as the story unfolds.

 

As with the other books in this series, Home At Last is a true story based on the lives of Rick and Jan Sikes.

Order on Amazon

OR

Order through my website for an autographed copy and the music CD that accompanies this story!

http://www.jansikes.com

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#Musings from Don Ricardo

This blog came across my inbox recently from my friend, Richard J. Dobson, aka Don Ricardo and I felt his words were worth sharing.

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“It’s an old habit, this saving of clippings. I cut out a page of excerpts from commencement addresses that included this from Jessye Norman, opera singer, to graduates at Oberlin College, Ohio: “You see art brings us together as a family because it is an individual expression of universal human experience. It comes from that part of us that is without fear, prejudice, malice or any of the other things that we create in order to separate ourselves one form the other. Art makes each of us whole by insisting that we use all of our senses, our heads and our hearts, that we express with our bodies, our voices, our hands, as well as with our minds.”

I often find myself thinking about art and what it means, what it can do. What is an artist, anyway? For me at this point it’s a person who over a lifetime accumulates a body of creative work. Along the way he or she must gain enough support from the larger community to keep on creating. Success, while helpful, may not be required. Too much of it, and you’re prima donna bound, and risk trading your voice for that of a public persona.

Influence

People who write about art and artists look to trace influences. They want to know who it was that helped mold the artist, and thereby suggest a link to some known figure or movement. But when you’re young and starting a career, your greatest influence might be your old roommate, or an English professor who liked your early stories. Or a guitar picker only a handful of people ever heard of, like the reclusive country-bluesman John Grimaudo down in Rockport, Texas. Or Jack Saunders in Florida churning out a lifetime in prose he never sold; or Jason Eklund, street singer-roofer living out of his car and printing his hand-written manuscripts at the copy shop. These people, and others I could name, have probably influenced me as much as any better known artist.

Considering the economics, I’m still amazed that anyone would choose a life making music or writing books or painting. The answer to that one, of course, is the life chooses you. This opens up other questions about success, and what that might be. Artists are forgotten like everybody else. Only a tiny handful are remembered. Success might be nothing more than survival. I might have given a different answer thirty years ago.  Now I would say honoring your vision and your muse, carrying on, and doing your work. That’s your joy, and that might be what success really means. The hobbyists, the people who never had a vision, or didn’t really want it bad enough, tend to winnow out. What you’re left with is artists. Shorn of all the romance and bullshit, just people going about their work”.

If you like what Don Ricardo has to say, visit his website, take a look at the books and extensive catalog of music he has published.

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Songwriter Extraordinaire, Richard Dobson

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Richard Dobson and Jan Sikes at the Llano Music Festival

How often does a person actually get to experience recognition for a lifetime of work while they are still here to enjoy it?

I’d say the answer to that is ‘not often.’

My friend, Richard Dobson, has literally spent an entire lifetime writing songs, poetry, books and other ramblings. Just recently, he was honored by having some of his work preserved in the Fondren Library at Rice University in Houston, Texas!

This man is most deserving of such a prestigious honor. Here is a link to the listing.

Richard Dobson Collection

He has a brand new CD out – Plenty Good People which is a music collaboration with the famed adventurer, treasure hunter, poet, novelist and songwriter, W.C. Jameson.

Plenty Good People

If you are interested in any of Dobson’s music or books, visit his WEBSITE!

Follow Dobson on Facebook

But most importantly, treat yourself to the unique sound of Richard Dobson Music!

Welcome Guest Author, Tina Frisco

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I would like to welcome my guest author and songwriter, Tina Frisco. I got acquainted with Tina when I read her guest author interview on Chris, The Storyreading Ape’s blog. I was immediately drawn to her first book, Plateau, Beyond the Trees, Beyond 2012, to which I posted a review after I’d finished it.
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Click here to go to my review of Plateau.
So, here is what Tina has to say:

Thank you, Jan, for this wonderful opportunity to share a little of myself and my work.

Like many authors, I began writing at an early age. My sister and I composed little ditties that we sang to our parents. They loved this. Their laughter and applause encouraged me to continue writing and singing. I received my first guitar at age 14, which launched my passion for music and songwriting. I’ve performed in many local venues over the years.

I was born with deep compassion for the suffering. This led me to choose nursing as a career, which brought me face-to-face with my own mortality. Writing carried me through the dark days when I would arrive at work and learn that another patient I’d grown close to had died. Writing was also my savior when my little feline companions moved on. Grief has to be the most ravaging and desolate emotion. I couldn’t eat, sleep, or work. My babies were gone. The only thing that saved me was writing. I made a memory book into which I pasted all their photos, wrote down every memory I could extract from my muddled brain, and then began writing to them. Years have passed, but I still write to them on their birthdays and deathdays. It’s a catharsis that serves me well in all areas of my life.

As my heart opened, my eyes did as well. My spirit longed for meaning and purpose. It was no accident when I encountered a medicine woman who became my teacher. A new plane of existence opened to me. I’d never had any trouble finding my voice or acknowledging my feelings, but now my spirit was finding expression. It was standing on the precipice of freedom. It had found its wings. Many thoughts and emotions began to clarify. And it was during this time when I realized that death is to life what waking is to sleep.

After watching one too many “doomsday” documentaries regarding the supposed end of the Mayan calendar on 21 December 2012, I wrote my début novel ~ Plateau: Beyond the Trees, Beyond 2012. I was determined to put forth a message of hope into the world.

While honoring the wisdom of her elders, a 15-year-old tribal female learns to face her fear, trust blindly, and overcome adversity. Her will is relentlessly tested as she discovers her strengths and destiny. She ultimately comes face-to-face with herself in a battle that would shrink the will of the most intrepid warrior, unaware that realizing her destiny will irrevocably impact all beings on earth and beyond. Her people inject humor and wisdom throughout this tale of mystery and adventure. The underlying message is that we must keep our hearts open and act from love instead of reacting from fear; we must practice gratitude and compassion within every moment and with every breath. And in so doing, we’ll help elevate the human species to a higher consciousness, facilitating both personal and global peace.

My first children’s book, Gabby and the Quads, was just published. I was inspired to write it after my niece had quadruplets. A child’s moral compass develops early in life, and I wanted to write a book that was ethically as well as traditionally educational.

Gabby is an only child who is about to become big sister to quadruplets! How will she handle this? Her parents decide on a unique approach to introduce her to and help her accept this awesome experience.

Thank you for sharing this time with me. I wish all of you much joy, success, love, and just enough challenge to keep you growing. Harm none and walk in beauty, my friends.

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Tina’s Social Media Links
Tina’s Website
Tina’s Facebook Page
Tina’s Amazon Author Page
Tina on Twittter
Tina on LinkedIn
Tina on Goodreads
Tina’s AboutMe page